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Monday, 13 July 2009

Rohini mosque: undeterred by Hindutva pressure Muslims building it brick by brick

New Delhi: Almost having overcome the initial resistance by local Hindutva cadres in connivance with property developers to legally acquired land for a mosque – first in the entire Rohini area of New Delhi – the local Muslims have joined their heads to build their long cherished house of worship, brick by brick literally.

On every Friday hundreds of Muslims from entire Rohini area in North-West Delhi gather for Juma Prayers. After the prayers the management body collects donations from the Namazis. Everyone willingly takes part as per their capacity. “Last Friday Rs 5000 was collected. Today about Rs 8000 has been collected,” says Arman Khan, a namazi who had come from Sector 11 of the Rohini area.

At present people are offering Five Time prayers and Juma Prayer inside a kuccha wall erected some weeks ago to acquire the land. They hope very soon they will start building the mosque. Yesterday was fourth Friday since the namaz established in the mosque in mid-June. There is apparently no tension now in the atmosphere. Since the violent protest four weeks ago by anti-social elements against the namaz here, the mosque has been heavily guarded by the Delhi police.

For first three Fridays since June 15 – when the Delhi Development Authority handed over the piece of land in Rohini’s Sector 16 to the Darsgah Islamia Intezamia Committee – the local Muslims had to face tough resistance from the collaboration of property developers, who had been eyeing the piece of land at the prime location in the area, and affiliates of some Hindutva organizations.

The piece of land has been acquired by the Darsgah Islamia Intezamia Committee, formed years ago to get the land for the mosque, from the DDA through genuine and legal process. Yet, the anti-social elements came on street on June 26 (Friday) and forcibly tried to prevent the faithful from offering the prayer. Several of them were beaten up while on their way to the mosque. Thanks to the timely action of the Delhi police a major communal clash was averted.

Iqtedar Hussain, head of the Darsgah Islamia Intezamia Committee, says it is property developers who spread rumours to arouse communal passion and to prevent Muslims from building the mosque on their legally purchased land.

“Some property developers had spread false propaganda against Muslims that if they were allowed to build the mosque, they will open here meat shop. They are very dirty people and will harm the atmosphere of the area,” says Hussain.

He refutes the point that local Hindus are against the mosque. He says it is property developers who are misguiding them. And as they have seen us offering prayers peacefully for the last one month, so local Hindus are now coming out of the influence of propaganda, he says.

This is the first mosque in entire Rohini of a few lakh people. Muslims are around 10,000 in the area. As they had to go several kilometers away for Juma prayers and for the last eight years they were offering prayers in a park, they had been demanding the government to allot the land for a mosque. Local MLA and MP have also supported our demand, says Hussain.

Arman Khan, originally from Bahraich district in UP and living in Sector 11 of Rohini for last five years, also says that there has never been any communal feeling. He and his maternal uncle Nafees Khan runs a chain of juice shop in Rohini. “More than 95% of our customers are Hindus but we never felt any Hind-Muslim thing,” they say.

They are happy that the mosque will be built in the locality.

Darsgah Islamia Intezamia Committee president Iqtedar Hussain can be contacted on 9312629330.

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