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Kashmir CM’s remarks may put him in trouble

Faisul Yaseen

Srinagar, October 03, 2007:

India administered Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s remarks on Tuesday during a state function to mark 138th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, the founder of independent India, has generated severe criticism from various quarters.

Speaking at a Gandhi Jayanti function organised by the State government, Azad had said that while Islam secures the hereafter, Gandhian philosophy of truth and non-violence was apt for success in the contemporary world.

“Whatever we’ve learnt from religious books and scholars, helps us is our Aakhirat (hereafter) but to succeed in the contemporary world we need to follow the Gandhian philosophy,” Azad said Tuesday during his address at a function at SKICC, Srinagar.

Reacting to Azad’s statement the grand mufti of Kashmir, Mufti Bashir-ud-Din told Kashmir Newz that Islam secures one’s world as well as the hereafter.

“The entire world has accepted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a leader of truth. He promoted peace and brotherhood 1500 years back. He never promoted terrorism,” the Grand Mufti said.

“Chief Minister’s Ghulam Nabi Azad’s views are his personal.”

Moulana Showkat Ahmad Shah, president Jamiat Ahli-hadees, a Muslim organisation, which strictly believes in the implementation of Sharia’ (Islamic jurisprudence) said that Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are the origin of all theories of peace and truth.

“I don’t understand how the chief minister might have said this. There are people who don’t follow teachings of Islam and yet call themselves Muslims. Similarly, there are people who don’t believe in the hereafter and yet call themselves Muslims,” Shah said.

Shah quoted Gandhi as having said that Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA), the second caliph of Muslims was the best administrator.

“Then how can anyone say that the teachings of Hazrat Umar (RA)’s chief are good only for the hereafter and not for the worldly affairs,’ he added.

According to Muslim faith, Islam is a way of life not only a religion to secure the hereafter.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman of the hardline faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), an amalgam of many separatist organisations, condemned Azad’s statement saying it is against the Islamic teachings.

Gandhi was the leader of India's freedom movement with his campaign of non-violent civil disobedience that ended in independence of the subcontinent from Britain in 1947.

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