BJP receives flak from Muslim countries over Islamophobic remarks

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–Pakistan urges international community to reprimand India

–BJP suspends Sharma, expels Jindal from party after backlash

ISLAMABAD, JUN 06 (DNA) — India is facing major diplomatic outrage from Muslim-majority countries and institutions after top officials in the governing Hindu nationalist party made remarks against the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), drawing accusations of blasphemy across Arab nations that have left New Delhi struggling to contain the damaging fallout.

At least five Arab nations have lodged official protests against India, and Pakistan and Afghanistan also reacted strongly on Monday to the comments made by two spokespeople from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

Anger has also poured out on social media, and calls for a boycott of Indian goods have surfaced in some Arab nations. At home in India, it has led to protests against Modi’s party in some parts of the country.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia described the comments as insulting and called for respect for beliefs and religions. Qatar, Kuwait and Iran summoned the Indian ambassadors over insulting remarks on Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) by leaders of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In a statement, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said it summoned the Indian envoy to voice “disappointment of Qatar and its total rejection and condemnation to the controversial remarks made by officials in the ruling party in India against Prophet Muhammad.”

Last week, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma made a comment during a TV debate purportedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and triggering outrage from Muslim groups. The anger spilled over as Jindal posted a tweet about the Prophet.

According to the statement, Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi handed a note to the Indian envoy asserting that “these insulting remarks would lead to incitement of religious hatred, and offend more than two billion Muslims around the world”.

Kuwait, in a statement, said it had handed over an “official protest note expressing the State of Kuwait’s categorical rejection and condemnation of the insulting statements against the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Islam and Muslims issued by one of the officials in the ruling party.” The grand mufti of Oman, Sheikh Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Khalil, tweeted that the “obscene” comments of the spokesperson of India’s ruling party amounted to a “war against every Muslim”.

Iran summoned Indian ambassador to Tehran to the Foreign Ministry and lodged a strong protest over derogatory remarks. Superstores in Saudia Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain removed Indian products after insulting remarks by Indian PM Modi’s close aide.

There was also a strong protest by Muslims on social media platforms.The grand mufti of Oman, Sheikh Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Khalil, tweeted that the “obscene” comments of the spokesperson of India’s ruling party amounted to a “war against every Muslim”.

In Pakistan, the Indian Charge d’ Affairs was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and conveyed the Pakistan’s categorical rejection and strong condemnation of the highly derogatory remarks made by two senior officials of India’s ruling party BJP about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

According to the Foreign Office, he was told that these remarks are totally unacceptable and have not only deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan but of Muslims across the world.

The Indian diplomat was further told that Pakistan deplores the belated and perfunctory disciplinary actions taken by the BJP government against the said officials, which cannot assuage the pain caused to the Muslims.

Pakistan is deeply concerned at the alarming rise in communal violence and hatred against the Muslims in India. Muslims are being systematically stigmatized, marginalized and subjected to a well- orchestrated onslaught from radical Hindu mobs with full connivance and support of the security apparatus across various states in India.

The growing mainstreaming of the reprehensible anti-Muslim sentiment and the increasing attempts at depriving the Muslims of their centuries-old places of worship citing frivolous historical claims, are nothing but the obvious outcomes of the deep-seated Islamophobia in the Indian society.

Pakistan strongly urges the BJP leadership and the government of India to unequivocally condemn the sacrilegious comments of the BJP officials and ensure that they are held accountable through decisive and demonstrable action against them for attacking the dignity of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).The government of India is also reminded of its obligations under international law to take immediate steps to protect its minorities from human rights violations, ensure their safety, security and well-being and allow them to profess and practice their faiths in peace.

Pakistan urged the international community, including the United Nations and OIC, especially their human rights machinery, to take cognizance of and stop the dangerously rising ‘Hindutva’ inspired Islamophobia in India, and prevail upon the Indian authorities to prevent the systematic human rights violations against minorities in the country.

Criticism also came from Kabul. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said the Indian government should not allow “such fanatics to insult … Islam and provoke the feelings of Muslims.” The Organization of Islamic Cooperation said the remarks came in a context of intensifying hatred and abuse toward Islam in India.

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council  also issued a statement condemning Indian official’s remarks. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also called out the comments made by the BJP leader and urged the world to take notice and reprimand India. “… Have said it repeatedly that India under Modi is trampling religious freedoms & persecuting Muslims.

 World should take note & severely reprimand India.” He said the love of Muslims for the Prophet (PBUH) was supreme and they could sacrifice their lives for the Holy figure. Following a strong reaction from the Muslim countries, the ruling BJP suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal from the party for their remarks, according to Hindustan Times.