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Pakistan: Muslim leaders condemn Rahul Gandhi’s statement on Muzaffarnagar riot victims

25th Oct 2013

Lucknow, (Agencies): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said it would file a complaint before the Election Commission (EC) against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s remark that the saffron party followed “politics of hate”. Maulana Saif Abbas Naqvi, a prominent Shia cleric, on Friday said such statements not only painted the Muslim community in bad light, but also strengthened the communal forces.

“Rahul Gandhi has been making baseless allegations against the BJP. He is trying to get votes by dividing the people on communal basis. We will complain to Election Commission to take action against Rahul Gandhi and Congress party,” said BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

At an election rally in Indore on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi had made a claim that singed by the riots and killings in Muzaffarnagar district of the state, many Muslim youths were in touch with Pakistan’s ISI. The riots and communal violence in the district in September had left at least 62 dead and 43,000 homeless.

Targeting the BJP, Gandhi alleged that the Opposition party is solely interested in gathering votes, while it is left to the ruling party to cool down the anger that survives in the aftermath of communal violence.

Gandhi’s statement about Muslim youths from riot-ravaged Muzaffarnagar also touched a raw nerve with Muslim leaders.

Naqvi said it was a “grave insinuation” on millions of peace loving and patriotic Muslims in the country.  He also alleged that instead of understanding the plight and pain of the riot victims, the Gandhi scion was playing politics with the communal riots and the victims.

Shahar Qazi, Maulana Abul Irfan Miyan Farangi Mahali, termed the statement as “most unfortunate” and demanded an immediate and unconditional apology from the Congress leader.

“It does not fit leaders of a national party like the Congress to give such cheap and hurtful statements against the Muslims…we are patriotic and would do anything for India,” he said in a statement.

Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, senior vice-president of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, also said anyone who casts aspersions on the integrity and loyalty of the minorities for the country was doing a great disservice to the country and the Muslims.    Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Kamal Faruqui also said the remark has put unnecessary doubt over the integrity of Muslims in the country.

“Yesterday’s statement of Rahul Gandhi is very unfortunate because it unnecessarily creates doubt over the integrity of the Muslims? Anybody who does indulge in any kind of activity that affects the integrity of the community is very, very regrettable. I was not expecting these kinds of remarks from Rahul Gandhi,” Faruqui said.

“The Muslims had enough reasons to be swayed away by the ISI or any other persons during the Babri Masjit demolitions and the riots after during 2002, and several hundreds of thousands of other riots. But the Muslims do have faith in the judicial system and the internal democratic system of the country… and have given all kinds of sacrifices for the freedom struggle,” he added.


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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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