Islam in Kashmir
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Islam is the major religion practiced in the Kashmir Valley Kashmir, with 97.16% of the region's population identifying as Muslims, as of 2014. Islam came to the region with the influx of Muslim Sufis preachers from Central Asia and Persia, beginning in the early 14th century.
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- ‘...the infidels and their corrupt and immoral practices attained such popularity that even the ulema, the learned (Sufis), the Sayyids (nobles) and the Qadis (judges) of this land began to observe them without exhibiting even the slightest repugnance for them. There was none to forbid them to do so. It resulted in a gradual weakening of Islam and a decay in its cannons and postulates; idol-worship and corrupt and immoral practices thrived.’
- Baharistan-i-shahi. Pundit KN (1991) A Chronicle of Medieval Kashmir, (Translation), Firma KLM Pvt Ltd, Calcutta, p. 74 , as quoted in Khan, M. A. (2011). Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery.
- Kashmir's conversion to Islam on a large scale also dates from the beginning of the fifteenth century....However, it was during the reign of Sikandar Butshikan (1394-1417), that the wind of Muslim proselytization blew the strongest. He invited from Persia, Arabia and Mesopotamia learned men of his own faith; his bigotry prompted him to destroy all the most famous temples in Kashmir - Martand, Vishya, Isna, Chakrabhrit, Tripeshwar, etc. Sikandar offered the Kashmiris the choice between Islam and death. Some Kashmiri Brahmans committed suicide, many left the land, many others embraced Islam, and a few began to live under Taqiya, that is, they professed Islam only outwardly. It is said that the fierce intolerance of Sikandar had left in Kashmir no more than eleven families of Brahmans. ...By the time of Akbar’s annexation of Kashmir (C.E. 1586) the valley had turned mainly Mohammadan. When Father Xavier and Brother Benedict went to Kashmir with Akbar this is what they learnt: “In antiquity this land was inhabited by the Moors, possibly a reference to Timur (contemporary of Sikandar the Iconoclast), and since then the majority of the people accept Islam.” When Kashmir was under Muslim rule for 500 years (1319-1819) Hindus were constantly tortured and forcibly converted.
- K. S. Lal (1993). Indian Muslims: Who are they. New Delhi: Voice of India.