In a joint statement issued on September 14, eminent Indian Muslim leaders condemned the attacks on and burning of Christian properties, calling the act ‘despicable’ and ‘uncivilized’. The statement says:
“We disapprove disrespect to any religion or desecration of any sacred scripture or vilification of any religious personality or attack on any religious place, anywhere in the world, and consider it a despicable and uncivilized act. Islam specifically prohibits such acts and behaviour. Therefore, whatever the provocation, we strongly condemn the attacks on Christian properties and institutions in some places in Kashmir and in Maler Kotla in the Indian state of Punjab. We urge the authorities concerned to take stern legal action against the culprits.
“We also appeal to our Muslim brethren in India, in particular, and elsewhere, in general, to show restraint in such situations and limit their disapproval and protest against such incidents to peaceful demonstrations, press statements and memoranda to the authorities concerned.”
The signatories to the statement included Syed Shahabuddin, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat; Nusrat Ali, Secretary General, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind; Asaduddin Owaisi, MP, Leader, Majlis Ittehadul Muslimin; Dr. Zafar Mahmood, President, Interfaith Coalition & Zakat Foundation of India; Navaid Hamid, General Secretary, Movement for the Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN); and Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette & former-President, AIMMM
In another statement some other Muslim leaders joined millions of those who have condemned the attempts of some individuals in the USA to desecrate and burn the Qur’ān. They strongly felt that these misguided individuals have never went through the message of the Qur’ān, which has universal appeal and has message of peace and brotherhood for all mankind, and their hate acts have vitiated the bonding between the Christian and the Muslim communities across the world.
The statement said, “These irresponsible acts of desecration of the Islamic holy book have brought heat of hate reactions in India too and unfortunately Muslims have violently reacted to the incident in some parts of the country and have vandalised places of worship and educational institutions of the Christian community. Any religious follower has a right to protest the desecration of the religious scriptures but has no right to attack the individuals or places of worship of others as Islam forbids it very clearly. Any such attack needs to be equally condemned as that of the desecration of the Qur’ān by some individuals in the USA.
“We appeal to the Muslim community in India to show restraint and not to fall into the trap of those who wish to work for clash of religious followers of two Abrahamic religions – Islam and Christianity across the globe.
“We appeal to the Governments of the USA and India to explore all possibilities of legal actions against all those who have desecrated the Islamic holy book or have vandalised religious properties or have attacked the innocent individuals in the name of religion,” said the statement.
The signatories to the statement included Manzoor Alam, General Secretary, Milli Council; Mujtaba Farooque, Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind; Niaz Farouqi, Secretary, Jamiat Ulama Hind and Navaid Hamid, Secretary, South Asian Council for Minorities.