Date: 31 Oct 2011


Can we expect ANY Hindu leader to defend the community in this up-front manner? =\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Kashmir’s 'mufti azam' summons Christian priest to explain alleged conversions M Saleem Pandit M Saleem Pandit, TNN | Oct 28, 2011, 02.54PM IST\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ SRINAGAR: Mufti Bashir-ud-din - J&K's official " mufti azam", or head Muslim clergyman - issued fresh summons to a leading Christian priest, CM Khanna, on Friday, asking him to appear before his court to explain his activities of reported conversions of young local boys and girls at his church in Srinagar. Khanna said the mufti was annoyed with him because he had expressed his inability to help the mufti in the admission of a boy to a Christian missionary school. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Talking to TOI, Mufti Azaam Bashir-ud-din said: "Our shariat court had summoned the Christian priest, CM Khanna, to appear personally today at 11am but he failed to appear. Now we have issued fresh summons to him for personal appearance on November 12." \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ A shariat court has existed in J&K since the early 1960s; Mufti Bashir-ud-din is the judge of the court and the appeal against this court lies in the civil court. Mufti Bashir said that the court was recognized by the state government because of the majority Muslim character of the state. The shariat court, however, has no enforcing agency like police to implement its judgments, he said \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Mufti Bashir-ud-din said: "I have received the complaint that the said priest, CM Khanna, is involved in converting young Muslim boys and girls to Christianity. This warrants action as per Islamic law. So we summoned him to appear before the shariat court to explain his position." \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The mufti claimed to possess a video cassette purportedly showing Reverend Khanna urging young Kashmiri Muslims to embrace Christianity and asking them to take a dip in a pond inside the church near the cricket stadium in Srinagar. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ "I will take all necessary measures in exercise of the powers vested in me by Islamic shariat," the mufti said when asked what course he would take if the priest failed to appear in his court. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ "It is a matter of grave concern that Christian missionaries active here should be running an organized and integrated campaign to convert young Kashmiri Muslims to Christianity," he said. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ When contacted, CM Khanna said : "I am an officiating priest at the Srinagar church and Mufti Bashir-ud-din last fortnight asked me to help him in getting admission to some boy in a Christian school called Tyndale Biscoe school, but I told him that the school was not under my control and he had better approach the principal of the school. He was annoyed over the issue." \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Khanna said that he had not received any summons and the allegations levelled against him were false and concocted. "I am at present out of state," Khanna told TOI on the phone. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ -- 000000000