What does “Islamic society” mean in Kashmir? Mirwaiz explains

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Srinagar| WTNS | June 14:On the eve of the Kheer Bhawani Mela, Kashmir’s Chief religious cleric, Mirwaiz Molvi Mohammad Dr.Umar Farooq reached out to Kashmiri Pandits and urged them to return to their homeland.

Wounds inflicted by 30 years need to be healed; Asks Modi 3.0 dispensation to revisit Kashmir policy; Welcomes tourists here, asks them to respect religious values of natives

Speaking at the pulpit of Central Jamia Masjid in Srinagar during Friday sermon, Mirwaiz highlighted the need for reconciliation and healing after decades of strife.

Chairman Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU) Mirwaiz highlighted the importance of creating an environment conducive to the return of Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to flee their homes in the early 1990s due to militancy.

“The need of the hour is to make such an atmosphere that the displaced Kashmiri Pandits can return to their homes and live peacefully with their Kashmiri Muslim brethren,” he stated. “The wounds inflicted by the past 30 years need to be healed and the time has come for the Kashmiri Pandits to return home. Scratching old wounds won’t yield any results. Now is the time for healing and a new beginning.”

Addressing the recent assumption of office by the Modi 3.0 government at centre, Mirwaiz urged a re-evaluation of its Kashmir policy. He called for dialogue and reconciliation with all stakeholders. “I want the new government to revisit its policies vis-a-vis Kashmir and hold dialogue and prioritize reconciliation with the stakeholders. We have always been in favour of dialogue and reconciliation,” Mirwaiz said.

Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir also commended the local administration for taking swift action against individuals seen consuming liquor in a viral video on a Shikara.

“While I hail the administration for taking action against the culprits, I appeal to local Kashmiri Muslims associated with the tourism trade to ensure our moral values are upheld. It is a Muslim society here, and our values should align with our religion,” he said.

“We must welcome tourists but also ask them to respect our religious values and not engage in practices that hurt our sentiments. Those in the tourism industry should not exploit tourists with exorbitant prices, which tarnish Kashmir’s reputation.”

“The incident shocked us all; thankfully some action has been taken against it by the authorities. But the onus of preventing such incidents lies equally on us individually and as a society. Being a tourist place, all kinds of visitors will come here. It is for us to ensure that the ethos of Kashmir based on the values and principles of Islam, stays intact. We have to be aware of it all the time and consciously work towards preserving it, especially those people who are directly or indirectly associated with tourism,” he said.

Meanwhile, the killing of a 36-year-old civilian from Pulwama in custody that was reported in the media should be investigated and the accused punished and justice given to the family.

The dismissal of four more government employees from service last week, adds to distress among people. Such measures only add to the mistrust and only deepen the chasm, he said.

Moreover, Mirwaiz announced that if authorities allow Eid-ul-Adha prayers will be offered collectively at the historic Eidgah Srinagar at 9 am otherwise Eid prayers will be offered at the same time in Jama Masjid Srinagar.