Saturday, December 06, 2008


Support for a black ribbon protest on Bakr-Eid on Tuesday, December 9, against the Mumbai terror attack has gathered more momentum. Eminent Muslims from the corporate world, cinema, theatre, media and advertising have registered their strong protest against the destruction of India’s secular values in the name of Islam.

“We the Muslims of India condemn terror in every land, in every divisive form,” is the emphatic message. The issue has brought together Muslims across sects and factions. Several groups of imams have already come out strongly against the attacks.

Many citizens from the minority community believe that the larger purpose behind the 26/11 strikes was to trigger communal violence. They hope the event will mark a historical moment, one that empowers ordinary Muslims and brings them freedom from being either suspect or victim. -- Times of India

Mohammad Azharuddin | cricketer | The protest will send out a strong message to the world. Everyone wants to live in a safe environment, and terrorism in the name of Islam has gone on for too long. If we love each other, we can tackle any kind of calamity. Respect for one another at every step can make sure no hatred breeds among people. To that end, the unified symbolism on Bakr-Eid across the nation is a movement of sorts.

Feroz Khan | theatre personality | The conflict is between values of ‘live and let live’ and those who want to die and kill. The young terrorist caught saw no hope in life and saw fortune in death. It’s a battle between civil society and barbaric forces that want India to erupt in violence. A shattered civil society becomes easy hunting ground for terrorists. 26/11 could have polarized the nation. To that end, the black ribbon gesture on Bakr-Eid is significant.

Waheeda Rehman | actress | Indian Muslims are together at last. India has seen terrorism for many years, but we are together in protesting on this scale for the first time. It is easy to break a single stick, but all together, the bundle of sticks will not break. If we all think we are first human beings then Indians, and then let religion and family come in, no one can harm our nation.

Mohammed Khan | adman | India’s Muslims are expressing complete contempt and abhorrence for the dastardly attack. The silent majority among Muslims is making itself heard. The protest is an outpouring of the community’s outrage at the crimes perpetrated in the name of Islam. It may be overdue but now the moment is upon us. Shias, sunnis, maulvis and maulanas of all sects and factions of Muslim society are speaking in one voice.

Qari Md Mian Mazhari | journalist | The government can continue to do whatever it is doing, but we, the people, will do our bit as citizens. Mulk ki security ke liye hum kissi se samjhauta nahin karenge . The issue is not only about a community but of the nation. For national integration, the role of the dargahs is essential. Religious leaders are coming forward at the nation’s hour of need to express unified solidarity with the people.

SM Rahman | corporate honcho | The movement is in response to the growing realization that this brand of professed Islam is not our religion. The sheer scale of the protest, cutting across all strata, shows unequivocal solidarity. In no uncertain terms, we are saying, first as Indians, then as Muslims, how reprehensible this wanton act was.

Salim Khan | screenplay writer | The protest will strengthen ordinary Muslims who face the brunt of a terror attack’s fallout. Veteran cops such as Hemant Karkare and others have marvellously dealt with the underworld. But in Mumbai, they were attacked. The attackers didn’t just keep bombs and run away. They meant to attack humanity, face to face. They killed and destroyed. How dare these men call themselves Muslim? Islam has peace woven into its greeting, how can terrorists call themselves followers of Islam? They don’t bother with the Prophet’s words, so they have no right to call themselves Muslim. This is not our religion.

Jaaved Jaffrey | actor | There is nothing Islamic about terrorism. Terrorists completely misrepresent Islam. What’s happening around the world is terrorism, not Islamic terrorism. In fact, the first of the Prophet’s traits that greets the reader is that he is benevolent and merciful. Our religion has to be protected from terrorists and that’s the message of the protest.

Syed Kalbe Rushaid Rizvi | cleric | We can’t bring back the lives lost or restore grieving mothers their children after the attacks. But we can express enmity for the enemy. The black ribbon appeal is in empathy and solidarity with the grieving families of those attacked and to demonstrate our hatred for the killers. Our appeal has been received by Muslims across India’s 7 lakh and more villages, cutting across the many sects and followings. Bakr-eid will see the world’s first such protest on this scale.