Kanpur | February 26, 2006 9:06:22 PM IST
Thousands of Muslim women in Kanpur took to the streets on Sunday to register their protest against the Danish cartoons on Prophet Mohammed.
Holding banners and placards, the women walked silently through the streets. They said the cartoons smacked of hatred and disrespect to their faith, and had hurt their communitys pride.
We have launched this rally to show to the world that, we, the Muslim community, are a proud community and will not watch silently as the world crushes our Shariat (Islamic law). We will raise our voice against such happenings, said Sohalia Begum, a protestor.
Subaiyya Fatima, a young girl said that by organizing the rally they were only upholding their faith in accordance with the tenets of Islam.
Certain people have dared to insult the divine founder of the religion. Some blasphemous caricatures have made a mockery of him and the Muslim community will not tolerate it. Our Master had said that only those who protect the religion beyond his life, dear ones beyond all material love are the truest of Muslims and anyone else is only masquerading as a Muslim. So, here we are, protesting for his position of pride and God is Great, as my sisters in the Muslin community have participated in good strength of numbers today, she said.
The Danish paper Jyllands-Posten first published the cartoons last September, but Danish Muslims brought them to the attention of imams (clerics) in the Middle East, only in December and January.
The cartoons have evoked a strong reaction from Muslims all over the world. Angry protestors have set afire the Danish embassies in Syria and Lebanon, and at least 50 people have been killed during demonstrations around the world.
Uttar Pradesh Haj Minister, Yaqoob Quereshi, had last week, announced a reward of over 11 million dollars to anyone who killed the Danish cartoonists responsible for drawing the caricatures, while a Pakistani Muslim cleric offered more than one million dollars for the same.
Several religious leaders in India have however, condemned the announcement of a prize for the head of the cartoonists, saying it is un-Islamic.
The reprinting of the cartoons by several other newspapers and magazines in Europe, in what they termed as defence of free speech, has only fuelled the agitation.
While expressing concern about the growing controversy over the publication of the offending cartoons, Indian government had said any action that hurt the sentiments of any segment of its people are not acceptable. (ANI)