Hasan Waheed

New Delhi.  Indian Muslim leaders gathered here yesterday to review Pakistan’s eteriorating situation and conditions of non-Muslims. Particularly, targeting of the Sikh community and its suppression in Pakistan by Taliban out-laws and expressed their grieve concern on the entire situation.

 

In a joint statement issued by All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM) at the end of the meeting of Indian Muslim leaders said: “We, religious, political and community leaders of the Indian Muslims, are alarmed at the reports coming from Pakistan’s tribal areas about the Pakistani Taliban’s kidnapping, extortion of huge amounts of money from their Sikh compatriots as “Jizya” and demolition of the houses and shops of those who fail to pay the demanded sums.”

 

“We would like to say that Jizya is a tax paid in an Islamic state for exemption from military service by healthy non-Muslim adults who are free to follow their vocations without restriction or fear, and that there is no other tax payable by them after paying this tax, unlike Muslims who have to pay various taxes including Zakat and have to perform military serv ice as well.”

 

AIMMM, an umbrella body of the Indian Muslim organizations, continued in its statement that Jizya was payable by non-Muslims only in lands conquered by Muslims like Egypt, Syria and Iraq but not in unconquered areas like Madina where during the time of the Holy Prophet no Jizya was ever imposed on non-Muslim citizens who enjoyed equal rights and duties under the Constitution of Madina. For many centuries Jizya has not been levied by Muslim states and today even the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Republic of Iran do not levy Jizya on non-Muslims for the simple reason that non-Muslims in these states pay all taxes payable by others.

 

We wish to make it clear that the imposition of the so-called Jizya is nothing more than ‘extortion’ by an armed and lawless gang which does not constitute a sovereign government or state or even an organ thereof. Moreover, Pakistan’s tribal areas are not “conquered lands” as their non-Muslim population has been living there for centuries. These areas were part of the British India and became part of the new State of Pakistan after India’s partition.

 

We regard this as an act of injustice incompatible with the letter and spirit of Islam and the international covenants accepted by all Muslim states.

 

In conclusion the AIMMM statement said, “We demand that the Pakistani authorities take earliest steps to retrieve the extorted sums and pay back to their affected non-Muslim citizens and facilitate their peaceful return to their homes and properties in their traditional homelands and give them all due protection.

 

The prominent personalities who attended the meeting called by AIMMM were Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmad,Shahi Imam, Jama Masjid Fatehpuri, Delhi; Hafiz Muhammad Yahya, President, All India Jamiat Ahl-e Hadees; Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani, Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-e Hind; Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat; Syed Shahabuddin, Former MP & ex-President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat; Prof Tahir Mahmood, Member Law Commission of India.

 

Other important Muslim figures attended the meeting convened by AIMMM were Dr Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Member, Muslim Personal Law Board; Mujtaba Farooq, Secretary, Jamaat-e Islami Hind; Maulana Ataur Rahman Qasmi, President, Shah Waliullah Institute, Delhi; Maulana Waris Mazhari, Editor, Monthly Tarjuman, Delhi; Dr Zafar Mahmood, President, Zakat Foundation of India; Mirza Yawar Baig, President of Yawar Baig & Associates; Shahnawaz Ali Raihan, Secretary, Students Islamic Organisation.

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