Enact blasphemy law and desist from imposing UCC, Board urges to government
Kanpur: In the wake of growing instances of showing disrespect to Prophet Muhammad (PUBH), the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, on Sunday (November 21) strongly pitched for the enactment of anti-blasphemy law in India. The Muslim Board also cautioned the government that any insult to the Prophet (PUBH) is bound to hurt the feelings of all Muslims in the world and would tarnish the image of the country at the international level, particularly in the Islamic world.
The Board also counseled the government to desist from any attempt to impose the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) directly or indirectly, partially or fully, on the country as India is a multi-faith, multicultural nation and UCC is the antithesis to the idea of India.
At its 27th two-day public session held in the industrial city of Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur on November 20-21, Board adopted a dozen resolutions including on blasphemy, UCC, social media, and other pressing issues and issued a declaration. Around 200 AIMPLB members attended the two-day convention.
The powerful body of Indian Muslims representing all schools of thought made a forceful demand that the government should punish duly those guilty of showing disrespect to the holy religious figures which is not only an offense committed against them, it also hurts the sentiments of millions of their followers. Since the advent of the BJP government, radical Hindutva elements have been emboldened to openly insult Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) and other religious leaders but the government did not act against such miscreants and even the police have been refusing to file FIRs against them. In its resolution on blasphemy, the Muslim Board underscored that “India is a multi-faith country, inhabited by adherents of various faiths. They have been devoted to different religious figures. It has been a glorious tradition of our country that its people have made due allowance for the religious sentiments of other faiths. They have avoided committing any blasphemy or sacrilege against the Holy Scriptures and religious figures of other faiths. This tolerance has enriched the tradition of unity in diversity”. And added that, “Esteemed Hindu, Sikh, and other non-Muslim scholars have consistently acknowledged the greatness of Prophet Muhammad. By the same token, in line with the teachings of Islam, Muslims have shunned attributing any offensive word about respectable figures of other religions”. It further underlined that the attitude of communal forces is totally unacceptable and the government is not acting against those who seem to enjoy impunity from the long hands of the law. “It is, however, highly deplorable that of late some mischievous persons have openly insulted Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) whereas the government has not taken any deterrent step in this regard. This attitude of communal forces is totally unacceptable. This amounts to causing discord in the country and runs counter to the interests of nationalism and patriotism. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stands out as the leader and guide of Muslims across the world. Muslims hold him in greater love and esteem than anyone else they prefer to sacrifice themselves for his sake. Any insult to him is bound to hurt the feelings of all Muslims the world over. It would tarnish the image of our country all over the world. Therefore this session demands the government to punish duly those guilty of showing this respect to the holy religious figures”.
In this context, the Board demanded that the government should enact effective legislation for tackling this sensitive issue.
On Common Civil Code
Taking a strong note of attempts to enforce UCC on the country, the Board said, “UCC is neither suitable nor useful for such a vast multi-religious country as India and it also goes against the fundamental rights guaranteed in India’s constitution. “India is a multi-faith country, and every citizen is guaranteed to practice and profess his faith and religious beliefs, and to act on and preach the same. Uniform Civil Code is neither suitable nor useful for such a vast multi-religious country like India. Any attempt in this direction is discordant with the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution,” the resolution reads which passed on the second and final day of its 27th public session. On the growing menace of social media, the Board noted that in the past few years “poisonous propaganda” has been carried out against Muslims. It sought “curbs against communal and hostile posts on social media and legal action against miscreants”. The board also asked the government and judiciary to refrain from interpreting Holy Scriptures; saying only religious authorities were eligible to do that. Referring to the arrests of some Muslim preachers including Maulana Kalim Siddiqui, Dr. Umar Gautamin recent months, the Board said they were implicated in false cases of forced conversions even when the converts never made any complaint to police about being forced.
Gyanvapi Mosque in Banaras
Board also asked the government to check the communal forces especially the Hindu Mahasabha, which is trying to disturb and vitiate communal harmony by raking up the issue of Gyan Vapi Mosque in Banaras and the Shahi Eidgah in Mathura. Strongly condemning their activities, the meeting urged the government to protect the religious sanctity of these places of worship.
On Waqf, the Board said it is essential to clarify that once a Waqf (endowment) is made, it becomes the exclusive property of Allah so the person executing Waqf or any individual, group, or government is not entitled to sale any waqf property or abuse its proceeds for any purpose other than that of waqf. “So any sale of Waqf property by its trustee or by government or courts permission to sell it runs contrary to Sharia and waqf law. This constitutes interference in Muslim religious rights and sharia laws. Muslims will never accept such attempts”.
The Board session also expressed its deep concern over the rise in crimes against women. It asked the government to frame effective laws and ensure their implementation for the safety and security of women.
Attacks on minorities and Dalits
While condemning the attacks on Hindus and their places of worship in Bangladesh, the Board underlined that it is the basic duty of the state to protect minorities. “In the recent past, some temples of Hindu brethren were damaged in Bangladesh, and Hindus were attacked there. It is a regrettable incident that is to be condemned. Indian Muslims have protested against it”. However, the Board said equally deplorable it is that Muslims were persecuted in Tripura. The State police colluded with rioters which is further victimization of Muslims. It betrays states’ negligence of their duty and its bias against minorities and Dalits. “This representative body of Muslims urges the government to pay special attention to the atrocities against minorities, Dalits, weaker sections of society, and women, and ensure safety and security for every citizen. It should devise effective ways and means for controlling the barbaric and inhuman incidence of mob lynching,” the resolution said.
Muslims follow Islamic teachings
The Board also exhorted Muslims to implement Shariah in their life, conduct inexpensive weddings, not demand any money from the bride’s family, shun extravagance, grant due share to women in inheritance, and protect in particular the rights of their mother’s sister, wife, and daughter.
The 27th session of the Board appeals to Muslims and non-Muslims, particularly scholars and lawyers to grasp Islamic social law and its underlying wisdom. “They should avoid any misconception and misperception and remove mutual and misperception, and remove mutual misunderstanding. Islamic law is fully compatible with human needs. This explains why the Muslim Personal Law has been a major source in enacting family laws in India and other countries,” the resolution reads.
Earlier on Saturday at the 27th General Body Meeting of the Board, Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadwi was re-elected as the president of the AIMPLB for a sixth consecutive term. Maulana Khalid Saifullah was formally elected general secretary who was made acting GS after the death of Maulana Wali Rahmani. Jamiat Ulema-e- Hind (A) president Maulana Arshad Madani and Prof (Dr) Syed Ali Mohammad Naqvi (Former Professor of Aligarh Muslim University) were elected vice-presidents.