India registered its protest against a recent statement by the General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The statement from the OIC had come in the backdrop of the controversy around the remarks made by BJP spokesperson, Nupur Sharma, during a TV debate. The remarks were allegedly ‘insulting’ to Islam.
As the Arab countries registered their disapproval of the spokesperson’s comments, the BJP suspended her and Delhi BJP Spokesperson, Naveen Jindal, from the party's primary membership and issued a statement denouncing disrespect of “any religious personalities of any religion”.
OIC, an intergovernmental grouping of 57 nations, including Pakistan, representing the Islamic world, called upon the UN to take necessary measures to address "the practices targeting Muslims in India”. It said, “These abuses come in the context of the escalation of hatred and abuse of Islam in India and in the context of the systematic practices against Muslims and restrictions on them, especially in light of a series of decisions banning headscarves in educational institutions in a number of Indian states and demolitions of Muslim property, in addition to the increase in violence against them.”
Responding to the queries pertaining to OIC’s statement, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi said that the “Government of India categorically rejects OIC Secretariat's unwarranted and narrow-minded comments.” His statement added that it was regrettable that OIC Secretariat chose to make motivated, misleading and mischievous comments, yet again. It only exposed its divisive agenda being pursued at the behest of vested interests.
The MEA spokesperson said that “The Government of India accords the highest respect to all religions. The offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals. They do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. Strong action has already been taken against these individuals by relevant bodies.”
He urged the OIC Secretariat to stop pursuing its communal approach and show due respect to all faiths and religions.
The controversy had snowballed as more and more Gulf countries joined the chorus in denouncing the statements made by the BJP spokesperson and social media trends were carried out calling out for an economic boycott of Indians in the Gulf.
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