AMU Prof Shaz pays price for criticising Ayodhya verdict

Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) professor and prominent Islamic scholar Dr Rashid Shaz who has been removed from the directorship of the Centre for Promotion of Educational and Cultural Advancement of Muslims of India (CPECEAM), claimed that he was punished for delivering a critical speech on the Ayodhya verdict.

Without citing any reason for Dr Shaz’s removal, the vice-chancellor, through an office memo, dated November 21, ordered replacement of Dr Shaz with Dr Naseem Ahmed Khan with “immediate effect”.

It is believed that he was stripped of his charge for his comments on the Ayodhya verdict. As AMU vice chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor, by issuing a notice on November 4 ahead of the Ayodhya verdict, had instructed everyone not to comment publicly on the matter.

However, Dr Shaz has to say that he could not have remained a mute spectator at such a critical moment.

Times of India quoted Dr Shaz as saying, “how can someone stop anyone from expressing his/her opinion and that too at the time when everyone was expecting the Muslim intelligentsia to speak on it. I saw silence all around. Even teachers were not making any statements, so I decided to speak out and have paid a price for it”.

Having no regrets, Dr Shaz feels honoured, as he could express his opinion even after a “gag” order by the varsity.

According to university spokesperson of the university Rahat Abrar, Dr Shaz’s removal was a routine and had nothing to do with his speech.

In his speech, Dr Shaz had claimed that the Ayodhya judgment was full of flaws. Yet the positive aspect of the judgment he had claimed was that Indian Muslim gained a clear victory after a long decade through this judgement. “It is a clear victory in the sense that the judgement tells all those things which strengthens your stand and claims. It tells that Muslims are on the right side.” He had said.

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