Several Arab, Muslim-Majority Countries Condemn Indian Official’s Remarks Insulting Islam
Several Muslim majority and Arab countries have registered official complaints against India after top officials in India’s ruling party made insulting remarks about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad that they consider blasphemous. Among the Arab and Muslim-majority countries that have lodged protests or condemned the remarks are Saudi Arabia. Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Egypt, as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan. Indian products were removed from store shelves in some of those countries. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), based in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, also condemned the remarks. Two spokespeople for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party last week made remarks that were seen as insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and his wife Aisha. The Bharatiya Janata Party, a Hindu nationalist party, suspended one of the spokespeople and expelled the other and issued a rare statement saying it “strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities.” Modi’s party has frequently been accused of acting against the country’s Muslim minority. Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who was suspended, tweeted that her comments during a televised interview had been in response to “insults” made against the Hindu god Shiva. On Tuesday, Sharma was summoned to appear before an investigating officer of the Maharashtra state police over her controversial remarks. Meanwhile, Sharma and her family have been provided police security after she alleged that she has been receiving threats and was being harassed over her remarks.