In an unprecedented developments two BJP leaders’ comments on Prophet Muhammad have unleashed a backlash in Islamic nations, with Qatar, Kuwait and Iran summoning the Indian envoy today.
Summoned by the governments of three Islamic nations today over a couple of BJP leaders’ remarks on Prophet Muhammad, Indian Ambassadors dismissed them as “fringe elements”.
The comments purportedly insulting the Prophet were made the BJP’s national spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV debate last week in the backdrop of a series of communal incidents across the country.
A second leader, Naveen Jindal, posted a tweet about the Prophet, which he later deleted amid escalating outrage.
The Congress trashed the BJP statement, saying it is “nothing but a blatantly counterfeit pretense, which is evidently farce and another sham attempt at damage control”.
The Grand Mufti of Oman along with Twitter handles with a large following have called for the boycott.
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The tweets also included a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
After hashtags calling for the boycott of Indian products began trending on Twitter in Arab countries over alleged inflammatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, the party cracked a whip against them.
While Nupur Sharma has been suspended from the party “with immediate effect”, Jindal’s primary membership of the party has been cancelled.
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How Qatar Reacted :
In Qatar, Ambassador Deepak Mittal said the comments “do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements,” said a spokesperson of the embassy.
Mr Mittal was summoned by Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said it was “expecting a public apology and immediate condemnation of these remarks from the Government of India”.
“Allowing such Islamophobic remarks to continue without punishment, constitutes a grave danger to the protection of human rights and may lead to further prejudice and marginalization, which will create a cycle of violence and hate,” Qatar said.
It is to be noted Qatar’s condemnation came amid the visit of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu who met Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani today.
How Iran Reacted :
News channel Iran International English reported that Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Indian ambassador to Tehran over what the state media called “insult against Prophet of Islam in an Indian TV show”.
How Kuwait Reacted :
Kuwait demanded a “public apology for these hostile statements, the continuation of which would constitute a deterrent measure or punishment to increase extremism and hatred and undermine the elements of moderation”.