The Supreme Court of India on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation seeking a ban on 28 verses of the Quran.
Not only that, the petitioner Syed Wasim Rizvi has also been fined Rs 50,000 for filing such a ‘completely meaningless’ petition.
Syed Wasim Rizvi is a former chairman of the Shia Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh and an influential leader of the country’s Shia Muslim community.
Last December, he sought recourse to the apex court to declare certain verses of the Qur’an unconstitutional. The petition also claimed that these verses were not part of the original Qur’an.
He argued that these verses were being taught to the younger generation of Muslims to encourage them to kill infidels, especially those who believe in idolatry.
It was also argued that various terrorist groups were using these verses as a “cleansing” to attack infidels.
But in a first-day hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday, a three-judge bench dismissed the appeal as “completely baseless.”
The bench, headed by Justice Rohington Nariman, also asked, “Is the petitioner really serious about this petition?” We can’t believe it! ‘
The apex court also decided to fine the petitioner for wasting court time by filing a case on meaningless matters.
However, before the hearing of the case in the Supreme Court, there was strong criticism in various quarters of India against the move of Syed Wasim Rizvi.
Maulana Mahmood Dariabadi, general secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said in a statement, “We do not believe that any verse of the Holy Quran incites people to violence.”
Allegations were also made by the All India Shia Personal Law Board and other Muslim organizations that Syed Wasim Rizvi was trying to “misinterpret the Qur’an completely out of context”.
The country’s National Minorities Commission also sent a notice to Rizvi alleging disruption of communal harmony in India.
Nawab Mohammad Abdul Ali of Arcot, South India, said in a statement that if the Indian Supreme Court accepted the petition for hearing, it would be a violation of the religious freedom of citizens.
Not only in India, but also in neighboring Bangladesh, various Islamist organizations, including the Khilafah Majlis, described the demand for banning verses from the Qur’an as “extreme arrogance with Allah.”
The issue was also raised by various organizations during the intense protests and protests during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh last month.
However, the controversy is expected to end after the case was dismissed in the Supreme Court on Monday.
At Monday’s hearing, senior counsel for the petitioner, RK Raizada, however, argued that the petition was filed with the limited aim of bringing madrasa education under one control.
He said, “My submission is that these special verses question violence against infidels or infidels.”
“Children who have to study in madrassas from a very young age are brainwashed by being taught these – which is never desirable,” he argued.
The three-member bench of the Supreme Court, however, made it clear that it was not interested in hearing any arguments on the issue.
They also rejected the application with a symbolic fine of Rs 50,000.