CAIRO - Ideological tussle between Muslim groups in India is raising the alarm among scholars as the trend is pitting Muslims against each other and sparking fears of internal divisions.
This is damaging and could spiral out of control leading to violence as in Pakistan which is a bad example of violence between sects, Mufti Ziauddin Naqshbandi, a leading scholar from the Jamia Nizamia seminary, told The Times Of India on Tuesday, March 26.
People with limited knowledge are indulging in this.
Muslim groups have been engaging in verbal war over their ideologies, accusing each other of driving away from Islamic teachings.
Defending their cause and criticizing opponents, some Muslims are taking the Internet to tarnish their rivals.
Some denounce Sufism as running against Islam, while others call for boycotting Deobandis and Wahhabis.
The tussle was not restricted to school of thought, but extended to criticizing noted scholars.
For instance, videos appeared on Youtube that criticize the opinion of some notable Indian scholars.
"There are 'Zakir Naik Exposed' and 'Tahir ul Qadri Exposed' videos on the net which thousands have watched, Syed Waseem, an IT professional, said.
The comments about them are very offensive and some cannot even be repeated.
Scholars have warned that the ideological tussle would lead to a rift between Indian Muslims.
Last June, 27-year old Mohammed Abdullah from Moinabad lost his life due to differences with committee members of a mosque.
In another incident, tension prevailed at Kurmaguda when a speaker at a mosque allegedly criticized adherents of an opposing school of thought.
Some scholars, however, blame the increasing tussle between Muslim groups on modern technology.
While there is room for difference in opinion, this is like washing dirty linen in public but we have to get used to this," Anwar Moazzam, an academician, said.
However, the educated lot is refraining from such things.
But other Muslims opine that since the tussle is fought online, it should be quelled online.
"A team should be constituted whose job would be to persuade these individuals to give up such dangerous activities by posting in such communities, Syed Rashid Naseem Nadwi, head of department of Arabic at the English and Foreign Languages University, said.
There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
Muslims complain of decades of social and economic neglect and oppression.
Official figures reveal Muslims log lower educational levels and higher unemployment rates than the Hindu majority and other minorities like Christians and Sikhs.They account for less than seven percent of public service employees, only five percent of railways workers, around four percent of banking employees and there are only 29,000 Muslims in India's 1.3 million-strong military.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net