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Muslims rally against Christian attacks
Mangalore protesters say report into Karnataka violence unjustMuslims organized a rally in Mangalore to protest increasing attacks on Christians
- Francis Rodrigues, Mangalore
- February 14, 2011
âChristians educate children and provide medical care for elders,â said Ali Hassan, convener of the Muslim Central Committee of Mangalore that organized the protest on Feb. 11.
âBut they are rewarded with continuous attacks on their churches by Hindu extremists. This can never be Hinduism or patriotism,â Hassan asserted.
The Muslim leader said they organized the rally to protest a government commission repo that exonerated Hindu extremists from attacks on churches in the state in 2008.
The commission headed by B. K. Somashekhara, a retired judge, submitted its report on January. 28.
Mohammad Kunni, a Muslim youth leader, lamented attempts by Hindu extremists to brand Muslims as terrorists and Christians as conversion agents.
He noted that Christians, Hindus and Muslims live together in Indian villages sharing joys and sorrows and transcending social and religious barriers.
K. L. Ashok, a Hindu and secretary of the forum for communal harmony, told the protesters to reject the commissionâs report as it has not done justice to Christians even after a two-year investigation.
Philomena Peres, a Catholic and former state Womenâs Commission president, said the government âwastedâ 190 million rupees (US$4.2 million) in producing a âbiased and unjust reportâ on anti-Christian violence.
Some 2,000 people joined the rally which started at a local mosque an ended at the district commissionerâs office.
The Muslim leaders later presented a letter to the commissioner demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the church attacks.
They also demanded the release of Muslim youths arrested for alleged terrorist attacks in various parts of India.
âTrue Hindusâ absolved of violence charge
Violence probe delay dismays Christians
Commission seeks ban on sectarian groups