NEW DELHI: India have been facing widespread anger in the Arab world over controversial remarks against Prophet Muhammad by BJP party functionaries. While Qatar welcomed the announcement of the party’s action against them, it also sought a public apology and condemnation from the Indian government as it summoned Indian ambassador Deepak Mittal to register a strong protest over the remarks against the Prophet.
Garbage tankers in Kuwait with India’s Dear Leader’s Photo! Modi has made surely India proud! pic.twitter.com/DJb5XZRmib
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) June 5, 2022
Kuwait and Iran also lodged a protest with the Indian government, with the former demanding a public apology “on part of the perpetrator”. Saudi Arabia also condemned the remarks. Describing the comments as a war against every Muslim in the world, the Grand Mufti of Oman called upon all Muslims to “rise as one nation”. While other neighbouring countries in the Gulf were also reported to have expressed reservations, India’s biggest problem came from Qatar, an important Gulf partner currently hosting Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
A ‘Boycott India’ campaign trended on social media as Naidu arrived in Doha for a four-day visit. Despite a clarification that the BJP functionaries in question were “fringe elements” who didn’t represent the views of the Indian government, the Qatar deputy foreign minister Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi summoned the Indian ambassador to convey its “total rejection and condemnation” of the controversial remarks to India.
Prestigious Al Azhar University of Egypt has condemned Modi Government of India insult of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) It has called for serious action against India and equated the insult to Terrorism. #ProphetMuhammad #BoycottIndia #إلا_رسول_الله_يا_مودي #الهند #Egypt pic.twitter.com/7iDwLIxba6
— South Asian Journal (@sajournal1) June 5, 2022
“Noting that State of Qatar is 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 marginalisation, which will create a cycle of violence and hate,” said the Qatar foreign ministry in a statement, adding more than two billion Muslims across the world followed the Prophet and his message of peace, understanding and tolerance.
During Modi govt’s 8 years, Bharat Mata had to hang her head in shame because we crawled before the Chinese on Ladakh, knelt before the Russians, meowed before the Americans in QUAD. But we did shastangam dandawat before the tiny Qatar. That was depravity of our foreign policy.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) June 6, 2022
The Indian embassy, in its response, said that Qatar had raised concerns about some “offensive tweets by individuals in India denigrating the religious personality” and that the Indian ambassador conveyed to Qatar that the tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. “These are the views of fringe elements,” it said.
Breaking News from Kuwait. Indian products removed from supermarkets after Modi Govt spokeswoman insulted prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Video via @Awwalkwt #الهند #Kuwait #BoycottIndia #إلا_رسول_الله_يا_مودي #Arabs #Stopinsulting_ProphetMuhammad pic.twitter.com/zBP1cv3Buu
— South Asian Journal (@sajournal1) June 5, 2022
“In line with our civilisational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity, Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. Strong action has already been taken against those who made the derogatory remarks,” said the embassy.
The embassy, however, also suggested in its reaction that pro-Pakistan elements might be using the remarks to incite hatred and create differences between India and Qatar. Official sources said the online campaign against India was probably the handiwork of the same people. India is hoping the issue will die down soon as continued discord could threaten the “reset” in its ties with Gulf States that the government believes has taken place under PM Narendra Modi, resulting in greater mutual trust and respect.
The hashtag #إلا_رسول_الله_يا_مودي is the #1 trending topic in Saudi Arabia.
Saudis and other Arabs are denouncing Modi for blasphemous remarks made towards the Prophet Muhammad by members of his party
— Shakeeb akram (@shaikshakeeb003) June 5, 2022
“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,” said the embassy.
Qatar, however, said that the insulting remarks 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”.
— Hitendra Pithadiya हितेंद्र હિતેન્દ્ર ہیتیند 🇮🇳 (@HitenPithadiya) June 5, 2022
After Qatar, Kuwait and Iran, Now Saudi Arabia gives a statement https://t.co/65dXM5z0sD
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) June 5, 2022