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A tale of three Islamic parties

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Syed Sadatullah Hussaini has been elected Ameer (National President) of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (India). The 157-member Markazi Majlis-e-Numanidgan (Council of Representatives), of which 30 were women, assembled at the Jamaat headquarters from the 3rd April 2019. Syed Sadatullah Husaini has been elected as its national president for the term 2019-2023.

In Pakistan, Senator Sirajul Haq, who was re-elected in last month as the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Ameer for the second time through secret vote, will head the organization for next five years on April 9, 2019.

Ironically, in Bangladesh, the High Court declared in August 2013 as illegal, ruling that the party is unfit to contest national polls because its charter puts God above democratic process. At one time Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami was the largest Islamic political party.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is perhaps the most influential Muslim organization in India today. Jamaat-e-Islami was established on August 26, 1941, at Lahore, in British occupied India by the Islamic theologian and socio-political philosopher, Abul Ala Maududi, who along with the great Muslim thinker and poet Dr. Mohammed Iqbal, set the pace for contemporary Muslim thinking in the South Asian sub-continent.

Along with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, founded in 1928, Jamaat-e-Islami was one of the original and most influential Islamist organizations, according to Olivier Roy, the author of The Failure of Political Islam, and the first of its kind to develop "an ideology based on the modern revolutionary conception of Islam," according to a Global Security study.

Because the religious neutrality of the Indian political system served its constituents' interests, the movement became a supporter of secular democracy.

On March 13, 2019, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) released a Peoples' Manifesto for the upcoming Parliamentary Elections at the Press Club of India. Addressing the media, the President of JIH, Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, said that: "Jamaat has always ensured towards value-based politics and to promote the idea of welfare state with the true spirit democracy through justice, liberty, equality and fraternity."

The salient features of the Peoples' Manifesto included:

To ensure human-rights' protection and equal opportunity for all, the following should be included in the action agenda of every political party, committed to welfare and progress of people.

Protection of all citizens, and in particular weaker sections (such as the poor, women, Muslims and deprived segments), against injustice, aggression, mob violence, state violence and communal bias.

Muslim Personal Law is increasingly under attack from misguided elements. Religious and cultural identity of Muslims and their cultural rights are being targeted. Specific measures should be taken in this regard to safeguard the Muslims within a constitutional frame work.

Indian Muslims are a deprived lot; it is necessary to provide reservation for them. Hence the Ranganath Mishra Committee's report should be implemented. Reservation for all minorities should be provided in education and jobs. Among such reserved positions, two-thirds should be marked for Muslims.

Cultural identity of each community needs to be protected. State machinery and political establishment should abide by universal moral values. Such an attitude on their part would restore people's faith in the governing apparatus. It would lead to greater cooperation with people.

While a relatively small party, with around 10,000 members and 500,000 sympathizers among India's 130 million Muslims, it follows a policy of promoting education, social service, and ecumenical outreach to the community and has involved itself in various humanitarian and relief efforts across many parts of India. [Wikipedia]

Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, the new (president) Ameer of JIH, was earlier the (Naib Ameer) Vice President of JIH and is also the former National President of Jamaat's student organization the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) of India.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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