NEW DELHI: Prominent Muslim leader, Chief Imam, All India Imam Organisation Dr. Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi has expressed satisfaction over the conditions and environment in India and said that he is fully satisfied that Muslims are happily living in India and India is world guru. In an interview, he explained overall situation.
Question: Imam Sahib are Muslims safe in India?
Answer: First of all, I feel surprised when people question whether I am an Indian Muslim or an Indian Christian. My biggest objection is to this question only. Our identity is with our India, our country. Religions can be different, castes can be different, religious traditions can be different and ways to worship can definitely be different, but our greatest religion is of Human and Humanity and the second religion is India, if you are living in India.
Question: Kindly elaborate sir!
Answer: If you go to America and somebody says that I am an American Muslim, then people get angry. This question does not comes anywhere in the world. We are proud to be Indians and that I am an Indian. I feel proud to be an Indian. Please associate me with India. I am the chief Imam of India and not the Imam of Muslims. My first objection is that don’t link us with religion. Link us with India and Indianness. Nation is above all.
Question: Sir many countries are using the religion for their own benefits against us.
Answer: Today, through your platform, I want to make it clear that India has always been a “World Guru”. It was, It is and It will be. India has always given shelters to others, India has always helped others. Till today, India has not attacked any country, It has not occupied any territory of any country. This is the dignity of India and this is the Identity of India. And today the speed with which our India is marching ahead amongst the countries of world, the whole world is now looking towards India.
You will be surprised to know that in the current covid-19 pandemic, India was the first to produce vaccine and not 1 vaccine but 4, different vaccines by 4 different countries of India. We feel proud of our scientists/researchers and laboratories who by putting in day-night efforts could produce the four different vaccines in noticeably short time.
Question: Sir how you see global positioning of India today?
Answer: Today the whole world is expecting from us, I am receiving telephone calls from Sri Lanka, from Bangladesh, whole world requesting for supply of vaccines. Today we are in a position that we can supply vaccines to the whole world. Today, India is on the top of the world and I am proud of my country India.
Question: Unfortunately, there are many people including doctors who are spreading rumours about the vaccines. What will you say about such rumours?
Answer: You see, in every society there are good people, there are bad people and I feel that majority is of very good people. Those who want to do mischiefs will do mischiefs and those who want to confuse people will confuse. Vaccine has just come and everybody knows that its formula and its ingredients. Today majority of the people are well educated and they know everything about the vaccine. It is not that by spreading rumours you can misguide the people. You will remember that I had to work very hard on the polio drops. I am talking about 20 years back, when the polio drops were started some people misguided the public that please don’t take this polio drops and if you take it, you will have such and such problems/ diseases and therefore as the chief Imam, I had to intervene and give my statement. Likewise, there was a time of chicken pox and at that time too, some people spread rumours. Those who want to spread rumours especially in social media will spread it but we should not be afraid of such rumours. But we are proud that India produced vaccines and the most of the countries of the world are now requesting India for the vaccine.
Question: Muslims are happy with PM Modi?
Answer: I would congratulate our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji who himself remained in constant contact day and night with vaccine producing companies, so that the vaccines are available at the earliest possible with the co-operation of government, with the co-operation of people and with the co-operation of every Indian and every Indian should feel proud that today whole world is requesting for vaccines from India.
Question: Imam sahib, I want to ask you whether there is democracy, there is freedom in India and whether India is much more safe for Muslims than other neighbouring countries?
Answer: I will give you an example, I will not go very far but I will talk about our neighbours only. I want to tell you about China. The Muslims of China do not have the freedom of either choosing names or freedom of worship. They can neither wear cap nor they can keep beard. They can neither keep Roza in Ramazan nor they have permission/freedom for any religious activity though it is our neighbouring country who boasts of its greatness.
I feel that India is a country where there is a freedom of every type where, every religion is respected. What is the speciality of our country? – It is unity in diversity, we are all one, we celebrate together the festivals of each other. We have affection amongst each other, we go to each other’s religious places. Hindu’s go to Mosque’s/Dargah, Muslims go to Temple’s. Can you tell me any other country where it happens? It is only India.
I don’t want to say more, India where Muslims, Sikhs, Christian’s; I don’t want to link them with religion because I feel hurt, my religion is India and Indianness. The Indianness should exist. My identity is with India. When I go for Haj pilgrimage and when I check-in to the immigration counter in Saudi Arabia and show my passport, the officer doesn’t asks me my religion but he ask the name of my country. My identity is with my country and therefore I say that please strengthen India, strengthen Indianness. Country is above all.