NGOs In Kashmir Back Conversions For Cash: Clerics

NGOs In Kashmir Back Conversions For Cash: Clerics

26 November 2013
Deccan Herald
Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar: More than two years after police registered a case on the basis of allegations that Christian missionaries in Kashmir were encouraging conversions, Muslim clerics alleged on Tuesday that “some NGO’s were actively promoting Christianity for monetary benefits”. A meeting organised by Majlis-e-Tahafuz-e-Iman (MTI), an amalgam of religious scholars and the clerics (Ulema) under the chairmanship of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq here deliberated on the issue. An MTI spokesman said, “The meeting took stock of the conversion issue in Kashmir during which the role of Christian missionary NGOs was discussed threadbare. It was decided that some local elements actively promoting Christianity for monetary benefits will be exposed.” The MTI appealed to religious organisations, scholars and the Ulema to play their role in awakening religious consciousness among the masses and to “expose the nefarious designs of miscreant elements who are scheming against Islam”. In December 2011, pastor M C Khanna, who was arrested on charges of conversion, left Kashmir after he was released on bail. The self-proclaimed Supreme Court of Islamic Sharia headed by Mufti Bashir-ud-din had indicted Pastor Khanna and Dutch national, Jim Borst for their alleged involvement in luring Kashmiri Muslims to convert to Christianity. Earlier this year in April, MTI clerics alleged that missionaries were coming to Kashmir as tourists and luring innocent people, especially orphans, towards Christianity. They had claimed some officials in the government were helping the missionaries and their aides in extending their visas to ensure longer stay in Kashmir. Meanwhile, the MTI spokesman said that in Tuesday’s meeting participants also expressed concern over the recent High Court judgment which it said “was contrary to the basic teachings of Islam.”