Shia leaders had announced support for Ram Temple at Ayodhya.
Lucknow: With the Shia community veering increasingly towards the BJP, the RSS sees this as the proverbial ‘golden opportunity’ to make inroads into the Muslim community. The Shia community has not only supported the ban on triple talaq, even before the Supreme Court gave its ruling, but has also announced its support for Ram temple at the disputed site.
“For us, this is a ‘golden opportunity to make ourselves acceptable to Muslims and shake off the image of being anti-Muslim. The Shia community has been supporting us on contentious issues and we welcome the move with open arms”, said a senior Sangh functionary.
UP minister Mohsin Raza, who is the sole Muslim face of the BJP in UP, recently pre-empted ant possible opposition to the Yogi Adityanath government’s move to make registration of marriages compulsory, by getting his own 16-year-old marriage registered in Lucknow.
With former SP MLC Bhukkal Nawab joining the BJP, the party's acceptability among Shias has apparently grown and the BJP wants to keep the trend going. The Rashtriya Muslim Manch, which is an affiliate of the RSS, now plans to hold more seminars and discussions that ‘will erase misconceptions that create a distance between two communities’.
Of late the Shia community has not only been supportive of the BJP government but has even spoken against ‘secular forces’. Maulana Yasoob Abbas, spokesperson for the All India Shia Personal Law Board, said “The Shia community has always been opposed to the practice of triple talaq and we will continue to support the BJP if it ensures better education and job opportunities for Muslim women”.
Ms Shaista Amber, president of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board who had been fighting against triple talaq since two decades, said , “We are glad that the government has risen above vote bank politics to support the ban on triple talaq. Some conservative Muslims may not accept this but the majority is thankful to the BJP for its support”. The Shia Waqf Board has already stirred up a hornet’s nest by favoring the shifting of mosque to another site in Ayodhya.