Religious Tensions Follow India Bombings

Sufis feel threatened by rising rival factions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2008 4:28 PM CDT
Families of the victims of the Mecca Masjid (mosque) blast take part in a candle lit vigil on the first anniversary of the bomb blast in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, May 18, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A sign on a mosque door in India warns outsiders—that is, members of conservative Muslim sects—to keep out. “These are dangerous times,” one mosque member told the Washington Post. “We cannot trust anybody.” Such is the climate in India, where moderate Muslims feel besieged by conservatives, and fear groups such as the so-called “Indian Mujahidin,” which have killed dozens in recent bombings.

But most conservatives say they just have a stricter view of Islam. “We do not belong to any group. We are just good Muslims,” said one cleric who advocates Wahhabi, a rising Saudi-born school. Most Indian Muslims are Barelvi Sunnis, who believe in Sufism, which the Wahhabi find blasphemous. “But our doors are open,” the cleric said. “We do not put up signs.”