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Minister promises nationwide ban on amulet sales

Minister promises nationwide ban on amulet sales

Mar 24, 2015 - 20:21

KABUL (Pajhwok): The minister of hajj on Tuesday announced activities of superstitious amulet sellers would be banned, claiming some of such individuals had already been ousted from shrines and mosques.

The initiative came days after the brutal murder of Farkhanda, 27, at the hands of a mob in the heart of Kabul on Thursday. The woman was lynched after she criticised a prayer leader for duping innocent people with amulets.

Ministries of Interior and Hajj say the initial investigations show no signs that she had committed the sacrilegious act of burning the Quran. Amid angry protests, dozens of arrests have since been made.

Minister of Hajj Faiz Mohammad Osmani, speaking to journalists in Kabul, denounced Farkhanda’s murder as an “Un-Islamic” act.

“Right from the word go, our stance has been that the woman has been punished for a crime she never committed. On Friday when our team visited the area to investigate the incident, we found the case was based on speculation.”

He said the findings had been shared with religious scholars and other clerics so that they did not misinform the public in their sermons. “Those who commit superstitious acts are not religious scholars and have no real knowledge of Islam.”

Osmani added: “Even before this tragic incident occurred; we had devised proper plans to deal with such irresponsible people.” A delegation from his ministry inspected the Abul Fazl shrine today and kicked out amulet sellers.

The nationwide swoop would continue, he said, urging the Ulema Council to work in coordination with his ministry.

Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, a religious scholar, said superstition had no room in Islam, slamming amulet sales and witchcraft as un-Islamic. He welcomed the initiative to curb their activities.