United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow

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Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad and his supporters hold a protest against ISIS and Terrorism organised at Bara Imambara in Lucknow on Friday, 20 November. Photo: Pramod Adhikari

United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow

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Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad and his supporters hold a protest against ISIS and Terrorism organised at Bara Imambara in Lucknow on Friday, 20 November. Photo: Pramod Adhikari

United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow

i

Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad and his supporters hold a protest against ISIS and Terrorism organised at Bara Imambara in Lucknow on Friday, 20 November. Photo: Pramod Adhikari

United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow

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Sunni Cleric Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahli and his supporters hold a protest against ISIS and Terrorism organised at Aishbagh Eidgaah in Lucknow on Friday, 20 November. Photo: Pramod Adhikari

United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow

i

Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad and his supporters hold a protest against ISIS and Terrorism organised at Bara Imambara in Lucknow on Friday, 20 November. Photo: Pramod Adhikari

United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow

i

Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad and his supporters hold a protest against ISIS and Terrorism organised at Bara Imambara in Lucknow on Friday, 20 November. Photo: Pramod Adhikari

United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow

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A little muslim girl during the Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad's protest against ISIS and Terrorism organised at Bara Imambara in Lucknow on Friday, 20 November. Photo: Pramod Adhikari

PARIS ATTACKS

United against terror: Shias and Sunnis hold protests in Lucknow

Pramod Adhikari

Shia and Sunni Muslims in Lucknow share a long history of animosity. That's why it was a surprise to see them hold simultaneous protests in the city; and that too for a common purpose - condemning the recent violence in France.

The protests were organised close to each other, and unequivocally denounced the killing of 132 people in the name of Islam.

The demonstrations were held on Friday at the Bara Imambara and the Aishbagh Idgah. Apart from Shia and Sunni clerics, participants in the protests included young children.

Locals say they don't remember Muslims ever having held such big protest marches in the city. The last time Muslims came out in comparable strength was right after the 26/11 attacks in 2008, in solidarity with the victims of the Mumbai attacks.

Similar protests have happened across the world, and not just on the streets. Muslims have begun online campaigns like #NotInMyName and #IamAMuslim to distance themselves from the extremist interpretation of their religion.

This is happening at a time when world leaders have expressed hopes of seeing a pushback to extremism from within the Islamic community.

- Text by Suhas Munshi

Pramod Adhikari