Assam Lok Sabha MP and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, who is also the president of the Assam State Jamiat Ulama (ASJU) - an organisation of Islamic scholars belonging to the Deobandi school of thought in India - on Thursday reiterated his appeal to Muslims of Assam not to sacrifice cows during this week's Eid-ul-Adha, "respecting the sentiments" of Hindus.
"Few from RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) want to end Hindustan by trying to make Hindu Raj. Hindu Raj will never be a reality even in their dreams. They cannot break the unity between Muslims and Hindus in this country. You will not die if you don't eat cows for one day on Eid. Rather, we celebrate it with Hindu bhais. Our forefathers were all Hindus. They came to Islam because it has special qualities. That is to respect the sentiments of other religions," Mr Ajmal told reporters in Guwahati.
Earlier, in a statement, Mr Ajmal had said that performing the 'Qurbani' or sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha, which will be observed on Sunday, is an essential duty for Muslims who can afford the ritual and tradition permits sacrificing of animals like camels, goats, buffaloes, sheep and cows.
"However, India is a country of people of diverse communities, ethnic groups and religions. Most inhabitants of India profess the Sanatan faith, which treats the cow as a holy animal," he had said.
He also asked people to respect the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 2021, passed last year that bans the sale or offer of beef or beef products in any area "predominantly inhabited" by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, and other "non-beef-eating communities".
Commenting on the controversy surrounding former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's remarks on Prophet Muhammad and the gruesome killings in response, Mr Ajmal said, "Muslims should not react. Instead, they should pray that God gives brains to people like Nupur Sharma. Those who talk about beheading are stupid."
The AIUDF chief also denied buzz that the party might vote for the BJP's candidate Droupadi Murmu in the Presidential election.
"We have not been contacted by the NDA (National Democratic Alliance). We have the numbers to impact but only have been contacted by the opposition side," said Mr Ajmal.