According to and other Indian media outlets, Ram Jethmalani, the former Indian Union Law Minister and a self-confessed maverick legal hawk, ignited a controversy at an International Conference of Jurists on Terrorism in New Delhi, by inferring that Islam's jihadi doctrine may render Islamic God a "brothel keeper".


Ram Jethmalani
Ram Jethmalani

While addressing the conference, Jethmalani wondered whether the Islamic doctrine of jihad—as preached by the Saudi Wahabi sect of Islam, that Muslims attaining martyrdom while fighting non-Muslims will “get a place in heaven and the company of the opposite sex there”—amounts to inferring “god is a brothel keeper”.

Emphasizing the need to fight terrorism also at the ideological level, Jethmalani advised the Indian government and the international community against putting faith in God while fighting terrorism, adding: “He will not help as he is suffering with Alzheimer's disease.”

Jethlamani challenged the Indian government on its foreign policy, urging it to be courageous to shun any relationship with the country’s “enemies”. He particularly attacked India’s meaningless obsession with the “irrelevant non-aligned movement”, adding: “India should align with forces of good to combat the forces of evil. India and its foreign ministers must learn to reassess doctrines of the past.”

Inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil, the meeting is attended among others by current Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Singapore Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, Justice Awn S. al-Khasawneh of the International Court of Justice, and envoys of several countries.

Offended by Jethmalani’s remarks, the Saudi Ambassador to India, Faisal al-Trad, walked out of the conference.

Law Minister Moily, embarrassed by Jethmalani’s remarks, was swift to distance the Indian government from his controversial remarks, adding that terrorism cannot be attributed to any particular religion.

The Saudi Ambassador returned to the meeting after Moily’s apologetic speech.

Justice al-Khasawneh contradicted certain facts on the doctrine of jihad, referred to by Jethmalani, and asked him not "to make sweeping statements".

Nonetheless, Jethmalani was also in a political correctness mode. He said, he read the Quran many times and found no preaching of hatred and violence in it. “I find that the Prophet is a man of peace”, he added.

He blamed the current outbreak of worldwide Jihadi terrorism on the 17th-century (sic) Wahabi doctrine, based on misinterpretation of one chapter of the Quran, in which Jethmalani found nothing wrong even after reading it a thousand times. “But, according to Wahab, all other people, including Christians, Jews and Hindus, and even Shias, have forfeited their rights to live”, Jethmalani added.

He felt that, unfortunately because of Wahab, the entire religion of Islam was being blamed for terrorism, adding that “there are also Hindu terrorists and Buddhist terrorists”.

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