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'Misfortune If Not Born In Islam': West Bengal Minister Calls For Conversion, BJP Slams TMC Leader Firhad Hakim

Swarajya Staff

Jul 07, 2024, 03:05 PM | Updated 03:04 PM IST

Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim.
Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim.

Kolkata Mayor, state minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Firhad Hakim’s comments at a function has stirred a hornet's nest.

During the inauguration of a Quran memorisation competition, Hakim, who is also the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister, said, “Those who were not born into Islam were born with misfortune. It will please Allah Ta’ala if they accept Islam… by inviting them to Islam. Islam should be spread among them.”

Hakim continued, “I have a request for this foundation. That is… if we do such a ceremony, especially the people of Islam, it (Islam) should be spread among non-Muslims. Because we have the mercy of our own Allah. We are born with Islam by birth and being born with Islam means that our Messenger has paved the way for us to Paradise. If I don’t do any big wrong, being born with Islam means reaching heaven in future.”

He added, “But those whom Allah has not given that mercy, if they understand the meaning of recitation and the Quran Sharif and if we make even one person believe, then our path to Paradise will be absolutely safe. We ourselves are Muslims, born in a Muslim home, brought up in a Muslim home, our prayer etiquette is known to most people."

He further said, "But those who were born with misfortune, those who were not born with Islam, Islam is also called to them. That is, if they believe in Islam after being invited to do so, it will please Allah Ta’ala.

Hakim’s comments drew strong criticism from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said, “He (Hakim) talked about urging people from other communities to convert. We have to fight back against this… We have to fight a Dharma Yuddha.”

BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar also criticised Hakim, saying, “The remarks made by Firhad Hakim are highly condemnable. They are extremely offensive and divisive. Such comments undermine the principles of religious freedom and equality.”

In response to the criticism, Hakim told the media, “I follow my own religion. I participate in Durga Puja. I do Kali Puja. Those who are ignorant call me sectarian.”

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