The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has expressed strong opposition to the communal violence bill as well as the growing 'bonhomie between India and Israel'.
On the conclusion of AIMPLB's three-day annual convention at the Nadwatul Darul Uloom Islamic University in Lucknow, Board spokesman Maulana Abdul Rahim Quraishi told a press conference, "The board takes exception to India's increasing proximity with Israel from where we have even entered into arms-purchase agreement."
He said, "We would like to advise the government to maintain the same distance with Israel as was professed and practiced by Gandhi and Nehru."
Meanwhile, Nadwa-Darul-Uloom Rector Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadvi was unanimously elected as the board president for the third consecutive term. And likewise, renowned Shia cleric and scholar Maulana Kalbe Sadiq was named as senior vice president.
The Board expressed displeasure over handling of terrorism in the country. "While we are vehemently opposed to terrorism, we do not approve of the way innocent Muslim boys were picked up as terror suspects and then subjected to third-degree was unfair."
Board legal adviser Zafaryab Jilani joined Quraishi to add that the Board had also resolved to oppose the draft communal violence bill. "We have serious objections to certain provisions of the communal violence bill in its existing form," Jilani said.
"The bill needs to be amended otherwise in its present form it tends to only give more blanket powers to the police, that was already in the habit of targeting innocent youth," Jilani pointed out.
"If the bill were to be taken up in its present form, it would fail to serve any purpose; it would seem that the government's objective was to further make lives of innocent citizens more difficult rather than providing any respite to them," he said.
The board proposes to mobilise Muslim MPs of various political parties to jointly raise the issue. "We will shortly approach all Muslim MPs as well secular minded MPs belonging to different political parties to seek suitable amendments in the communal violence bill," Jilani added.
On the Babri Masjid issue, the board proposes to seek "day-to-day hearing" in the case pending before the high court. "We would also demand indictment of certain accused persons, who have been let off by the Liberhan Commission," he declared.
Surprisingly, the Board did not even take up certain vital issues concerning personal laws of Muslims. Asked if the Board had any discussion on the women's reservation bill, he said, "Well, that is not in our domain."