Muslims from red light area plan own mosqueSeptember 26th, 2008 - 11:17 am ICT by IANS
Purnea, Sep 26 (IANS) Stung by a ban on their entry to the local mosque, Muslim men in a red light area of Bihar’s Purnea district say they will build their own.”We will build our own mosque if the ban on our entry into the mosque is not lifted soon,” Asique Rahmani, one of the dozens of men from the red light area near Katihar More in Purnea town, about 350 km from here, said.
A week ago, dozens of men in the area that houses about 100 families were shocked to find that the nearby Madina Khushki Bagh mosque had banned their entry on the ground that women in their families were engaged in sex work.
“We have no option but to build a mosque to prove to them that we are firm believers in Islam and true Muslims,” Rahmani told IANS.
Said Saleem Mian: “Islam is against discrimination; Islam teaches us to fight for justice.”
The men questioned the move of the powerful members of the mosque management committee not to permit their entry.
Munna Mian, who is also protesting the ban, said: “We are not in a mood to bow to unjust decisions and will give a fitting reply to them by constructing a new mosque.”
Rahmani said the foundation of the mosque would be laid either during Ramadan or soon after Eid. “A piece of land was donated by someone to us.”
The dispute has snowballed into a major controversy within the Muslim community in Purnea.
Last week, when the men from the red light area went to the mosque to offer Ramadan prayers, they were informed that a fatwa had been issued against them by Asghar Ali Zaidi, the imam or chief cleric of the mosque.
Zaidi said the entry of these men was banned on the ground that they were not Muslim as they celebrate Hindu festivals as well. Besides, the women of the family are involved in the age-old profession of sex trade, he said.
“We are against such people entering the mosque,” Zaidi said.
Rahmani, who is spearheading the campaign against this ban, said: “What hurt us was that in the fatwa we were described as ‘hypocrites’, not Muslim, by the imam.”
He said no one had barred them from offering prayers at the mosque during Ramadan last year.
“We were targeted this time on the mere suspicion that we and the women of our family are involved in sex trade. We and several families like us have nothing to do with sex workers… it is far from the truth,” he said while admitting that some residents of his locality were indeed engaged in prostitution.
Initially, Purnea district mufti Ahmad Hussain Qausmi had said it was wrong to restrict the entry of any Muslim to a mosque, but later he changed his stand and said the ban was justified.
- Males of sex workers' families not allowed in mosque - Sep 22, 2008
- Muslims observes Ramadan with prayers at mosques - Aug 12, 2010
- Social Islam biased against freedom of arts: Filmmaker Shama Zaidi - Apr 29, 2012
- Fatehpuri Imam regrets killings in Kashmir - Sep 11, 2010
- Muslims across India offer prayers on last Friday of Ramadan - Sep 03, 2010
- This Hyderabad mosque is more than a place of worship - Aug 12, 2012
- India's Sufi pictorial takes Islam to children worldwide (With Image) - Feb 18, 2012
- Muslims in Kerala observe Ramadan fast - Jul 21, 2012
- Gaiety marks Eid in Andhra Pradesh - Aug 31, 2011
- Deoband denies 'fatwa' against working women (Lead) - May 12, 2010
- Indian Muslims mark Muharram with mourning, processions - Dec 06, 2011
- Imam in Spain accused of launching "jihad" against prostitutes - Jun 03, 2010
- Seminary asks Muslims to avoid ostentation on Mawlid - Feb 03, 2012
- Uttar Pradesh mosques double up as primary schools (With Image) - Feb 07, 2012
- Dhaka verdict on fatwa hailed with caution - May 13, 2011