Kashmir's head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq cum chairman of moderate Hurriyat, on Tuesday called upon the valley imams (mosque priests) to deliver Friday sermons on importance of mosques to protest and condemn the recent remarks made by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
"A mosque is not merely a building but a sacred space of worship. A place once declared a mosque remains holy to Muslims for eternity. No one, not even Muslims can demolish mosques," said Farooq, who delivers sermons on Friday's at Srinagar's historic mosque Jama Masjid in the old city.
The Mirwaiz's statement comes on the heels of controversial remarks made by BJP leader Swamy's statement made in Assam that "mosques are not religious places but merely buildings, which can be demolished anytime."
Appealing to all Valley imams to highlight significance of mosques in the Friday sermons, the Mirwaiz said, "People playing politics of religion and following the Hindutva agenda from time to time and make derogatory remarks against Islam and the prophet Muhammad to incite Muslims."
He accused the "agents of Hindutva of polarising people in order to appease their constituency and gain political mileage out of such remarks."
"It's the government's duty to stop these miscreants from making such utterances. Such communal statements can have grave consequences," warned the Mirwaiz.
Kashmir's largest socio-religious group, Jamaat-e-Islamoi, also condemned Swamy's utterances saying "it depicted deep-hatred towards lslam."
"Such elements need to be admitted to the medical centers. Mosques are meant for not only worshipping 'Allah' but also for propagation of His message to the humankind," said Jamaat spokesman Zahid Ali.
The Jamaat asked Muslim scholars and intellectuals "to come forward with a joint strategy to combat these forces of the falsehood for the upkeep and protection of the truth.
Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani described the Swamy's remarks as "direct attack on the Islam and the Muslims".
"BJP is in haste to implement the RSS agenda. Due to this the life, property, dignity and religion of Indian Muslims, Christians and Sikhs face extreme danger," alleged Geelani. firstname.lastname@example.org