My interview was aimed at not only presenting a critical perspective on Muslim organisations but also to express anguish at how their activities have impacted upon a plural society and created fault lines within the community. The fall of the IUML and the rise of Wahhabism have become testing times for Muslims in Tamil Nadu. I reiterate that Muslim fundamentalism is to an extent a response to Hindutva. But should this blind us to the fact that Wahhabists have seized this opportunity to pose as the sole spokesmen of Muslims? TMMK needs to work on more constructive methods to bring together Muslims. TMMK has the potential to do so but the fact that the silencing of Amina Wadud gives such comfort to its senior leader shows that it has some distance to go. Is there any Prophetic tradition that prohibits expression of different viewpoints? Will not the silencing of Dr. Wadud give our fraternal communities the impression that Islamic scholars have no answers to her questions? The end result of protesting against Vishwaroopam was to make a blockbuster of a sure flop. Muslim organisations need to work toward ridding the unfair slurs cast on the community and build a fresh understanding among communities in a plural society.
(Kalanthai Peer Mohamed is a Tamil writer, commentator and observer of Muslim politics and culture.)