After a social media user posted a video, encouraging people to say 'Ia ilaha illallah' during the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to rebuke "Islamist extremism".
"Our fight against Hindutva extremism should give no comfort to Islamist extremism either. We who’re raising our voice in the #CAA_NRCProtests are fighting to defend an #InclusiveIndia," he wrote.
Incidentally, 'la ilaha illallah' is an Islamic creed, the Shahada, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It translates to mean 'There is no god but God'.
"We will not allow pluralism and diversity to be supplanted by any kind of religious fundamentalism," Tharoor said.
Later, after a social media user responded to Tharoor's tweet and asking the Congress MP to "spare us this soft bigotry", Tharoor responded again.
"People in this country say 'jai bajrang bali' even before lifting a heavy rock and no one calls it communal," the user wrote.
However, Tharoor reiterated his earlier sentiments, adding that the protest was not about "one faith vs another" but about "saving the soul of India".
"Just making it clear that for most of us this struggle is about India, not about Islam. Or Hinduism. It’s about our constitutional values & founding principles. It’s about defending pluralism," he added.
No@offence intended. Just making it clear that for most of us this struggle is about India, not about Islam. Or Hinduism. It’s about our constitutional values & founding principles. It’s about defending pluralism. It’s about saving the soul of India. Not one faith vs another. https://t.co/GJ69mSrqXj— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 29, 2019
Not everyone seems to agree with Tharoor however. Many on Twitter had an opinion to express on the same:
In other related news, Tharoor had, a few days earlier, supported a German student from IIT-Madras who had been expelled and asked to leave the country after taking part in the CAA protests, calling the news "dismaying".
"We used to be a proud democracy, an example to the world...no democracy punishes freedom of expression," he wrote on Twitter, citing a news article on the incident.
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