The Candid Eye

November 19, 2009

War in defence is acceptable, but not guerrilla or proxy war that is un-Islamic

Tributes to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks began Tuesday in solemnity with various religious leaders coming together to express their condemnation of killing of innocent people in the name of religion.

Yet, the sombre occasion was not devoid of representatives of the two largest religions in India — Hinduism and Islam-— conveying their feelings and reactions in a subtle manner. Hindu leader Swami Gnanatej of the Art of Living Foundation in his opening remarks stated how India for ages had welcomed various kinds of people and taken the path of non-violence.

But with the recurring acts of violence on the nation, “we will not take it lying down and need a mass rising at this moment,” he told an inter-faith gathering organised by US-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre and India’s Art of Living Foundation.

Dr. Khwaja Iftikar Ahmad, Founder, Interfaith Harmony Foundation of India, said: “We should not talk about mass uprising but a mass awakening. We have to get together and fight together. Human misery is common to all and we have always condemned all acts of violence.”However, he stressed that it was important to convict all culprits of communal violence which has not happened in the country.

In response to the Swami’s statement that the media did not publicise how the 26/11 terrorists had not harmed Muslims, Ahmad said that 33 out of 177 who had died last November were Muslims.Echoing his sentiments was Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. “War in defence is acceptable, but not guerrilla or proxy war that is un-Islamic. Violence begins in the mind and to reach a solution, one must first kill the violence present in the human mind,” he said.

“We will never forget the victims of 26/11 and hope that the victims here are the last ones ever here and anywhere else in the world,” said Israeli Consul General Orna Sagiv.The Swami said that it was unfortunate that “outdated fatwas” were still being issued and condemned those, especially politicians, who divided the people on the basis of religion.

Wake up call

The Swami stressed that “26/11 was a wake up call as it targeted the rich and mighty. All that happened (bomb explosions) in Jaipur, Ahmedabad or Delhi largely went unnoticed as the common people suffered.”


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