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Laylat al-Qadr prayers barred in Kashmir by India

On April 6th, the historic Jamia mosque in Srinagar was closed ahead of the Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Destiny) as India disallowed the special night prayers in the mosque.

Laylat al-Qadr is the night when Muslims believe the Quran was first sent down from heaven to the world and also the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad; it is described as better than a thousand months of worshiping.

Despite such significance of this night and acts of worship in it, India shut down the mosque and through military force, sent back all the worshippers who wanted to attend the night prayers.

The shutting down of the mosque came a few days before India allowed Indian Hindus to celebrate their festival, Ram Nawami, publicly and with great fervor in Lal Chowk, the symbolic and economic center of Srinagar city. 

The observance of Hindu festivals with state patronage and police protection, while the Muslim majority of the valley is being denied basic religious freedoms, clearly reflects the systemic Islamophobia and Hindu supremacist nature of the Indian political apparatus. 

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