The All India Imam Organisation chief Umer Ahmed Ilyasi said that “we all believe nation comes first. Our DNA is the same, only our method of worshipping God is different.”
Nagpur/New Delhi: The All India Imam Organisation chief Umer Ahmed Ilyasi on Thursday described Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat as ‘Rashtra Pita’ and ‘Rashtra Rishi’. The RSS chief visited the Madrasa Tajweedul Quran in North Delhi at the invitation of the Imam chief. According to an RSS functionary, the meeting was a part of the Sangh’s efforts to connect with people from a cross-section of society.
After holding a meeting with the RSS chief, Ilyasi told a news agency that “we all believe nation comes first”. “Our DNA is the same, only our method of worshipping god is different,” he added.
Bhagwat was accompanied by senior Sangh functionaries Joint General Secretary Krishna Gopal, Ram Lal, former organisational secretary of the BJP, and Indresh Kumar, patron of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch.
Sharing details of the meeting, the brother of Ilyasi Suhaib Ilyasi said that “it was great that Bhagwatji came on our invitation on the death anniversary of our father. It also sends out a good message to the country”.
A meeting with representatives of other faiths has also been proposed and the two sides have agreed to find areas of disagreement that need attention.
The All India Imam Organisation is the representative voice of the community of Indian Imams. “The organisation was formed to undertake at all levels the socio-economic issues which directly influence earnings of imams, their status in society and the expectations that the community and state have from them,” says the organisation on its website.
On Thursday, the RSS chief went to a mosque in central Delhi’s Kasturba Gandhi Marg and followed it up with a visit to the Madrasa Tajweedul Quran in Azadpur in North Delhi. This is the first time he has visited a Madarasa, an RSS official accompanying him said. All India Imam Organisation chief Umer Ahmed Ilyasi used the ‘Rashtra Pita’ descriptive for Bhagwat while talking to children at the madarasa. However, Bhagwat intervened to say there is only one father of the nation and said everyone is ‘Bharat ki santan’ (child of the nation), according to the RSS official.
He said the RSS chief also spoke to the children about the need to know more about the nation and stressed that while the modes of worship could be different, all religions must be respected. Ilyasi and Bhagwat held talks for about an hour at the mosque, which also houses the office of the All India Imam Organisation and the cleric’s residence.
“With this visit of Bhagwat, a message should go that we all want to work towards strengthening India. For all of us, the nation comes first. Our DNA is the same, it is just that our religion and methods of worshipping God are different,” Ilyasi said, echoing the RSS chief’s words.
TheRSS chief has been holding discussions with Muslim intellectuals for strengthening communal harmony over the last few weeks.