Pulpits of peace and harmony
Yasin Malik, Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, addressing the gathering on August 5, 2012 in Srinagar.
By Naseer Ganai
Often separatist leadership is being criticised for doing nothing. They are being condemned in private and public. There are people who don’t even stop talking about leadership crises. That the leadership has failed. That it has done nothing. That all miseries people suffer from are because of the leadership. Such talk never stops. But whenever situation demanded they have acted even though their critics never acknowledged it.
Last year we were standing on volcano. We would talk about it. We had worst fears about it. That one day this volcano of religious sectarianism will burst and it would bring worst out of Kashmir. The leadership, be it Syed Ali Geelani, be it Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, be it Yasin Malik, took the challenge. They assembled Ulema when they perceived that some forces were trying to play sectarian card in Kashmir. They interacted with Muslim scholars. They assembled them at one place. They tried to evolve a consensus. They did it early this year. They did it again and again.
Finally consensus was evolved on Sunday August 5, 2012 when noted columnist and academic Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain read out a resolution in a seminar organised by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). Muslims scholars from different schools of thought attended the seminar. Dr Hussain read out that whosoever will be found involved in shrine or mosque attack, he is out of fold of Islam. Ulema attested the resolution. Thus with one stroke attack on any religious place was declared as un-Islamic act having no religious sanctity. Sunis endorsed it, Shias endorsed it, Ahli-Hadith endorsed it, Karwani Islami endrosed it, Jamaat Islami endorsed it.
Dr Hussain read out second resolution. That no Ulema or Muslim scholar can use pulpit of any mosque or any shrine to speak or preach against any other religious thought or belief. Ulema attested this too. If Ulema adhere to the pledge, we will not see sectarian divide in Kashmir henceforth. We will have differences, disagreements. But they will be of academic nature. Nothing more. Earlier in the seminar Ulema spoke. They talked about religious harmony. They said how sectarian divide is going to create havoc in the society. They said they will not allow any such things to happen. A scholar took the audience to caliphate of Hazarat Omar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) when the Calipha advised his generals to give “amaan” to anyone who takes shelter in any religious places. Means all religious places are sacred.
Now on from the pulpits of mosques and shrines, we will hear everything about religion, society, morals and morality. But nothing about sectarianism. That my beliefs are the real and rest are false. Nothing that sort. Kashmiris need not fear. Leadership is responsive. So are religious scholars.