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Massive Muslim solidarity against offensive caricatures

A MAMMOTH rally was taken out on Friday afternoon to protest the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad published in some newspapers in Denmark and other European countries. Residents and police agreed that it was rare for a procession to be so huge and was second only to the historic procession taken out in the 80s in Bhopal on the Shahbano issue.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 13:40 IST

A MAMMOTH rally was taken out on Friday afternoon to protest the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad published in some newspapers in Denmark and other European countries. Residents and police agreed that it was rare for a procession to be so huge and was second only to the historic procession taken out in the 80s in Bhopal on the Shahbano issue.

The silent procession started soon after the Friday prayer from the Iqbal Maidan and marched towards the Raj Bhawan to submit a resolution to be forwarded to the Prime Minister on the issue. Earlier, businesses and shops had been shut in Laxmi Talkies, Qaziq Camp, Budhwara, Kabadkhana, Islampura, Itwara and some other localities of the Walled City in the morning itself.

Holding placards in Arabic, English, Urdu and Hindi, the participants started moving from Iqbal Maidan at around 3 pm. The messages on the placards ranged from those aimed at Western media like ‘We believe in Jesus and Mary, why can’t you just respect Prophet Muhammad’ to those in Urdu like ‘Huzoor ki shaan mein gustakhi maaf nahin ki jayegi’.

The turnout was so massive that it far exceeded the estimates of police and administration. Still, the rally passed off smoothly and reached the Raj Bhawan by 4 pm.

At one point of time length of the rally was such that it had reached Lily talkies and tail end was still near Budhwara. Estimates ranged between 60,000 to over 1 lakh. The walled city had come to a virtual standstill for around three hours and traffic from New Market had to be diverted.

As Governor Dr Bal Ram Jakhar had left for Hyderabad, the resolution was handed over to the Governor’s office. The Shahar Qazi Abdul Latif read out the resolution before the participants following, which ‘dua’ was offered and the rally dispersed.

The resolution conveys the feelings of Muslims to the Prime Minister on this issue and urges him to ask the Western countries where caricatures have been published to take action against those guilty of such provocation and evolve a mechanism that such things should not recur.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 13:40 IST