MUMBAI: Outraged at the recent terrorist attacks on Mumbai and terrorists who have painted a distorted image of Muslims in the name of Islam,
hundreds of Muslim men, women and children publicly denounced all the killers of innocents as enemies of Islam on Sunday. The protesters, which included several members from Bollywood, also said that the enemies of India were enemies of Muslims too.
On Sunday afternoon, a silent march of the Muslims started from the CST station, one of the places the terrorists had chosen to create mayhem on 26/11, winding its way through Churchgate to the sea-front near the Oberoi-Trident. Similar protest walks, condemning terrorist outfits like the Al Qaeda, Taliban, ISI, LeT and SIMI and Huji were simultaneously held in cities like Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Indore, Hyderabad and Delhi.
"We disown and denounce all those who kill in the name of Jihad. Terrorists are fascists and enemies of Muslims since Islam doesn't preach killing of innocents," said poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar.
Akhtar said 26/11 attacks were unprecedented and were attacks on the dignity of the country. "Fascists are those who distort religion. There are bad elements in all religions. On 2611 they didn't just place bombs and run, they entered our buildings, killed people and held hostages. No religion preaches killing of innocents," he said.
2611 has changed the psyche of Indians, he said. "For the first time I've seen tears in so many eyes, people with so much grief," he said.
Perhaps for the first time liberal Muslims were joined by the clerics coming from organisations like Jamiat-ul-Ulema in expressing their anger against the terror outfits who have hijacked Islam. Actor-TV anchor Javed Jaffri said the Muslims had to speak out openly because after all it's Islam which is being maligned. "There is nothing called Islamic terrorists. Islam is being misinterpreted by some groups. They kill people in the name of jihad. A religion which asks its members to greet each other with Assalamu Alaikum (peace be with you) could never sanction killing of innocents," he said.
The rally walked the streets of Mumbai through DN Road, Hutatma chowk, passed by Churchgate station and ended near the Oberoi- Trident. Slogans like " Killers of innocents are enemies of Islam", "Our motherland's enemies are our enemies ", "Declare Pakistan a terrorist state" and "Close terrorists camps at once" were some of the slogans which screamed out from banners and placards.
Javed Anand of Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD), the man who had galvanised several groups and individuals for the Sunday's peace march, said that for too long the terrorists had exploited the name of Islam and it is the duty of every Muslim to call the bluff of individuals and organisations who spread terror and violence in the name of Islam.
Actor Farooq Sheikh voiced similar opinions. "Terrorists are Muslims' number one enemy," he said.
Ad-man and activist Alyque Padamsee, who was instrumental in getting the famous Deoband fatwa against terrorism a couple of months ago, said there were two kinds of Muslims: Real Muslims and fake Muslims. "Terrorists are fake Muslims while peace-loving tolerant Muslims are real Muslims," he said. "99.9% of Indian Muslims believe the Quran which says killing of the innocents is wrong. Those who don't believe it are naqli (fake) Muslims," he said. "Committing suicide is a sin in Islam, so how can a suicide bomber believe he would go to Jannat (paradise)," he said.
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