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Page last edited on 12 March, 2003

Senseless violence in India:
Moral Obligation of Humanity

Saif ul Wahid, 1-Mar-2002.

Mischief Makers in India

Right: Smoke pours from the carriage of a train on fire in Godhra, Gujarat, on Wednesday. Up to 56 persons have died after a train carrying "Ram sevaks" from the controversial site of the razed Babri mosque was set on fire.

The recent burning of train bogies bringing Hindu activists from Ayodhya by a reportedly angered Muslim mob in India is a sad incident that needs condemnation from all quarters, especially much vocally from Muslim societies. More than 50 people are reported dead (burnt alive) that include women, men and children in equal numbers. Whoever is behind this gruesome crime must face the highest possible punishments. Initial media reports have cited that the mob was enraged because of provocative slogans by Hindu activists. 


Anti-Muslim elements in the Hindu society have found a guise to attack innocent Muslims and in the name of retaliation to this incident, many more Muslims have already been burnt (around 200 at last report I saw) in homes or cars, businesses looted in other towns in Gujarat. The Government of India needs to deal firmly, justly and impartially with all these mischief makers. These senseless retaliations are works of criminals and would continue but Muslims have to show extreme sense of composure and not to emulate these senseless re-retaliations.

The only route ahead - Dealing with Justice

In the heat of the moment, the first thing that seems to die is the sense of justice and fairness. We have to remember that justice is guaranteed for everyone irrespective of religion and this sense cannot be sacrificed by senseless acts by either community. The burning of a train is clearly an act that is a crime in the sight of God.

"O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for God as witnesses to fair dealing and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God for God is well-acquainted with all that ye do." (Qur'an 5.8) 

No one should refuse to acknowledge the wrong of their actions and fail to repent. Those who do so define themselves as rejectors of God's word, justice, humanity, and national values. Whatever provocation there was from the slogan shouting of those Hindu activists or whatever differences there are over the demolition of the Babri mosque & now construction of the temple, this in no way justifies the setting afire of train bogies (if its done by Muslims) that contained women and children. The Qur’an has clearly stated in no small terms:

"...We ordained... that if anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear Signs yet even after that many of them continued to commit excesses in the land." (Qur'an 5.32)

Questions would and should surely be raised what this mob really wanted to achieve, who were behind this well-organised massacre, the setting afire of a group of villagers returning from Ayodhya? Only impartial investigations can reveal whether this mob was actually pro-Muslim or pro-Hindu or pure-Politics. It is the Indian Government's responsibility to see that no injustice is done to all residents of India irrespective of whether they are Muslims or Hindus or anyone else. It is to the Government that Muslims should look for justice and direct their protests. The Government now has the moral responsibility to ban the VHP immediately & disarm it as it now poses the biggest open threat to Muslims in India.

The Government now has the moral responsibility to ban the VHP immediately & disarm it as it now poses the biggest open threat to Muslims in India.

An APPEAL to Muslim leaders &
all concerned individuals (especially of India): 

Being a Muslim, I would request my Muslims brothers and sisters not to lose their sense of justice because we stand accountable to God of whether we lived by God’s word of not.

"O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to God even as against yourselves or your parents or your kin and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts) lest ye swerve and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice verily God is well-acquainted with all that ye do." (Quran 4:135)

Please condemn such senseless acts of unjust violence through whatever mediums accessible to you (newspapers, radio, etc) and also actively encourage the study of Quran among Muslims of all ages. The reason for such thoughtless reactions is clearly because we are not understanding our religion and so it is becoming easier for mean minded people/politicians to not only trigger riots in the name of religion, but also succeed in what the evil desires they seek to accomplish. Do not allow hate mongers to swerve you away from the just path.

Equally important is the need to be cautious in the wake of more expected riots, be united and protect yourself, your families and friends, one another really, from senseless backlashes. Organize and unite yourself, not to unjustly vent your anger on innocents, but to protect yourselves and to seek justice with sensitivity for all.

May the Almighty protect us from harm and bring peace to our communities. May He give patience and piety to all those in India in this testing times of trouble. May He give us strength to stay firm on the straight path.

Seeking peace and protection in God,


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Last updated on 12 March, 2003

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