India faces fury over government officials’ “Islamophobic” remarks on Prophet Muhammad

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India Islam
Indian Muslims shout slogans as they react to the derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad made by prime officers within the governing Hindu nationalist get together throughout a protest in Mumbai, India, June 6, 2022.

Rafiq Maqbool/AP


New Delhi — India was going through a diplomatic backlash Monday from Muslim nations after two senior officers of the ruling get together made remarks labelled “insulting” and “derogatory” in opposition to Islam and its prophet. At the least seven nations, together with Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Oman, expressed outrage and registered official protests with India, and a few demanded apologies, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s get together to fireside the 2 officers.

Nupur Sharma, the nationwide spokesperson of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP), allegedly made derogatory remarks in regards to the Prophet Muhammad throughout a tv debate final week. The get together’s media chief, Naveen Jindal, additionally posted a tweet in regards to the Prophet, which he later deleted.

Their remarks brought on outrage in India, too, and even led to road protests by Muslims within the central Indian metropolis of Kanpur on Friday. However because the outrage unfold throughout the Arab and Muslim world — with which India has sturdy enterprise ties — the BJP appeared compelled to droop Nupur Sharma’s get together membership, and it expelled Jindal on Sunday.

India’s Ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, stated the feedback “don’t, in any method, replicate the views of the Authorities of India,” and he dismissed the remarks as “the views of fringe parts.”

In a press release, the BJP stated Sunday that it was “strongly in opposition to any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or faith” and “doesn’t promote such folks or philosophy.”

The BJP assertion and its motion in opposition to the officers got here after Qatar, Kuwait, and Iran summoned the Indian ambassadors of their capitals over the weekend to register formal protests.

Qatar demanded a public apology from the Indian authorities because it handed over a protest word to the nation’s envoy, expressing “disappointment” and “complete rejection and condemnation” of the remarks.

“These insulting remarks would result in incitement of spiritual hatred, and offend greater than two billion Muslims world wide,” the Qatari international ministry stated in a press release whilst India’s Vice President Venkaiah Naidu visited the Gulf state Sunday.

“The Islamophobic discourse has reached harmful ranges in a rustic lengthy identified for its range and coexistence,” stated Qatar’s Assistant International Minister Lolwah al-Khater in a tweet.

Kuwait’s international ministry, which additionally summoned the Indian envoy within the capital, expressed “categorical rejection and condemnation of the insulting statements.”

Oman’s grand mufti Sheikh Al-Khalili, the chief jurist on spiritual issues, known as for a boycott of Indian merchandise and stated the “obscene” remarks by the spokespersons amounted to a “battle in opposition to each Muslim.”

Saudi Arabia and Iran, too, registered protests with the Indian authorities whereas condemning the remarks.

Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif accused India of “trampling spiritual freedoms and persecuting Muslims,” whereas the Taliban regime in Afghanistan known as on India to not enable “such fanatics to insult… Islam and provoke the feelings of Muslims.”

Pakistan India Islam
Supporters of a Pakistani spiritual group chant anti-Indian slogans throughout an indication to sentence derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad made officers of India’s governing Hindu nationalist get together, in Karachi, Pakistan, June 6, 2022.

Fareed Khan/AP


The 57-member Group of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) stated the remarks got here in a “context of intensifying hatred and abuse towards Islam in India.”

The outrage over the feedback comes amid mounting accusations from inside the nation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist authorities is intentionally making an attempt to marginalize the nation’s 200 million Muslims.

A U.S. State Division report launched final week documented killings, assaults and intimidation of India’s spiritual minorities, together with Muslims. India’s authorities rejected the report as “ill-informed” and “biased.”

Muslim nations had largely remained silent for years because the Modi authorities unveiled a collection of allegedly anti-Muslim measures, however the officers’ feedback in regards to the Prophet Muhammad might have been a step too far.

India has loved pleasant enterprise relations with the energy-rich Gulf states for many years. The nation’s commerce with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which incorporates Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, stood at about $90 billion in 2020-21. An estimated 6.6 million Indians reside and work in these nations.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Pledges to Fight Terror With India
Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, left, is greeted by Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, proper, as Ram Nath Kovind, India’s president, applauds throughout a ceremonial reception on the presidential palace in New Delhi, India, February 20, 2019.

T. Narayan/Bloomberg by way of Getty


Throughout his eight-year tenure, Modi has invested closely in strengthening ties with the Gulf states, that are main vitality suppliers to India. The prime minister has been a daily customer to the Gulf states. He is acquired the best civilian honors from the governments of Saudi Arabia in 2016, and from the UAE and Bahrain in 2019.

How shortly he is invited again — and billions of {dollars} price of enterprise ties — might hinge on Delhi’s capability to show to these nations that the now-sacked officers’ feedback on Islam and the prophet weren’t extensively held, and that they’re being taken severely.



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