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Deoband school asks Muslims to avoid killing cows

February 02, 2004 22:13 IST

In a significant gesture on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, the influential Darul Uloom school of Islamic theology on Sunday asked Muslims to sacrifice animals other than cows in states where cow slaughter is banned.

"Though cow slaughter is legitimate under Shariat, it is advised that sheep, goat and camel may be sacrificed in states where there is a ban on cow slaughter. The law of the land should not be violated and peace should be maintained in the states and the country," Mufti Habibur Rahman, head of the Darul's fatwa bench, told PTI over phone from Deoband, about 50km from Saharanpur, in Uttar Pradesh.

Observing that Hindus respected and worshipped cows, he said instead the community should sacrifice other four-legged animals and thus help in establishing peace and goodwill.

President of the Jamiat-Ulema-Hind, affiliated to the Deoband school, Maulana Mehmood Madani told PTI that the Jamiat had passed a resolution over a year ago asking Muslims to voluntarily stop killing cows as it hurt the sentiments of the Hindus.

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Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which has been demanding a ban on cow slaughter, welcomed the move. "It was long overdue," RSS spokesman Ram Madhav told PTI adding, "With this, one of the major issues of contention has disappeared."

He hoped the Muslim community would respond positively and implement the advice in letter and spirit. He said Hindu organisations had been asking Muslims to give up the practice as it was 'a barrier in the development of good relations between Hindus and Muslims for years'.

Founder-president of Universal Association for Spiritual Awareness N K Sharma on Monday said the development had come about after the path-breaking meeting of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief K S Sudarshan and Vishwa Hindu Parishad president V H Dalmiya with Jamiat leader Maulana Mehmood Madani in December 2003.

Sharma had mediated the first-ever talks between the Sangh Parivar and Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind.

"The appeal is a goodwill gesture from the Muslims as it talks about respecting the sentiments of Hindus with respect to the cow," said Sharma, who is engaged in efforts to bring about a dialogue between the leaders of the two communities for resolution of all contentious issues.

In a statement, he said the institution's 'bold' move would go a long way in bringing the two communities closer. He hoped the Hindus would 'reciprocate' the goodwill gesture. Such developments would bring about better understanding between the two communities, which would help in the progress and development of the country, he added.

In Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi hailed the development saying it will help spread peace, harmony and brotherhood.

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