Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

Salman Nadvi’s letter to ISIS chief causes alarm

- M Hasan

A letter written by senior cleric of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama (popularly known as Nadwa) in Lucknow Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadvi to ISIS chief Abu Bakra al-Baghdadi has caused alarm in the security establishm­ent in the country. Nadwa is country’s most respected Islamic seminary.

In his letter, the cleric has praised the success of ISIS in Iraq. Praying for the safety of al-Baghdadi, who has declared himself “Caliph”, the cleric wrote: “under your leadership the flag of Islam would fly high”. Calling the ISIS chief as Ammirul Momineen (leader of Muslims), Salman Nadvi said: “I have come to know about your pure Islamic approach”. The two-page unsigned letter is full of praise of al-Baghdadi and his mission.

Talking to HT, Salman Nadvi said since he did not have address of the “caliph” he had circulated it on the social media so that it could reach the right place. The cleric also appreciate­d Friday (July 4) prayer speech of alBaghdadi, which was reportedly delivered at a mosque in Mosul. Salman Nadvi said he had written the letter because of al-Baghdadi’s achievemen­ts



in Iraq.

Expressing confidence that Iraqi Sunnis were with ISIS, Salman Nadvi, who is grandson of well-known Nadwa rector and former president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) late Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (popularly known as Ali Miyan), said “your clean and pious character is worth praise”. He also criticized Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. Salman Nadvi hoped that under al-Baghdadi leadership justice would prevail.

The letter, which has created flutter on the social media, has also caused alarm in state and central intelligen­ce services. Highly placed IB sources said that more informatio­n was being collected about the cleric. Sources said the letter had assumed significan­ce in the light of four Mumbai-based youths reportedly landing in Iraq to fight along with the ISIS.

A senior UP police officer on the condition of anonymity said: “it is indeed alarming”.

It may be mentioned that during the last budget session, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had told the state assembly that 34 districts had ISI-supported sleeping terror modules.

The letter has also created unease among Muslim clerics. Imam of Eidgah Lucknow Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli refused to comment on the issue. It is learnt and senior clerics of Nadwa were also unhappy over the developmen­t.

Senior executive member of AIMPLB and additional advocate general Zafaryab Jilani, however, condemned the letter. “Such a letter was not in the interest of the country as it would unnecessar­ily cause Shia-Sunni tension”.

Prominent Shia cleric Syed Ali Nasir Sayeed Abaqati alias Agha Roohi said: “it could serve as fodder to terror elements in the country and the NDA government should take note of it.”

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