The death toll from the shocking events in Mumbai stands at 174 people. Until 20 years ago, cosmopolitan Mumbai (Bombay) was a shining example of Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians and Parsees living side by side. Hindus and Muslims even prayed together at Sufi shrines. But the Bombay killings can only exacerbate sectarian tensions. As for the Jews, a 2,500 year-old sense of security and confidence seems to have been shattered overnight.
Now it is clear that Islamist terrorists went out of their way to target foreign businessmen and tourists - British and Americans - and Jews, six of whom were murdered in cold blood, some after being tortured. For contrary to media reports that the terrorists showed a "wanton disregard for race or creed", in the words of Charles Moore, "they deliberately attacked people and places where such disregard for creed and race is, in a friendly sense, a way of life".
The city owes its best-known landmarks to Jewish philanthropists, most notably the Sassoon family who arrived from Iraq in the 19th century. Four schools, two synagogues, a magnificent library and a dockyard all bear the Sassoon name. A lesser known fact is that Sir Jacob Sassoon was the largest individual donor to the famous Gateway Of India, just a few steps away from the Taj Mahal hotel.
India prides itself on the tolerance it has shown towards its 2,500 year old Jewish community. If the numbers of Jews have dwindled in the last sixty years to some 5,000, it is not because of antisemitism, but because many of India's Bene Israel Jews have sought a better life in the Jewish state, where 60,000 emigrated.
But with jihadists shamelessly murdering Jews just for being Jews on Wednesday night, all this has changed.
As Naresh Fernandes writes in The New Republic:
"When I spoke to (Indian Jew) Robin David on the phone on Friday, he was still trying to make sense of it all. "The Indian Jewish identity is the only one that hasn't been created by persecution," he said. "We've never felt scared. This is the first time we've been made to feel like Jews."
"That, to me, has been among the most tragic casualties of this terrorist attack. In a barrage of grenades and bullets, a part of the Indian dream that's 2,500 years old has now been buried in a pile of bloody concrete shards."