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Indian ‘scholar’ creates uproar over controversy on Quran

LUCKNOW, India: Scholars from different school of thoughts have said Waseem Rizvi, former chairman of Shia Central Waqf Board in Uttar Pradesh, was trying to create rifts between different sects of the Muslims in India.

Rizvi drew criticism over a so-called ‘new Quran’ by removing 26 verses that allegedly promote violence and arranged the remaining verses in proper sequence.

He has also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to authorise 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 Public Interest Litigation (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 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 Rizvi had been ‘deliberately’ trying to drive a wedge between the two communities.

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.

Senior BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain on Tuesday slammed former chairman of UP Shia Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi for approaching the Supreme Court seeking removal of some verses of Quran and said that his party is firmly against those who insult any religious texts.

Mr Hussain, the national spokesperson of the BJP, said Rizvi should not vitiate the atmosphere of the country by indulging in such an act.

“I strongly object and condemn Wasim Rizvi’s petition seeking removal of 26 verses from Quran. It is my party’s stand that saying absurd things about any religious texts, including Quran, is a highly condemnable act,” Mr Hussain told PTI. The BJP is firmly against those who insult any religious texts, he said.