Observations on Maulana Wahiduddin Khan's Article: Babri Masjid Revisited in the Times of India - by Ghulam Muhammed

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Post- Allahabad High Court ‘Ayodhya Verdict’, Indian media had a field day in plastering its pages and its colourful screens with what can be divided as a ‘Hindutva Narrative’ and a ‘Left liberal Narrative’. The glaring omission was that of a ‘Muslim Narrative’, which has always been gagged by the non-Muslim owned media and could hardly get any mass audience.

Times of India, that claims to be the leader of the pack in English language media, has finally decided to bring in the Ulama and had strategically selected a writer whose credentials as a peacenik is most admired by the aggressive Hindutva elements while Maulana’s own community by and large has completely sidelined him.

His article is a regurgitation of Maulana’s old stand for Muslims to follow the spirit of Prophet’s Hudaibiya peace agreement with the idol worshipers of Mecca, when he agreed to refrain from any violent engagement for which he had come prepared and preferred to negotiate for a peace treaty, giving him a foot inside a closed door. His stand is sound as a broad guideline, but alas Maulana cannot be a patch on the charisma and leadership of the Prophet while Muslims too are not united and so committed to the Hudaibiya peace initiative, given great differences in time, place and the composition of the adversaries.

In his article, Maulana has cited the case of Caliph Omar, who was offered space by the Church authorities to pray his Salaat in the Church of Resurrection of Jerusalem, when Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim forces and the citizenry insisted that any surrender treaty with rights and responsibilities should be signed by the Caliph Omar himself. Caliph declined, saying that that indiscretion may be become an excuse for future Muslim generations to claim the right to pray in Christian churches.

Maulana writes:

“The Christian bishop told him he could offer his prayers inside that very church. But the caliph refused. He said that he would offer his prayers at a stone's throw from the church. If he offered his prayers right there inside the church, it would create a controversy in the future. The Muslims of later generations would say that they would build a mosque there because their caliph had offered prayers there.

Notwithstanding this historic example, Mir Baqi built a mosque adjoining a Hindu sacred place. This was bound to create problems.”

Maulana is trying to compare the two situations, which are as different as oranges from apples. After Muslim takeover, the Church became a dhimmi of the Muslim state. Muslims in India are full citizens of their country: India and are not dhimmis of a Hindu state.

A small minority of politically motivated and ideologically committed violent group of Hindutvadis are not the ruler of this nation. If they had been the rulers, they would have ruled India for the last 63 years, instead of Indian National Congress. Even after Babri demolition, they could not realize their dream of ruling India on the strength of their own committed vote bank. Some feel, they are surviving on Congress complicity. Muslims should not bow to their aggression. They do not represent the real ethos of Indian society.

It is another matter that Congress party with all its protestation of being secular had been riddled with the presence of highly communalized Hindutva protagonists.

Unlike Omar, these Hindutvadis, who pose as rulers of the country, did not offer to build their proposed Grand Ram temple away from the 500+ year old Babri Masjid.

Their contrived excuse about Ram Janambhoomi, (the place where their Lord Ram was born) being the same spot where the Masjid was, falls through, as in Ayodhya town itself, within stone throw of each other, there are scores of Ram Janambhoomi Temples, all claiming to be the birth place of Lord Ram.

To compound their mischief, they collected hundreds of thousands mobsters, through L. K. Advani’s Rath Yatra all over India and with the connivance of a Congress President...
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