The chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission Zafarul-Islam Khan stirred a controversy after his public post on social media — ‘Mind you, bigots Indian Muslims have opted until now not to complain to the Arab world and Muslim world about your hate campaigns and lynching and riots. The day they are pushed to that bigots will face an avalanche.’
This came almost at the time when United States Commission on International Religious Freedom said in its report that religious freedom in India deteriorated sharply last year as the government allowed “campaigns of harassment and violence” against Muslims and other religious minorities to continue.
Islam has said that his views have been distorted in the media and he will take appropriate legal steps. People are reading too much into his tweet and he had begged that not more should be added, “This tweet is in the background of how the issues of Muslims have been dealt within our country, be it lynching, riots, media bashing or redressal of their problems in political and administrative processes,” he said in a statement.
He is currently the editor and publisher of 'The Milli Gazette' fortnightly that covers issues of Muslims. He was born in Badhariya in UP's Azamgarh. Islam is the the son of famous Muslim scholar thinker, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, who runs the Al Risala/Islamic Center in New Delhi.
He acquired his primary education from Madrasa-tul-Islah, a madrassa in Azamgarh, and Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow. For higher education, he attended Al-Azhar and Cairo University and obtained his PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Manchester in 1987.
Clarification after Controversy
The post kicked up a row. After which he has clarified that he has never complained against his country to any foreign government or organization and nor does he have any intentions to do so in future. “I am a patriot to the core and I have always defended my country abroad. However, at the same time I have always been vocal about the problems in our country like any other country but, I also believe that we and our political, constitutional and judicial system are capable to tackle them,” he said in a statement.
Islam said that he has always defended his country in Arabic media and on channels like Al Jazeera where “my defence of India during the Kargil War is still remembered by many in the Arab world.”
Years ago, Kuwait’s Al-Mujtama magazine asked him to write about Indian Muslims’ viewpoint about Kashmir, “the editor was shocked to see my article as it defended the Indian position and said that the Indian Muslims do not support secession of Kashmir from India. That article was published along with a rejoinder by a person in Pakistan and that was the last time I wrote for that magazine,” he said.
He added that Indian Muslims have never complained against their country to outside powers. “I, like other Indian Muslims, believe in rule of law, the Indian Constitution and the fine institutions our country has.”
He said that he has no affiliation with political party AAP. He heads the Commission which is a statutory and independent body governed by the Delhi Minorities Commission Act 1999. AAP or its government in Delhi do not run the Commission and are not accountable for what the Commission does.