India’s 26/11 – religion no bar
A year ago, after the three-day siege of Mumbai ended and people took to the streets with candles and banners, a group of young Muslim men, carrying a hand-written poster, walked quietly with the surging crowds.
Since then, people in Mumbai, which has witnessed some of the worst communal riots in the country in the past, have come together in their grief, crossing barriers erected by politicians in the name of religion.
Some have accused the media of not highlighting enough, the fact that the militants asked their hostages what religion and then killed non-Muslims.
Others have speculated that the few thousands of Jews left in India would leave the country because six Jews were killed in the attack on Chabad House.
But in Mumbai today, just days after the explosive report on the Babri Masjid demolition was made public, there is a sense of community and togetherness. A big difference from 1992, when riots between Hindus and Muslims that followed the demolition killed hundreds.
And so today, multi-faith prayer services are being held everywhere in the city and there are countless stories of inter-faith friendships that blossomed in the days after the attacks.
And so the nine bodies of Islamist militants killed last November still lie in a hospital morgue because Muslim clerics in the city have refused to bury them.
And so Muslim bakers in Byculla in Mumbai still bake the traditional bread for the Jewish Sabbath.
And so Muslims celebrating Eid on Nov. 28 will gather in the compound of the Jewish synagogue in Byculla for their prayers.
And so at the Chabad House memorial service, Muslim neighbours will be present.
Because when lives have been taken, religion should not matter.