Islamic leaders air their protests

WITH the destruction of the Ayodhya mosque, the Muslim world yesterday had yet another cause to feel aggrieved on behalf of its brethren. But unlike the reaction over Bosnia and Somalia, the response of hardline states such as Iran was relatively restrained.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's spiritual leader, spoke of 'blatant oppression and insult' to Indian Muslims, but stopped short of calling for revenge or independent action. Instead, he looked to the New Delhi government to 'take wise and calculated measures' to 'prevent this problem becoming a complicated issue'.

The difference in approach, diplomats said, can be attributed to two factors: in the case of India, there is no Western villain to rail against; nor is there a power vacuum to take advantage of. 'Moving in on countries when there is a vacuum - that's what they're into,' said a senior diplomat. 'India is a pretty big apple for them to bite into. The Iranians are very calculating people.'

The secretary-general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Hamid Algabid, criticised 'the inability of the government of India to fulfil its responsibilities' and urged New Delhi 'to ensure that the life and property of the Muslims of India is fully protected and their religious and cultural rights respected'. But he called on India's Muslims to 'exercise restraint.'

In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia denounced the destruction of the mosque and called for urgent intervention by the authorities in New Delhi. A government statement issued at the end of a cabinet meeting chaired by King Fahd also deplored the outburst of violence in India triggered by the destruction of the shrine.

Saudi Arabia 'exhorts the Indian government to urgently intervene to put an end to these acts which hurt the feelings of Muslims across the world,' the statement said.

Protesters attacked Hindu temples in eastern Afghanistan as the Kabul government condemned the mosque's destruction. Muslims attacked Hindu temples in the towns of Gardez and Khost and mistakenly attacked a Sikh temple in Jalalabad, Afghan sources in neighbouring Pakistan said. No details of the attacks were immediately available.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border