Via Meadia recently commented on the rise of Abdul Lateef Al Kindi, a Salafist preacher who likes to whip up anti-West, anti-Israel feelings in his sermons and ridicules the more peaceful Sufi brand of Islam that is more popular in Kashmir. Al Kindi is not the only one preaching hatred in this extraordinarily dangerous corner of the world.Asia Times reports:
Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Mohammed Bashir-ud-din is stirring the communal and sectarian cauldron in the valley again. Barely four months after he issued a fatwa targeting Christians in the state, the cleric has the Ahmadiyyas in his crosshairs.He has called on the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) State Assembly to pass legislation declaring the Ahmadiyyas—an Islamic reformist movement founded in British India—non-Muslim.
Ahmadiyyas face discrimination in many countries worldwide, especially Pakistan, where Ahmadi communities are often attacked, their property destroyed, graves dug up, and worse. In 2010, 86 Ahmadi worshippers were killed and hundreds wounded in Lahore when they were attacked during prayer by Islamist militants. Elsewhere, they are shunned by Muslim societies that view them as heretical, non-Muslim, and dangerous.The Kashmir Grand Mufti’s hate-preaching against minorities is a sign of increased radicalization in Kashmir. His motion to have Ahmadiyyas established as non-Muslims by law will most likely fail, but it could rattle an already fragile society. Though radical forces are not quite as powerful as they were during the Pakistan-backed insurgency that swept Kashmir in the 1990s and 2000s, they are again on the rise.Via Meadia has pointed to signs of improvement in India-Pakistan relations led by the civilian side of Pakistan’s sometimes schizophrenic government. Unfortunately the drive to radicalize Kashmir may well be backed by the darker forces in Pakistan who thrive on confrontation with India and see violence and terrorism in Kashmir as normal, legitimate and necessary tools of statecraft. Connections between Saudi money (very influential among Pakistan’s notoriously corrupt ruling class and among revenue hungry religious groups) and a radical agenda in Kashmir cannot be excluded.Via Meadia would like to hear denunciations of barbarous violence against Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan and elsewhere by groups of prominent Islamic clerics, but we are not holding our breath. We ask readers who know of such condemnations to bring them to our attention; those who stand for tolerance and basic human decency deserve recognition.