Many NGOs Working As Missionaries In Valley: Mirwaiz

Many NGOs Working As Missionaries In Valley: Mirwaiz

21 November 2011
Rising Kashmir
Ishfaq Ahmad Shah

Srinagar: Expressing the concern over the conversion of Kashmiri Muslims to Christianity, Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwiaz Umar Farooq Monday said various NGOs are involved in carrying out missionary work in the garb of social service in the valley. “We have documented proof that many NGOs that are working in various areas in the garb of providing relief and other social works are actually doing missionary work,” he told Rising Kashmir after a day-long Ulemas Conference. The event was held to discuss the issue of conversion in the backdrop of recent baptizing of Kashmir Muslim boys and girls at a local church. He said the evidence available with the Mutahida Majlis Amal also shows that heads of various educational institutions working in the valley are involved in missionary work. Mirwaiz, who is also the chief cleric, said that although everyone has the right to preach their religion, luring people by offering money, admissions and jobs would never be accepted here. “Islam also says that everyone has the right to preach his religion, but if you lure people by offering money, admissions and other things, that is unacceptable,” he said. Acknowledging the fact that Christians have played a pivotal role in imparting education to the masses in Kashmir, Mirwaiz said the trend has changed from the past 15 years. “We don’t underestimate the work in terms of providing education that Christians have been doing here for the past hundreds of years, but now the trend has changed. “I have studied in a missionary school as well but I never came across any such thing. However, from the past 15 years, the trend has changed. It cannot be tolerated. We send our children to such schools with utmost trust. They cannot breach our trust by such acts.” Assuring the Christian community in the valley, he said, “We don’t have any anguish or grudge against the Christians living here. They are our brothers but an individual case of pastor Khanna has shocked us.” Asked about the details about his recent meeting with various Christian missionaries and clerics, Mirwaiz said he was shocked about the things they told him. “The number of converts is in thousands across valley. It is a grave issue which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We have a district-wise list of those who have converted,” he said. About the Monday’s meeting, Mirwaiz said Ulemas from different schools of thought discussed the issue of conversion. “Besides, other problems like drug abuse, moral waywardness were discussed threadbare,” he said. “While the focus was on the growing conversion rate, it was decided to form a committee in which a representative of every school of thought will be a part and together a policy and a frame work will be formed to counter and stop such things in future.” Mirwaiz urged people to keep a proper check on the activities of their children. “Conversion is not the only concern we share but things like drug abuse, moral waywardness are other areas the parents should keep a check on.” Mirwiaz said any decision on the fate of pastor CM Khanna will only be decided by the Grand Mufti. “Mufti Bashir-ud-din is looking after the issue and he will take a decision on that.”


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