Sunday, November 27, 2022

Indonesia summons Indian envoy over derogatory remarks by BJP officials

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JAKARTA: Indonesia has summoned an Indian envoy in Jakarta over derogatory remarks made against Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) by two officials of the South Asian country’s ruling party BJP, the foreign ministry said.

The move by the most populous Muslim-majority country came after anger spread across the Arab and Muslim world, with various Middle Eastern nations summoning New Delhi’s envoy and a Kuwaiti supermarket removing Indian products.

Remarks by a spokeswoman for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP, who has since been suspended, sparked the furor. Another official, the party’s media chief for Delhi, posted a tweet last week about the Prophet that was later deleted.

Indonesian foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah confirmed to an AFP that India’s ambassador in Jakarta Manoj Kumar Bharti was summoned for a meeting in which the government lodged a complaint about the anti-Muslim rhetoric.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the ministry said Indonesia “strongly condemns unacceptable derogatory remarks” made by “two Indian politicians” against the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

The tweet did not mention the officials by name but was an apparent reference to BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma and its Delhi media chief Naveen Jindal, who was expelled from the party according to Indian media reports.

Modi’s party, which has frequently been accused of acting against the country’s Muslim minority, on Sunday suspended Sharma for expressing “views contrary to the party´s position” and said it “respects all religions”.

However the comments, which stoked protests among Muslims in India, sparked another backlash from Indonesia’s Muslim community.

Sharma’s remarks were “irresponsible, insensitive, caused inconvenience and hurt the feelings of Muslims worldwide”, Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) senior executive Sudarnoto Abdul Hakim said in a statement Monday.

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