India’s Muslims criticize top court ruling on mosques

 

Muslims in India have criticized the Supreme Court’s refusal on Thursday to revisit its 1994 ruling that said mosques are not essential to Islam.

Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, chairman of the New Delhi-based Institute of Objective Studies, said the court had ignored abundant Islamic literature on the necessity of mosques in Islam.

“Hindu religious extremists may use this verdict as a ruse to trouble us in the future,” he said.

New Delhi-based academic Dr. Anwar Sadat said mosques are “where we understand religion and its interpretation. It’s a place where we form associations. The court hasn’t done justice to us.” Thursday’s ruling paves the way for determining ownership of the disputed Babri mosque site in Ayodhya, a town in the eastern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya’s mostly Hindu population believe that their supreme deity Ram was born at the site. They wish to build a huge temple there, but the Muslim community opposes this.

The court has set Oct. 29 as the start date for the hearing on ownership of the site.

 

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