More Muslim countries take exception to BJP leaders' derogatory remarks about Holy Prophet

Published June 6, 2022
This combo photo shows the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L), and Jordan, Ayman Safadi (R). — Photos: Reuters
This combo photo shows the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (L), and Jordan, Ayman Safadi (R). — Photos: Reuters

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan and Maldives became the latest Muslim countries to condemn the derogatory remarks made against Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) by leaders of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

According to Hindustan Times, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and another party leader, Naveen Kumar Jindal, made disrespectful remarks about the Prophet (PBUH) and after worldwide condemnation, India's ruling party had to distance itself from their statements, announcing disciplinary action against the duo.

In a statement issued on Monday, the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation condemned the remarks and affirmed its firm rejection of "all practices and behaviors that contradict moral and human values and principles".

It underscored the need to respect religious symbols and not violate them, as well as confront hate speech and violence.

"The ministry also noted the importance of strengthening the shared international responsibility to spread the values of tolerance and human coexistence while preventing any practices that would inflame the sentiment of followers of different religions," the statement said.

Jordan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates also issued a similar condemnation on Twitter.

Meanwhile, a statement by the government of Maldives said it unreservedly condemned "all and any action that purports to pervert the true nature and teachings of Islam and attempts to demean" Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

It went on to say that it was "deeply concerned" by the derogatory remarks by some BJP officials but also welcomed the Indian government's response.

"The government of Maldives welcomes the denouncement by the government of India of the derogatory remarks by the concerned officials and the prompt action taken by BJP against those officials," the statement added.

Muslim countries unanimous in condemning remarks

Following a strong reaction from Muslim countries, the ruling BJP has suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal from the party for their remarks, according to the Hindustan Times. The statement issued by the party did not name anyone but it underlined that the party did not condone insults to any religion and respects all faiths.

"The Bharatiya Janata Party is also against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy … During the thousands of years of the history of India every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions," the statement said.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Iran and Pakistan had issued similar condemnations earlier. Qatar, Kuwait and Iran had summoned India's envoy to register their protest on Sunday, while Pakistan issued a strong demarche to the Indian charge d'affaires on Monday.

Qatar has also sought a public apology from India for allowing such "Islamophobic" views without retribution.

The grand mufti of Oman, Sheikh Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Khalil, had tweeted that the "obscene" comments of the spokesperson of India's ruling party amounted to a "war against every Muslim".

OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha also said that the BJP leaders' remarks came in "context of intensifying hatred and abuse toward Islam in India and systematic practices against Muslims".

India told both Qatar and Kuwait that the offensive views did not reflect those of the government of India, instead attributing these to "fringe elements". It said that "strong action" had been taken against those responsible for the derogatory remarks.

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