Differences among Muslims over Ayodhya issue

Lucknow: Even as the 70-year-old legal battle over the most contentious case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute looks near its end, differences seem to be emerging within the Muslim community on the issue.
A day after some prominent Muslim intellectuals, including former vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Lt. General (rtd) Zamiruddin Shah and former chief secretary of UP Anees Ansari suggested the Muslim side to surrender their claim on the disputed land, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has categorically turned down the suggestion.
AIMPLB’s national executive meet that will be held in Lucknow on October 12 is expected to officially confirm the stand that there is no possibility of surrender of claim on the 2.77 acres disputed land in Ayodhya.
However, even before the crucial and the last meeting before hearing in the case gets over in Supreme court, the board’s member and its spokesperson Zafaryab Jilani has left no scope of doubt.
Talking to an English news channel, Mr Jilani said “Board remains unfazed by any such demands. Those giving suggestions of surrender of claim have no locus standi in the case”.
“Mediation talks have failed to break a deadlock. We are confident about our arguments before the honorable Supreme court and look forward to the much awaited verdict from the court,” he added.
For the Muslim board, the stance that it will go by the legal solution is not new. The board in its previous meetings had already passed a resolution in this regard.
Highly-placed sources within the Board claim that Saturday’s meeting is focused on briefing the board members about the legal proceedings so far and giving it a sense of legal deliberations made in the court.
However, the fact remains that some eminent Muslim citizens raised their voices is clearly reflective of a divided opinion within the community.
Talking to journalists on Thursday, under banner of “Indian Muslim of peace”, former AMU vice-chancellor, Zamiruddin Shah asked, “Even if Muslim side wins the case and Sunni Waqf Board gets the tittle of the land, will it be possible to build a mosque at the place where a make shift temple is already in existence”.
He further said: “Even if Hindu side wins the case, there are certain elements in Indian society who will use it to serve their political interests, thereby leading to escalation of communal tensions”.
Retired IAS and former UP chief secretary Anees Ansari also said out of court settlement should be preferred so that both Hindus and Muslims remain happy and no party feels aggrieved.