Forcing Kashmiri students to sing Bhajans, do Surya Namaskar direct interference in religion; move unacceptable: MMU

'Attempt to weaken the Muslim identify of Kashmir'

Srinagar, Sep 24: Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), a conglomerate of Kashmir’s religious clerics, Saturday said forcing students in educational institutions of valley to sing Bhajas and to do Surya Namaskar was direct interference in religions and the move was totally unacceptable.

The MMU also sought release of Kashmir’s head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, ahead of the sacred month of Rabi-ul-Awal, that marks the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Mirwaiz is under continuous house detention since August 5, 2019, when Government of India scrapped article 370 and sliced J&K into two UTs.

Talking to reporters after holding an important meeting over several issues here, key members of MMU, Moulana Rehmatullah Qasmi, stated that the MMU expresses its concern over the fact that Kashmiri students are being forced to sing Bhajas and to do Suraya Namaskar at various educational institutions of the Valley. “This is a direct interference into the religious affairs and the move is totally unacceptable,” he said.

He said that MMU, during the meeting, took note of several issues including that of students being forced to sing Hindu hymns in their schools in the name of extra co-curricular activities. “This was an attempt to weaken the Muslim identify of Kashmir,” he said.

Moulana Rehmatuallah said that if such things in schools continue and authorities did not budge, MMU will be forced to ask parents to admit their wards in such schools, where such activities are not done.

“We also urge Ulemas, religious scholars and heads of respective sects to make people aware, through their respective social media platform, about what is religious and what is not, so that people do not commit sins and become aware about several things that are being forced on them,” he added.

The MMU also passed a resolution that reads that the amalgam censures attempts to weaken Muslim identity of Kashmir

“The Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU) Jammu and Kashmir expresses deep and serious concern over attempts being made to weaken the Muslim identity of this ‘Valley of Saints’ and strongly regrets activities being implemented through schools and educational institutions aimed at furthering the Hindutva agenda in Kashmir,” the resolution reads, adding that “this  meeting expresses serious resentment against imposing  acts in the name of yoga and morning prayers in educational institutions wherein Muslim students are made to chant Bhajans and at times asked to perform Surya Namaskar. This is against the fundamentals of our religious practices.”

The resolution reads that the meeting notifies the Government, Education Department and concerned agencies that such activities will not be tolerated by the Muslims in Kashmir as it is a direct challenge to their religious and Islamic beliefs.

“As such MMU appeals to the Government and concerned authorities to immediately withdraw its orders and stop these practices in schools and educational institutions, which deeply hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and cause them grief,” the resolution states further, adding that the meeting urges the parents that if their children are forced to participate in un Islamic activities  in government schools, they should withdraw their children from these schools and enroll them in private schools. This meeting urges Muslim teachers to avoid promoting such un-Islamic activities and give preference to their faith.

The resolution also stated that MMU expresses satisfaction that Friday prayers and Five daily prayers are now being allowed by the authorities at central Jama Masjid Srinagar and people are not being stopped from assembling at the mosque as such it appeals to authorities to  now release its Patron and Mirwaiz Kashmir Molvi Umar Farooq and end his illegal house arrest since Auf 2019 , in wake of the coming holy month of Rabiul Awwal so that the  Mirwaiz can pursue his religious obligations and duties.kno

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