Lucknow: He is fast becoming the Salman Rushdie of India. Not for writing controversial books but for his alleged un-Islamic acts and utterances in the media. Wasim Rizvi, the former Chairman of UP Central Shia Waqf Board, is under fire from Muslims all over the country for filing a petition in the Supreme Court pleading for removal of 26 verses from the holy Quran.
Livid over his demand, Muslims in Lucknow took to streets outside Bara Imambara in protest. Choicest expletives were used against the erring ex-Chairman. A few Musim youth even descended on his Hayat Mazar (land for grave bought by him during lifetime) and damaged marble stones to vent their grouse against him.
Clerics from both Sunni and Shiite Muslim sects have condemned his act and issued fatwa against Rizvi asking community members to ostracize him from the community and Islam. Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad has urged the Supreme Court to reject his petition.
Maulana Jawad has sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home minister Amit Shah and the State government, seeking to arrest Rizvi for blasphemy.
The Shia Cleric has called upon Muslims to organize Tahafuz-e-Quran (In protection of the Quran) all over the country to save the sanctity of their holy book. Maulana Jawad said that Muslims will hold a demonstration at Jama Masjid in Delhi on coming Friday to protest against Rizvi’s act .
So much so that the National Commission for Minority (NCM) has served Rizvi a notice asking him to tender an unconditional apology to the Muslim community and directing him to withdraw his petition in the Supreme Court for removal of 26 verses from the Quran within 21 days.
Earlier, Wasim Rizvi had asked the All-India Shia Personal Law Board to surrender nine mosques which were constructed on sites of Hindu temples back to Hindus. These included the sites in Kashi and Mathura.
But Rizvi is unfazed by the hullabaloo. He has so far shown no inclination to withdraw his petition in the SC. “I have approached the Supreme Court as these 26 verses in Quran are violent in nature and against the basic tenets of Islam. Moreover, they were added after the death of Prophet Mohammed,” he has maintained.