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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Supreme Court junks ‘frivolous’ plea to remove 26 Quran verses

“This is an absolutely frivolous petition,” a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman said, as it rejected the plea by former chairman of Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board, Syed Wasim Rizvi.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 13, 2021 4:22:49 am
Waseem Rizvi, former Chief of the Shia Waqf Board (File Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking deletion of 26 verses from the Quran, which the petitioner claimed “justify violence against non-Muslims”, by terming it “absolutely frivolous”.

“This is an absolutely frivolous petition,” a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman said, as it rejected the plea by former chairman of Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board, Syed Wasim Rizvi.

The court also imposed Rs 50,000 cost on him.

When the matter was taken up, the bench asked senior advocate R K Raizada, who appeared for Rizvi, whether he was pressing the plea. The counsel responded that he was confining the prayer to the regulation of Madrassa education.

Children should not be indoctrinated, he said, and urged the court to direct the Central government and the Madrasa Boards to ensure steps are taken to avoid literal teaching of verses advocating violence.

The bench, however, dismissed it.

The plea said that the purpose of filing it was “to draw attention of” the court “towards the menace of Islamic terrorism in India, its source and repercussions”. It stated that “unfortunately, justifications given by Islamist terrorist groups for the attacks on non-beleivers/civilians emanate from the 26 verses/suras of the Islamic Holy book Quran”.

The petition contended: “These justifications include retribution by armed jehad for perceived injustices by non-believers against believers/Muslims, the belief that the killing of non-believers (kafirs) is permitted in Islam, the need to establish Islam by forcibly enforcing Sharia law, establishing Islamic state and Caliphate as head of the Islamic State within the country, glorifying the terrorists as martyrs, heavenly reward of company of opposite sex of martyrdom and supremacy of Islam over all other religions.”

The plea added that “on account of these 26 verses…innocent Muslim students studying in the institutions providing elementary education (madrasas) get radicalised at a very tender age, which is not only against peace and harmony of the country but also against unity, integrity and sovereignity of the country”.

Rizvi said these verses were “against the basic tenets of Islam and contrary to the other verses of the Holy Quran which promote equity, equality, forgiveness and tolerance”.

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