Iran Summons Indian Envoy Over BJP Leaders’ Remarks On Prophet Mohammed

New Delhi: Iran has become the third Arab country to summon Indian ambassador over statements against Prophet Mohammed by BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal. BJP has suspended its spokesperson Sharma, while party’s Delhi media cell head Jindal has been expelled.

Earlier, Qatar and Kuwait also summoned the Indian envoys and lodged strong protests against the offensive comments made by the BJP leaders. Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister for Asia handed over a note of protest over “abusive statements” made by the BJP leaders.

Qatar’s foreign ministry had summoned India’s envoy to Doha after comments deemed to be offensive to Muslims were made by BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma, Naveen Jindal who were suspended for the same by the party on Sunday.

In an official statement, Qatar Foreign Ministry said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned, today, H.E. Dr. Deepak Mittal, the Ambassador of the Republic of India to the country, and handed him an official note, expressing the disappointment of the State of Qatar and its total rejection and condemnation to the controversial remarks made by an official in the ruling party in India against Prophet Mohammed (may blessings and peace be upon him).”

Referring to the suspension of the two BJP leaders, Qatar Foreign Ministry said it was “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.”

“…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. The State of Qatar affirmed that these insulting remakes would lead to incitement of religious hatred, and 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 civilizations around the world, including in India,” the statement read.

It should be noted that Nupur Sharma had kicked up a storm when she purportedly made controversial comments about Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate while Naveen Jindal reportedly wrote offensive content against Islam on his Twitter handle. In protest of Nupur Sharma’s comments, riots broke out in Kanpur earlier this week resulting in injuries to at least seven people and damage to property.

Meanwhile, in response to the statement issued by Qatar, the Spokesperson of the Embassy of India in Qatar said: “Ambassador had a meeting in the Foreign Office in which concerns were raised with regard to some offensive tweets by individuals in India denigrating the religious personality.”

“Ambassador conveyed that the tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements. In line with our civilisational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity, Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions,” the Indian embassy said.

It added that strong action had been taken against those who made the derogatory remarks. “A statement has also been issued by concerned quarters emphasizing respect for all religions, denouncing insult to any religious personality or demeaning any religion or sect. Vested interests that are against India – Qatar relations have been inciting the people using these derogatory comments. We should work together against such mischievous elements who aim to undercut the strength of our bilateral ties,” the embassy added.

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