Muslims targeted for their religious beliefs and way of life: Omar Abdullah

The former CM of Jammu and Kashmir said that Islam requires its followers to eat halal meat. “Why are you stopping him? We don’t force you to eat Halal,” he said.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah spoke out on a variety of issues, including the hijab ban, loudspeakers in mosques and halal meat.

Speaking to reporters in Srinagar on Wednesday April 27, Abdullah said Muslims were being intimidated into conforming to their religious beliefs and way of life. “Why shouldn’t we use loudspeakers in mosques? If other religious places have the right to use it, why not mosques,” he asked, referring to the recent speech by Maharashtra leader Navnirman Sena, Raj Thackeray, in which he said he would counteract the azaan of the loudspeakers at the top of the mosques with Hanuman Chalisa. Abdullah said Muslims never said anything about using loudspeakers in another religious place.

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“You are shaken by our religion. You don’t like the way we dress, the way we pray. You don’t have a problem with anyone else,” he added.

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Communal clashes have been reported in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh between Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti this year, allegedly over processions, loud music and gatherings that passed through Muslim-dominated areas.

On halal meat controversy raging in Karnataka, former J&K chief minister says. “Why are you telling us not to sell halal meat? Our religion asks us to eat halal meat. Has a Muslim forced you to eat halal? You eat the way you like to eat and we do the way we like,” he said.

Abdullah said the India of today is not what Jammu and Kashmir had thought of. He said the people of J&K would have reconsidered had they known that the religious rights of Muslims “will not be protected” in this country. “When we decided to join India, we joined a country where all religions would be treated equally. We were not told that one religion would get preferential treatment over others,” he said.

Ruth R. Culp