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Had no intention to hurt Muslims, happy to stand corrected on Jihad: Chidambaram

Saturday, January 09, 2010 09:45:50 PM, Shafee Ah Ko & Mumtaz Alam Falahi

Leave Jihad for America to tackle. Try to curb local terror: AIMM to PC: In a strongly worded letter to Home Minister P Chidambaram, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMM) today said that he should leave the so-called “Jihad” for America to tackle as it is the creator and beneficiary of this monster...... Read Full

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Chidambaram, Jihad and Congress politics

Chennai: Following fierce criticism by Muslim leaders and organizations for equating Jihad with terrorism, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on January 8 said that he didn’t have the knowledge of the real meaning of Jihad and he used the term as it is used in common parlance. While clarifying that he had no intention to hurt the sentiments of anybody in the Muslim community, he said “I am happy to stand corrected” regarding the true meaning of the term.


While addressing Intelligence Bureau officials in New Delhi on December 23 the Home Minister had equated Jihad with terrorism and said it is a war against non-believers. Muslim leaders and groups including All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam and Secular Democratic Party of India had promptly condemned him for the statement. Some of them had sent letter to him urging him to withdraw the statement and tender apology to the Muslim community.


In his faxed riposte dated January 8, 2010 and addressed to Prof. Jawahirullah, president, Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, Home Minister P Chidambaram stated: “I am sure that as a devout Muslim you are more informed about teachings of Islam and the true meaning of the word “jihad”. Therefore, I accept what you have stated in your letter, and I may assure you that there was no intention to hurt the sentiments of any one in the Muslim Community.”


On 31 December 2009, availing the service of Prof. Jawahirullah urged through his letter to the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to set right for his misconceived concept of the Arabic word “Jihad” equating the term to ‘terrorism’, while the fact remains that the very word “Jihad” actually stands for meaning for “struggle or striving”.


Prof. Jawahirullah with an encouraging tone and tenure exhorted Chidambaram’s comment that, “Your statement has caused anguish and resentment affecting the good relations between the Muslim community and the party in power at the Centre. It is our hope that you will be gentlemanly enough to withdraw your statement.” This was an open letter of TMMK President Prof. Jawahirullah to the Union Home Minister Chidambarm.


Prof. Jawahirullah further added in the said letter that,” Your reported speech at the recent Intelligence Bureau meeting equating two diametrically opposite concepts viz., the noble Jihad with the abominable terrorism, has very badly hurt the sentiments of the Muslim minority community."


Now that Chidambaram has made clarification, Prof. Jawahirullah is a bit satisfied and does not want to drag the issue further.


Asked if he is satisfied with the response from P Chidambaram, Prof. Jawahirullah told from Chennai: “In the beginning of his letter Chidambaram says he had no intention to hurt the sentiments of anybody in the Muslim community. He also admits that he doesn’t have the knowledge about Jihad and Islam as Muslims have. He also clarified that what he said was based on the common use of the term Jihad today in the media and by Muslim militant groups. He accepted that he happily stands corrected on the real concept of Jihad.” He added that now it is not good to drag the issue.


“We do not know his intention behind what he said on that day. But now if he says he is happily correcting himself and what he said was based on common use of the term and he had no intention to hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community, it is not good for us to doubt him,” said Prof. Jawahirullah when asked if Chidambaram was not deliberately presenting the incorrect concept of Jihad while addressing IB officials in Delhi on December 23.


Prof. Jawahirullah further added: As community we have failed to explain to our non-Muslim brothers the real meaning of Islam and matters like Jihad which have got a lot of misinterpretation these days.


Why he thinks it was important to correct Chidambaram, Prof Jawahirullah said: Because he is Home Minister, and he was speaking to security and intelligence officials. If we had not taken up this matter with the Home Minister then whatever had said would have gone down to the cadres and every Muslim would been seen in wrong perspective and with suspicion. Further concentration would have been only on some misguided Muslims who take up to terror activity and people like Pragya Singh and Purohit would have been ignored.


The story began on December 23, as the Union Home Minister Chidambaram while delivering 22nd Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment Lecture in New Delhi, equated “Jihad” with “terrorism”, and said that the objective of Jihad was war against unbelievers and he made a distinction between Crusades and Jihad while terming Crusades as “conventional wars” and “Jihad” as “terrorism”.


Showing a positive response to the letter by Prof. Jawahirullah, the Union Home Minister’s letter further clarifies that,” In common parlance, the words “jihad” and “jihadi” are used to describe militant activities and militants in different parts of the world, including India.

The media routinely uses these words. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning of “jihad” as war or struggle against unbelievers”


The Union Home Minister further explains in his letter how the word ‘Jihad” is being used by the terrorist such as Al Qaeda, Hizbul Mujahedeen, and LeT. He also refers to a conversation, “between one of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and his handler in Pakistan”. The letter exposes further how the Union Minister was so far driven to the habitual wrong usage of word “jihad” stating that, “Recently ,the father of Abdulmutallab (the would-be suicide bomber of an aircraft) is reported to have said that, ‘my own son fell under the influence of a jihadist version of Islam that I do not recognise".


The Union Home Minister in his own noble and generous spirit, further explains that,” As you have pointed out, it is possible that ‘jihad” as used in common parlance is a wrong use of the word. Like others I used the word as it is used in common parlance, and I am happy to stand corrected.” (TCN)












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