“Each time a bomb blast takes place, be it Ahmedabad, Bangalore or Delhi, life in the city becomes normal the next day. But Muslims spend sleepless nights fearing a backlash,” said Mehboob Khan, a businessman from Jasola, near Sarita Vihar.
Khan was part of a gathering of Muslims who organised a silent march on Sunday to protest the serial blasts in Delhi.
The march was organised under the banner of People for Peace in front of India Gate on Sunday afternoon. It was a predominantly Muslim forum used to express solidarity with the families of the blast victims.
But it also turned into a platform for Muslims to express the fear and discrimination they are increasingly facing in society.
“Terrorists do not have any religion. So why is one community being singled out?” asked Mustafa Arif, lawyer and one of the organizers of the march. Arif insisted that India should not become a soft target for terrorists.
“Look at what the US has done. It has single mindedly tracked down terrorists and punished them. We should do the same, be it SIMI or any other organisation,” said Arif.
Muslims present also voiced their apprehension about social discrimination. “Little things like finding a house on rent and job opportunities are becoming more difficult to come by,” said Faizan Naqvi, organiser.
Youngsters are disturbed and shaken by the turn of events, especially the encounter at Jamia Nagar. “We need strong ID proof to be able to get a house on rent. And we risk being questioned if we stay out late at night to a party,” said Farzaan Saeed, a first year MBA student of Amity Business School, Noida.
The idea was to make Indians realize that not all Muslims are terrorists, said Naqvi.
“We have to live in India. It pains us to see Indians die and suffer during a terrorist attack,” said Naqvi.