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Home > India > News > PTI

Muslims being stereo-typed in India, says Mohd Haneef

June 03, 2008 10:51 IST

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Mohd Haneef, who was imprisoned in Australia on false charges of terrorism last year, feels an apology by Canberra for the treatment meted out to him would make Indians happy.

The Bangalore-based doctor criticised "stereo-typing of Muslims as terrorists or sympathisers of terrorists" as was done in his case and cautioned that such an "unfortunate" tendency was creeping into this country, too.

"I don't expect an apology (from the Australian government) for that matter as such but definitely, people of India who supported me throughout (the ordeal) would be delighted if they (Australia) come out with that (apology)," 28-year-old Haneef said.

 Haneef, who was working at a hospital in Gold Coast in Australia, was arrested in July last year in connection with a failed terror attack in Britain. He spent nearly a month in detention before charges against him proved wrong.  He thanked the Indian government and people for supporting him during his days of ordeal in Australia.

"I acknowledge the support I received from the Government of India during my ordeal. The government and the people of the country stood by me," he said.

Asked whether he would seek any compensation from the Australian government for the ordeal he underwent there, Haneef did not rule it out, saying his lawyers will take a ecision in this regard.

 The doctor, who returned home soon after charges against him were dropped, seems little interested in going back to Australia.

 "I feel comfortable here. I'm at peace in India. I'm not leaving my profession," Haneef said, adding that he planned to go for higher studies very soon.
 Haneef's wife Firdous Arshia, who was with him, said she and his family will not allow him to go back to Australia.

 "He (Haneef) will practice in India. I don't want him to go. His mother does not want him to go. Family members don't want him to go," she said, adding "any mother or any wife won't let her son or husband to go after such a big thing".

 Asked about ongoing probe into the goof-up in his case in Australia, Haneef said the new government has made an initiative and launched a probe to bring the fact into light.

 "I hope the probe into the bungling of the case will come out with real facts," he said. The physician, whose wife is a software engineer in Bangalore, was critical of "stereo-typing Muslims as terrorists or sympathisers of terrorists" and said such ideologies should be thrown out from this world.

"Fingers are pointed at Muslims even before they are found guilty of involvement in such acts," he said, while noting that he himself was a "victim of stereo-typing of Muslims even though not being associated with that kind of acts of terrorism."

Voicing concern over such labelling, he said, "It is happening in India. The community is being targeted here also which is very unfortunate."
"The country and people should not believe this ideology of stereo-typing person or religion," he emphasised.

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