Upset by the sharp criticism from Muslims after his open letter to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, former MP Syed Shahabuddin has issued a clarification saying that he has been misconstrued. Former MP Syed Shahabuddin, whose “open letter” to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, citing nine conditions that would entail Muslim ‘support’ despite the 2002 carnage, has received severe condemnation from Muslim Organisations, has clarified that he wanted to warn “upper class” Muslims and urged them to “rethink”.
He said the open letter to Modi was “mistakenly” sent on a letterhead of the Joint Committee for Muslim Organisations for Empowerment, an organisation he is part of, for which he has rendered an apology. He claimed that he had never asked Muslims to forgive Modi or vote for him. ‘The strategy behind this letter was to caution them and to rethink about Modi on the eve of the election, so that they could be weaned away by taking note that Modi has not fulfilled any real Muslim demands,” he stated in a letter send to Arshad Madani and Maulana Nomani (both factions of Jaimat Ulema e Hind), Tariq Anwar (NCP), Zafarul Islam (head of Majlis e Mushawarat), Dr Manzoor Alam (All India Milli Council) and Mohd Ahmed (Jamaat e Islami), who spoke out against him.
Urdu press and Muslims see his stand as a part of his personal agenda, citing the fact that Shahabuddin’s daughter is a minister in the JD (U)-BJP government in Bihar, and there is a possibility that he is “being used by the BJP to further the objective of acting as a bridge between Modi and Muslims.”