Kashmir scholars denounce stone-throwing as ‘un-Islamic’
Religious scholars in Kashmir have denounced stone-throwing as “un-Islamic” in a fatwa.
The fatwa follows a spate of clashes between local Muslim youths and Indian army troops in the capital Srinagar which have left more than 60 dead since last summer.
The clashes have become a regular fixture every Friday, when young men wearing headscarves pelt police and troops to protest against their presence in the state. Their attacks are apparently designed to replicate those against Israeli forces in Gaza’s Palestinian Authority.
A senior Islamic scholar has now called for an end to the attacks, which he said were forbidden by the Prophet Mohammed.
“Stone pelting cannot be justified. Islam is about discipline. [The] Prophet Muhammad, too, has asked us to refrain from it,” said Maulana Showkat Ahmed Shah , president of Jamiat-e-Ahli-Hadees. He quoted the Prophet, saying stone-throwing “neither hunts a game nor kills (or hurts) an enemy, but it gouges out an eye or breaks a tooth.” His call has been backed by Srinagar’s police chief, Afdallul Mujtaba.
It was rejected, however, by militant leaders in Kashmir, including Qazi Nisar, the chief priest who said it was justifiable resistance against Indian rule.
“People in Kashmir are fighting for their freedom and have no other means but to pelt stones to register protest,” said Asiya Andrabi, a senior militant leader in the state.