Home Headlines 900 mosques in India’s Maharashtra flip loudspeaker quantity down amid fears of communal riots

900 mosques in India’s Maharashtra flip loudspeaker quantity down amid fears of communal riots

by News Updater

MUMBAI – Greater than 900 mosques within the Indian state of Maharashtra have agreed to show the amount down on calls to prayer after complaints from a neighborhood Hindu politician.

Raj Thackeray, chief of a regional Hindu celebration, demanded in April that mosques and others locations of worship should be saved inside allowed noise limits. If they didn’t, he stated his followers would chant Hindu prayers exterior mosques in protest.

Thackeray, whose celebration has only one seat within the state’s 288-member meeting, stated he was merely insisting that court docket rulings on noise ranges be enforced.

“If religion is a private matter then why are Muslims allowed to use loudspeakers all 365 days (of the year)?” Thackeray advised reporters in Mumbai, India’s monetary hub and capital of Maharashtra.

“My dear Hindu brothers, sisters and mothers come together; be one in bringing down these loudspeakers,” he stated.

Sitting in an workplace lined with books overlooking an enormous prayer corridor, Mohammed Ashfaq Kazi, the principle preacher on the largest mosque in Mumbai, checked a decibel metre connected to the loudspeakers earlier than he gave the decision to worship.

“The volume of our azaan (call to prayer) has become a political issue, but I don’t want it to take a communal turn,” stated Kazi, one of the influential Islamic students within the sprawling metropolis on India’s western coast.

As he spoke he pointed to loudspeakers connected to the minarets of the ornate, sand-colored Juma Masjid in Mumbai’s outdated buying and selling quarters.

Leaders of India’s 200 million Muslims see the transfer, which coincided with the holy competition of Eid, as one other try by hardline Hindus to undermine their rights to free worship and spiritual expression, with the tacit settlement of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP).

In latest weeks, a senior BJP chief started pushing for swapping marriage and inheritance legal guidelines primarily based on faith with a uniform civil code, taking purpose at guidelines that permit Muslim males, for instance, to have 4 wives.

The BJP didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Thackeray’s initiative. It denies concentrating on minorities, and says it needs progressive change that advantages all Indians.

On the Juma Masjid, Kazi stated he complied with Thackeray’s calls for as a way to cut back the chance of violence between Muslims and Hindus.

Bloody clashes have erupted sporadically throughout India since independence, most not too long ago in 2020 when dozens of individuals, largely Muslims, had been killed in Delhi following protests in opposition to a citizenship regulation that Muslims stated discriminated in opposition to them.

Whereas hardline Hindu leaders had been searching for to undermine Islam, Kazi stated, “we (Muslims) have to maintain calm and serenity.”

The state took Thackeray’s initiative significantly.

Senior police officers met non secular leaders together with Kazi earlier this month to make sure microphones had been turned down, as they feared clashes in Maharashtra, dwelling to greater than 10 million Muslims and 70 million Hindus.

On Saturday, police filed a felony case in opposition to two males in Mumbai for utilizing loudspeakers to recite the early morning azaan and warned employees of Thackeray’s celebration in opposition to gathering round mosques.

“Under no circumstances will we allow anyone to create communal tension in the state and the court’s order must be respected,” stated V.N. Patil, a senior Mumbai police official.

A senior official for Thackeray’s celebration stated the initiative was not designed to single out Muslims however aimed to cut back “noise pollution” created by all locations of worship.

“Our party does not appease the minority community,” stated Kirtikumar Shinde, including that police had issued warnings to 20,000 celebration employees this month.

The difficulty of calls to prayer extends past Maharashtra. BJP politicians in three states requested native police to take away or restrict the usage of loudspeakers in locations of worship.

The deputy chief minister of nation’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, stated over 60,000 unauthorized loudspeakers had been faraway from mosques and temples.

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