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After Islamic countries protested, India's ruling party told government officials to be careful about religious issues

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English -  Tuesday, the leaders of India's Hindu nationalist ruling party told officials to be "extremely ...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English -  Tuesday, the leaders of India's Hindu nationalist ruling party told officials to be "extremely careful" when talking about religion in public. This was because insulting comments about the Prophet Mohammad caused Islamic countries to protest.
The Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it harder for India's minority Muslims to do things like worship freely and wear hijabs. After deadly riots in 2019 and 2020, there have been fights between Hindus and Muslims during religious processions.

Two BJP leaders said that the verbal orders were given to more than 30 senior officials and some federal ministers who are allowed to take part in debates that are often broadcast live to millions of viewers by Indian news channels.

"We don't want party leaders to say anything that hurts anyone's religious feelings...

They must make sure that the party's ideas are spread in a smart way "A top BJP leader and federal minister in New Delhi said this.

The BJP is the largest political party in the world, with about 110 million members, most of whom are Hindus. Muslims make up about 13 percent of India's 1.35 billion people.

Last week, the BJP suspended the spokeswoman and kicked out another official because anti-Islamic comments were made during a TV debate. This happened after Islamic countries demanded an apology from the Indian government and called in diplomats to protest.

Some of the countries that made their complaints public were Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.

In a statement, the 57-member Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has a lot of power, said that the insults were part of a growing climate of hatred toward Islam in India and a pattern of harassing Muslims.

Even though Modi's party has said there hasn't been a rise in communal tensions during his time in power, the BJP's rule has given hardline Hindu groups the confidence to take up causes they say protect their religion, which has led to a rise in anti-Muslim feelings.

In its annual report on international religious freedom, which came out in June, the U.S. State Department said that attacks on members of minority groups in India in 2021 included killings, assaults, and intimidation.

Monday, India's foreign ministry said that the offensive tweets and comments did not represent the government's views in any way.

Gopal Krishna Agarwal, a top spokesman for the BJP, said, "We can talk about sensitive religious issues, but we must never insult the core beliefs of any religion."

In the past few years, Modi has worked to improve economic ties with energy-rich Islamic countries, which are India's main source of fuel imports. However, foreign policy experts say that the anti-Islamic comments of two BJP members have strained relations.

Muslim groups asked for the arrest of the suspended BJP spokeswoman, which led to small-scale protests in some parts of India.

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