UP clerics miffed over book authored by Wasim Rizvi
LUCKNOW Former Shia Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi’s book titled ‘Muhammad’ has sparked a fresh controversy with UP clerics condemning its cover page that portrays a man with a semi-naked woman. They also accused Rizvi of making objectionable comments against Prophet Muhammad.
Some of the religious organisations, including the All-India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB), served notices on him, while a few approached the UP government seeking an FIR in the matter.
“He made many anti-Islamic statements in the past, but this time all limits have been crossed. We strongly oppose his book ‘Muhammad’, especially the cover page that portrays a man with a semi-naked woman and demand an FIR against him,” said senior Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad on Wednesday. The cleric said he submitted a ‘tehreer’ against Rizvi at the Chowk Kotwali, but the FIR was yet to be registered.
On November 4, former chairman of Shia Waqf Board Wasim Rizvi released the book at Dasna Delvi temple at Ghaziabad in the presence of Hindutva leader Narsinghanand Saraswati. However, the issue snowballed on November 15, after Rizvi posted the cover page image and buy link of the book on his facebook wall with a note—‘You can easily download e-book Muhammad from here’.
The AISMPLB was the first to register protest. “It’s a shameful act that is not at all expected, especially from the person who is a Shia. The act has hurt religious sentiments of the people here and in Iraq and other countries,” said Maulana Yasoob Abbas, general secretary, AISMPLB.
The board served a notice to Wasim Rizvi and approached the UP Government, demanding action in the matter. “You are hereby directed to withdraw your statement with immediate effect and issue an unconditional public apology for the comment or else criminal proceedings under Section 153 A and 295 A of the IPC,” reads the AISMPLB notice.
Apart from Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims too opposed the book. “Ignoring it is the only solution. People generally read books of authors who are subject matter experts, but unfortunately he is no expert. It is just a publicity stunt, which should be ignored,” said Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, Imam Eidgah and member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (APMPL).
Wasim Rizvi issued a statement, saying he was receiving life threats for writing the book titled ‘Muhammad’ and challenging 26 verses from the Quran.
“I have also heard that the maulanas said that my remains would not be allowed to be buried at Muslim graveyards. In such a situation, I want my remains to be cremated as per Hindu rituals and not buried at the graveyard. I have also made changes in my will, a copy of which has been marked to the district administration, asking them that if anything happens to me, my body shall be handed over to my Hindu friends and my last rites would be performed by Narsinghanand Saraswati,” he stated.