October 20, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10894

Reactions In India To Hamas Attack In Israel – India Refrains From Calling Hamas A Terror Organization, Islamic Leaders Lead Anti-Israel Protests, Mumbai-Based Cleric Maulana Ejaz Kashmiri: 'Has The Prime Minister Of India Has Turned Into A Slave Of Israel? May Allah Destroy Israel'

October 20, 2023
Palestinian Authority | Special Dispatch No. 10894

In the days since the October 7, 2023 Hamas attack in Israel, Islamic leaders in India have issued statements and staged protests against Israel and in support of Hamas and Palestine, while the government of India has refrained from calling Hamas a terrorist organization.

Soon after the Hamas attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is a strong supporter of Israel, tweeted promptly: "Deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour."[1] The tweet was published on the Indian leader's personal Twitter account – @narendramodi, and not from the prime minister's official account – @PMOIndia.[2]

Subsequently, on October 12, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, made a considered statement: "India always advocated the resumption of direct negotiations towards establishing a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel. I think that position remains the same."[3]

Arindam Bagchi categorically stated that the October 7 attack in Israel was a "terrorist attack" but he – according to an Indian newspaper report – "did not give a clear answer to a journalist's question on whether India considers Hamas a terror organization."[4]

Maulana Ejaz Kashmiri, a Mumbai-based Islamic cleric (Image:

In India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of which the prime minister is leader, and much of the public expressly support Israel, but like in other countries, Muslim opinion and some other groups are hostile to Israel and favorable to Palestine and Hamas.

Maulana Ejaz Kashmiri, a prominent Islamic religious scholar, delivered a fiery speech during the Friday prayers in Mumbai on October 13, 2023, condemning Israeli actions in Palestine and warning: "Do not stir the lions of Islam, otherwise they will destroy you even while dying... We are not the leaves that break from their branches, tell the storms to stay within their control."[5] Maulana Ejaz Kashmiri is the chief of the Haandiwali Mosque in Mumbai.

"No one should teach us justice. For 550 years, Christians did not allow Jews to enter Bait-ul-Muqaddas [Jerusalem]. When Hitler was killing the Jews, they ran away. Why did America and Britain not give place at that time? Listen to one thing with open ears. If even one brick of Bait-ul-Muqaddas is damaged, then Muslims will destroy you," Ejaz Kashmiri said.[6]

The Mumbai-based Islamic cleric questioned Narendra Modi for his expression of support to Israel, saying: "The supporters of Israel are cowards. We threw the British out of our country. This is the work Palestine is doing... We appeal to our government not to do something that is wrong. Our prime minister should not give any message that shows he is against Muslims. Or, has the prime minister of India turned into a slave of Israel? May Allah destroy Israel, keep us safe from Israel."[7]

Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, a Barelvi cleric and national president of the Ittehad-e-Millat Council, a regional party, told a press conference that Hamas was not a terrorist organization and Palestinians were victims of Israeli aggression. According to a report in the Hindi-language newspaper Dainik Navbharat Times, Khan even targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, describing him as "a traitor" for supporting Israel, said and that he had damaged the country's interests.[8]

All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which mainly represents Islamic religious scholars across the country, also issued a statement attributed to its president Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rehmani, a leading Islamic cleric. Maulana Rehmani said: "The war that is underway at this time between Hamas and Israel is very sad and troubling. And clearly, it is natural reaction to Israel's cruelties and disrespect for Al-Aqsa Mosque. To call this reaction terrorism is like strengthening the oppressors and an injustice against the oppressed."[9]

Maulana Arshad Madani, a leading Islamic religious scholar and president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind ("Assembly of Indian Islamic Scholars") which controls Darul Uloom Deoband seminary, expressed support for the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and Gaza. In a statement dated October 15, Arshad Madani said: "Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind considers the attacks on Gaza to be a serious attack on human rights and strongly condemns it. Unfortunately, today even those countries of the world that claim to be champions of global peace and unity are silent on this cruelty and continuously violate human rights. The international institutions are also silent."[10]

According to a report in Urdu daily Roznama Qaumi Awaz, Arshad Madani said: "Israel is a usurper country that has usurped the land of Palestine with the support of some world powers and is now seeking to eliminate the existence of the Palestinian people from this land."[11]

Maulana Sajjad Nomani is a leading Islamic scholar

Arshad Madani also said that "some of the world's major powers have been playing dangerous games in the Middle East in view of their own interests, due to which the people of Palestine are constantly suffering from Israel's illegal rule and its cruelty and brutality."[12] He added: "Israel has also been sabotaging every attempt at peace and for 75 years Israel has not only been expanding its settlements but has been occupying all the areas of Palestine one by one."[13]

Maulana Sajjad Nomani, another prominent Muslim religious leader, issued a statement asserting that the recent attack on Israel by those struggling for Palestinian freedom has garnered worldwide attention. He stated, "If there is a terrorist state in the world, it is Israel."[14] Describing Israel as the "illegitimate offspring" of America and Britain, Sajjad Nomani that "the British and Jews conspired to establish Israel in Palestine," an act he said was "entirely wrong and unlawful."[15]

According to a Hindi-language website, Maulana Sajjad Nomani highlighted "severe injustices committed by Israel against Palestinians, including imprisoning them in Gaza" and said: "I salute the Hamas youth who organized a significant attack against Israel... Israel has become powerful due to support from major world powers, particularly America and the Arab nations... They have committed brutal acts against innocent Palestinians, including imprisoning them in Gaza and capturing their homes."[16]

Maulana Mufti Shahabuddin Razvi, the National President of All India Muslim Jamat, urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to facilitate dialogue between Israel and Palestine to end the ongoing conflict in Gaza. According to a report in the Hindi-language daily Dainik Amar Ujala, Razvi said that India and Indian Muslims have always stood by Palestine and that resolving the Gaza issue through peaceful negotiations is crucial.[17] He advised Muslims in India "not to engage in street protests but to pray for the safety of Palestinians and Masjid Al-Aqsa in their homes, mosques, and madrassas" to avoid further complications.[18]

Following are some images of anti-Israel protests from Indian cities:

In Kolkata, Islamic organizations took our protests against Israel (Image: YouTube)

In Mumbai, Imam Moin Ashraf of Bilal Mosque led a protest against Israel (Image: YouTube)

In Bangalore, Muslims and non-Muslims formed a human chain to protest against Israel (Image: The News Minute)

In Hyderabad city, student protesters call for boycott of Israel (Image: Times Now)

In Kashmir's Budgam district, people protest against Israel. "Death to America, Death to Israel" is the Urdu-language text on some posters (Image: Hindustan Times)

In Bangalore, protesters marched in support of Palestine (Image: Deccan Herald)


[1], October 7, 2023.

[2], accessed October 15, 2023.

[3] (India), October 12, 2023.

[4] (India), October 13, 2023.

[5] (India), October 13, 2023.

[6] (India), October 13, 2023.

[7] (India), October 13, 2023.

[8] (India), October 13, 2023.

[9], October 12, 2023.

[10] (India), October 15, 2023.

[11] (India), October 15, 2023.

[12] (India), October 15, 2023.

[13] (India), October 15, 2023.

[14] (India), October 10, 2023.

[15] (India), October 10, 2023.

[16] (India), October 10, 2023.

[17] Dainik Umar Ujala (India), October 9, 2023.

[18] Dainik Umar Ujala (India), October 9, 2023.

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