Pakistan seeks UN intervention to save India’s Islamic sites after razing of 2nd historic mosque

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UNITED NATIONS (APP): Pakistan has drawn United Nations’ attention to last week’s “brazen” demolition of the centuries-old Akhonji mosque in New Delhi, and call for the organization’s intervention to protect Islamic sites in India.

“This incident marks another highly disturbing chapter in an alarming campaign targeting Islamic sites and heritage in India, which symbolizes a concerning rise in Hindu-majoritarianism,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in a letter addressed to the top official for the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Angel Moratinos.

The Akhonji mosque, standing for over 800 years, was abruptly demolished by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) officials in the middle of the night under a significant police presence, catching the local community, mosque-goers, and Madressah students entirely off guard without any prior warning, the Pakistani envoy pointed out.

The letter said:

“Several mosques and shrines, have already been razed under the garb of different administrative measures or judicial processes, and many more remain at a high risk of being demolished. Muslim holy sites also remain a target of attacks by the mobs of extremists.

“The State’s support for normalizing such incidents in India poses imminent threats to the well-being of Indian Muslims across social, economic, and political spheres. The pervasive influence of the ‘Hindutva’ ideology, alongside alarming incidents of Islamophobia and the demolition of historic mosques, calls for immediate and unwavering international attention.

In a video surfaced online, Imam Zakir Hussain, the spiritual leader of the Akhonji mosque, conveyed deep sorrow for the loss. He emphasized its crucial dual role as both a place of worship and a Madressah for students, as well as housing the sacred resting place of revered figures.

“The construction and consecration of the ‘Ram Temple’ at the site of the demolished Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, followed by the recent incident at the Akhonji mosque, underlines the critical need for the swift implementation of the Secretary-General’s Action Plan on the Protection of Religious Sites.

“We request you to accelerate efforts to address this urgent matter, ensuring the safeguarding of religious sites in India. The comprehensive mapping of religious sites in India, encompassing mosques, churches, and other such locations, has become imperative to monitor the ongoing destruction and much needed preservation.

“Your sustained attention to this matter is indispensable, and we commend your commitment to upholding the principles of peace, inter-faith harmony and inclusivity. “

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