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Indian Muslims browbeat US lobbyists
By Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai, Inputs: M Ahmed Kazmi

In an exercise to gauge Indian Muslim intellectuals' reaction to the bombings in Afghanistan, and to call upon the services of some of the US Muslim leaders to interact with their brothers worldwide to clear up US position on Afghanistan war, US Embassy in New Delhi arranged a teleconference on 30 October between George Town University, Washington's Imam Yehya M. Hindi and American Muslim Council's director, Aly R. Abuzaakouk (of Libyan origin) on the US side and Jamia Hamdard Chancellor, Saiyid Hamid, former editor of Radiance Viewsweekly, Aminul Hasan Rizvi, Syeda Sayyedain Hamid of Muslim Women's Group, Media Star's Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi and others from New Delhi.The purpose of the interaction was ‘engaging Muslim Indians in a discussion on Islam in America and India and the American response to the September 11 tragedy.’

The planned duration for the interaction was one hour which was to be extended if need arose. It was taken up mostly by Imam Hindi, giving out the history of Muslims in the United States and their present condition. A much shorter time was made available to the Indian side, which was characterised by sharp reaction against the moral and legal basis of the American bombing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan. It was pointed out that both Al Qaida and Taliban were sponsored, nourished and exploited by the US as per its strategies in the past. Now that differences have cropped up, the argument is being settled through force that involves the whole nation of Afghanistan which cannot be punished for the supposed and unproved guilt of its government. As Afghanistan's Taliban government was not an elected government, why innocent Afghanis should become the victims of America's internal policy changes, an Indian interlocutor asked.

Both the US interlocutors evaded the questions raised by the Indian side and as it was felt that the going was becoming unpalatable, the teleconference was abruptly disconnected. The New Delhi embassy staff had drawn faces and they were fully convinced that nobody, even Indian Muslims, will accept the wanton death of defenceless innocent Afghan civilians, through the relentless, illegal bombings by a superpower supremely oblivious of all the norms of international rules, regulations and morality. All the genuine sympathies that were coming voluntarily to the US for the carnage of September 11, have evaporated all over the Muslim World in particular, and the silent protesting world in general, which is at a loss to understand as to how a superpower can be controlled if its leaders became as ruthless as Nazis.

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