There is a prevalent myth that casteism exists only in Hinduism. Virtually all the Muslim representation on various platforms of the government and society are exclusively dominated by the Ashraaf Muslims (lit. pl. of ‘shareef’ means superior, civilized), who are the foreign origin upper caste people among the Muslims. Besides, The Muslim personal law board’s publication on Islamic customs and law (Majmooa-e-Qanoon-e-Islami(Compendium of Islamic Laws) only allows marriage between Muslims of equal castes (Kufu), thus accepting the existence of caste division within the Muslim community. But on the surface, it is still believed that there is no caste division among the Muslims. Fyzie speaks of the extreme discrimination against Pasmanda who are the Tribals, Dalits and the OBC among Muslims. They are the people who converted to Islam at some stage. They were native Indians unlike the Ashraaf who had come from outside. The Ajlaaf and Arzaal castes mentioned in Islamic Fiqh all fall under Pasmanda.
The speaker further contrasts the destitute condition of the Pasmanda with the privileged Ashraaf who have usurped all the benefits and representation offered to the minority community.
About Speaker: –
Faiyaz Ahamad Fyzie, a doctor by profession, is also an author, translator, and a social activist. For the past several years, he has been raising the issue of oppression and the rights of the most deprived society of the country i.e the Pasmanda Muslims, through his articles and talks. ‘Our struggle is not against the Ashraaf, but the Ashrafist (Iblis) ideology’, says he.