Iftaar for Harmony

Educated Muslim youths organised an Iftaar party in Guwahati to usher in communal harmony. A report.

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Artistes, writers, doctors, entreprenuers, actors, journalists, lawyers, engineers, police officers, politicians — people from all walks of life participated at a unique Iftaar party in Guwahati recently. Organised by Muslim Youths Forum Against Communalism, Terrorism and Sedition (MY FACTS), a platform of the young Muslim professionals, it was aptly called ‘Sampritir’ (harmony). Eminent people from all communities cutting across caste, creed and religion took part in the Iftaar party organised to bridge the gap and to eradicate the wrong notions regarding the Muslims in the state.

Umme Fardina Adil, who topped in UPSC this year from Assam said, "I hope this is a praiseworthy step taken by the youths of Muslim society. This is will definitely help the people to understand the reality of the Muslims. I wish MY-FACTS all the best for their coming days."

In a bid to encourage Muslim women to participate in the public space, four outstaning women from the Muslim community of the state were honoured on the occasion — Zerifa Wahid (art and culture), Taanishi Inam (medical entrepreneurship), Tinat Atifa Masood (performing arts) and Umme Fardina Adil (IAS qualifier 2013). 

The forum (MY-FACTS) was created after a group of educated Muslim youths found that the average educational level in their community was abysmally low. Beside the humiliating illiteracy, literate muslim youths are either madrasa-educated (bereft of contemporary education) or regular-school-educated (bereft of islamic knowledge), thereby creating an enormous integrative and intellectul vacuum at community level. The second reason stems out from the first one as a corollary. They felt that there was an acute and criminal lack of community leaders with secular and scientific temperament. The present so-called leaders (political and religious) have largely failed the community because they either lack islamic knowledge or are ill-educated about ground realities. They have infact played up with ethnic and sectarian affiliations of people leading to 'diversity in unity' instead of 'unity in diversity'.

A child specialist Dr Alim Ullah Tanwar said, “All of us strongly felt that there is a vacuum in the social space. The reason we identified is lack of enlightened and rational leaders who can reflect the voice and emotions of the community in the right platform and in the right direction."

Tinat Atifa Masood, filmmaker, poet and a blogger feels that such gatherings, cutting across caste, creed and religion should take place more often. "There is so much animosity over religion that it is all the more important that we sit together and have such social interactions. We are always trying to find out differences over religion. But when we sit down together, we find that we have so many similarities."