O My Country: Terror Attack in Mumbai

It is almost a frontal attack on our country. Around 25 terrorists entering in the heart of Mumbai and indiscriminately killing more than a hundred people and injuring almost a thousand is shocking and reprehensible to say the least. With many top cops dead in shootouts and grenade attacks this is no less than urban warfare. It is a moment for us to stand together as One irrespective of our differences.

Just the fact that even after 24 hours some of the terrorists are engaged in cross-firings with the best police and military capabilities proves that these are no normal people. They are well-trained and executing a well planned and coordinated attack. We need to get beyond the Hindutva conspiracy theories and ‘Blame the Muslims’ mindset. This is beyond such accusations and cross-accusations.

For a change the political class is showing the maturity of standing together and not trying to get a mileage out of this. We can hope that the same maturity is shown by all, once this calamity subsides. The dead and the injured in itself reflect that a terrorist strike does not differentiate any. A city of 19 million of which more than four million are Muslims, we are part of any such attack. The victims include HIndus, Muslims, Indians and non-Indians alike.

The frequency of the terrorist strikes in our country has been increasing and it gives a scary feeling of what lies ahead for the country and particularly for the Muslim community. If these people are from the local community then we can try whatever is possible. But if these people are coming from outside – as the latest reports inform – then it is an unfortunate situation as there is no way to control them from inside.

From the local perspective at least, recent attempts, creditably by the religious leadership, has shown the way. The recent conference attended by 6,000 Ulamas in Hyderabad to condemn terrorism, separating Islam from it in unequivocal terms and acknowledging a Fatwa against terrorism has reinforced the move that had already started early this year. The anti-terrorism Muslim rally attended by tens of thousands in Delhi a few months back and a major conference in Deoband attended by ten thousand Islamic clerics has almost started a movement of separating our religion from the despicable thought process of the violent extremists.

Yet it will be a naivety to expect that we will not be asked to prove ourselves above and beyond the rest and the whole 160 million community questioned by some (definitely not all) after every such strike (as by these 25 terrorists). We need to keep our minds in place and continue to genuinely voice our condemnation of any terrorist act and take all actions possible to root out any remnants of local terror and work hand in hand with our government for any external threat.

This particular situation is scarier than any before as the initial signs show that the perpetrators came from outside the country in boats contrary to the claim by one ‘Deccan Mujahideen’. If that is the case we as a community cannot do much on our own and we need to assist our government in how we are ready for any such future eventuality. Let us provide our help in whatever way we can to our government and the wider society. I pray to God that we get back to normal life and hope that the political class and the common man (both Hindu and Muslim) continues to show the maturity and agree that it is not about religion or a religious community. It is an attack on us (the Indians).


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