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‘Women must dress modestly’, ‘Democracy is useless’, ‘Fight for Allah’: How a student’s platform is championing supremacist causes at AMU and Jamia

'Al Haya Min Allah', apparently a students' platform at the Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, champions problematic causes such as Islamic fundamentalism, opposition to democratic ideals, and Hinduphobia under the garb of preaching Islam to the students.

The students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University floated a platform to find the “right path and purpose of life”. How simple and benign the idea may appear, the sinister plan behind an organisation that has been flourishing in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia raises serious concerns. ‘Al Haya Min Allah’, an organisation formed in 2019 and runs the ‘Haya’ Program in educational institutes to spread Islam among students, has been operating under the radar, carrying on undeterred with its patriarchal, supremacist, and profoundly communal agenda.

Secularism and plurality, the two catchphrases of the left-liberal intelligentsia, have taken a back seat at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, where the ‘Al Haya Min Allah’ campaign seeks to indoctrinate impressionable young minds with the poison of Islamic fundamentalism, contempt toward universal suffrage that democracy grants, and supremacist radicalisation that entails dismissing other faiths as fake.

One may argue that preaching a religion is everyone’s right under the Constitution, and it is correct. But how far is it correct to use the platform to tell the same democracy that gives you the right to preach your religion is “useless”?

What is Haya Campaign?

It is a month-long Dawah campaign that Al Haya Min Allah runs at the university campus that includes an “awareness program” about Islam, workshops, offline and online competitions and Haya Conference at the end.

Anti democracy propaganda

Under its program, the organisation talks extensively against democracy. For example, in a post from February 2020, they said, “Rule is for Allah, the Highest, the Almighty, and it is not permissible to give legislative rights to any human being, no matter who he is.” In simple words, the organisation is against the democratic system and wants Sharia (The rule of Allah) to be implemented.

Door-to-door promotion of the ‘Haya’ campaign

The organisation runs a door-to-door pamphlet distribution campaign in AMU hostels and “informs” students about the “need to inculcate the Islamic concept of hayah in daily lives”. It is unclear if they meet only Muslim students or if they preach the religion to the students of other religions in the hostel as well.

Campaign against nationalism

Since the Modi government came to power, the spirit of nationalism among the Indians has increased exponentially. Many see it as a red flag, including the Al Gaya Min Allah organisation. In a post from February 2020, the organisation called nationalism a “ridiculous ideology” as it binds people to a piece of land. The post read, “Nationalism forces people inside one walled piece of land to have brotherhood for one another and espouse enmity against those on the other side of the wall whom he/she has never met.”

It further quoted Allama Iqbal Rahimaullah saying, “In taza Khuda mein bada sabsay watan hai, Jo pairahan iska hai, voh mazhab ka kafan hai (Of all the new false gods, the biggest is the motherland (watan), The garment of this idea is actually the death shroud of religion.)”

‘Identify them as kafir, or you are not a Muslim.’

In a post from March 2020, the organisation said that the Quran is the Constitution for Muslims and no human has the right to decide what is lawful and what is unlawful. It further talked about Taghoot, a person who has attained extreme in ‘kufr’. Taghoot ” misleads others, that he calls others to his own worship or obedience or following, against the sole rights of Allah,” it added.

They asked their fellow Muslims to reject Taghoot and its followers. It read, “This means one has to identify the rapids, the Jews, the Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists – all as kafir; otherwise, he is not a Muslim himself. If a person cannot distinguish between a mushrik and a Muslim, then he doesn’t know what Islam is! How can a person who doesn’t know Islam bring Eeman (Iman) on it?”

In another post, the organisation termed nationalism, communism, secularism, tribalism, democracy, capitalism, feminism, United Nations, socialism and liberalism as ‘Taghoot’. It further asked its followers to reject it by disliking them, having enmity towards them, calling them Kuft and fighting with them.

The organisation has also waged war against the university’s cultural programs and student fests. In a poster from February 2023, it claimed that in the name of culture and education, indecency is being spread across campus.

Campaign against Hindu festivals

The organisation also runs campaigns against Hindu festivals. In a video from March this year, it urged the Muslims not to play Holi and tell whoever wants to put colour on them that they have accepted the ‘colour’ of Allah and there is no better colour than of Allah. A clip in the video read, “Allah ke rang alawa kufar ke rang mein na rang jaana. Aur na uhne apne qareeb phailne dena (Don’t colour yourself other than the colour of Allah. Don’t let the colour of Kufar come close to you).”

Promotion of Hijab

Students of AMU, the organisation linked to the Haya Campaign, often promote hijab for women and ask women to “dress modestly”.

Source: Facebook

In another post, SAMU called the hijab ‘kafan’ of secularism and liberalism.

Source: Facebook

They also use children in the campaign. There is a video on their page from January 20, 2023, where a small girl child in hijab speaks about “morality against immorality”.

Wajihuddin Ali Khan, who is the preacher at the organisation, regularly goes to different locations in the university and gives hours-long speeches using a portable mic and speaker. He often uses places like eating joints established on the campus to spread the organisation’s ideology. For example, in this teaser of his speech, he is talking about “educating” people to follow the “Haya” ideology and, if they do not, keep a distance from them. If they do not maintain distance, he urged his fellow Muslims to use “words and hands” without fear.

One of Wajihuddin’s speeches was shared by Students of AMU on its page during anti-CAA protests. The speech was given during Jinnah’s poster row before anti-CAA protests. However, SAMU said it was relevant during those protests as well. Wajihuddin was extensively active during anti-CAA protests.

When the Government of India raided several locations of the Islamic Terrorist organisation Popular Front of India in September 2022, Wajihuddin supported PFI. He wrote, “Being Muslim is enough for NIA raids”.

Source: Facebook

In another post, he wrote, “Sharjeel Imam had said, ‘From day one, this Constitution is fascist’. I agree with his statement. But why? What can you expect from something that was built on the foundation of Kufr? You have to understand pFI. Constitution is the biggest Chariot of Kufr that all the political parties and organisations are pulling. If we remove these organisations (RSS etc.), others will pull this Chariot. If this Chariot is the Chariot of justice in your eyes, then why look at the other? Tomorrow, you will pull this Chariot and become part of the injustice. Wouldn’t you?”

Source: Facebook

The campaign is active in Jamia Millia Islamia University as well. Mohammad Arshad Warsi is the face of the organisation in Jamia. Warsi extended his support for Sharjeel Imam following his arrest and wrote several posts supporting him.

In a post from January 20, 2020, he wrote, “We must support and defend our brother in faith Sharjeel Imam against the media of the oppressors, Republic TV… When most of the “Muslim” organizations and political parties including many of the Ulema (Ulema e Su) and intellectuals were hugging and kissing Ajit Doval to maintain “Peace”, Sharjeel Imam stood against these oppressors and we joined him for the sake of Allah alone. He stood in the same way against the oppressors when NRC and CAA were imposed and we are struggling side by side, not for the sake of saving secularism or democracy or constitution, but for the sake of our identity La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah, for the sake of Allah.”

Source: Facebook

From promoting hijab for women, campaigns against nationalism, and Hindu festivals to dreaming about imposing Islamic law in the country, Al Haya Min Allah has a long history of problematic posts and events.

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Amit Kelkar
Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

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