12 Muslim families in Karwar ostracised for praying to Sufi religious figure

Committee disallows them from visiting mosque; kids face discrimination

12 Muslim families in Karwar ostracised for praying to Sufi religious figure
As many as 12 Muslim families at Sadashivagad in the taluk have been facing ostracisation for the last 25 years from their own community. Their crime: offering prayers to Guru Dawar Ali Shah of Andhra Pradesh and keeping his pictures at home.

The administration committee of the Jamat-ul-Muslimeen Noorani masjid has boycotted the families and imposed many restrictions on them. None in the community is permitted to attend functions, religious programmes conducted by these 12 families. Members of these families are also restricted from taking part in the functions or religious programmes of other families in the community. The ban extends to funerals of the dead too.

Jainul Abedin, a resident of Tariwada, said his son Abdul Salam was scheduled to get married in Dharwad on April 21. He said the marriage may not happen if the committee does not approve it or at least attend it. Abedin’s family has already distributed cards to the near and dear ones, besides members of the committee.

Kausar Khan, another resident, said the men of these families were not being allowed to offer prayers at the local masjid these days, following objections by the committee members. Their children are being discriminated against at the Urdu schools.

Sameer Umar Khan, who works in a construction firm, had run into trouble while looking for alliances prior to his marriage. He finally got married at the age of 34 to a relative, in Ballari district.

Anwar Mohammed Khan, a resident of Maldarwada, said their appeals to the district administration and the Wakf Board to help end the boycott had gone in vain. They have now sought help from Karwar assistant commissioner Fouzia Tarannum, who visited them recently.

Chittakula sub-inspector Umesh Pavuskar said the committee had not boycotted the 12 families. Instead, these families had not paid their dues to the masjid for the last 20 years. He said the committee heads had given a written undertaking that the members could attend marriages in these families and they would not object to this. The families have been instructed to resolve the matter through the department of minority welfare, Pavuskar said.

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