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Kashmir: After Mehbooba Mufti’s misleading claims, Islamic bodies seek ban on ‘surya namaskar’ and ‘Hindu bhajans’ in schools

Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), a group of roughly 30 Islamic religious and educational organisations in Kashmir, demanded that the government and education department ban practises such as "singing of bhajans and Surya Namaskars" in schools, which they claimed were hurting the children's Muslims' religious sentiments.

On Saturday, September 24, Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), a group of roughly 30 Islamic religious and educational organisations in Kashmir, demanded that the government and education department ban practises such as “singing of bhajans and Surya Namaskars” in schools, which they said had hurt the religious sentiments of Muslim children.

The demand was inspired by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s misleading claims that Muslim students were being forced to sing Hindu bhajans in schools in Kashmir.

Islamic body claims Muslim children in Kashmir being forced to sing Hindu bhajans and do Surya Namaskar

The MMU, led by Jamia Masjid chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Hurriyat chairman, expressed dissatisfaction against imposing activities in the name of “yoga and morning prayers” in educational institutions, claiming that Muslim students are forced to sing bhajans and, at times, Surya Namaskar.

“The MMU today held a meeting at Jama Masjid, Srinagar, in the wake of unfortunate attempts to undermine the Muslim identity of Kashmir by asking Muslim students in schools and educational institutions to sing Hindu religious songs and do Surya Namaskar,” the collective said in a statement. “These diktats hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and create anguish in them.”

MMU, the amalgamation of various religious, social and educational Islamic organisations said that “attempts are being made to undermine” the Muslim identity of Kashmir by asking students in government educational institutions to sing Hindu hymns and do ‘Surya Namaskar’. It said it strongly regrets activities being implemented through schools and educational institutions aimed at “furthering the Hindutva agenda” in the Valley. 

The resolution stated that this runs against the principles of their religious practices. According to the statement, the MMU meeting urged the government, education department, and other concerned parties that such actions will not be permitted by Kashmiri Muslims since they are a “direct challenge” to their religious and Islamic values.

“As such, MMU appeals to the government and concerned authorities to immediately withdraw its orders and stop these practices in schools and educational institutions, which deeply hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and cause them grief,” it said. 

MMU’s action inspired by Mehbooba Mufti’s Tweet

The Islamic body’s statement came days after former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti claimed that Muslim students were forced to sing bhajans in schools.

Actually, on September 19, 2022, Mehbooba Mufti posted a video on her Twitter handle in which school children in Kulgam were seen singing the bhajan ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’. Claiming that Muslim students in schools in Kashmir were being forced to sing Hindu bhajans, Mufti rebuked the central government for imposing their ‘Hindutva agenda’.

“Jailing religious scholars, shutting down Jama Masjid & directing school kids here to sing Hindu hymns exposes the real Hindutva agenda of GOI in Kashmir. Refusing these rabid dictates invites PSA & UAPA. It is the cost that we are paying for this so-called ‘Badalta J&K’,” she said in a tweet.

The video soon went viral, and many people on Twitter shared it with similar claims.

Here is how the former Mufti was completely wrong

According to official directives, the singing of ‘Raghupati Raghav…’ was part of a series of ceremonies commemorating MK Gandhi’s 153rd birthday.

Because ‘Raghupati Raghav…’ was one of Gandhi’s favourite bhajans, it was included in the celebrations.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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