Islam should not be criticised maliciously: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court held on Wednesday (06-Jan-2010) that any religion can be criticized, but not malicious criticism. This judgement is welcome. It is really good to see that authors like R. V. Bhasin, who are religious fanatics in disguise, are not given a go ahead with their writings. When one criticises something or someone, he should learn about it first. Does Mr Bhasin even know what Islam is?? It is unfortunate that without knowing anything about it.. ill-research writers like him publish their hatred in the name of freedom of speech. People like him create divide and spread hatred instead of peace.

ISLAM extends tolerance to human beings in general, regardless of their religion, race, caste, color or creed. Allah Almighty addresses Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the Quran: “We sent you not but as a mercy for all creatures.” (Surah Al Anbiya 21:107)

One of the aspects of mercy is tolerance, so was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) tolerant to all people. Islam extends tolerance to human beings in general, regardless of their religion, race, caste, color, creed and sex and sees to it that this quality is instilled in all the followers of Islam.

Most human beings possess the characteristic of being kind to those who are weak, to those who are oppressed. However, very few possess the quality of being kind to their enemies. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) possessed this quality to a surprising degree. History bears witness to this fact.

Certain critics of Islam allege that Muslims are “intolerant”. Yes Muslims are intolerant toward injustice, toward oppression, toward tyranny, toward hatred, and toward anti-social elements of society. At the same time, Muslims are tolerant toward kindness, toward love, toward mercy, toward justice and peace. Says Allah in the Quran: “There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer and All-Knower.” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:256)

We as Indians do want to stay united as Indians and to stay on our course of development & success rather than doing “Bad Criticism” for our religions. We have more problems to face in the time to come, rather than to face a religious conflict rising out of a “Bad-criticism” leave alone wrong and malicious statements about each others religions. I fully understand that, we being a democratic Nation are open to criticism and that includes all religious criticism. Given the premise that Criticism is based on truth and reality and not on lies and despute. Yes, I agree that criticism that evokes a religious-healthy debate is welcome; and any criticism that invokes hatred and hatred-mongering is not good for our country and also not good for the society as a whole. India currently stands on a big troubles of Economic Turndown, Global Warming, Joblessness, ever rising inflation of commodities, food shortages and what not. At this time we shall stand united and work for the common cause, rather than creating religious discord & despute.

I believe that this judgement should serve purpose and should stop dangerous fanatics from spreading their hatred ideology around. I also believe that this should make writers research well and hence learn about Islam. It is really unfortunate that Islam is probably the most bashed religion around the world. Controversial and fanatical writers make Islam their subject ladder to climb up the path of fame and publicity through controversial and ill-researched writings. I have never come across a Muslim who would just bash other religion. This is because we have morals and standards which we live by and we fear God.


The Report :
Source :

Islam should not be criticised maliciously: Bombay HC

Updated on Wednesday, January 06, 2010, 23:50 IST

Mumbai: Islam or any other religion can be criticised, but a malicious criticism aimed at promoting communal hatred and painting the whole community as villainous is not permissible, Bombay High Court held on Wednesday.

Refusing to interprete Quranic verses, Court however advised that verses must be “correlated”, and historical background must be kept in mind when interpreting.

A full bench of the High Court upheld the ban on ‘Islam ? A concept of Political World Invasion By Muslims’, written by advocate R V Bhasin. Bhasin had challenged the ban, saying that it violated right to freedom of speech.

The book was banned in state government in 2007, on the ground that it contained derogatory remarks about Islam and prophet Mohammad and insulted Muslim sentiments.

The 3-member bench of Justices Ranjana Desai, Dhananjay Chandrachud and R S Mohite held that “In our constitutional set up, everything is open to criticism and religion is no exception to it.”

“Every religion, whether it is Islam, Hinduism, Christianity or any other religion, can be criticized… Even if the author is wrong, he has right to be wrong.”

But, the judges added, “But what needs to be seen is whether the author has done this exercise bona fide.” In Bhasin’s case that was not so, court held, saying the book might lead to communal trouble.

Bhasin’s controversial book argued that philosophy of Islam encourages terrorism, and does not tolerate those of different faith.

However, court pointed out that in the case of religious scriptures, several interpretations are possible.

“Ayats (Quranic verses) will have to be correlated. Some of the Ayats are indeed strongly worded and appear to have been directed against idol worshipers. Having read the commentaries we feel that perhaps it is possible to urge that they relate to an era when the Muslims were attacked by the Pagans…” the court observed.

“An author has a right to put forth a perspective that a particular religion is not secular,” court said, but added that in Bhasin’s case, “the criticism is not academic. The author has gone on to pass insulting comments” about Muslims, particularly Indian Muslims.

“If writing is calculated to promote feelings of enmity or hatred it is no defence to a charge under Section 153-A of the IPC (promoting enmity between communities) that the writing contains a truthful account”.

Court also observed that the entire community can be painted as villainous… “It cannot be denied that misguided Muslim youth have indulged in acts of terrorism. But misguided youth are in every religion.”


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