Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

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Mohammad Umar Farooq
Native name میر واعظ کشمیرڈاکٹر مُحمد عُمر فاروق
Born (1973-03-23)23 March 1973
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Kashmiri
Occupation Kashmiri Leader and Religious Cleric
Religion Sunni Muslim

Mirwaiz Kashmir Mohammad Umar Farooq (Kashmiri/Urdu, میر واعظ کشمیر مُحمد عُمر فاروق) (born 23 March 1973) is a Kashmiri leader. He is the chairman of the Awami Action Committee, one of the two key factions of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a "grassroots coalition" of pro-Pakistan and pro-freedom parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

In October 2014, Farooq was listed as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Jordan. The report is issued annually in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding[1] at Georgetown University in the United States.[2]

As the Mirwaiz (Mir-Head; Waiz-Priest) of Kashmir and chairman of the Hurriyat Conference has both an important religious and political role in the Kashmir Valley, and Farooq is seen as the spiritual leader of Kashmir’s Muslims.[3]

At the age of 17, following the assassination of his father by unknown gunmen, Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, the leader of Awami Action Committee, Farooq united 23 Kashmiri pro-Pakistan organizations into the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). He has constantly tried to raise awareness about the Kashmir issue internationally. He was also shown among the Asian Heroes by the Times magazine.[4][5] He maintains that dialogue must take place with India and Pakistan, so long as the Kashmiri aspirations are heard as well.

He became the 14th Mirwaiz (Kashmiri term for traditional preacher of Muslims in Kashmir) in 1990. Before joining Kashmir politics, Farooq was an alumnus of Burn Hall School in Srinagar. He had interests in computers and wanted to become a software engineer. He holds a PhD. in Islamic Studies from Kashmir University.[6][citation needed]

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