Let Them Take All Mosques, Qutub Minar And Taj Mahal: Mufti Tells Muslim Community

Let Them Take All Mosques, Qutub Minar And Taj Mahal: Mufti Tells Muslim Community
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti | Image source: PTI/IndiaTV

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti, on Wednesday, while addressing a press conference in Srinagar, expressed her views on several ongoing issues in the country. She warned that India is on its way to becoming like Sri Lanka due to “hyper-nationalism”.

Urging the Muslim community in India to not take the bait of provocations by Hindu right-wing groups, Mufti said that if “taking away” Lal Quila (Red Fort), mosques or Qutub Minar would solve issues like poverty, inflation, and unemployment, “then I would urge the Muslims of this country to let them take whatever they want”.

These remarks were made in the light of recent protests by Hindu right-wing groups on Tuesday, at the Qutub Minar in Delhi, as they have sought to change the name of the monument to “Vishnu Stambh”. The PDP chief said that while the right-wing groups wish to pursue the matter of renaming the monument, they should not “destroy Hindu-Muslim unity of our country and the Constitution for that”. 

Amid the rise in communal violence witnessed across the country, Mufti said, “I appeal to Indian Muslims to maintain peace and stick to your imaan (faith). We Muslims can pray wherever we kneel. We do not need structures for prayers.” Talking about the Hindu right-wing groups issuing demands, she said, “These groups want to provoke Muslims so that they can destroy their houses later. Let them take all the mosques, Qutub Minar and Taj Mahal. But take them in one go and not make it an everyday provocation.” 

The former CM also spoke about the incidents of houses owned by Muslims being razed by bulldozers across the country. She commented, “It is unfortunate the way minorities are being attacked. Their houses are being bulldozed and their life is being threatened. The judiciary is not coming forth to take suo moto cognisance of these incidents, which they should have, ideally.” 

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, later on Wednesday, responded to the “minorities attacked” remark, saying that it has become a trend to commit a crime and shape it in a communal angle to get away. He added, “A criminal is a criminal. Action will be taken against whoever is committing a crime, be it Congress or Mehbooba Mufti. Encroachment is being acted upon irrespective of religion. Action is not being taken based on the name of the person committing a crime.”

Addressing the party workers on Wednesday, Mufti said that people in Jammu and Kashmir believe in peace and harmony, which can set an example of what “unity and brotherhood look like”. However, she went on to say that the people of the valley must unite to fight back against this attack on their identity and dignity. This was also in the context of the abrogation of Article 370 that stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status. She reiterated that there is no way out.

Mufti said, “We have many challenges. Post abrogation of Article 370, the situation is such that laws are being brought here with the aim of ending the land (holding of locals).” She added, “All new laws are aimed at grabbing land and robbing locals of jobs. The administration is interested in advertising jobs only when outsiders are able to apply. I am sure there will be no land left in the coming future for local youth.”

The PDP president went on to talk about the rise in attacks against the Muslim community, including their places of worship and historic landmarks created by the Mughals. She commented, “Muslims are being attacked and the attacks are rising day by day. Our mosques are under attack. Now they are talking about converting Taj Mahal also into a temple. What can be a bigger misfortune!” Mufti further questioned, “What’s this they are doing? First, they broke down Babri Masjid, now they are talking of Varanasi and Taj Mahal.”

 

Read more: Indian Politics Will Revolve Around BJP For Next 20-30 Years: Prashant Kishor

 

She also addressed the recent Supreme Court decision to stop their ongoing hearings on the 124A of the IPC (sedition law) while the central government reviews the provision. Mufti said, “If any student, activist or politician speaks, the sedition law is used against them. Therefore, if it is not stopped now, our state of affairs will be worse than Sri Lanka.” She added, “This hyper-nationalism has led them to do this.”

On Wednesday, Mehbooba Mufti also called out the BJP-led government, and how the situation in Sri Lanka should serve as a wake-up call for India. Referring to the economic and subsequent political crisis that was followed by violent protests across the island nation, Mufti said, “The leaders in Sri Lanka played the religious card and pitched Buddhists, Christian and Muslims against each other. In India too, the BJP has been pitting Hindus against Muslims. I hope that the BJP-led government learns from what is happening in Sri Lanka and puts an end to communal tension and majoritarianism.

These remarks were also made in relation to a statement made on Twitter by Mufti. “What happened in Sri Lanka should serve as a wake-up call. Since 2014, India is being whipped into a communal frenzy & imagined fears. It is treading the same path of hyper-nationalism & religious majoritarianism. All at the cost of disrupting social cohesion & economic security,” she tweeted.

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