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The Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD)

The Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD)

The Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD)

A group of prominent civil society members said it was deeply disturbing to see “euphoria” among certain sections in the country over the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) in a statement signed by 128 people, including lyricist Javed Akhtar, and actors Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah, said it rejects the “idea of a theocratic state anywhere in the world”.

“It therefore questions the legitimacy of the ‘Islamic Emirate’ the Taliban seek to impose on the war-torn, war-weary people of Afghanistan who are yearning for peace,” it said.

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“We are deeply disturbed by the euphoria evident among a section of Indian Muslims, including religious leaders such as the office bearers of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Maulana Umrain Mahfuz Rahmani and Maulana Sajjad Nomani, and the Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, over the Taliban’s capture of power,” they said in the statement said.

The AIMPLB has, however, said it “has neither expressed any view nor given any statement on Taliban and recent political situation of Afghanistan. “Opinion of some board members has been portrayed as the board’s stand…,” it said in a recent tweet.

The signatories of the IMSD statement include journalists, lawyers, students, academicians, civil society activists and members of the film fraternity.

“It is nothing but sheer opportunism and hypocrisy to stand in support of a secular state in a country like India where Muslims are in a minority and applaud the imposition of Shariah rule wherever they are in a majority. Such rank double-standard gives legitimacy to the Sangh Parivar’s (RSS) agenda for a Hindu Rashtra,” the statement said.

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The IMSD respects the views of the growing tribe of Islamic scholars, religious leaders and Muslim intellectuals across the globe who argue that the very notion of an “Islamic state” is antithetical to the core teachings of Islam, it said.

“According to them, the core values of Islam are not in conflict with the basic principles of a secular-democratic state and religious pluralism,” the statement said.

The signatories of the statement said while it is “one thing to welcome the ouster of the occupiers and the overthrow of their puppets, quite another to celebrate the return to power of those who with their barbaric version of Islam have contributed in no small measure to the demonization of Muslims and their faith across the globe.”

The IMSD called on the global community to launch a “24/7 Afghanistan Watch” to mount decisive pressure on the Taliban to ensure and show to the world that, “unlike their earlier brutal rule which had turned Afghanistan into a veritable hell on earth especially for the women, this time they will respect the liberties and rights of all its women, men and children.”

It also called upon the BJP-led government to immediately sign the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, and act in consonance to that convention. “India must open its doors to all Afghan refugees, irrespective of religion,” the statement said.

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