On December 14, the Sufi Islamic Board issued a statement condemning the death threats made against OpIndia’s Editor-in-Chief, Nupur J. Sharma, after she made certain comments about the history of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti and the Ajmer Dargah during her interview of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas founder who worked for Israeli intelligence.
The Board said that after going through the statement, Sufi Raj Jain the President of Sarv Dharm Khawaja Mandir and the Punjab President of Sufi Islamic Board had issued a statement saying that everyone in the country has freedom of expression. The suggestion made was that Sharma should sit across the table to discuss Sufism and visit the Ajmer Dargah.
After the statement from Sufi Raj Jain, Sufi Islamic Board President Mansoor Khan was asked by the Police if they wished to take further action against Sharma. Khan refused the same, saying that to judge and punish a person ignorant of Sufism was not in their tradition, which forgives all.
Mansoor Khan also condemned those threatening Nupur J. Sharma, as they do not understand Sufism either. A statement from Khan said that any person who does not practice Sufi Parampara has no right to say what is right or wrong.
“It has come to our notice that the name of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti was removed from the video before it went viral because Nupur J Sharma believed it could be misinterpreted. Every citizen of the country has the right to express views and discuss history and we condemn the threats against her,” the Sufi Islamic Board said. “Nupur J Sharma and her publication were the only ones standing by Sufi Islamic Board when it was getting threats from radicals of PFI and Al Massari of Al Qaeda. We know her intention is to protect Hindus and Indians from radicals and we also know there are some pseudo sufis who have raised slogans like Sar Tan Se Juda in our country against Muslims also which we feel is totally undemocratic. In fact Nupur J Sharma had helped us in our campaign against PFI with their reportage which is why we wish to end the matter here.”
Earlier Nupur J. Sharma found herself in the middle of a controversy after a video clip of her went viral where it was alleged that she had used objectionable comments against the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. She started receiving threats and some organisations called for her arrest.
Notably, in the interview with Nupur, Yousef mentioned how Sufism was one of the most peaceful, spiritual branches of Islam. A Hindu, however, knows that this statement rings hollow. In response Nupur told Yousef that as a Hindu, she find it difficult to make sense of that perception since Hindus have been raped and murdered by Sufis. As an example of the Sufi onslaught against Hindus, she cited the example of Moinuddin Chisti, how cows were slaughtered and Hindu Temples desecrated and also alluded to the Ajmer Dargah rape scandal where the self-proclaimed descendants of Moinuddin Chisti and the custodians of his legacy raped hundreds of Hindu girls and blackmailed them – a sordid saga from 1992.
The original clip was part of an interview with Mosab Hasan Yousef, the son of one of the founders of Hamas. The interview was later updated by Sharma where she removed the mention of the individual causing the confusion. She clarified that during the interview, she was referring to the Ajmer Dargah rape scandal of 1992 and verifiable history about Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti.
Days after the interview, a clip where Nupur mentioned Moinuddin Chisti was shared on social media by Islamists, claiming that she had insulted the Sufi ‘saint’ and should be arrested. What started with the hashtag #ArrestNupurJSharma soon turned into a free-for-all – she got death threats, rape threats and the usual ‘Sar Tan se Juda’ threats.
(With inputs from ANI and OpIndia)