Saturday, December 06, 2008

Indian Muslims Take a Stand

In an unprecedented move, Indian Muslims have refused to bury in their graveyards the nine terrorists who killed almost 200 people and injured many more in India's financial hub last week. The Muslim Jama Masjid Trust, which runs a 7.5-acre graveyard in the heart of Mumbai, said it would not bury the gunmen because they were not true followers of Islam. Declared a spokesman for the trust: “People who committed this heinous crime cannot be called Muslim. Islam does not permit this sort of barbaric crime.” Other Muslim organizations throughout India have voiced support for the decision by the Trust.

The president of the Indian Muslim Council, Ibrahim Tai, said that the terrorists had defamed Islam. "They are not Muslims as they have not followed our religion which teaches us to live in peace. If the government does not respect our demands we will take up extreme steps. We do not want the bodies of people who have committed an act of terrorism to be buried in our cemeteries." Many Muslim groups have vowed to take to the streets in protest if the authorities force the militants to be buried in Muslim graveyards.

Against the backdrop of the terrible tragedy that befell Mumbai last week, this stand by Indian Muslims offers some solace. The terrorists and their masterminds who claim Islam as their religion must know that they have been exposed for what they are: cold-blooded killers with no respect for life. They will find no place on earth because their abode is hell.

P.S. On December 8, thousands of Muslim men, women and children came out on the streets of Mumbai to denounce the terrorists. "We disown and denounce all those who kill in the name of jihad. Terrorists are fascists and enemies of Muslims as Islam doesn't preach killing of innocents," said poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar.

For the first time, liberal Muslims were joined by clerics from organizations such as the Jamiat-ul-Ulema in expressing anger at terrorists who have hijacked Islam. Actor Javed Jaffrey said Muslims had to speak out because "it was Islam that was being maligned. There is nothing called Islamic terrorism. Islam is being misinterpreted by some groups. They kill people in the name of jihad. A religion that asks its members to greet each other with `Assalamu Alaikum (peace be with you)' could never

Actor Farooq Sheikh said: "Terrorists are Muslims' number one enemy.” Activist Alyque Padamsee explained that there were two types of Muslims - real and fake. "Terrorists are fake Muslims while peace-loving tolerant Muslims are the real Muslims," he said. "... The killing of innocents is wrong. Those who don't believe it are fake Muslims. Committing suicide is a sin in Islam, so how can a suicide bomber believe he will go to paradise?”

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