Local Muslims stayed away from Kalam statue function: Ulemas

A body of Muslim clerics here today termed the unveiling of a statue of former President A P J Abdul Kalam at Rameswaram today as “unIslamic” and claimed most local members of the community stayed away from the function.

Asserting that they had great respect for the former president, office-bearers of the Ramanathapuram District Jamaathula Ulema Council said statue for a dead person “is unIslamic and against Islamic beliefs”.
In a statement, Council President Habibullah Hazarath and Secretary Abdur Rahman said “We strongly condemn the installation of the statue.”

The ulemas, however, said they had only expressed verbal objection and didn’t want to hold any demonstration or agitation against the function held at Peikarumbu, where Kalam was laid to rest last year, on the occasion of his first death anniversary today.

The statue unveiling ceremony was boycotted by most of the Muslims of Rameswaram island, the ulemas claimed.

The council’s high-level meeting had on Saturday discussed the issue and opposed the statue installation.

Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Parikkar in the morning unveiled the statue and also laid foundation stone for a memorial for the former president with the function attended by Kalam’s immediate family members among others besides union Minister of State Pon Radhakrishnan.