A day after his proposal that Babri Masjid be shifted from the disputed site met with loud protests at the executive meeting of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), senior Muslim cleric Maulana Salman Nadwi stayed away from the Board’s meeting on Saturday, but told The Indian Express that he will continue his own efforts alongside Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to find an out-of-court settlement to the dispute.
Nadwi on Saturday told The Indian Express, “I have clear divergence of views from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board on this issue. Last night, I tried to tell them that sticking to its stated position — that the mosque will be built there and nowhere else — does not help anyone and merely leads to a charged atmosphere without anyone benefitting.
“Anyway, the first of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence allows a mosque to be shifted. We can look for a suitable place between Lucknow and Faizabad and bring an end to the tension.” Nadwi’s proposal at the AIMPLB meeting in Hyderabad on Friday created a furore, with others on the Board maintaining that there is no question of any compromise, especially now that the Supreme Court has also seconded its position that the matter of Babri Masjid is actually a title dispute.
AIMPLB member Kamal Farooqui said, “It has been our position since the 1990s that the site of the mosque is non-negotiable. Namaz has been offered there for 500 years and there is no way the masjid can be built at a different site.”
Farooqui also said, “By the law of the land, a Wakf property cannot be transferred, leased or sold. We have full faith in the Supreme Court, which has now said that it is not a matter of faith but a title suit and will be treated as such.”
About his decision to stay away from the AIMPLB meeting on Saturday, Nadwi, a member of the AIMPB executive committee, said, “When I placed my proposal, seniors such as Syed Arshad Madani, who were on the stage, remained silent but some others like Kamal Farooqui and Qaseem Rasool created such a ruckus that I thought it is better to stay away. If I cannot place my views in a civil manner, then I might as well not go.
“But I am clear on my view that we need to strive for an out-of-court settlement to Babri by talking to Hindus, and I will continue my efforts.” He also said that Art of Living founder Ravi Shankar and he are slated to meet some saints in Ayodhya either later this month or on March 20 to find a solution to the impasse.