[Boycott - Israel Supporters]
Muslim delegation visits Israel, earns wide condemnation
TwoCircles.net staff reporter
14 August 2007
New Delhi : At a time when India is celebrating 60th Independence Day with utmost zeal and grandeur, a delegation of so-called Muslim intellectuals left the Capital Tuesday evening for Mumbai and will fly from there to Tel Aviv the next day viz. the Independence Day to pay a secret but meticulously planned visit to Israel.
In a scoop front-paged Monday, the Urdu daily Hindustan Express correspondent Shahidul Islam alleges that the delegation members would "sell the sentiments of 20 crore Indian Muslims to their Zionist masters during a meeting scheduled on Friday next."
The delegation members will call on Israeli foreign minister and chief rabbi as well as prime minister Ehud Olmert.
The Express report also reveals the background of the members of the delegation: "President All India Imam Organisation Maulana Jameel Ilyasi, who is on the delegation, is known for selling the Muslim interest while another member of the delegation and Editor Rashtriya Sahara Aziz Burney has been facing the charges of promoting Zionism and Qadianism. Third member of the delegation Khwaja Iftikhar earned infamy for floating Vajpayee Himayat Committee after the Gujarat massacre (of Muslims) while the fourth member and son of Maulana Jameel Ilyasi, Maulana Umair Ilyasi has brought up in the very lap of RSS (Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh). Fifth member Maulana Abdul Wahid Chishti of Ajmer Dargah has been ensnared somehow. An innocent and noble journalist Shaikh Manzoor of UNI is also accompanying the delegation."
The delegation of this visit has been facilitated by an American agency AJC which has been working for Israeli causes, says the Express report.
The Express front-paged Tuesday wide criticism and condemnation from various Muslim organisations and conscientious individuals, including Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind secretary Maulana Abdul Hameed Noamani, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind assistant secretary Intizar Naeem, Shia Alim Maulana Syed Aqueelul Gharvi, former Jamiat Ahle Hadith general secretary and member All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, Muslim Political Council of India president Dr Tasleem Rahmani, All India Muslim Majli-e-Mushawarat (Salim Qasmi group) member Mufti Ataur Rahman Qasmi, etc. They have severely condemned these so-called Muslim intellectuals for developing relations with Israel, which has been killing, maiming and terrorising Palestinians. They have also called upon the Indian Muslims to boycott these so-called Muslim leaders.
Indian Muslims protest peace delegation to Israel
15 August 2007
Most prominent Muslim leader in India who publicly condemned suicide attacks, postpones his arrival in Israel in order to explain importance of visit to Muslim leaders, confront planned Muslim protests in mosques on Friday against his visit.
A senior delegation of Indian Muslim leaders will arrive in Israel Wednesday for an unprecedented visit aimed at advancing interfaith dialogue and peace. The visit is sponsored by Project Interchange, an Institute of the American Jewish Committee, in coordination with AIJAC (Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council), an AJC international partner.
Word of the pending arrival of the delegation led by Maulana Ilyasi prompted a stormy reaction in India during the last week. Muslim newspapers in India published a series of articles against the delegation, and Muslim extremists in India announced that they would demonstrate against the visit in mosques this coming Friday and that they were considering boycotting the Maulana. The Maulana heads the All India Council of more than half a million Imams, among some 200 million Muslims.
As a result, the Maulana decided to postpone his arrival and will only travel to Israel Saturday, after having explained the purpose of the visit to other Muslim leaders in his country.
Interfaith summit in India in February 2007 (Ilyasi in green turban)
"We are coming with the message of peace and goodwill from Indian Muslims who believe in the Indian tradition of resolving issues through dialogue and peaceful means,” said Hazrat Maulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi.
“Our visit to Israel will be historical in terms of developing a dialogue between Judaism and Islam in the Indian subcontinent, where more than 40 percent of the world Muslim population lives. Interaction with both Palestinian and Jewish sisters and brothers and their religious leadership will lay a solid foundation for future engagement." Maulana llyasi said.
The delegation will meet with Israel’s President Shimon Peres, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni, and with Jewish and Muslim religious leaders. They will participate in an interreligious dialogue with a delegation of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and sign a joint declaration with the chief rabbis.
“This visit is of great strategic importance and hopefully will have impact on the wider Muslim world as well", said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s international director of interreligious affairs. “Members of this delegation have direct influence on a wide cross section of some 200 million Muslims all over India.
The Israel visit follows on a trip to India earlier this year by Rabbi Rosen, along with Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger and a delegation of chief rabbis from around the world. Their meeting with the Muslim leaders led to a joint statement that drew criticism from extremist groups in India and Pakistan.
The joint declaration stated that while relations between Muslims and Jews have deteriorated in the course of the last century as a result of political factors, “It is high time for the religious leaders of both sides to engage in dialogue and use their collective influence to stop the bloodshed of innocent civilians.
Rather we need to condemn killings, reject extremism, and the misuse of religion for acts of violence.
Suicide is a forbidden act in Islam and therefore suicidal attacks can not find sanction.”
American Jewish Group Takes Indian Muslims To Israel
16 August 2007
A delegation of Indian Muslim leaders are touring Israel in an unprecedented visit that is part of the American Jewish Committee's (AJC) efforts to showcase the country as a tolerant society and to improve Muslim-Jewish relations.
Maulana Jamil Ilyasi, president of the All India Organisation of Imams and Mosques, is leading the Indian delegation.
'We are coming with the message of peace and goodwill from Indian Muslims who believe in the Indian tradition of resolving issues through dialogue and peaceful means,' said Ilyasi, who is the leader of 500,000 imams across India.
'Our visit to Israel will be historical in terms of developing a dialogue between Judaism and Islam in the Indian subcontinent, where more than 40 percent of the world's Muslim population lives. Interaction with both Palestinian and Jewish sisters and brothers and their religious leadership will lay a solid foundation for future engagement,' llyasi said.
The visit is sponsored by Project Interchange, an institute of the AJC, in coordination with the Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council. The influential Jewish lobby wants to portray that Israel is keen to accommodate Muslims in its quest for lasting peace in the Middle East.
Israel, an ally of the US, is at pains to deflect some of the anti-American hostility that gets directed towards it due to the US interventionist policy in the Middle East, especially in the aftermath of the Iraq occupation.
'This visit is of great strategic importance and hopefully will impact on the wider Muslim world as well,' said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of inter-religious affairs in New York.
'Members of this delegation have direct influence on a wide cross section of some 200 million Muslims all over India,' he pointed out.
The delegation will meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and with Jewish and Muslim religious leaders. They will participate in an inter-religious dialogue with a delegation of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and sign a joint declaration with the two Chief Rabbis.
The declaration states that while relations between Muslims and Jews have deteriorated in the course of the last century as a result of political factors, 'It is high time for the religious leaders of both sides to engage in dialogue and use their collective influence to stop the bloodshed of innocent civilians.
'Rather, we need to condemn killings, reject extremism, and the misuse of religion for acts of violence. Suicide is a forbidden act in Islam and therefore suicidal attacks can not find sanction.'
Apart from Ilyasi, the team includes prominent members of a committee formed during the 2004 general election called the Atal Himayat Committee (after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee).
Ilyasi first shot into prominence during the regime of former prime minister P.V. Narsimha Rao in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition when he floated his Imams' Organisation to secure government salaries for the imams of mosques.
The Himayat Committee originally included Sirajuddin Qureshi, a prominent meat exporter of Delhi who chairs the India Islamic Centre; Akhtarul Wasey, the head of the department of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia; Mahmoodur Rahman, former vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU); and Sahara Samay editor Aziz Burney.
But news of the Muslim delegation going to Israel caused quite a stir in the community in India. A well-known Urdu daily, Hindustan Express, carried a front-page story Monday about the proposed journey and at least one member, Sirajuddin Qureshi, dropped out.
Sources said this was because his major meat exports are to Middle East nations and he feared the news of his journey to Israel could adversely affect his business prospects.
The Israel visit follows a trip to India earlier this year by Jewish rabbis to Delhi for an inter-faith meeting. The meet led to a joint statement that drew criticism from extremist groups in India and Pakistan.
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