AN EARNEST APPEAL TO ISIS, KURDISH, SYRIAN AND IRAQI MUSLIMS
These workers came from different places of India, but shared poverty and misery for their lot. Earning a livelihood was the only motive that took them to Iraq. No more, no less.
India is home to world’s second or third largest Muslim population. Despite several problems that minorities face anywhere, Indian Muslims are far happier than many Muslims in even Muslim countries.
India’s Hindu majority is by and large peaceful and very friendly to India’s and other Muslims. Many Hindus visit, respect and adore Muslim places of worship. Islam has almost complete freedom to prosper in India without obstruction. Its growth was stunted, if so, only by reason of the misdeeds of Muslims themselves – Indian and non-Indian.
Yes, the incessant and internecine battles within Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria etc and the excesses committed by some Muslims on the uninvolved and non-combatant non-Muslims have tarnished the image of the Muslims and of Islam. If a certain backlash is lately visible in India, the only way to stop it is to stop such excesses.
We believe that you have no issues with India and its politics. At any rate these hapless workers have done nothing, nothing at all, to suffer. Their families and their fellow countrymen – including Indian Muslims – are extremely anxious for their safety and welfare. Indian Muslims are in complete solidarity with the affected families.
As a rationalist Muslim who has tirelessly worked for the emancipation of Muslims I earnestly appeal to you to please release these helpless workers as soon as feasible. And as one of the credible voices of common Muslims of India, I assure you that almost 180 million Indian Muslims desire the immediate release and safe return of these abducted people. It is also possible that you held them to keep them from harm’s way and are about to set them free yourself.
In the meantime if you can issue a credible public statement assuring that no harm will come to the abducted people and that you will release them unconditionally very soon, a great deal of solace will return to their families, and we will appreciate this richly.
If you care for the perception of Islam, for the welfare of Indian Muslims, and for the image of Muslims in general, please do not hurt non-combatants of any faith. Your kind and humane treatment of these unarmed poor will enhance the image of Muslims in general, and will show that even militant Islam has a positive side
M Hasan Jowher
President, SPRAT [www.sprat.in] Ahmedabad, India