Allahabad: The newly floated Indian Shia Awami League, a political outfit of Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi, on Thursday announced to nominate Mahant Narendra Giri, chairperson of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad as the patron of the new political party.
Akhara Parishad Chairman Made Patron Of India Shia Awami League
The announcement was made by Rizvi after meeting Narendra Giri here on Thursday.
Rizvi said that all the 14 Shia rulers in the country always protected the Hindus and even constructed several Hindu temples during their regime in different parts of the country.
He also accused the Sunni sect rulers of imposing 'Jajia' tax on the Hindus.
" The Shia sect and Hindu were closely associated and never there was any clash," he further claimed.
Rizvi said that by nominating a Hindu mahant as the patron of the Shia political party a new era of Hindu -Muslim unity has been started.
On May 18 last, Rizvi announced to launch 'Indian Shia Awami League', in an attempt to carve a separate political identity for the minority Shia within the Muslim community ahead of the 2019 general elections. The idea is to assert Shia identity separate from Sunni Muslims.
"Traditionally, the vote-bank politics has only catered to Sunnis in India, since we are in minority. But when there are riots in the country because of Sunni extremism, we also get targeted due to our Muslim identity," said Rizvi.
"Shia is an Arabic word which stands for 'dost' (friend) and all Indians are friends," said Rizvi, adding "soon Hindus from different communities, including SCs and OBCs, will be given representation in the party. He said his party would also contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Shia Muslims constitute little over 10 per cent of the Muslim population in India.
"The Shia-Sunni conflict is irreconcilable. They (Sunnis) don't even consider us Muslims, but because of them our identity is under threat," Rizvi said, adding that the party cadre was already in place across 16-17 states. "If everything goes well, we will fight the 2019 elections. We have spoken to all Shia leaders across the country," he added.
Rizvi, who was earlier known to be close to senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, has frequently stirred controversy by making statements that some see as anti-Muslim.
He has maintained that the Ram temple in Ayodhya, for example, must be constructed on the disputed site, and a mosque be built elsewhere in the city "away from the religious territory of the Hindus".
However, Shia and Sunni clerics have criticised Waseem Rizvi for floating a political party. Saif Abbas Naqvi, head of Shia Moon committee, said religion-based political parties had always hurt the interest of the country and Shia community lacked the number to sustain a political party. Imam of Idgah Khalid Rashid said, "India is a secular state and such parties can never succeed in the country." UNI