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Anti-Islam book release sparks protest demonstrations in several Indian cities

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Several Indian cities witnessed protest demonstrations against a blasphemous book on Prophet Muhammad written by Wasim Rizvi, a former chairman of the Shia Waqf board.

On Friday, November 12, protest rallies were held in New Delhi and Mumbai and other towns.

Protesters in New Delhi's Jafarabad suburb were carrying play cards denouncing Wasim Rizvi, calling for banning the book and also arrest of the writer.

In Mumbai, seven Shia committees lodged a complaint against Rizvi in a police station.

"The book maligns our prophet and not only hurts sentiments of Muslims. It may create communal disharmony. Its distribution in print and digital forms must be stopped," said advocate Rizwan Merchant, who demanded that the stringent 'Unlawful Activities Prevention Act' (UAPA) should be slapped on people like Rizvi, who habitually hurt people's religious sentiments.

On November 4, Wasim Rizvi released a book titled Muhammad from the Dasna Devi temple at Ghaziabad in the presence of militant Hindutva leader, Narsinghanand Saraswati.

The book, written in Hindi, presents Prophet Mohammad as a murderer, womanizer and a madman. It also claims that Mohammad wrote falsehoods in the Quran, the holy book of Muslims.

The Wire has examined a copy of the book. The book's cover depicts a naked woman in front of a man, understood to be prophet Mohammad.

Rizvi has claimed that the book will "expose Islam and its prophet" and help Muslims to "return to humanity." He has also claimed that the book explains how terrorism was born, the ways in which extremism can be countered and that it will stop religious conversions.

The release of the book was met with outrage amongst Muslims across India, particularly from the Shia sect, because in all his videos with Narsinghanand after the book launch, Rizvi is seen presenting himself as a Shia. Several such videos have gone viral.

Shia Muslims asked to leave Islam

Rizvi, in the videos, also calls upon all Shia Muslims to leave Islam. The Wire provides graphic details of Rizvi's videos:

"All Muslims are extremists. There is no difference. Anybody who believes in Mohammad and Islam is the same," Rizvi is heard saying in a video.

"I respect you for saying this truth," Narsinghanand is heard replying.

Rizvi is also heard saying that "until Muslims believe in the Quran and the word of Mohammad, every man in this world who believes in another religion will be in danger."

Throughout the video, Muslims are referred to as traitors and "snakes in the sleeves" who are trying to capture India and slaughter Hindus.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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