Muslim nations slam India over insulting remarks about Islam

NEW DELHI – India is going through main diplomatic outrage from Muslim nations after high officers within the governing Hindu nationalist get together made derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, drawing accusations of blasphemy throughout some Arab nations which have left New Delhi struggling to include the damaging fallout.

No less than 5 Arab nations have lodged official protests in opposition to India, and Pakistan and Afghanistan additionally reacted strongly Monday to the feedback made by two distinguished spokespeople from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Celebration. Anger has poured out on social media, and requires a boycott of Indian items have surfaced in some Arab nations.

The controversial remarks observe rising violence focusing on India’s Muslim minority carried out by Hindu nationalists who’ve been emboldened by Modi’s common silence about such assaults since he was first elected in 2014.

Through the years, Indian Muslims have usually been focused for every part from their meals and clothes type to inter-religious marriages. Rights teams equivalent to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty Worldwide have warned that assaults may escalate. They’ve additionally accused Modi’s governing get together of wanting the opposite approach and generally enabling hate speech in opposition to Muslims, who comprise 14% of India’s 1.4 billion folks however are nonetheless quite a few sufficient to be the second-largest Muslim inhabitants of any nation.


Modi’s get together denies the accusations, however India’s Muslims say assaults in opposition to them and their religion have elevated sharply.

The anger has been rising since final week after the 2 spokespeople, Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, made speculative remarks that have been seen as insulting Islam’s Prophet Prophet Muhammad and his spouse Aisha.

Modi’s get together took no motion in opposition to them till Sunday, when a sudden refrain of diplomatic outrage started with Qatar and Kuwait summoning their Indian ambassadors to protest. The BJP suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal and issued a uncommon assertion saying it “strongly denounces insult of any spiritual personalities,” a transfer that was welcomed by Qatar and Kuwait.

Later, Saudi Arabia and Iran additionally lodged complaints with India, and the Jeddha-based Group of Islamic Cooperation stated the remarks got here in a “context of intensifying hatred and abuse towards Islam in India and systematic practices in opposition to Muslims.”


New Delhi has made no remark to this point over the protests lodged by Arab nations, however the Overseas Ministry on Monday rejected the feedback by the OIC as “unwarranted” and “narrow-minded.” On Sunday, India’s embassies in Qatar and Doha launched an announcement saying the views expressed in opposition to the Prophet Muhammad and Islam weren’t these of the Indian authorities and have been made by “fringe components.” Each statements stated that robust motion had already been taken in opposition to those that made the derogatory remarks.

The criticism from Muslim nations, nevertheless, was extreme, indicating that insulting Prophet Muhammad was a pink line.

Qatar’s Overseas Ministry stated it anticipated a public apology from the Indian authorities, and Kuwait warned that if the feedback go unpunished, India would see “a rise of extremism and hatred.” The Grand Mufti of Oman described the “obscene rudeness” of Modi’s get together towards Islam as a type of “warfare.” And Riyadh stated the feedback have been insulting and referred to as for “respect for beliefs and religions.”


The remarks made by Sharma throughout a TV program in India and Jindal in a tweet danger damaging India’s ties with Arab nations.

India maintains robust relations with the rich sheikhdoms of Qatar and Kuwait, which depend on tens of millions of migrant staff from India and elsewhere in South Asia to serve their tiny native populations and drive the equipment of day by day life. India additionally depends upon oil-rich Gulf Arab states to energy its energy-thirsty financial system.

The remarks additionally led to anger in India’s archrival and neighbor, Pakistan, and in Afghanistan.

On Monday, Pakistan’s Overseas Ministry summoned an Indian diplomat and conveyed Islamabad’s “robust condemnation,” a day after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif stated the feedback have been “hurtful” and “India underneath Modi is trampling spiritual freedoms & persecuting Muslims.” India’s Overseas Ministry responded by calling Pakistan “a serial violator of minority rights” and stated it mustn’t interact “in alarmist propaganda and trying to foment communal disharmony in India.”


“India accords the very best respect to all religions,” ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated.

Criticism additionally got here from Kabul. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan stated the Indian authorities mustn’t enable “such fanatics to insult … Islam and provoke the sentiments of Muslims.”

Anti-Muslim sentiments and assaults have risen throughout India underneath Modi. Final week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated India was seeing “rising assaults on folks and locations of worship,” eliciting a response from New Delhi, which referred to as the feedback “ill-informed.”

Extra just lately, spiritual tensions have escalated after some Hindu teams went to a neighborhood courtroom in northern Varanasi metropolis to hunt permission to wish at a seventeenth century mosque, claiming that it was constructed by demolishing a temple. Critics say these tensions have been additional exacerbated by Indian tv anchors throughout raucous debates.



Related Press writers Isabel DeBre and Jon Gambrell in Dubai and Munir Ahmad and Rahim Faiez in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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