Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema Jammu Kashmir Wednesday said the government’s decision to open up parks and keep Masjids locked owing to Covid-19 pandemic didn’t make sense.
According to a statement, a meeting was chaired by leading religious scholar and patron of Anjuman Tabligh-ul-Islam, Moulana Shaukat Hussain Keing at the Mirwaiz Manzil in Rajouri Kadal in Srinagar.
The meeting was convened regarding the closure of historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar and other important and central places of worship which include Dargah Hazratbal, Khanqah-e-Moula, Astaan Aalia Hazrat Sultan Ul Aarifeen Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom Kashmiri (RA), Astaan Aalia Khawaja Naqshband Sahib (RA), Astaan Aalia Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA), for Friday prayers, and on other important religious occasions.
The meeting expressed surprise that while authorities impose lockdown at main places of worship especially for Friday prayers under the guise of Covid-19 pandemic, key tourist spots are open to the public for visits and places of amusement like gardens and parks across the valley are being thrown open to public visitors.
“This doesn’t make any sense if prevention of the spread of pandemic is the reason behind closure of mosques on Fridays,” the MMU said. Especially when all Covid related precautions and SOPs have been put in place by the management of these central places of worship, and are adhered to by the worshippers.
Is the pandemic confined to places of worship, while the virus does not spread in other public places, at Government ceremonies, convocations or wedding ceremonies MMU asked?
MMU deeply regretted the deliberate attempt to interfere with the religious practices of the Muslims of Kashmir and hurt their sentiments.
The participants at the meeting said that authorities should clear their position on this and without delay should allow unhindered holding of congregational Friday prayers at all big and small mosques and Dargahs of the valley, with Covid-19 precautions and SOPs in place.
Members of the meeting decided that a state level council of ulemas would soon convene to further deliberate on this important issue.
The meeting regretted the continued house detention of its chief patron Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Dr Muhammad Umar Farooq, who is under continuous house arrest for more than two years, demanding his release.