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Islam and Politics ( 20 Nov 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Ayodhya Verdict: Spirit of Democracy Lies in Dialogue, Not in Polemics or Debates

By Prof Akhtarul Wasey

(Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Desk)

21 November 2019

Following the Supreme Court verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir dispute on November 9, 2019, the growing disappointment, dissatisfaction and mental retardation within the community is natural. But what is rather more painful is that some [Muslims] are now involved in loathing and character assassination of their own brethren. Before proceeding into the real issue, let’s take facts into consideration and maintain credibility:

(1) The Supreme Court judgment certainly did not come along the lines of Muslims’ expectations. (2) Expressing dissatisfaction or disagreement on this decision is nothing wrong, and cannot be seen as insult to the Supreme Court or enmity against the country. (3) Regardless of what conclusions the Supreme Court drew in this decision, it has made some facts patently clear, as follows:

(A) In this judgment, the Supreme Court has completely washed away the stain [on Muslims] that the mosque was built after a temple was demolished. (B) On 22/23 December 1949, an idol was placed in the Babri Masjid, taking advantage of the darkness in the night, which was a conspiracy. (C) The demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 was illegal. (D) Under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991, no fresh disputes can be triggered against the worship places of any religious denomination.

These facts, along with the conclusions drawn in the Supreme Court judgment, will hold out in memory as long as the verdict is preserved in law books, historical records, and so long as law experts and students continue to give their opinions on it.

I would reiterate one more here: Be it Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, All India Muslim Personal Law Board or any other Muslim organizations concerned with this case, all have shown utmost integrity, stubborn passion and zeal for the protection of the Babri Masjid. They have fought to prove their points in a peaceful and democratic manner. Along with all these facts, one more laudable fact is that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, on August 31, 2019, issued an appeal to ensure peace, calmness and patience. Later, it was endorsed by the All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, which convened a meeting under the leadership of Hazrat Maulana Arshad Madani, bringing together Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Markazi Jamaat-e-Hadith, Mr. Shahid Siddiqui, Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, and prominent persons from social and religious circles. They unanimously decided that whatever verdict comes fromthe Supreme Court, will be unanimously accepted so that the situation may not further deteriorate. Similarly, the Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also called a meeting and invited representative of different groups including two important RSS leaders.

Another such meeting was held at the residence of National Security Advisor AjitDoval, in which also many people with different political, ideological and political affiliations participated. Even the VHP’s responsible leaders were also participants in this meeting. I have also participated in all these three meetings and, therefore, as a witness of the occasion, I can say with full conviction that most Muslim leaders did not fully agreed to the Supreme Court Ayodhya verdict. Indeed, they did reiterate that they would accept what they declared before the Supreme Court verdict whether in favour or not.

Some people have not only expressed their displeasure with the meetings of Naqvi Sahib and Shri Ajit Doval, but have left no stone unturned in insulting the attendees and accusing them of conspiracies. But the fact is that everyone went there for Samvad (dialogue),not for Sawdebazi (bargaining). We must not forget that the spirit of democracy lies neither in polemics (mujadala) nor in debates (munazara), but rather in dialogue (mukalama). Nevertheless, we understand the emotions of angry people in this issue.

We have no doubt about their intentions, but they should also be careful in disagreeing with anyone who is not bargaining in the name of the community. Hate and inappropriate behaviour against such people is not justifiable at all. Let us also not forget that we must have some bridge and channel to transmit the emotions and feelings of our community to the government or the majority community. In this regard, if we can create a channel through an experienced officer like Ajit Doval, who was appointed as the IB director by the Congress government and who is known for his neutrality, then nobody should criticise it,unless something goes against the collective interest of the community.

Whether the Jamaat-e-Islami or the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith or the All India Muslim Personal Law Board or affiliates of other congregations such as Maulana Kalb Jawad, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, or an entirely different entity Maulana Syed Ahmad Bukhari, the Shahi imam of Delhi, or the former Union Minister K Rahman Khan, who is held in high regard and credibility, all have done extraordinary work in their respective spheres for the survival and honour of India’s Muslims. So, for the sake of God, please do not make their differences of opinion a source of distraction and disturbance among the people of Ummah. At a time when a clash and differences have surfaced within the majority community over the Trust for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, please do not make any attempt, for the sake of God, which will turn this to Muslims once again, and will reshape it as the Hindu-Muslim conflict. It will create big threats to the nation’s peace and security and another turmoil and turbulences in the new generation.

In conclusion, I would just say that I am held accountable to Allah and I’m always afraid to do anything shameful in the sight of God. But yes, if I am called again in any other meet to speak for Muslims, I am ready to go everywhere to put up the Muslim stand because only those whose stand is incorrect, avoid a conversation.

Courtesy: Inquilab, New Delhi (November 18, 2019).

Original Urdu Article:  We Can Also Speak !ہم بھی منہ میں زبان رکھتے ہیں