Christian schools in Kashmir fear backlash

Published 17 September 2012  |  
Christian schools in Kashmir fear retaliatory attacks over the anti-American fervour building across the state.

"We have apprehension of violence against Christian institutions which are mistakenly identified with the West, especially with America," said deputy moderator, Church of North India, PK Samantaroy.

Last year, the CNI-run Tyndale Biscoe School was torched by a mob following rumours of Koran burning in the US.

Speaking to the Times of India, Samantaroy opined that religious leaders of the Valley should advise people to maintain peace and not to indulge in activities that could further aggravate the situation.

Angry protests over an anti-Islam film last week spread across the Muslim world as thousands took to the streets chanting slogans and burning US flags.

The low-budget film, produced by a small group of Christian extremists in the US, has sparked violent protests in more than 20 countries from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

Titled 'Innocence of Muslims', the film reportedly ridicules Islam and mocks Prophet Mohammed.

Surprisingly, besides Kashmir protests were also reported in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On Friday, activists of the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam targeted the US Consulate in Chennai. There were also demonstrations held in Madurai, Rameswaram and Kumbakonam

The US Consulate in Chennai has issued a travel advisory asking US nationals to exercise caution while moving around the city.

Google India, meanwhile, has blocked access to the controversial film that has also led to the killing of the US ambassador in Libya.

"Google India has, in compliance with Indian law, blocked access to the offensive material," MEA's official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.

"India has always strongly condemned all acts that disparage religious beliefs and hurt religious sentiments," he said in a statement, adding that authorities were also "in touch with US officials who share our concerns on the matter".

India has about 140 million Muslims constituting between 13-14 % of its population.

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