The Sufi Islamic Board of India (SIB), a group recently formed to represent the interests of the Sufi sect, has condemned the death threats against OpIndia's Nupur Sharma for her statement on Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti.
The SIB has said that it will not ask police to file a criminal case against Sharma for her statements about Sufism.
Sufism is regarded as a mystical branch of Islam that incorpates music, poetry, and veneration of saints as part of worship - a practice discouraged or prohibited by more fundamental sects of the religion. The current controversy arises out of an interview by Sharma earlier this month with Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, the co-founder of Gaza's Hamas militant group.
Sharma's controversial remarks during interview
Mosab had defected to Israel and had worked for Israeli intelligence When the interviewee said that Sufism is a peaceful and spiritual branch of Islam, Sharma pointed out to allegations that senior religious leaders at the Moinuddin Chisti dargah in Ajmer, Rajasthan, one of the most important Sufi shrines in the world, were suspected to have sexually assaulted girls and women.
After the interview was aired, the president of the Sufi Islamic Board, Mansoor Khan, said he had received a call from police asking him whether the organisation was planning any legal action against the interviewer for her comments in the interview. Khan said he told the police that he had no plans to make a criminal complaint against Sharma as the Sufi parampara (tradition) does not judge or punish a person who is ignorant of the teachings of the sect.
"Sufi parampara forgives all"
"Sufi parampara forgives all irrespective of their deeds, Khan said in a statement to the press. "Every citizen of the country has the right to express views and discuss history and we condemn the threats against her (Sharma)," said Khan. Khan added that when the Sufi Islamic Board was facing threats from militant Muslim organisations Sharma was among their supporters.