What will Waseem Rizvi gain by antagonising the Muslim community?

The ex-Chairman of the Shia Waqf Board has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking ‘removal’of 26 verses of the Quran

Waseem rizvi

Waseem Rizvi, the former Chairman of the Shia Waqf Board, has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking that “26 verses of the Quran be removed”. According to news reports, Rizvi in his petition, has stated that the Quran, the holy book of Muslims, has “some verses that are used to promote terrorism, violence, jihad”. In an interview to Aaj Tak, Rizvi claimed that these verses were added to the Quran later. Rizvi, who is known to be close to the right wing politicians, told the news channel that these “verses were added to the Quran, by the first three Caliphs, to aid the expansion of Islam by war.” 

This is perhaps one of the most dangerous acts by Rizvi who has in the past made many controversial statements, against Islam and Muslims. To suggest that the Quran, held holy by Muslims across the world, needed “editing” because he feels it carries “teachings of violence” can create communal unrest at a dangerous level in India, and abroad. It will also feed into the dangerous anti-Muslim narrative spread by right-wing politicans and influencers, that can result in real violence on the streets. Such remarks, when not checked instantly, have unleashed anti-Muslim pogroms, and tatgetted attacks in the recent past across the country. While the PIL is still pending, it is crucial to see how the Supreme Court will respond to it.   

Waseem Rizvi does not enjoy support within the Muslim community. He was in fact disowned and boycotted by both the Shia Clergy and laity in the past. In 2018, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, a top Shia cleric had said that Rizvi, who was then the Chairman of UP Shia Waqf Board had been “excommunicated” for not heeding to a fatwa issued by Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani.  News18 had quoted Maulana Jawwad as saying “Shias all around the world are facing embarrassment because of the statements made by Waseem Rizvi. People like Rizvi are working against Islam either under pressure or just to please their masters.”  Rizvi had been put in the dock making ‘Ramjanmbhoomi’, a deeply provocative and communally polarising film in 2018. 

According to Zee News, Rizvi has now said that “after Mohammad Sahab, the first Khalifa Hazrat Abu Bakr, the second Khalifa Hazrat Umar and the third Khalifa Hazrat Usman collected and released the Quran as a book” Rizvi claimed that they added “some verses promote violence”. According to Rizvi, terrorists use these verses to fuel violence.

Rizvi’s move has earned him much criticism online, and according to news reports, community leaders have strongly condemned him too. Shia Personal Law Board spokesman Maulana Yasub Abbas issued a statement opposing Rizvi’s PIL, reported Zee News. Abbas, said not a single word can be removed from the Quran, adding that Islam was being maligned by people like Rizvi. He said that the holy book gives the message of peace.  

Waseem Rizvi, however, has once again made sure that this latest, and most dangerous communal move of his, has once again brought his name back in ‘circulation’. In the past, he has often said things that threatened communal harmony. Last year, he verbally abused women protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Lucknow calling them “Badkirdaar auratein” or characterless women.

It is interesting to note that in November 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered cases against Waseem Rizvi, for alleged illegal sale, purchase and transfer of Waqf properties in Uttar Pradesh. According to NDTV, the state government had ordered a CBI probe in 2019 into the alleged illegal sale and transfer of Waqf properties by UP Shia Central Waqf Board and UP Sunni Central Waqf Board. Based on the Uttar Pradesh government’s recommendation, the central probe agency registered two cases against Rizvi, the former chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, and others. The CBI invoked charges of cheating, criminal intimidation and breach of trust. Uttar Pradesh Police had registered two First Information Reports (FIRs) against Rizvi and others in Prayagraj and capital Lucknow, in 2016 and 2017 respectively, based on two separate complaints. The Prayagraj case against Rizvi of alleged illegal construction of shops at the Imambara Ghulam Haider in Prayagraj. The second case is linked to land in Kanpur where Rizvi is accused of cheating and intimidating the caretaker of the plot, reported NDTV.

When he was still heading the UP Shia Central Waqf Board, Rizvi had welcomed the Supreme Court verdict that cleared the way for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. He had announced that he was donating Rs 51,000 for the construction.



Modi Yogi’s UP Shia Waqf Board Chief in the dock for Controversial Ayodhya Film

Jamiat slaps Rs 20 crore defamation suit against UP Shia Waqf Board Chairman 

Shia Waqf Board’s Waseem Rizvi calls CAA women protesters “badkirdaar auratein”



Related Articles