India’s police have arrested more than 300 Muslim citizens and violently dispersed demonstrations staged over offensive statements by several leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The right-wing regime also took exceptional measures, including banning gatherings and cutting off internet services in several regions of the demonstrations. Additionally, the government demolished houses of some Muslim activists and protesters.
Muslims took to the streets across India to protest against the offensive statements by the Hindu nationalist BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as other Hindu figures.
Footages spread on social media showing the Indian police bulldozing Muslim activist Afreen Fatima’s home in Allahabad, shooting two boys in Ranchi, and beating up Muslims in custody.
The Indian government’s violent practices against minorities and activists are similar to those of Israel against the Palestinian people.
The offensive statements were made by Nupur Sharma, the former spokesperson for the BJP, and Naveen Kumar Jindal, the media officer at the right wing party. Sharma apologised via twitter, saying she never meant to insult the feelings of anyone. Both officials were dismissed from the party.
The statements sparked outrage in the Muslim world, as popular calls for an economic boycott of India escalated, and the governments of several countries – including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Afghanistan – demanded the Indian government to apologise.
Meanwhile, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayieb strongly condemned the Indian insults against the prophet for electoral purposes. The imam called on the international community to stand firmly, valiantly and forcefully against those abusers who could spark deadly crises and wars.