Srinagar: Miraj-Ul-Alam

24 Jun

Kashmiri Muslims pray as an unseen custodian displays a holy relic, believed to be a hair from the Prophet Muhammad’s beard, at Kashmir’s main Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar on June 22, 2012, during the last Friday of celebrations for Miraj-Ul-Alam (Ascension to Heaven).  (By Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images.)

P.S.: Blaze at Sufi Shrine Triggers Violence in Indian Kashmir

Kashmiri residents helped firefighters extinguish the blaze at a Sufi shrine in Srinagar on Monday.  (Dar Yasin/Associated Press)

Protesters clashed with security forces in downtown Srinagar.  (Dar Yasin/Associated Press)

The cause of the fire at the shrine, which housed a relic of an 11th century Sufi saint, was not immediately known.  (Dar Yasin/Associated Press)

Residents pulled a water pipe to help battle the blaze.  (Danish Ismail/Reuters)

“Police sealed off roads leading to the shrine where hundreds of men and women had gathered, many of them wailing and crying.

“I feel like I’ve lost everything,” cried a 45-year-old woman, Shameema Akhtar, tears rolling down her cheeks.

Muslim militants spearheading the anti-India campaign in Kashmir have in the past tried to enforce a radical form of Islam, banning beauty parlors, cinemas and liquor shops, as well as asking women to wear the veil.

But they have had little success in a region where people mostly follow Sufiism, a gentle, mystic tradition of Islam.”

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the years of strife in the region that both of the nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan, claim. Pakistan controls part of Kashmir in the west.

 

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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