Tackling Terrorism: A Call To Hindu And Muslim Religious Leaders

Maulana Waris Mazhari
(Translated by Yoginder Sikand)

Inter-faith DialogueThe recent assault on Mumbai is the most deadly terrorist attack that India has witnessed so far, and it has shaken every Indian. Every one of us is asking how it is that we have become so vulnerable and what it is that we must do to confront this situation. It has become a sort of fad to blame politicians for all our ills and problems. Continue reading Tackling Terrorism: A Call To Hindu And Muslim Religious Leaders

Muslims Too Silent About Mumbai

Taj Mahal Hotel, MumbaiVengeful militancy has struck the humanity again, this time the target being Mumbai (Bombay) – India’s financial capital.

The well-choreographed and consummately executed mayhem has left more than 175 people dead, painting Islam as a monster religion hell-bent on destroying the globe.

While the world watched in total disbelief the swift unfolding of ruthlessness on train stations, a Jewish center, hotels and restaurants, I was longing for the faintest sign of protest from the global Muslim community. Continue reading Muslims Too Silent About Mumbai

Mumbai Carnage, Wish It Was The Last Horror!

Mumbai Terrorist AttacksThe coordinated attacks on the Taj Mahal Hotel and nine other sites in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) have claimed about 190 innocent lives, with hundreds more injured. Distressed Indians and concerned people all over the world are looking for answers.

Quick preconceived answers demand immediate retaliation. To mollify the public, authorities arrest and torture a few easy targets and extract confessions. Continue reading Mumbai Carnage, Wish It Was The Last Horror!

Terror In The Name of God

“Never forget that the life of this world is only a game and a passing delight, a show ….the life of this world is nothing but means of deception:. (The Quran, Al-Hadid: 20)

“There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim” (Baba Guru Nanak Sahib)

According to media reports, it is possible that the recent deadly assault on Mumbai was masterminded by the Lashkar-e Tayyeba, a Pakistan-based self-styled Islamist terrorist outfit. Continue reading Terror In The Name of God

Remembering The Mumbai Heroes

The city of Mumbai is slowly recovering from the terrible shock of the Wednesday gone by. Many of the dead have been buried. Families and friends of those who lost their lives in the Mumbai siege are slowly coming to terms with the reality. The firing is over but the lives of Mumbaikers transformed forever.

This is the time to pray for the deceased souls and a time to remember the brave people who saved many. Some of those brave men are lucky to be alive today, othere were not so lucky. Continue reading Remembering The Mumbai Heroes

Bombay: You Mourn, I Mourn With You!

Mumbai Terror Attacks Mourning

Dr. Abdul-Majeed Azad

Guns, grenades and shoulder-slung assault rifles AK-47
Afloat on the sea of blood, in search of a ride to Heaven
Few yet-blossoming young men, misguided and obscure
Troubled and angry, nevertheless slay two hundred for sure
Still innocent in the ways of the world, not yet out of age
Witnesses said ‘they’re smiling’, ‘fore going on rampage Continue reading Bombay: You Mourn, I Mourn With You!

A Letter To The Last Standing Terrorist

Taj Hotel BurningLast Standing Terrorist,

I hope you get to read this letter at the gates of hell where your fellow murderers are awaiting you. I would love to see the look at your face when you will be told that you are not a martyr as your valiantly claimed on the phone call but just a cowardly murderer who killed innocent people. Talking of phone calls, whom were you trying to fool by speaking in a Punjabi/Kashmiri accent while claiming to be from Hyderabad? Continue reading A Letter To The Last Standing Terrorist

O My Country

It is almost a frontal attack on our country. Around 25 terrorists entering in the heart of Mumbai and indiscriminately killing more than a hundred people and injuring almost a thousand is shocking and reprehensible to say the least. With many top cops dead in shootouts and grenade attacks this is no less than urban warfare. It is a moment for us to stand together as One irrespective of our differences. Continue reading O My Country

Mumbai Terror Attacks

Updated: No, I don’t think the saffron brigade is behind the attacks nor I was alluding to that in my original post. I leave conspiracy theories to my friends who can always concoct one that includes USA, UK, Israel, Jews, Sangh Parivar, Neo-cons and the Western Media. There is one email already doing the rounds. As a matter of fact it is immaterial what I think in view of the tragedy that is unfolding. Continue reading Mumbai Terror Attacks

Thoughts On Black Friday

Black Friday

Black Friday is a powerful movie. It is based on a book by S Hussain Zaidi and explores the story behind the Mumbai (then Bombay) blasts of 12 March 1993. The movie was well received by the critics but didn’t enjoy commercial success. Here is an excerpt from the rediff.com review:

The movie begins with a bang as the cacophony of Dalal Street’s hawkers and stockbrokers is stilled by the first of the 12 bombs going off at the Mumbai stock exchange. The terrifying silence after the explosion as the camera catches the blood-smattered aftermath sets you for a truly great reality cinema experience that rarely flags for nearly two and a quarter hours.

Some of the things that stood out for me in the movie are:

The Role of Police: It seems that the local police was complicit in atrocities against Muslim victims of the riots following Babri Masjid demolition. This has been the common thread in all the major riots in India. This has led to a lack of faith of Muslims in the sytem to give them justice or protect them at the first place. In the movie, Muslims fleeing Bombay were most afraid of the police than anybody else. Indian citizens in general tend to have more faith in the army than the local police to control riots. One of the reasons is that Indian army does not have communal ovetones. The other reason is that when they go out to control law and order situation in riot-hit areas, they are outsiders and don’t have a nexus with the local politicians and other criminals. However, when they stay too long at a place they seem to develop the police mentality as in Kashmir and Manipur. Another important fact is the absymally low percentage of Muslims in police force. All the policemen investigating the riots are non-Muslims. It becomes much easier for the rabble-rousers in the Muslim community to portay it as ‘us versus them’ battle.

Misuse of Religion: Religion has been used and abused by opportunists of every religion for personal and political gains. Be it jihad to justify acts of terrors or the harline Hindutva agenda, the gullible follower has been made to believe that he is doing a service to his religion by playing in the hands of opportunists. Tiger Memon lost his business, that too the smuggling business, and converted his personal revenge into a holy war for Muslims terrorized during the riots.

Complicity of the System: The unloading of the RDX was done with the complicity of customs officials and other government agencies. As long as they get their share of the deal, it is not a problem for them. It is unthinkable that arms and ammunitions can be smuggled into without the knowledge or involvement of government monitoring agencies.

Lack of Justice for Riot Victims: While the Bombay blasts have been investigated diligently and convictions have been obtained against the accused, the Shri Krishna Commision Report has not made much of a headway. The report that indicted top Shiv Sena leaders for murder and mayhem and was a ray of hope for victims of riots seems to have reached a dead end. Successive Democratic Front governments (Congress and NCP) have not done much in this regard and incidents such as these force Muslims to perceive the system as being against them. The erstwhile Sena chief-minister of Maharastra is on the record saying that he would prefer to resign than take any action against Bal Thackeray or Shiv Sainiks.

Use of Torture to Obtain Information: When Rakesh Maria, Additional Comissioner of Police and person at the helm of investigations of Bombay blasts, was accosted by reporters about the allege human rights abuse during interrogations, his response was that the people died during blasts were innocent and hence if a few innocents are caught during the process, it is price worth paying. Also, use of physical and psychological torture to obtain information from the arrested is something even a lot of Americans find acceptable including many in the current establishment. To expect higher standards in India on such issues will be too much of an ask. However, it certainly blurs the line between the terrorists and the people pursuing them.