BY STAFF REPORTER
TWO MUSLIMS have apologised for an anti-Christian rampage in the Punjab city of Gojra two years ago that left 10 Catholics dead.
At an interfaith seminar at Sacred Heart Church in Gojra, marking the second anniversary of the incident, two Sufi masters expressed regret for the violence, saying it went against the “spirit of Islam” reported theAsian Church news agency UCA News.
In August 2009 hundreds of Muslims rioted in Gojra and a nearby village, torching buildings and attacking inhabitants. Authorities said the violence was fuelled by a false rumour that a Koran, the sacred book of Islam, had been desecrated.
The anti-terrorism court in Faisalabad in June acquitted all 70 people arrested in connection with the attacks.
FrAftab James Paul, director of the Diocese of Faisalabad’s Commission for Interfaith Dialogue and Ecumenism, described the apology as “hugely significant”.
In an interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, he said: “Even though they weren’t in any way involved in what happened that day, the peer Sufis [Sufi masters] described Islam as a religion that does not condone killing and condemned the massacre.” Sufism, to its adherents, is the inner, mystical dimension of Islam.