Missionary Schools In The Dock29 November 2011
Srinagar: Mutahida Majlis Amal, an amalgam of various religious groups of Kashmir formed to check “apostasy” in Kashmir, Tuesday asserted that all the Christian missionary schools should stop recitation of morning prayers and distribution of literature if it is against Islamic teachings and principles. It was also decided that the students of various schools should be allowed to offer Friday congregational prayers and no examination should be held on Fridays. The declaration came after the MMA formed a committee “Tahafuz-e-Iman committee” (TIC). Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwiaz Umar Farooq will be the patron of the committee and Head Darul-Aloom Rahimia, Moulana Rehmattullah will be its president. Talking to Rising Kashmir, Mirwiaz said the committee will contact the authorities as well “If the need arises”. “We will make sure that no such situation arises that will be a threat to our faith. So if the need arises we will approach the authorities as well,” he said. TIC will have representation from all the Islamic sects and sub sects including Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith, Anjuman-e-Shari Shiyan, Darool-uloom Rahimiya, Darool-uloom Bilaliya and others. They will look into the issues related to apostasy and functioning of various NGOs and missionary schools operating in the valley. After its creation, Mirwaiz said the committee has asserted that all the literature that is being distributed in the missionary schools and the prayers recited there should be done away with if it is against Islamic teachings and principals. “Although we recognize the role of these schools, but they should understand that we send our children to their schools to get educated not that their faith should be disturbed. Why any such material would be distributed in the schools which challenges or harms the faith of our children.” The Hurriyat (M) chief said the role of these missionary schools is laudable in terms of providing education to Kashmiri students “but they must not forget that Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority state”. He said the committee also decided that the syllabus and the mode of teaching in these schools will also be looked into “to ensure that no anti-faith activity takes place”. Mirwaiz said the committee also warned the scholars, the institutions and various departments who are allegedly involved in supporting NGOs that carry out missionary works. “We have found that, knowingly or unknowingly, our learned and educated class is helping many institutions and NGOs that carry out the missionary work in the garb of social service. The committee has warned scholars, authorities and institutions who indulge in this activity,” he said. He urged the government to check the growing number of NGOs in the valley. “There is a mushroom growth of NGOs in the valley. I wonder how many have been registered or are being registered by the authorities to work in the valley. The authorities should put a check on these NGOs.” He also appealed the parents to keep a vigil on the activities of their children and also urged the clerics to deliver sermons denouncing acts like apostasy and immorality. The issue of conversions came to fore after a video made rounds of internet showing Kashmiri boys and girls being baptized at a local church.