Suspected Motivations for Mumbai Bombings Include Anger at India's Religious Pluralism

July 11, 2006

Source: Ekklesia


On July 11, 2006 Ekklesia reported, "Militant jihadi groups based in Pakistan are among the early suspects following a series of explosions which killed at least 130 people on the train network in India's financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay), today (11 July 2006). Church, civic and community groups, together with other faith leaders and representatives of United Nations member states were quick to condemn the bombings, which followed another grenade attack (one of many) in Kashmir, and seem to have involved seven separate transport blasts. Analysts say that the bombers are likely to have struck for a variety of reasons. First, militants oppose the India-Pakistan peace deal, which both the countries’ leaders reaffirmed today in the face of the worst assault yet on Indian soil. Second, India’s model of secular democracy and religious pluralism, despite its fragility in recent years, is anathema to hard-line Islamists. Third, there is resentment at the increasingly close relationship between the Indian and US governments following President George W. Bush’s visit – even though India played no part in the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. Fourth, as the country’s main financial centre, Mumbai generates nearly 60 per cent of India’s GNP, maximising impact and disruption. Commentators say that there may also be a link to the G8 summit which meets next Tuesday. Civilian attacks have in the past been timed to coincide with events significant to the globalisation process."