Friday, January 22, 2010




Chennai: I visited the Peace – Vision of Islam 2010 – conference and exhibition all the five days from 13th to 17th January 2010 to make a right assessment as there was much controversy about it in Chennai. After the final day’s visit, the verse of the holy Quran which struck me was "Wamakaroo wamakarallah wallahu khairul maakireen" – (And they schemed and Allah countered their schemes by schemes of His own. Allah is the best of schemers). Yes man proposes and God disposes when it is too much. The large crowds witnessed on the first day were increasing day by day. It was really a pleasant surprise for me as it was not expected as the venue at Injambakkam where the conference was held is more than 50 km away from the Central railway station in Chennai. The interest shown by the Muslims and non Muslims alike proved that Dr. Zakir Naik - the international Islamic preacher - is the darling of the millions despite the vilification from a section of the community here this time. I must say that his glory as an orator and an Islamist seems to be on the increase.

Many speakers delivered their lecturers in English, Urdu and Tamil on different subjects explaining the Islamic points of view and people listened to them with all interest. Non Muslim brethren were also keen in understanding about Islam. The conference provided an excellent opportunity for the people to know more and more about the divine faith of Islam.

It is unfortunate that a section of Muslims including the two Qazis of Chennai opposed Dr. Zakir Naik and the Peace conference and lodged a complaint with the commissioner of police. Consequently the venue of the Peace conference and exhibition was shifted from Mount Road to Injambakkam. I do not want to go into details. I am giving below the translation of the report written by Mr. Saga and published under heading " A voice of fundamentalism in Tamil Nadu!" in a Tamil periodical "Nakkeeran" in its 20th January 2010 issue for the information of readers and their assessment of the troubled situation here involving none but only the Muslim community.

"The announcement of the Peace organisation that religious explanation meeting and exhibition will be held in Injambakkam has infuriated the Chief Qazi of Tamil Nadu and other scholars. The surprising news of the Islamic programme being not only criticised but also a complaint lodged to the Commissioner of Police against it made us talk with the people concerned.”

“The Chief Qazi Dr. Salahuddin says, "They have invited Dr. Zakir Hussain, ( yes this name is mentioned in the periodical ) a Maharashtrian as a chief speaker. He is opposed to Islam. He not only supports extremism but also says that Bin Laden's way is right and youngsters should follow him. He is also trying to project Prophet Mohammed (sal-am) whom Islamists respect as their life as an ordinary person. He also makes the venomous speech that Dargah worship should not be there. This has created a big turmoil in Tamil Nadu. We all - without any Shia and Sunni differences - oppose the conference and exhibition. We have also lodged a complaint with the Commission Mr. Rajendran. “

“Dr. Zakir Hussain who has created the turmoil is running Islamic Research Foundation in Mumbai. He is also expressing his views throughout the country. His activities have been banned in Uttar Pradesh. He has been conducting his activities in the name of religious explanation meetings in the Qaede Millat hall since the last four years. He also supports the people involved in incidents like Mumbai bomb blasts. It is dangerous. Hence the demand has been made in different states that severe action should be taken against Zakir Hussain.”

“Sunnat jamat united front General Secretary Melai Naser who conducted a sudden protest meeting to prevent the meeting in Injambakkam said in anger, " he invites non Muslims to his meetings and gives them wrong information about Islam. He also lowers the image of Imam Hussain - grand son of Prophet Mohammed (sal-am) and praises his enemy Najeed ( I am writing what has been written in the periodical). All this has angered Muslims. At the time when Muslims are opposing extremism strongly, Zakir supports it. Like this he is trying to degrade Muslims. We will not leave it."

The Peace organisers say, "Zakir Hussain is opposing the superstitious believes in Islam and only those who do not like this protest."

I do not want to say anything further except to comment that one can “understand” and assess the views of the three Muslims and the correspondent of the Tamil periodical from the above. I am not sure if the three Muslims said what has been reported, as even the name of Dr. Zakir Naik has not been given properly in the report under reference. Where do we Muslims stand?

The speech of Dr. Zakir Naik was excellent and people appreciated it very much. There was a mammoth crowd of about 50,000 people. Quite a large number of people were standing even outside the gate. They listened to his speech with keen interest and enthusiasm. The Islamic preacher kept the audience under his spell for more than an hour and answered questions from the audience. He stressed the need for equality and brotherhood among the people of different religions as God is after all the same one for all – no matter what is ones caste, colour, creed or religion.

No doubt the conference and exhibition was highly successful. All praise be to Allah.

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