In India's Jammu & Kashmir state, top Islamic clergyman and secessionist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has launched a dedicated website to counter the cases of conversions among Kashmiri Muslims. The website was formally inaugurated on December 27, 2011 in Srinagar, the state capital, but it began publishing statements and messages earlier in the month.
The website will be a mouthpiece for a new Islamist organization called Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Imaan (Committee for Protection of Faith). Some messages posted on the website before the website's formal launch indicate that this organization was initially called Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Islam (Committee for Protection of Islam).
It should be noted that police in Jammu & Kashmir recently arrested a pastor, M. C. Khanna, on the charge of converting several Kashmiri youth to Christianity. M. C. Khanna was forced to leave the Kashmir Valley.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in addition to being the Kashmir valley's top clergyman, is also a key leader of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), an alliance of secessionist Kashmiri organizations. The faction headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is considered as moderate in its political orientation.
Kashmiri Leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq: "The site… [is] Aimed to Protect and [Imbue] Islamic Values, Besides Checking the Conversion of Young Boys and Girls [to Christianity]"
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
Following are excerpts from an Indian media report on the launch of the website:
"To prevent religious 'apostasy' and conversions among Kashmiri Muslims, the Valley's top clergyman and separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has launched an orthodox Islamic website.
"The site - http://www.tahafuzeiman.org - called as Council for Protection of Faith, has been set by Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Imaan (Committee for Protection of Faith). The site states that the committee was formed in November 2011 'after numerous cases of apostasy came into light' and 'to thwart nefarious designs of pervasive forces and the deep rooted conspiracy of making youth apostate and defectors by giving them concessions and benefits secretly….'
"Chairman of Hurriyat conference Mirwaiz [Umar Farooq] said that the site was launched because there was a need to use technology and modern equipment for countering conversion attempts. Mirwaiz, who is also president of Muttahida Majlis Amal, the conglomerate of several Islamic groups, expressed serious concern over the activities of Christian missionaries in the valley and stressed the need for Baitul Maal (fundraising) committees to help and support needy people.
"The site, he said, was aimed to protect and [imbue] Islamic values, besides checking the conversion of young boys and girls. As such, the site warns Kashmiri Muslims not to attend New Year functions…
"The Mirwaiz also alleged that the state government was secretly issuing licenses for the sale of liquor in Kashmir. He said vested interests in the government were hatching conspiracies to lure Kashmiri youth to social evils like liquor. The clergyman also stressed the need to strengthen the religious institutions and Islamic banking. He urged the Reserve Bank of India [the country's federal reserve] to allow Islamic banking in Jammu & Kashmir, owing to its Muslim majority character."
"About Us" Page: "The Fundamental Goal for This Organization is to Thwart Catastrophic [Christian] Missionary Activities…"
The "About Us" page of the website states its objectives as:
"Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Imaan (Committee for Protection of Imaan) was formed in November 2011 after numerous cases of apostasy came into light; to thwart nefarious designs of pervasive forces and the deep-rooted conspiracy of making youth apostate and defectors [from Islam] by giving them concessions and benefits secretly. Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Imaan is a well-knit organization, represented by various sects and different Islamic organizations from Jammu and Kashmir.
"Under the patronage of Mirwaiz Dr. Molvi Mohammad Umar Farooq and with able Guidance of its President Moulana Rahmatullah Qasmi, the organization has evolved as a potent force to combat apostasy. Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Imaan is fully supported by leading Islamic organizations of Jammu and Kashmir like Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Nusratul Islam, Jamaat-e-Islami, and many other organizations.
"To effectively address various issues of Muslim Ummah [the global Islamic nation] at different levels, the committee has been divided into three sub-committees. All these sub-committees will be working under banner of Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Imaan. These sub-committees are working on different strategies to safeguard the Imaan of our brethren. These sub-committees are obliged to look after their designated fields and are fully aided to go to any extreme to safeguard the interests of the Muslim Ummah of Jammu and Kashmir. Due focus is given to each and every aspect of the Muslim Ummah; however education, health, and NGO's have been prioritized. Seminars, Islamic conferences, health camps, and numerous other projects are in the cards and will be launched soon, Insha Allah [God willing].
"Though the fundamental goal for this organization is to thwart catastrophic missionary activities, it cannot however dissociate itself from immunizingg its own people with injections of Quran and authentic Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), to safeguard their Imaan and to the benefit of whole mankind.
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"Every way of disseminating messages will be utilized to propagate the true message of Islam in its real spirit and to negate the false propaganda against Islam in general and Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Imaan Jammu and Kashmir in particular. People will be made aware of missionary tactics and will be exposed before the public to safeguard Imaan of our brethren."
E-Book – "Combat Kit against Bible Thumpers": Chapters – "Alcohol: A Devilish Advice in God's (?) Book!?"; "Israelites: Insatiable Whores"; "Jews: A Rebellious People"
The website of the by Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Imaan has published a series of e-books by Ahmed Deedat, a South African Islamic writer of Indian origin. One of the books is called "Combat Kit against Bible Thumpers." Some of the chapters in the book are:
1. Arabs and Arabia: In the Christian Bible 4
2. Abraham 4
3. Absurdities in the Book of God (?) the Holy Bible 5
4. Alcohol: A devilish advice in God's (?) Book!? 6
5. Apostasy: The apostate "thou shalt surely kill him" 6
6. Bastard: Occurs only three times in the Bible 6
7. Circumcision: A perpetual pact with God 7
8. Contradictions: In the Bible 7
9. David: A man after God's own heart 8
10. God: Qualities ill-befitting God 8
11. God with a small "g" 8
12. His contradictory attributes 9
13. Is not a fabricator of confusion 10
14. Further contradictory qualities 10
15. Holy Ghost: All sects and cults has it (?) 12
16. Incest: Types and types of incest in the Bible 13
17. Israelites: Insatiable whores 16
18. Jeremiah: Ordained a prophet before his birth 16
19. Jesus (PBUH): Generalities regarding him 17
20. As a "God"? 20
21. A racist? 21
22. Sundry tit-bits 21
23. Jews: A rebellious people 22
"It is Un-Islamic to Celebrate New Year's, and Muslims should in Every Way Refrain from Attending the Functions Related to This Event"
Although the website was formally inaugurated on December 27, 2011, it began publishing its messages and statements earlier. A statement – dated December 17, 2011 – urged the Kashmiri youth to boycott new year's celebrations:
"Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-i-Islam has asked Muslims to desist from participating in the new year day functions. 'It is un-Islamic to celebrate new year's, and Muslims should in every way refrain from attending the functions related to this event. Islamic calendar begins from Muharram and not from January," a MTI spokesman said in a statement.
"The Majlis, at a meeting of the members of its sub-committees, introduction committee, media committee, and education committee here [in Srinagar], with Nazim-il-Aala Dar-ul-Uloom Rahimiya [an Islamic seminary], Bandopira, Moulana Rehmat Ullah Mir in chair, said the people professing any religion or faith have every right to worship in their own way and nobody should object them on this count.
"'However, the Muslims of Jammu Kashmir are asked to refrain from attending the functions and prayer meetings of other religions,' said the spokesman. The spokesman alleged that the government was trying to hush up the case registered against Christian priest C. M. Khanna."