Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Kashmir conflict

What alternatives as a mullah or local minor mufti issues a “fatwa”?

In the book “Three cups of tea“, Greg Mortenson had this mission of building primary schools for girls in North Pakistan through the Central Asia Institute that Dr. Jean Hoerni established the foundation and allocated one million dollars to pursue its long-term mission.

After Greg managed to construct the first school in the village of Korphe in the province of Baltistan, many local and minor mullahs in the neighboring towns tried to through a fatwa at Greg (to force Greg from never to set foot again in these provinces) on the ground that a non-Moslem foreigners is not allowed to build schools for girls.

The real reason behind these fatwas was to blackmail the Institution to pay off for every school being constructed.

What alternatives do foreign NGO and for non-profit organizations can opt for when a mullah or local minor mufti issues a “fatwa”?

In the beginning, the team of Pakistanis aiding in the projects, and particularly the professional accountant Ghulam Parvis, tried to circumvent this hardship by communicating with the various local nurmadhar (chief) of villages and their religious clerics so that they appease the concerned mullah.

The next step was to get the highest cleric in the province to get involved.

The third step was to ask the council of ayatollahs in Qom (Iran) to deliver their opinion on the issue.

The fourth phase, and the most efficient in the long-term, is confront the fatwa with a counter appeal to the religious legal court (based on the Shari3a) to decide on the fatwa. This venue takes at least more than 3 years to come to bring an answer, but this alternative forces the contending mullah to get overwhelmed with frequent demands of proofs and documentation and personal presence to the court.

For example, Greg contacted the highest cleric Sayed Abbas (a graduate from the Shiaa religious university of Najaf in Iraq) and satisfied many urgent demands of this clerics, like bringing potable water to villages suffering from high infantile death rate due to drinking bad water, and caring for refugee camps for Pakistani people fleeing from the borders with India during the nasty Kashmir conflict.

Sayed Abbas also asked that Qom intervene and the opinion arrived in a red velvet box, stating that Qom is in favor of the work Greg is conducting, since Islam encourage benevolent Zakat for the poor and the less favored people…

This opinion discouraged future bad mullahs, but the current fatwas were opposed in religious legal court.

Note 1: Greg discovered that the male graduates left their villages to larger towns and cities, but the girl graduates returned to their village after finishing their professional education. Consequently, the institute redirected the mission to give priority to girls in the constructed schools. With this focus, the rate of girls in schools increased by 10% every year.

Note 2: Most of the graduate girls preferred to pursue medical studies, like Jahan, Tahira, and Shakeela… Women frequently died in giving birth and the infantile mortality rate was pretty steep in these mountainous regions, where families lived inside a single room for over 6 months…

Note 3: If interested of the story from the start https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/how-three-cups-of-tea-generated-80-schools-for-little-girls-in-north-pakistan/


adonis49

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adonis49

October 2020
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