Kashmir's deputy grand Mufti stirs controversy

Stirring a controversy, Mufti Nasir-ul Islam, the son of Kashmir's grand mufti (chief priest) Mufti Bashir-ud-din, on Tuesday urged Muslims to secede from India and form a separate country for themselves.

"India is moving on the path of intolerance. Muslims are being harassed on the pretext of 'love jihad', cow vigilantism and triple talaq," Mufti Nasir, who is also the vice-chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Personal Board and the deputy grand mufti, told reporters here.

Elaborating further, he said, "Muslims are the second largest community in India but they are living in pathetic conditions. If the situation remains same, they (Muslims) should ask for a separate country and it is the right time for them."

 "If 17 crore Muslims could form Pakistan (in 1947), why can't they form another country when their population is 20 crore now," the son of state government-backed grand mufti added.

He also criticised the PDP-BJP alliance government in the state, saying they have pushed the population towards "destruction."

"Mehbooba (Mufti) should ask for the revocation of draconian laws like AFPSA. She is part of an alliance with BJP and I think she should say goodbye to BJP," he said.

While reacting to the recent firing by security forces which resulted in the death of two civilians, he said, "Kashmir neither was nor will remain part of India and India has to leave Kashmir. It can't fool Kashmiris anymore. It has to leave sooner or later."

Like his father, 58-year-old Mufti Nasir, a law graduate with masters in Arabic, is not new to controversies.

In 2012 immediately after returning from the  Middle East he landed in controversy for issuing a fatwa against four pastors, accusing them of "forcibly" converting Kashmiri youth.

 Often discussed as a  cleric with modern thinking Mufti Nasir spent over a decade of his professional life abroad in the United States of America, Middle East and Europe.

His wife Dr Nilofar Ali was a senior scientist in environment with the Government of Abu Dhabi.

His elder son Moiz ud Din after graduation from Switzerland did a post graduation from Canada while the younger son Hamaad did his studies in Abu Dhabi.

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