RSS chief meets head of All India Imam Organization
New Delhi: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and senior RSS functionaries met All India Imam Sangathan chief Umar Ahmed Ilyasi at a mosque here on Thursday and extended their reach to the Muslim community.
The closed-door meeting, which lasted for over an hour, took place at the Kasturba Gandhi Marg mosque, where the office of the All India Imam Sangathan is located.
Bhagwat was accompanied by senior functionaries of the Sangh – joint general secretaries Krishna Gopal, Ram Lal and Indresh Kumar. While Lal was earlier the organizational secretary of the BJP, Kumar is the patron of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch.
Sharing the details of the meeting, Ahmed Ilyasi’s brother Suhaib Ilyasi said, “It was great that Bhagwatji came at our invitation on the death anniversary of our father. It also sends a good message to the nation.”
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief is holding discussions with Muslim intellectuals to strengthen communal harmony.
He had recently met former Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, former Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi, former Aligarh Muslim University Chancellor Lt Gen Jamir Uddin Shah, former MP Shahid Siddiqui and businessman Saeed Sherwani.
During the meeting, Bhagwat had raised the issue of the use of the word “kafir” for Hindus, which, he said, does not send a good message. Muslim intellectuals, on the other hand, objected to the calling of Muslims “Jihadi” and “Pakistani” by some right-wing activists.
Muslim intellectuals also told Bhagwat that the original intention behind the use of ‘kafir’ was somewhat different, but is now being used as ‘misbehaviour’ in some quarters.
The RSS chief acknowledged the apprehensions of the intellectuals and underlined that ‘all Hindus and Muslims have the same DNA’.
Responding to Bhagwat’s meeting with Muslim leaders, RSS Prachar Pramukh Sunil Ambekar said, “Sarsanghchalaks meet people from all walks of life. It is a part of the continuous normal ‘samvad’ process.”
The All India Imam Organization is the representative voice of the community of Indian Imams and claims to be the largest Imam organization in the world. It was formed to take up socio-economic issues at all levels which directly affect the earnings of Imams, their status in society and the expectations of the community and the state from them.