The article titled ‘Kanthapuram’s Sanghparivar link and betrayal of the community’ was published in 'Chandrika'.

With IUML leader calling Kanthapuram pro- Modi yet another Sunni war in the offing
Voices Tuesday, June 07, 2016 - 14:27

By KA Antony

Irked by the cracks that have developed in its strongholds in Malappuram -as is evident from the recent Kerala Assembly election results- the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has launched a frontal attack on the AP Sunni faction led by Kanthapuram A.P.Aboobacker Musliyar.

In an article titled ‘Kanthapuram’s  Sanghparivar link and betrayal of the community’ in the IUML mouthpiece ‘Chandrika’ on Sunday, party state general secretary KPA Majeed  alleges that the cleric had struck a secret deal with the Bharatiya Janata Party and betrayed the Muslim community for personal and organizational gains.

The article comes at a time when relations between the two Sunni factions (the other one is known as the EK Sunni faction) are at an all time low, thereby further weakening the party’s political base in the district.

That the Sunnis in Kerala are a divided lot is an open secret known to all, but this is the first time that the League leaders have launched a frontal attack on the cleric in public.

A day before Majeed’s article appeared in the vernacular newspaper, senior leader P.K.Kunjalikutty had criticized Kanthapuram albeit without naming him, while addressing a public meeting at Malappuram.

“The Muslim League suffered minimum damage as compared to the 2006 Assembly elections. The defeat of the party candidate Abdu Rehman in Tanur was however a slippery issue. But this election did help to rip off the public façade of a few people,” Kunjalikutty pointed out.

According to Majeed, the cleric and his followers had gifted their votes to the BJP candidate K.Surendran in Manjeswaram  in order to win favours from the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. “However, the IUML candidate won the election thanks to the blessings of Allah and the prayers of the community,” Majeed affirmed in his article.  

He even went to the extent of branding the AP Sunni faction as ‘Lotus Sunnis’. The said faction is popularly known among locals as the ‘Arivaal’ (sickle) Sunnis due to their reported affinity towards the CPI(M) party in the state.

To quote a portion from the article: “It has been proved beyond doubt that Kanthapuram is offering tacit support to Narendra Modi and the  Sangh Parivar and hence creating a divide among the Muslim community, which otherwise stands united. Even those with a soft corner for Kanthapuram were astounded to find his men canvassing votes for the BJP candidate. It is a fact that Kanthapuram himself did not deny the claims made by a few BJP candidates - including PS Sreedharan Pillai and the Muslim candidate fielded by the BJP in Malappuram- that they had his support.”

To establish Kanthapuram’s close links with Modi and his party, Majeed  goes to the extent of portraying the Sufi meeting held in New Delhi -in which the cleric had played a key role- as one sponsored by Modi to portray mainstream Muslims as anti-national and terrorists.

The article further says that Modi and the Sangh Parivar have found a friend in Kanthapuram to make inroads into the Muslim community in the same manner as was done by them among Christians in Kerala. Majeed also points out that Kanthapuram was the only Muslim cleric to meet Modi after he was elected Prime Minister.

When asked to respond to such a scathing attack, a spokesperson for Kanthapuram Musilayar told The News Minute that his organization chose to ignore the rant, as it is made by a Mujahideen who has no right to interfere in matters relating to the Sunnis.

“He (Majeed) should bear in mind the reasons that led to a split in the Samastha in 1986. He being a Mujahideen may not be able to understand the same. It would be better that he talks to the Thangal (referring to Pankkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal, the present IUML supremo),” reiterated the spokesperson.

He added that Majeed’s accusation of mixing politics with religion has its origin in the Muslim League itself: “The stance taken by Hyderali Shihab Thangal contradicts that of the vice-president of the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulema run by the rival faction…that explains all. His late brother Pankkad Mohammedali Shihab Thangal kept himself aloof from such needless controversies.”

“Everybody  knows about the unholy liaison between the Muslim League and the BJP since 1991,” the spokesperson said, hinting at the failed experiment the BJP had with the Congress and the IUML to get BJP leader KG Marar elected from Manjeswaram in that year.