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Kashmir CM takes u-turn on Gandhi remark

Srinagar, October 07, 2007:

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad
Chief Minister G N Azad

Chief Minister of Indian administered Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad has taken a u-turn on his Gandhi remarks and said that the revered Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has given a complete code for humanity to follow for success in this world and hereafter.

Without mentioning the reaction to his controversial statement about Islam, Azad in a message on eve of Urs-e-Sheikh-ul-Aalam, a revered mystic of Kashmir, made a complete rebuff Sunday.

The statement comes day after the Grand Mufti of Kashmir, Mufti Bashir-ud-Din asked Azad to atone for his remark about Islam he made during the state celebrations of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's 138th birth anniversary function held Tuesday.

Azad had said that while Islam secures the hereafter, Gandhian philosophy of truth and non-violence was apt for success in the contemporary world.

He had subtly asked the participating students in the function held at SK International Convention Centre to shelve the teachings of Islam for Gandhism.

The statement later drew flak from different quarters.

Chairman of the hardline faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani was the first to express his anger.

The septuagenarian leader accused Azad of blasphemy and even suggested him to change his name from Ghulam Nabi Azad to Ghulam Gandhi Azad.

Geelani had also said that Azad was among the likes of Salman Rushdie and Tasleema Nasreen, the writers accused of blasphemy by Muslims.

Later Mufti Bashir said that Islam was a complete way of life and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) the supreme role model for Muslims across the world. "Gandhian philosophy is good only for his constituency. For Muslims world over Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the best role model," he said.

According to Muslim faith, Islam is a complete way of life not only a religion to secure the hereafter.

Gandhi was the leader of India's freedom movement with his campaign of non-violent civil disobedience that ended in independence of the subcontinent from Britain in 1947.



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