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‘Religious leaders must call for an end to the killing’

Religious leaders must step forward and call for an end to terror attacks,Martin Luther King III observed during the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Memorial Lecture at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library on Tuesday evening.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 18, 2009 3:03 am

Religious leaders must step forward and call for an end to terror attacks,Martin Luther King III observed during the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Memorial Lecture at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library on Tuesday evening.

In the country to “retrace the steps of his father’s pilgrimage” to India 50 years ago in 1959,King,son of Martin Luther King Jr,spoke on “A New Non-Violent Revolution”.

Referring to the tragic events that unfolded in Mumbai last November,King said,“Too often the sacred principles of faith get overshadowed by territorial disputes,nationalism and the kind of fundamental fanaticism that dehumanises people of various faiths. That is what we saw in the United States on September 11,2001. This is what we witnessed in the recent Mumbai attacks last November. Religious leaders of nations,cities and villages of our world must come forward from the shadows and call for an end to the killing.”

The Mumbai attacks reflected one of the most “extreme examples of negative conflict around the globe,” he added.

Interestingly,King’s lecture also touched upon the subject of “peaceful conflict”,which forces nations to “respond to the world’s changing realities in a more effective way that benefits all parties”.

Dwelling on his opposition to “his country’s war on Iraq”,King said countries that pursue “militarised economies are squandering their national wealth on weapons of death and destruction”,while neglecting millions of poor people.

Invoking the spirit of Gandhi and his father,he urged nations to “work with increased dedication to put an end to militarism and invest resources in saving our children,ending poverty and protecting Mother Earth from the ravages of man-made destruction.”

The US Embassy in India,in partnership with the Indian government,is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1959 tour of India by King Jr and his wife Coretta Scott King. In India from February 15 to 27,Martin Luther King III will be joined by prominent American civil rights leaders,including US Representative John Lewis and former US Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young,for a portion of the tour.

King will visit New Delhi,Mumbai,Ahmadabad,Trivandrum,Chennai and Kolkata with other members of the delegation to underscore the enduring importance of the legacies of his father and Gandhi.

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