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Two Muslim leaders see IS with different eyes

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New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan and MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi have reacted differently to Friday’s Paris attacks by the Islamic State. While Khan seemed to suggest that the attacks were a reaction to the West’s aggression against Islamic countries, Owaisi said the IS was a blot on Islam and everybody needs to condemn its activities.

Many a war have been fought in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq primarily to control the oil wells in these countries, Khan, who is urban development minister in the Samajwadi Party government in UP, said in an interview to a TV news agency.

His comments drew condemnation from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Media reports quoted BJP’s secretary Sidharth Nath Singh as saying that comments like those by Khan “weakened” the country’s resolve to fight terrorism.

BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak asked Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to explain whether he endorsed the views of his cabinet colleague.

Khan later denied media reports that quoted him as suggesting that the terror attacks were a “reaction against some action” but, all the same, he accused the US of bombing hospitals and schools in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in its pursuit of controlling oil resources.

“I have never said anything like this and I have always been against all kinds of terrorism,” the minister said.

He claimed that he was being unfairly targeted by his political opponents and the media for very long since he was a Muslim.

The Congress reacted sharply to Khan’s comment, and condemned it.

“We strongly condemn his latest statement justifying the Paris attacks by ISIS,” Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said.

He said the Congress will do whatever it can to fight against this divisive and disruptive forces.

However, Owaisi, Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad, said the IS was a blot on Islam and the outfit should not be linked with religion and the world should unite to fight it.

Stating that the terror group has so far massacred 1.5 lakh Muslims, Owaisi said Islamic scholars belonging to all schools of thought have given a fatwa against the IS.

“We all need to condemn ISIS activities and world should understand that it has nothing to do with Islam,” Owaisi told reporters, reacting to Azam Khan’s statement.

“Azam Khan may be an expert on terrorism but I am not. I only believe that ISIS are a blot on Islam. All scholars have condemned them and I also condemn,” Owaisi said.

He, however, said wherever vacuum was created, such terrorist groups were filling it.

“The way the United States intervened in Iraq and left it unstable, the same work is being done in Afghanistan. Wherever vacuum is created, such terrorist organisations are filling that vacuum.”

On Akhilesh Yadav’s statement that a grand alliance can be forged in the state on the lines of Bihar, the MIM chief said no alliance can save the Samajwadi Party.

“People of Uttar Pradesh are fed up with the Samajwadi Party and they will defeat it. They are not fulfilling the promises they made, there is no governance or law and order in the state. They are on their way out,” he said.