Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Mumbai attacks call for a collective Muslim outrage
By Bashir Goth
As I watched terrorists attacking Mumbai, India’s business capital, and playing havoc with the city’s famous landmarks, on November 26, I immediately remembered Hargeisa, capital of my country Somaliland, where almost a month before suicide bombers caused chaos by driving SUVs laden with explosives to the presidential palace, UNDP headquarters and the office of the Ethiopian Political Representative, killing scores of people and injuring many others. Just like India dubbed November 26 as their 9/11, my people in Somaliland have also dubbed their tragedy on 29/11 as Somaliland’s 9/11.

My first reaction to both tragedies was outrage. It is impossible to stay indifferent before such wanton killing of hundreds of innocent lives and destroying a country’s symbols of history and civilization. The terrorists’ choice of targets also says a lot about the venomous hate and the blind hostility that they have for human innovation, beauty and progress. Targeting Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel and the Trident-Oberoi was to hit India where it hurts most, the country’s sense of pride, just like their comrades did when they attacked New York’s Twin Towers.

Targeting western tourists, religious centers and public transport is also their way of maximizing the pain and delivering fear onto every world citizen’s doorstep. The reaction to this plague until now has been feeble and scattered on the world stage and almost indifferent at best and shameless schadenfreude at the worst in the main Muslim street.

The latest attacks in Mumbai should signal the end of world silence and inaction. It should stir a sense of outrage and anger in every peace loving human being. Any attempt to search for plausible justifications and motives just flies in one’s face when one finds that India is home to 150 million Muslims, representing the second-largest Muslim population in the world, after Indonesia's 200 million Muslims and larger than the entire population of Arab Muslims, which numbers around 140 million. So what kind of Muslim cause do these people claim to fight for when they endanger the lives of 150 million fellow Muslims and put them on the defensive to clear their name and that of their religion from the mess they have created.

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