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July 7, 2005

Press Release

Violence is not the Answer 

Communalism Combat, Muslims for Secular Democracy, Peopleís Union for Human Rights [PUHR] and We The People---National Campaign in Defence of Democracy condemn the terror and violence unleashed by terrorists on the people of London through a series of bomb explosions yesterday. Such mindless violence generates not just fear and anger but also seeks to divide people as hatreds and suspicions surface. We salute the citizens of London today, New York yesterday and Bombay [now Mumbai] a dozen years ago who have responded with courage and stoicism in the face of such terror. 

Ironically, the spokespersons of this terror, speaking in the name of Islam, just like after 9/11 claim to voice the protest of the oppressed against the oppressor West. They have, however, by these terror tactics succeeded in further hardening the stand of the powerful western powers who have since, justified the shocking invasions of Afghanistan and the Iraq war and as bad or worse, implemented repressive laws within their countries.

The politics of the western powers especially those led by the United States of America have been extremely unequal, repressive and exploitative not just in the oil-rich middle east but also in Africa and Asia. However, we feel that in no way are such mindless acts of terror going to ever really resolve the issue of the inequity of resources and economic and political exploitation. The struggle against this repression, longer and more painful as that road may seem, will have to be through sustained struggles that are essentially peaceful, yet strong. This kind of Terrorism is unacceptable under any circumstances

While unequivocally condemning these terror bomb attacks, we appeal to all those in power in all parts of the world, to seize this opportunity to chart afresh a path of growth and development that is enriched by values of egalitarianism, justice, empowerment for all and not use this to further militarise nations, arm people and promote a culture of violence.  Control and the exercise of power through brute force have been the international norm taking us in the twenty-first century to a point wherein though dialogue and negotiations are spoken about, military invasions, wars, bombings are resorted to. Ordinary civilians of all nationalities have been made mute victims to the politics of the terror-driven and powerful. Is this kind of politics ever going to stop and which part of the world will lead the way???

 

Javed Akhtar
Shabana Azmi
Teesta Setalvad
Javed Anand
Dr Kumar Saptarshi
Dolphy DíSouza
Gulam Pesh-Imam