Voices of reason
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Voices of reason

The Indian Hindus and Muslims are to be congratulated that they acted with restraint at the time of the Mumbai tragedy, writes Firoz Bakht Ahmed.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2006 02:15 IST

As a Muslim, my head goes down in shame each time I find a Muslim name associated with any act of terrorism. I feel let down by these marauding Muslims who follow the same religion as I do. Muslim voices of sanity aren’t loudly heard. Even Muslims in London, while condemning the July 7 killings, added a ‘but’ (root cause) to it that, in a way, justified the act. Terrorism is an evil means to an evil end. Period. No ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ exist. Muslims are guilty of not speaking against what happened in Darfur while many are also guilty of being sympathetic towards a despot like Saddam Hussein.

The attacks in London and Mumbai and previously, Ayodhya, deserve strongest condemnation. It is all meant to derail the Indo-Pak peace process apart from aiming at the destruction of the secular fabric of India and destabilise the otherwise civil law and order in Britain.

Islamic jehad is misunderstood and misconstrued. It doesn’t mean that one has to be against other communities or religions. It is a battle against one’s own vices, and also fighting within society to root out evils of injustice, inequity, illiteracy and ignorance. First an individual fights jehad against himself to get cleansed. After that, he continues the efforts with his wife, family, locality and the whole community. This is Jehad-e-Akbar, the right meaning of jehad.

The so-called jehadis have no right to misinterpret the verses to suit their dastardly machinations. But exactly in line with these jehadis’ is the US mindset. It didn’t rebuke Israel for occupying Palestinian land though it attacked Iraq for aggression on Kuwait. This is how they interpret their war against terror that suits their whims and fancies of imperialism and Christian jehad.

A commoner Muslim must not be clubbed with the so-called jehadis and the likes of the Sangh parivar. Islam is under the scanner because it is believed that religion advocates violence. These terrorists act violently in the name of Islam. The terrorists’ interest was clear in Mumbai in July — to create a riot-like situation. The militants have no religion except death and destruction of the innocent.

At the same time, the government must examine whether these tragedies take place because of security lapses or whether the fight against terrorism has slackened. It is perplexing how terrorists repeatedly gain entry into hypersensitive areas. The security apparatus must be beefed up. We will not always be lucky.

The Indian Hindus and Muslims are to be congratulated that they acted with restraint at the time of the Mumbai tragedy. Given the fluid communal situation in India, the saner elements in the communities should take adequate steps to thwart attempts by communalists to play up such incidents.

First Published: Sep 07, 2006 02:15 IST