BUKHARI COURTS TREASON, INVITES SHARIF NOT MODI

Friday, October 31, 2014, New Delhi

The Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, on Thursday kicked up a major controversy by inviting Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif and other political leaders in India but not Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the November 22 function being held for his son’s appointment as the next chief cleric.

“I have invited several Indian and foreign political leaders for attending the anointing ceremony of my son. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also been invited, but I have not sent an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Muslims have not forgiven him for the Gujarat riots,” Bukhari said here.

Justifying the decision of not inviting Modi, Bukhari said: “It is not a personal fight. He does not like us and we do not like him. Modi never tried to reach out to the Muslims and kept the Muslims at a distance.”

Reacting sharply to the Imam’s statement, the BJP said it was unfortunate and asked what message he wants to send out by his action.

“He is raising questions on himself. Indian Muslims are born in India and they love India and they would never ever think of Pakistan. So what message does the Shahi Imam want to send out,” BJP’s national spokesperson Nalin Kohli said.

The controversial cleric said he has invited four other BJP leaders, namely Rajnath Singh, Harsh Vardhan, Shahnawaz Hussain and Vijay Goel. Rajnath, however, said he would not attend the function. The other three are also expected to follow suit.

Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have also been invited to attend the ceremony.Shaban, the 19-year-old son of Bukhari, who is pursuing Bachelors in Social Work at a private university, will be anointed as the Naib Shahi Imam (vice-Imam) at a ceremony in the historic Jama Masjid. The event is expected to be attended by many religious leaders, including some from abroad.

Shaban was picked for the influential post as the 14th Imam due to his “strong inclination” toward humanities besides his religious capabilities, claimed Bukhari, who has been holding the prestigious post since 2000.The Imam was recently in the news after a man allegedly threw a bottle of kerosene on him while he was leading the evening prayers at the mosque. The man from West Bengal was nabbed by Bukhari’s personals security officers. He later revealed he was miffed at not being able to meet the Imam.

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