National song Vande Mataram is 'against Islamic beliefs' and asking Muslims to sing it would amount to 'suppression' of the community, Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari said on Sunday.
Addressing a press meet in Allahabad, Bukhari, who is also patron of the United Democratic Front, said according to the tenets of Islam, one could love one's country and even lay down one's life for it if the circumstances so demand.
"But when it comes to worship only Allah is given that honour. A Muslim cannot worship his or her parents, motherland and even the Prophet though they are held in high esteem," he said, reacting to a Central directive to states for recitation of Vande Mataram in educational institutions during a celebration on September 7 to mark the national song's centenary.
"Ever since independence, all governments at the Centre and in the states have been suppressing Muslims. This proposal is yet another example. If somebody sings Vande Mataram voluntarily, I have no objections. But if people are forced to do so, it will meet with resistance," Bukhari said.