The contentious Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute was much fuelled by a statement that was made by the Art of Living founder  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today, on Monday, March 5. In an exclusive interview to India Today TV’s Padmaja Joshi, the spiritual leader claimed that India will turn into Syria if the Ram temple issue is not resolved soon. He said, “If Ram Mandir issue is not solved, we will have a Syria in India.” He invoked the Syrian civil war to say “Muslims should give up their claim on Ayodhya as a goodwill gesture… Ayodhya is not a place of faith for Muslims.”

The Syrian conflict which has entered into 8th-year with more than 465,000 Syrians killed so far, the war has been escalated due to major rifts between the ruling regime of Bashar-al-Assad, its allies, rebel forces and anti-Assad massive squads such as US, Saudia Arabia, Turkey. The country has gained limelight globally recently after the Bashar force along with Russian warplanes which lead to more than 600 deaths in the Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria. Amid excessive antagonism between many forces, civilians have faced atrocities. Eastern Ghouta has been under siege by the Bashar led Syrian government since 2013, and is the last rebel stronghold. It is about 10km east of central Damascus. Being quite close to the capital makes it important for the Syria regime to reclaim the area from the rebels.

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Responding to his remark the Shia Waqf Board chief Wasim Rizvi said, “Syria jaisi stithi yaha paida nahin ho sakti. Yaha pe bahut secular musalman aur secular Hindu rehte hain. Agar ye maamle jaldi nahi sudhre to Hindu aur musalmanon ke beech ki daraarein ho rahi hain, wo khai ban sakti hain”, reported ANI.  However, the 61-year-old Ravi Shankar said Islam does not allow worship at a disputed site.

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