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Days ahead of India's 70th Independence Day on August 15, controversy has erupted on how the day will be marked in madrassas (Islamic schools) as the Uttar Pradesh government has announced that video recording of the Independence Day celebrations will be made compulsory and students are required to sing the Indian national anthem and songs.
Protesting against the diktat laid by the UP government, Muslim clerics have appealed to community members to "mark the day as Patriots, but refrain from singing the national anthem or record videos as they are against Islam".
According to Bareilly shehr qazi Maulana Asjad Raza Khan, "Tagore wrote the national anthem in praise of the then British King George V. According to Islam, our 'adhinayak' is god and not George. We do not disrespect national anthem but can't sing it due to our religious sentiments. Even Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh had raised objection to the national anthem."
"According to sharia, photography and videography are un-Islamic. They are asking us to flout the sharia taught in madrassas," Khan added.
Khan has meanwhile suggested another means for Independence Day celebrations, by appealing to madrassa managers to hoist the national flag, sing 'Sare jahan se achchha Hindustan humara', distribute sweets and remember great freedom fighters of the nation.
Appeals have been made to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to withdraw the order, "Otherwise Muslims will be left with no other choice but to defy the diktat," said Pilibhit shehr mufti Maulana Jartab Raza Khan.