We Muslims from India who live in USA strongly condemn the violent attacks on Christian churches, religious places, Christian religious leaders and worshippers in the Indian states of Orissa and Gujarat by some hooligans on Christmas day. The Indian media has reported that in Orissa about a dozen churches were burnt down by violent hooligans, one worshipper was killed and several were injured. Similarly in Gujarat a traveling party of Christians was attacked and a pastor and several worshippers were severely beaten on Christmas day.
Through the centuries India has been the cradle of various religions that have preached the noble creed of communal harmony and tolerance. We Indians are the inheritors of the glorious pluralistic traditions of such illustrious leaders as St Thomas, St Francis Assisi, Mahatma Gandhi, Moinuddin Chishti, Guru Nanak etal. Religion based violence is totally abhorrent to our way of life. Indeed over the centuries Christians have contributed much to the development of India.
We strongly appeal to Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India; Navin Patnaik, Chief minister of Orissa and Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat to strengthen security arrangements for all Christian churches and all Christians who live in India to ensure that they can practice their faith without threat of violence or coercion. We also appeal to them to arrest the culprits who committed this violence and prosecute them in courts of law expedtously and bring the guilty to justice.
Association of Indian Muslims of America
December 27, 2007