Geelani Summons Religious Leaders Over Sectarian Divide

Geelani Summons Religious Leaders Over Sectarian Divide

6 May 2012
India Today
Naseer Ganai

Srinagar: Fearing a sectarian divide between competing ideologies of Barelvis and Wahabi could take dangerous turn, senior separatist leader and chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference faction Syed Ali Shah Geelani summoned heads of all religious organisations and asked them to fight 'cultural aggression of India in Jammu and Kashmir.' 'Unity among the Muslims is the need of the hour,' Geelani said. Geelani accused New Delhi of following Israeli tactics in Kashmir. He said, 'India is grabbing land in Kashmir on Israeli pattern. Already thousands of hectares in J&K have been occupied by the army and the process is going on,' he said. He asked religious heads to ignore differences on issues of secondary importance in the larger interest and 'be united under one banner to strengthen the matters of religious importance.' 'Conspiracies are being hatched to whip up sectarian enmity among the Muslims in Kashmir. All this is being done to divide Muslims and weaken the ongoing freedom struggle,' he said. Geelani accused New Delhi of patronizing sectarian divide to weaken the 'freedom struggle' of Kashmiris. Both the faction of Hurriyat Conference, leaders from Jamait-e-Ahlihadis, Carvaan-i-Islami, Jama'at Islami, Jammu Kashmir, Anjuman-e-Ulema-e-Ahnaf, Millat-i-Islamia, Anjuman Tableeg-ul-Islam and other religious organisations participated in the function. The function was held at the residence of Geelani in Hyderpora Srinagar on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, Moulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, president of Carvaan-e-Islami (CeI) said his organisation would join voice with Syed Ali Shah Geelani in his efforts for unity. He said the Muslims of the state are being divided under a well thought out conspiracy. Carvaan-e-Islami, which is an amalgam of biggest Barelvi organisation in Kashmir having 40 constituents, has already distanced itself from government patronage and vowed their support to 'Kashmir's movement'. 'From Delhi to Srinagar propaganda has been launched against us. There are people and groups working behind the curtains, who are maligning our image and portray us in a particular fashion. Our name is being dragged in sectarian divide,' Hami said.