Sunday, October 03, 2010

Mosque Ruling Angers India Muslims

Tight security in Ayodhya (Pic Courtesy: Reuters)
MUMBAI – A court ruling over the site of a demolished mosque that largely favored the majority Hindus has angered India’s Muslims, raising fears of a new bout of ethnic tension in the Asian country.

 “The judgment is inextricably confusing because it is not a straight two-to-one judgment,” Syed Shahabuddin, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), told on Saturday, October 2.

 “There are in fact three judgments and they go on shifting their verdict on vital issues. Therefore essentially the judgment does not settle or resolve the issues.”

 A court in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday ruled that the site of the Babri mosque to be divided between the Hindus and Muslims.

The 2-1 majority verdict gave Muslims one-third of the land, while two-thirds were given to two Hindu groups.

“The judgment is extra-legal based on myths and legends, ‘faith’ and superstitions, and not on the evidence on record,” said Shahabuddin.

“The judgment ignores the fact that the Supreme Court order of 1994 treated the disputed site as one entity and did not envisage any division,” he said.

Thousands of Indian Muslims rallied Friday after the weekly prayers to denounce the mosque verdict.
Despite the anger, the Muslim reaction was measured with no violent protests reported.
The 16th century-mosque was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992.

More than 2,000 people were killed in ensuing ethnic violence between Hindus and Muslims over the mosque demolition.

Muslims want the ancient mosque to be rebuilt, while Hindus want the lands to build a temple.


Muslim leaders and political analysts lamented that the verdict lacked legal grounds and largely favored the majority Hindus.

“First Hindus installed idols in Babri Masjid in 1949, and then they demolished the Masjid in 1992. What is the fault of Indian Muslims,” Dr. Rehan Ansari, a political commentator, told

“Nobody asked for the one-third share in the disputed site yet the court has ordered trifurcation of the land.”

Navaid Hamid, member of the National Integration Council, was also critical.

“I am crying for my future generations, what they would respond when they will be teased that they have demolished a temple and an Indian court proved that they were guilty,” he said.

“Indian Muslims need to seriously think of surrendering all rights in Ayodhya and announce that they would not accept any land of piece as given by court because they think that this country would be run on astha (belief) rather than judicial rationale.”

Muslim leaders warned that the ruling risks to fuel sectarian tension in the country, vowing to appeal against the verdict.

“It (verdict) will only mean a mini-Masjid and a mini-Temple next to each other giving rise to constant friction,” Shahabuddin said.

“The Muslim community is dissatisfied and shocked by the judgment and is determined to exercise its right of appeal to the Supreme Court with a view to reverse the judicial stand from the mythological to the legal.

“The Muslim community is ready to accept the final judicial verdict of the Supreme Court as it is committed to the Constitution and the rule of law. It does not see any scope for negotiations among the parties until the final judicial verdict establishes the rights and status of parties concerned,” he said.

Muslims make up 13 percent of India’s 1.1 billion population, while Hindus account for 80 percent.

Note: This story which I wrote for Egyptian website has been badly edited thus omitting some of the positive comments by members of Muslim community.