Don't Equate Terrorism And Islam, Say Kashmiri Students

Don't Equate Terrorism And Islam, Say Kashmiri Students

30 January 2011
Times of India


New Delhi: 'When it comes to hospitality we would score better. Come to Kashmir and see it yourself. Don't believe in what is being fed to you,' said 21-year-old Firdous Jaffri, of Kashmir, who had come to Kasturchand Park to participate in the 'Ahimsa Daud' on Sunday. The run was part of the 3{+r}{+d} Nagpur International Marathon. Jaffri, a student of Bachelor of Physical Education in Tumsar (Bhandara district), said that the image about Islam in the minds of the non-believers are mired with wrong concepts. 'Islam is all about peace and humanity. It is not right to equate terrorism and Islam, and take these two irrelevant terms in the same breath,' said Jaffri who had deliberately donned a white T-shirt and a white trouser (colour of peace). Jaffri's father fell to bullets from terrorists while working in the police department. He now wants to step into his father's shoes. 'Gandhiji's message of peace should prevail everywhere in India. The Kashmiri youths want peace and development,' said Jaffri. A small group of Kashmiris, studying physical education in different colleges of the region, caught the eye at the starting point. 'We were urged by our college management to be a part of the team that was volunteering. But we wanted to take part in the run. If there is a chance, we would also organize a similar event in Kashmir championing the cause of non-violence,' said Mohammed Amin. 'Security forces are at times overdoing their tasks in Kashmir at the cost of people's comfort level,' added Amin who was elated when a local citizen offered him a yellow T-shirt for the marathon. 'There is shortage of employment. Industrial growth too is retarded in the valley due to the violent past. The situation is bettering with terrorism taking the back seat gradually. People can certainly come to the valley now leaving all their prejudiced thought behind,' said Amin who is a student of Jyotiba College of Physical education in Hingna. Manzoor Hussain said that he wants to see Gandhiji's doctrine of peace and non-violence spreading its wing in Kashmir. 'Inshallah, we hope to see peace being restored in the lives of the Kashmiris. Today we want to spread the message that Kashmir is not unsafe for commoners and still it is a place where everyone is welcomed. Of late, political turmoil had kept tension alive in Kashmir which has got nothing to do with terrorism,' said Manzoor. Manzoor's friend Syed Irfan Hussain said that it was an encouraging occasion for them to come and participate in the marathon for the cause of non-violence. The group soon vanished into the crowd that was readying for the Ahimsa Run. The message of peace seemed to have rekindled hope in the stride of these Kashmiri youths.


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