Jamia Ashrafia, a leading religious school in Pakistan, has issued a “fatwa” against the first Hindu temple proposed to be built in Islamabad. The fatwa said that though the government can use its funds to upkeep and repair the places of worship of minority communities that already exist, they cannot use government funds to build new places of worship for anyone other than Muslims.
According to Mufti Ziauddin of Lahore chapter of Jamia Ashrafia, it is Islamic to retain and maintain the already existing places of worship of the minorities, so that they can fulfil their religious obligations. But in allowing them to build new places of worship or to rebuild an abandoned place of worship in an Islamic state is un-Islamic as it is equivalent to aiding in a bad deed, which isn’t permissible.
Last week, the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, approved a grant of 100 million Rupees to build the first Hindu temple in Islamabad, a Krishna temple. The project was approved after a meeting between Imran Khan and Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noor Ul Haq Qadri on 27th June. Now the Fatwa has questioned the Pakistani government’s decision to spend tax-payers money to build houses of worship of minority communities. Lal Malhi, Minority MP, said in his statement that Fatwa would not have any effect on the construction work. Around 3000 Hindus are living in Islamabad.
The high court issued a notice
A petition was filed in the Islamabad High Court against the construction of the temple. The petitioner said that the scheme does not fall under the master plan prepared for national capital Islamabad. The High Court has issued a notice to the Capital Development Authority (CDA). The petition urged that the land allotted for the construction of the temple in Sector H9 of Islamabad should be withdrawn and that the construction funds for the temple should also be withdrawn.
Religious persecution and forced conversion of minorities in Pakistan
Religious persecution, minority discrimination, and forced conversion are not new for Pakistan. While the government of Pakistan makes tall claims and ensure the safety and security of minorities in the country, there have been countless reports that confirm the sad state of minorities in the country. A Christian man was shot in Pakistan who died on 29th June. 102 Hindus in Sindh were forced to convert to Islam in June. A 14-year old Hindu girl was abducted on 27th June.