07/29/2006, 00.00
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Delhi, letter to Singh: Muslims not terrorists, respect their community"

A group of 19 Muslim MPs wrote to the president of the union, asking for Indian Muslims to be treated decently. Since the Mumbai bombings, they have become a target of hatred of people and police.

Delhi (AsiaNews) – The Muslim community of India "is made up of pacific citizens that preach peace and non violence" and the attitude against them taking root in the country since the Mumbai rail bombs "must be stopped for the common good". This was the thrust of an open letter sent to the president of Indian Union, Manmohan Singh, by 19 Indian MPs of Muslim faith.

The MPs wrote: "Muslims all over the country strongly condemned the serial blasts on July 11, which go counter to the spirit of Islam. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the blasts, ministers, politicians, police and the media from Maharashtra and other states, sought to give religious colour to the act, calling it 'Islamic terrorism'.

"In doing so, they sought to blame the entire Muslim community, describing them as 'collaborators of evil' or 'anti-national elements'. After the blasts, the Mumbai Police and Anti-Terrorist Squad launched 'mass combing operations' in Muslim-dominated areas.

"Police arbitrarily arrested and dragged away Muslims by the dozens; they were made to sit in prison like criminals, their pictures publicized in the media. Such actions create ill will, suspicion, distrust and communal disharmony and they violate the basic human rights of hundreds of citizens."

The MPs added: "In this scenario, we would urge you to please take note of these happenings and to order that the perpetrators will be found, also bearing in mind the bomb explosion in April when two Hindu extremists died in Nanded, in Maharashtra itself, while they were making a bomb to set off at the Central Bureau of Investigation. We ask you this in the interests of justice."

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See also
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New bombs in London, same mastermind as July 7
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Hindu leaders threaten Muslim massacre in wake of Mumbai bombs
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