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Lucknow Shias target US, UK, Israeli tourists
June 04, 2004 15:45 IST
Last Updated: June 04, 2004 15:47 IST
Stepping up their protest against the desecration of holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala in Iraq by the United States-led Allied forces, Muslims in Lucknow have banned the entry of US tourists in the famous Imambaras in the city, a move that could have an impact on tourism in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Banners have been put up before the Asifi Imambara in the old city announcing the ban on entry of tourists from United States, Britain, and Israel.
Noted Shia cleric Kalbe Jawwad declared that citizens of US, Britain, and Israel would not be allowed to enter the holy places of the Muslims here. "This protest is to force the Allied forces out of Iraq where they have crossed all limits of decency and have stooped
to bombing the holy places, besides humiliating even the prisoners," Jawwad said.
"We cannot allow those who had desecrated the original shrines come here," he added.
The Imambaras here are replicas of the holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala in Iraq that were bombed by US forces.
The ban would continue till the allied troops were pulled out of Iraq, Jawwad said.
Meanwhile, state tourism minister Naresh Agarwal said though the protest by Muslim community was justified, the mode of expressing their anger was not right. Agarwal said he would soon meet Muslim leaders in this regard.