Shahrukh’s Islam comments offend a Muslim group

I am ‘updating’ this thread here as it has received a great deal of attention..
(here come the rampaging mullahs again!)

Mumbai Aman Committee a Muslim group in Mumbai is quite upset with Shah Rukh Khan. They have objected to Shahrukh Khan’s statements about Islam in a recent interview to a magazine. Shah Rukh KhanAccording to the group the actor used unparliamentary language against the Prophet in the July issue of the Time and Style magazine, which hurt the sentiments of the community.

As per the reports, this group has filed a written complaint to the police asking them to register a case against Shah Rukh and slap him with the charges of intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace. Apparently a senior police official has also confirmed the news.

King Khan who is currently shooting for My Name is Khan in Los Angeles, says that he was misrepresented. SRK also said that being a Muslim standing up for the tenets of Islam is his most important agenda in life.

58 Responses to “Shahrukh’s Islam comments offend a Muslim group”

  1. Its not the year 2009 of SRK,first it was the film billu that went wrong then his team KKR and now this….

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  2. Its absolute nonsense to think or believe that Shah Rukh Khan would say anything derogatory or insulting about the Holy Prophet of Islam. He has always expressed the utmost admiration for the Hazrat Muhammad PBUH and has said that he has read extensively about his life. I wish people had more sense than to jump to conclusions and make these ridiculous complaints. They should at least have the courtesy to verify such news before maligning respected citizens such as SRK.

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  3. What a baseless accusation. Have never heard him say anything like that.
    may be a tactic to put him on defensive. Repulsive act whichever way one looks at it. One may say a lot about SRK but this is just ridiculous on part of these people.

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  4. Well, at least nobody has issued fatwas against SRK, have they? Some groups in the past issued fatwas against Salman for (a) attending a Durga puja during Navartri; (b) doing Ganesh puja in his home for Ganesh Chaturthi; and (c) for having his statue in Madame Tussaud’s (the last was really puzzling, since this group did *not* say anything about SRK also having his statue there).

    The real trouble in my view is the extremely broad and loosely worded “religious sentiments” law. What on earth is the crime in “offending one’s religious sentiments”? The same words or actions can offend some members of a religion and not others, but only the ones who are offended get priority, even if they are a tiny minority. It’s enough to have laws against discriminating on the basis of religion, but trying to legislate how not to hurt people’s feelings is pretty much impossible.

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  5. http://www.mid-day.com/news/2009/jun/190609-Khalid-Babu-Qureshi-Shah-Rukh-Khan-businessman-police-complaint.htm

    this is being dragged out now..

    But this article features SRK’s actual remark. It is real bankruptcy to go after this sort of statement but sadly par for the course for these folks.

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    • Even if he said it exacty that way, it is obvious what he meant — no one should have to pay such a price for inarticulacy, even if it is habitual 🙂

      Seriously though, this is outrageous.

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    • I don’t want to rely on Mid-Day, of all publications, for a take on exactly what SRK said. But, if that is an accurate quote, I wonder if the objection isn’t to the phrase,”if I can call it history”, which could be interpreted to mean that he is questioning the existence of Mohammad as a historical figure. Of course, it would also mean he is unsure whether Mandela is a “historical” figure. 🙂

      BTW, if the law is supposed to punish “deliberate statements that question the basic beliefs of a religion”, then why was no complaint filed against Karunanidhi for his comments on Ram?

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  6. aby2000 Says:

    No matter how much I dislike srk… I doubt he would ever say that about the Prophet (pbuh). If the media is misquoting him, he really needs to take them to task!

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    • But say what? All he said was that there were some negative figures from history, such as Hitler, Napolean, and Churchill, and some positive figures, such as Mohammad and Mandela. So what is there for anyone to get worked up about? I agree that the sentence didn’t come out perfectly phrased, which sometimes happens when one is speaking, rather than writing. But I don’t think there’s any confusion about the meaning.

      It reminds me of the time certain African American groups made a huge fuss and actually got a white city official fired in Washington, D.C., because he used the word “niggardly” (in reference to their budget) while in a meeting with some black staffers.

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  7. I find SRK’s clarification more disturbing than his original statement.

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  8. The problem that the protesters have is that SRK called Mohammad a positive figure like Mandela. The problem they have is that Mohammad cannot be compared to anyone. Therefore SRK issued a clarification that “Mohammad is the most important person in history”. Mohammad according to Islam is the greatest apostle and hero and is incomparable. This is an example of how a seemingly harmless statement is not tolerated by the Islamist brigade.

    BTW, I really wonder why Churchill or Napolean were termed as a negative personalities by SRK. If they are negative bcos they are war mongers..so was his “most important person in history”, who exterminated all who disagreed with him and fought over 80 wars in his lifetime.

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    • Ayush, the thing is (leaving aside the bankruptcy of ‘Islamists’) that any religion has a figure at its center which then is the most important figure for the followers of that faith. The problem then arises when the same figure is also placed squarely within history and defined in such terms. Part of it is that Muhammad of course is a figure of recorded history the way many older prophets of the Biblical tradition are not. Moreover he belongs to somewhat ‘recent’ history. We’re not talking about 2500 BC here! He is undoubtedly an extraordinarily influential historical figure, there is even a case to be made that he is the most influential for the contours of the world we live in. One could expand on this idea but at any rate one pitfall of this approach is (for a ‘believer’) that to argue for the historical Muhammad is to also introduce the latter into a more or less ‘secular’ debate. I think that’s fine but obviously this sometimes results in conclusions that many do not like. So SRK ties himself up in knots not because he’s saying anything strange but because he is essentially placing Muhammad on a spectrum that then also has those other figures. Unfortunately we also live in the age of ‘Islamism’ in so many ways where such discussion is considered illegitimate. In Muhammad’s own age and for centuries after in the peaks of Islamic civilization no one would really have had a problem with SRK’s statements in any sense. Leaving all of this aside I do think that SRK tends to be fairly defensive in most of his statements. he asserts his ‘faith’ for sure but empties it out on the other hand in terms of specifics.

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  9. Were there any protests to Khuda Ke Liye from “religious” groups?
    All these other films mentioned in the article seem to have been inspired by that one.

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  10. It goes without saying that this is a ridiculous ‘controversy’. Seeing Prophet Muhammad as a superior or perfect human being is dangerous and I’ve always had the impression that Islam tries to discourage that view. This is partly why pictures of him are banned (to discourage any form of worship) and why the Victorian term of ‘Muhammadan’ was so detested as it implied the worship of Prophet Muhammad.

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    • Though I am quite hostile to the veil myself as a very personal reaction and to a great degree an intellectual one I have also never seen eye to eye with the French on this who at different points have insisted on defining what constitutes freedom for Muslim women. I don’t believe these things can be forced. There are countless women who wear the veil because they feel it is the right thing to do from a cultural and religious perspective. There might not be the sort of direct pressure on them as these French pronouncements imply. In any case the women do not regard this kind of attire as ‘oppressive’ in many cases. They are not waiting to be rescued! However this does lead to a more complicated quasi-philosophical issue. The history of constraints on women in many Islamic societies down the ages might foreclose the possibility of women en masse feeling oppressed on account of the veil. Because these have been the very basic terms in which Islam has been presented to them. So if the equation is ‘to be a Muslim woman means to veil’ one would be hard pressed to feel oppressed at the very idea even if one did feel stifled for other reasons in a patriarchal society. Having said that this applies somewhat to men in this situation as well. So irrespective of how this history came about men might not see this as an instrument of dominance and simply understand this as the natural order of things in Islam. So it’s rather complicated but the French approach of actually disallowing school girls from wearing a scarf or the sort of sentiment Sarkozy has expressed here misses the point completely. My position incidentally should not be confused with a knee jerk liberal reaction that is often unable to spot oppression in its concern with preserving ‘cultural distinctions’ around the world. At the same time one must also avoid the dangers of a liberalism on steroids that seeks to liberate the entire world in a modern ‘Western’ image.

      Having become part of this discussion in such detailed fashion I think it only fair to provide anyone reading this with my own views on the veil. For reasons that I cannot completely get into here I do not believe that there is really an Koranic injunction for women to veil that exists beyond a shadow of a doubt. The verse in question (and the reference occurs only once in the entire book, some would suggest twice but the other instance is even more dubious) is highly ambiguous for all sorts of linguistic reasons but a perusal of some of the major scholarly commentary on the matter (and I have some standards in terms of who I consider a true scholar!) convinces me that there is no such ‘demand’ by the Koran. Now later commentary on the Koran by way of oral islamic literature or other legal decisions is another matter. Clearly ‘veiling’ has a history (which incidentally is not only Islamic) and it is this history that much like on so many other matters in life becomes more important than the ‘actual’ text. If people have believed something for centuries they are not likely to change their minds all of a sudden irrespective of the scholarly argument presented!

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      • Excellent response — the true “problem” is neither the burka nor the bikini, nor anything in between, but the structure of obligation. Thus a law forcing people to wear jeans and a T-shirt is as problematic as a law or social code that forces one to wear the veil.

        In France, while I disagree with the ban I should note that there were at least some claims that some girls were being forced to wear the veil by men in their communities, hence the law. One is skeptical as to what extent this was a problem, as the government did not present much data. Sarkozy himself is hardly an upstanding example of the sort of easy going attitude that one sees in the US (in general, the French model of “laicite” is far more of an assimilationist one (as is its Turkish imitator) than either the American model (oriented toward individual self-expression) or the Indian model (oriented toward communitarian self-expression)…

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  11. This incidentally has become one of the most visited threads here. It’s not just about SRK because it far exceeds the attention any thread of MNIK or anything else with SRK got.

    I also had to delete a few comments that I either didn’t find coherent at all or rather incendiary in less useful ways. But there were a few who thought SRK was completely at fault.

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  12. good views and knowledge i recently studied muslim law of marriage…

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  13. This thread is on course to become the second or third most viewed in the blog’s history..

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  14. ideaunique Says:

    my comment has nothing to do with this post – but i feel that SRK’s career has just started going down – doesn’t matter if he does MNIK, DON2 and that superhero film – the sun has started going west……3 or 5 yrs…..then he will be there of course for many years but not in the same league…

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  15. Why do you say so ideaunique? SRK still seems to have plenty of fans in India and abroad–at least as evinced from internet messageboards; plus his positive family-man image can only help, especially with the Indian audience. However 2009 has not been great for him.

    Leaving messageboard fandom aside –I know of a couple of 25 something girls who’ve not bothered to watch RNBDJ and Billu, neither in theatre nor video. Formerly they would never miss an SRK film. But — they did watch Ghajini–and liked it.

    Don’t know anything about MNIK, to comment on it. But it is as eagerly awaited as say 3 Idiots People are still curious about the upcoming films of these 40 plus stars.

    Still–I don’t see these two Khans at top for more than a couple of years, max. Don’t know how many would agree with me.

    And SRK should be careful in the innumerable interviews he gives. His fast style of speaking can lend itself to misquoting. As for Aamir–I do hope he will be careful with his activism/pronouncements/interviews. The present climate of intolerance is not good—actors-filmmakers should simply talk carefully, and concentrate on career.

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  16. ideaunique Says:

    LS – it is just a gut feeling – i like srk as a human being more than as an actor – but i think his ageing and no doubts, he has millions of fans who will continue to root for him but your comment “I know of a couple of 25 something girls who’ve not bothered to watch RNBDJ and Billu, neither in theatre nor video. Formerly they would never miss an SRK film. But — they did watch Ghajini–and liked it.” – well, it so aptly put – not just these 25 girls, but there are many many fans of srk who have started becoming choosy abt watching their favorite hero’s films – and when this starts happening, one must understand that his peak time is over – srk still is trying to rely more on his charm and outer looks imo – whereas, it is high time he allows the actor to come out of him – but, he is not doing it – MNIK looks like a solid subject on paper – but Karan johar as the director? well, i have my doubts, that fella has a neck of sugarcoating everything and MNIK well may turn out to be “Kabhi Khan Kabhi SRK” 🙂 instead of a hard-hitting film…. btw, i do wish srk all the best though but i stand by my gut feeling….next 3 years will show a clearer picture….

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    • mksrooney Says:

      hi idea…spot on to say in Srk’s own dialogue from Mohabatein
      ” YEH HAWAYEIN APNA RUKH BADAL RAHI HAIN”

      new gen x doesn’t ideal SRK …as their hero

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  17. “I wonder if the ban will also apply to the Nuns in France, …..”

    Good point Shah!

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  18. I dont think that just saying SRK is ageing and has come down from the peak of his popularity is at all relevant. Ofcourse he has to come down at some point but I dont see it as yet- even if its only because there is no one to take his place- who could do RNBJ so well – or even something like MNIK- he has the ability and the stature to carry these and KANK which was so stupidly criticised for loyalty in marriage!

    And now some stupid publicity seekers want to do a fatwa on him!

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  19. Over the last number of days there have been a few comments that I’ve not approved for this thread. Partly I didn’t find these completely coherent but mostly because I found some really offensive stuff being said about SRK. The objections seemed to range from the suggestion that anyone working in the movies couldn’t by definition be considered a ‘Muslim’ to the more commonplace criticism that SRK had insulted his faith. A couple got into more graphic doomsday stuff.

    I don’t lnow if I said this earlier in this thread but I’ll make some quick points here:

    1)The idea that SRK has said anything remotely insulting about Muhammad is hogwash or as the Brits would say bollocks! I think this is so whether one is a believer in Islam or isn’t. Which is to say that the people protesting don’t (as is sadly too often the case today) know their Islam very well.

    2)If SRK has backtracked from his statement somewhat I don’t blame him even if I wish he hadn’t. The kind of nastiness and often threats of violence that eventually ensue with this sort of thing one can’t be blamed for just wanting to walk away from it all.

    3)Unfortunately this reveals once again the kind of intolerance, fanaticism, complete lack of reason and rationality that has substituted for ‘faith’ for many Muslims. Now it is of course true that one could think of other religions today where there are currents of such unthinking and violent attitudes. Islam is hardly unique. At the same time the question here involves SRK’s statements and his religion and therefore there need not be this politically correct defensiveness each time around where we find it necessary to condemn all to condemn one.

    4)Once upon a time Islamic Spain was (and is still considered) one of the civilizational peaks of recorded human history. Concurrently the Islamic Near East was an equally important pole of culture. All of this MUslims are right to invoke. But neither glorious period of this relatively young religion’s history can be squared with all the ‘Islamisms’ on display in the world today. The current views on SRK come out of such ‘Islamisms’. The latter is a world completely removed from any genuine field of intellectual inquiry or any authentic interpretation of understanding of faith. If those ‘old Muslims’ had been following this path the splendors of Baghdad and Cordoba would hardly have been theirs or their creation.

    5)I do not have a problem with any religion but I am completely hostile to this kind of reactionary interpretation of this or any other faith that simply seeks violence as the response to everything. Not just physical violence but also of the intellectual kind. One goes hand in hand with the other. ‘Islamism’ is a disease. Many today are afflicted with it and completely unaware of it. And of course many pursue this version of ‘political Islam’ actively.

    6)There is a legendary hadith (saying or deed of the prophet) by virtue of which one is urged to go even to China to seek knowledge. Today going to any part of the globe is rather easy but in the 7th century Arabia of Islam, specially for those living in deserts, it was the other end of the (known) world. In our terms it is the equivalent of going to Mars for knowledge! The point should be obvious. Regrettably this is the one ‘hadith’ that is becoming increasingly threatened in a Muslim world hostage to ‘Islamism’. Out of this matrix issue statements like the sort that condemn SRK for what is a completely sane and completely comprehensible position.

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  20. This is the second most accessed post on this blog. The top one is IIFA which is somewhat significantly ahead. But if one accounts for the fact that the IIFA thread is also one that was quite often updated with new material this thread becomes the topmost one.

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