In yet another Muslim community outreach programme, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat met Dr. Imam Umer Ahmed IIyasi, the chief of All India Imam Organisation on Thursday at Kasturba Gandhi Marg Mosque, New Delhi. According to reports, the closed-door meeting lasted for more than an hour.
The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was accompanied in the meeting by several top functionaries of the Sangh.
The Muslim Outreach by RSS
Mohan Bhagwat’s meeting with Dr. Imam Umer Ahmed IIyasi is the second such meeting with prominent Muslim personalities in over a month.
The RSS chief had met 5 Muslim intellectuals in August for “strengthening communal harmony”. SY Quraishi, the former Chief Election Commissioner, was one of them, who alongwith other Muslim intellectuals had a 75-minute-long meeting with RSS chief.
“The dialogue (with Mohan Bhagwat) was positive, constructive and covered aspects of mutual concern”, he said.
According to the former CEC, the RSS chief pointed out some issues which were hurtful to the Hindu community, such as cow slaughter and usage of the word ‘Kafir’, which gives a bad feeling to the majority community.
The Muslim intellectuals assured the RSS chief of his concerns and also shared some of their worries, such as branding of Indian Muslims as ‘Jihadis’ and ‘Pakistanis’.
Besides former CEC SY Quraishi, the meeting was attended by former Delhi LG Najeeb Jung, former Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Lieutenant General Zameer Uddin Shah, former Member of Parliament Shahid Siddiqui and businessman Saeed Shervani.
The RSS chief had met a group of Muslim intellectuals at a Mumbai hotel last year. In September 2019, he met Jamiat Ulema-e-Hindi chief Maulana Syed Arshad Madani at the Delhi RSS office, discussing several issues. Significantly, the meeting date was just one day before the release of NRC in Assam and post-meeting the Muslim leader had softened his earlier vocal stance on the NRC issue.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been termed as a divisive and anti-muslim organisation by several of its critiques for years, but RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat — with his constant outreach attempts to the Indian Muslim community is dedicated in changing the mainstream perception.