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Will Muslims speak up please!

Surfers endorse the view that silence of liberals is only adding to extremism.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 11:51 IST

Vir Sanghvi's candid expression that the silence of liberal Muslims was adding fuel to fire found favour with surfers. They seem to endorse the view that the double speak (on the part of India's secular brigade) needed to end.

That it was time liberal Hindus were equally vocal in condemning radical elements among Muslims as they did with their Hindu counterparts.

Like Sanghvi they chose to sprinkle their argument citing the recent incidents involving the offensive cartoons of the Prophet in Danish newspapers as well as MF Husain's nude paintings of Mother India.

Rahul Malhotra writing in from Mumbai was in total agreement with Sanghvi's views.

"I could not have agreed more with Vir Sanghvi. He has dared to say what no other mainstream journalist in India so far has! Many congratulations for speaking your mind…always!"

However, he felt that whatever the editor seemed to say, the paper in general did not reflect. Here's what he said.

"What pained me however was when your paper carried picture of MF Husain's nude painting on Bharat Mata. I am okay with the publication of this picture despite this being seen as yet another offensive to Indian sentiments but you are only defeating your views by publishing only Hussain's said picture and not the cartoons."

Qamer Sajid of Multan was one such liberal Muslim who chose to speak his mind.

Speaking on Sanghvi's article he said, "It was a thought-provoking article which encompasses every detail of the argument of 'being offensive' and resultantly 'causing damage to the civil society'.

It is true that the silence of liberal Muslims encourages the extremist mind to create fuss and hooliganism.

As the writer reveals many of such elements even do not know the cause of very act, they react for and they do so because there is no body to stop or question them of their act.

I saw the so-called cartoons and as a Muslim I do not find any thing in them to be offended, rather I felt a charming smile on my face. So what? A man ought not to feel its belief so fragile that it would break with a little knock."

He felt that had the Prophet lived in today's world, he would have been shocked at the behaviour of a section of Muslims.

He added, "Muhammad (PBUH) was such a peaceful and tolerant personage that if he would have seen these cartoons himself, I believe, he would have had a smile and would have asked his followers to stop nasty reactions."

He was in agreement with the writer that there must be an environment for free expression and religion must be brought to the question.

RD Bhardwaj Noorpuri from New Delhi called upon Indian Muslims to speak up against any offensive remark on any religion.

Here's how he put it.

"It is also observed during the last couple of days that thousands of Muslim people have taken out protest rallies in different parts of the country against printing (in Denmark, which is thousand miles away from India) of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed; why are our Muslim brethren keeping a studied silence when Hussain makes disdainful portraits of the Hindu deities?

They should also ponder over a little bit seriously, about their 'conspiracy of silence' over Husain and his so-called works of art, as their silence will widen the gap in our Hindu-Muslim harmony."

Here's calling all liberals to speak up against any kind of fundamentalism then.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 11:51 IST