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Bengaluru molestation incident: SP leader Azmi’s remark sparks debate: Is he Wahhabi or Sufi Barelvi?

Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi’s remark on Bengaluru molestation incident has sparked a debate on the social media. Following the report, activist Feroze Mithiborwala wrote this on his timeline: “Abu Asim Azmi on with his anti-women sexist extremist religious views. Says women to blame as they wear western clothing, wants Saudi system in India. He is truly a Wahhabi moron.”

Reacting on his comment, another user Aniket Navalkar wrote: “He’s not a Wahhabi. He’s a Sufi Barelvi who goes to dargahs and believes in teachings of Nizamuddin Ahuliya and Moinuddin Chishti. And in my understanding their school is just as bigoted as Wahhabi… It is ritualistic and lacks the original Sufi mysticism. The Sufi saint is a reduced to an interlocutor between man and god (waseela). In fact this aspect seems to be their only difference of opinion with the Wahhabis. And ofcourse fiqh. They follow the Hanafi fiqh, which Wahhabis wish to transcend in to a uniform civil code (sharia). The Barelvis too have downright derogatory views on women. I am therefore hesitant to pitch Sufism (as practiced in ritualistic Islam) against Wahhabism. Both appear same to me…”

Azmi, who two years ago said women should be punished for being raped as reported by TOI, said: “In these modern times, the more skin women show, the more they are considered fashionable. If my sister or daughter stays out beyond sunset celebrating December 31 with a man who isn’t their husband or brother, that’s not right.”

The alleged mass molestation by mobs on MG Road and Brigade Road in the heart of Bengaluru has grabbed headlines.

The incident has been condemned by many.

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