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European Press Review: Terror Threatens India

European editorialists condemned the Bombay bombings that left at least 50 dead on Monday and worried that terrorism is still on the rise.


The Bombay bombings came as a report was released on a disputed Hindu and Muslim religious site.

Commenting on the bomb attacks in Bombay, (also known as Mumbai) on Monday that killed at least 50 people and injured more than 150, the Spanish daily El Pais expressed the hope that the terrorists would not achieve their goal, namely to aggravate tensions between religious groups within India and between the country and Pakistan. But the problems and their causes still remain -- originating in Kashmir, the only Indian state with a Muslim majority, where every day religiously-motivated violence claims lives. In Bombay, the paper observed, indiscriminate killing had once again taken place. "And the growth of terrorist groups in the Islamic world as well as the situation in Afghanistan unfortunately do not help minimize the violence, but only foster it," El Pais concluded.

According to the Swiss Tages-Anzeiger paper, Muslims in Bombay were already at the mercy of the Shiv-Sena party, which has been ruling the financial capital since 1985. After changing the city's name to Mumbai, the Hindu extremists have sought to remove all non-Hindu elements. The violence has cost more than a thousands lives over the course of the last few years. The Tages-Anzeiger said this was what drove some Muslims to retaliate in a similar fashion against Hindu extremists.

The Italian daily la Repubblica compared the danger to India to that in Iraq. Though the two countries had different historical and political backgrounds, both were facing the danger of global terror that sought to change the world through destabilization. The paper said the United States, Europe and democratic forces within Muslim countries must fight against this phenomenon.

In Germany, the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper condemned the attack in Bombay as cowardly. Obviously, wrote the paper, innocent people had died again because fanatics were blinded by religious delusions of hatred and violence. This time, the target of the bloodbath was neither the Christian West nor the United Nations, but the Hindus. The terror does damage to all religions, but to Islam especially, since the perpetrators carried out the atrocities in its name.