Kashmir: why is the Hurriyat afraid of Islam and Sharia?

On 14 August 1947, the state of Pakistan was marked on the world map. Astrologers decide that the holy conch (Shanka) be blown during the midnight of August 14/15 to signal Indian independence. Pakistan was created for Muslims in the name of Islam, while India started its tryst with secularism. Almost 70 years later the Pakistani state is fighting hard to ward off religious ideology to protect the interests of political and corrupt administrators, while the right wing Hindu nationalists head the Indian state.

MA Jinnah got the Pakistani state rallying Muslims on the basis of Islam and Muslims in danger, but once he got it Jinnah made sure that it stays secular. That is why in its 70-year history no religious party has been able to form a government there. Perhaps the credit must be given to the Pakistani Muslims that they clearly see that those who espouse voting for non-Islamic system in the name of Islam cannot be on the right path. In India MK Gandhi mixed religion and politics from the beginning, but advocated a form of majoritarian secular state. Jawahar Lal Nehru, the ‘secularist’, was unable to resist Hindutva elements in his party, and was unable to stop astrologers to decide the day of independence and timing of his Independence speech!

The Congress party from the beginning had many fanatical Hindus in its ranks, and today it is no surprise that India is moving toward Ramrajya, favoured by its father of the nation. The BJP for sure would use its every ounce of energy to turn Akhand Bharat dream into reality, while the Pakistani state would do everything to stop the implementation of Sharia in their land. It was bound to happen. Both countries came into existence on quasi- ideologies. The advent of the internet is hurriedly burying this artificial creation.

However, in Kashmir where the people are fighting against the brutal Hindu militarisation, the mendicant resistance leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference are reluctant to call it a religious fight between the Hindu Indian and a Muslim Kashmir. Why is it so? The Hindu India’s military operations in Kashmir are named after the Hindu gods. The Indian state does not find any dichotomy in using Hindu names to wipe out Muslim militants with the aid of the local police. But in Kashmir, the mendicant Hurriyat leadership frown on the mention of linking the tehreek with Islam. There is a rigid dichotomy between the Hurriyat and the people on the streets. Every protest in Kashmir starts with the slogan of Islam, and anyone who gets killed on the roads rising slogans against the Indian occupation believes he dies as a martyr! The Hurriyat people unabashedly call anyone killed in protests as martyrs as well! The Hurriyat through their slogans and statements reinforce this myth, but refuse to call it Islamic! Through this hypocrisy they want to fool youths of Kashmir and world community as well.

But the glib is now not working. In his latest video, Zakir Rashid Bhat, the Hizbul Mujahedeen commander, stressed that they are not fighting for the independence, or restoring democracy, or nationalism in Kashmir, but for the establishment of Khilafat.

Hizb chief Zakir studied engineering in Punjab.

This is something that is alarming for the Hurriyat, for tuk shop organisations in Kashmir, for those who sustain on the conflict in Kashmir that include human right activists, poets, singers, columnists, journalists, book authors, and academics.

Immediately the Hurriyat Conference denounced the statement of the HM commander as “immature”. The general secretary of the Hurriyat, Ghulam Nabi Sumji, said that such type of statements “harms the azadi struggle”. Sumji told the Telegraph newspaper, “If you look at Geelani Sahab’s statements, he always maintains that Kashmir is a political issue and that our struggle is confined to our state.” This is the same Sumji who was given permission to lead protests in the CM’s town on July 31, last year when the youth of south Kashmir were being maimed with pellets when they were not murdered. For many people it maybe a surprising statement from the Hurriyat, which build its constituency on Islam and Islamic slogans. Remember it is the same party who used to chide the JKLF cadres for its secular overtones, and even referred to them as “La-deen” fighters.

Why, then, did the video message of Zakir rankle the rank and file of the Hurriyat? Aren’t the Hurriyat people singing slogans that Kashmir’s independence is for the sake of la ilaha illallah, and the relation with Pakistan is for the sake of la ilaha illallah! Then why does a video message prompt it to term Zakir as “immature”? The Hurriyat people believe that the tehreek in Kashmir has their patent. The Hurriyat people and its lackeys believe that all the world’s wisdom has been bestowed on them. Whatever they say is sacred and inviolable.

For years, the head of his faction of the Hurriyat, Syed Ali Geelani claimed that they want “azaadi for the sake of Islam”, but the same Geelani is quick to distance himself to Islamise the movement for unknown fear. Why do the Hurriyat leaders fear to Islamise the movement? The mendicant Kashmiri leadership put their faith in Pakistan, the UNO, international community. Nothing moves. Now with Pakistan formally annexing Gilgit Baltistan the Hurriyat leadership has even lost the UN plank to seek resolution of the Kashmir conflict!

Zakir’s message means that the Hurriyat has to come out of their comfort zone. But why should they come out of it. Those who fight with weapons against the occupation¬–the men who matter–are not their sons or relatives. Pellets blind Kashmiri youth, not the Hurriyat leaders or their activists. Bullets kill Kashmiri youth while the Hurriyat leadership and its activists remain ensconced in press releases and photo ops. The Hurriyat has become comfortable with the present situation. Their routine: go to jail for a day, bail next day, and then earn money through releasing press notes, or selling MBBS or engineering seats reserved in Pakistani colleges for the martyred kin.

For the Hurriyat and its lackeys who believe international community should come to their rescue forget the fact that the world never loved Islam, even when it was ruling half of it. The other half of the world combined together to launch crusades against the Muslims. Why is the word crusade acceptable but not the Jihad? If the Hurriyat is afraid of Islam, they should think of converting to Christianity to make the movement secular, because, as per their actions, Muslims have no right to be religious and aspire for Islamic system! The Sharia, said Maulana Maududi, is not for cowards or eunuchs.

(The author is a resident of Srinagar. You can send your opinions to new@kashmirdispatch.com) 

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