Now Reading: Madrassahs and Mosques Announce Protest Against the Waqf Act
The apex body of seminaries at federal level, namely the Wifaqul Madaris Al-Arabia, has announced protest against the government’s new amendments in the Waqf Act on Tuesday. Taking place in the federal capital on January 26 if the government doesn’t heed to the ‘warning’, this protest is supposedly against the government for what it is referring to as ‘infringement’ on the freedom of mosques and seminaries.
The Waqf Property Act and the consequent amendments require mosques and seminaries to disclose their sources of income and the identities of the donors. As such, Wifaqul Madaris Nazim Maulana Qazi Abdul Rashid has demanded the government to withdraw these amendments in the Act. While addressing a presser at Jamat-e-Islami office on Tuesday, Qazi Rashid stated,
“The amendments in Waqf Property Act infringe the freedom of mosques and seminaries. The freedom of madrassas and mosques was being curtailed at the behest of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other powers. All the sects are united in opposition against this Act.”
Being the administrator of the federal body of seminaries, Qazi said that the movement for the protection of mosques and madrassas has been protesting against this Act for a long time now. He warned that if the government did not withdraw these new amendments in the Act, they would start the second phase of their movement.
Afterwards, Qazi informed of the massive protest that would take place in Islamabad in the end of the month if the government doesn’t take the amendments, that requires mosques and seminaries to disclose their source of income and the identities of the donors, back. He added that though the movement for the protection of mosques and madrassas has been protesting against the Waqf Act for a long time, the past objections pale in comparison to this protest.
He expressed his concerns for the fact that the establishment of seminaries and mosques across the country would suffer and may even downright stop as a direct result of the Act. As such, this is creating a great deal of unrest in religious circles all over Pakistan, Qazi added. He then objected on how those ‘who do not spend a single penny on seminaries could hold them accountable for the expenditures’.
As per Qazi, the donors of mosques and seminaries should not be questioned and if they are, it is practically the same as harassing them. “We are ready to give expenditure details of madrassas but will not open our accounts in banks,” he doubled down. He said that all they want is a one-window operation for the registration of madrassas but still, the procedure of this registration hasn’t been finalized with the government.
The cleric finally added that even though 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, this ‘infringement’ of rights is being shamefully carried out.