Is Liquor Advocacy State Policy: Mirwaiz Asks Omar9 December 2011
Srinagar: Asserting that pro-India politicians worked and issued anti-Islamic statements as part of “a conspiracy,” Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Friday asked the National Conference president and union minister, Farooq Abdullah, to take rest following his suggestion for reopening of cinemas and liquor shops to attract high end tourists to the valley. He warned that any act by the state which goes against the teachings of Islam would be resisted. 'The former chief minister of this state (Farooq Abdullah) says that our state isn’t an Islamic state and he now advocates opening of liquor shops here. We pity him. Though we don’t have the Islamic government here but this is a Muslim majority state and it should have all the rights which a Muslim state enjoys anywhere,” the Mirwaiz told a Friday congregation at the historic Jamia Masjid here. Mirwaiz said tourists didn’t come here for practicing immoral activities and consuming liquor but to see the beauty of the Valley bestowed by Allah. For centuries, they have been coming here to explore the beauty of Kashmir. “When a state like Gujarat, which is ruled by a Hindu government can ban liquor, how can the so called leaders of Kashmir advocate opening of liquor shops here? It is our advice that the person who has made this statement (about opening of liquor shops) should take rest now,' Mirwaiz said, adding it was unfortunate that the ruling class, under a plan, was talking about implementing those things which are un-Islamic. He said those talking about opening up liquor sale outlets should also know that it (liquor) is the “root of all evils.” Asking a direct and specific question, Hurriyat Conference chief said the government headed by Farooq’s son, Omar Abdullah, should clarify whether promoting immoral activities and advocating opening of liquor shops was part of its state policy. He urged the National Conference-led government to come clean on its policy vis-à-vis opening of liquor shops in the Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir. He warned that any act by the state government which was against the teachings of Islam would be resisted. “The government must answer whether it is in their agenda to make the sale of liquor a common practice in the state. They must clarify whether they want to push the Kashmiri youth into moral waywardness,” said Mirwaiz, as people present in the Masjid shouted ‘shame, shame.” Mirwaiz urged those connected with tourism industry, including hoteliers, houseboat owners, transporters, taxi operators and others to keep in mind the moral values of the society. “They should play their role to uphold the tenets and teachings of their faith, Islam, without walking into the trap being laid by the government, especially the National Conference leaders, to use them as instruments for propagation of un-Islamic thoughts and practices in Kashmir known world over as the abode of Sufis and saints,” he told them. Farooq Abdullah’s remarks have attracted sharp criticism from the Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jama’at-i-Islami, and various religious, social and cultural bodies besides the independent MLA, Engineer Sheikh Abdul Rashid. Meanwhile, in a statement, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat-wal-Jamaat have strongly condemned the statement of Farooq Abdullah and demanded a complete ban on opening of liquor shops and cinema halls in the valley. Karwan-i-Islamic Seeks Ban Flaying National Conference president, Farooq Abdullah, for advocating opening of liquor shops in Kashmir, Ameer, Karwan-i-Islami, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, Friday sought complete ban on the sale of liquor in the Valley. “We condemn the statement. It is unfortunate that these leaders who call themselves Muslims are brazenly calling for making un-Islamic activities in Kashmir common place,” Hami said addressing a Friday congregation at Sarai Bala here. “Islam has declared liquor as haram and Farooq Abdullah should bear in mind he cannot dictate terms to Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir,” Hami said, adding “a particular lobby was trying to get me killed or booked under the Public Safety Act.” Reacting to the government of India’s claim that the centre was funding 372 Madrassas (Islamic seminaries) in Kashmir, Hami demanded that the names of such institutions should be made public. “Karwan-i-Islami runs several Madrassas in Jammu and Kashmir but we have never received a single paisa from either the state or central government,” he said. Shah Condemns Farooq’s Remark Senior Hurriyat Conference (M) leader and Democratic Freedom Party president, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Friday condemned the statement of National Conference president and union minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, in which he had advocated opening of liquor shops and cinemas in Kashmir to attract tourists. Shah said consumption of liquor would definitely lead to moral turpitude and immodesty. “The advocates of liquor sale and cinema opening are not the well wishers of the people,” he asserted, urging the people to stand united against the conspiracies being hatched against the Muslims of the state in which National Conference was playing the dirtiest role.