ISLAMABAD: A civil judge directed the International Islamic University Islamabad to give opportunity to speakers of other ideologies during the Friday sermons.
The court, on Friday, was hearing a case of dispute with students over a makeshift mosque closed by the university management.
The civil judge, Ayesha Shabbir, during the last hearing had ordered IIUI director administration Raja Khalid and adviser to the president of the varsity Azizur Rehman to appear before the court.
Both appeared before the court on Friday. The judge asked the officials why they were making a fuss over such a petty issue. “Resolve the issue,” the judge directed while both the officers said they would not close the mosque as earlier decided by the management.
The students had also appealed that the sermon is delivered in only Arabic. Upon this, the court said that not only language but people representing different ideologies should also be given an opportunity to deliver the sermon.
The officials agreed on behalf of the university’s president that everybody will now be given a chance to deliver the Friday sermon, while the sermon will first be conducted in Urdu and later in Arabic.
The court directed the varsity to quash the FIR against the students and take back its decision to expel the five students over the mosque controversy.
Earlier, the IIUI management had expelled five students for a semester, registered an FIR against eight at the Sabzi Mandi Police Station, and issued show-cause notices to eight others to appear before the disciplinary committee for being ‘adamant’ on offering prayers at the makeshift mosque which was closed by the management for ‘security concerns’.
The mosque was built by residents of a small village who used to live in the area before the land was acquired by the university.
In 2008-2009, the students of the university rebuilt the mosque that can house over 100 persons.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2015.