Sonu Nigam Azaan row: Muslim cleric says people who do not respect secularism should leave India

He gave examples of PM Modi and WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and how they respected the secular fabric of the country and every religion.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: April 20, 2017 3:19 pm
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Refusing to pay Rs 10 lakh to singer Sonu Nigam after he shaved his head, Muslim cleric Syed Sha Atef Ali Quaderi on Thursday asked the singer to tender his apologies for hurting the religious sentiment of the people of India and fulfill the other two conditions of the challenge to get his money.

“First of all he did not complete the challenge. Two other conditions remain. He has only shaved his head only to get rid of lice and escape the summer heat. He should fulfill the other two conditions which are to wear a garland of old shoes around his neck and visit houses of 130 crore people of the country and apologise to them,” the Muslim cleric said during a news conference.

On Wednesday, singer Sonu Nigam shaved his head and asked the Kolkata-based cleric, who had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to anybody who tonsured the Bollywood singer and garland him with old shoes, to pay him the money. Quaderi had given this call to condemn and protest against the singer’s complaint on Twitter about being woken up by the sound of Azaan. He also clarified that some media houses misinterpreted his comments and described his personal opinions as fatwa. “I did not issue a fatwa. It was just my personal opinion. Being a citizen of this country, everybody has his right to freedom of speech,” he said.

The Muslim cleric on Thursday said those who do not respect the secular fabric of the nation and the constitution of India, should leave the country.

“If people have a problem with the sound of Azaan and the sound of bells in temples, then they should leave the country. Being a citizen of this country, one has to respect the religious activities of every religion,” he said.

The Muslim cleric also gave examples of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and how they respected the secular fabric of the country and every religion.

“I salute Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had stopped speaking during a rally as soon as he heard Azaan from a nearby mosque. Similarly Mamata Banerjee also respects other religion and observes fast during Ramzan. People should learn from these leaders. They know how to show respect to the constitution and every religion of this coutry,” he said.

Last year during a public meeting at Kharagpur, PM Modi had stopped speaking after he heard Azaan from a mosque.

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