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'Mosque and temple can be built side by side in Ayodhya'

By Mohammed Siddique
September 27, 2010 19:12 IST
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Is it possible that the Allahabad high court's much-awaited verdict in the Babri Masjid title case will lead to the construction of a mosque and a temple side by side in Ayodhya? If so what will be the reaction of the Muslim community?

A respected religious leader of the community and the Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Moulana, Abdul Raheem Qureshi, has said that Muslims will not have any objection to such an eventuality as there was nothing wrong in it.

Speaking in Hyderabad on Monday, Abdul Raheem Qureshi said that already many such mosques and temple exist in the country and if this happens in Ayodhya, there is nothing wrong in that.

However, he said that the government should ensure that there were separate ways for the mosques and the temples so that no disputes or problems arise in future. "The vast land acquired by the government should be divided in to portions to provide separate ways to the mosque and the temple," he said.

Moulana Qureshi said that if the court decides so, the temple can come up at the place where Ram chabutra existed in the outer courtyard of the mosque, while mosque can be rebuilt at the place where the old mosque building with three domes and inner court yard existed.

"The chabutra was used from worship by the Hindus for 150 years and the Muslims have not opposed it. In 1885 a Mahant had claimed that chabutra was the birth place of Lord Ram and he had even gone to a court with the claim and Muslims not opposed it," he said.

His remarks came on a day when the AIMPLB decided to move a petition before the Supreme Court to oppose any further delay in the pronouncement of the verdict by Allahabad high court in Babri Masjid title case.

Abdul Raheem Qureshi said that the board decided to move the petition because it was question of rule of law in the country and any further delay in coming out with the verdict will not be in the interest of the justice.

He expressed hoped that the apex court will not delay the verdict of HC any further because the earlier decision of deferring it from September 24 was taken by the junior member of the two member judge of Supreme Court.

"Because of the differences between the two judges -- Justice Ravindran and Justice Gokhale -- the matter has been referred. We have moved our petition to make our stand clear that judicial verdict should not be delayed. It should be pronounced and respected by all. The dissatisfied party can always appeal to the Supreme Court," he said.

He said that the board was opposed to delay in the verdict because it involved many important issues. Recalling the night of 22 December 1949, when idols were installed in the Babri Mosque in Aydohya, he said that it was a trespassing, an offence but instead of punishing the culprits, Muslims were punished by stopping them from entering the mosque.

Elaborating why the board was against delaying the verdict, Moulana Qureshi said that one of the judges of the Allahabad high court was going to retire on September 30. "If a new judge comes and he wants fresh arguments once again, verdict will not be possible for another two years and it will be very unfair," he noted.

He also exuded confidence that on the basis of the available records and evidences, the Allahabad high court can give a verdict that the Babri Masjid with its inner court yard belongs to Muslims and outer court yard belongs to the Hindu community.

Referring to the statements of some people that out of court settlement was still possible, Moulana Qureshi said that many such efforts were made in the past, but they could not succeed as the organisations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party refused to budge an inch from their stand. "Without that no compromise was possible," he said.

He insisted that while Muslims were ready to abide by any court verdict, they will never ever willingly hand over the mosque to others.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad