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Indian Muslim community decries UP holiday move

Muslim leaders accuse Uttar Pradesh CM of attempting to divide community on sectarian lines

Gulf News

Hyderabad: Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to scrap the holiday of Milad un Nabi, or birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), while continuing the holiday marking the birthday of the Prophet’s son-in-law and fourth Caliph, Hazrat Ali, has evolved sharp reaction from the Muslim community in Hyderabad.

While all Muslims revere the Prophet, Hazrat Ali has a special significance for Shiites.

Lashing out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said the state’s leader was playing a dirty game aimed at dividing the Muslim community on sectarian lines.

Addressing journalists in Hyderabad, Owaisi said the UP government’s action was condemnable.

“The UP government has declared a holiday on 13 Rajab, as per Islamic calendar, which is the birthday of Hazrat Ali and scrapped the holiday on 12 Rabi Al Awwal the birthday of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]. What is the message the UP government was trying to send”, he wondered.

Owaisi said Milad un Nabi was a very important day for the Muslims. “Muslims will not allow such attempts to divide them and [will] face [such actions] with unity. This shows that the BJP wants to weaken the Muslim [community]”, he said

Owaisi demanded to know from the union minister for minority affairs Muqtar Abbas Naqvi whether he agrees with this decision of UP government.

Meanwhile two prominent Shiite leaders in Hyderabad also condemned the move by the UP government. President of All India Shia Majlis Ulema wa Zakireen Moulana, Syed Nisar Hussain Haider Aqa, termed it as an attempt to create confusion among Muslims.

“We demand that the government puts an end to this sinister attempt to create differences among Muslims who were united in their faith,” he said in a statement.

Secretary of Majlis-e-Ulemae Hind, Syed Taqi Raza Abidi, said even Shiites in Uttar Pradesh would not agree with this decision.

“The real tribute to Hazrat Ali will be restoration of holiday on Eid e Milad. If the government wants to declare a holiday on Hazrat Ali’s birthday then it should restore the holiday on Miladun Nabi too,” he said.