CHENNAI: It was a message of peace and love from 5,000 Chennai-based Muslims to the world. Taking part in a procession to mourn the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad who was killed in the seventh century battle of Karbala in Iraq, they paid rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. As bare-chested children and men beat their blood-spattered chest with chains and hands to mourn the death of Imam, a loudspeaker blared a message of peace and hailed Mahatma Gandhi, first president of India Dr Rajendra Prasad and Sarojini Naidu for following the path of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad.
Islam has been misinterpreted by those with certain vested interests who preach hatred and terrorism, said Abbas, one of the organisers who was making announcements as the procession followed the vehicle armed with flags. Women and bystanders crowded the pavements on either side of the road to catch a glimpse of the procession. The police, who monitored the procession, ensured there were no mischief mongers and that the traffic flow was smooth.
“Islam is for non-violence, but some people with vested interests have misinterpreted it. Even Mahatma Gandhi hailed Imam Hussein and believed in his teachings,” said Abbas, who was leading the procession seated in a green van.
The procession, which started from Royapettah, culminated in Thousand Lights mosque at the Anna Salai Road. The mosque is the centre for Shia Muslims all over Tamil Nadu.