Indonesia, Malaysia join other Muslim countries in condemning 'derogatory' remarks by two India politicians
JAKARTA/PUTRAJAYA: Indonesia and Malaysia have joined other Muslim countries in condemning controversial remarks made by two Indian politicians, calling the comments "derogatory".
"Indonesia strongly condemns the unacceptable derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by two Indian politicians," said the Indonesian foreign affairs ministry in a tweet on Monday (Jun 6).
The ministry added that it also conveyed the message to the Indian ambassador in Jakarta over the comments made by Indian politicians Nupur Sharma, the national spokeswoman of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Delhi BJP’s head of media operations, Naveen Kumar Jindal.
The spokeswoman reportedly insulted the prophet and his wife Aisha during a TV debate last Sunday, while her colleague was reported to have posted a now-deleted tweet, which had caused an outcry in India.
The Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday also condemned the remarks.
"Malaysia unreservedly condemns the derogatory remarks by Indian politicians against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)," said the ministry.
The ministry also said in a statement that it summoned India’s High Commissioner to Malaysia on Tuesday afternoon to convey Malaysia's "total repudiation over this incident".
The ministry called upon India "to work together in ending the Islamophobia" and to "cease any provocative acts in the interest of peace and stability".
Indonesia and Malaysia joined other Muslim countries such as Qatar, Kuwait, Iran and Saudi Arabia in denouncing the remarks against Islam.
Media reports have blamed the remarks for clashes in Kanpur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. There have also been demands for the spokeswoman’s arrest.
Protests were also reported in the financial capital Mumbai and other Indian cities.
Following the outcry, BJP reportedly suspended the spokeswoman’s party membership, while Jindal was expelled from the party.
BJP had also denounced the remarks, saying that it respected all religions.
“The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion,” said the BJP in a statement quoted by Reuters.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party is also strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy,” the party said.
News agencies reported that India’s ambassadors to Kuwait and Qatar were summoned on Sunday to receive official notes of protest over the comments.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry issued a statement condemning the “highly derogatory remarks”, saying that the remarks were totally unacceptable and have deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and Muslims around the world.
In its condemnation of the remarks, Saudi Arabia described them as “insulting” and called for “respect for beliefs and religions”, according to a statement by its foreign ministry.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second largest intergovernmental organisation after the United Nations with 57 member states, also issued a statement to condemn the remarks.
“These insults come in the context of the increasing intensity in hatred of and insults to Islam in India and the systematic harassment of Muslims," OIC was quoted as saying by Reuters.