Hajj Ministry denies mosques used for extremism
Presenting the ministry’s 9-month report at a press conference here, Deputy Hajj and Religious Affairs Minister Dai-ul-Haq Abid said all mosques were under the control of his ministry and not used for extremism.
“I have to say that there is no religious scholar being extremist. The leader of Al Qaeda was not a scholar but an engineer. Likewise the leader of Daesh is not a scholar. Terrorism has been imposed on us from outside of the country,” he said.
Over the past one year, 50,000 masajid have been registered with the ministry and they have been working to register all the 160,000 masajid across the coutry, he said.
He added the construction of 69 mosques and distribution of 125,000 metres carpets for prayers were some of his ministry’s achievements.
In compliance with a presidential decree, some prayer leaders were promoted and salaries of others increased from 3000 afghanis to 12,000 afs, he said, adding 20,000 scholars had been trained and 24,000 pilgrims to Makkah facilitated over the past nine months.
About the hajj operation, he said, 8000 pilgrims had returned home from Saudi Arabia and the rest would be home in two weeks, claiming to have served the pilgrims properly.
This year, 34 Afghans died during the performance of hajj. Of them, 21 died of natural causes and the 10 others died in the crane crash incident that left another 37 Afghans injured, the deputy minister said.
He said another three Afghans died in Mina and five others were missing.
They have reduced hajj expenses by $10 million lowering the hajj fees from $2700 to $2400 for each pilgrim, he said.
A total of 33,000 Afghans went to Makkah for umrah, 8000 to Karbala and 4000 Hindus to Ganges in India this year, he said.
During the period, they distributed electric power to six Hindus temples in Kabul, he said.
Out of 35,000 acres of land of the ministry seized by powerful men, 22,000 acres have been recovered over the past two years, he said.
According to Abid, the revenue of the ministry was 30 million this year showing a 3.5 million increase over last year’s, he said, adding the ministry has so far spent 76 percent of its development budget and 80 percent of general budget during the past nine months of this fiscal year.
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