Wasim Rizvi’s view
The demand of Wasim Rizvi, former Chief of the UP Shia Central Waqf Board, to remove 26 verses from the Quran as they promoted ( according to him ) jihadist and terroristic feelings, while outwardly appearing to be motivated by liberal thinking, deserves to be deprecated..
Many such ideas, while ostensibly revolutionary, are in fact counter revolutionary. The Quran and Prophet Mohammad are held in the highest respect by almost all Muslims. So criticism of them cannot be approved.
I myself am an atheist, and regard all religions to be superstitions ( see my article ‘Religion and Science’ online ). At the same time, I recognise that most people in our country are deeply religious, and a frontal attack on their fundamental religious beliefs will make them more bigoted.
I believe that religion will one day disappear and be totally replaced by scientific thinking, but that will take many generations, maybe a hundred years or more. Religion will not disappear until the social basis which gives rise to religion disappears, and that will take a long time.
So while avoiding direct attack on religion we should strive to end the social basis which gives rise to it, i.e. poverty, hunger, unemployment etc. For poor people, who are the vast majority in our country, religion gives a psychological support, and without it they would go mad as their lives are miserable. And even richer people need it as the chance factor makes their lives precarious, and so they conceive of a supernatural being who must be propitiated to save them from downfall.
It is only when the chance factor, as well as poverty, hunger, unemployment, etc , are largely eliminated by the advance of science that religion will cease to exist, but this may take a hundred years or more from now.
Till then, while we must continue spreading scientific ideas, we should avoid a direct attack on men’s faith.
At the same time, I disapprove of threats being given to Wasim Rizvi by some people. Such threats will only strengthen the belief in many non Muslims that all Muslims are fanatics and jihadists.
(Justice Markandey Katju is former Chairman, Press Council of India and former Judge, Supreme Court of India.)
(Justice Markandey Katju’s FB post with courtesy)
Wasim Rizvi’s view
The demand of Wasim Rizvi, former Chief of the UP Shia Central Waqf Board, to remove 26 verses from…