Who could have possibly foreseen violence when radical vegetarianism meets radical Islam?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (Peta) first shot at religious activism — a call to Muslims to observe a vegetarian Eid this October — has misfired. It met with violent protests here on Monday.
One policeman was injured and a Peta volunteer roughed up by protestors, which included women, and later whisked away by Bhopal police.
Peta woman volunteer “Benazir Suraiya” attempted to make an appeal to Muslims to go vegetarian at the legendary Taj-ul-Masajid, said to be one of Asia’s largest mosques.
Camouflaged in a green hijab, to highlight the importance of vegetarianism, she walked towards the mosque gates with a couple of PETA volunteers holding a placard in Urdu and English which read: “Make Eid Happy for All. Try Vegan”.
Happy isn’t in their vocabulary, sister.
With less than a dozen policemen deployed, locals took the opportunity and shouted slogans asking her to turn back. She was forced to take cover along with another PETA volunteer in the market outside the mosque.
Within minutes the crowd swelled and Suraiya was left to fend for herself as PETA supporters fled the scene. “We are going to get a taxi for Suraiya. Police has been called for support too,” said PETA volunteer Divya.
PETA really should give the nagging a rest, especially in light of religious sensitivities and, well, if they want to keep their heads.
PETA representative Grishma Mytra refused to take calls when contacted for a comment. The group urging Muslims not to perform animal sacrifice and donate the same instead for welfare of animals and people, did not go down well with the Muslim community which is gearing up to celebrate the festival in the first week of October.
“We are offended by this move of PETA. It is an insensible move which should have been stopped by the district administration, before it took place. This is a direct attack on our religious beliefs,” said protestor Naved Khan.