4. The Moderate Muslims of Kosovo by Michael van der Galien
6. Interview of Nihad Awad: American Muslims are becoming more involved in the
7. Political and social life of USA-director of CAIR
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Catholic–Muslim Dialogue that can change the world
The Catholic–Muslim forum that the Pope has now inaugurated can be a mechanism through which such misunderstandings can be avoided and where constructive engagement can take place.
By H. A. Hellyer,
December 11, 2008
Recently Pope Benedict XVI met with a delegation of signatories to the Common Word, a document that seems to have taken the world by surprise. The dialogue that contributed to the Common Word was initiated in the aftermath of Pope Benedict’s statements on Islam in
After all the Common Word events thus far, there has been a spirit of warmth and a belief in future co-operation. There were two historic meetings prior to the signing of the actual document – the first at
Make no mistake – these events are making history. But we also have to ask: What is the need for a Common Word? Is this really the discussion of our time? Dialogue between the West and the Muslim world is vital for a variety of reasons, political, economic, cultural and historical. But one may ask further – is the West really a Christian West? Or are we characterising the West, which is arguably post Christian, in a way that does not bear much resemblance to reality?
Particularly when looking at the meeting in the
The last two meetings, first with the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, are in
To answer this question we must find out what “secular” really means. Religion may have a future within some interpretations of secularism but not within others. We can see examples of how this could work in the
We have seen how religion can be involved in catastrophic misunderstandings, such as the affair around the Pope’s original comments at
And for Europeans there is also something at stake. Contemporary European political philosophy has come around to the idea that there must be a respect for diversity within unity – this is the main point of multiculturalism. Within this philosophy, however, there is an ongoing uncertainty: In a Europe that requires unity on national and continental levels, what will the moral and ethical basis of that unity be? In days gone by, it would have been the values of the Church – but we appear far past that today.
One of the Catholic participants from the
And finally, for Muslims, this discussion is also incredibly important. One of the reasons that the Catholic Church has been so reluctant to engage with Muslims in the past is that they never knew who to communicate with. For a hierarchical institution like the
The same people behind the Common Word were also behind the Amman Message, which sought to define religious authority according to the historical traditions of Islam. One of the ancillary benefits of this process may be a renewed understanding of religious authority among Muslims, not only for religious dialogue with the
Dr. H. A. Hellyer is a Fellow of the
Jews, Muslims protest in
December 15, 2008
Paris (JTA) -- Jews and Muslims marched through
The French Jewish-Muslim Friendship group organized Sunday's march, which included local elected officials, imams and rabbis. About 100 people participated in the demonstration.
Between Dec. 7 and 8, on the eve of the Muslim holiday Id al-Adha, a suspected group of neo-Nazis sprayed racist slurs on military gravestones in a northern France cemetery. Muslim tombs were targeted twice in the same cemetery near
The protest called for peace and underlined the links between Jews and Muslims.
"There are so many things uniting the Jewish and Muslim communities," said Bernard Kanovitch, a leading member of the Jewish umbrella group CRIF, to a crowd at the Place de la Bastille.
"What shocks us isn't just that this happened again, but also the number of tombs," he added.
Investigators are still working to apprehend the vandals.
On Dec. 12, more than 2,000 people gathered at the Notre Dame de Lorette cemetery to hear community and political leaders condemn the crime.
French-Muslim leaders in
December 15, 2008
The group is scheduled to meet with President Shimon Peres and new immigrants, as well as visit the Western Wall.
Participants include a police commissioner, the president of the French Young Entrepreneurs group, the general director of a French television and radio station, and the diplomatic adviser of the French president for North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Arab world and
The visit is under the auspices of the American Jewish Committee's Project Interchange, which is designed to give the participants an overview of contemporary
The Moderate Muslims of Kosovo
By: Michael van der Galien, December 15th, 2008
As a Muslim, I am starting to detest the term “moderate Muslim.” The term somehow indicates that if one merely uses the word “Muslim” to describe an adherent to Islam one means radical or at least fundamentalist. After all, if ‘moderate’ is normal, why name it? We use the term radical or extremist or fundamentalist Muslim to emphasize the radical nature of the individual we describe. This, in effect, makes clear that the far majority of Muslims are not extremist in any way, for the distinction would not be made if such were the case.
Nonetheless, ‘moderate’ Muslim is used rather often to describe those I consider “Muslim.” Those who use it often do not have ill intentions so I will not lambaste my friend Michael J. Totten for using the term in his latest article for City Journal, which happens to be a must read about the ‘moderate Muslims’ of Kosovo.
Totten explains that Kosovo’s population is majority Muslim, but that most Kosovars consider themselves Albanian (most Kosovars are Albanians) or Kosovar first and foremost, Muslim second. Seldom did he see a woman covering herself up, as so many women living in Arab countries do. Alcohol was sold and drunk just like in any Western country. In short: Kosovars may be Muslim, but they are modern and Western oriented nonetheless.
Some Wahabbis - the Saudi extreme version of Islam which forces women to cover up, implements the Sharia strictly in some ways, encourages terrorism against non-Muslims, etc. - are trying to change the ‘moderate’ nature of Kosovo’s Islam, but they are having little to no success making converts: the far, far majority of Kosovars do not want to have anything to do with a religious ideology of hatred, divisiveness, intolerance, backwardness and violence.
Strangely enough, the quest to ‘find’ ‘moderate Muslims’ continues unabated nonetheless. Certain factions, especially ‘conservatives’ in the West, will read Totten’s article, link to it, think about it for 10 seconds, and they’ll go on to write a post tomorrow, or a comment at a blog, wondering where all those ‘moderate Muslims’ are and why they never speak out against terrorism committed by extremist Muslims. These ‘moderate Muslims’ can, however, be found everywhere, from
Of course, some will then wonder why it is that these Muslims do not declare some kind of religious war on the extremists. The answer to that question is perfectly worded by a person Totten talked to in his article for City Journal: moderate Muslims do not fight religious wars. They do not do so per definition. They fight ’secular’ wars: for freedom, equality and democracy. When they side with non-Muslims in a war, they do so not because they want to ‘purify’ Islam but because they consider extremists to be a danger to their lives, liberty and family. But if they would fight ‘religious wars’ or wars out of religious motivation they would no longer be ‘moderate.’
This is why it has been so important for the
Dec 15, 2008
American Muslims are becoming more involved in the political and social life of USA-director of CAIR
Dec 15, 2008
Interview of Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of Council on American Islamic relations (CAIR) with Near East Department of Trend News
Question: Council on American-Islamic Relations is one of the famous Muslim organizations in the
Answer: The Council on American-Islamic Relations’primary goals are to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
Question: How much is possible to protect the Islamic traditions and values in consideration the passive activity of American Muslims in the
Answer: We have been defending Muslim's and people of other faith's rights in
Our studies show that American Muslims are a diverse group. Most of them are involved in public and civic life.
Question: How Muslims can find a way to escape their minority status and play a central role as
Answer: Like other people who have been through this path before us, American Muslims are showing strong signs of engagement. In this presidential election for example, 95 percent of eligible American Muslim voters have voted in this important election, that's the highest voter turn out in American Muslim history, 89 percent voted for Barack Obama, apparently they want change. For the first time there are two Muslim members of the
American Muslims are
American Muslims feel at home in
Question: In your opinion, will the Muslims be able to extirpate the Islamophobia by the way of dialogue? Is it possible, taking into account that Islamophobia is widely spread in the West?
Answer: Islamophobia is an irrational fear of Islam and Muslims. Its an old phenomenon but with a new name. There is an active and organized small minority of those who spread fear of Islam in the West through their anti-Muslim rhetoric and propaganda using their media, websites, and articles. But also I have to say that that while we condemn those in the 'Fear Industry' who distort facts about Islam, we also have to condemn those few Muslims in the world who have caused great harm and damage through their un-Islamic actions to the image of Muslims. In the end as we all know the minorities on both sides have to be isolated and the majority of people on both sides have to engage in dialogue. Islam is the faith of moderation and mercy, but from our experience in America, most of our fellow American know little or nothing about the basics of Islam and what Prophet Mohammed's message of mercy is. People fear the unknown. The more information we share about Islam, the more people understand it and respect it.
Question: How do you estimate the role and cooperation of the western Muslim organization, especially in the
Answer: The role American Muslims can and should play is vital to
By Michael Novak
December 11, 2008
The Western world has never taken Islam with the full seriousness it has earned. Down through history, once Islamic armies have conquered a land, with very few exceptions, that land has remained Muslim. A Christian will wish in vain that the great circle of Christian lands around the Mediterranean (and on up into
Edward Gibbon, finishing up his The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-78), was able to imagine how easily serene little Oxford could have been dominated by tall Islamic minarets before his birth, and the accents in its markets would have been Arabic: " . . . the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet" (469).
Gibbon was writing about the decisive battle of Poitiers in 732 A.D., when at last a Christian leader, Charles Martel ("Charles the Hammer"), drove back the Muslims from their high-water mark in Western Europe with such force that they went reeling backwards into Spain. From there, it took
It had been a marvel in 732 that a mere one hundred years earlier, Mohammed had launched his army from Medina, to conquer in rapid fire so many of the most glorious capital cities of Christianity--Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Hippo, Tunis, Carthage, and then all of Spain. More amazingly still, Muslims went very quickly further into the
Even today, in the eyes of influential Muslims, the expansion of Islam (although it covers a huge swathe of geography) is far from finished. The religious obligation at the heart of Islam is to conquer the world for Allah, and to incorporate it all into the great Islamic Umma. Only then will the world be at peace. Submission to Allah is the reason why the world was created.
In any case, Islam began making war on the Christian world from the very first moments of its birth. For a thousand years afterward, it fell to southern
A long line of great warrior-sultans sponsored Turkish advances in shipbuilding, gunnery, military organization, and training. By the mid 1550s, they had slowly conceived of a long-term offensive, a pincers movement first by sea and then by land, to conquer the whole northern shore of the
The northern pincers movement by land was aimed at an attack up through the Balkans for the conquest of
Because by 1540 the Reformation was separating the Christian nations of the north from
The Preliminary Battles on
Each new caliph of the Islamic empire was expected to expand the existing Muslim territories, in order to fulfill the mission given Islam, and to gain for the leader the necessary popularity and legitimacy. So it was that in the pleasant springtime of 1571, an entire Muslim fleet under Ali Pasha was ordered by the Sultan to seek out and destroy Christian dominance of the Mediterranean Sea, all the way up to
Meanwhile, another large Muslim force soon conquered
Under the energetic general-ship of the elderly General Marcantonio Bragadino, the small band of defenders held out for week after week, despite receiving more than 180,000 incoming cannonballs. The defenders ran so short of food that in the end they were eating cats, until they consumed their last one. The Muslim general was outraged by the length of the siege, which had already cost him 80,000 of his best men, despite the fact that
On August 1, General Bragadino finally accepted surrender terms, which guaranteed safe passage of all his men to sail home to
Mustafa then ordered Bragadino's ears and nose chopped off, and forced the man to go down on all fours wearing a dog's collar around his neck, to the jibes, mockery, and horror of the onlookers. Bags of earth were strapped over Bragadino's back and he was made to carry them to the walls of the fortification, and to kiss the earth each time he passed Mustafa. As the old man grew fainter from the loss of blood from his head, he was tied to a chair, put in a rope harness and hoisted up to the highest mast in the fleet, so that all survivors of the city might see his humiliation. Then Bragadino's chair was dropped in free-fall into the water and brought out again. The tortured Venetian was led in ropes to the town square and stripped. At a stone column (which still stands today), Bragadino's hands were tied outstretched over his head, and an executioner stepped forward with sharp knives to carefully remove his skin, keeping it whole. Before the carver had reached Bragadino's waist, the man was dead. His full skin was then stuffed with straw, once again raised up to the highest mast, and sailed around to various ports as a trophy of victory, and finally taken back to
Meanwhile, Don Juan had put the Christian fleet of some 200 vessels on course toward Lepanto, where Ali Pasha was refitting his vessels in the safe protection of an impregnable harbour. On board the Christian ships, the Spaniards were under secret orders to avoid fighting, only to keep their honour by going along, while urging reasons to turn back. By contrast, when a fast corsair dispatched from
The young Don Juan was buoyed by this new resolve. Now he would be able to keep the vow he had made to Pope Pius V, to seek out and destroy the threatening enemy. The young admiral--he was twenty-two when he became commander of this fleet--felt confident in his battle plan. He had taken care to have his whole fleet rehearse their roles in the quiet seas of the
Don Juan and many of his men spent much of the night before battle in prayer. The fate of their civilization, they knew, depended on their good fortune on the morrow. The uncertainties of the changing winds and choppy seas, and the speed of the two onrushing lines of ships rapidly closing on each other, would erupt in unpredictable havoc. The odds against the Christians in ships were something like 350 ships to 250. But the Christians had a secret weapon.
The Greatest Sea
For more than three years Pope Pius V had laboured mightily to sound alarms about the deadly Muslim build-up in the shipyards of
The reason for this kidnapping was that the naval appetite for fresh backs and muscles was insatiable. Most galley slaves lived little more than five years. They were chained to hard benches in the burning Mediterranean sun, slippery in their own excrement, urination, and intermittent vomiting, often never lying down to sleep. The dark vision that troubled the pope during the late 1560s was of even more horrible calamities to befall the whole Christian world, bit by bit. But unity in
Finally, Don Juan of Austria, the younger brother of the King of Spain, an illegitimate son, stood erect and summoned allies to repel the much-anticipated Muslim advance. He aimed at leading a large fleet to go after the new Muslim fleet pre-emptively, before they could depart from their home seas. Having seen Muslim ferocity first hand, the Venetian public was eager to contribute a fleet to the task. Their support was crucial, for
The Knights of Malta, the premier sea warriors of the time, offered their small but highly skilled fleet in support of the Pope's appeal, and agreed to work cooperatively with Don Juan.
The latter, whom his contemporaries described as a modest and humble man, characteristically set aside his own ego for the sake of the cause that engaged him. He pledged to the armada a large contingent supplied by
Keeping the Knights of Malta in reserve just a short distance behind the main battle line, Don Juan assigned the impassioned Venetians the important left flank, with its leftmost ships close to the shore line. He himself commanded a hundred vessels at the center. In plain sight was his capitol ship, the Real, its banners of leadership visible to all. To the right flank he assigned the venerable Andrea Doria and the Genoese fleet. The plan was to hold his ships in as long and straight a line as seamanship in a besetting wind would allow, while heading directly for the Muslim line.
At his front, however, Don Juan placed a nasty surprise for Ali Pasha. Six new, taller, sturdier ships packed with cannons (especially in the bow) and heavily laden with lead and shot placed themselves a mile forward of the Christian line. They looked flat on top, like merchant ships. No one had ever seen such ships before. They lacked a bow rising up skywards, the one necessary weapon for vicious ramming. For the purpose of these new galleasses, as they were called, was not to ram oncoming ships but to blast them with an array of cannons. Their shot could carry a mile with great accuracy. When the galleasses turned sideways, they could blast with even more cannons, designed for shorter ranges, often aiming their cannon just at the waterline of their foes. They had the power to sink a smaller, lighter, faster Muslim galley with a single burst.
At first, the two fleets spotted each other on the horizon as single masts, then small numbers, and only as the two fleets closed to about two miles of each other could any one of the two hundred thousand sailors, marines, and janissaries on board catch a glimpse of the lines and dispositions of the fleets. The Muslims preferred to attack in a crescent rather than a straight line, but the winds at their back and tricky tides from the shoreline to their north forced them to straighten up their lines. Those who gazed on the massive array of ships and sails were filled with awe. On deck, one of those to be wounded in this battle, the great author Miguel de Cervantes wrote of "the most noble and memorable event that past centuries have seen." Just over six hundred ships in two amazingly orderly lines, each stretching three miles from end to end, silently bore down on one another as the distance between them closed. The Muslim fleet outnumbered the Christian fleet by nearly a hundred ships. A sense of destiny weighed upon all who watched and waited.
The huge green battle flag of Allah--his name embroidered on it in Arabic some 29,800 times--marked out the tall capital ship Sultana, on which the fearsome young admiral Ali Pasha held command. Pasha was puzzled by the six more or less flat barges out in front of the Christian lines. His own armed soldiers were reliant mostly on clouds of arrows. His sailors had mastered the arts of ramming, and disgorging massive boarding parties onto the enemy's slippery decks, then beating down their defenders by a sort of fierce land warfare out on the open seas. In those days, sea warfare was like land warfare, only carried out on open decks side-by-side instead of in open fields. Ship was lashed to ship, sometimes a dozen together. Hand-to-hand combat was the key.
There is no point here in giving the whole narrative of the battle. Suffice it to say that in the center the volleys from the galleasses out in front destroyed one Muslim vessel after another. Masts snapped, the oars of the galleys were shattered, and huge holes opened up the thin wooden sides of the galleys to the boiling sea. The Muslim ships that were not sunk were easily boarded by the Christian ships coming alongside, built a little higher, and amply supplied not only with boarding nets but, even more important, with ranks of the old-style predecessors to rifles--the arquebuses--directing point-blank rifle balls into the unarmored flesh of Muslim archers. It is true that in a few cases whole clouds of Muslim arrows felled many in the Christian ships, including the great Venetian admiral Marcantonio Bragadino shot in the eye. Mostly, the Christian warriors wore the latest in body armour, which often repelled wooden arrows harmlessly. Nonetheless, at least one Christian ship was later found aimlessly afloat, with every single man dead or wounded.
At the last, the two capital ships Real and Sultana clashed head-on, and Don Juan led the final boarding party which in its ferocity drove Ali Pasha to the aft poop, where he soon fell with a bullet in his eye. The Muslim admiral's head was cut off and borne aloft on a pike to be mounted on the bow of the Real. The seas around were filled with cloaks, caps, struggling bodies, the vast wooden wreckage of battle, and large splotches of red blood.
On the Christian left, the Venetians attacked with almost blind rage and broke the line of the Muslim right with relative ease. They were aided by a revolt of the galley slaves on board a number of Muslim vessels, who in the explosions on board had their chains broken, and poured up on deck swinging their chains to left and right. So great was the Venetian fury that even after the battle, many of its sailors spent hours using their pikes to kill Muslim sailors and soldiers struggling in the sea. They tried to excuse their bloodlust by saying that they never wished to see those individuals sailing against the West again.
In four hours the battle was over. More than forty thousand men had died, and thousands more were wounded, more than in any other battle in history, more even than at Salamis or, in years to come, at the Somme. Never again did the Muslim fleets pose a grave danger to Europe from the South, although of course Muslim fleets kept busy expanding their bases on the African coast, harassing Western ships and territories across the
As news of the great victory of October 7 reached shore, church bells rang all over the cities and countryside of
The Northern Pincers and the Siege of
Of necessity, our consideration of the Battle of Vienna must be briefer than our attention to Lepanto. But many of the same forces were at play as before, only this time by land, not by sea. The Protestant nations regarded the expanding
The sultan of all Islam, Mehmet IV, spent his days in his unrivalled harems and on his huge hunting territories, some of them as large as nation-states. Thousands of mostly Slavic serfs were required to service his hunting party, in part by driving deer and other game animals his way. To uphold his obligations to Islamic expansion, however, Mehmet stirred himself to choose Kara Mustafa to be general of all his forces in the final conquest of
For the drive northward, Kara Mustafa sent messengers throughout Anatolia, through Greater Syria, and out to the scores of Muslim nations from
By July 7, they were in sight of
Meanwhile, the Turks launched massive engineering works, including many honeycombed tunnels beginning from long distances away, out of sight, and burrowing underneath strong points and vulnerable walls that ground troops might breach. These veteran and highly skilled sappers--the best in the world--dug all the way underground both to the wide moats at the base of the walls and still further underground to the very center of
Relentlessly, the Turks kept heaving up huge mounds--small mountains--of earth and sand just outside the walls, from which fire might constantly be poured down into the doomed city, from above its walls. With every Muslim attack, fewer and fewer Christian soldiers were left to repel them. In late August, supplies of meat ran out, and the population was reduced to eating horses and stray dogs. A very strict rationing of water became necessary. The elderly began to die off from starvation.
Meanwhile, the Christian relief forces were belatedly and all too slowly advancing from the north in four separate columns, from Catholic Germany and from
At intervals, back in
Surrender now and you will be saved. Open your gates, turn your churches over to us and lay down your arms, and no one will be killed. If you resist the will of Allah, your leaders, and all of them, will be slain. Able men and women will be sold into slavery. You will be allowed no rights of worship, and your mighty walls will be thrown down. Fight and you die! Surrender and you live!
For more than four hundred years, hundreds of Christian villages and cities had received such messages. The duplicity and primitive brutality of Muslim conquerors were well known to hundreds of thousands of Christian families, through the fate of relatives in other overrun communities. Nevertheless, sometimes terror overwhelmed them and they surrendered. At
One thing the Muslim armies were not trained to do, as were the Christian armies of that time, was to fight on two fronts--against the city ahead and against any oncoming forces that might arrive to break the siege. For this, Kara Mustafa relied on his mobile cavalry, some twenty thousand Tatars from the Asian steppes in camp about twenty miles south of
King Sobieski of
For hours all day long, left, center, and right flanks of the Christian army advanced far more steadily than expected, although the hand-to-hand fighting was furious, and the Turkish lines were yielding only a yard at a time. The last four hundred yards took an immense effort, but the Christian forces reached open ground with less than an hour of daylight left. This is when Sobieski made a huge gamble and boldly released his much-feared hussars. These famous horsemen wore special caps with strips of leather flying behind them in the wind, lined with feathers like the headdresses of American Indians, and the wind whistled through the leather with an eerie tone. As they charged across the open land the low, melancholy wail of the wind through their feathers frightened the Arabian horses--and their Turkish riders, too.
The sheer speed and force of the Polish hussars was too great and too surprising to be resisted. Mustafa escaped, but his tents and treasury were captured (one of his green velvet tents sit now in the
Mustafa, slowed by a bad wound to his eye, was rushed southward by his remaining bodyguards. From the first moments of crushing defeat he began plotting his reports to the sultan, shifting the blame onto one of his subordinates. Yet as the Christians pursued the once-great Muslim army down through
Thus, once again, this time by land, the Muslims had attempted to fulfill the Prophet's command to spread Islam to all corners of the world decisively, with force. The sultans had long had the advantage of an enormous standing army ready for all seasons, and swiftly added to when larger ambitions demanded. This time, however, the siege-lifting battle outside the walls of
Still, it should surprise no one that the date chosen to bring the new resurgence of modern Muslim ambition to the whole world's attention was also September 11, 318 years after 1683. The announcement came in the vivid orange bursts of blossoming flame and dark black smoke from two of the tallest towers of the West's financial capital. Muslim memory runs very deep, and so does the Muslim imperative to conquer the world for Allah, not just by force of arms but by conversion to Islam. The West has always refused to give this long and deeply rooted Muslim threat against the West's own soul the sustained attention it requires.
Nonetheless, four centuries after Lepanto, three centuries after
That is the historical record, it seems, at least in regard to October 7, 1571, and
September 11-12, 1683, after Lepanto, and after
Revisiting a topic from the first Bradley Lecture Series in 1988-1989, Michael Novak delivered the fourth instalments of AEI's twentieth-anniversary Bradley Lecture Series on
December 8, 2008. Video, audio, and more information are available at www.aei.org/event1775/.
Michael Novak is the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at AEI.
British Muslims must follow law of the land: Sir Ghulam Noon
"Those who are complaining about Sharia law should follow the rules of the land. If you want Sharia law then go to the country where it is prevailing. This is my message," Noon said at the launch of his autobiography, 'NOON, With a View'.
The 72-year-old Sir Noon, who narrowly survived the recent terrorists' attack in Mumbai, said the UN should deal with the scourge of terrorism and cautioned that unless something drastic was done, the country which is harbouring terrorists would have to pay a heavy price.
He also said that religion does not sanction violence and terrorists have no religion.
"Quran says if you kill one human being, you are killing humanity and if you save one, you are saving the humanity," said Sir Noon.
Narrating his brush with death when terrorists struck the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on November 26, Sir Noon said he, his brother and two others were to dine at the Hotel's restaurant which came under attack but they decided at the last moment to have their dinner in their room.
He said this was the fourth time he had narrowly escaped death. He had earlier escaped a road accident as a 22 year old in
Subsequently, he also survived a bomb blast in a taxi near the same Taj Hotel in Mumbai.