September 8, 2006: Bombings at Muslim cemetery in India

Hindu extremists were behind a number of bicycle bombs that killed 40 at a Muslim cemetery in the central Indian town of Malegaon.

MALEGAON, INDIA — Humans are unique among animals on Earth in that we treat those who have passed on in a special way. No other creature does this (yes, yes, elephants and dolphins appear to mourn their dead but they do not bury them). And this reverence for the deceased goes back hundreds of thousands of years.

Burials are special times where we say goodbye to loved ones. In many religions there are also important beliefs about the dead (e.g. the idea of resurrection in Christianity). In any event, it is considered bad form to disrupt a funeral.

Tell that to the terrorists.

Not bad for a bunch of what we used to call ‘knuckle draggers’!

On this day in 2006

On this day in 2006 a series of bomb blasts hit a Muslim cemetery in Malegaon, a town in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The explosions killed 40 and wounded another 125 pilgrims at the venerated site. Police suspect the incendiary devices were attached to bicycles.

You would think that bombing a cemetery would be a daft idea: not everyone in that place is dead, however.

Eventually blame was apportioned to the Abhinav Bharat (AB), a far right Hindu extremist organisation. Groups such as the AB have a long history of terrorism against Indian Muslims, a situation that has only worsened under current Prime Minister Narendra Modi (check out my latest book When Religions Kill for more on tbis).

I sometimes think I sound like I am repeating myself when I say that a particular terrorist attack against a particular target constitutes a new low. But hitting a cemetery?? That has to rank among the lowest.

Phil Gurski

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