Borhras and reform
Dawoodi Bohras - Borhras and reform

Sayedna meets Modi... what's going on?

Dr. Sayedna Mohammmed Burhanuddin, head of the Dawoodi Bohra Community, met with the Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi on October 2, 2003.

Mr. Narendra Modi is one of the more egregious anti-Muslim BJP leaders. His role in the massacre, rape and torture of thousands of Muslims during the 2001 Gujarat riots is not only well known but also well documented. The Muslims of Gujarat continue to suffer under his administration even as they struggle to piece together their shattered lives after the devastation and destruction visited upon them by the combined force of Hindutva fanatics and Modi's police force. Thousands of them have lost their livelihood, and countless others have been arrested on mere suspicion. Constant harassment by the police, endless court cases, the trauma and stress over lost lives and lost jobs, the insecurity of life and property, the anxiety over their well-being and nagging worries about the future have become part of their daily life.

Mr. Narendra Modi's government has done nothing to alleviate their suffering, to bring normalcy back to the Muslim community. No effort has been made to make the community feel more secure, no assurances have been made that Muslim lives and properties will not be harmed.

Yet, here we find a respected Muslim leader, Dr. Sayedna Saheb, meeting and entertaining "the butcher of Gujarat" without condemnation of his administration's treatment of Muslims.

The Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community (CBDBC) condemns this meeting as immoral, as an insult to the suffering of Muslims and an affront to the memory of those who lost their lives.

By meeting Modi and according him such warm welcome, Dr. Sayedna Saheb is not only giving legitimacy to the communal and criminal forces in the country, but also seem to be sending a message that the Bohra community doesn't care how its fellow citizens and fellow Muslims are treated.

This is not to say that the CBDBC is not in favour of better relations between Hindus and Muslims. We have always believed in and strived for tolerance and peaceful existence of all faiths and communities. We believe that peace and prosperity in our country will prevail only in an atmosphere of secularism, democracy and justice as guaranteed by our constitution.

Honouring a politician like Modi serves neither the cause of secularism nor of justice. And it is not the first time that Dr. Sayedna Saheb is hobnobbing with rank communalists and Hindu extremists leaders. In the past he has had meetings/alliances with the likes of Bal Thakeray and Murli Manohar Joshi. He has also donated large sums of money to the BJP.

Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb's invitation, warm welcome and blessing to Narendra Modi raises a few questions:

  1. Why did a religious and spiritual person like Sayedna Saheb invite a Hindutva politician and Muslim-hater?
  2. Why did Sayedna give him such a warm welcome?
  3. What interest does the destroyer of more than 700 Muslim religious places and tomb of poet Wali Gujrali has in Sayedna's Arabic Academy, Jamiya-Saifiya? Is Modi an Islamic scholar or a benevolent Muslim leader so that Sayedna can be proud of his visit to an Arabic Academy?
  4. Why is Sayedna Saheb helping financially a man who has caused maximum damage of lives and property of Bohras, his followers, and not helping them who along with thousands of other Muslims in Gujarat are still suffering?
  5. What makes Sayedna Saheb extend his blessings to Modi and not say a word in protest about his onslaught on Muslims in Gujarat?

Apparently Dr. Sayedna Saheb is buying peace and strategic clout with the Hindutva juggernaut. But he must realise that it's only a short-term gain. In effect what he is doing is damaging Muslim pride and dignity, and tearing apart the fabric of secularism that holds the country together.

We urge you and all other right-thinking people, Muslims and non-Muslims, who believe in secularism and justice to question and condemn Dr. Sayedna Saheb's actions. Criminals like Narendra Modi should be tried in a court of law and brought to justice, and not honoured and scraped and bowed to.

Dr. Sayedna Saheb's actions bring shame to his community, Muslims and all secular-minded people everywhere.

Executive Secretary
Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community
Saifuddin Insaf