Free to vote but remain united, says Asansol Imam, who lost his son in clashes

ASANSOL: Moulana Imadadul Rashidi, who made headlines as a messenger of peace in West Bengal’s Asansol after his teenaged son was killed in communal clashes last year urged residents not to let the election discourse divide them.

In his sermon preceding the Friday prayers, the imam of Noorani Masjid in Railpar locality, appealed the attendees of over 2,000 people for peace and reminded them they were free to vote but should remain united and give peace and amity a chance.

Asansol votes on April 29 in the fourth phase.

“Polls will come and go but we have to stay together for generations to come. Don’t let the discourse around it affect your relationship with others. Hindus and Muslims have a history of staying together in this country for centuries. Don’t let it create a chasm in the name of religion and affect our social fabric,” Rashidi said, as per Times Of India reports.

“Even those belonging to different political parties should not fight each other. Let us all continue to stay peacefully,” he added.

Imam’s 16-year-old son Mohammad Sibtullah Rashidi had been brutally lynched to death by a communal mob following Ram Navami in March 2018.

The Imam’s “actions was praiseworthy” who controlling his emotions set an example by calming down an agitated Muslim mob from retaliating. The peace-loving soul stopped decided not to name any suspect before the police saying, “My son has lived his life, do not bring sorrow to other homes.”

“Hatred is short-lived, but peace and trust are binding factors. Nobody should ever tell you who you should vote for. It is a personal choice. But whoever you vote for, do stay united. Give peace a chance. This is our country and it is our responsibility to keep it peaceful,” said Rashidi.