The Full List of 20 Countries and Bodies That Have Condemned the BJP Leaders’ Remarks

The backlash India has faced has been unprecedented, with several Gulf countries, a north African nation, and four Asian countries registering forms of protest against Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal's comments.

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New Delhi: News of the diplomatic backlash faced by India thanks to comments against Islam by Bharatiya Janata Party’s national spokesperson and the party’s Delhi media unit chief, has dominated headlines for two straight days.

In response, the BJP has issued a lukewarm statement, mentioning the names neither position holders, nor the nature of their comments or the people hurt most by it – Muslims in India.

It also suspended Nupur Sharma and expelled Naveen Jindal in the light of the foreign backlash. Notably, protests against, especially, Nupur Sharma’s comments – made on a national TV channel – had been taking place in various places across the country.

As more countries, councils of nations and foreign religious authorities condemn the remarks each day, the following will act as a list of foreign reactions to the current issue.

1. Qatar

Qatar summoned the Indian ambassador Deepak Mittal to the country and demanded a public apology from the Indian government over the BJP leader’s comments on Prophet Mohammed.

Qatar’s action on June 5 brought what was until then dissent in the Gulf countries to Indian shores, taking social media spaces by storm.

Qatar also registered the condemnation while Vice President Naidu was on the last leg of his three-nation tour in the country.

The labelling of a national spokesperson and a party member holding a prime post in the national capital as “fringe” almost immediately earned the ire of opposition parties and commentators in India.


Rightwing Twitter, meanwhile, had other plans of showing Qatar its proverbial place. Through Monday, a misspelled Twitter hashtag, #BycottQatarAirways, was trended along with calls to boycott the football World Cup, which the country is hosting. 

Indian response:

The Indian embassy in Qatar issued a statement on Sunday, saying the “offensive tweets” by individuals in India “do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the government of India”, adding “these are the views of fringe elements.”

2. Kuwait

The Kuwait Foreign Ministry summoned the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, Sibi George, on Sunday and handed over an official protest note by the Assistant Secretary of State for Asia Affairs, expressing Kuwait’s “categorical rejection and condemnation” of the statements issued by an official of the ruling party against the Prophet.

Kuwait also welcomed the statement issued by the ruling party in India, in which it announced the suspension of the leader.

A Kuwaiti supermarket has also banned Indian products from its shelves, according to the news agency AFP.

Indian response:

Indian embassy in Kuwait issued a statement which was identical to the one issued to Qatar.

3. Iran

In Iran’s capital of Tehran, Indian Ambassador to Iran, Gaddam Dharmendra, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Director General of South Asia on the evening of June 5.

A “strong protest” was registered by the Islamic Republic of Iran over the controversial remarks by the ruling party leader on against the Prophet, the country’s semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

The Indian ambassador expressed regret and called any insult to the Prophet of Islam unacceptable, it added.

The development comes ahead of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian’s planned maiden visit to India since taking charge last year.

Indian response: None

4. Saudi Arabia

A day later, on June 6, the largest Gulf country Saudi Arabia expressed its condemnation of the controversial remarks and called for “respect for beliefs and religions.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its condemnation and denunciation of the statements, saying it insulted Prophet Mohammed.

The ministry reiterated its “permanent rejection of prejudice against the symbols of the Islamic religion.”

It also rejected anything that give rise to prejudice against “all religious figures and symbols.”

While welcoming the measures taken by the BJP to suspend the spokeswoman, the ministry reaffirmed the “Kingdom’s position calling for respect for beliefs and religions”.

The Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, the highest religious body in the country which advises the king on royal issues, has also slammed the BJP leaders’ remarks. In its official statement, it has quoted passages from the Quran to highlight Prophet Mohammed’s character and message.

Mecca authorities 

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina issued a statement separate from the Saudi foreign ministry to condemn the “insulting statements” made by the spokesperson of the BJP against the Prophet.

Indian response: None

5. Oman

In a statement, the Sultanate at Oman said that Sheikh Khalifa bin Ali Al Harthy, the undersecretary in Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Diplomatic Affairs summoned Amit Narang, the Indian ambassador and condemned the “offensive statements”.

Oman also welcomed the BJP’s decision to suspend “those responsible for these offensive statements”.

Indian response: None

6. Bahrain

Bahrain’s foreign affairs ministry released its own statement on Monday, welcoming the decision of the BJP to suspend Sharma, stressing “the need to denounce any reprehensible insults against the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, as a provocation to Muslims’ feelings and incitement to religious hatred.”

The ministry in a statement stressed “the importance of respecting all religious beliefs, symbols, and personalities, and the concerted efforts of the international community to spread the values of moderation, tolerance, and dialogue between religions and civilizations, and to confront extremist ideas that feed sedition and religious, sectarian, or racial hatred.”

Indian response: None

7. Afghanistan

The interim Afghan government, led by the Taliban, also issued a strong condemnation, Pajhwok News, Afghanistan’s largest independent news agency, said.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns the use of derogatory words against the Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon him) by an official of the ruling party in India,” the agency quoted government Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid as saying in a tweet.

“We urge the Indian government not to allow such fanatics to insult the holy religion of Islam and provoke the feelings of Muslims,” he said.

After having withdrawn diplomatic presence since the Taliban’s takeover of the country, on June 2, India announced that a team led by the Joint Secretary (PAI) of the Ministry of External Affairs, had visited Kabul. The Taliban had called this a “good beginning.”

Indian response: None

8. Indonesia

Condemnation of the remarks was not limited to Gulf countries. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, summoned the Indian ambassador to the foreign ministry and conveyed its strong condemnation of “unacceptable derogatory remarks” against the Prophet by the two politicians.

Indian response: None

9. United Arab Emirates

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) affirmed the United Arab Emirates’ “firm rejection of all practices and behaviours that contradict moral and human values and principles”. It was the last country in the GCC to issue a statement.

The ministry called for the necessity of respecting religious symbols and not violating them, confronting hate speech and violence and strengthening the joint international responsibility to spread the values of tolerance and human coexistence, and to prevent any practices that would inflame the religious feelings of followers of different religions.

Indian response: None

10. Jordan

Jordan also “condemned in the strongest terms” the offensive remarks.

Its foreign ministry spokesperson Haitham Abu Alfoul said the country rejects “violations against Islamic and other religious figures, considering it as an act that feeds extremism and hatred”.

He said the BJP’s decision to suspend its spokesperson is a “step in the right direction”.

Indian response: None

11. Maldives

The Maldives is one of India’s closest partners in South Asia. The island nation has also condemned the comments by the BJP leaders, saying it is “deeply concerned by the derogatory remarks”.

It also welcomed the denouncement of the derogatory remarks by the Indian government and the suspension and expulsion of the two leaders.

Indian response: None

12. Iraq

The  Parliamentary Committee on Awqaf and Tribals of Iraq – another key trade partner of India – summoned the Indian ambassador on Monday, according to the Iraqi News Agency.

In a strong note of condemnation, the Committee reportedly said, “These abuses, malicious and disgraceful acts will have serious repercussions and, if not contained, may lead to dire consequences that will have unimaginable consequences for the peaceful coexistence, as well as increase strife and tensions between peoples.”

Indian response: Indian embassy in Baghdad has struck the same chord as its Qatar counterpart, distancing the government from the statements by the ruling party politicians.


13. Libya

The foreign ministry of the north African nation of Libya also expressed concern over the “insulting statements” made by ruling party officials.

Indian response: None

14. Pakistan

Pakistan said that it has summoned the Indian charg d’affaires to convey its categorical rejection and condemnation of the controversial remarks by the two BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammed.

The Indian diplomat was told that these remarks are “totally unacceptable and have not only deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan but of Muslims across the world,” the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.

The FO “conveyed the Government of Pakistan’s categorical rejection and strong condemnation of the highly derogatory remarks made by two senior officials of India’s ruling party BJP.”

In a tweet, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif also condemned the controversial comments and alleged that India is “trampling religious freedoms and persecuting Muslims.”

There was also a separate statement from the Pakistan army. 

Indian response: MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the “absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation is not lost on anyone.”

Bagchi said the government “accords the highest respect to all religions. This is quite unlike Pakistan where fanatics are eulogised and monuments built in their honour”.


Although the Egypt government – often reticent on religious issues – did not act on the matter, two main religious voices of authority issued strong statements.

15. Al-Azhar al-Sharif

Egypt’s Al-Azhar al-Sharif, one of the world’s oldest seats of Muslim learning, also issued a statement condemning the BJP leaders’ words.

The statement said that the remarks of the “ignorant Indian” could only emanate from “advocates of extremism and supporters of hatred and sedition and enemies of the policy of dialogue between followers of different faiths, civilizations and culture”.

16. Grand Mufti of Egypt

The Grand Mufti of Egypt and chairman of the General Secretariat for Fatwa Authorities Worldwide Shawqi A’lam also condemned the BJP leaders’ words, noting that such “insults fuel the feelings of hatred and raise sedition.”

A’lam also gave a call for criminalising insults against prophets, religions, sanctuaries and religious symbols.

In addition, Egypt’s minister for religious endowments, Dr Mokhtar Gomaa, made a Facebook post on Prophet Mohammed, calling him the “most generous, purest and most honourable” of all.

Without naming India, he further wrote, “The peace of mankind shall not be achieved by the contempt of religions and sanctities, and the wise of the world must avoid those extremism calls that may drift in today’s world.”

17. Turkey

Ömer Çelik, of the ruling AK Parti of Turkey, also condemned the BJP leaders’ remarks.

“We condemn the insulting statements of an official from the Indian ruling party (BJP) against the Prophet in the strongest possible terms. This is an insult not only to Muslims in India but also to Muslims all over the world,” Celik wrote on Twitter.

“We welcomed the dismissal of the said politician from his position in the party due to his statements and the condemnation of these words by the Indian authorities. This approach should be exemplary,” he further wrote.

Çelik also said Turkey expected the government of India to take the “necessary measures in the face of increasing Islamophobia” and strengthen the religious freedom of Muslims.

18. Malaysia

The Malaysian foreign ministry condemned the remarks made by the BJP leaders and also summoned the Indian high commissioner.

In a statement, the ministry said it welcomed the BJP’s decision to suspend the officials due to their “provocative remarks” and asked India to work towards ending Islamophobia and cease provocative actions.

Indian response: On Wednesday, the Indian high commission responded with a statement that was similar to the one issued in response to Qatar summoning the Indian envoy, but did not refer to Sharma or Jindal as “fringe” elements.

19. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

The 57-member Organisations of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the comments and raised concerns against the “systematic” harassment of Muslims in India – concerns which India has dismissed as “narrow-minded” and “motivated, misleading and mischievous”.

The OIC also urged the UN to take necessary measures to ensure that the rights of Muslims are protected in India.

Indian response:

The MEA spokesperson issued a separate response to OIC, just like he did with condemnation from Pakistan.

He said that the Indian government “categorically rejects OIC Secretariat’s unwarranted and narrow-minded comments.

Stating that the offensive tweets and comments do not reflect Indian government’s views, he asserted, “We would urge the OIC Secretariat to stop pursuing its communal approach and show due respect to all faiths and religions”.

20. Gulf Cooperation Council

The regional body Gulf Cooperation Council also issued a statement condemning the remarks. 

“HE Dr Nayef Falah M. Al Hajraf, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has condemned, rejected and denounced the statements made by the spokesperson of the Indian Bharatiya Janata Party against the Holy Prophet Mohammed bin Abdullah,” said the statement issued in Riyadh.

Indian response: None.

Note: This article was updated with statements issued by Turkey and Malaysia after publication.