Jamia Masjid, 'desecrated' by masked youths, cleaned

Jamia Masjid, 'desecrated' by masked youths, cleaned

Let’s make collective effort to unveil their faces: Mirwaiz

Awami Action Committee patron Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Wednesday said a collective effort has to be made to unveil the masked faces responsible for desecration of historic Jamia Masjid last Friday.

He was addressing a gathering of traders, civil society members and others who had come to Jamia Masjid to take part in its purification, after a group of masked youth had forced entry into Jamia Masjid and waved ISIS flags on 28 December 2018. One of the youths had climbed up the pulpit wearing his shoes.

The incident triggered outrage across the Valley.

“We all have to make a collective effort to unveil these masked faces. These masked youth are working with a design. This (desecration) was an attempt to divert attention from the indigenous struggle,” he said.

He added that desecration of Masjid is intolerable.

“We have and we are sacrificing our lives and wealth for the ongoing indigenous movement. We all have one goal and that is right to self-determination. The pulpit of Masjid is meant to spread the sacred message of the Qur’an and Sunnah,” Mirwaiz said, amid pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans.

He said that Jamia Masjid has served as a religious guide and promoted Islamic teachings for centuries.

He said that old city has always been the epicenter of Kashmir’s religious journey and its political struggles and the pulpit of Jamia Masjid has represented both these aspects while remaining true to the core values of Islam and Tawheed and to the political and social aspirations of its people.

He said the grand Masjid will continue to spread this message and represent people’s right while raising voice against injustice and repression.

 “Some disgruntled elements at the behest of some anti-Islamic agencies by raising black flag on the very sacred pulpit of this grand Masjid have hurt sentiments of millions of Muslims,” he added.

With a piece of cloth and a broom, Mirwaiz started the ‘purification’ ritual. A group of women also washed a portion of the mosque while shouting pro-freedom slogans.

Mirwaiz urged youth to remain vigilant and defeat the “nefarious designs of enemies”. He appealed to the people to remain vigilant about such divisive forces that are bent upon creating sectarian divide in Kashmir.

“This is a vicious attempt to cause dissension among the most suffering Muslim fraternity in Kashmir. The people of Kashmir don’t have any global agenda. Our indigenous struggle is for the right to self-determination,” he said.

Earlier, Mirwaiz led a protest march from Rajouri Kadal to Jamia Masjid through interior roads.

Mirwaiz said that coming Friday will be observed as ‘Youm-e-Taqadus’ and heads of various religious and resistance political parties will jointly raise their voice against the desecration of the pulpit and to send across a message that nobody will be allowed to “tamper with the centrality of Jamia Masjid and what it stands for”.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Awami Action Committee chaired by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq pledged that it won’t allow a repeat of last Friday’s incident and stated that any assault on the sanctity of Jamia Masjid will not be tolerated.

Urging people to stay united, Mirwaiz said that unity among all sects will defeat these elements at a time “when we, as a nation, are facing the ultimate challenge in the form of oppression”.

Mirwiaz said that any attempt to change the basic nature of Kashmir dispute will be a great disservice to all the sacrifices and collective efforts put in by the people of J&K and “hence won’t be allowed”.