Boycott Indian products: Controversial remarks by 2 BJP leaders invite backlash from Gulf nations
New Delhi, Jun 05: The controversial remarks made by BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal on Prophet Muhammad have unleashed a backlash in Islamic nations. Following which, hashtags calling for the boycott of Indian products are trending on Twitter.
The Grand Mufti of Oman Sheikh Al-Khalili tweeted that the "obscene" comments of the spokesperson of India's ruling party amounted to a "war against every Muslim". The tweets also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reportedly, many superstores the Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain removing Indian products from their shelves.
Qatar and Kuwait summon envoys
Qatar and Kuwait on Sunday summoned India's Ambassadors and handed over to them protest notes on what the Gulf countries called categorical "rejection and condemnation" of the controversial remarks of a BJP leader against Prophet Mohammed.
The Kuwait Foreign Ministry said that the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait was on Sunday summoned and handed over an official protest note by the Assistant Secretary of State for Asia Affairs expressing kuwait's "categorical rejection and condemnation" of the statements issued by an official of the ruling party against the Prophet.
The ministry welcomed the statement issued by the ruling party in India, in which it announced the suspension of the leader.
Qatar Foreign Ministry in its statement said 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 marginalisation, which will create a cycle of violence and hate.
The note indicated that more than two billion Muslims across the world follow the guidance of Prophet Mohammed, whose message came as a message of peace, understanding and tolerance, and a beacon of light that Muslims all over the world follow.
Qatar reaffirmed its full support for the values of tolerance, coexistence and respect for all religions and nationalities, where such values distinguish Qatar's global friendships and its relentless work to contribute to the establishment of international peace and security, the statement added.
Seeking to defuse a diplomatic row, a spokesperson of the Indian Embassy in Qatar said that the "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." The spokesperson said that Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal 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.
BJP suspends Nupur Sharma
The BJP suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their controversial remarks against the Prophet, as it sought to defuse a row over the issue.
Amid protests by Muslim groups over the remarks, the party also issued a statement aimed at assuaging the concerns of minorities and distancing itself from these members, asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult of any religious personality.