A Petition has been filed before the Hon’ble SC [WP(C) No: 401/2021] in quest of removal certain verses from the holy Quran that are negative, promote terrorism, and create the threat of Islamic Terrorism in India.
The petition was filed by the UP Shia Waqf Board chairman, challenging 26 verses from the Quran which he states are used as “justifications” by Islamist Terrorist Groups for attacks on nonbelievers/ civilians.
The petitioner further states in his petition filed before the Hon’ble SC that on account of the verses of the Holy Quran, (more particularly described in the Writ Petition), the religion of Islam is drifting away from its basic doctrines at a fast pace and currently it is identified with violent behavior, aggressiveness, fundamentalism, extremism, and terrorism.
The petition refers to the following verses: Verse 9 Surah 5; Verse 9 Surah 28; Verse 4 Surah 101; Verse 9 Surah 123; Verse 4 Surah 56; Verse 9 Surah 23; Verse 9 Surah 37; Verse 5 Surah 57; Verse 33 Surah 61; Verse 21 Surah 98; Verse 32 Surah 22; Verse 48 Surah 20; Verse 8 Surah 69; Verse 66 Surah 9; Verse 41 Surah 27; Verse 41 Surah 28; Verse 9 Surah 111; Verse 9 Surah 58; Verse 8 Surah 65; Verse 5 Surah 51; Verse 9 Surah 29; Verse 5 Surah 14; Verse 4 Surah 89; Verse 9 Surah 14; Verse 3 Surah 151; Verse 2 Surah 191 in his petition and states that Islam is based on the concepts of equity, equality, forgiveness, and tolerance which we can see is drifting away from its basic tenets.
However, due to extreme interpretations of the above-said verses of the Holy Book, the petitioner claims that after the death of Prophet Muhammad, there was disagreement regarding the authenticity of some of the divine messages of God.
Hereafter the petitioner draws the Court’s attention towards two types of verses in the Holy Book:
Messages of Allah are positive and promote peace, harmony, brotherhood, tolerance, and forgiveness.
Messages of Allah are negative and promote violence and hatred.
The petitioner moreover in his petition remarked that “Why such wide differences in the messages of God-the Almighty (Allah) in Holy Quran itself ?” the petitioner further adds, “the dictates of religion which are not in harmoniousness and overlap with the Law of Land of any nation and any Country passed by the competent elected representatives and the laws and rules made by other nations shall have no strength of Law and are violative of the Law of the land and the same should not prevail over the same.”
The petitioner goes on to contend that several Islamic Madrasas are contributing to Muslim terrorist activities.
The petitioner also states, “There are many Muslim madrasas all over the world where young children are taught Islam and Holy Quran is explained to the Islamic students who are working for terrorist activities, in as detailed in the preceding paragraphs. It is like poison in the raw minds of young children in the name of the message of Allah, which leads him to a fundamental mindset and from his early age when they become young, they hate people of other religions because of their mindset, and many youths get involved with terrorist organizations in some way under this mentality, the wrong messages of Allah Has been filled in the name of Islam.”
The petition also insists that as per Article 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution, religious institutions have the freedom to teach with liberty. However, they do not have the liberty to teach anything illegal, which violates the Law of the Land or the Indian Constitution.
The petitioner further states, “as per the provisions of Article 25 and 26 of Constitution of India, the freedom of conscience and religion as per clause 1 is subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion. Further, any religious custom/ belief has to be in accordance or within the balance of Constitution of India and as the Law is already settled.”
Thereafter, the Reliance is placed on Shayara Bano versus. Union of India & Ors. wherein FIR Against the petitioner was registered in Bareilly for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims with his petition in the SC seeking removal of some verses of the Quran which he claimed promoted terrorism.
It was also suspected that the Quran encouraged violence, disturbed public tranquillity, promoted, on grounds of religion, feelings of enmity, hatred, and ill-will between different religious communities, and insulted the religion or religious beliefs of other communities in India.
It was contended by the petitioner that the publication of the Koran containing the aforesaid offending portions was punishable under Section 153A and Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as “IPC,1860”) and as such came within the mischief of Section 95 of the Code of Criminal procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “Cr.P.C., 1973).
Subsequently, the respondent also stated that as a public authority the respondent had a duty to invoke the said Section 95 of the Cr. P.C., 1973 and to forfeit all copies of the Koran and seize the same wherever found in India. Dismissing the Petition the Calcutta High Court held; “We hold that the Courts cannot sit in judgment over the Koran or the contents thereof in any legal proceedings. Such adjudication of the religion itself is not permissible. Similarly, the Courts cannot and will not adjudicate on theories of philosophy or of science or scientific principles”. Any attempt to impugn Koran in the manner as has been sought to be done would be violative of the right to freedom of religion including the right to profess, practice, and propagate religion.
The Hon’ble court further held that the Hon’ble court has taken note of the fact that the Koran has been accepted as holy through the ages. It is read, followed, published, and distributed in all civilized countries of the world. There has been no interference with Koran either in India or any other country up till now. It is too late in the day for the writ petitioners to contend that publication and propagation of the Koran would cause disharmony between communities and religions and the tenets of the Koran to constitute an insult to other religions or communities.