Verdict: Mixed response from Indian Muslims
Friday, October 01, 2010 07:10:49 PM,
A day after a court ruled in favour of a Ram temple at the site of
the razed Babri mosque in Ayodhya, many Muslims across India were
clearly unhappy. Others felt it was time to move on.
As millions went into the details of the epoch-making three-judge
bench verdict from the Allahabad High Court, some Muslims insisted
that they had not got justice.
Muslim leaders who had championed the reconstruction of Ayodhya's
16th century Babri mosque, razed by Hindu mobs in 1992, were a
disappointed lot -- having spent time and energy on the cause.
But many among the 140-million strong community felt the time had
come to bury past bitterness, a line also advocated by the
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), which has pledged to build a
grand Ram temple on the ruins of the Babri Masjid.
In the latter category was Mohammed Hashim Ansari, a 90-year-old
Ayodhya Muslim who has waged legal battles since 1961 over the
disputed land where the mosque once stood.
The dispute was "now a closed chapter", he said at his crumbling
home in Ayodhya. "Hindus should be allowed to build their temple."
He does not want Muslims to approach the Supreme Court challenging
the Thursday verdict that split up the disputed land into three --
two-thirds going to Hindus and a third to the Sunni Wakf Board.
In New Delhi, Mahmood Madani of the influential All India Muslim
Personal Law Board said Muslims did not expect "such a mixed
"It could have been a clearer judgment," Madani told IANS, adding
that lawyers were studying the intricacies of the 9,000 odd-page
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind secretary Maulana Ahmed Niyaz Farooqi said:
"We would consider the decision of approaching the Supreme Court
only if the lawyers of the Wakf board think it would help."
The Wakf Board is determined to fight on.
"We expected the verdict in our favour. It is tilted towards one
party which is not fair," its lawyer Zafaryab Jilani told IANS.
"We will go for appeal. There is no second thought. We are
studying the judgment."
In Uttar Pradesh, where the Lucknow bench gave the Thursday ruling
amid nationwide fears of a violent backlash, some Muslims argued
that the court verdict must be accepted.
Wahab Ansari, a retired teacher, said in Aminabad area: "There's
no point in going to the Supreme Court... it will only add to the
uncertainty. We should take the verdict sportingly and make every
effort to promote peace and communal harmony."
Engineering student Nisar Ahmad agreed.
"Everyone should realise that the outcome of the dispute in any
sense would not be a solution to problems like illiteracy,
poverty. It should be better we bury the dispute."
The Karnataka Muslim Muttahida Mahaz, a federation of 28 Muslim
groups, said it was now up to the AIMPLB to decide the future
course of action but reconciliation should be explored.
Congress legislator from Bangalore R. Roshan Baig asked everyone
to respect the court. But tea vendor Usman Farooq in Bangalore
felt Muslims had been let down.
Opinion was divided in Maharashtra too.
"I would appeal to all my Muslim brothers to accept the verdict
and not disrupt the peace and harmony of the nation. I would also
request them to not challenge the verdict," said Hyder Azam,
president of the Maharashtra Minority Morcha.
But Muslim leader Abdul Rahman Anjari felt differently. He said
there was no question of having a temple on the Babri mosque land.
"Once a place has a mosque, it has to be there forever."
Atiq Khan, a young radio professional, termed the verdict "fair
enough" and said it has "taken care of the long pending issue".
Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi said the row should go to the
"We shall continue to have faith in the judiciary, and are hopeful
that we shall not be disappointed by the apex court," he said.
In Kerala, Indian Union Muslim League chief Panakkad Syed Hyderali
Shihab Thangal asked people to show mutual respect.
"All should respect the verdict and
it must be seen as a part of the judicial process," he said.
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