Kerala preacher under scanner for hate speech

A Salafi preacher in a mosque here is now under the scanner for his speech, which mainstream Muslim organisations in the State have termed as ‘‘dangerous in a pluralist society.’’

The speech by Shamsudheen Fareed, a preacher associated with a Salafi mosque on the outskirts of this town, has been widely discussed in the social media over the past few days, as leaders of various mainstream Muslim organisations have stated that the content of the speech is objectionable.

Police sources said his controversial speech at Karaparamba in Kozhikode, now available on YouTube, was being examined.

Last month, Muhammed Haneef, a Salafi preacher in a mosque at Peringathur here, was arrested by the Mumbai police for his suspected links with some of the missing youths from Kasaragod who are suspected to have joined the Islamic State (IS).

Mr. Fareed’s speech on YouTube is based on a book authored by Saudi scholar Sheikh Saleh al-Fawzan on cultivation of emotional attachment among fellow Muslims and on showing aversion to non-Muslims. The speech in Malayalam, quoting the Saudi scholar, says, among other things, that Muslims in India should not participate in the festivals of non-Muslims and that they should not have any emotional bonding with non-Muslims.

The speech also urges Muslims not to live in areas thickly populated by ‘kufr’ (unbelief). This attitude, he says in the speech, is not to show intolerance to non-Muslims, but to convince them of the extent of the Muslim’s dislike of the culture and faith of the non-Muslim.

When contacted, Mr. Fareed told The Hindu that his speech was misquoted to propagate a falsehood. “It is part of my religious faith how a Muslim should conduct his life and as such I have the right to say that Muslims should not practice ‘shirk’ (idolatry, polytheism),” he said adding that imposing one’s faith on others is wrong. He said that in his speech he stressed that Muslims should show justice to non-Muslims.

As the controversial speech has drawn sharp responses in the social media, leaders of Muslim organisations have come out to decry the speech. “If Mr. Fareed said what he is reported to have said, he has misunderstood Islam and the Prophet’s life,” said Hussain Madavoor, leader of a faction of the Mujahid movement in the State. There are several instances in the Prophet’s life that send a clear message that religious and other differences should not come in the way of the conduct of social life,” he told The Hindu.

A.I. Abdul Majeed Swalahi, State president of the Ithihadu Shubbanil Mujahideel (ISM), the youth wing of the Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen (KNM) led by T.P. Abdulla Koya Madani, said the controversial preacher was now not part of the KNM as he was now associated with a small breakaway radical group.

“The controversial speech by Mr. Fareed is dangerous in a secular and plural country,” he said adding the KNM had conducted training programmes for its preachers to give them proper training in religious preaching.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 9:06:39 AM |

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