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Muslim drive for restraint

New Delhi, Sept. 8: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has asked community members across the country to avoid provocative celebrations or demonstrations once the Ayodhya verdict is delivered.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court is scheduled to deliver the title suit judgment on September 24.

The AIMPLB has said that the verdict can be either in favour of or against Muslims but the community should completely avoid any kind of celebratory or angry demonstration in either case. Any overt display of emotion could provide an opportunity to communal forces to disturb religious harmony.

“Avoid provocative celebration or demonstration after the verdict of the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi title suit,’’ the AIMPLB has appealed to Muslims.

The board has advised the community not to lose hope in case of an adverse verdict because the option to appeal in the Supreme Court is always available.

The board’s appeal reflects the mood among many community leaders. Asaduddin Owaisi, the Majlis Ittehadul-e-Muslimeen president and Lok Sabha MP, said Muslims would abide by the final verdict of the court. “Muslims will neither celebrate if the judgment is in their favour nor will they protest if the judgment goes against them,” he said.

The stand has been echoed by the Jamaat Islami, which has sometimes taken an aggressive position. “The AIMPLB and several other Muslim organisations have made it completely clear that whatever the court verdict may be, they will accept and respect that. Besides, if one goes by the land and revenue records and statements of historians and archaeologists, the case is strongly in favour of Muslims,” said Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas of the Jamaat Islami.

He said the governments in Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre should take every step to ensure peace and communal harmony after the verdict. “Pray, particularly on the last days of Ramazan, for a favourable verdict,” he appealed to Muslims.

In general, the vocal voices within the community have been restrained so far, in contrast with the strident notes earlier associated with some.

“Yes, we have been quite belligerent about the Babri issue because it has hurt the Indian Muslim psyche like nothing before. At the same time, we also realise that any aggression will be detrimental to all as communal forces will take advantage,’’ said Abu Qaisar, who had been at the forefront of the Babri agitation.

Some leaders have also written to the Prime Minister, favouring an out-of-court settlement.

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