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23 November 2011

Pastor accepted role in conversions: Grand Mufti

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The Pastor of the All India Saints Church has admitted to his involvement in the conversion of Muslim boys in the Kashmir valley after he was summoned by the Grand Mufti last month.

Pastor C M Khanna, who was accused of converting young boys and girls, has made his confession before a group of 15 Islamic scholars and representatives of various religious groups headed by the Grand Mufti of Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Bashiruddin, The Hindu reported.

The Grand Mufti, after receiving complaints that the Pastor was involved in conversions in the Valley, summoned him last month. The Pastor, however, was out of station and had sought time to appear before the Grand Mufti who heads Supreme Court of Islamic Jurisprudence in Kashmir.

The Grand Mufti said: “Initially he did not accept that he was doing this.”

The Pastor reportedly said he was on a “peace mission promoting communal harmony between Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians.”

“But when confronted by some boys, he had no option but to accept,” the Grand Mufti said, adding that they had a CD containing evidence about how the Pastor was performing conversion.

The Pastor has confessed to having converted 15 boys so far and promised to give their list to the Grand Mufti.

“The Pastor said some NGO and intellectuals were with him in this mission and some of them had accompanied him to South Africa to preach Christianity,” said the Grand Mufti.

Terming the issue a “grave” one, he said Ulema (scholars) from various organisations including the Jamat-e-Islami, the Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees, the Islamic Study Circle and the Nadwatul Ulema would meet again to take a final decision. “As of now I have reserved my judgment. The Ulema council was scheduled to meet on November 19, but it has been postponed,” the Grand Mufti told the newspaper.

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