“Means Allah Is Deaf”: Karnataka BJP MLA’s Controversial Remark On Azaan
BENGALURU: A Karnataka BJP leader has made a controversial comment on azaan and questioned whether loudspeakers should be used to call him “Is Allah deaf”. The comments will reignite the azaan debate that reached the High Court last year.
Senior BJP leader and former minister KS Eshwarappa was addressing a public meeting when an Aazan – meaning call to prayer – was heard from a nearby mosque. “Wherever I go, this (azaan) gives me a headache,” said Mr Iswarappa. “The Supreme Court’s verdict is coming, if not today, this call for Aazaan will end.”
The BJP leader questioned whether Allah would listen to prayer only if loudspeakers were used during Azaan. “In temples, women and girls offer prayers and bhajans. We are religious, but we don’t use loudspeakers. If we have to use loudspeakers to call to prayer, it means Allah is deaf,” he added.
Mr. Eshwarappa, who also served as Deputy Chief Minister, is no stranger to controversies. He had earlier stirred a controversy when he referred to the 18th-century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan as a “Muslim gunda”.
The senior leader had to step down as a minister last year due to the suicide of a contractor. Mr Eshwarappa was named in the police case as the final news accused the contractor of being “solely responsible” for his death.
The ‘azan’ has long been the subject of intense debate, with one section arguing that the use of loudspeakers for the call to prayer is disruptive to people of other faiths.
The Supreme Court in July 2005 banned the use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am, except in cases of public emergency, citing health effects of noise pollution. Later, in October 2005, the court said that the use of loudspeakers can be allowed till midnight during festive seasons for 15 days a year.
Hearing a public interest litigation alleging that the contents of the azaan hurt the sentiments of people of other faiths, the Karnataka High Court last year refused to issue any direction to mosques, saying tolerance was constitutional. The court said that the argument that Aazaan violates the fundamental rights of people belonging to other religions cannot be accepted.