January 21, 2017
Opinion: Maulana Barkati’s Fatwa – A Dangerous Precedent
from the pen of Rita Gupta
India, the ancient land of Hindus, is going through testing times. A nationalist government at centre has become an eye sore for pseudo-seculars. Everything was fine during the decades of rot under the Congress governments. Seculars carried on with their anti-Hindu agenda in the name of Secularism, missionaries carried on with the conversions and liberals supported all anti-national activities in the name of “Freedom of Speech/Expression.” Everyone was happy. India was in safe hands. They dreaded the thought of having Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. And their worst nightmare came true on May 16, 2014.
Never before has a fatwa been issued against an elected head of state by a Muslim cleric; that too for taking a brilliant anti-corruption measure like re-monetization. Not even during the Emergency, when all men in a small Muslim village called Uttawar in Haryana were rounded up by the police in the middle of night. The whole village was woken up from its sleep by loudspeakers, all men above 15 years of age were gathered at the bus stop; and police went and searched the whole village if anyone was hiding. After ensuring that, all the men were taken and forcefully sterilized. Isn’t sterilization ‘Haram’ in Koran? Not a single Muslim cleric issued a fatwa on Indira Gandhi.
The Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque, Maulana Nurur Rehman Barkati has issued a fatwa with a reward of Rs. 25 lakh to anyone who will ‘cut off PM Narendra Modi’s beard, shave his head and smear him with black ink.’ Such a shameful announcement was made in the presence of TMC MP, Idris Ali. Barkati may be a close aide of Mamata Banerjee but ignoring this serious and dangerous issue can lead to setting of a wrong precedence.
Maulana Barkati is an obnoxious man with a notorious past. In 1996, he fought a case against the government of West Bengal for the permission to use loudspeakers five times a day for Azaan. In 2010 he was caught in a controversy when he solemnised the marriage of a transgender, which is prohibited by Islam. Many Muslim groups protested against him.
Ishrat Nazir Azad, the Managing Director of an Urdu weekly alleged that Maulana Barkati was involved in anti Islamic activities. He accused that the Maulana was marrying off minor children for hefty sums of money and issuing wrong certificates and fatwas. In 2011, Maulana Barkati held a special prayer for the ‘peace of the soul’ of Osama Bin Laden as he felt that he was not given proper burial. At that time too, Idris Ali took part in the prayer. Later, Barkati held a special prayer for Yakub Memon, also! As if supporting terrorists wasn’t enough, he talks about Jihad also. In an interview he said:
“If BJP comes to power, implements the RSS agenda, if they impose uniform civil code, if they stop us from praying, the Muslim clergy and scholars will discuss it and can even proclaim Jihad.”
Maulana Barkati is a right-hand man of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Though he is supposed to be a religious cleric, he has strong political views and advices Mamata Banerjee and she follows him faithfully. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he urged Mamata Banerjee to be more critical of Narendra Modi. He said:
“We know she is secular, but if Mamata Banerjee wants to prove her secular credentials, she should be more aggressive and critical about Modi.”
After that, we saw the infamous, shameful and hateful comments of Mamata Banerjee when she called Modi a ‘donkey’ and a ‘Danga babu’. She didn’t stop at that. She said that if she had been in power at the Centre, she would have tied a rope around Modi’s waist and sent him to jail.
In the name of secularism, Mamata Banerjee is only appeasing and supporting controversial Muslim clerics such as Maulana Barkati. It indicates the direction in which West Bengal is going. Issuing a fatwa on an elected head of state is equal to waging war against the state. The mainstream media never took up the issue until there was considerable outrage on social media. Even now most of the liberal world has ignored the incident. Hypocrisy exposed some more.