Lucknow, Jan 9: Muslim scholars today trashed as "cheap publicity gimmick" and "childish" BSP leader Haji Yakub Qureshi's alleged statement hailing terrorists who struck at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and demanded strict action against him.
"Instead of condemning the attack on the French magazine and loss of lives, he went ahead and announced a reward for the killers... this is most condemnable," All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) General Secretary Maulana Nizamuddin told PTI when contacted.
"This remark of Qureshi is aimed at garnering cheap publicity and the gimmick needs to condemned by all," he said, adding that at a time when efforts were on all over the world to defame Islam, such comments only added fuel to the fire.
Nizamuddin said, "This remark will harm both Islam and humanity...the murder of those making cartoons and caricature of religious figures is as unjustified and wrong as the act of making them." Qureshi had yesterday courted a controversy by defending the terror attack on the French magazine, saying whoever shows disrespect to the Prophet will invite death.
"Prophet Mohammad had conveyed a message of peace to the entire world and if anyone makes certain cartoons on him will invite death like the cartoonists and journalists in Paris," Qureshi had said.
According to media reports, he had also announced a reward of Rs 51 crore to the killers of the Paris journalists. Qureshi, however, denied reports in which he was stated to have said that he will reward the attackers who killed Charlie Hebdo's Editor and cartoonist of the controversial Prophet poster with Rs 51 crore.