Wifaqul Madaris to protest against Waqf Act

Says govt curtailing freedom of mosques, madrassas

Our Correspondent January 13, 2021


The apex body of seminaries at federal level, Wifaqul Madaris Al-Arabia, on Tuesday, announce protest in the capital on January 26, warning the government against what it called ‘infringement’ on the freedom of mosques and seminaries.

Wifaqul Madaris Nazim Maulana Qazi Abdul Rashid demanded the government to withdraw amendments in Waqf Property Act.

“The amendments in Waqf Property Act infringe the freedom of mosques and seminaries,” Qazi said addressing a presser at Jamate Islami office on Tuesday.

“The freedom of madrassas and mosques was being curtailed at the behest of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other powers,” Qazi said adding that all sects were united against the Act.

The administrator of the federal body of seminaries said that the movement for the protection of mosques and madrassas has been protesting against the Act for a long time. If the government did not withdraw new provisions in the Act, they would start the second phase of the movement, he said.

Qazi announced that there would be a massive protest in Islamabad on January 26 against the Act which requires mosques and seminaries to disclose their source of income and the identities of the donors.

He said that the establishment of seminaries and mosques across the country would stop after the Act. There is a great deal of unrest in religious circles across the country against the amendments, Qazi added.

He asked how those who do not spend a single penny on seminaries could hold them accountable for the expenditures.

Qazi said that the movement for the protection of mosques and madrassas has been protesting against the Waqf Act for a long time.

He expressed that donors of mosques and seminaries should not be questioned and if they are, it would be tantamount to harassing them. “We are ready to give expenditure details of madrassas but will not open our accounts in banks,” Qazi asserted.

He said that they wanted a one-window operation for the registration of madrassas.

However, the procedure of registration with the government has not been finalised yet.

The cleric said that more than 3.5 million students were studying in around 35,000 madrassas across the country which was increasing the literacy rate in the country without taking a single penny from the government while promoting Islamic teachings.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2021.


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