Islamic court asks Protestant pastor to answer conversion charges

Mufti Bashir-ud-din

Mufti Bashir-ud-din

Jammu & Kashmir, October 29, 2011: Jammu and Kashmir state’s top Muslim cleric has asked a Church of North India pastor to appear before an Islamic court to answer conversion charges.

Mufti Bashir-ud-din’s summons on October 28 has given Rev.  C.M. Khanna November 12 as the date to appear before the supreme court of Shariat in Srinagar.

The grand mufti said his court has received a video that shows Rev.  Khanna converting Muslim children.

“We had issued him summons to appear before the court today (Friday) but he did not turn up. Now we have issued him summons again and asked him to appear on the next hearing (November 12),” the mufti said.

The mufti said his people have asked to issue a fatwa (ban) against the Christian pastor. “But we have not issued it because we want to listen to him. We have asked him that communal harmony should not be disturbed,” he added.

The government does not appoint the grand mufti, who does not have any legal authority to issue fatwa or summons.

However, the government recognizes him as top Muslim cleric in the state.

Meanwhile, Reverend Khanna has denied the charges and instead accused the grand mufti’s office of seeking favors by asking for admissions of a child in a Church school in Srinagar.

“There is no forced conversion and there is nothing which can be called allurement. We do not offer any job or any money. We tell them ‘If you come it is your responsibility to contribute and support the church’,” Khanna said.

The pastor also said he was a member of the school management until last year and advised the mufti’s people to approach the principal for the admission.

“They said the school has not given admission to the successful candidate,” he said.

Reverend Khanna said the grand mufti had made similar charges against him five years ago.

“Islam is an evangelical religion so is Christianity. To propagate a faith is not crime. Our concern is not conversion. There are many people who are coming to listen to the word of God,” the pastor added.

– dnaindia

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