Grand Mufti’s Grand Evening Smells Hypocrisy

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Hundreds of netizens questioned the hypocrisy of Kashmir’s self-styled grand head priest of the Islamic Shariat Court, Mufti Basheer-ud-Din when he was caught on camera enjoying music just months after he declared it haraam (un-Islamic) for a teenage rock band of Srinagar.

Mufti Bashir was caught on tape enjoying music at a public function despite issuing fatwa, calling music un-Islamic practice. The video, which has gone viral, has put the Mufti in an embarrassing situation.

Qaiser Nizami, another noted singer who sang gazals and Sufi kalams during the function attended by the Grand Mufti said, he asked the Mufti Bashir about the fatwa and he replied that “he had opposed the way the girls were performing because it was not acceptable to the society”.

From Mehdi Hassan’s Ranjish hi sahi to Punjabi number Chaap Tilak and Rafta rafta woh meri haste ka samaan hogaya, the audience was humming, singing in chorus and tapping their feet while the Mufti was listening with rapt attention with smile on his face.

The mufti raged a controversy in February this year when he declared the all-female teenage rock-band Pragaash’s music us-Islamic, which forced the three teenage girls to publicly shun the music as passion.

Defending his presence at the musical evening, Basheer-ud-Din said: “It was a literary function. There was recitation of the Quran and talks of the works of Akbar Jaipuri. Why should I acknowledge any mistake? Is harmonium a wrong thing?”

He even described the romantic ghazals as “devotional songs”. “If you think we will allow girls to dance and sing, that’s not going to happen,” he added.

“Double speak of Mufti of J&K exposed on issue of music being Un-Islamic. All Religious Fundamentalists are experts of Double Speak,” Congress leader Digvijay Singh wrote on Twitter.

In a statement issued by the Mufti in Srinagar, he said, “There will be no compromise about the fatwa issued regarding the rock band”.