Badshahi Mosque 'closed' to worshippers for cultural event - Lahore Biennale 01

09:58 AM | 19 Mar, 2018
Badshahi Mosque 'closed' to worshippers for cultural event - Lahore Biennale 01
LAHORE - In the heart of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Lahore, people were reportedly barred from offering prayers in Mughal era Badshahi Mosque in the name of a cultural event.

A video, circulating on social media, show people, including foreigners, busy in convincing a member of the Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF), organizer of the event titled Biennial 01, at a gate of the mosque to allow them to go inside, but he was reluctant.

An American citizen named Chad Keel, who was among the people waiting at the gate of the Masjid, was asking the management to let them visit the mosque.

Umer Hussain, a social media user and Keel's host in Pakistan, shared the incident on Facebook, claiming, “My friend Chad Keel who is an American was here in Pakistan teaching Primitive Survival workshop at Sweettooth Hunza- we were together for good two weeks - he was all excited to go and pray at a mosque- wanted to learn about Islam”.

He said after call of prayer “we rushed towards the mosque but when we got to Badshahi mosque it was closed for the Biennale Event and wasn't allowed inside the mosque without the event invite”.

Hussain also shared a video message of Keel in which he is expressing his concerns on shutting down the mosque in the Islamic state. He said LBF was doing a great job for preserving art but having mosque closed for the event was not good.

The Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) organised an inaugural ceremony of the event on Saturday at Hazuri Bagh, which bounded by the Lahore Fort to the east and Badshahi Mosque to the west.

The two-week festival, which aims at presenting Lahore as a platform for dynamic exhibitions and engagement space for the audience, will take place between March 18th to March 31st, will be held at seven major venues.

The organisation has been contacted but no response has been received yet.