Muslim clerics tear into Shia board for Babri affidavit
Muslim clerics have slammed the UP Shia central wakf board’s affidavit in the Babri masjid mosque case as an attempt to drive a wedge in the community.
The board on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that a mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the “most revered place of birth of Ram” in Ayodhya, taking a stand opposite to that of the Sunni board that claims ownership of the disputed site.
“The mosque belongs to Allah and not to a Sunni or a Shia. I don’t think the issue deserves any more importance,” Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali said on Thursday. He is the imam of the Lucknow Eidgah and a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
He was referring to the board staking claim to the disputed site, saying the Babri mosque, which was demolished by a Hindu mob in 1992, was built by a Shia.
The affidavit was an attempt to divert attention from corruption in managing of wakf properties, Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad said.
“I have met chief minister Yogi Adityanath and informed him about the misdeeds and illegal land deals by the wakf board. I am sure this move is an attempt to deflect attention from the charges against the board,” he said.
The affidavit was just an appeal that had no legal, Babri Masjid Action Committee convener Zafaryab Jilani said. He said the AIMPLB, which was monitoring the case, had clerics from both the sects and there were no differences between them.
The affidavit is in contrast to the position the Shia board took in a meeting on October 6, 2010 when it decided to back the Sunni board in the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya title suit.
Shia board chairman Waseem Rizvi didn’t answer the phone or respond to messages for comments.
Rizvi is locked in a tussle with minister of state for minorities, waqf and Haj Mohsin Raza over the control of Shia board.
Both Shia and Sunni boards are in the crosshair of the state government with the Central Wakf Council recommending their dissolution and a CBI inquiry into their land deals.
By toeing a pro-temple line, Rizvi was trying to impress the BJP, which is in power in the state and at the Centre, to save himself, sources said.
Others see the Shia board’s move as a ploy by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) to pave the way for the construction of the Ram temple ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The RSS is the ideological parent of the BJP, whose political rise is closely tied to the demand for building a temple to god Ram in Ayodhya.
“The BJP and RSS are using the Shias to pave way for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya,” All India Imam Association state president Mufti Zulfikar said.
The influential Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, however, distanced itself from the issue.
Speaking to Hindustan Times over the phone, seminary’s vice-chancellor Mufti Abul Kasim Nomani said the Darul Uloom was a centre for education and he would not comment on the issue.
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