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An Ancient Hindu Temple is home to the Muslim Population in Rajouri Village, Kashmir

The six to eight hundred years old ancient Shiv temple is looked after by the cent per cent Muslim community at Rechva

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A temple in Kashmir. (Representation Image). Image source: pathikaa.wordpress.com
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  • Muslims of Rajouri district in Kashmir have set an example of tolerance by taking care of an ancient temple in the Rechva village
  •  The six to eight hundred year old ancient Shiv temple is looked after by the cent per cent Muslim community at Rechva
  •  “Temple is a house of God and we have full respect for it. It’s our responsibility to ensure its safety”, the local residents said

At a time when societal upheavals and great communal disturbance fill the air, Muslims of Rajouri district in Kashmir have set an example of tolerance by taking care of an ancient temple in the Rechva village of the area.

Although the local Hindu population migrated decades back, the ancient Shiv temple is looked after by the cent per cent Muslim community at Rechva. The temple is carefully maintained and children are not allowed to play in the complex to prevent any structural damage to it. Some believe the structure to be about six to eight hundred years old, but the exact number is not known, said the greaterkashmir.com reports.

“Almost every day we clean its premises and have also asked our children not to play in the temple compound. We also ensure than no animals from the village is grazed near the temple premises as it can damage its structure”, an elderly resident said.

The grand architecture of the Shiv temple suggests it is the work of experts, with its walls and doors carrying engravings of distinct sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses. The temple sits atop a ridge in the middle of Rechva village, with its roofs beautified by detailed stonework. Four pillars stand in the four directions of the monument.

Engravings on an ancient temple wall Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Engravings on an ancient temple wall. (representation Image) Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

According greaterkashmir.com, the temple has been protected during tensions and turmoil as the entire complex stands intact as it was years back. During festivals like Shiv Ratri, many Hindus visit the temple and perform pooja.

 “Temple is a house of God and we have full respect for it. It’s our responsibility to ensure its safety”, the local residents said.

An official posted in the area said that the local Muslims “never allowed anyone to damage its property.”

On inquiring about rising violence in the region, a local resident said, “We don’t know about all that, we have kept the temple protected and we will keep doing so till our last breath.”

Although Hindus come to the temple to celebrate certain festivals, the locals have urged the Central and State governments to put the ancient temple on the tourist map so that “devotees will come and offer Pooja. It will also ensure better safeguard of the temple.”

-prepared by Maariyah Siddique, an intern at Newsgram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So pleasing to hear things like this. Change has been taking place, just like how the Hindus celebrated Kumbh mela in kashmir, is exactaly how these kashmiri muslims take care of this temple as their own.

  • Aparna Gupta

    Truely this is an example of Hindu Muslim harmony in Kashmir irrespective of communal violence which had taken place in Kashmir for years.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So pleasing to hear things like this. Change has been taking place, just like how the Hindus celebrated Kumbh mela in kashmir, is exactaly how these kashmiri muslims take care of this temple as their own.

  • Aparna Gupta

    Truely this is an example of Hindu Muslim harmony in Kashmir irrespective of communal violence which had taken place in Kashmir for years.

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Muslims in Malaysia Rally In Kuala Lumpur To Keep Status

Mahathir’s new government won a stunning victory in a May 9 general election amid anger over a massive corruption scandal.

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Malaysia, Malay
Protesters rally near a mosque to celebrate the government's decision not to ratify a U.N. anti-discrimination convention, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dec. 8, 2018. Thousands of Malaysian Muslims are rallying against any attempt to strip ethnic Malay majority of their privileges. VOA

Tens of thousands of Malaysian Muslims rallied Saturday in Kuala Lumpur against any attempt to strip the ethnic Malay majority of its privileges, in the first massive street gathering since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s alliance won a historic vote in May.

The rally, backed by the country’s two largest opposition Malay parties, was initially aimed at protesting a government plan to ratify a U.N. treaty against racial discrimination. Critics allege that ratifying the treaty would end Malay privileges under a decades-old affirmative action policy. The plan to ratify was eventually abandoned, but organizers decided to proceed with what they called a “thanksgiving” rally.

Rare racial clashes

Racial clashes have been rare in multiracial Malaysia since deadly riots in 1969. A year later, Malaysia instituted a preferential program that gives Malays privileges in jobs, education, contracts and housing to help narrow a wealth gap with the minority Chinese. Ethnic Malays account for nearly two-thirds of the country’s 32 million people, with large Chinese and Indian minorities.

Malaysia, Malay
A protester covers his face with headbands reading “No to ICERD” during a rally to celebrate the government’s decision not to ratify a U.N. anti-discrimination convention called ICERD at Independent Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dec. 8, 2018. ICERD stands for International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. VOA

Saturday’s rally came less than two weeks after more than 80 people were arrested in a riot at an Indian temple in a suburb outside Kuala Lumpur. The government was quick to stress that the violence was the result of a land dispute and was not a racial riot. Still, the government warned Saturday’s rally-goers not to make any provocative statements that could fan racial tensions.

Mahathir said the government allowed the rally as part of democracy, but warned against any chaos. The rally was held under tight police security, but ended peacefully after rain started to fall.

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been charged with multiple counts of corruption, was among opposition lawmakers at the rally.

In the streets, 55,000

Police said there were at least 55,000 people on the streets. Many wore white T-shirts and headbands with the words “Reject ICERD,” referring to the U.N. treaty, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The protesters gathered at three locations before marching to a nearby historic square, chanting “Long live the Malays” and “Crush ICERD.”

malay
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, right gestures to Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, to move in closer for the group hand shake as Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, left, watches during the opening ceremony of the 28th and 29th ASEAN summits at National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. VOA

“Yes, we did not ratify ICERD, but we are still here to say that we are still against it,” said shopkeeper Rosli Ikhsan. “Even if the government has said they won’t endorse it, we are still protesting with all our might from all of Malaysia.”

Mahathir’s new government won a stunning victory in a May 9 general election amid anger over a massive corruption scandal involving Najib and his government, but many Malays still support Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organization, and the Malaysian Islamic Party, which controls two of the country’s 13 states.

Some analysts say Najib and his party were using the rally to shift attention away from corruption charges against Najib, his wife, his party’s president and former government officials.

Also Read: Syrian Stranded at Malaysia Airport in a Political Limbo

“For me, ICERD is bad,” university student Nurul Qamariah said at the rally. “It’s bad because it will erode the position of Malays. This is a country for Malays. We want Malays to be superiors, but why do these people want to make Malays the same level as Chinese and Indians?” (VOA)