The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking to remove 26 verses from the Quran that allegedly preach violence against non-believers, reported Live Law. The bench of Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy also fined petitioner Syed Waseem Rizvi, the former chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Board of Waqf, Rs 50,000.
“Are you seriously pressing the petition?” asked Justice Nariman, calling the petition “absolutely frivolous.”
Senior Advocate RK Raizada, appearing for Rizvi, replied that he was confining the plea to the regulation of education in madrassas. “My submission is that these preachings advocate violence against non-believers,” Raizada said. “Students are not to be indoctrinated. These preachings cannot be in the market place of ideas. I have written to the central government for action, but nothing has happened.”
The plea also said that Islam is based on the concepts of equality, equity, forgiveness and tolerance but was drifting away from these basic tenets “and nowadays is identified with violent behaviour, militancy, fundamentalism, extremism and terrorism”.
Rizvi also claimed that after the death of Prophet Muhammad, there was a dispute regarding the genuineness of some of the messages of god revealed to him. He alleged that the Caliphs, considered the successors of the prophet, made a mistake in compiling the Holy Quran.
Rizvi pointed to two kinds of verses in the holy book – one in which the message of God was positive and peaceful and another where they are negative and promoted violence, according to the petition. “Why such wide differences in the messages of God-the Almighty in Holy Quran itself ?” the plea asked.
The plea said that according to Article 29 (protection of interests of minorities) and Article 30 (right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions) of the Constitution, religious institutions have the freedom to teach with liberty. However, it said, that they do not have the liberty to teach anything illegal, which violates the law of the land or the Indian Constitution.
The petition had drawn backlash from several Muslim outfits and Islamic clerics, reported PTI. Last month, a first information report was filed against him for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims.