JIH chief disagreed with those who think that extremism and terrorism are the natural outcomes of religious conservatism.
“We believe it is a wrong inference and reject this theory on religious conservatism and terrorism. Terrorism in the world is not the result of only religious conservatism. The major part of terrorism is secular terrorism. It is the secular organizations that indulge in maximum terrorism”, asserted Mr. Husaini.
Elaborating it further, he gave the example of the Irish Republic Army. He stated, “IRA has a massive history of terrorist acts and it is not a religious conservative organization. Neither does it believe in religious values.”
Responding to a question, the Jamaat chief admitted that it was correct to suggest that JIH could not become a mass movement. However, he explained that organizations did have different stages.
He conceded that JIH should have become a mass movement. “An organization first attracts the intelligentsia, which is followed by masses when it enters the second stage, and then it becomes a public movement,” he pointed out.
He accepted suggestions and said, “We realize we could not succeed in mobilizing common masses. Therefore, we welcome all positive suggestions to make JIH a mass movement. In Sha Allah, we will try to utilize your advice.”
He informed the journalists that JIH was trying to expand by making different frontal organizations. “Public service works are included in our programmes for this purpose. We are also running public movements and raising the problems of the common masses. So, we are trying, definitely,” asserted Mr. Husaini.
He said that JIH would peg its efforts with the suggestions provided by all sections of society, including the media persons.
Taking a question on the organisation’s expansion, the JIH leader said, “Due to various reasons, there is a geographical imbalance in our organization. If you see the break-up, 60 per cent of our strength is concentrated in three states- Kerala, Telangana and Karnataka- almost 20 per cent each.”
He accepted that JIH’s presence, manpower and works are weaker in Hindi-speaking states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and others. But, he asserted, “We are much better in other parts of the country, about which people in Delhi are not aware.”
About the closure of a JIH-run educational institution in Rampur in UP, the JIH chief said it was a valid point. “But we are running several other institutions successfully in different states.” He said JIH ran about 2,000 educational institutions nationwide, including schools, colleges and technical institutes.
Regarding JIH’s popularity, he said, “We are quite popular in many states though it is also true that we are not so prominent and known to common people in some regions.”
JIH, he said, firmly believed that Islam is a complete way of life. “We wish to make it clear and without hesitation that the moral values and the message of Islam are available for every aspect of life. We want to put Islam as an alternative for all.”, emphasized Mr Husaini.
Regarding terrorism, the JIH chief said that his organisation unequivocally condemned it, be it in any name. “We condemn terrorism, be it in Islam’s name. Be it in the name of religion or a secular ideology, we condemn and oppose it strongly. We have been raising our voice against it and will continue to do the same.”
Pointing out differences between terrorism and fundamental beliefs of Islam, he said that believing in Islamic values, including its political values, was different from indulgence in violence and terror activities in the name of Islam.
Responding to a question on Kashmir, he said, “Our policy regarding Kashmir is clear and available in written form. In our booklets, it is also mentioned. We agree that it should be stated more emphatically. We also think that any misunderstanding regarding our stand or policy should be cleared,” said the JIH chief.
Regarding casteism, the JIH chief said his organization had always been against casteism. He clarified, “The issue of ending casteism has featured on the top in every social reform campaign of JIH since the country’s Independence. JIH has always opposed it.”
He said that it was unfortunate that casteism existed in Indian Muslim society despite Islam rejecting it. “The disease of casteism is there despite Islam’s message of equality and strong opposition to such discrimination. We have always condemned it. As for JIH, we have people from every section among its cadres and as office-bearers,” he pointed out.
He claimed that if an analysis was made of JIH leadership, advisory councils and members and workers, it would reveal that every caste and class was represented.
He thanked media persons for their feedback.