Close down all illegal religious places, prayer halls in Kerala : Kerala HC

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) – Kerala High Court has directed the State Government to close down all religious places and prayer houses that are not authorised and are operated in an illegal manner. Only in the rarest of rare cases, the Court has advised changing the category of a building to a religious place / prayer hall. The Court also asked that in the concerned case, when there are already 36 mosques within the circumference of 5 km, why do the petitioners want one more prayer hall ? A petition was filed by ‘Noorul Islam Sanskarika Sangam’ in the High Court seeking permission to convert a commercial building in Amarambalam Gram Panchayat area of Malappuram District, into a mosque.

1. In its order referring to the 2011 Census, the Court stated that there are sufficient numbers of religious places and prayer houses in the State for all communities. If people of other religions, along with Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jews and Parsis decide to construct religious places near their residences, it can create communal disharmony in the State.

2. There will be no place left for citizens to stay if permission is given without any rules and regulations for building more religious places and prayer halls. The State Chief Secretary and the State Chief of Police can issue necessary orders to check whether permission of a competent officer was taken in case of the construction of any religious place or prayer hall.

It is not said in Quran that every nook and corner should have a mosque !

Citing from Quran, the Court stated that it underlines the importance of mosques for Muslims, but it is nowhere said in Quran that there should be a mosque in every nook and corner nor is it stated in Hadees or Quran that there should be a mosque near every Muslim’s house. The distance to the mosque is not a yardstick, but reaching it is important. If there are already 36 mosques, then there is no need for one more prayer house.

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