New Delhi, Oct 31 (PTI) Over a hundred prominent Indians from diverse backgrounds, including actor Naseeruddin Shah, lyricist Javed Akhtar, lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan and writer-activist Tushar Gandhi, on Saturday unequivocally condemned the recent killings in France in the name of religion.
They also slammed the outrageous statements by some Muslim religious and political leaders 'rationalising' murders.
The 130 signatories to the statement also included actors Shabana Azmi, Swara Bhasker, Zeeshan Ayyub, writer-director Feroz Abbas Khan, director Kabir Khan, screen writer Anjum Rajabali, documentary film-maker Anand Patwardhan, retired IPS officer Julio F Ribeiro and industrialist Abdul Aziz Lokhandwala.
They 'unequivocally and unconditionally' condemned the recent killings in France by 'two fanatics in the name of faith'.
'We are deeply disturbed by the convoluted logic of some self-appointed guardians of Indian Muslims in rationalising cold-blooded murder and deplore the outrageous remarks of some heads of state,' the statement said.
It has become the order of the day for all religious groups to indulge in 'whataboutery' whenever such heinous crimes are committed by those belonging to their flock, the signatories to the statement said.
Rationalising crimes by comparing them to similar crimes committed by others is an irrational and absurd argument as two wrongs don't make a right, the statement said.
'We reject any ifs and buts in the justification of heinous crimes in the name of religion, any religion. No god, gods, goddesses, prophets or saints may be invoked to justify the killing and/or terrorising of fellow human beings,' it said.
'We stand in solidarity with the 'French Council for the Muslim Faith' for strongly condemning the attacks and issuing an appeal calling on all Muslims in France to 'cancel all celebrations of the birthday of the Prophet as a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their loved ones',' the statement said.
The signatories also include writer-producer Danish Jawed, theatre personality Mallika Sarabhai, National Alliance of People's Movements' Medha Patkar and retired JNU professor Mridula Mukherjee.
Three people died in a knife attack at a church in Nice on Thursday which was described by French President Emmanuel Macron as an 'Islamist terrorist attack'.
A few weeks ago an assailant decapitated a French middle school teacher who showed caricatures of Prophet Muhammed for a class on free speech.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan have slammed French President Macron for his remarks on the caricatures controversy. PTI ASK SMN SMN