A fatwa has been issued against Dr Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, chief Imam of All India Imam Organization (AIIO), who participated in the on January 22 pran pratishtha of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, which was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking to media after the temple inauguration, Ilyasi said, “This is the face of new India. Our biggest religion is humanity. For us, the nation is first.”
The fatwa against the imam has been issued by Mufti Sabir Hussaini. He has appealed to other Muslim clerical communities to take action against Ilyasi.
‘Ready to challenge the fatwa’
In response to the fatwa, Iiyasi said, “I am not living in a Muslim country and I will challenge it. I have informed the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi police commissioner about it and have called a meeting of all Imams,” he said.
Criticism by Muslims
Since Iiyasi was seen in the pran pratistha ceremony, he has allegedly been receiving disapproval from the Muslim community, who believe the right-leaning Bharatiya Janata Party has been hostile towards their community.
The Ram Mandir is being built on the same site where the 16-century Babri Masjid once stood. It was demolished by Hindutva kar sevaks who believed the mosque was built on the order of the Mughal emperor Babur by destroying a temple.
However, the authenticity of their claim is still unconfirmed and many historians also disagree.
Eminent BJP leaders like LK Advani, Uma Bharati and the late Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee were some of the main leaders who led the procession to mobilise people for the establishment of Ram Temple.
Mohan Bhagwat meets Ilyasi
On September 22, 2023, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat along with senior Sangh functionaries met Umer Ahmed Ilyasi and lauded him ‘for strengthening communal harmony’. The meeting was held behind closed doors at the Kasturba Gandhi Marg and lasted for more than an hour.