02/11/2009, 00.00
INDIA
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India's Muslims call Al Qaeda threats "stupid"

This is the reply to the intimidating message to New Delhi from the terrorist organization. One Jamia Millia Islamia teacher says Al Qaeda wants war between Pakistan and India, "we must not get caught in their trap."

Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Indian Muslims are condemning the threats made by Al Qaeda against New Delhi, and mullah Abu Zafar Hassan Nadvi Azhari calls them "stupid and illogical."

In a video message on February 9, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the third in command of the organization and head of the terrorist group in Afghanistan, had said: "The mujahideen will not let you attack Muslims in Pakistan." The brief intimidating message is an answer to New Delhi's accusations against Islamabad, over the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Islamic religious leaders, intellectuals, and activists have responded to the threats from Al Qaeda by marking them return to sender. Asghar Ali Engineer, an Islamic scholar, says that "this is a political game and has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims."

In India, the Muslims are a little more than 12% out of a population of 1.1 billion, but in the districts of some states, like Assam, and especially Jamu and Kashmir, they represent more than 30% of the population.

Mullah Azhari says that the Islamic terrorist organization and radical Hindu movements like Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad are "two sides of the same coin. They talk in the same language of intimidation and threat."

For Hasan Kamal, a journalist and activist for the modernization of Islam, the threats of al-Yazid demonstrate the "sheer ruthlessness and lack of respect for dialogue" of Al Qaeda, which "is making [Pakistan] more vulnerable."

Akhtarul Wasey, a professor of Islamic studies at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, emphasizes that Al Qaeda wants war between Pakistan and India, "but we must not get caught in their trap and allow them to succeed."

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