KOLKATA: A hoarding put up near Tipu Sultan Mosque and over 100 shopkeepers close the shutters of their shops in and around the mosque for 24 hours on Wednesday in Kolkata. Why?
Because, the shopkeepers (Muslims) are fed up with the Shahi Imam Maulana Nurur Rehman Barkati’s outrageous behaviour of mixing politics and religion which is damaging the reputation of Muslims.
The Imam just to be in the news made inflammatory comments or issues immature obscure fatwas.
Anwar Ali, the mutawalli of the Tipu Sultan Masjid, told enewsroom, “He has the habit of calling press conferences within the mosque and giving his views as the Imam of this mosque. This is just not acceptable. He as the Imam should understand that he is only a religious leader, who’s job is merely to lead the namaz. He can’t make comments on behalf of the community.”
Ali added, “So, this time when he called a press conference to show his stand for a certain political party in Uttar Pradesh, I objected to it and that made his sons gets violent.”
The community people therefore united against the Imam, who is not entitled to give make any statements on behalf of the community and should not use mosque for political purpose.
A member of the Shopkeeper’s Welfare Association of the Tipu Sultan Mosque said, “Whatever he has to say he can say but not as the Imam of this mosque. Why does he has to announce it in a way that to the world it appears as if he is representing us. His opinion is never ours. His comments often have a communal tinge and are very inflammatory. We can’t let him do what he wills, it is high time that he gets the message of keeping politics away from the mosque.”