The Muslim community in India was on Saturday divided on sectarian lines over the execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein with Sunnis expressing anger while Shias justified the hanging terming it as "just punishment" for a "criminal".
"Executing Saddam Hussein (a Sunni) in just at the time of Eid-ul-Azha is very unfortunate and this was done only to hurt the Muslim sentiments," Kamal Farooqi, a member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board said.
"The execution is a part of a deep conspiracy to fuel the sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis not across Iraq but the entire West Asia," he said, adding this will make the region more volatile and will have effect on India also.
Noted Shia cleric and vice president of AIMPLB Maulana Kalbe Sadiq justified Saddam's execution saying he deserved the punishment for "ordering killing of lakhs of innocent Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, women and children during his barbaric regime".
Member of AIMPLB and noted lawyer Zafaryab Jilani denounced the "illegal hanging" of a friend of India saying the Muslims strongly condemned the execution because "no legal procedure was adopted in conducting the trial and the sentence has been awarded without observing the principles of natural justice prevalent through out the world".
Jilani said that the execution of Saddam Hussein on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha was aimed at creating more void and rift among the Shias and Sunnis and to slow down the process of reconciliation in Iraq.