BENGALURU: Leader of the terror outfit al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, praising the second-year BCom student Muskaan Khan for chanting ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ in reply to saffron-clad male students chanting ‘Jai Sri Ram’ at her college in Mandya as she entered wearing a hijab in February, has evoked strong reactions from political sections, including Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra saying it is a vindication of their suspicions of an “unseen hand” behind the “conspiracy” of blowing the hjijab row out of proportion.But the standout reaction came from Muskaan’s father Mohammed Hussain, who, without mincing words, distanced his daughter, himself and his family from the al-Qaeda leader singing praises of Muskaan.
He said, “I was not aware of this (al-Zawahiri’s video), nor have I ever seen al-Zawahiri before. I only got to know when media houses came to me showing the video. He has said something in Arabic. People say whatever they want, which is unnecessarily causing trouble. Such incidents are disturbing peace. We don’t want him to talk about us, as he is not at all related to us. It is wrong and is an attempt to divide us… We are all (across religious lines) living here with love and trust.”
He said that he showed the video to his daughter and told her it was wrong and reminded her that she was still a student. “She wants to study,” he added. In the video, al-Zawahiri says Muskaan’s defiance of saffron-clad men had emboldened the spirit of jihad and awakened the Muslim community.
In the end, al-Zawahiri adds that the incident inspired him to write a poem which he recited and asked Muskaan to accept it as a gift of words from him.Meanwhile, Araga Jnanendra said, “This is evidence of what we have been saying right from the start that there are ‘unseen hands’ that are part of the conspiracy. It is not normal for mere children to behave this way which is what the courts also maintained. The police have been asked to trace from where that video originated and the links.’’
Incidentally, sources in the security establishment said that after the video surfaced, a vigil is being maintained on Muskaan’s house in Mandya.Higher Education Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan expressed displeasure about a terror outfit — blamed for the 9-11 US bombings and several other attacks around the world — speaking about incidents in Karnataka and India, and said suitable legal action will be taken against them.
Former Union minister and ex-MLC CM Ibrahim, who recently joined JDS, said al-Qaeda is in no way related to Karnataka or India, and Muskaan is not aware of that outfit. “This video is created to mislead people,” he added.He said Hindus and Mulsims have lived together for centuries despite attempts to divide them. But harmony has always emerged on top in the land of Basaveshwara and the saints.
Muskaan khan to shift college?
After the hijab row, Muskaan Khan has not attended classes and did not even face the exams. While her father confirmed that his daughter had not attended the exams, sources in the college said that she has sought a no-objection certificate and transfer certificate to shift to another college.