The Grand Mischief
Asking US citizen’s to leave, what is this Mufti Azam up to!
MEHMOOD UR RASHID
The outrageous video that left a trail of anger and protest in the entire Muslim world could not have spared Kashmir. The reason is very simple; Kashmir is a part of Muslim world and whatever happens in any corner of this Muslim world, Kashmir responds to it. We have experienced such things in the past and we very well know how Kashmir reacts to the matters related to Faith and Community. Be it anything related to some Muslim conflicted land or an outrageous comment made on our revered figures, we, Kashmir Muslims, have unequivocally expressed our minds and hearts. Though there are varied opinions about how to express our anger over such matters, but one thing remains beyond doubt; we are a part of Muslim world and it matters to us, at least emotionally, what happens there.
But as a Muslim community, we have seen from past some time, that the communal identity and the matters of faith are invoked by some people, and in such ways, that raises certain questions. Religion and the communal identity are being underlined in ways that palpably undermines the political struggle that takes into account Kashmir’s conflicted nature. The attempts to shift the focus from Kashmir being a conflicted political zone to Kashmir being a problematic Muslim population has now almost attained a pattern.
From past sometime we have experienced three occasions where this subversion of theme has struck prominently. The first one was around the allegations of motivated conversions. Whatever the truth of the matter, the way Mufti Azam, Grand Mufti, of J&K meddled in that affair never served the interest of Kashmir’s Muslim character. Issuing a sort of warning to someone from another community to leave Kashmir was a brazen disregard to the teachings of Islam as well as to the collective consciousness of Muslims in Kashmir. Had it not been Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who at that time confronted the Mufti Azam on this matter, things could have taken a turn for worst.
The second occasion was the burning down of Dastageer Sahab at Khanyar. Kashmir underwent a very painful and traumatic experience when it lost one of the very significant signpost of its Muslim history. At a collective level we all sensed that someone is up to a very sinister design and observing caution is the only way to defeat such ugly elements. Here again, Mufti Azam popped up its head. Usually absent on whatever happened to Kashmiri Muslims during the last twenty years, Mufti Azam was prompt enough to occupy the stage announcing Khanyar Chalo. It was a very crucial moment for Kashmir; on the one hand it had to express its trauma, but on the other, disallow any ugly manipulation of this expression of trauma. Kashmir went on strike for some days and finally it was again the person of Syed Ali Shah Geelani who did the right thing by helping Kashmir resume the normal life. At that time there was every likelihood of things going out of control, plunging Kashmir into a crisis steered by vested interest. That time also the role of Mufti Azam was strange. Just the fact that he used the language of protest – Khanyar Chalo – that is so peculiar to Resistance politics made people wonder. Aren’t there attempts to dislodge the Resistance politics from the collective spaces, that was the question that struck very hard. Though Geelani, by being bold and open, reclaimed that space, but the question of subversion remained there.
Now is the third time. The anger over the outrageous video was being expressed in different decent forms when the statement of the Mufti Azam came, sending one and all into a state of shock. Someone whose actual business is to express opinion on jurisprudential matters, asking US citizens to leave Kashmir cannot be just an act of madness. There is certainly something more to it.
What could be the possible results of such things if there isn’t a silent disapproval from Kashmir Muslim majority, and of course an open challenge by Syed Ali Shah Geelani. On all the three occasions, it could have taken a violent turn. Either Muslim community would commit violence against Christians, local and foreigners, or there might be a sectarian clash. In either case the loser was the Muslim Kashmir. Asking US citizens to leave Kashmir means that the entire Western world would club the Kashmir’s political struggle with religious fanaticism. Though Geelani once again intervened, and openly rejected Mufti Azam, but it doesn’t end with that. This must come to an end. Mufti Azam is answerable to the people of Kashmir.
Tailpiece: Should someone tell this government that if the fear of violence guides their decision of keeping Geelani under house arrest, they should now think to do something about Mufti Azam, otherwise people are right in assuming that government is part of the Grand Mischief.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 20 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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