‘Against radical Islam, not Muslims’: BJP leaders in MP
Senior leadrers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Thursday told party’s “social media warriors” in Madhya Pradesh that the “fight against radical Islam” was not against Muslims but against extremist elements of the ideology.
“I urge the [social media] warriors and youngsters to use their keypads to fight against radical Islamists, who are spreading hatred and defaming India,”said senior BJP leader and MP in charge, P Murlidhar Rao, addressing a group of close to 500 “social media warriors”, at an event held by the party in Bhopal on the subject ‘The rise of radical Islam in politics and a threat for security in India’.
“After Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, the borders of India are safe. Now, the hardliners have changed their way of working. They use social media as their weapons. They are spreading lies and misguiding people in India,” Rao said.
Rao took no names but said that there was a “famous writer” who had earned fame and money in India but was now comparing the RSS with the Taliban. “Such man should be sent to a lunatic asylum. They are a real threat for Indians. Earlier radical Islamists used to come from Madarsa but are now emerging from social media,” Rao said.
Notably, earlier this week, the BJP attacked writer lyricist Javed Akhtar for his comments Akhtar told a news channel that right wing all over the world has an uncanny similarity. “The Taliban want an Islamic country. These people want to make a Hindu Rashtra,” the veteran lyricist said without naming the RSS.
Rao said that Indian Muslims should also “understand” the fight, and that they had access to freedoms that those in Afghanistan were losing. “They are getting everything-- freedom of playing sports, working, traveling, which they are losing in Afghanistan with the rise of radical Islam,” he said.
“The Indian constitution is a guarantee of diversity. Our fight is against the people who are against the diversity. We will talk about Afghanistan because it was a part of India and we feel bad when we see the condition of women and other communities there,” he said.
Rao sought to emphasise a difference between criticism of “radical Islamists” like Babar and that of Muslims. “If we criticize Duryodhan and Ravan, it doesn’t mean that we are against Hindu. It only means that we are against negative people,” he said.
BJP state president VD Sharma also said that “hardliners” were attempting to create trouble in Madhya Pradesh, but that the party would not allow them to. Sharma said, “Parties like PFI will not be welcomed in MP and if they try to create space on the soil of MP, our cyber warriors will expose them and oust from the state.”
Congress spokesperson Syed Jaffar said, “Rao is a parachute leader from Swadeshi Jagran Manch and now he is trying to impose their ideology. They are spitting venom against a community. It is wrong to connect a religion with radicals. They should not create a rift among people.”