Twenty seven people have been killed and over 200 injured so far in four days of rioting in and around Muslim majority neighbourhoods in Delhi, India. In Ashok Nagar, a mosque was destroyed by a mob shouting nationalist slogans and Muslim shops and homes, as well as another mosque, have also been targeted. Several people were reported to have died jumping out of buildings to escape their attackers and officials say that they are witnessing the worst religiously motivated violence in Delhi in decades.
In response, the multireligious Board of Directors of the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) issued the following statement:
“The Board extends its heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of those killed during this senseless violence, which has targeted places of worship and individuals singled out in the basis of their religious affiliation. People have a right to worship safely and in peace.
Targeting individuals on the basis of their religious identity violates fundamental principles common to all the major religions - principles based on the values of tolerance, acceptance and the universal call to peace. Religious identity cannot be used as a vehicle for expressing political or cultural discontent or for setting up artificial divisions in society. Peace born from equality and respect for the other must be allowed to prevail.”