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Muslims rally against Christian attacks

Mangalore protesters say report into Karnataka violence unjust

Muslims rally against Christian attacks
Muslims organized a rally in Mangalore to protest increasing attacks on Christians
Francis Rodrigues, Mangalore

February 14, 2011

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Muslims in Karnataka, southern India have staged a rally in Mangalore to protest against attacks on Christians by Hindu radical groups. “Christians educate children and provide medical care for elders,” said Ali Hassan, convener of the Muslim Central Committee of Mangalore that organized the protest on Feb. 11. “But they are rewarded with continuous attacks on their churches by Hindu extremists. This can never be Hinduism or patriotism,” 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 commission’s report as it has not done justice to Christians even after a two-year investigation. Philomena Peres, a Catholic and former state Women’s Commission president, said the government “wasted” 190 million rupees (US$4.2 million) in producing a “biased and unjust report” on anti-Christian violence. Some 2,000 people joined the rally which started at a local mosque an ended at the district commissioner’s 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. Related reports ‘True Hindus’ absolved of violence charge Violence probe delay dismays Christians Commission seeks ban on sectarian groups IB13271.1641
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