By Shakeel Rasheed
The day when the expected judgement in Babri Mosque case will be delivered will not be so much a day of a test [and perseverance] for the country as it will be for the Muslims, whether the judgement is in their favour or against them. Therefore, Muslim organisations and their leaders may be right in appealing to Muslims to maintain peace and calm. As such we have no problem with these appeals. However, what we find objectionable is the issuance of wholesale appeals. [If this was at all necessary, they should have asked the community to refuse to be provoked—UMM]
Not only that, but appeals are also being made by those who have virtually remained aloof from Muslim issues. However, when a photo and publicity opportunity arrives, these guys try to beat and leave behind those [proactive and sincere individuals] who have always remained at the forefront of protecting the community’s interests. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that the ‘flood’ of appeals being made with reference to the expected court judgement on Ayodhya issue, have started losing their meaning [and impact]. Now Muslims are seeing these appeals as Muslim leaders’ bid to ‘show ’ [that they are there to represent them].
Those making appeals to maintain peace and calm are now being asked [by the public] when on earth had any Muslim regarded peace and tranquillity as unimportant and when had they tried to disturb the peace? Take, for example, the Babri Mosque itself. Since the midnight of 22-23 September 1949, when idols were stealthily installed in there; and, when, through a court judgement. the mosque was practically converted into a temple and Muslims were banned from entering in it, till its demolition on 6 December 1992, Muslims have done nothing except practising restraint. And since 6 December 1992 until today, they have been displaying nothing but [utmost] patience [and restraint].
Neither they have resorted to violence nor have they indulged in breaking peace and security. The repeated painful hammering of appeals on Muslims to maintain peace, whatever the outcome of the judgement, gives an impression that it is they who do not believe in peace and harmony.
Please rest assured that Muslims will show restraint — regardless of the appeals by Muslim organisations and leaders and regardless of the outcome of the judgement — exactly as they have accepted the court’s judgement of Triple Talaq. They will not take to streets to express their anger for they know that they will not be allowed to do so and will be stopped [from exercising their legal and constitutional right] by force.
One or two appeals by the organisations that have been active on Muslim issues would have been suffice but daily statements and appeals are forcing the community to assume that the judgement day would bring a bad omen for them and would destroy their peace as well.
Muslim leaders and organisations appealing to Muslims to maintain peace should have also made similar appeals to fellow countrymen. But except the president of a faction of Jamiat-ul-ulma-e-Hind Maulana Arshad Madani no Muslim organisation has made such an appeal to them.
Appeals should have been made to central and state governments to make sure that, following the judgement, peace and security is maintained. But except Jamat-e-Islami Hind, no organisation has done so.
Muslims are already anxious and the flood of appeals is making them even more anxious. They seem to be being told that they were solely responsible for maintaining peace. Surely they cannot bear this load alone. Everyone will have to share this responsibility including the State Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who did not hesitate in preaching, in fact ridiculing, his respectable guests by telling them that they should make Dara Shikoh and Abdul Kalam, not Aurangzeb and Babar, their role models. Sadly, no Muslim delegate dared tell Naqvi that our role model is the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Alas! Muslim rulers like Aurangzeb and Babar who shed their blood and sweat to unite and reshaped India into Akhand Bharat were condemned as extremists in the presence of Muslims. They did not loot and fled from India with its wealth like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya et al. Muslim delegation listened to Naqvi with great patience!
The government need not worry. Muslims of this country have displayed patience and perseverance before and will keep on repeating this tradition. They live peacefully and will live peacefully. They respect court verdicts and will continue doing so. Instead, the government should keep a watch on the situation and make sure that following the judgement, miscreants do not go berserk. And what the Muslim leaders need to do is to become more active in their regions and areas and ally the fears of the community.
Shakeel Rasheed is editor of Mumbai Urdu News