The two religious leaders sign a joint declaration of solidarity with the victims in Sri Lanka. Those who sow death are "the incarnation of the most heinous forces on the earth." This is why “it is our duty [. . .] to banish them".
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The head of the Catholic Church of India and the leader of one of India's most important Islamic groups signed a joint declaration this morning in Mumbai, expressing their solidarity with the victims of the Sri Lanka bombings and condemned the bloodshed in three churches and three hotels in Colombo on Easter Sunday.
For Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), and Mawlānā Mahmood A. Madani, general secretary of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, "The persons and the groups responsible for the serials blasts are anti-human, anti-civilization and anti-God.”
According to the two religious leaders, those who killed at least 257 people "are the incarnation of the most heinous forces on the earth. To associate them with any faith would be most sacrilegious to the faith itself. Therefore, the people of all faiths must disown and condemn such barbarous individuals and groups. It is our duty to expose them and banish them from civilized society.”
In their statement, the cardinal and the mawlānā list five points in which they lay out their rejection of violence perpetrated in the name of religion and call for the elimination of terrorism. The points are:
1) The terrorist attacks become all the more gruesome if launched under the garb of religion and holy mission. Besides causing great loss of innocent lives, peace and harmony is destroyed. It is the prime duty of all faith leaders to stand up and use all our resources and to cleanse society of this evil.
(2) Attacks on religious places and during religious festivals such as Easter are perpetrated with a design to cause a divide between people of various faiths and communities. Therefore, we feel it all the more necessary that we stand together with our Christian brothers everywhere and assure them that we share their sorrows and pains and express our solidarity with them.
(3) We appeal to the government and law-enforcement agencies all over the world to be more vigilant and take effective precautionary measures making it impossible for any terrorist groups to play havoc with the life and property of civil society anywhere.
(4) Sri Lanka being our closest neighbour, we are ready with an offer of help to enable the victims to get over the unprecedented crisis in their lives. We propose to depute a high-level delegation of various faiths to Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities of cooperation and also to offer our sincere condolence to the bereaved families.
(5) We sincerely hope that media and peace-loving citizens of this country will extend their fullest cooperation for our endeavour against terrorism. We express our resolve to continue our struggle against terrorism and for global peace. We appeal to everyone irrespective of their religion, caste and creed to come forward to save humanity and to maintain social harmony and peace.