Kashmiri religious leaders condemn Israeli attacks in Gaza

January 15th, 2009 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Jan 15 (IANS) Kashmiri Islamic scholars and leaders Thursday condemned the continuing brutalities against Palestinian people by Israel. “We appeal to the Muslim world and also to other civilised nations to intervene and move beyond mere lip-service to stop the massacre of the Palestinian people by Israel,” Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, told reporters at the end of a conference of the local Muslim ‘Ulema’ (scholars) here today.

Also, in a resolution adopted at the conference, the Jammu and Kashmir administration was warned not to interfere in the religious activities of the Muslims.

“During the last two and a half months, the administration did not allow offering of Friday prayers at the historic Jamia mosque in Srinagar,” said the Mirwaiz, adding it was “an example of the administration’s direct interference in our religious affairs which will not be tolerated by us”.

He also threatened to issue a fatwa besides keeping all other options of resistance open if the government failed to address the concerns expressed by the local Islamic scholars.

“Restrictions are imposed here on Muharram and Milad processions. The administration must immediately change its attitude failing which all the responsibility for the consequences shall fall on it,” the Mirwaiz warned.

The conference of Ulema was attended by Mufti Bashir-ud-Din, the grand Mufti, Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah, the chief of the Jamaat-e-Ahle Hadis, representatives from the Jamaat-e-Islami and other local Islamic scholars.

The resolution condemned issuing licences to liquor retail outlets in the Valley and termed such actions as “anti-Islamic and aimed at polluting the Muslim society of Kashmir”.

The resolution also opposed what it termed interference by security forces and government agencies in the functioning of the ‘Darul Alooms’ (Muslim Madrassas) across the Valley where children were engaged in religious learning.

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