Indian Muslim scholars condemn Taliban for harassing Sikhs in Pakistan
www.chinaview.cn 2009-05-03 17:01:37 Print
NEW DELHI, May 3 (Xinhua) — Muslim scholars in India have condemned the harassment of Pakistani Sikhs by Taliban militants who imposed “jizya”, or religious tax, on the ethnic minority.
A joint statement issued by Islamic high scholars of India said Sunday such acts by the Taliban are more of extortion at the hands of a lawless group and does not hold any legality in Islamic Jurisprudence.
“We wish to make it clear that the imposition of the so-called “jizya” is nothing more than extortion by an armed and lawless gang, which does not constitute a sovereign government or state or even an organ thereof,” the Muslim scholars said in the statement.
Taliban militants have reportedly demolished some 10 houses belonging to Sikhs in Pakistan after they refused to pay religious taxes (jizya) levied on them by the Taliban.
“We condemn the kidnapping and extortion of huge amounts of money from their Sikh compatriots by Taliban in Pakistan,” said Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawaratas, in a telephonic interview to Xinhua.
The religious scholars demand that the Pakistani authorities should take steps to retrieve the extorted sums and pay them back to the affected non-Muslim citizens, besides providing them due protection.
India Friday expressed concern about the harassment of the Sikhs by the Taliban in Pakistan and said that it has already raised the issue with Islamabad.
Pakistan said Saturday it would protect all its citizens and asked India not to worry about the safety of Sikhs living in Pakistan.