Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid in Delhi has sensationally agreed to toe the BJP line on the anti-Muslim Citizenship Act saying that the newly passed law had nothing to do with Muslims living in India. Syed Ahmed Bukhari’s comments have evoked angry reactions from social media users with many wondering if the so-called Imam had struck a deal with the BJP to speak the saffron party’s language.
News agency ANI quoted the controversial Imam as saying, “To protest is the democratic right of the people of India, no one can stop us from doing it. However, it is important that it is done in control, keeping our emotions in control is the most important part.”
Bukhari’s comments come amidst countrywide protests taking place against the Act that experts believe have been passed to render millions of Muslims stateless in their own country.
Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari: There is a difference between Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) & National Register of Citizens (NRC). One is CAA that has become a law, and the other is NRC that has only been announced, it has not become a law. (17.12.19) pic.twitter.com/Eo9bjd8YTp
— ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2019
Social media users have reacted angrily to Bukhari’s comments with many calling him ‘sold out.’ One user wrote on Facebook, “He’s a sold-out soul. No one should listen to this traitor.” Another commented, “He has a price tag for those who have money. He once asked Muslims to vote for BJP.”
Bukhari also went on to explain that there was a difference between the ‘Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).’ “One is CAA that has become a law, and the other is NRC that has only been announced, it has not become a law. Under CAA, Muslim refugees who come to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will not get Indian citizenship. It has nothing to do with the Muslims living in India.”