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July 12, 2006

“Terrorism has no religion”


For the first time in Mumbai’s history, Muslim religious leaders representing virtually every sect came together on Thursday evening to condemn the serial bomb blasts in the city as a “barbaric”, “inhuman” and “cowardly” act.


“We teach in our madrassas that you have to be a decent human being first before you can call yourself a Muslim. How can an act which is inhuman ever be considered to be Islamic?” said Maulana Gulzar Azmi, national council member of the Jamiat-ul-ulema-e-Hind.


“We are one with all citizens of Mumbai and the country in condemning such wanton acts of terror, expressing our solidarity with the family members of the victims and we share their grief and sorrow”, said Maulana Mustaqim Azmi, member Ulema Council.


They were addressing a press conference jointly with other senior Muslim clerics representing the Jamiat-ul-ulema-e-Hind, Ulema Council, Milli Council, Jamaat-e-Islami, All-India Sunni Jamiat-ul-ulema, All India Sunni Tablighi Jamaat, All-India Qazi Board and Bombay Aman Committee among others.


The maulanas expressed their readiness to extend the fullest cooperation to the Mumbai police in their efforts to identify and nab the perpetrators of the dastardly act. They also announced their plan to visit the homes of the bereaved families in the coming days to share their sorrow and offer help.


After the press conference, the maulanas had an hour long meeting with CPM MPs Sitaram Yechuri and Brinda Karat. “Terrorism has no religion”, one of the maulanas told the communist leaders while several others reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of terrorist acts. They also bemoaned the fact that while the overwhelming majority of Muslim religious leaders in the country had repeatedly condemned terrorism as inhuman and un-Islamic the mass media failed to communicate this message to fellow Indians.


The meeting was facilitated by the journal Communalism Combat and Muslims for Secular Democracy.