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Muslim leader supports legislation on Ram temple
February 27, 2003 18:10 IST
A prominent Muslim leader on Thursday supported any "unanimous" parliamentary legislation to build the Ram temple and said Muslims were open to discussing the Bharatiya Janata Party's idea of even gifting the "disputed site" to Hindus but not at the point of Vishwa Hindu Parishad's bayonet.
Jawed Habeeb, president of the Bharti Majlis, also castigated the Congress party and other opposition parties for merely offering "lip service" to the minority community and drawing political dividends.
"The Ayodhya issue can be resolved only through courts, dialogue or a parliamentary enactment. We are not opposed to any legislation provided it is done through consensus among all political parties and not under pressure from the VHP and Bajrang Dal," he said. "The Congress party should take the initiative to resolve the issue."
Habeeb, who claimed to have discussed a "proposal to solve the issue" with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on February two, said, "let us be clear whether we want India's Ram or VHP's Ram. Ram was Imam-E-Hind."
He suggested setting up of a National Ram Trust as against VHP's Ram Janambhumi Trust, which should comprise of all Shankaracharyas. "We cannot put at stake the lives of millions of people over a 10 feet land," he said.
Habeeb, a former Member of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, said the VHP and Bajrang Dal were equally responsible for internal terrorism as much as Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.
Habeeb said he was not against the establishment of a 'Hindu Rashtra' in India.
"The Hindus themselves have not allowed it to happen for the past 55 years. We have no problem with a Hindu Rashtra. There are 52 Islamic countries. Another Hindu country besides Nepal will not make any difference. But there should be a consensus," he said.
The Muslim leader also supported the government's move to impose a blanket ban on cow slaughter. "There are so many other animals and we can do without eating beef," he said.
Habeeb said that after the March six hearing by the Supreme Court on the government's plea for vacating the stay on the "undisputed" site, he would be meeting Muslim leaders.
"After the VHP's March 27 protests, we would be holding talks with like-minded Muslims and peace loving Hindu leaders in Ayodhya to resolve the issue," Habeeb, who was also a member of the defunct National Integration Council, said.
He also suggested that the prime minister set up a panel comprising of former prime ministers, former chief justices and some members of the NIC to elicit the opinion of people concerned with the issue.
Referring to Sangh Parivar as Taliban, he urged Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to call an all-religion meeting in Ayodhya to discuss the issue.
The Ayodhya Issue: The Complete Coverage