Bengal: TMC leaders urge Muslims to refrain from displaying swords on Muharram

Trinamool Congress (TMC) the ruling party in West Bengal has asked community leaders to urge Muslims to refrain from displaying weapons in processions on Muharram.

On Wednesday TMC MPs Idris Ali and AH Imran met leaders of the minority community in Kolkata. “We appeal to our Muslim brothers that they should celebrate Muharram like every other year but they should also remember it is a sombre event and not an occasion to brandish swords and lathis. Islam does not permit this,” said Idris Ali said during a press meet called by the All Indian Minority Forum.

“People should adhere to Shariat while observing Muharram,” he added. “We urge Muslims to shun the practice of carrying swords during processions not only because the practice has no sanction in Islam but also because such communal forces as BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) are trying to foment trouble around this practice,” said TMC parliament member Idris Ali.

Several influential imams have advised Muslims not to carry weapons on Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram.

“Muharram is our mourning month. Please do not indulge in the display of sticks and swords during processions. These have nothing to do with Islam… Please do not do anything that strengthens the hands of the communal and divisive forces,” said Kolkata’s Nakhoda mosque imam Maulana Shafique Qasmi at an event Ali on Wednesday, reports HT.

Maulana Imdadul Rashidi, an imam from Asansol, called brandishing weapons during Muharram un-Islamic, and won praise earlier this year when he urged for peace even after his son was killed in a communal clash.

On the day of Muharram, some Shia Muslims self-flagellate with chains and swords in remembrance of the killing of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussain, in the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century. The practice has been discouraged lately with clerics urging people to donate blood instead.

The Bharatiya Janata Party welcomed this initiative of TMC. “We welcome the move. It marks a moral victory for us,” said BJP Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh.

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