Outrage over BJP spokesperson’s blasphemous comments on national TV, police complaint filed

Screengrab of the Times Now show where BJP national spokesperson made blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), causing an outrage on social media. | Picture: Twitter

Action demanded against Nupur Sharma and netizens ask global Muslim leaders to take note. 

Muhammad Raafi | TwoCircles.net 

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NEW DELHI — Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s blasphemous comments on the marriage of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has stirred up a major controversy. Sharma made the comments during a television debate on the Gyanvapi mosque on Times Now. 

Political commentators and social activists have demanded the arrest of Sharma and said that insulting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is unacceptable.

Saket Gokhale, the national spokesperson of the All-India Trinamool Congress, said that a complaint has been filed in Chanakyapuri police station in the national capital against Sharma for making “extremely inflammatory and false comments on Holy Quran and Prophet Mohammed” (PBUH). He said it was a clear attempt to incite communal disharmony and Sharma must be arrested.

Noted author and executive editor of the Force Magazine, Ghazala Wahab termed Sharma’s comments aimed at making the ground supple for mass-scale violence.

Sharma’s comments received a massive backlash after the video was tweeted by a renowned fact-checker Mohammad Zubair. He tweeted the video with a comment: “Prime Time debates in India have become a platform to encourage hate mongers to speak ill about other religions. @TimesNow‘s Anchor @navikakumar is encouraging a rabid communal hatemonger & a BJP Spokesperson to speak rubbish which can incite riots. Shame on you  @vineetjaintimes. (SIC)”

Reacting to Sharma’s comments, a Twitter user, Wasim wrote: “This woman (@NupurSharmaBJP) from India’s ruling party is openly blaspheming against Rasulallah ﷺ The same people who are getting full economic support from Hindutva expats that live in Muslim lands. Muslims across the world should raise their voice against this snake. (SIC)”

Meanwhile, Sharma alleged that she has been receiving death and rape threats after Zubair tweeted a video of her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Sharma claimed that Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, put out a “heavily edited video” from one of her debates, saying Zubair will be “wholly & solely” responsible “if anything untoward happens to me or any of my family members.”

“There is a so-called fact-checker who has started to vitiate the atmosphere by putting out a heavily edited and selected video from one of my debates last night. Ever since I’ve been receiving death and rape threats, including beheading threats against me and family members,” Sharma said.

After Sharma tagged Delhi Police on Twitter accusing Zubair of inciting “communal passions”, Zubair said he was sure the police will register an FIR against the BJP spokesperson if they see the full video.

“Thanks for tagging @CPDelhi @DelhiPolice, If they happen to see the full video, I am sure there will be a sou moto FIR registered against you for inciting communal violence by sitting on a news debate and giving hate speeches targetting a religion,” he wrote.

Sharma later posted screenshots of some tweets and said she was getting continuous death and beheading threats against her and her family because of Zubair’s “attempts to incite communal passions and vitiate the atmosphere by building a fake narrative.”

Delhi Police replied from its official Twitter handle saying, “The matter has been forwarded to the concerned officials for necessary action. You will be contacted shortly.”

Alt News’ co-founder Pratik Sinha, however, debunked Sharma’s claims and said that the claim that Zubair put out an edited video is completely false, and a lie propagated by Sharma. “Zubair put an unedited clip of the relevant part of the video where Nupur Sharma uses derogatory/insulting language on live TV.”

Although Times Now has made the video on their YouTube channel private, however, Sinha said that they have the entire 33-minute video downloaded.

Times Now has also distanced itself from Sharma’s views.

Terming the coordinated attack against Zubair as an attempt to shirk accountability by hoisting false allegations, Sinha said that Zubair is not responsible for the alleged threats by Twitter users against Sharma, or how they react after watching the video.

Muhammad Raafi is a journalist based in New Delhi. He covers politics and human rights. He tweets at @MohammadRaafi