The Supreme Court (SC) has told authorities to proceed with the demolition of a mosque illegally built on public land in Karachi, despite religious quarters’ pressure against the same. The order was issued after a request from the attorney general urged the court to halt the order, which they claimed was stoking ‘religious tension’.
The mosque, Madina Masjid, was constructed on 1,100 square yards along Tariq Road in Karachi. The land is zoned for public use, but several illegally built structures on the site have impeded the city’s plans to build a park at the same location.
On the bench, Justice Qazi Amin Ahmed noted that religion should not be used as a justification for land grabbing and argued that building a mosque on encroached land was ‘not allowed’ in Islam.
“If you want to build a mosque, construct it from your own pocket,” Justice Amin said.
At a hearing on December 28, the SC chastised the city administration of Karachi for allowing the ongoing encroachment upon public land, and ruled for the removal of the mosque, as well as a cemetery and shrines that have also been erected on the site.
Coming to the defense of the mosque following the hearing, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Sindh Secretary General Rashid Mahmood Soomro has warned that he would attempt to stop the demolition of the mosque.
“Mr. Chief Justice the mosques are not orphans… Mr. Chief Minister the mosques are not orphans… if you have the courage then show it and try bulldozing the mosque […] if the mosques are demolished, your offices will also be demolished,” the JUI-F secretary general said in an impassioned speech.