A fatwa was reportedly issued against Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, the chief of the All India Imam Organization, following his attendance at the 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony of Ram Lalla at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on 22 January.
Ilyasi stated that the fatwa was issuing on Sunday, noting that he had been receiving threatening calls since the day of the Ram Temple event.
"As a chief Imam, I received the invitation from Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra. I contemplated for two days and then decided to go to Ayodhya for harmony and for the country. The fatwa was issued yesterday but I had been receiving threat calls since the evening of January 22," Ilyasi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Imam also claimed that he has been facing protests and threats since his participation in the Pran Pratishtha ceremony.
"I have recorded a few calls wherein the callers gave me life threats...Those who love me, love the nation will support me. Those who hate me for attending the ceremony should perhaps go to Pakistan. I have given a message of love; I did not do any crime," he added.
Ilyasi added that he would neither apologise nor resign, declaring, "They can do whatever they want."
Earlier on 22 January, Ilyasi attended the Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya and said that his job is to spread the message of love and harmony. "This is the face of new India. Our biggest religion is humanity. For us, the nation is first," he said.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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