Kashmir Clergy's New Mantra: 'New Year Celebs Un-Islamic'17 December 2011
Srinagar: Kashmir’s leading clergy on Saturday declared New Year’s celebrations ‘un-Islamic,’ forbidding Muslims from joining such functions. The latest in a series of diktats comes from the Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Imaan (Council To Defend Faith) a subsidiary set up by the Mirwaiz-led Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulama, a grand alliance of the valley’s major Islamic politico-religious parties, to counter what it terms as the “rising tide of conversions” here “Holding functions with respect to New Year’s Day is un-Islamic. Muslims should expressly refrain from joining such functions as their new year begins with Muharram,” the Defender’s of Faith Council said after a meeting today. The Majlis-e-Ulama has already announced to scrutinise syllabi of Christian missionary schools in Kashmir, and called for Friday prayers in educational institutions, besides asking local mosques to run darasgahs (religious schools) to impart religious teaching to youngsters. It has also called for private tuition centres to segregate classes by gender in its bid to check “growing waywardness and immorality in society.” Jammu and Kashmir, with a predominant Muslim population generally under the influence of a large and powerful clergy, has incidentally been rated the second most corrupt state in India. Besides, Christian missionary schools, for long Kashmir’s highest-performing educational institutions, are usually the preserve of children from well-off families. On the other hand, around eight persons said to have been taken into custody during police investigations into “conversions-for-money” allegations, were reported to have been beset with abject poverty, with sources saying that they had embraced Christianity for as little as five to ten thousand rupees. After today’s meeting, the Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Imaan, also expressed apprehensions that the government was trying to hush up the case of Rev CM Khanna, chief of the All Saints’ Church in Srinagar, who has been arrested in the conversions-for-money row. Kashmir’s grand mufti, Mufti Basheeruddin Ahmad, had summoned Rev Khanna to his shari’at court, later saying that the pastor had admitted having “committed some mistakes in the past.” Also representing the Indian Muslim Personal Law Board here, the grand mufti too had said that he would scrutinize the curriculum of the valley’s Christian schools. Today’s Faith Council meeting held at the Mirwaiz Manzil was attended by, Maulana Rehmat-ul-Lah Mir of Darul-uloom Raheemiyah, Abdur Rehman Bhat of Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadees, Zahid Ali of Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulana Abbas Ansari of Ittehaad-ul-Muslimeen, Mufti Abdur Rasheed of Darul-Uloom Bilaliya, Dr. Yousuf-ul-Umar of Islamic Study Circle, Maulana Shaukat Husain Keng and Maulana Khursheed Ahmad Qannoongo of Jamiat-e-Himayatul Islam and Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Soharwardi of Anjuman-e-Tableegul Islam besides others.