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Islam and Sectarianism ( 14 Sept 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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India: Aggressive Wahhabi assertion leads to riots in Vaishali

Islamic sectarian disputes between Deobandis and Barailavis create tension

By Ateequr Rahman, Patna, Bihar

Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami,


A Dispute arose over the appointment of a "Hafiz" for leading Taraveeh (special Ramazan prayer), resulting into fighting and Stone-pelting among the followers of Deobandi and Barailavi sects.


Patna: A sectarian dispute arose at Kamalpur village of Lalgunj in Vaishali district on the occasion of Friday prayers.  It became quite heated and severe clashes broke out, leading to physical man-handling, fighting and threatening.


The 100-years-old mosque in Kamalpur village was owned and managed by the followers of Barailavi sect. As per information, prayers have been led by Barailavi Imams for a long time. Recently, the mosque had got renovated by a wealthy person belonging to Deobandi sect. He wanted a Deobandi Imam and a Deobandi Hafiz to be appointed for the prayers and Taraveeh (special Ramazan prayer) simultaneously in the Holy month of Ramazan. The Barailavi followers insisted upon the appointment of a Barailavi Imam and Hafiz which had been the tradition for about 100 years. The other group flatly refused to accept and follow the old tradition. Thus a dispute occurred of which no solution could be found. 


Some anti-Islamic elements tried to disturb unity among the Muslims and create differences within community. The situation was brought under control by the responsible residents of the society. They contained it with great sincere efforts and tactfulness, preventing any more serious and unpleasant incident from taking place.

 Initially the controversy arose over the matter of leading Friday prayers which resulted in fighting and stone-pelting among the residents of Kamalpur. The district administration was somewhat aware of the brewing sectarian conflict and they were quite mindful too of trying to prevent any serious untoward incident. So they had deputed a police force in the concerned village even before the incident took place. They brought the situation under control by taking action immediately.


It is told that six people have been severely injured in the fighting between the supporters of Deobandi and Barailavi groups. They have been referred to the hospital in Vaishali.


A full-strength police team under the supervision of district magistrate, Minhaj Alam, is camping at the concerned village and keeping strict vigil over the recent developments for the past three days. They have conducted a meeting with the alert and responsible citizens of the village, and got some assurance over the return of normalcy, peace and harmony in the affected area, ably supported by social workers, intellectuals, scholars and clerics. They also requested the agitated young supporters of the two sects to maintain peace and harmony in the sacred month of Ramazanul-Mubarak. The meeting conducted in the premises of Lalgunj police station was quite positive, and it is hoped that the intensity of the sectarian hatred will diminish very soon, creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony among the warring factions. A peace committee has also been formed consisting of the intelligent and sensible people of the two groups.

Source:  Akhbar-e-Mashrique, Delhi and Calcuta, 24 Aug 2009

Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami,

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