Dubai: During the February riots in the Indian capital of New Delhi a photo of a Muslim man, lying bleeding and hunched at the centre of a violent mob weilding rods, sticks and even swords, went viral. Mohammed Zubair's photo was shared around the globe, as symbolic of the Delhi communal riots that stemmed from the new Citizenship (Amendment) Act. However, the victim has shared a message of forgiveness.
With bandages still around his head, he spoke to Indian journalist Barkha Dutt in an interview. Zubair explained how he landed in trouble with the rioters during his return after prayers at a local mosque.
However, Zubair shows no sense of anger towards his perpetrators. Instead, he said that he forgives his attackers and added: "they did not attack me, it was my [religious] identity they attacked. It was because I was wearing a skull cap and salwaar kameez (clothes)."
Zubair who is now living away from his home, is keen to return.
Many tweeps praised him for his tolerance and bravery. Tweep @AbrarManegar: "Not so easy. It is not mandatory to pardon the attackers. But a person need to have this big heart. I am a fan of this guy for a lifetime."
And tweep @Shah_Baadshah1 added: "He is indeed a great person with a golden heart. He holds so much love that he has forgiven those goons who were ready to kill him for thier baseless and fake hatred. Hats off to you brother..."
Zubair has also condemned Daesh's use of his photograph to promote communal disharmony in the country. "It is a pathetic thing to use photos of victims and promote them for their own agenda," he said.
Last week, Zubair's viral image was shared by the Daesh, calling for retaliatory action in ‘Wilayat al-Hind’, which is the terror group’s “province” in India.
And, according to a report on Indian news website The Print: "In a strongly-worded editorial, Daesh, has condemned the act passed by the Narendra Modi government, as well as the state of Muslims in India.
"The editorial invokes ideas of religion and patriotism, and argues that regardless of Indian Muslims’ loyalty towards their country, they are being kicked out," the article reported.