Responding to Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) criticism over alleged incidents of “Islamophobia” in India, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday (April 21) said India is heaven for Muslims and those trying to vitiate the atmosphere of prosperity cannot be their friends.
Asserting that the social, economic and religious rights of Muslims are secure in India, Naqvi said “secularism and harmony” is not a “political fashion”, but a “perfect passion” for India and Indians.
His remarks come after the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday urged India to take “urgent steps” to protect the rights of its minority Muslim community and stop the incidents of “Islamophobia” in the country.
The OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission in a tweet also said the Indian media was negatively profiling the Muslims and subjecting them to discrimination.
Asked about the OIC’s criticism, Naqvi said, “We are doing our job with conviction. The prime minister whenever he speaks, he talks about the rights and welfare of 130 crore Indians.”
“If somebody cannot see this, then it is their problem. India’s Muslims, its minorities, all its sections of the society, are prosperous and those people trying to vitiate this atmosphere of prosperity, they cannot be friends of Indian Muslims,” he told reporters.
He also said that the social, economic and religious rights of Muslims are more secure and stronger in India than in other countries, he said.
“If somebody is saying something with a prejudiced mindset, then he should look at the ground reality of this country and accept it,” the minister said.
“In this country, there is such a large population of Muslims. An analysis of their educational, social and economic conditions in the last five years should be looked at, their share in government jobs has increased and they have been educationally and economically empowered,” Naqvi said.
Muslims ave had an equal share in the progress of all sections and if India is progressing, the community is also progressing, he asserted.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the entire country is united in fight against coronavirus by breaking all barriers of caste, religion and region,” he said.
Speaking about the holy month of Ramzan, which is to start from April 24 or 25, Naqvi said all Muslim religious leaders, Imams as well as religious and social organisations have jointly decided to offer prayers and perform other religious rituals during Ramzan staying inside their home.
More than 30 state waqf boards have started working on the strategy to ensure strict and honest implementation of lockdown, curfew and social distancing during Ramzan with the cooperation of the Muslim community.
A decision had been taken last week during a meeting of all the state waqf boards through video conferencing under the chairmanship of Naqvi that all the state waqf boards will ensure strict implementation of lockdown, curfew and social distancing during the holy month of Ramzan.
On Sunday, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) too condemned the ‘Islamophobhic campaign’ in India against Muslims.
(With inputs from agencies)