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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 for terrorism.


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 terrorism."


"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.









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