NEW DELHI – Several thousand Muslim protesters, some waving “Bush Go Home” placards, staged a rally in Mumbai on Tuesday on the eve of the US president’s visit to India.
President George W. Bush arrives in New Delhi late Wednesday on a three-day trip, which will also take him to Hyderabad, high-tech capital of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, but not to the country’s economic centre Mumbai.
“We’re here to protest against George Bush’s visit to India,” said Imtiaz Qureshi, 26, a fruit seller, sitting behind a banner that read: “America-Israel-Denmark: evil trinity.”
Newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that first appeared in Danish media last year have triggered anger among Muslims worldwide.
“We’re protesting against his (Bush’s) anti-Islam policies,” Qureshi added.
Police kept a low profile at the rally in a park in Mumbai’s centre that was was organised by a coalition of several Islamic groups.
“Bush is always making an issue of terrorism,” said another protester, Akthar Khan, 22, a student. “We’re here to protest against his visit.”