Muslim clerics on Saturday expressed serious concern at what they called rising 'Islamophobia' in the country and said that the nation is today governed by ''divisive forces', which were bent on destroying the age-old composite culture to remain in power".
Speaking at a two-day meeting organised by Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind at Deoband in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district, which began on Saturday, the clerics, without naming any political party, said that the Muslims are facing difficulties just to survive in the country.
''We have been made strangers in our own country and yet there are talks of Akhand Bharat....it has become difficult for the Muslims to survive,'' Jamiat president Mahmood Asad Madani said while addressing the congregation.
''Today, the power is with the people who want to change the age-old identity of the country....they want to destroy the composite culture...these people have no regard for human values...they only want to cling to power,'' he added.
In his address the chief of the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani said that there was a "conspiracy" to disrupt communal amity and divide the people.
Later, several resolutions, including those on 'Islamophobia' and "rising incidents of provoking the Muslims", were adopted at the meeting. ''Islamophobia is not only promoting enmity in the name of religion but also a ploy to incite hatred in the minds of the people against Islam,'' said one of the resolutions adopted at the meeting.
The clerics resolved to take a pledge to prevent 'Islamophobia' and decided to observe 'Islamophobia prevention day', which was proposed by the United Nations on March 14 every year.
According to the sources, the two-day meet was likely to discuss issues, including the ongoing legal battle over Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Idgah Mosque in Mathura, besides the common civil code.