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Saudi Arabia joins in Gulf nation backlash against Prophet comment controversy

Qatar, Iran and Kuwait had earlier summoned India's Ambassadors and the key Gulf nations expressed their strong protest and condemnation

Saudi Arabia joins in Gulf nation backlash against Prophet comment controversy
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Saudi Arabia joined in the backlash against comments on Prophet Mohammed made by two spokespersons of the BJP, "reaffirming its permanent rejection of prejudice against the symbols of all Islamic religion and refuses to prejudice all religious figures and symbols".

Qatar, Iran and Kuwait had earlier summoned India's Ambassadors and the key Gulf nations expressed their strong protest and condemnation.

The BJP had suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal as the row over their alleged derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad escalated with protests from some Muslim countries.

Amid demonstrations by Muslim groups and the sharp reaction from the international community, the BJP issued a statement asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces insult of any religious personality.

Sharma's comments, made in a TV debate nearly 10 days back, and Jindal's now-deleted tweets sparked a Twitter trend calling for a boycott of Indian products in some countries.

Qatar and Kuwait summoned the Indian ambassadors and handed over to them protest notes on what the Gulf countries called categorical "rejection and condemnation" of the controversial remarks of the BJP leader against Prophet Muhammad.

The foreign ministries of the two Gulf countries welcomed the statement issued by the ruling party in India in which it announced the suspension of the leader.

Incidentally, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu is currently on an official visit to Qatar.

''The Indian ambassador to Tehran was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Director General of South Asia on Sunday evening to receive the strong protest of the Islamic Republic of Iran," sources reported.

The Indian Ambassador in Qatar said in a tweet that the controversial tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the government of India. "These are the views of fringe elements," the Indian Embassy said.

With its members' comments stoking protests in the country, including violence in Kanpur, and causing ripples abroad, the BJP swung into action to control the damage as it tried to assuage the concerns of minorities and distanced itself from these members

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