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Upender Singh Ahluwalia | HENB | New Delhi | July 17, 2018:: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court of India seeking a ban on hoisting of green flags with crescent and star by the Muslim community, because it looks like a flag of Pakistan.
Hearing the petition, the court sought the government’s response after it was alleged that it was not a symbol of Islam but resembled the flag of Islamic Pakistan and the party Muslim League that helped laying foundation of the Muslim country, dividing India in two parts in 1947. In word map Pakistan now stands as a hub of Jihadi Terrorism.
The plea was filed by the Shia Waqf Board chairman, Syed Waseem Rizvi.
“Indian Muslims are wrongly treating it as the Islamic flag and are hoisting it in Muslim dominated areas. It is further relevant to state that the crescent and star in a green backdrop have never been a part of any Islamic practice and it does not have any role or significance in Islam,” Syed Waseem Rizvi said in the petition.
The petitioner claimed the flag owed its origin to the erstwhile Muslim League founded by Mohammad Ali Jinnah. “The hoisting of the Pakistani or Pakistani political party’s identical flags in our country on celebratory occasions of Muslims or even otherwise distances them from the religious majority which rightly looks at such acts as anti-national and communal,” the petition said.
Usage of crescent and star as symbols, however, predates Pakistan. The crescent was used by Byzantine Empire, for instance. Crescent and star became associated with Islam after it was adopted by the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Empire was then rivaled by the Safavid Empire, a Shia theocracy based in what is now Iran.
While displaying of a flag, by itself, may not be an offence, if authorities suspect that it indicates support of a banned organisation or may cause a law and order problem, they may act against you.
When an ISIS flag—a black flag with white lettering—was hoisted in Srinagar in 2014, police had registered an FIR under section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which mentions imprisonment for up to 5 years. ISIS was banned under the same Act in 2015.
In the instant case of banning Green flag with crescent and star, the designated court bench asked the petitioner to hand over a copy of the petition to additional solicitor general and sought government’s stance on the issue.
__inputs from PTI.