Fatwa against JD(U) minister for 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan
A top Muslim cleric issued a fatwa against a JD(U) minister for raising slogans of 'Jai Shri Ram'. According to the fatwa, consciously acknowledging any other religion apart from Islam can lead to excommunication from the community. The effect was instant: Bihar's Minority Welfare Minister Khurshid aka Firoz Ahmed rushed to Imarat-e-Sharia at Phulwari Sharif to meet Mufti Sohail Ahmed Qasmi and apologized.
What exactly is a fatwa?
Fatwas are non-binding informal verdicts issued by a qualified Islamic cleric. A fatwa may be issued in response to an incident, while in religion, it refers to an answer to a question from an Islamic point of view and carries more weight than the former.
What earned Khurshid the wrath of the Imam?
Khurshid had shouted 'Jai Shri Ram' at the state assembly on July 28, a day before being sworn-in in the new JD(U)-BJP government. He said he would chant it repeatedly if it brought development for Bihar. Then the fatwa said if he didn't apologize, other Muslims should sever ties with him. It added his marriage wouldn't be considered valid till then either.
Fatwa divides local politicians
"Only after he apologized was he pardoned," the Imam said. But it did divide politicians in the state. BJP's Afzar Shami said one didn't need anyone's certificate to be a Muslim. JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar reminded even Mahatma Gandhi had chanted Ram and Rahim's names. But RJD MLA Abdul Bari Siddiqui said Khurshid had gotten "over-excited"; he warned more controversies could follow.
Fatwas through the ages have attacked seemingly innocuous incidents
Women have been a common target: fatwas have prohibited them from eating bananas, watching football games and even sitting on chairs. Noted authors including Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen have had fatwas issued for their incendiary writings. In Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, AR Rahman and Sonu Nigam have been on the receiving end of such orders. Chess has also been banned!