Prophet remarks: India rushes for diplomatic damage control
India continues to face outrage from Muslim countries over the offensive remarks of now suspended and expelled BJP leaders on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Here are updates on what's happening
1. India's BJP government is seeking to defuse the situation as at least 15 countries – including Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Jordan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Maldives, Libya and Indonesia – lodged official protests against India over the offensive remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), reports NDTV.
2. The Muslim countries also demanded an apology from the Indian government.
3. Meanwhile, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the remarks and urged UN to step up to make sure that the rights of Muslims are protected in India.
4. Over last weekend, Indian diplomats stationed in the Gulf countries were summoned by officials in those countries to protest against the comments by the now suspended and expelled BJP leaders.
5. The controversial remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also sparked a trend on social media in various countries calling for a boycott of Indian products.
6. Inside the country, the opposition parties stepped up pressure for legal action against the suspended and expelled BJP leaders. They also accused the ruling party of denting India's image at international level.
7. Indian foreign ministry has already issued a statement saying that the offensive tweets and comments on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) "did not, in any way, reflect the views of the government. These are the views of fringe elements".
8. BJP has suspended its Delhi unit spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled Naveen Jindal over their comments.
9. BJP has also issued a statement, saying it is "strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion" and "does not promote such people or philosophy".
The comments in question were made by Nupur Sharma during a TV debate last week against the backdrop of a series of communal incidents across India.
BJP media chief Naveen Jindal also posted a tweet about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which he later deleted.
Nupur Sharma filed a case with Delhi police alleging that she has been receiving death threats since her comment.
She also posted an apology on Twitter, saying that it was not her intention to hurt anyone's religious sentiments.