The Shia Waqf Board recently appealed to the Supreme Court in order to ban the hoisting of green flags bearing a star and crescent all over India at religious places and buildings.
The chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi, of the Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, stated with his plea that such green flags with the particular symbols are “un-Islamic” and more so, resemble the flag of a certain political party from Pakistan.
The Supreme Court has now reached out to the Centre this Monday, seeking an answer to this plea.
The bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, told the counsel that Syeed Waseem Rizvi, the chairman of the Board, should serve a copy of the petition to Tushar Mehta, the Additional Solicitor General which would allow him to file a reply on behalf of the Centre.
And certainly, the ban is not without reason considering the many dangers and issues the usage of such a flag can and is possibly creating within the country.
Causing Communal Disharmony
As per Rizvi himself, while he was in Mumbai for a visit and even some other parts the country, he saw such a flag that is green and with a star and crescent shape on it in Muslim dominated sectors. They were placed on certain buildings and religious structures and were allegedly a cause of tension among the Hindu and Muslim communities.
Furthermore, the plea stated the close resemblance of these flags with that of the Pakistan Muslim League and thus belonging to the ‘enemy country’.
Due to this, it can unnecessarily create tension and amongst patriots, and also because of wrong belief, even those hoisting it with the best of intentions can come under attack, be termed as anti-national and also called pro-Pakistan.
Not Islamic Flags
As the plea itself, it says that these kinds of flags will, “come in the category of Enemy Flags as these are not Islamic flags.”
The plea also states that there is no mention of such a flag in the religion of Islam by saying, “further relevant to state that the Crescent and Star in a green backdrop have never been a part of any Islamic practise and it does not have any role or significance in Islam.”
The plea went on to say how this particular style of flag was originally created by the Muslim League founded by Nawab Waqar Ul-Mulk and Mohammad Ali Jinnah back in 1906.
This was then, with the addition of a white band, taken up as the Pakistani flag.
The said flags, in any case, can be treated to be political flags, and in no case, religious flags as is being misunderstood by scores of Indian Muslims.
– according to the plea
Even a Senior Member of the All India Muslim Personal Board said that, “though there is no mention of such flags in the Quran, it cannot be termed Islamic. The Board will give a detailed view on the matter if the court asks us to do so.”
As per the petition, it even states that in fact, the Holy Quran forbids the worship of the sun and the moon, giving the Chapter 41 and Verse 37 of the religion guide as an example which says that:
“And the night and the day, and the sun and the moon (all the phenomena and objects you see in the universe) are among His signs (guiding to His absolute Oneness). Do not prostrate in adoration of the sun or the moon, but prostrate in adoration of God, Who has created them, if indeed it is Him that you worship”.
Not The First Time A Flag Has Been Banned
Sure, the Constitution does not prohibit anyone from putting up flags related to their religious or cultural communities, however, if those flags are suspected by authorities to support a banned organisation, or that the hoisting of a particular flag could cause a law and order problem, then action may be taken against you.
One another time that happened was in 2014 in Srinagar, when an ISIS flag which is black with white lettering was hoisted.
At that time, the police, under section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 registered an FIR which can lead to prison time for up to 5 years.
ISIS was eventually been banned under the same Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in 2015.
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