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Allah Om Row: Jain Monk Says Could Not Tolerate Religious Insult

"I asked who is Om, many said 'it is just air, it has no form, it has no colour and it is everywhere, it made the sky and land'. I said this is what we call Allah, you call Ishwar, those speaking Persian call Khuda and those speaking English call God," Madani had said.

General Session of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind
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A day after Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief, Maulana Arshad Madani's “Om and Allah are the same” statement caused a controversy with other religious leaders storming off the stage at the Jamiat event, prominent Jain monk, Acharya Lokesh Muni on Monday has said that he could not tolerate his religion and culture being insulted in front of his eyes, as per media reports.

Muni, who was among the leaders who walked off the stage after Maulana's statement tweeted, “I would rather accept my martyrdom. I can't tolerate the insult of my religion and culture in front of my eyes. So I protested and challenged the debate.'

Madani, while addressing the third and final day of the 34th general session of the Jamiat at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, asked the "dharma gurus" about who was worshipped when Shri Ram, Brahma, or Shiva did not exist. "Some say Manu worshipped Shiva. Very few have pointed out that there was nothing in the world and Manu worshipped Om. I asked who is Om, many said 'it is just air, it has no form, it has no color and it is everywhere, it made the sky and land'. I said this is what we call Allah, you call Ishwar, those speaking Persian call Khuda and those speaking English call God," he added.

"This means that Manu, that is Adam, used to worship one Om, that is one Allah," Madani said. Manu is a recurring term found in Hindu religious texts, referring to the first man or the progenitor of humanity.

Arshad Madani was responding to the reported statement of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat that Indian Hindus and Muslims share the same ancestry, and the contention from certain factions that Muslims should make 'ghar wapsi', that is to return to their ancestral religion. "Today they tell us 'do ghar wapsi'. I say that those who say this are illiterate. They do not know the history of their country, the history of religions," the Jamiat chief said.

Allah sent the last prophet, Mohammad to Arabia with the same message to the Arab land as was given from India, one 'Om', one 'Allah' will be worshiped and no one else will be worshiped except him, Arshad Madani said.

Evidently angered at Madani's speech, the Jain monk has accused Madani of digressing from talking about the unity to spinning a story about 'Manu and Allah'. "We only agree with living in harmony, but all these stories regarding Om, Allah, and Manu are all baseless. He (Madani) completely spoiled the environment of the session," Muni said, alleging that Madani was sowing divisions with his remarks. He has even challenged the Jamiat chief in a religious debate/ verbal duel.

"The stories he narrated, I can narrate even bigger stories than that. I would even request him (Madani) to come for a discussion with me, or even I can come to meet him in Saharanpur," the monk said.

Multiple religious leaders of different faiths are often invited to Jamiat-organised programmes and sessions. In the past, Acharya Lokesh Muni has been part of several Jamiat-organised programmes in the past as well.

Post storming off the stage, Muni told reporters, "We believe that good deeds create good fortune, bad deeds create a bad fortune. We follow this philosophy."

(With PTI inputs)

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