Priority Peace, Ayodhya's Muslim Litigants Say New Mosque Can Wait 'Even if We Win'

If the Supreme Court's verdict is in their favour, Muslim litigants say they would be open to postponing the construction of a masjid.

Ayodhya: Muslim litigants in the Babri Masjid case have expressed their concern over the post-verdict peace and law and order situation in the country and say that in the interest of the country, they would not want a mosque built immediately at the disputed site even if the Supreme Court’s verdict comes in their favour.

Litigant Haji Mahboob said, “Keeping in view the alarming situation in the country, the priority is to maintain harmony. If the verdict comes in favour of Muslims, then in the greater interest of peace and communal harmony, we should not build a masjid on the Babri land. We should instead build a boundary around the piece of land and leave it.”

Mahboob said this was his “personal opinion”. He said, “Keeping in view the present situation of the country, I will take this proposal to the other litigants to discuss it further.”

Mufti Hasbullah Baadshah Khan, a litigant from Muslim side and the local president of the Jamiat Ulema Hind, agreed with Haji Mahboob’s statement. He said, “It is correct that we must prioritise communal harmony. We will discuss the situation with senior Muslim religious leaders. In the present scenario, we should postpone the construction of a masjid if the verdict comes in our favour.”

Mohammad Umar, another Muslim litigant, was also of the same opinion.

Iqbal Ansari, one of the main Muslim litigants, refused to react to the possibility or timeframe of building a mosque at the site. He said, “Let the verdict be pronounced first.” However, he said there should not be any disturbance to the law and order situation. “We will not allow any breach in the communal fabric of the country,” Ansari said.

Also Read: Other Muslim Parties in Ayodhya Case Dissociate From Waqf Board’s Mediation Proposal

The cautious approach espoused by the Muslim litigants is in stark contrast to the celebratory and incendiary claims made by some Hindutva organisations and even a section of the media. After the Sunni Waqf Board withdrew its claim to the disputed land and supported mediation, some seers claimed that Muslims should “give up the claim to Kashi and Mathura” next. The other Muslim litigants in the case, however, have disassociated themselves from the Wakf Board chariman’s proposal.

The Supreme Court’s constitution bench finished hearing the title dispute on October 16 and has reserved its judgment. Though no date has been announced for the verdict, it is expected to arrive before November 17, the day Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi retires.