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The Mumbai attacks refer to a series of bombing and shooting attacks that were carried out in Mumbai in November 2008. The attacks were performed by Islamic attackers. The attacks were very severe and deadly and left more than one hundred and fifty people dead and four hundred others seriously injured. It was carried out in a series of attacks of more than ten bomb blasts at different parts of the city of Mumbai. These attacks were carried out by members of a terrorist organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which originates from Pakistan. The attacks received condemnations from all over the world, with the strongest rebukes coming from non-Muslim religious organizations.
Historical data on Mumbai shows that the city has been prone to attacks since another coordinated attack and bomb explosions on March 1993. Similar attacks were undertaken by terrorists in December 2002, January, July 2003 and July 2006. All these attacks have been associated with Islam and its related terrorist organizations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba. On the eleventh day of July 2006, the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) also exploded seven bombs in Mumbai injuring almost one thousand people.
According to Arundhati Roy, there was little evidence that could support the linking of Muslims and the suicide bombings. The writer suggests the leaders and politicians should not put unnecessary blame on the Muslims due to their different view on religion. In the article The Monster in the Mirror, the author sheds light on how certain politicians made revoking remarks after the attacks, evidence that they were pointing fingers at Muslim faith followers. A Prime minister was quoted saying that they (Hindus) were ready to kill every Muslim in the city (Kronstadt 23). However, the writer views this as a show of unreasonable hatred and rage against a particular religion. He insists that the politicians should take responsibility of the problems they have created. It is further revealed in the article that the information and historical data available on the Mumbai attacks are not sufficient enough to offer a guideline identification of the source of the attacks as well as pave way for any further investigations. For instance, data on the November 2008 attack only mentions that it resulted from a split between two fishermen who collided with the local Marathi fishermen.
Investigations by US officials indicated that the attackers were provided with support by an intelligence unit in the Pakistani government. Some media houses also reported Kasab, the only attacker that was caught alive, informing the police on how the group received assistance from local residents of Mumbai city. Police records similarly linked a state-owned fire-arms manufacturing firm of China with the attacks. It was found that the organization manufactured and supplied various types of grenades that were used during the attacks (Kronstadt 142). In my opinion, the Mumbai attacks were thus a well planned activity. This gave the writer enough courage to tell the politicians that the attacks actually occurred due to their leadership weaknesses and ignorance, and not as a result of religious disintegration.
It was further reported that various bodies of the attackers that were killed by the Mumbai police were laid in mortuaries for several days, after Muslim clerics refused to offer burial grounds. In my opinion, this is a suggestion that the Muslim community were only trying to delink themselves from such terrorist activities.
As a traditional religious practice, the Indians could stay vigil for several nights in memory and commemoration of their loved ones who were killed during the attacks. The Muslim community, on the other hand, appealed to their believers to set aside Eil-al-Adha as the Memorial Day for December attacks. The attacks similarly set off and catalyzed religious movements and human rights groups against any future attacks. Some of the survivors went further and preached forgiveness. One was quoted saying that a miracle happened in her life. She was shot from the back, and the bullet was just a few inches below the heart.
Muslim officials had a hard time defending their religion. They claimed that terrorism has no religion and thus advised that no act of terrorism should be linked to Islam. If it happens that a Muslim was involved in terrorism, the person should be viewed as an individual and not as a Muslim. After the bombing attack in Mumbai, a Muslim leader was reported saying that no religion in the world preaches atrocities against innocent men, women and children. However, records show that most terrorists confess the Muslim faith, and if not, are related in one way or another to it.
In my opinion, it is worth noting that terrorists work as independent individuals or groups and may not have any direct link with a particular religion. This is a fact that everybody should embrace. It is wise that people stop pointing fingers at members of certain faiths simply because a member did a virtue. As a Swahili saying goes, one fish does not spoil all the rest in the cooking pot. An individual’s act should not be used as an identification tool for the rest.
In conclusion, religious beliefs and theories should not be used to undermine, discriminate, exercise violence towards or harass certain members of the community on the contest of their faith. An individual’s character and identity might be the exact reciprocal of his/her religion. It is, however, important to note that our beliefs have adverse effects on our thinking, and may be directly reflected in our actions. This does not, in contrast, guarantee similarity in behavior between different individual confessing the same faith. This would mean stereotyping. As per the article, The Monster in the Mirror, politicians should mirror themselves and see the problems that they have caused to citizens. They should divert blames to innocent people based on their stereotyping, prejudice, color, race or religion. Records from various government archives show that different people with varied religious backgrounds were killed before and after the November 2008 Mumbai attack. These people included Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Jews as well, and hence it did not target any particular religious group. I would thus recommend that India would not have responded to the terrorist attacks by revenging, because this would just lead to more killings of the Indians. The government and political leaders should take responsibility for their actions.