Prophet row: Kuwait government to deport expats who protested
The Kuwaiti government has decided to take action against a number of expatriates who participated in an "illegal" protest against the controversial remarks made by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Muhammad. Notably, such demonstrations are not allowed as per the Gulf nation's laws, thereby prompting Kuwait to take the decision to arrest and deport an unspecified number of expats.
- The development comes after Sharma and former BJP leader Naveen Kumar Jindal's controversial comments received considerable criticism on social media, particularly from Gulf countries.
- A series of hashtags began trending on social media and demands to boycott Indian goods gained steam.
- On June 5, Sharma was suspended from her position, while Jindal was expelled from the BJP amid mounting anger in these countries.
According to local reports, the expats, who had organized a demonstration after the Friday prayers against the remarks in Kuwait's Fahaheel area, will be arrested. The investigators will arrest them and they will be deported to their respective countries and will not be allowed to enter Kuwait again as they violated the laws and regulations, reported Al Rai, a Kuwaiti newspaper.
The Kuwaiti newspaper's report, however, did not mention the nationalities of the protesters who took part in the demonstration. Notably, Kuwait was among those nations that had summoned Indian ambassadors condemning the controversial statements made by Sharma and former BJP leader Jindal. Later, however, the Kuwaiti government welcomed India's statement on the issue and BJP's decision to suspend the party functionaries.
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 of their religious scriptures may be mocked as well. She then made a mention of Prophet Muhammad's marriage, too. Her remarks sparked uproar and elicited responses from religious organizations and political parties.
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 several popular Twitter accounts called for a boycott.
"During the thousands of years of the history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The BJP respects all religions," the BJP had stated. Meanwhile, an Indian embassy spokesperson in Qatar had said Ambassador Deepak Mittal had conveyed that Sharma and Jindal's statements "do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements."