Ulema, scholars, activists join hands against drug abuse

Ulema, scholars, Imams, civil society activists and NGOs today expressed concern over drug abuse by youth in Kashmir and stressed for measures to check the menace.

A seminar was held at historic Mirwaiz Manzil, Rajouri Kadal, to address alarming concern in society about the growing menace of drug addiction and also issues related to women in society. The meeting was presided by Mutahida Ulema council head Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

In a statement issued here, the organisers said the seminar focused on understanding the reasons and extent of the problem especially with regard to drug abuse in order to find means of addressing it and domestic violence and inheritance discrimination faced by women.

In his inaugural speech, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that “the prevalence of rampant drug abuse being reported across and valley among both boys and girls and its easy availability needs to be addressed by one and all to save our future generations and our society.”

“This is for this reason that the seminar has been called so as to collectively deal with this major problem facing us. It was very disturbing that despite being a Muslim society and following the great religion of Islam that gives women all dignity and guarantees their rights reports of rampant domestic violence forcing some to take the extreme steps of committing suicide and other discriminations and abuse against women are happening,” he said.

“It was the responsibility of the Ulema, Imams and Khateebs to create awareness among people in this regard both among men and women about the rights guaranteed to the women by the great religion of Islam and respect for women,” he said.

Mirwaiz said he was hopeful that Kashmir’s Ulema, Imams, NGOs and Civil Society activists would work together to deal with both the issues to their best.

Speaking on the occasion, Karwan-e-Islami patron Ghulam Rasool Hami said that “the organization led by him has been raising voice against the growing drug and liquor menace for a long time.”

“It was a matter of great concern that huge quantity of drugs and liquor was easily available in the market. It is high time to unite on our own and to fight it out openly so that the young lot is saved,” Hami said.

According to the statement, doctors from drug de-addiction center SMHS gave a detailed presentation. Quoting official figures, it said in 2018-2019, 6476 cases were registered at the center while as 755 patients were admitted in the hospital.

Regarding women’s issues Mantasha Bint-e-Rashid of Kashmir Women’s Collective Initiative (KWCI) gave a detailed presentation highlighting various challenges women face on daily basis both at domestic and social level, including domestic violence, divorce refusal to give parental inheritance among others, the statement said. She suggested slew of measures to address the issues while seeking active support of the clergy in Kashmir.

Later suggestions given by all members were discussed and a decision to form two panels which included Ulema, Khateebs, civil society activists and NGOs, was constitute. The panels would work on both the issues.  Mirwaiz advocated the inclusion of a member from Kashmir Women’s Collective Initiative in the panel constituted to address the issues related to women.

Among others who participated in the seminar included Mufti Nazir Ahmed Qasimi of Darul Uloom Rahimiya, Prof Ghulam Muhammad Bhat Al-Madani of Jamiat-e-Ahlihadith, Mufti Muhammad Yaqoob Baba Al Madani, Moulana Masroor Abass Ansari, Moulana Showkat Hussain Keng, Moulana Khursheed Ahmed Qanoongo,  Aga Syed Mujtaba Hassan Al-Mousivi, Dr Yousuful Umar, Mufti Nisar Ahmed Qasimi, Mufti Sajadur Rehman, Prof Syed Tayib Kamili,  Muhammad Syed Zaroo of Humsafar Marriage Council. The seminar was moderated by Moulana Syedur Rehman Shams.