The Imam Maulana Noor-ur-Rahman Barkati has been sacked as the head cleric of Kolkata’s prominent Tipu Sultan Mosque by the Wakf Trustee Board for making “anti-national” statements. The imam was making headlines for quite a long time. From defying government order to ban use of Red Beacon to issuing a fatwa against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Barakati has courted many controversies in recent times. Here’re a a few of the controversies Barkati in recent times:
1) Blatant threat to RSS leaders who are Muslim (2017/05/09): The Imam recently issued a warning which said that if any member of the Muslim community joined or worked for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he would be thrown out of the community and beaten up, Indian Express had reported. He went on to say that any Muslim, who used the chants of ‘Jai Sri Ram’, were “Hijras”(eunuchs). As per the IE report, Barkati even alleged RSS and the BJP were causing problems in West Bengal just ahead of the Shab-e-Barat.
2) Defying red beacon ban (2017/05/13): “I am a religious leader and I have been using the red beacon for decades. I do not follow the orders of the Centre. Who are they to order me? In Bengal, only the orders of the state government are effective. I will use the red beacon,” the Imam had said. Later, a police complaint was filed on Wednesday against Barkati for defying the central government’s order.
3) Abusing panelists on Live TV debate (2017/04/12): Barkati, setting a new low in political debate, abused the BJP leader Prem Shukla on national television. The Imam Barkati crossed all limits and used an abusive word against Shukla on CNN News 18, which was condemned by all the panellists, and the reactions were mirorred by the reactions of Twitterati thereafter too. He also accused Shukla of being an American agent.
Watch the incident here:
4) ‘Boys will be provoked if girls don’t dress properly’ (2017/01/17): The Imam, speaking in a television interview, said that young-blooded men are bound to get “excited” if girls are not properly dressed. He went on to explain “exactly” how a girl should be dressed, raking up a huge controversy.
5) Fatwa against PM Narendra Modi (2017/01/07): The Imam of a Kolkata mosque issued a ‘fatwa’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of “bluffing” the people through demonetisation, evoking a sharp reaction from BJP which demanded his arrest. “Every day people are harassed and facing problem due to demonetisation,” he had said. “Modi is bluffing the society and the innocent people of the country through demonetisation and nobody wants him to continue as the Prime Minister,” he added.