Mumbai/New Delhi: Muslims in India have been urged to wear a black band on their arms during Eid al Fitr special prayers on Monday while Jamiat-e-Ulema has cancelled its annual Eid Milan program to protest target killing of Muslims in different parts of India.
"To protest against the continues mob attacks on minorities, especially on Muslims and Dalits, we have decided to cancel Jamiat Ulema's Eid Milan program scheduled to be held on June 30, 2017", Mehmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat-e-Ulema said in a statement.
Referring to the lynching of a Muslim youth in a running train few days ago, he said the attacks on Muslims and Dalits are deliberate, coordinated and are being done with the intention of making them realize that they are second class citizens.
“We have taken the decision to call off the Eid Milan event with heavy heart. We are sure that the governments at the helm which so far have failed in protecting the Muslims and Dalits will initiate action against the perpetrators and assure security to those who are being targeted”, he said.
Meanwhile, more than two dozen eminent citizens, including former bureaucrats and army officers, have issued appeals to Muslims to wear black bands on their arms during Eid al Fitr prayers on Monday as a mark of silent protest against target killings of Muslims.
"We the Muslims of India call for wearing black bands on Eid Day in protest against failure of the Government of India to protect Muslims against uncalled for attacks”, the appeal signed besides others by Vice Adm (Retd) NM Nadaph, IAS (Retd) Moosa Raza, Justice MSA Siddiqui, Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari, Justice Zakiullah Khan, Justice Mohammed Anwar and former OSD to Prime Minister Office Syed Zafar Mahmood, said.
The campaign was started on social media on Saturday and gathered pace on Sunday with hashtags #StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds.
The campaign is prompted by the killing of Junaid, a 16-year-old Muslim youth, of Haryana in a running train near Delhi on Thursday. Junaid's two brothers and one other youth were also mercilessly beaten.
To register their anguish and pain, people in Junaid's village have also decided to sport black bands on Eid day which falls on Monday.
"As long as ministers and police officials are supporting us, we will not conduct a violent protest. We would only wear black bands and the pictures for the same would be posted on social media", he said.
Noted investigative journalist, Rana Ayyub, has endorsed the social media campaign and has written an elaborate note on her Facebook supporting it.
"Ramzan is a festival of compassion, empathy, brotherhood. While you engage in the festivities tomorrow, I think and urge that we should stand in solidarity with the victims of mob outrage and mark our protest by wearing a black band when we offer our Eid prayers tomorrow (Monday).
"It is a symbolic gesture and the least we can do to register that we are not a dead, conscience less society yet.
"I and many like me urge and request you to wear a black band tomorrow and please spread the word so that the deaf hear us, so that this majoritarian regime gets the message loud and clear. Please spread this message through whats app/ texts/ mails. Stand in solidarity", she wrote.