Indian Imam: Terror Attacks are ‘Divine Wrath’ for US Tyranny
India's top Muslim cleric Tuesday said the terror attacks on the United States were signs of "divine wrath" and a warning for Washington to stop its "anti-Muslim policies."
Syed Ahmed Bukhari told a press conference in India's biggest mosque that the United States and its allies should also steer clear of retaliating against innocent people in Afghanistan.
"The world is describing what occurred in America last week as the worst attack of terrorism, but I consider it divine wrath on the American government for all its tyrannical activities," Bukhari said at New Delhi's Jama Masjid mosque.
"In my opinion it is a reaction to the oppressive activities of the US on Muslims in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. ... Muslims are being targeted in different parts of the world for the last 50 years," he added.
While stressing that he felt the "great loss of human lives" in the attacks which left more than 5,000 people dead or missing, the cleric went on to warn the United States that any retaliatory action against Afghanistan would only lead to a new cycle of violence.
"If the US opts to attack Afghanistan a severe reaction from the world will follow swiftly and be natural," Bukhari warned.
"America should keep in mind that the arrest of Osama Bin Laden or the destruction of Afghanistan is not the solution," he said. "The only solution lies in the revision of its policies towards Palestine and Iraq."
Bukhari said the United States should reverse its "anti-Muslim policies" in the Middle East.
"It should persuade Israel to vacate occupied Palestinian and Arab land and restore the right of self-determination to the Iraqi people. America should also grasp by now that violence creates violence," said Bukhari
In contrast to the belligerent tone adopted by India's top Muslim cleric, India observed a two-minute silence Tuesday to mourn the thousands killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
Tuesday was observed as "anti-terrorism" day by the federal government, led by Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee -- NEW DELHI (AFP)
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