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Gujarat Muslims Beat Rizvi’s Effigy With Shoes & Slippers as lawmakers, religious leaders fume

Mahesh Trivedi | India Tomorrow

AHMEDABAD – Like elsewhere in India, Muslims in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Gujarat are also boiling with rage over the petition of Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board ex-chairperson Syed Waseem Rizvi in the Supreme Court seeking removal of 26 verses of the Holy Quran.

Leaders and organisations of the six-million-strong community in the state, Muslim lawmakers and religious leaders have demanded immediate arrest of the controversial self-styled Shia leader and appealed to the people to lodge written complaints in police stations in every nook and cranny of the state.

The Gujarat Muslim Hit Rakshak Samiti, an umbrella body of Muslim organisations in the state working for rights and welfare of the minority community, on Monday filed a complaint at the Sarkhej police station seeking registration of a First Information Report against Rizvi, his lawyer Sudhankar Trivedi, Aaj Tak news channel owner Arun Poorie, its reporter Sanjay Sharma and cameraman Anurag Saxena.

According to Samiti convener Mufti Rizwan Tarapuri, president of the All India Milli Council, Gujarat, Rizvi and five others named in the plaint had colluded with each other to organise a TV interview which was widely publicised immediately after Rizvi approached the apex court.           

Vaseef Hussain Shaikh, secretary of the Gujarat unit of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, told indiatomorrow.net that the Samiti had also submitted evidence in the form of a CD of the video clip of Rizvi’s interview along with the complaint, copies of which were also sent to the Ahmedabad police commissioner and the district collector.

The Samiti said the six had hurt the religious sentiments of the followers of Islam and sought action against them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.   

Angry members of the Mustafa Raza Academy, an organisation of Sufi Musilms promoting Islamic beliefs through publications and research, on Monday took turns to beat up an effigy of Rizvi with slippers and shoes while shouting ear-splitting slogans against “the terrorist and enemy of Muslims”.

Academy secretary and Congress councillor Iqbal Shaikh told indiatomorrow.net that Rizvi had deliberately and maliciously hurt the religious feelings of Muslims by insulting the Holy Book, adding that nobody would be allowed to make ‘anti-Quran’ remarks.     

In a press release, three Muslim legislators in the Gujarat assembly—Gyasuddin Shaikh, Imran Khedawala and Mohammed Javwed Pirzada—said that instead of burning Rizvi’s effigies or taking out protest rallies, people in every village, taluka, district and city should lodge complaints by presenting Rizvi’s viral videos as evidence.

The three lawmakers said that the Indian Constitution did not grant the right to any court of law  to make changes in the holy books of any religion, and opined that the apex court would instantly junk Rizvi’s plea.

Mufti Shabbeer Ahmed, Pesh Imam of Jama Masjid here, said that even high-brow scholars of other religions who had studied Islam never suggested any amendments in the Holy Book, which he pointed out, was an ideal guide not only for Muslims but also for the entire humanity.

Maulana Ghulam Saiyed scoffed at Rizvi’s argument that Quran promoted terrorism and said that Islam believed in forgiveness.

Former councillors of the Muslim-dominated localities, including Hasankhan Pathan, Majid Shaikh, Ghulam Farid Shaikh, Hussian Ansari, etc, submitted complaints against Rizvi in their respective police stations, saying even a film made by him was also aimed at dividing society.          

Rizvi has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking that “26 verses of the Quran be removed”, saying the Holy Book of Muslims, had “some verses that are used “to promote terrorism, violence and  jihad”.

In the PIL, Rizvi has claimed that these verses were added to the holy book of Muslims later. “These verses were added to the Quran, by the first three Caliphs, to aid the expansion of Islam by war”.

Rizvi has added in his petition that the 26 verses that were added to the Quran by these Caliphs promoted violence. According to him, terrorists use these verses to fuel jihad. He also said that these verses are used to mislead the young Muslims, provoking them to become radicals and terrorists resulting in the massacre of millions of innocents.

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