Delhi: Quran exhibition called off after protests
Last Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2011, 18:41
New Delhi: An exhibition on Quran and the message of Islam being held here was called off Saturday mid-way through its schedule after facing protests from other Muslim groups.
The three-day exhibition was organised in the constitution club by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, a group of representatives of Ahmadiyyas sect of Muslims. The exhibition was supposed to end Sunday, however, following strong protests from majority of Muslim groups, led by the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari.
The exhibition was wrapped up after apprehensions of tension as Bukhari announced a protest. This also resulted in a brief detention of Bukhari, spurting up tension in the area of old Delhi.
“We had to wrap up our exhibition after a protests from the hardliners,” a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat told agency.
“We were spreading the message of love, to tell the world that Quran is for everyone. But the hardliners don’t want this,” he said.
Bukhari was briefly detained and taken to the Daryaganj police station of old Delhi. The Shahi Imam said that they were protesting against the exhibition as it was not spreading “correct messages” of Islam.
“They don’t consider Prophet Mohammad the last prophet, hence they are not Muslims,” Bukhari said.
“We had urged the government to stop the exhibition as what they are promoting is not authentic. We gave the government time till Friday to close the exhibition, but our requests were not heard, so we decided to protest,” Bukhari told IANS.
“However, when we were to start the protest, I was detained along with my supporters and taken to Daryaganj police station,” he said.
Bukhari said that he then refused to leave the police station premise till the exhibition was called off.
“Protestors were gathering, they (police) then said that the exhibition was being wound-up,” he said.
Bukhari was at the police station from 12 noon to around 4 p.m.
According to police, the situation in the area is now normal.
“Bukhari was detained for some time in the morning. The situation in the area is normal now,” Central Delhi DCP Vivek Kishore said.