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Qasim Rasool Ilyas: For the first time, AIMPLB has decided to reach out to leaders of all non-Muslim organisations

We have a very clear stand on the matter. Once the Places of Worship Act came into being in 1991, there is simply no space for controversy regarding any place of worship: AIMPLB Executive Member Qasim Rasool Ilyas

Written by Esha Roy |
Updated: May 21, 2022 1:32:55 pm
Gyanvapi Mosque, Gyanvapi mosque case, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsQasim Rasool Ilyas, Executive member, AIMPLB

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Executive Member Qasim Rasool Ilyas spoke to ESHA ROY over the controversy surrounding the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the ongoing case in a court. Excerpts from an interview:

What is the AIMPLB’s stand on the Gyanvapi mosque controversy?

We have a very clear stand on the matter. Once the Places of Worship Act came into being in 1991, there is simply no space for controversy regarding any place of worship. It had been unanimously decided and passed in Parliament, with even the support of the BJP, that after Babri Masjid, such matters would be put to rest… it is extremely disheartening that the lower court gave permission for the survey…

Starting with Gyanvapi, now other mosques in the country seem to be embroiled in a similar controversy. Do you think these controversies are politically motivated?

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This has happened over the last couple of days. A Hindu group in Karnataka has now claimed that the Masjid-e-Ala in Srirangapatna in Mandya district was a Hanuman temple and they should be allowed to worship there. Similar controversies have been created around the Neem Masjid in Madhya Pradesh, the Idgah in Mathura, and now even the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, where surveys are being demanded. The BJP-RSS commune has alleged that there are 30,000 mosques in the country that have been built by razing temples… such issues can be carried on for perpetuity, creating anarchy…  The BJP wants to distract people from rising prices, unemployment, and the health issues brought to light by the pandemic…

The AIMPLB has questioned the stance that secular parties have taken on the matter or the lack of it. What were your expectations from them?

It is very unfortunate that the so-called secular parties have not come out and said anything, in particular in defence of the Places of Worship Act… And yet, when the elections roll up, they expect Muslims to vote for them…

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What is the recourse for the Muslim community under the circumstances?

This is not just about the Muslim community but the Constitution of India and the future of the country… a majority of India’s population has not voted for the BJP…  In the meeting held on Tuesday, we decided that AIMPLB, for the first time, will reach out to leaders of all non-Muslim bodies…

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