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New Delhi: Former
union law minister Ram Jethmalani Saturday kicked up a row at an
international conference on terrorism asking, if Islam's jehadi
doctrine does not virtually render "god a brothel keeper".
Taking his abusive tirade even
further Ram Jethmalani accused the Wahabi sect of being responsible
Pointing fingers at the 18th
century reformer Mohd bin Abdul Wahab Jethmalani observed,
"Unfortunately in the 17th century, they produced an 'evil man' in
Saudi Arabia by the name of Wahab, who was concerned about the
decline of Muslim world but he hit upon a wrong remedy".
Jethmalani's outburst prompted Saudi Arabian Ambassador to India
Faisal-al-Trad to walk out of the conference.
The self-confessed maverick legal hawk also went on
to equate god as someone "suffering with Alzheimer's disease", while
advising the Indian government and the international community
against trusting god in fighting terrorism.
"He will not help as he is suffering with Alzheimer's
disease," said Jethmalani, while advising the government to junk its
obsession with "an irrelevant non-aligned movement" and "join the
forces of good to fight forces of evil".
Jethmalani made "the non-mincing" remarks at an international
conference of jurists on terrorism, inaugurated by President
Pratibha Patil and attended among others by Singapore Chief Justice
Chan Sek Keong and Justice Awn S Al-Khasawneh of the International
Court of Justice and envoys of several countries.
Jethmalani's remarks caused Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to India
Faisal-al-Trad to walk out, while an embarrassed union Law Minister
M. Veerappa Moily swiftly sought to distance himself and the
government from the controversial remarks.
Moily, in his address, said that terrorism cannot be attributed to
any particular religion.
Justice Khasawneh contradicted Jethmalani on some
facts referred to by him on the jehadi doctrine. Referring to
Jethmalani's comments, Justice Awn S Al-Khasawneh, a judge of the
International Court of Justice, asked him not "to make sweeping
statements". He also said that the Wahab movement had started in the
18th century and not in 17th century as Jethmalani had remarked.
Interestingly, perhaps realising
of the mess he created by his remarks Jethmalani also said, "There
have been Hindu terrorists and Buddhist terrorists. But it is
unfortunate that the terrorists that the world is talking about is
mainly Muslim and
the entire Islam as a religion was being blamed for
"I am a student of all religions, including Islam and I have read
the Koran several times. I find that the Prophet is a man of peace,"
said Jethmalani, adding that it nowhere preaches hate and violence.