In a heart-warming gesture, a top Muslim leader from Karnataka’s Mysuru, on Saturday, appealed to the Muslims to turn up in large numbers on Sunday and stand outside St Philomena church, the main Mysuru church, while the Sunday mass is in progress.
The purpose of the move is to show solidarity with the Christian community following the ghastly terror attacks that shook the neighbouring Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that left more than 350 people dead and hundreds injured.
Munawwar Pasha, the president of the Mysuru chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JeIM) said the appeal has been made to convey the message that the Muslims and other communities stand by the Christians at this hour of grief.
“I am sending this message to ask the Muslims to stand outside the main church of Mysuru, St Philomena, this Sunday to extend solidarity and show that we stand united and hate cannot divide us,” he told PTI.
Pasha’s message, in an audio format, has been circulated through social media.
“When New Zealand had faced the terror attack at a mosque last month, the Muslims were overwhelmed with the amount of support received from various communities.
“We saw thousands stand together in solidarity with us against the far right attack,” Pasha said, adding that mosques in various parts of the world saw Hindus, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, and many others offering protection and in solidarity with the Muslims.
“Sri Lanka suffered an appalling attack on Easter Sunday. Churches were attacked while their congregation was in worship, just as those in New Zealand were,” he said.
The Islamic State or the ISIS had claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks while, on Monday, the Sri Lankan government had said that it suspected a local Islamist extremist group called National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) to be behind the terror attacks.
While in New Zealand, at least 49 people were killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire on worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 during Friday prayers.