The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) issued an appeal on Friday to all Islamic scholars and intellectuals to “not participate in television debates whose sole intention is to mock and insult Islam and Muslims”. The appeal came amid protests in different parts of the country over remarks made against the Prophet by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV debate.
The AIMPLB statement said that instead of being in service to Islam, by participation in such debates, Muslims “become the reason for their own direct insult by involving Islam and Muslims”.
“The intention of these programmes is not to reach any conclusion through constructive discourse, but to ridicule and defame Islam and Muslims. To gather some legitimacy, these TV channels need Muslim faces in their debates… If we boycott such programmes and TV channels, not only will it affect their TRP negatively, but they will also fail in achieving their desired outcome through these debates,’’the statement said.
AIMPLB spokesperson Dr S Q R Ilyas said, “There are some TV channels that are not carrying out such debates to truly understand an issue or reach some conclusion. They are simply being conducted for polarising society on communal lines. They, more often than not, defame a particular community, religion and particular personalities — like in the Nupur Sharma debate. By insulting the Prophet, she had not only targeted Indian Muslims, but Muslims around the world. The backlash from the international community was, therefore, inevitable and has tarnished India’s image internationally. Our view is that by participating in such discussions, they (the TV channels and these debates) are being given legitimacy, which we will no longer do.”
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Ilyas said the board had already commented on the Nupur Sharma controversy and had said that a mere suspension was not “sufficient action” taken by the BJP.
“There should be legal action taken against those party persons who have been responsible. Legal action is being taken against protesters who are protesting their remarks, but no legal action against those who have made these objectionable remarks. We have also raised the question as to why there has been no statement or response from the Prime Minister or Home Minister about this issue. Why are they silent?’’Ilyas asked.
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