On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry of Qatar said that it summoned Indian ambassador Deepak Mittal and handed him an official note, expressing “total rejection and condemnation” of the remarks of a BJP leader against Mohammed, the founder of Islam religion.
In the official note, Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi pointed out that allowing such “Islamophobic remarks” to continue without punishment constitutes a “grave danger” to the protection of human rights and may lead to further “prejudice and marginalisation”, which will create a cycle of violence and hate.
The note claimed that more than two billion Muslims worldwide followed the guidance of Prophet Mohammed and affirmed that these “insulting remarks” would lead to incitement of religious hatred and offend Muslims.
“The State of Qatar reaffirmed its full support for the values of tolerance, coexistence and respect for all religions and nationalities, where such as these values distinguish Qatar’s global friendships and its relentless work to contribute to the establishment of international peace and security,” Qatar’s foreign ministry said.
Nupur Sharma, former spokesperson of BJP, did not insult Muhammad but quoted Hadith references to his life.
However, responding to Qatar’s statement, the Indian Embassy in Doha said Ambassador Dipak Mittal has conveyed that the “tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements”. The embassy also said that the Indian government accords the “highest respect to all religions” in line with the country’s “civilisational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity”.
“Strong action has already been taken against those who made derogatory remarks. A statement has also been issued by concerned quarters emphasising respect for all religions, denouncing insult to any religious personality or demeaning any religion or sect,” the spokesperson of the Indian embassy in Doha said.
The embassy also said that “vested interests” that are against India – Qatar relations have been inciting the people using these derogatory comments. “We should work together against such mischievous elements who aim to undercut the strength of our bilateral ties,” it stressed.
Soon after Qatar alleged Indian citizens of blasphemy, the Islamic country, which faces serious terror funding allegations, drew strong criticisms on social media condemning the alleged blasphemy by Indian citizens for its double standards for giving citizenship to M F Hussain, who painted Hindu goddesses in nude. Reminding Qatar’s duplicity over the issue, comedian Nitin Gupta tweeted, “MF Hussain made nude paintings of Hindu Goddesses. Qatar granted him citizenship. Nupur Sharma quoted facts about Muhammad from Hadith. Vishwagurus bent over backward to appease Qatar!”
MF Hussain made nude paintings of Hindu Godesses.
Qatar granted him citizenship. @NupurSharmaBJP quoted facts about Muhammad from Hadith.
Vishwagurus bent over backwards to appease Qatar!
— Nitin Gupta (@Nitin_Rivaldo) June 5, 2022
In 2010, MF Hussain was given citizenship of Qatar after he fled India in 2006 to evade prosecution in the cases registered in connection with his nude paintings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. He had also made one obscene painting of Bharat Mata.
Apart from its well-known past of terror funding, a series of fresh allegations were made against Qatar in May. Qatar is now facing increased scrutiny over its connections with the terrorist organisation after a lawsuit filed by relatives of a slain American journalist and a separate federal investigation into a member of its royal family.
According to reports, “The family of Steven Sotloff alleged in a federal lawsuit Friday that prominent Qatari institutions wired $800,000 to an Islamic State judge who ordered the murder of Sotloff and another American journalist, James Foley. The two were beheaded in Syria in 2014, their killings filmed and published in grisly propaganda videos.”
According to a document released by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, “Qatar has been known to be a permissive environment for terror financing, reportedly funding U.S. designated foreign terrorist organisations, such as Hamas, as well as several extremist groups operating in Syria.
“Many individuals and charities in Qatar have been known to raise large sums of money for al-Qaeda, the Nusra front, Hamas, and even ISIS. In Qatar, there are three buckets: Terror financing by the government; terror financing done in Qatar through their own citizens that their government may not know about; and terror financing in Qatar that the government knows about but does nothing to stop,” the document further read.