Kerala's Al-Jamia graduates reject CAA, NRC during convocation

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P.K. Abdul Ghafour

PERINTHALMANNA, Kerala: The convocation ceremony of Al-Jamia Al-Islamiya Santhapuram concluded here recently, expressing its solidarity with the ongoing nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registration for Citizens (NRC). It urged the central government to withdraw the draconian laws.

A total of 358 students including 111 girls received their degrees from prominent scholars and academics during the ceremony, which included a musical drama highlighting the bravery of Malabar Muslims in confronting British colonial forces during the freedom struggle.

Earlier, the students wearing graduation gowns gathered in Al-Jamia grounds and raised slogans against NRC and CAA. They denounced police brutalities against protesters.

Addressing a cultural session, T. Arifali, all-India secretary-general of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, called for the continuation of the agitation until the BJP government trash the two laws that differentiate citizens on the basis of religion and violates India's secular an democratic principles.

“I believe it will take decades to restore India’s democracy and secularism as the BJP government has demolished these basic pillars that united the people of India despite their religious, racial and linguistic differences," Arifali said.

"The fascist government has also destroyed the economy and undermined the warm relations between the people of India by spreading hatred," he said. However, he noted that Indians are capable of restoring their unity in diversity.

Arifali, who has visited Assam and other northeast states said the majority of Indians have opposed the two laws that force them to prove their citizenship by producing documents that cannot be obtained easily.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Assam have suffered considerably because of CAA and NRC and 1.9 million of them have lost their citizenship.

"You may lose your citizenship because of a spelling mistake in the document," the Jamaat leader said explaining the complexity of the issue.

The fascist ideology promulgated by BJP, RSS and other Sang Parivar forces has strengthened its grip on the country by imposing unconstitutional laws. "CAA and NRC aim to drive Muslims out of the country. This will not end here. After Muslims they will knock at the doors of Christians, then Communists and the Dalits,” Arifali told the gathering.

He hoped that the ongoing protests would put an end to fascism and the fascist ideology that have divided the country and triggered mayhem and violence, endangering the country’s peace and stability.

The CAA and NRC are like big rocks that are about to fall on us. “We have to join hands to remove them before they fall on our heads,” he added.

At least 23 people including students have been killed during anti-government protests due to police crackdown. “We should be ready to face difficulties and loss of lives and property to reestablish the idea of India, restore its democratic and secular values and ensure a better future for our children."

The convocation ceremony was inaugurated by Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. He urged graduates to continue their search for knowledge and represent Islam and Muslims in an impressive manner. "Allah will facilitate the path of knowledge- seekers to the Paradise," he said quoting a Hadith.

Dr. Abdussalam Ahmed, the rector welcomed the guests including Dr. Khalifa Al-Kuwari, adviser to the minister of endowments and Islamic affairs in Qatar, Professor Dzulkifili Abdulrazak, rector of International Islamic University Malysia (IIUM), Dr. Mutlaq Alqarawi, assistant secretary Ministry of Endowments Kuwait, Dr. Hamdi Arslan of Sultan Mohammed Fatih University Turkey and Dr. Mohammed Maksudoglu of Cambridge University.

The Al-Jamia rector reminded the graduates about their great responsibility and asked them to be the university's ambassadors upholding its values and honor. Dr. Sadatullah Husaini, all-India president of JIH and MI Abdul Aziz, JIH president in Kerala commended Al-Jamia for producing knowledgeable scholars who can address modern issues and spread the message of Islam in a plural society like India.

The convocation ceremony included Milli and Urdu conferences, a women's conference and an Alumni conference as well as an international academic conference and a cultural conference. It also witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between IIUM and Al-Jamia.

Nearly 50,000 people from different parts of Kerala attended the programs.


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