al-Qaeda threatens suicide attacks in India over Prophet remarks
Terrorist organization al-Qaeda in the Subcontinent (AQIS) has issued a letter dated June 6, 2022 threatening to carry out suicide attacks in India to avenge the insulting remarks about Prophet Muhammad by the now-suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. In the letter, the AQIS said it would launch suicide attacks in Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat to "fight for honor of the Prophet."
Why does this story matter?
- BJP's now-suspended spokesperson Nupur Sharma had made controversial remarks about the Prophet and his wife in a TV channel debate on the Gyanvapi Mosque issue.
- Her remarks sparked uproar and elicited responses from religious organizations, political parties, and the Gulf countries, prompting the BJP to suspend her.
- However, she had apologized after denying any wrongdoing and even claimed to have received death threats.
Central intelligence agencies on alert
All the states have been informed by the intelligence agencies about the threat and they have been asked to be on high alert. The detailed statement by AQIS—launched in 2014 as the newest affiliate of the al-Qaeda—was made available by the SITE Intelligence Group. The statement said that they would eliminate "those who have insulted the Prophet and other figures that they consider holy."
'Prophet, wife insulted in the most vile and evil manner'
Citing former BJP spokesperson Sharma's comments on the Prophet and his wife, the terrorist organization said that she had "insulted and slandered" in the "most vile and evil manner on an Indian TV channel." "In response to this affront, the hearts of Muslim all over the world are bleeding and are filled with feelings of revenge and retribution," the letter said.
Letters warns of suicide attacks in four states
The letter mentioned that "saffron terrorists should now await their end." "They shall find refuge neither in their homes nor in their fortified army cantonments...May our mothers be bereaved of us if we do not avenge...Prophet." "We shall bind explosives with our bodies and the bodies of our children to blow away the ranks of those who dare to dishonor our Prophet...," it said.
'Fight for the dignity of our Prophet'
The threat letter added, "We warn every audacious and impudent foul mouth of the world, especially the Hindutva terrorists occupying India that we should fight for the dignity of our Prophet." Through the letter, the terrorist organization urged "others to fight and die for the honor of our Prophet" and "kill those who affront our Prophet."
What exactly did Sharma say?
For the unversed, during a recent debate on the Gyanvapi Mosque row on a TV channel, Sharma stated that because Muslims were insulting the Hindu faith by calling the unearthed Shivling a fountain, certain aspects in their religious scriptures may be mocked as well. She then mentioned the Prophet's marriage. To salvage the situation, she later posted an apology on Twitter.
Sharma's remarks received global attention
Reports of Indians, who represent a large percentage of the workforce in the Gulf countries, being laid off by their Arab bosses began to surface on the internet, along with reports of many Gulf superstores removing Indian products. The hashtag "Boycott India" started trending on Twitter. In fact, the Grand Mufti of Oman, as well as popular Twitter accounts, have called for a boycott.
What were BJP and Indian government's responses?
Notably, the BJP suspended Sharma and ousted another party leader Naveen Kumar Jindal on Sunday for supporting her and has conclusively separated itself from their viewpoints. Meanwhile, the Indian government had stated that it "respects all religions" and dismissed the remarks as "fringe elements' views."