On Friday, hundreds of Muslims gathered at the Jama Masjid in the National Capital to protest against the petition filed by ex-Shia Waqf Board Chairman (UP) Waseem Rizvi. The development comes days after he had filed a petition in the apex court, demanding the removal of 26 ‘problematic’ Quranic verses.
As per reports, the protestors began their demonstration following the Jummah (Friday prayers). They raised slogans demanding his arrest and labelled Rizvi as ‘Quran ka Dushman’ (Enemy of Quran). One of the placards, held by the protestors, read, “Tehfuza Quran ke liya jaan bhi kurban (We can sacrifice our lives for the protection of the Quran.)”
The protestors, belonging to both Shia and Sunni communities, had alleged that Waseem Rizvi had been ‘deliberately’ trying to drive a wedge between the two communities. They had urged the Muslim community to boycott the Shia leader, accused him of corruption and looting Waqf Board properties. The demonstrators were also seen marching towards the Supreme Court of India.
Protest outside Delhi’s #JamaMasjid against #WasimRizvi for his petition in SupremeCourt seeking removal of 26 Quran’s verses.— Tauseef Sheikh (@tauseefjourno) March 19, 2021
Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad and advocate @MehmoodPracha also present pic.twitter.com/fiJT9aE48w
However, since no permission was sought from the Delhi Police for such a ‘protest march’, they remained restricted to Jama Masjid. According to Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad, Waseem Rizvi’s petition was aimed at getting ‘famous’. “We do not want any [part] of the religious book to be altered or disrespected like this. We want strictest actions against Rizvi,” he opined.
Calling for Rizvi’s ostracism, another protestor said, “Such kind of person shall be boycotted from each corner of the society as such people disturb the peace of the community by making derogatory remarks against the holy book.” Meanwhile, Injuman-e-Haideri officer bearer Zahrul Hasan has blamed ‘Zionist lobby’ in Israel and ‘hard-line Hindu forces’ behind the petition of Rizvi to the apex Court, seeking removal of 26 Quranic verses.
Muslims send memorandum to Centre, State governments: Details
In a memorandum sent to the Centre and the State governments, Muslim participants demanded the ‘immediate arrest’ for his satanic act. They warned that inaction against Rizvi would imply that the current political dispensation in support of the petition. “Waseem Rizvi is now indulged in insulting Holy Quran, hence he is no more a Muslim in faith,” they emphasised. Furthermore, they said that he should not be appointed in any Muslim institution.
The memorandum further urged Muslims to not invite Waseem Rizvi for social or religious gathering, else they would face ‘similar consequences.’ It has asked the NIA to file a First Information Report (FIR) against Rizvi for spreading terrorism, after concluding that he must be an ‘agent of anti-India forces.’ The participants also cautioned, “Since Waseem Rizvi is no more a Muslim by faith, his body should not be allowed to be buried in a Muslim graveyard after his death.”
The Quran controversy and aftermath
Syed Waseem Rizvi, the ex-chairman of the UP Shia Central Waqf Board, has recently stirred the hornet’s nest by filing a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the removal of 26 verses from the Quran. In his petition, Rizvi has argued that the Quran contains “some verses that are used to promote terrorism, violence, jihad.”
He said, “These verses were added to the Quran, by the first three Caliphs, to aid the expansion of Islam by war…after Mohammad, the first Caliphs Hazrat Abu Bakr, the second Caliphs Hazrat Umar and the third namely Hazrat Usman released the Quran as a book, based on the oral preachings of Mohammad.” according to Rizvi, terrorists use these verses to fuel jihad.
This had led to a series of threats, with a Muslim cleric even offering a bounty of ₹20,000 for anyone who brings Rizvi’s head. Amir-ul-Hassan Jafari, a Shia lawyer and ‘activist’, had also announced ₹11 lac bounty for whoever beheaded ex-UP Shia Board Chief Waseem Rizvi for his petition. In his statement, the former president of Moradabad Bar Association said that Rizvi was a demon. “He is not a Hindu or Muslim; he is a demon. I want to announce that whoever beheads him, I will give him Rs 11 lakh.”