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Friday February 23, 2024

Babri mosque demolition anniversary: Pakistan deplores growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in India

Islamabad warns world of several mosques in India being at risk due to Hindu extremists who wish to convert them into temples

By Web Desk
December 06, 2023
Indian Hindu fundamentalists attack the wall of the 16th century Babri Masjid Mosque with iron rods at a disputed holy site in the city of Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. — AFP
Indian Hindu fundamentalists attack the wall of the 16th century Babri Masjid Mosque with iron rods at a disputed holy site in the city of Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. — AFP

Pakistan on Wednesday highlighted increasing Islamophobia, hate crimes, and hate speech against Muslims in India on the 31st anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque by a Hindutva mob.

Recalling the tragic incident, the Foreign Office said: "Today is a sad reminder of the demolition of the historic ‘Babri Masjid’ in India. On this day, 31 years ago, a mob of Hindu zealots demolished this centuries-old Mosque in Ayodhya in full view of Indian law enforcement authorities."

The ministry's statement refers to the destruction of 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya, India which was razed by a Hindu mob in December 1992.

The site has been a point of contention between Hindus and Muslims. The mosque was constructed at the site under India’s first Mughal ruler, Babur in 1528.

Meanwhile, Hindu scripture Ramayana reportedly mentions Ayodhya — the city where the mosque was located — as the birthplace of the Hindu god-king Ram.

Many Hindus believe that the Babri mosque was built on the exact birthplace of Lord Ram.

Hindu and Muslim groups filed separate claims over the site and the structure. In 1989, the Allahabad High Court ordered the maintenance of the status quo.

In 1991, when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in Uttar Pradesh, the campaign for the construction of a Ram temple grew.

On December 6, 1992, a group of Hindus who had gathered for a rally near the site climbed the mosque and started damaging the domes with axes and hammers. Within a short time, the entire structure was razed to the ground.

The Indian Supreme Court, in its 2019 decision, ruled that the disputed Babri Mosque land should be given to the Hindus while ordering the Muslims to be allotted an alternate land as a replacement for the destroyed Babri Mosque.

The top court's decision paved the way for Modi who then announced the construction of the Ram Temple — scheduled to open for devotees in January 2024 — at the disputed site.

Several 'mosques at risk'

Recalling that India’s superior judiciary not only acquitted the criminals responsible for this hateful act but also allowed the construction of a temple on the site of the demolished Mosque, the FO highlighted that the anti-Muslim frenzy that caused the Babri Mosque’s destruction remains unabated.

"A few weeks ago, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh publicly cited the Mosque’s demolition as a template to reclaim parts of Pakistan," the office said.

"Elements belonging to the ruling dispensation in India continue to incite hysteria and hatred against Muslims [...] Hindu supremacist groups are demanding conversion of many other mosques into temples, including the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Eidgah Mosque in Mathura," the foreign office said.

It further lamented the demolition of several mosques and shrines under the garb of various administrative measures or judicial processes so far.

Islamabad has called on New Delhi to ensure the safety, security, and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship.