Iraq crisis: Anguished Shia Muslims in India protest

Reacting strongly to the ongoing Iraq crisis and the alleged extermination of Shia Muslims in the Gulf country, around 3000 youths assembled at Jantar Mantar, an iconic observatory, in the heart of the Indian capital. Answering the religious groups’ call for a “unified resistance against the persecution of Shia” Shia Muslims from Delhi and adjoining areas were joined by a large number of students from Delhi University and Aligarh Muslim University.

Maulana Mohsin Taqvi, who is associated with a Shia mosque at Kashmere Gate, in old Delhi said that the propaganda of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the world over undermines the teachings of Islam. He said that that Karbala where the battle leading to Imam Hussein took place centuries ago and Najaf which holds the shrine of Imam Ali are among the holiest sites in Islam, and exhorted the government to take strict action in this regard. He also extended support for Shias all over the world and said that the entire community stands with them morally, adding that they will not shy away from extending any support that is needed.

The number of youths that have enlisted themselves for going to Iraq is more than 3000 and they come from all parts of India. There is an option to register online where registrations have been pouring in continuously. The list of registration is expected to be submitted to the Iraqi embassy if the need arises, Naqvi pointed out.

Students who have volunteered said that Iraq crisis raises “important questions” about security worldwide. One of the students said that they are aware of the situation in Iraq and they expect the Modi government to exert pressure and take strong action. He did not rule out the possibility of going to Iraq and taking up arms to protect innocent people.

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