DELHI: India’s influential Islamic group Jamaat-e-Islami Hind would challenge a Kerala government’s claim that the constitution of the Jamaat disregards the tenets of the Indian constitution.
Kerala government has informed the state High Court that the group encourages its followers to think against the national interests.
The court was informed that legal actions were in progress to ban 14 books published by the Jamaat’s publishing arm, Islamic Publishing House, which has published Malayalam versions of several titles authored by Islamic thinkers like Abul A’la Maududi and Syed Qutb.
Jamaat’s General-Secretary in Kerala Mujeeb Rahman told Arab News: “There are many contradictions in the affidavit filed. They are quoting from an old constitution. Even in the 1957 constitution, it’s clearly stated that we would be functioning under the law of the land while upholding our ideals. Our constitution doesn’t allow us to take any step that is not in line with the country’s constitution.”
Although India’s political parties banned the Jamaat for a couple of times for political gains in the past, the group successfully contested and got the ban revoked.
The government submitted the affidavit in response to a public interest litigation seeking a proper and fair investigation into the functions, financial sources and ideologies of the group in the state. It demanded the seizure of Jamaat publications allegedly containing anti-national ideologies.
“On verification of the constitution of the Jamaat in Malayalam published in 1957, it is seen that the group directs its followers to relinquish any key posts which he/she holds under an ungodly governmental system or the membership of its legislature or a judicial officer under its judicial system (Article 8).
“Similarly, Article 9 of their constitution states that ‘in case of being part of any ungodly governmental system or being instrumental in giving effect to its laws, should readily part with that means of sustenance’.”
“The said Article further states that ‘do not go to un-Islamic law courts for settlement of matters, except under compelling necessity’.”
The affidavit points out that these statements show disregard and contempt for the democratic system existing in the country and disregard for the Constitution of the country and the laws emanating from it.
“By including these antinational tenets in their constitution, the Jamaat strictly directs its followers to reject any employment under the constitutional institutions in India, which ultimately encourage their followers to think against the national interest,” it says.
It however informs the court that no anti-national activities have so far been noticed in the inquiries made and “if it is found that the activities of the respondent organization are anti-national, steps will be taken to ban the organization in association with the Union government.”