Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Chairman Wasim Rizvi said today that he had received a threat call from a man, claiming to be an aide of fugitive mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, who threatened to blow up him and his family. Following Rizvi’s complaint, the Lucknow police has lodged an FIR and initiated a probe. “I received the call last night in which caller took the name of Dawood and threatened to blow me up and my family for my stand on madrassa education and other issues,” Rizvi, who has also favoured a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, told reporters here. The caller refused to identify himself but asked me to seek pardon from ‘Maulanas’ claiming Dawood Ibrahim was annoyed, Rizvi said. The Shia Waqf Board chairman said that he had informed the police and also given the caller’s phone number.
An FIR was lodged at the Sahadatganj police station in old Lucknow city and the matter is being probed, an official said. Rizvi had last week written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting that madrassas should be shut down as the Islamic institutions bred terrorists. He alleged that education imparted in these Islamic schools encouraged students to join terrorist ranks and sought that madrassas be replaced by schools affiliated to the CBSE or the ICSE which will offer students the optional subject of Islamic education.
He claimed that madrassas were mushrooming in almost every city, town and village and were providing “misplaced and misconceived religious education” and alleged that funds to run the madrassas were also coming from Pakistan and Bangladesh and that even some terror outfits were assisting them.
His suggestion, however, did not go down well with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), whose spokesman Khalilur Rehman Sajjad Nomani said madrassas had played a key role in the freedom movement and by raising questions, Rizvi was insulting them.
The Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind went a step further when it served a legal notice on Rizvi for making ‘defamatory’ remarks about madrassas. The notice accused Rizvi of “insinuating” that madrassa education system had not contributed to the progress of young Muslims, but had in fact created a sense of fundamentalism in them without any data backing his comments. It sought for a written and unconditional apology from Rizvi and a payment of Rs 20 crore towards damages.
In October, Rizvi had met the Art of Living founder in Bengaluru and apprised him of the Shia Board’s stand that a Ram temple should be built at the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was that time holding mediation talks on the Ayodhya issue. The Shia Waqf Board is drafting the terms and conditions of a mutual agreement, he had said, adding that the board did not want any mosque to be constructed at Ram’s birth place.
Rizvi had also said that the number of mosques in Ayodhya were sufficient for the Muslims residing there and there was no need for a new mosque. “Instead it should be constructed elsewhere in a Muslim populated area,” he had suggested. Rizvi has also supported the BJP government on the Triple Talaq issue.