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Prominent Muslims condemn Mumbai blasts
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | August 27, 2003 20:40 IST
Prominent Muslims of Mumbai gathered at the Indian Merchants' Chambers at Churchgate in the city to condemn the twin blasts that killed 52 people and injured more than 150 people on Monday.
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The meeting, which was held under the banner of 'Citizens Against Violence and Hate', observed one-minute silence before paying homage to all those who died in twin blasts.
Speaking at the occasion, Javed Akhtar said, "Terrorists want to create trouble in our country and at this juncture we must remain united to fight them. The reason the bomb blasts happen is because a fraction of our society wants us to become polarised. And, at this juncture if anyone blames a community for the terrorist acts, he is indirectly supporting the terrorists."
"People should not blame the entire community for acts of a fraction of their fellow members. If we do that we will give more members of that community to the terrorists. So we have to be careful in not gifting more recruits to terrorist groups by branding the entire community as terrorists."
Giving the example of Jammu and Kashmir, Akhtar said, "There are nearly 10,000 terrorists whom our army is fighting. If you minus the Kashmiri population and take only one per cent of Indian Muslim population it comes to 1.5 million. Imagine what will happen to our country if terrorists succeed in winning even one per cent of the Muslim population of India on their side. So, it is high time that we remain together and work for peace."
Akhtar was also critical of Pakistan and said the country was s the number one enemy of Indian Muslims. They cannot see Indian Muslims living peacefully as their country's identity is based on the two-nation theory, he said.
Actor Farooq Sheikh said, "It is so unfair and uncouth to say that so many Muslims died in the blast or for that matter Muslims condemn blasts. What does this statement signify? Of course, every Muslim condemns blast. I feel sad that such things should come to our mind also after more than 55 years of independence. It is high time that we give up such perceptions that Muslims don't condemn such acts."
Sajid Rashid, a veteran Urdu journalist, said, "If India is affected economically the Indian Muslims too will be affected. This is a fact and every Indian Muslim knows. We too are citizens of this country but the image perception of being associated with terrorism has to change."
Commenting about the pre-1990 situation pre, Rashid said, "There were no Muslims involved in terrorist acts. It started only after 1990 when the riots across India spread like wildfire. We all, as citizens of this country, should see that the Muslim community should not be pushed to a corner because this will only benefit those elements who want to disturb peace in our country."
Writer, Hasan Kamal said, "We don't agree with the theory of violence against violence because it will destroy all of us. If this act was done by a Muslim, I won't hesitate to call the person as traitor of Islam as Islam preaches that innocent people must not be killed."
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