Speakers, first for two days in different sessions at Haj House and later at the public meeting at Azad Maidan on Sunday, asserted that the board will force the government to amend the Right to Education Act (RTE), scrap the direct taxes code bill and bring changes in the wakf amendment bill 2010.
The speakers also urged the government to allow prayers at hundreds of the mosques which are under the of custody of the ASI. "Fresh dangers are looming large as the government of the day seems to usurp the Sharia laws. But the government should note that we will sacrifice our lives but will not tolerate any interference in the Sharia", All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) president Mohammad Rabey Hasani Nadvi said.
"India is a democratic country where people from all religions are given constitutional rights to practice as per their faith and belief. But attempts are on to deny Muslim their constitutional rights. It will not be tolerated", he said.
Recalling the rights given by the Muslim rulers to everyone in India, Prof Shakil Samdani, Professor of Law at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) said, "You are reciprocating with what the Muslims had given to this country hundreds of years back. This is not a favor to the community."
Raising the issue of the mosques under the ASI custody, Syed Salman Husaini Nadvi said, "Drinking wine is permitted here but faithful cannot offer their prayers. What can be more shameful than this?"
Demanding amendments in RTE Act, Abdur Rahim Qureishi, assistant general secretary of AIMPLB, said, "There are provisions in the RTE Act that deny our right to establish and run religious and educational institutions. We will make it a mass movement unless this Act is amended."
Attacking the tax bill, Qureishi said that taxing places of worship was tantamount to interference in the religious affairs of all communities. "The Bill will affect not only the mosques, but places of worship of all religions," he added. The AIMPLB also rubbished reports that one of the organizers of the board's meeting, Khair-e-Ummat Trust, was a front for the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Denying that the Khair-e-Ummat Trust, a Dongri-based registered NGO, had any links with SIMI, the trust's secretary, Ibrahim Khalil Abedi, said that the news was "baseless and defamatory."
Stating that AIMPLB's office in Mumbai is located at the Khair-e-Ummat Trust building, Qureishi alleged, "This is part of the conspiracy to defame and denigrate a Muslim organization which provides scholarships and medical help to the poor."
UP CM Akhilesh Yadav won praise from the board members as he has assured the AIMPLB president Mulana Rabe Hasan Nadvi that the proposed law in his state which deprives married women of their rights in fathers' agricultural property will exclude Muslims. Copies of Akhilesh's letter to Maulana Nadvi were also distributed among the 400-odd members from across the country.
aaThe 3-day convention was inaugurated on Friday with the opening session held at the Haj House. People from various parts of Maharashtra and the neighboring states converged at Mumbai to attend the AIMPLB historic convention.