A section of influential Muslim leaders have decided to try and cajole their co-religionists to accept the Ayodhya verdict, a move aimed at not just ending the conflict but also enabling the community to occupy the moral high ground in the dispute.
Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind leader Mahmood Madni, former Delhi Commission for Minorities chief Kamal Farooqui and naib (deputy) imam of Lucknow Khalid Rashid Firangimahali — all members of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board — want Muslims to consider accepting the verdict alongside that of appealing it in the Supreme Court, sources familiar with the developments said.
Muslims are unhappy with the September 30 judgment of the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench, which ruled dividing the disputed area into three parts with one part going to the Sunni Central Wakf Board and two to the Hindus, ensuring, however, that the Ram Lalla deity remains at the spot where it is currently installed.
A politically savvy section of the Muslim leadership thinks that by honouring the verdict, Muslims will be sending a positive signal. They believe if Hindu organisations turn down the gesture by claiming the entire site in their appeal before Supreme Court, the onus of upsetting the chance for peace would lie with those organisations.
This section, however, does not want Muslims to relinquish their claims to a third of the land. They want to build a mosque alongside a temple. Madni, Farooqui and Firangimahali met in the Capital on Friday. S.Q.R. Illyas, convenor of the law board’s Babri Committee, also attended.
The truce proposal could come up at a meeting of the law board’s legal committee scheduled for Saturday. It is likely to be placed before the law board’s working committee when it meets on October 16.
“The idea that Muslims should accept the verdict in the larger interests of both the community and country has been brewing for a while. It is worth considering,” Farooqui said.
Madni said if both Muslims and Hindus built their places of worship at the site, it would be “good for the country”. He, however, added that these were his views and the working committee of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind would take the final call.
Farooqui hit out at both the Sangh Parivar as well as Jama Masjid Delhi imam, Ahmed Bukhari, for being belligerent. “People like them are trying to stir religious passions among the youth, who want to move on.”