Supreme Court seeks government response on plea to ban ‘un-Islamic’ flags

The Supreme Court on Monday sought Centre’s response to Shia Waqf Board chairman, Syed Waseem Rizvi’s plea to ban hoisting of green flags with a crescent and a star, similar to that of Pakistan Muslim League (PML), at buildings and religious places in the country.

A bench of justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta to revert with appropriate instructions after petitioner Syed Waseem Rizvi called unfurling of such flags as “un-islamic”

Rizvi, in his plea, has claimed that green flags with a crescent and a star are “un-Islamic” and resemble the flag of a Pakistani political party.“Such flags are being hoisted in Muslim-dominated areas with utmost impunity”, read Rizvi’s public interest litigation (PIL).

Rizvi’s plea claimed that the crescent star flags in green owe their origin to the erstwhile political party, Pakistan Muslim League, founded by Nawaz Waqar Ul-Malik and Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1906. In the present day, it was being used by Indian Muslims who were treating it as an Islamic flag.

Rizvi contended the crescent and star in a green backdrop have never been part of any Islamic practice and has no significant role in Islam.

On his recent visit to Mumbai, Rizvi noticed such flags at several places and said it was the main cause for tension between Hindu and Muslim communities.

Rizvi wants proceedings against individuals and organisations that hoist the flag which resembles the flag of the PML and belongs to an “enemy country”. Pakistan, as an “enemy country”, has been responsible for a series of terror attacks on our country and propagating cross-border terrorism, read the PIL.

“Our country remains vulnerable to the hidden attacks by the Pakistani intelligence agencies through their militant network which is very active in our country,” the petitioner said.

“Hoisting of enemy flags by persons under wrong belief that it is a religious flag, require the immediate attention of the government agencies,” claimed the petitioner, blaming the Centre for failing to take measures to control the illegal activity.

Rizvi said hoisting of such flags affects the prestige and integrity of the country.

“Hoisting of Pakistan Muslim League Flags and other flags resembling the same or flags of a foreign country (enemy country) is not permitted in law and thus effects the fundamental rights of the petitioner and society at large,” Rizvi’s petition stated.

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