Rajnath meets Muslim clerics to tackle IS

Rajnath meets Muslim clerics to tackle IS
In a first, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday held a meeting with prominent Muslim leaders seeking their cooperation in tackling the growth of Islamic State (IS).

At the meeting, also attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and senior Home Ministry officials, Singh reached out to the religious leaders, including prominent priests, to ensure that Muslim youths do not fall prey to terror propaganda in the name of Islam. With the group that Singh met being north India-centric, sources said there are plans for a similar meeting soon of clerics from south India as well while politicians like Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi may also be roped in.

At present, around 160 youths, mostly south Indians, are under surveillance of intelligence agencies for their suspicious online links with the IS.

During the hour-long meeting, Singh and officials apprised the clerics about activities of the IS and its efforts to attract Indian youth to its fold. Officials briefed them how the social media was misused and the growth of the IS’s influence in India’s neighbourhood.

A member of the delegation told Deccan Herald that Muslim clerics would emphasise during Friday prayers about the dangers posed by IS and how it is against the tenets of Islam. No one should be misguided or carry an understanding contrary to the fact that Islam stands for peace, the delegation said.

A Home Ministry statement said the delegation highlighted that Muslims were safe and enjoyed freedom in India and that “this kind of freedom and security is not available to Muslims even in Muslim-ruled countries”. The delegation included prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, Ajmer Darga head Maulana Abdul Wahid Hussain Chisti, Jamait-Ul-Hind General Secretary Niaz Faruqui, Muslim Economic Forum National Convenor Dr M J Khan, Confederation of Minorities Educational institutions Kamal Faruqui and International Islamic affairs Qamar Agha.
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