Rev. Falwell remarks prompt Hindu-Muslim clashes in
western India, 5 killed
MUMBAI (Canadian Press - 11 Oct) - At least five people were killed in
Hindu-Muslim rioting and police gunfire in western
India on Friday. The violence erupted during a general
strike to protest remarks by a U.S. religious leader
who called the founder of Islam a "terrorist."
Forty-seven others were injured.
The rioters attacked each other with knives and stones
during the one-day strike called to protest Rev. Jerry
Falwell's comments about Prophet Mohammed on CBS
television earlier this month.
"I think (Prophet) Mohammed was a terrorist," the
conservative Baptist minister told the U.S. television
Additionally, Falwell said the prophet "was a - a
violent man, a man of war."
"Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses,"
Falwell said. "I think Mohammed set an opposite
Muslim organizations called Falwell's remarks
derogatory and blasphemous.
Two Muslims and one Hindu were killed by police
gunfire and one Muslim and one Hindu died of stab
wounds in Sholapur, 360 kilometres south of Mumbai -
formerly Bombay - the capital of western Maharashtra
state, said Kirpa Shankar, the state's junior home
The trouble started when a group of Muslims took to
the streets and were challenged by Hindus. Some
rioters targeted shops, homes and vehicles, police
Reinforcements of paramilitary soldiers brought the
rioting under control, Shankar said.
Falwell's remarks had triggered street protests in
Indian-controlled Kashmir, a Muslim-dominated state,
Clashes between Hindus and Muslims are frequent in
At least 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, have been
killed in western Gujarat state since Muslims burned a
train coach earlier this year carrying Hindu
hardliners from a religious site claimed by both
Last month, two suspected Islamic militants killed at
least 32 Hindus in an attack at the popular
Swaminarayan Temple in Gujarat.