Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Masonophobia rears its ugly head in India - Lucknow Freemasons hall claimed to be Jewish temple and Shia Muslims stake claim to the property!!

Poor reporting by the Times of India has made a Freemasons hall in Lucknow seem to be a Jewish temple on which Muslims are staking a claim.
Protest on 12th Sept 2011
Shia pressure group wants Jewish temple to be declared as waqf By Shailvee Sharda, TNN | Jan 9, 2013, 06.34 PM IST
LUCKNOW: The Freemasonry Jewish temple in the city is in the news all over again as a Shia pressure group have said the temple as a wakf (endowment) property. They have also demanded handing over the temple situated at Ram Tirath Marg in Hazratganj.
A few months ago, on 12 Sept. 2011, hundreds of Shia Muslims led by Maulana Kalbe Jawwad had staged a protest to stake claim over Freemasonic Temple. Shias said it be to a mausoleum of their Imams and presently being illegally occupied by Jews.
These Masonophobes* claim that Freemasonry is anti national and is engaged in subversive activities. Their leader Maulana Jawwad also had this to say:
"There should be a vigil over their activities. We do not want such organisations to stay in India. However, if the government is desirous they can hand over another suitable location to them,"
The Elder of Ziyon, (a blogger) had this to say about the situation:
It appears that Muslims in India believe that they have the right to any land they want through intimidation and false legal claims when in fact their only claim is based on a perceived loss of honor. The idea that "Jews" control an area that they regard as theirs is simply unacceptable. 
The property in question is actually the Freemasonic Temple located at 12, Ram Tirath Marg, Lucknow in India, where Lodge Independence No. 33 has been meeting on the 3rd Saturday of every month since 1879. It is not in any way a Jewish temple nor does it have any religious significance. Part of this confusion also stems from the delusion among some Muslims who believe Freemasonry to be Jewish.
For those who want to read about what Freemasonry really is please read my earlier post "Freemasonry - What is it?"

The Indian Express did a better job of reporting the matter and even has a quote from the Lodge secretary.
Mahesh Chandra, secretary of Lodge Independence No. 33, said the structure was established in 1879. “It was leased by the British to Lodge Independence in 1879 for 50 years and it has been there for a century. How can anyone come and ask us to vacate?” he asked.
Mahesh Chandra, who has been associated with the temple since 1974, said, “I have never seen any tombs in there. If they have any documentary proof, they should take a legal course.”
 Meanwhile the district administration seems to have a level head in the matter.
The district administration has refuted the Shia cleric’s claim. District Magistrate Anil Kumar Sagar states that neither Maulana Kalbe Jawad nor UP Shia Central Wakf board have provided any documentary proof about the land belonging to the wakf board. “Lodge Independence is established there for a long time and the district administration will not interfere in the matter as it is a private property, unless the wakf board provides any documentary proof,” he said.
Incidentally Lodge Independence No 33 is not the only Craft lodge under the Grand Lodge of India in Lucknow. There are four craft lodges in Lucknow one of them is even older than Lodge Independence No 33 —The Lodge Morning Star No 7, Lodge Independence No 33, UP Masters, No.134 and Bharat Jyoti, No.144. Interestingly, Anne Besant (Read more here) started the first Lodge for women in Benaras but it failed to take off.

*Note on new term "Masonophobe"
Anti-Masonry is a common and frequent pass-time and everyday somewhere in the world someone, some newspaper, some radio show etc. is attacking us, poking fun at us or accusing us of terrible crimes. I think that it is time to fight back Compared to Homophobe, anti-Semitic, Islamophobe etc. ‘anti-Masonic’ lacks any impact. I, and a few others, think that it is time use a more forceful word that makes it clear that an anti-Mason is actually someone who HATES Freemasons. Masonophobe does exactly that. It is just a suggestion but perhaps we Freemasons should all now stop using ‘anti-Mason and use Masonophobe instead - W. Bro. Robert Cooper