Muslim-Hindu Ties receive Boost with Pledge to Fight Cow Slaughter
By Akhtar Ali
Mathura: For Hindus, the cow is a holy animal. Devotees believe that Lord Krishna first appeared as a gentle cowherd, and that the animal is sacred to him. Thousands of cows, wander the streets and lanes of Mathura, a holy Hindu city in Uttar Pradesh. Mathura’s Muslim community has pledged to help protect the animals, considered holy by Hindus. Recently, however, there have been reports of Mathura cows being stolen, slaughtered and sold for meat and leather. In a bid to maintain harmonious relations, local Muslims have now stepped in to help. At a special meeting at the Islamia Inter College campus recently, with Hindu religious and community representatives in attendance, more than 500 Muslims vowed to help end cow rustling and slaughtering. “All Muslims who took part in the convention pledged that they would protect the cows the way the Hindus want, and that no slaughtering of cows would be allowed in the region,” convener Abdul Jabbar told Khabar South Asia.”Almost all Muslims in Mathura do not eat cow meat. Jabbar said outside gangs are responsible for stealing the cows and trucking them for slaughter in other states, thereby threatening communal peace in the region. “Our convention was aimed to convey a strong signal that we are against the slaughtering of the cows and we care for Hindu religious sentiment,” he said. “The convention also shows that the Muslims in the region want friendly relationship with the Hindus and they do not support any activity that holds potential to trigger communal tension between the two communities,” said Sant Jai Krishan Maharaj, chief of Uttar Pradesh social and environmental activist group Yamuna Rakshak Dal.