PM Modi: al Qaeda is delusional; Indian Muslims will live and die for country

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017

Prime Minister Modi. (file photo).

Congress wonders about the timing of the statement

Ahead of his visit to the US later this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that Muslims in India will ‘live and die’ for India. In an interview to a TV channel, Modi said Indian Muslims will never dance to the tunes of al Qaeda.

To his understanding, the al Qaeda is doing injustice toward the Muslims of India, Modi said. “If anyone thinks Indian Muslims will dance to their tune, they are delusional,” he said, adding: “Indian Muslims will live for India, they will die for India — they will not want anything bad for India.”

He was asked about the head of al Qaeda issuing an appeal trying to create an al Qaeda in India-South Asia, saying he wants to free Muslims from the “oppression” they face in Kashmir and Gujarat.

Modi termed the activities of al Qaeda as a crisis against humanity.

“But the question is whether or not humanity should be defended in the world. Whether or not believers in humanity should unite. This is a crisis against humanity, not a crisis against one country or one race. So we have to frame this as a fight between humanity and inhumanity, nothing else,” he said.

Modi was asked about the remarkable phenomenon that out of the 170 million Muslims in India, there seemed to be no or very few members of al Qaeda even though it is in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“What is it that has made this community not as susceptible?” he was asked.

Modi answered that he was not an authority for doing a psychological and religious analysis on this.

‘Divisive poll campaign’

Reacting to the statement, the Congress said the Prime Minister should have said this in his address to the nation from Red Fort on Independence Day.

“The Prime Minister has understood the patriotism of Indian Muslims just now. This has been proved in the Independence movement and later too. But what we want to know is that did he check with people like Yogi Adityanath, Giriraj Singh and his party’s president Amit Shah before making the statement,” said Congress leader Salman Khurshid.

The party has been alleging that the BJP came to power after running a highly divisive and polarising campaign, particularly in States such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Controversial remarks

The recent controversial statements by BJP MPs on “love jihad” targeting Muslims have also been criticised by Opposition parties, which urged the BJP leadership to rein in MPs who try to whip up communal passions.

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, a known detractor of Modi, also had a dig at him.

“Modi ‘Patriotism of Muslims can’t be questioned and they can give their Life for the Country.’ What a pleasant Turn Around! Does he mean it?,” he tweeted.

The BJP said the Prime Minister’s statement has been the stated position of the party. “This is the centre line. This has been the stand of the BJP,” a BJP spokesperson said. When asked about the statements of Adityanath and RSS leaders on Indian Muslims, the spokesperson said the Prime Minister has explained the stand of the party. “The party’s stand is decided by the Prime Minister and other national leaders,” the spokesperson explained.

“This is a very positive statement, as he has been saying this earlier also. This has been his thought earlier too when he has appreciated the patriotic spirit in Indian Muslims.

This will further strengthen the country,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

His party colleague and spokesperson MJ Akbar said: “Today’s statement is a very powerful affirmation by the Prime Minister of his faith — intellectual as well as his emotional.

“He is a man of deep conviction. His nationalism is all embracing. This is a very important message given out by him from his heart. It will have a very positive impact on society.”

Published on September 19, 2014

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