Srinagar: The vice-chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Personal Board and the deputy grand mufti of the state, Nasir ul Islam, has stirred a fresh controversy in the Valley by saying Muslims in India need to demand a separate country for themselves. At a press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday, Nasir said Muslims are being “harassed under various pretexts”.
“India is moving on the path of intolerance. Muslims are being harassed on the various pretexts. Sometimes they are being harassed on the pretext of ‘love jihad’, sometimes it is cow vigilantism or triple talaq,” said Nasir.
He also criticised the BJP-PDP alliance in power in Jammu and Kashmir, saying they have pushed the local population “towards destruction”. Reacting to the recent firing by security forces which resulted in the death of two civilians, he said India will have to leave Kashmir some day. “India is an occupier in Kashmir. It can’t fool Kashmiris anymore. It has to leave sooner or later,” he said.
Nasir has been a controversial figure even before he ascended to the post of the grand mufti. His father Bashir-Ud-Din, the previous grand mufti, had nominated him for the post in July 2012. At the time he was known more for his controversial speeches, like the one given in January 2012, where he issued a fatwa against four pastors, accusing them of “forcible conversions” of Kashmiri youth.
The report also said that Kashmir has a long history of having revered mufti clans, mainly for the interpretation of Quran and Prophet Muhammad’s sayings. However, it said, there is no history of Islamic Sharia courts in the state.