07/28/2006, 00.00
INDIA
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Mumbai Muslims and Hindus unite to slam terrorism after bombings

A meeting organized by the "Citizens for Justice and Peace" gathered Hindu and Muslim leaders to talk about peace. At the end, 150 people who distinguished themselves helping victims of the July 11 blasts were honoured.

Mumbai (AsiaNews/ICNS) – A group of Hindu and Muslim religious leaders yesterday jointly condemned "terrorism linked to religion" in a "peace meeting" organized in Mumbai by the "Citizens for Justice and Peace", a voluntary group. The meeting assumes significant importance coming as it does in the wake of the city rail attacks on 11 July that claimed 200 lives and injured 800 people.

Speakers at the meeting included Veer Bhadra Mishra, the leader of the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, where a bomb exploded on 7 March, injuring several people. He reminded the gathering of "the need to be united in fighting terrorism".  He said: "Nothing should be done to create hatred and fear among people, especially in the name of religion. The evils created with this excuse actually have nothing to do with religion. We should not look at events in isolation but in a global perspective, in the context of what is happening around the world".

Mufti Fuzail-ur-Rahman Hilal Usmani of the Darus Salam Islamic Centre, Punjab, forcefully insisted that "Islamic jihad and terrorism are no way connected". He said: "The concept of the Holy War in Islam is the ultimate stage when man fights with all his might to break the shackles of slavery so that human beings can be free. But terrorism is not this: it only aims at creating fear and a climate of terror that snatches away from people their right to life. Human life is precious in Islam and the killing of an innocent being is akin to the massacre of all mankind. For us too, just as it is for everyone else, terrorism is a despicable crime."

At the end of the meeting, the group honoured around 150 residents of Mumbai who "distinguished themselves helping victims of the July 11 terror attacks".

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