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Muslim body expresses concern over students made to sing Hindu religious songs in Kashmiri schools

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Srinagar, Sep 24: Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU) -- an amalgam of various religious, social and educational organisations -- on Saturday expressed serious concern over "attempts being made to undermine" the Muslim identity of Kashmir by asking students in government educational institutions to sing Hindu hymns and do 'Surya Namaskar'.

Muslim body expresses concern over students made to sing Hindu religious songs in Kashmiri schools

It said it strongly regrets activities being implemented through schools and educational institutions aimed at "furthering the Hindutva agenda" in the Valley "The MMU held a meeting at Jama Masjid here in the wake of unfortunate attempts being made 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 (sun salutation). These diktats hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims and create anguish in them," the MMU said in a statement. The amalgam said a resolution was adopted unanimously during the meeting to expresses deep and serious concern to "weaken" the Muslim identity of the 'Valley of Saints'.

The meeting expressed serious resentment against imposing acts in the name of Yoga and morning prayers in educational institutions wherein Muslim students are made to chant 'bhajans' and at times asked to perform 'Surya Namaskar'. This is against the fundamentals of our religious practices, the resolution read. The statement said the MMU meeting urges the government, education department and agencies concerned that such activities will not be tolerated by the Muslims in Kashmir as it is a "direct challenge" to their religious and Islamic beliefs.

"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. A purported video went viral recently where students of a government school were seen singing 'raghupati raghav raja ram'. The MMU urged the parents that if their children are forced to participate in un-Islamic activities in government schools, they should withdraw their children from these schools and enroll them in private schools.

It also urged Muslim teachers to avoid promoting such un-Islamic activities and give preference to their faith and 'Imaan'. The MMU expressed satisfaction that Friday prayers and five daily prayers are now being allowed by the authorities at the central Jamia Masjid here and people were not stopped from assembling at the mosque. "As such it appeals to authorities to now release its patron and Mirwaiz Kashmir, Umar Farooq, and end his illegal house arrest since August 2019, in wake of the coming holy month of Rabiul Awwal so that the Mirwaiz can pursue his religious obligations and duties," the statement said.

The MMU also condemned the recent arrests of clerics in the valley and called for their immediate release. "This meeting also raises its voice in strong protest against tarnishing the reputation of Islamic centres and Muslim institutions in J-K by arbitrary arrests of Islamic scholars, preachers and Imams and booking them under the PSA and sending them to outside jails. It condemns this act and calls for their immediate release," it said.

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