Waseem Rizvi, the former chairman of Shia Central Waqf Board in Uttar Pradesh, has kicked up a major controversy. He claims to have created a ‘new Quran’ by removing 26 verses that allegedly promote violence and arranged the remaining verses in proper sequence. Rizvi has also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to authorize the use of his ‘new Quran’ in all madrasas and Muslim institutes in the country.
“I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include this new Quran in the education curriculum of various madrasas and Muslim education institutes across the country. This redacted version of the Quran is the right Quran and it will soon be available in the market for people to buy,” Rizvi said. Earlier this year, Waseem Rizvi had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court to remove 26 verses of the Quran saying that they promote terrorism and jihad.
In his PIL, Rizvi had stated that these verses are allegedly used by Islamist Terrorist Groups as justification for attacks on non-believers and civilians. However, the court termed the petition to be “absolutely frivolous” and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Waseem Rizvi for filing the PIL. According to his PIL, he said that Islam is based on the concept of equality, forgiveness, equity, and tolerance. However, people have been drifting away from these basics.
He added, due to the extreme interpretations of the 26 verses of the Holy book, Islam is getting identified with militancy, fundamentalism, extremism, and terrorism. Shortly after filing the PIL, several FIRs were filed against Rizvi who also claimed to have received death threats. Both Shia and Sunni communities have alleged that Waseem Rizvi had been ‘deliberately’ trying to drive a wedge between the two communities.
Rizvi has also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to authorize the use of his ‘new Quran’ in all madrasas and Muslim institutes in the country. Pixabay
While such a plea may seem rare now, it was 36 years ago that barrister Chandmal Chopra and one Sital Singh petitioned the Calcutta High Court for an outright ban on the Quran. On March 29, 1985, an application was filed under Article 226 (authority of the High Court to issue various writs) of the Indian Constitution, seeking the Calcutta High Court to order the government to “forfeit” every copy of the “Holy Book.”
Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said that Rizvi was ‘an enemy of Islam’ and had nothing to do with the Quran. Maulana Yasoob Abbas said that the All-India Shia Personal Law Board has strongly condemned Rizvi’s move. “Claiming to even edit or rewrite the Holy Quran is nothing short of blasphemy. It is an attempt to divide the nation. Muslim can never accept any change in the Holy Quran,” he said.
However, the change didn’t sit well with some people.“Waseem Rizvi is an enemy of Islam and the Quran, and a social boycott of him has been declared,” stated renowned Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad, who also led a rally against Waseem Rizvi. He has also been labeled a terrorist.” Along with Maulana Kalbe Jawad, Sunni clergy took part in the demonstration. More than a dozen Shia and Sunni clerics led the protest against the former chairman of the Shia Waqf Board.
In Bareilly, an FIR was filed against Waseem Rizvi for allegedly infringing on Muslim religious emotions through his appeal to the Supreme Court. Today, Shia clerics in Lucknow have filed another FIR against him. Meanwhile, a video of Rizvi’s brother went viral, in which he is heard declaring that the family members have nothing to do with what he has stated and that Rizvi is not in the right mental state. (IANS/JC)
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