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Arab world’s ‘boycott’ sends India scrambling over BJP Islamophobic remarks

Qatar demands public apology from India; Pakistan says BJP’s attempted clarification cannot assuage pain they have caused to Muslim world
Updated 06 Jun, 2022 01:58pm
<p>A man installs the symbol of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on a tent during an election campaign rally by the party in Prayagraj, India, February 24, 2022. Reuters/File</p>

A man installs the symbol of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on a tent during an election campaign rally by the party in Prayagraj, India, February 24, 2022. Reuters/File

RIYADH/ISLAMABAD: Many Muslim nations have condemned the Indian ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders over their derogatory remarks towards Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), with Qatar demanding an apology from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led country.

“Noting that Qatar is expecting a public apology and immediate condemnation of these remarks from the Government of India, pointing out that 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 in a statement on Sunday.

BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma had made disrespectful remarks about the Prophet (PBUH) in a TV debate last week. Another party leader, Naveen Kumar Jindal, had also spoken in a similar tone in a tweet on June 1 and defended it as a “question to hatemongers”. India’s ruling party, which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had to distance itself from their statements after worldwide condemnation, after worldwide condemnation, the Hindustan Times reported. They announced disciplinary action against the duo.

In reaction to the statement, the Arab world launched an online campaign calling for a boycott of Indian products. #BoycottIndianProducts were among the top trends of the day.

The remarks by a spokesperson for BJP last week were blamed for clashes in an Indian state and prompted demands for her arrest.

Qatar

Qatar’s foreign affairs ministry had summoned Indian ambassador Deepak Mittal and handed him an “official note” on Qatar’s total rejection and condemnation of the remarks of an official in the Indian ruling party against Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

“The note indicated that more than two billion Muslims across the world follow the guidance of Prophet Mohammed (may blessings and peace be upon him (, whose message came as a message of peace, understanding and tolerance, and a beacon of light that Muslims all over the world follow,” it added.

The note said that the state of Qatar affirmed that such insulting remakes would lead to incitement of religious hatred, offend more than two billion Muslims around the world, and indicate the clear ignorance of the pivotal role that Islam has played in the development of civilisations around the world, including in India.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia on Monday joined the Muslim world in condemning the Indian ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders over their derogatory remarks towards Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its condemnation and denunciation of the statements made by the spokeswoman of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, insulting Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him,” the ministry said in a statement.

The kingdom reaffirmed its permanent rejection of prejudice against the symbols of the Islamic religion and refuses to prejudice all religious figures and symbols.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also welcomes the action taken by the BJP to suspend the spokeswoman from work, and the ministry reiterates the Kingdom’s position calling for respect for belief and religions,” it added.

Pakistan

Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Sunday said that such totally unacceptable remarks had not only deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan, but of billions of Muslims around the world.

“BJP’s attempted clarification and belated and perfunctory disciplinary action against these individuals cannot assuage the pain and anguish they have caused to the Muslim world,” it said in a statement.

The top leadership of Pakistani leadership also condemned such remarks and reiterated their concerns over the actions of BJP leaders in India. They also forewarned the world of the situation in India under the leadership of PM Modi.

Kuwait

Kuwait 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) issued by one of the officials in the ruling party [BJP]”.

Iran

Later, Hindustan Times reported that an Iranian news agency said the director general of South Asia on Sunday evening summoned the Indian ambassador to receive the protest of the country.

OIC

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), based in the Jeddah, also condemned the remarks Sunday, saying they came in a “context of intensifying hatred and abuse towards Islam in India and systematic practices against Muslims”.

Organized actions were being taken against Muslims, it said, adding that the Indian ruling party was engaged in organised operations against Islam. It demanded of the Indian government to stop such events and protect the properties of Muslims.

Saudi Arabia

BJP

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