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Islam calls for life of balance and justice

An Interview with M.I.Abdul Azeez, Ameer Jamaat e Islami Kerala

K. Najathullah: Jamaate Islami is conducting conferences at district level. It is not a routine course of the Islamic movement to hold conferences. What is the motive behind to conduct conferences now?

MI Abdul Azeez: Jamaate has its own reservation on holding conferences. Annual conference programmes which starts with local unit level programmes ends up with state level or national conference are not Jamaat’s course. There are no fixed intervals in between conferences. It holds conference when it is convinced that there is an urgent need to engage with the society to discuss important issues.

1983 conference of JIH-Kerala was after the removal of ban on it during the emergency period. Afterwards, it took 15 years to conduct Hira Conference in 1998. It was aftermath the Supreme Court decision to remove the ban on Jamaate Islami imposed by the central government after Babri Masjid demolition. The backdrop of the two conferences demanded to introduce the fundamental messages and practices propagated by Jamaate Islami. Those conferences played a large role in the growth of the Islamic movement. Today, there is a peculiar backdrop to hold district conferences under the title ‘Islam is in the mean’.

KN: There are many other ways to impart the policies and stances of the movement to the society. It has magazines and newspapers. Why conferences?

MI: Jamaate Islami is a live movement which engages in religious, social and political spheres of the state. Often it engages through its feeder organizations. They are responses, towards the prevailing conditions, based on its fundamentals. Hence those responses are also fundamental and draw attention of the people. But when Jamaate Islami itself conducts a conference, it is an occasion to engage with the people directly. Jamaate Islami has decided to talk about Islam and Islamic movement at a time where they are subjected to harsh criticisms.

KN: Muslims are facing lot of debates in connection with Islamophobia, terrorism accusations, uniform civilcode and others. These issues are not theme of the conference.

MI: Jamaate Islami has announced its stances and has put in much effort to contrive a common opinion in those issues. Feeder organizations and media organs are engaging with that. 

Jamaate Islami feels that its fundamentals are also to be educated. It intends to develop the Muslim community as an exemplary section of the society and convince society the need of the divine guidelines to foster a healthy environment in family, society and nation. Scheduled conferences are occasion for campaigns in this regard. Also, it is inevitable to represent Islam in its purest form and style to overcome the barriers due to the issues mentioned in the question.

KN: What is the particular background to select the theme ‘Islam is in the mean’?

MI: Jamaate Islami represents Islam. Islam is grossly misinterpreted today. There are a lot of misapprehensions about Islam among the Muslim community itself. On one side there is utter ignorance, and extremism at the other. People seems to be are tempted to stand at these extremes. But Islam proposes a life of balance and justice. This notion has to be discussed more. The day to day experience beckons for such discussions.