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  India   All India  27 Nov 2018  Sufis counter extremism among youths

Sufis counter extremism among youths

THE ASIAN AGE. | MOHAMMED ANAS
Published : Nov 27, 2018, 3:07 am IST
Updated : Nov 27, 2018, 3:07 am IST

Syed Ashraf Jilani, a senior member of Spiritual Foundation, said that there is a strong need to revive and spread Sufi thoughts.

The SUFI, in association with an international organisation of similar leaning, Spiritual Foundation, is also organising the Global Peace Conference, that will see international Sufi scholars sharing the message of peace in Mumbai on December 29-30. (Representational image)
 The SUFI, in association with an international organisation of similar leaning, Spiritual Foundation, is also organising the Global Peace Conference, that will see international Sufi scholars sharing the message of peace in Mumbai on December 29-30. (Representational image)

New Delhi: To counter extremism among Muslim youths and to preserve syncretic cultural values of India, Sufi Federation of India (SUFI), an umbrella organisations of various shrines in India, has embarked upon a mission to educate youths on the tolerant side of the faith and the importance of peace in society in the light of teachings espoused by shrines.

The SUFI is active throughout India except the Northeast. Representatives of all the leading shrines like Dargah Ajmer Sharif, Dargah Nizamuddin, Dargah Kichaucha Sharif, Dargah Bareilly Sharif, etc are part of SUFI and work through different networks in India.

 

They organise seminars, talks with Sufi scholars for youths and disseminate their message. They also try to contact seminaries in rural and urban areas to introduce Sufi thoughts in their syllabi.

Syed Babar Ashraf, the secretary of the SUFI, said that shrines in India have always spread message of peace, equality and brotherhood without any discrimination of creed and class.

“Actually this face of Islam, which is popularly known as Sufi thoughts, has been an essential part of Muslim culture in India. Unfortunately because of influence of Saudi-financed Wahhabism, Sufi thoughts were eclipsed by an extremist brand which preyed on the youth of India and many of them went astray and went on to join extremist organisations. We seek to counter such extremist thoughts which may engulf Muslim youths in future as well,” said Mr Ashraf.

 

Mr Ashraf alleged that leading Muslim seminaries like Deoband, Nadwatul Ulema and organisations like Jamate-e-Islami have worked to suppress Sufi thoughts in India over the years.

“Under the influence of Saudi funding, these seminaries and organisations have presented a rather aggressive form of Islam, which is completely against prevalent tolerant ethos of India. Jamat-e-Islami actually for a long time demanded establishment of an Islamic state and objected to active participation in Indian democracy. This is totally against the tenets of Islam that emphasise universal brotherhood,” said Mr Ashraf.

The SUFI, in association with an international organisation of similar leaning, Spiritual Foundation, is also organising the Global Peace Conference, that will see international Sufi scholars sharing the message of peace in Mumbai on December 29-30.

 

Syed Ashraf Jilani, a senior member of Spiritual Foundation, said that there is a strong need to revive and spread Sufi thoughts.

“A huge percentage of Indian population, including Muslims, comprises youths. These youths are vulnerable to extremist propaganda that is easily available through online platforms. We want to make sure Sufi thoughts and message of tolerance are available to them easily. Therefore, we have to have constant dialogue,” said Mr Jilani.

Mr Ashraf said that efforts of his foundation is bearing fruit as youths’ participation increased in Eid Milad un Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad) celebrations on November 21.

 

Tags: muslim youths, sufi federation of india
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi