Upping the ante on the controversial beef ban issue, Ulema (religious scholars) from Kashmir Thursday passed a resolution asking Muslims across the State to defy the ban on Eid-ul-Adha. They also threatened to launch mass agitation “if the Government interferes in our religious affairs.”
The resolution was passed during a daylong session of Muttaheda-Majlis-e-Ulema chaired by its head, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, at Mirwaiz Manzil here.
“The recent order declaring ban on beef is a direct interference in religious affairs of Muslims. Muslims of Kashmir have to put forward a united strategy against this move which is aimed to hurt our religious sentiments,” said Mirwaiz, who is also Chairman of his faction of Hurriyat Conference.
“We want to communicate to the world and Kashmiris that there is no room for any anti-Muslim law in Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir. Any such order being implemented at the behest of communal forces of India will be dealt with fierce resistance,” he told the meeting of Muslim scholars.
Mirwaiz said the resolution passed by MMU also urges people to reject the beef ban verdict “as no court, government or individual can prohibit what is lawful and ‘halaal’ in Islam.”
The MMU also called upon people to organize “collective slaughtering of bovines” on Eid-ul-Adha in Eidgahs and other places across the state “to fulfill their religious obligations and register protest against the beef ban.”
Hitting out at the government for “enforcing such curbs”, Mirwaiz urged people associated with sale of beef in J&K to continue with their trade.
“MMU warns the Government, particularly police, to desist from harassing or stopping people to slaughter, eat or sell bovines. If it does so, a full-fledged public agitation against the Government will be started,” he said.
Mirwaiz said the Ulema also decided to form a committee in association with High Court Bar Association to deliberate on legal aspects of the beef ban. He said the Ulema and Imams will also launch an awareness campaign in their respective Masjids to garner support for revocation of ban on beef.
Mirwaiz maintained that Kashmir has remained a symbol of communal bonhomie. “Majority community has protected the rights of minorities and will continue to do so. But nobody will be allowed to play with the religious sentiments and Islamic character of Kashmir at any cost,” he said.
Elaborating, he said, Kashmiris have been facing threats on both external and internal fronts from the government and “divisive communal forces.”
“Sometimes the issue of settling of refugees is raked up, and sometimes the government wants to build separate colonies for pandits and retired army-men. Then they talk of abrogating Article 370. Now, it is the issue of beef ban. All such moves are aimed to weaken Islamic character of Kashmir. Ulema, custodians of masjids, Imams, religious, political and social organizations, intellectuals and law experts should stand united on this issue,” he said.
“We also urge the OIC and UN to take note of the violation of religious rights of Muslims in Kashmir and hate politics propagated by communal forces,” Mirwaiz added.
On the occasion, President High Court Bar Association, Mian Abdul Qayoom, said Muslims in the state need to cautions.
“Beef is not forbidden in Islam and we must eat it. No law can deny us this right. We have to understand who has filed the petition on beef ban and at whose behest. It has now become clear that BJP is behind it,” he said.
On legal aspects of the case, Qayoom said: “We were exploring appropriate legal response, but a lawyer has without informing the Bar filed a writ petition challenging the beef ban. Instead of helping our case, this might backfire. We need to consult each other and form a joint strategy to resist conspiracies against us.”
“Besides legal recourse, public response is must to get the ban revoked,” Qayoom added.
Spokesperson of Jamat-e-Islami Advocate Zahid Ali said the ban on beef is a “challenge to Muslims.”
“People of Srinagar city have to play an important role in resisting this ban. We should enforce social boycott of those who prevent sale of beef,” he said.
MaulanaMasroorAbass Ansari of ItehadulMuslimeen said “Kashmiris need to unite to protect their religious identity.”
“Today it is beef ban, tomorrow ‘Azan’ might also be prohibited. We need to devise an action plan to counter interference into our religious affairs,” he said.
Mufti Abdur Rashid of Darul-ul-UloomBilaliya urged Kashmiris to resist the ban. “We need to join hands and resist the ban on beef,” he said.
“BJP is making inroads in Kashmir. BJP which had no base in Kashmir claims to have over three lakh supporters in the Valley. We need to introspect and join hands not only to revoke beef ban but also protect our religious identity,” said MoulanaAkhzarHussain.
Ulema, heads of religious institutions of different schools of thought, intellectuals, law experts who participated in the MMU meet included Mufti Muhammad Yaqoob Baba of Jamaat-e-Alhl-e-Hadith, MoulanaRahmatullahQasmi of Dar-ul-uloomRahimya, Agha Mujtaba Abbas Al Rizvi of Anjuman-e-Sharie-Shian, MoulanaShowketHussainKeng of Anjuman-e-Himayut-ul-Islam, Khurshid Ahmad Qanungo of Itehad-ul-Muslimeen. Imams from jamia masjids of Islamabad, Bijbehera, Sopore, Pattan, Qazigund andHandwara were also present.