Indian Legal Effort to Declare 26 Quran Verses 'Non-Functional'

Published April 11th, 2021 - 07:18 GMT
Quran roundabout in Sharjarh, UAE
Symbolic: Quran roundabout in Sharjarh, UAE (Shutterstock: Habibullah Qureshi)

For several weeks now, Indians have weighed in a public interest litigation (PIL) that has been referred to the Supreme Court, in which 26 Quran verses have been demanded to be reviewed and declared "unconstitutional and non-functional," alleging "their use to encourage and justify violence."

The main petitioner Wasim Rizvi was a former chairman of the Shia Central Board of Waqf in Uttar Pradesh and a well-known film producer. He has flagged 26 Quran verses he says "promote extremism and terrorism and pose a serious threat to the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of the country."

Rizvi argues that a Muslim who believes in Quran can be "enticed to commit violent acts on the basis of these verses," which is why he demands that they be removed from the holy book.

The PIL which has been supported by many voices online has also prompted many angry discussions amongst conservative Muslims in India, with many of them protesting Rizvi's call, deeming it a threat to their right to practice their faith, saying that "the vast majority of Muslims do not blindly take Quran literally."

Some also questioned Rizvi's idea saying that "if his demand was met positively by the Supreme Court, he will not be able to remove those 26 verses from minds of thousands of Muslim Indians who have fully memorized the holy book."

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