Kashmir's Jamaat Opposes Rushdie's Visit, Lambasts Omar For Defence

Kashmir's Jamaat Opposes Rushdie's Visit, Lambasts Omar For Defence

12 January 2012
The Hindustan Times
Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar: Kashmir's leading religious group, Jamaat-e-Islami (JeM), on Thursday criticised chief minister Omar Abdullah for defending author Salman Rushdie's visit to India saying 'the writer's crime is heinous and unpardonable'. “A Muslim's faith is the primary concern. To safeguard this faith, Muslims can bear any loss, including that of his life, property and honour,' said Jamaat-i-Islami spokesman Zahid Ali. Interestingly, no factions of the Hurriyat, a separatist conglomerate, have issued any statement over the issue. The JeM, which has a sway in many areas of the valley, has supported Jama’at-e-Islami-Hind call against author Salman Rushdie. Srinagar-based JeM has always maintained distance from Delhi-based Muslim organisations in the past. 'Rushdie is a person who has hurt the sentiments of billions of Muslims living across the globe. His crime so heinous and unpardonable,” said Ali. The JeM spokesman claimed that this issue has no role in coming elections in some states of India. 'Muslims living there have the capacity to choose their genuine representatives,” he said. Criticizing the chief minister Omar Abdullah Wednesday statement, Ali said, 'His (Abdullah) statement depicts his ignorance of the history of Muslim.' Abdullah had said that Rushdie’s visit has no bearing on day-to-day concern of Indian Muslims. 'Some are seeking to exploit it for political purposes,' said Abdullah. “Is it for the first time that Rushdie is coming to India? Why suddenly is Rushdie becoming an issue?,' said the chief minister.