Attack on Iraq is attack on Islam, says Imam Bukhari

"Muslims of India consider the US attack on Iraq as an attack on Islam and humanity," he said.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2003 17:38 IST

The US attack on Iraq flouted international laws and was tantamount to an assault on Islam, one of India's leading Muslim clerics said in New Delhi on Thursday.

In a statement, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, said: "Muslims of India consider the American attack on Iraq as an attack on Islam and humanity."

Bukhari accused US President George W. Bush of "targeting innocent Iraqi Muslims after killing thousands of Muslims in Afghanistan".

Describing the US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan as "provocative", the cleric said: "America should understand that it too cannot live in peace by making things difficult for Muslims."

Bukhari had earlier criticised US plans for military action against Iraq during sermons delivered after Friday prayers.

Pointing out that the US had flouted international laws, the UN charter and public opinion across the globe by attacking Iraq, Bukhari said the existence of Muslim nations would be endangered if "in this war America is not given a reply with an iron hand".

First Published: Mar 20, 2003 14:08 IST