Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fathers of Bangladeshi terrorist killers seek pardon from victims' families; Vital need for moderate & tolerant preachers of Islam

The article, Dhaka killer’s father says ‘sorry’, http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/dhaka-killers-father-seeks-pardon-from-victim-tarishi-jains-family/article8812341.ece, dated July 6th 2016, gives an account of the father of one of the Bangladeshi terrorist boys, who (father) is a politician from the ruling Awami League party in Bangladesh, S.M. Imtiaz Khan Babul, seeking pardon from the family members of Indian victim, Tarishi Jain.

Tarishi Jain was a student at University of California, Berkeley, USA. From the article, Hundreds to attend vigil for UC Berkeley student killed in Bangladesh attack, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-berkeley-vigil-tarishi-jain-20160705-snap-story.html, dated July 5th 2016, "Hundreds of students are expected to attend a vigil Tuesday for a fellow University of California Berkeley classmate who was killed last week during a terrorist attack at a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh."

Some quotes attributed to Mr. Imtiaz Khan Babul from the above article:

I am seeking pardon from the family members of Tarishi Jain.
...
India has given our country so much from the time of Independence.
...
And now I got to hear that my son has killed so many people, including Tarishi. I pray that the almighty gives the family the strength to go through this traumatic time. I am shamed and shocked.
--- end quotes of Mr. Imtiaz Khan Babul from above article ---

The article also states that Mr. Imtiaz Khan Babul "expressed his condolence to family members of all the victims."

The article, Dhaka attack: 'That is not my son,' killer's father cries, http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/04/asia/bangladesh-dhaka-attacker-meer-sameh-mobasheer/, dated July 5th 2016, has a video interview of Mr. Meer Hayat Kabir, the father of one of the Bangladeshi terrorists. Mr. Kabir is not able to believe that his son could have committed such heinous acts. In the video Mr. Kabir is asked what he (wants to) say to the families and friends of the people who died in the restaurant. Mr. Kabir says, "I don't know what to say. I want to apologize to them on behalf of my son. He has got his worldly punishment. But I don't know how much involved he was - how (willing he was in his involvement)."

Ravi: Both fathers are shocked to see that their young well educated sons from what seems to be well-to-do families, got sucked into Islamic extremist ideology and committed these heinous acts of killing innocent people.

How vital it has become for teachers of moderate and tolerant interpretation of the Holy books of Islam, to come to the fore among Muslim congregations in the Indian sub-continent and across the world!

In this context I felt it appropriate to share my comment on Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208673468787476:

I am no supporter of Zakir Naik. I do think some of his views which I have seen/read in the past (some years ago) are very aggressive and very controversial. However, on this particular charge of him asking Muslims to be terrorists, here is what his wikipedia page, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakir_Naik, states:

'In 2010, Naik said that he had been quoted out of context regarding the remarks on terrorism. "As far as terrorist is concerned", he said, "I tell the Muslims that every Muslim should be a terrorist.... What is the meaning of the word terrorist? Terrorist by definition means a person who terrorises. So in this context every Muslim should be a terrorist to each and every anti-social element. I'm aware that terrorist is more commonly used for a person who terrorises innocent human beings. So in this context no Muslim should ever terrorise a single innocent human being."'

and

'When Time hinted that this remark could have inspired Najibullah Zazi's terrorist activities, Naik insisted: "I have always condemned terrorism because, according to the glorious Quran, if you kill one innocent person, then you have killed the whole of humanity".'
---end wiki extracts---

Ravi: I think the issue here is what does he exactly mean by innocent human being? Can non-Muslims be innocent human beings as per his standard? Further, what are his comments on this particular terror attack in Bangladesh? Were not those that were singled out to be killed as they could not chant Koranic verses (and so could be understood to be non Muslims, as per their standards), innocent human beings? Does he condemn the attack or is he keeping quiet? If he issues a clarification that he condemns the attack then I would give Zakir Naik the benefit of the doubt on this particular matter. Further, it would be appropriate for him to take steps to ensure that his statements be framed in such a way that they do not get misinterpreted by extremist terrorists as encouragement to kill innocent non-Muslim people.
--- end comment ---
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Readers may want to read my related blog post, Muslim preacher Zakir Naik clarifies that he does not promote terror, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/07/muslim-preacher-zakir-naik-clarifies.html, dated July 6th 2016.

[I thank latimes.com, thehindu.com, cnn.com and Wikipedia, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts (short extracts from latimes.com, thehindu.com and cnn.com) from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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