Even as the nation awaits the verdict of the Ram Janambhoomi and Babri Masjid case with bated breath, Assam MP Maulana Badruddin Ajmal has written a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs demanding a ban on a recently published book on Islam citing a fear that it might cause communal tension.
The letter also demands arrest of its writer Satya Ranjan Bora, who is also a leader in the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP.
The book, written in the Assamese language with the title Islam Aru Quranor Kalankita Kothabur, was launched in the Guwahati Press Club on Sunday and has attracted a major controversy in the state.
Ajmal, who leads the All India United Democratic Front, claims in the letter that the book has severely affected the emotions and hurt religious sentiments of Muslims.
"The author of the book has very nastily misinterpreted the verses of The Quran. The book made fun of the 'Sunnah' of our beloved prophet using highly objectionable language. The book has described the religion of Islam as a threat to other religions and communities," the MP said in the letter.
Ajmal further expressed apprehension that as the judgment on the Babri Masjid case is likely to be delivered by the Supreme Court soon, this book may create communal tension affecting the law and order situation in the country, particularly in Assam.
The book, which is in the eye of the storm, cites 52 verses of The Quran raising questions on the status of women in Islam, the meaning of Jihad, Islamisation and also practices like Nikah Halala.
"In Quran, the word Jihad is used multiple times. In the real world too we have seen terrorist groups killing people in the name of Allah. Is this what Jihad means?" Bora told Firstpost.
The author also evoked the issue of population control policy adopted by the state government in Assam which was opposed by Ajmal.
"In a verse in the Quran, women are compared with fertile agricultural fields. Is this what the status of women in Islam?" he asked.
Recently, the Government of Assam adopted a two-child policy barring anyone to apply for state government jobs if a person has more than two children. The policy is an attempt in population control and it seeks to discourage married couples from having more than two children. However, the policy faced opposition from Ajmal.
"Muslims will continue to produce children and they will not listen to anyone despite the government bringing a law to stop Muslims from having jobs," the AIUDF chief had said.
Bora questioned whether Islamisation through population growth is the motive behind Ajmal's opposition to the two-child policy.
"Is it because the Quran has asked Muslim men to consider the women as agricultural fields that produce crops that Ajmal opposes the two-child policy? Ajmal is certainly carrying ahead the agenda of Islamisation in Assam. Then why he would oppose the two-child policy," he said.
The writer also heavily criticised the practice of Nikah Halala in his book.
Significantly, Assam is a state in which Muslims have a living history of nearly eight hundred years. The Assamese Muslims, which are divided into three distinct ethnocultural religious groups, have not only evolved a native Islamic culture of their own but also have lived in complete harmony with people of different religions.
Moreover, a study conducted by Tezpur University shows that a number of districts in Assam which have a denser population of Assamese Muslims have recorded a lower birth rate among Muslims than Hindus.
Interestingly, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind also plans to respond to the allegations made by Bora by publishing a book of their own.
"We have come to know that in the upcoming months, a number of similar Assamese books will be published demeaning Islam. To prevent such books from being published, we need to get the first book banned first. This is why we appeal the government to do the same," said Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi, secretary, Assam State Jamiat Ulama.