New Delhi, Jan 9: Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday seemed to offer justification for the Paris shootings, describing the terror attack in a satirical magazine office in Paris as a "backlash".
Aiyer noted that Muslims were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan without any discrimination of being "innocent" or otherwise. Not only did the opposition slam Aiyar for his comments, but his own party distanced itself from the controversy.
"If you are more powerful, it does not mean you can do anything and the weak will not respond. So when drone attacks happen and homes are destroyed and children are killed, then it is imminent that there will be a reaction.
"So, I think the way the war on terrorism has been going on, it was known that it will have this kind of reaction. It is happening now and France needs to see how it can be prevented," Aiyar told reporters in Delhi.
Attacking the United States, the Congress leader said that Muslims were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and backlash was expected.
"We have to accept that since the time the war on terror began in the aftermath of 9/11, Muslims have been killed without any distinction between the innocent and the guilty. This has been done by America in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now it seems that they will do it in Syria as well. So, a backlash to this is imminent," Aiyar added.
He said that the West should learn about the "unity of diversity" practised in India as it opposes the 'hijab' worn by Muslim girls.
"They say hijab can't be worn by Muslim girls. So it will have some kind of impact on the Muslims. So, the unity in diversity that has been practised in India is one lesson the West hasn't learnt.
"Till now, they were saying that they are Christians and it will be a world of Christians. Now since they have to accommodate others, they have to learn the lesson of unity and diversity," he said.
Earlier, Congress party has strongly condemned the attack in Paris. "We are very clear that whatever happened in Paris is terribly unfortunate and condemnable in the strongest possible terms and that's what the Congress party adheres to. Mr Aiyar's observations are entirely his own," Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said.