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RG’s Minority Opinion Angers Muslims

Author: Nistula Hebbar New Delhi
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: October 26, 2013

Muslim clerics, leaders call Rahul’s remarks irresponsible and insensitive to riot victims

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks about Pakistani spy agency ISI approaching victims of the Muzzaffarnagar riots has upset influential sections of the Muslim community, with clerics and other prominent voices criticising his comments.

Maulana Nomani of the Jamiate-Ulema said Gandhi’s remarks were irresponsible and insensitive to the plight of the victims of Muzzaffarnagar violence. “There have been riots in the past, we’ve never heard of ISI reaching out to riot victims before,” he said. “Rahul Gandhi should be careful of the kind of remarks he makes,” he added.

Gandhi, addressing an election rally in Rajasthan on Thursday, had said that he had been informed by an Intelligence Bureau official that many Muslim youths living in relief camps following the last month’s communal riots in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh were in touch with Pakistan’s ISI. Asghar Mehdi of the Jamaat-e-Ahle Hadis, which has a membership of more than three crore people, was even more scathing. “I can’t believe that he said it, first of all. Whatever it is, this sort of impression should not spread. Rahul Gandhi should tell us who has briefed him, and who are these people who are moving towards the ISI,” he said.

Former Rajya Sabha MP Shahid Siddique, who was expelled from the Samajwadi Party for interviewing Narendra Modi for his Urdu newspaper Nai Duniya, has also termed Rahul Gandhi’s comments as irresponsible.

“Rahul Gandhi was very irresponsible in the comments that he made, and should apologise or name the people who have given him this briefing. Earlier, Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad had also said that Muslims in India had been driven to terrorism as a result of the Gujarat riots, which was utter rot,” he said.

He added that any talk of Godhra should also include mention of Gopalgarh riots in Rajasthan where no action had been taken so far, and the ones in Assam.
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