Terror hit Mumbai observes a sober Eid

December 9th, 2008 - 11:57 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 9 (IANS) Eid spells festivity, joy and celebration but the mood on Eid-ul-Zuha Tuesday was distinctly sombre in Mumbai, which is still recovering from its 60-hour terror siege. Many people decided to wear a black band on this festive occasion, or Bakr Eid as it is more popularly known, to send out a strong message - that terror will not be tolerated.

“How can you celebrate when your friends, people you know, are recovering in hospitals or mourning the death of their loved ones? For all those people who dare to link terrorism with religion, the message is this - you simply don’t know what Islam is,” Asma Sheikh, an advertising executive, told IANS:

Among those who faced the terrorists that struck Mumbai on Nov 26 were Sheikh’s best friends - a newly wedded couple.

“Ravi and Shama had just got married. And they wanted to throw a party at Leo’s (Leopold CafĂ©) since it is our favourite hangout joint. They had just reached the place when the shooting started. Thankfully, they were not seriously injured, but they haven’t been able to recover from the shock,” Sheikh said.

“This Eid I am keeping things very simple. I will distribute alms and food to the poor and wear a black band to mark my anger against terror,” she added.

Ashfaq Hussain, a taxi driver, said: “Forget about celebrations, it just doesn’t feel like Eid. There is no excitement in the neighbourhood and I just don’t feel like feasting. It’s a holy occasion that symbolises sacrificing in the name of god so I will observe the ritual but nothing more than that.”

“In my area, the head priest of the mosque has said that there will be a special prayer session during which it will be highlighted that by killing innocents you are committing a grave sin. No religion, especially not Islam, preaches violence,” he added.

There are some, however, who have said they will not wear the black band because they feel that it defeats the purpose of a united country.

“I don’t like it that every time there is a terror attack I somehow have to prove myself just because I am a Muslim. I don’t think there is any single soul in this country, no mater which faith he belongs to, who will be okay with the attack that killed so many innocent people,” Raihana Islam, an activist said.

“I condemn these attacks. But the black band should not be worn just by Muslims. It should be worn by all because we all have been affected by these attacks. That will signify the unanimity of the people,” he added.

Terrorists who India says came from Pakistan struck at several places in Mumbai on the night of Nov 26, eventually seizing two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre. The 60-hour nightmare left 172 people dead and 248 injured.

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