Iran summons Indian ambassador for ‘insulting Islam’s prophet on Indian TV show’

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Iran summons Indian ambassador for ‘insulting Islam’s prophet on Indian TV show’ | Twitter/@Amirabdolahian

Ahead of the Iranian foreign minister’s first-ever trip to New Delhi next week, Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the Indian ambassador to Tehran for what state media called an “insult to the prophet of Islam in an Indian TV show”.

Besides Iran, Qatar and Kuwait had also summoned India’s ambassadors and handed them protest notes over what the Gulf countries called a categorical “rejection and condemnation” of the controversial remarks of a BJP leader against the Prophet Muhammad.

Seeking to defuse a diplomatic row, a spokesman for the Indian Embassy in Qatar said that “The Ambassador indicated that the tweets in no way reflect the views of the Government of India. They are the views of marginal elements”. The spokesman said Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal had a meeting at the Foreign Ministry where concerns were raised about some offensive tweets from individuals in India disparaging the religious figure.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu is currently on a visit to Qatar and he met with Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani on Sunday.

Earlier, Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, the state’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, handed over the note to the Ambassador of the Republic of India, the ministry said in a statement.

He welcomed the statement released by India’s ruling party in which it announced the party leader’s suspension and said Qatar expected a public apology and immediate condemnation of the remarks from the Indian government.

“Strong action has already been taken against those who have made derogatory remarks,” said the Indian Embassy spokesperson here.

“In line with our civilizational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity, the Indian government gives utmost respect to all religions,” the official added.

Noting that vested interests that are against Indo-Qatari relations have prompted people to use such derogatory comments, the embassy spokesperson said both sides should work together against such malicious elements that aim to undermine strength. of their bilateral relations.

Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry said India’s Ambassador to Kuwait was summoned on Sunday and handed him an official protest note from the Assistant Secretary of State for Asian Affairs expressing “rejection and categorical condemnation” by Kuwait of the statements of a ruling party official against the Prophet.

The ministry welcomed the statement issued by India’s ruling party, in which it announced the leader’s suspension.

In New Delhi, the BJP suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media chief Naveen Kumar Jindal after their controversial remarks against the Prophet as it sought to defuse a row over the issue.

Amid protests from Muslim groups over the remarks, the party also issued a statement aimed at allaying minority concerns and distancing itself from such members, saying it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult of any religious personality.

The controversial remarks also sparked a Twitter trend in the Arab world calling for a boycott of Indian products.

In its statement, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said that allowing such Islamophobic remarks to continue without sanction poses a serious danger to the protection of human rights and can lead to further prejudice and marginalization. which will create a cycle of violence and hatred.

The note says more than two billion Muslims around the world follow the advice of the Prophet Muhammad, whose message came as a message of peace, understanding and tolerance, and a beacon of light that Muslims around the world follow. .

Qatar reaffirmed its full support for the values ​​of tolerance, coexistence and respect for all religions and nationalities, where these values ​​distinguish Qatar’s global friendships and tireless work to contribute to the establishment of peace and security. international, the statement added.

(With PTI entries)

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