Muslims condemn Mumbai attacks, worry about image

Muslims around the world, from the Middle East to communities in Britain and Austria, on Sunday condemned the Mumbai shooting rampage by suspected Islamic militants as senseless terrorism, but also found themselves on the defensive once again about bloodshed linked to their religion, AP reported.

Intellectuals and community leaders called for greater efforts to combat religious fanaticism.

The gunmen's motives were still unknown Sunday, four days after they unleashed their grisly attacks on 10 targets, including a Jewish community center and luxury hotels in Mumbai, India's commercial hub. More than 170 people were killed in the three-day assault.

But regardless of whether assailants were part of al-Qaida's global jihad or of the India-Pakistan dispute over the Kashmir region, many Muslims said they are worried such carnage is besmirching their religion.

"The occupation of the synagogue and killing people in hotels tarnishes the Muslim faith," said Kazim al-Muqdadi, a political science lecturer at Baghdad University. "Anyone who slaughters people and screams 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great) is sick and ignorant."

In Britain, home to nearly two million Muslims, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, Inayat Bunglawala, said that "a handful of terrorists like this bring the entire faith into disrepute."

Initial reports suggested that British citizens might have participated in the attacks, but the British Foreign Office said there is no evidence of that.

A previously unknown Muslim group, Deccan Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the Mumbai shootings, with the name suggesting origins in India.

However, Indian police said Sunday that the only surviving gunman told them he belongs to the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. The group is seen as a creation of Pakistani intelligence to help fight India in the disputed Kashmir region. Another group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, has also operated in Kashmir. Both are reported to be linked to al-Qaida.

Pakistan denied involvement, demanding that India provide proof. In Pakistan, Jamaat-ud Dawa, an Islamist group believed to have ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba, denounced the killing of civilians.

In Islamic extremist Web forums, some praised the Mumbai attacks, including the targeting of Jews.

A man identified as Sheik Youssef al-Ayeri said the killings are in line with Islam. "It's all right for Muslims to set the infidels' castles on fire, drown them with water .... and take some of them as prisoners, whether young or old, women or men, because it is one of many ways to beat them," he wrote in the al-Fallujah forum.

In the Gaza Strip, the territory's Islamic militant Hamas rulers declined comment. Hamas has carried out scores of suicide attacks in Israel, killing hundreds of civilians in recent years. However, Hamas has said it does not want to get involved in conflicts elsewhere.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referred to the attacks as terrorism, but added that the violence is rooted in "unjust policies" aimed at destabilizing the region. He did not elaborate.

India is seen by many in the Arab and Muslim world as a Western ally. For example, Israel has become an important arms supplier to India, angering Muslim Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia said in a statement carried earlier this week by the Saudi Press Agency that it "strongly condemns and denounces this criminal act." An editorial Friday in Saudi's English-language Arab News said that "no civilized person ... can be anything but revolted and sickened by the terrorist attacks in Mumbai."

However, Jonathan Fighel, an Israeli counterterrorism expert, said that Saudi organizations have been funneling money to Muslim militants in Kashmir.

"This demonstrates exactly the double game and, I would say, the hypocrisy of the Saudi regime," said Fighel of the Israel-based International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

Fighel said the Mumbai attacks bore some of the hallmarks of a global Islamic extremist operation, but that there were no clear leads. Diaa Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on Islamic extremists, said the perpetrators could be Islamic fundamentalists, but that the attack also fits the political agenda of India's neighbors. He did not mention Pakistan by name.

"The Mumbai attack was carried out by an organization that is bigger than an extremist group, an organization that has vital intelligence access, massive planning capabilities and scheming that is very sophisticated, coming out with such a high level of precision," he said.

Throughout the Muslim world, the attacks set off soul-searching.

"I think that Muslims should raise their voice against such actions. They should forge a coalition to fight such phenomena, because it harms them and damages their image," said Ali Abdel Muhsen, 22, a Muslim engineering student in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Muslims and Arabs must confront the violence "that is taking place in our name and in the name of our (Islamic) tenets," wrote Khaled al-Jenfawi, a columnist for Kuwait's Al-Seyassah daily.

"Unfortunately, we have yet to see a distinguished popular condemnation in the traditional Arab or Muslim communities that strongly rejects what is happening in the name of Islam or Arab nationalism," wrote al-Jenfawi.

President Ilham Aliyev: Our citizens' life and health is priority for us, despite the economic difficulties caused by pandemic
President Ilham Aliyev: Our citizens' life and health is priority for us, despite the economic difficulties caused by pandemic
President Ilham Aliyev: In fact, a dictatorship has been established in Armenia
President Ilham Aliyev: In fact, a dictatorship has been established in Armenia
Azerbaijani President: We urge all countries to refrain from supplying arms to Armenia
Azerbaijani President: We urge all countries to refrain from supplying arms to Armenia
Loading Bars
Latest
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll nears 140,000
President Ilham Aliyev: Our citizens' life and health is priority for us, despite the economic difficulties caused by pandemic
President Ilham Aliyev: In fact, a dictatorship has been established in Armenia
Azerbaijani President: We urge all countries to refrain from supplying arms to Armenia
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity has never been and will never be a subject of negotiations
President Ilham Aliyev: Negotiations must not be conducted just for the sake of negotiations, they must be target-oriented and meaningful
Azerbaijani President: International sanctions must be imposed on Armenia as an aggressor state
President Ilham Aliyev: To achieve sustainable international peace and security, there must be put an end to occupation
Global coronavirus cases pass 32 mln
President Ilham Aliyev made a speech at general debates of 75th session of United Nations General Assembly in a video format (PHOTO)
16 injured after tanker explosion in Nigeria's economic hub
Kazakhstan's export to China surge despite COVID-19
Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Turkey discuss topical co-op issues in call
President of Georgia receives Azerbaijani Foreign Minister (PHOTO)
Iran reveals share of free, special economic zones in country's export
Georgia's export of vegetables down year-on-year
Magnitude 4.2 earthquake shakes Istanbul
Azerbaijan’s Agroleasing opens tender to buy services
Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister takes part in meeting of foreign ministers of landlocked countries
Deputy Minister: Iran's petrochemical production potential spikes
Lavrov: Russia hopes for some new measures to preserve JCPOA
Demand for Azerbaijani AzerGold company’s bonds exceeds supply
Azerbaijan, Georgia interested in peaceful settlement of conflicts in region
Net profits of Georgian commercial banks increase
Azerbaijani FM meets with deputy chairman of Georgian parliament (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Air Forces conduct combat-training flights (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Timeframe for iron ore exploration in Azerbaijan's Dashkasan revealed
Azerbaijani Ministry of Finance to place state short-term bonds
Georgian Kula company doubles production of dried fruits
Georgia's exports of fruits, nuts soar
Georgia reveals volume of fertilizers exported to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani minister: Dashkesan iron ore deposit promises great prospects
Azerbaijan plans to export agricultural products to Arab countries soon
Asian Development Bank discloses amount of funds allocated to Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan continues importing more grain, legumes from Turkey
Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee to launch new services for foreign trade participants
Uzbekistan expanding geography of natural uranium exports
Number of migrant workers from Turkey in Georgia edges up
Kazakh political analyst: Azerbaijan - plays important role in Turkic-speaking world
Russia reports over 6,500 new coronavirus cases
Azerbaijan increases import of cars from Georgia
Kazakh import of steel from Turkey down amid COVID-19 global pandemic
Azerbaijani State Customs Committee presents new e-commerce project
Iran provides funding for industrial, mineral projects
Georgia sees increase in export of blueberries
Georgia reveals volume of hazelnuts exported to Azerbaijan
Fitch forecasts moderate dividends from Kazakhstan's KazMunayGas' equity affiliates
Turkmenistan’s Turkmennebit to buy electrical equipment via tender
Diesel imports increases in Georgia
Financing for Uzbek solar power plant construction approved
Azerbaijan's MFA comments on provocative activities of Pashinyan
External debt up in Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan receives Russia's test system for revealing COVID-19
Azerbaijan's Bank BTB kicks off cooperation with Universal Payment Transfer system
The 7th International womEncourage virtual meeting launched with Gold Sponsorship and Digital Partnership of Azercell
Kazakhstan's oil extracting company opens tender to buy accumulators
Cotton harvesting starts in Azerbaijan's Beylagan district
Most popular goods imported to Uzbekistan revealed
Cargo traffic via Turkish Erzurum Airport decreases
Iran to tackle tax evasion
France reports over 1,000 people in ICU due to coronavirus
Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan - key players in Turkic-speaking alliance
Iran looks to launch new freeway from Tehran to Karaj
CNG based vehicles could reduce fuel prices in Iran
United to provide COVID-19 tests to customers on San Francisco-Hawaii flights
CSTO resources cannot be used in territorial conflicts - Kazakh expert
Kazakhstan. Spain trade down twofold amid COVID-19
Shekel loses sharply on new lockdown restrictions
Iran hotel construction surges by 70 percent over 7 years
Signs COVID cases rising in Sweden again 'worrying' says PM Lofven
Iran`s Rouhani attends inauguration of several projects via video conference
Azerbaijani minister: Issuance of AzerGold's bonds - one of crucial events in 2020 for capital market (PHOTO)
Foreign Ministry discloses details of meeting of Azerbaijani, Georgian FMs (PHOTO)
Number of Kazakh cizitens sent back from Baku port during COVID-19 revealed
Azerbaijan reveals 133 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan expands trade relations with Turkey, Russia during quarantine
Russia increases volume of livestock exports to Turkmenistan
Contract on methanol production in Iran signed
PM: Georgia still remains green state status and safe destination for tourists
LUKOIL-Azerbaijan opens tender on repair work
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still rising in Iran
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic exceeds 25,000 in Iran
Central Bank of Azerbaijan discloses amount of foreign currency bought by local banks
Construction of new oil refinery in Iran starts
Major repairs of Dovletabat-Deryalyk gas pipeline underway in Turkmenistan
Harley books $75 million in fresh restructuring costs, discontinues India operations
President Ilham Aliyev: There is a very high-level partnership between the European Union and Azerbaijan
Baku Stock Exchange holds meeting on issuance of AzerGold's bonds (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan’s Baku International Sea Trade Port discloses total cargo turnover this year
Iran discloses its exports via Jolfa customs
Azerbaijani expert in tourism sector talks about discounts on air tickets
Iran, Malaysia hold talks on preferential trade
FM: Azerbaijan's support for Georgia's position at UN General Assembly essential for us
Mikhail Barkan: Azerbaijan - one of most tolerant countries in world
LafargeHolcim Signs Net Zero Pledge with Science-Based Targets
Turkmen Akymly-Ugur service company announces production volumes
Turkmen service company plans to expand its export geography
Geostat reveals volume of vegetables exported by Georgia to Azerbaijan
SOFAZ expects no changes in its foreign currency portfolio
Azerbaijan unveils amount of loans issued to farmers
All news