Imroz To Move HC On ‘Fatwa-Prone’ Grand Mufti

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SRINAGAR: In a new twist to the contrived “music and Islam” controversy here, noted Kashmiri human rights activist Parvez Imroz has decided to sue the region’s grand mufti for his indiscriminate “fatwas.”

Though chief minister Omar Abdullah had ruled out legal action against Mufti Basheeruddin who recently ruled singing and music as un-Islamic, Imroz said that the grand mufti’s proclivity to issue fatwas on complex and sensitive issues created more confusion than clarity.

Interestingly, the chairman of the Hurriyat (M), Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, and the spokesman of the Hurriyat (G), who had echoed views identical to the grand mufti’s, have inexplicably been spared the heat.

Both were quoted extensively by a Srinagar-based newspaper in a “report” that manufactured the row over an almost obscure group of three schoolgirls who had been targeted with online threats and abuse on performing in a local competition.

Dubbed as a “rock band,” the group of three girls has since forsworn singing and playing music, saying that they respected the views of the grand mufti who had told them to give up their activity.

Today, Parvex Imroz said that he would file a writ petition in the High Court against Mufti Basheeruddin as, according to him, he had virtually set up a parallel legal system in Kashmir.

“When the state already has a legal system, how can another structure (be allowed to) work?” Imroz asked.

“The grand mufti has already over-stepped the bounds of the state’s legal system by issuing notices to Christian missionaries (during the conversions row in 2011),” he said.

“I can’t understand who has made him the grand mufti, and what his jurisdiction is,” he said.

“He has no authority to go about issuing decrees on every conceivable issue,” he said.

“In Iran for example, a mufti can issues fatwas as the system there is governed by Islamic law,” he said, adding that the silence of the state government and the administration was “surprising.”

“When some individual, particularly the youth, expresses his or her views on the social media, it is concerned illegal, and those concerned not only booked by the police, but also taken into custody,” he said.

“But over the past years, the grand mufti has issued fatwas on a number of issues, but no one took any action or registered a case,” he said.

When asked how long it would take him to file his petition, Imroz said that he would move the High Court in about a week’s time as was reviewing the legal aspects of all fatwas issued by the grand mufti in recent years. 

 

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