Religious leaders condone acts of violence in the name of religion
A social need and religious responsibility of all to prevent violence in all forms and strive for integration and harmony amongst all sections of society.
In response to the communal violence that took place in Hyderabad on Sunday after communal clashes broke out following the desecration of a place of worship at Madannapet, resulting in heavy stone-pelting and brick batting, a group of religious leaders (COVA) including Bro. Varghese SG of MSI came together for a Press Conference and issued a press statement that was reported in the papers.
COVA (Confederation of Voluntary Associations) is a national network of voluntary organizations dedicated to the issues of social harmony, peace and justice. Its prime focus is on citizenship rights and on perspective building for harmony and peace in South Asia.
Religious Leaders of all Faiths to Jointly Cleanse / Repair Any Desecrated Places of Worship in AP
We the practitioners and leaders of different faiths are deeply hurt by the mindless violence that is unleashed in our city of Hyderabad in the name of religions and express our heartfelt sympathies for all those who were injured and lost properties and also for thousands of residents of Madannapet and Saidabad areas who are undergoing untold hardships due to the imposition of curfew for the last three days.
We also extend our prayers and solidarity to all people from different cities and towns of Andhra Pradesh who have been victims of violence that is being perpetrated in the past few months in the name of religion by some misguided and antisocial elements. We emphatically reiterate that no religion preaches violence or condones attacks on innocents and these acts of violence being committed in the name of religions are contrary to the very basic tenets of all religions and are a grave sin.
It is very unfortunate and a matter of great grief to us all that the recent bout of violence was instigated by throwing body parts of an animal in a place of worship and sought to be escalated by throwing animal flesh in some other places of worship. Desecration of and damage to places of worships have been used time and again by miscreants and vested interests to deliberately spread disaffection and violence between different communities and we are amazed and perplexed that people still fail to see through such blatant machinations and fall prey to these motivated conspiracies that are openly and grossly misusing religious sentiments to cause incalculable harm to society and humanity. People should realize that desecration of the place of worship of any one religion is tantamount to the desecration of the holy places of all religions.
To prevent and disallow all such deliberate misuse of religions, we, religious leaders of different faiths, pledge to jointly undertake cleansing or repairs to any place of worship that is wantonly desecrated to create conflict between communities, to expose that all such evil actions of desecration of any place of worship have nothing to do with religion but are the handiwork of totally irreligious and devilish mindsets.
Through the Interfaith Forum, we shall also jointly organise public discourses and rallies in the sensitive areas of Hyderabad and other parts of our State to educate people about the messages of peace, harmony and justice that is at the core of all religions. It is a social need and religious responsibility of all to prevent violence in all forms and strive for integration and harmony amongst all sections of society to promote inclusive development, prosperity and ensure the very survival of humanity on our planet.
Source: COVA – Mazher Hussain, Bro. Varghese SG