09/25/2012, 00.00
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Nepal, Muslims condemn the anti-Islamic film, and invite dialogue

by Kalpit Parajuli
The peaceful protest was held last September 23 in front of the U.S. embassy in Kathmandu. The event was attended by 16 Islamic organizations and groups. Muslims ask U.S. authorities to investigate and punish the perpetrators of the film. Solidarity and dialogue with Christians and followers of other faiths.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - The Nepalese Muslim community protests against the anti-Islamic film produced in the U.S., but also calls on all Muslims to dialogue with Christians and other faiths. Organized last September 23 in Kathmandu, the event was attended by 16 Islamic associations and groups. Local sources point out that the demonstration took place peacefully. The crowd shouted slogans only against the film, asking the U.S. authorities to investigate the authors. Unlike other countries, no one launched accusations against Christians, often identified with Western culture.

In a letter sent to the U.S. embassy in Nepal, Gulam Rasul Mya, leader of the Islamic Association of Nepal, said that "Muslims have never blamed Christians for this movie. There is a deep mutual respect between the two religions. Both faiths are victims of those who through their actions are trying to spark an inter-religious conflict. " The Islamic leader appeals for authorities to isolate these elements. "We - he adds - believe that the film Innocence of Muslims is a product of this drift. We want to live in harmony with all faiths, those who offend the religion of others must be brought to justice."

Nepalese Christians and Muslims have always lived in an atmosphere of harmony and mutual respect. To date there are no cases of violence or clashes between the two communities. For several years, the leaders of the two religions have wored together to protect the rights of minorities, often violated in the Hindu-majority country.

In September 2011, an armed commando, maybe Hindu extremists, killed Faizan Ahamed, Secretary of the Islamic Federation of Nepal. Along with leaders of other faiths, the man fought for the recognition of minority rights in the future secular constitution of Nepal. His death has caused concern and pain among the Muslims, but also among Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists and Baha'is, who have expressed their solidarity and condemned the act.

Muslims account for about 4% of the Nepalese population. The most important communities are located in the Terai region (southern Nepal).


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