HYDERABAD: A video has come out showing a Muslim cleric in India leading a funeral prayer, where he praises and endorses the murder of cartoonists and satirists of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
This is the second major incident of someone in India openly supporting the Charlie Hebdo killers. Earlier a former minister of Uttar Pradesh had announced reward for the killers. This time the support for terrorists has come from South India.
The video was shot in Hyderabad, the common capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and the cleric is Maulana Mohammed Naseeruddin, who is a well known and respected cleric and Khateeb in the old city.
In the video, Maulana Naseeruddin is seen describing the Charlie Hebdo terrorists as “martyrs” and making dua for their afterlife.
“Our lives are of no meaning if someone, who has insulted the prophet, is still alive,” he is heard telling the gathering of local Muslims in the video.
The funeral prayer held in absentia, known as Ghaibana-Namaz-e-Janaza, and the gathering took place in the Saidabad area of Hyderabad. The Maulana is also heard condemning the Unity Rally that took place in Paris on Sunday.
Later, talking to the reporter Abuaimal Akram, who uploaded the video on YouTube, Maulana Naseeruddin justified the act of terror at Charlie Hebdo’s office as a deed sanctioned by Islamic traditions.
In fact, he went out to claim (at 3:26 minutes onward in the video above) that Prophet Mohammad himself had ordered executions of people who had mocked or insulted Islam and Allah.
Maulana Naseeruddin further claims that as per the Islamic traditions, those insulting the faith and the prophet shouldn’t be forgiven, but killed. He adds that since there is no global leadership of Muslims, it become the responsibility of every Muslim to make sure that such offenders don’t go unpunished.
“What they (the terrorists) did was completely jaayaz (legitimate) as per shariyat laws,” he claims.
Concluding his interview, Maulana says that he endorses what was done by the terrorists in the French magazine office and that’s why he decided to lead this special prayer.
The incident has not attracted any mainstream media attention yet, and the video is being shared by some people on the social media.
While some may say that this Maulana is a fringe voice and should be ignored, it should be noted that Maulana Mohammed Naseeruddin is not any random Muslim cleric.
Around 4 years ago, he became the symbol of Muslim victimization in the secular-liberal narrative when he was acquitted by a POTA court in Gujarat for lack of evidences after he spent 5 years in jail.
Though the court had clarified that he was released for lack of evidences, his case was highlighted by many secular-liberal commentators as being an example of how Muslims were wrongly detained and charged for crimes they had not committed by the Indian establishment.
Earlier in 2011, Maulana Naseeruddin had led Ghaibana-Namaz-e-Janaza for Osama Bin Laden too, but that incident was overshadowed as many others, including Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had done the same. Now he has done the same, probably being the first Indian Muslim cleric to publicly glorify the France killings.
In wake of these incidents, which exposes his mindset where he endorses extra-judicial killings and terrorism, OpIndia.com hopes that the commentators realize that maybe they had jumped the gun four years ago.