Amid an outrage in West Asian countries over alleged derogatory comments on Prophet Mohammed made by now-axed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, a Kuwaiti supermarket has pulled Indian products from its shelves. Kuwait, along with Qatar, Iran and Saudi Arabia, has strongly condemned the remarks that the Indian government clarified to be “views of fringe elements”.According to a report in AFP, workers at the Al-Ardiya Co-Operative Society store piled Indian tea and other products into trolleys as a mark of protest, denouncing the “Islamophobic” comments. Sacks of rice and shelves of spices and chilies were covered with plastic sheets as a company-wide boycott was called, an official said.
Printed signs at the supermarket, located just outside Kuwait City, read: “We have removed Indian products”.
“We, as a Kuwaiti Muslim people, do not accept insulting the Prophet,” Nasser Al-Mutairi, CEO of the store, was quoted as saying by AFP.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Iran have summoned the Indian ambassadors, while other countries in the region, including the influential Al-Azhar University in Cairo, have condemned the remarks.
The controversial comments were made by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and the party’s Delhi media head Naveen Jindal, both of whom have since been suspended and expelled, respectively.
“The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy…During the thousands of years of the history of India every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions,” the BJP said in an official statement.