Pakistani scholar clarifies remarks on Gujarat (Lead)

March 3rd, 2012 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi Hyderabad, March 3 (IANS) Pakistani Islamic scholar Tahir-ul-Qadri Saturday clarified that he never asked Muslims to forget the violence that engulfed Gujarat a decade ago.

Under fire from a section of the Muslim community for his remarks on the Gujarat riots, Qadri accused a section of the media of distorting his statement made last week.

“I was repeatedly asked about Gujarat incidents. I only (told people) not to repeat such unfortunate incidents and to learn to live in peace,” he told reporters here.

“Cutting each other’s throats is condemnable whether here or somewhere else. I said move on towards peace.”

The Canada-based scholar gave his clarification at a mammoth public meeting to mark the 45th anniversary of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a Muslim political party.

Without naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, he said he thanked the state government for providing him the security and for facilitating his visit.

“This was my moral responsibility,” he added.

Qadri has come under criticism from the Jamiat-ul-Ulema and some other groups alleging he advised Muslims to forget the riots. They also accused him of praising Modi.

Qadri, who has given a fatwa against terrorism, urged the international community to stop linking terrorism and Islam.

“When some Christians, Jews or Hindus resort to terrorism, you don’t call them Christian, Jewish or Hindu terrorism. Then how can you use the term Islamic terrorism?

“Every religion and every country has terrorists. Terrorism is terrorism. It has no religion. If you want to win war against terrorism, stop linking terrorism and Islam,” he said.

MP and MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said Modi will one day go to hail for the 2002 killings in the state.

“We have no faith in the government but we have firm belief in Almighty Allah that Modi will be punished,” he said.

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