Hyderabad: AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has stirred a controversy with remarks that every child is born a Muslim as he locked horns with right-wing Hindu outfits over their â€˜ghar wapsiâ€™ programme.
â€œEvery child is born a Muslim. His parents and society convert him to other religions,â€ Owaisi said, apparently in a tit-for-tat to hardline Hindu organisations which have been claiming that ancestors of all Indians were Hindus.
â€œIslam is the real home of all religions. There is no forced conversion in Islam. It is you who need to come home, but we canâ€™t give you money for that,â€ the Hyderabad MP said on Saturday night on the eve of Eid Milad Un-Nabi, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammed.
Owaisiâ€™s statement drew strong reactions from political parties with senior NCP leader and Rajya Sabha member Majeed Memon calling it a â€œstuntâ€ to get votes.
â€œIt is a stunt by Owaisi for vote-catching. Everybody has the right to follow his religion and convert to other religion if he wants to. What Owaisi has said is not right,â€ he said.
JD(U) spokesman K C Tyagi described the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader as â€œMuslim editionâ€ of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and VHP leader Praveen Togadia.
JD(U) Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar termed the hardliners and Owaisi as â€œtwo sides of the same coin who complement each other and find sustenance from each other. Such activities harm the nation.â€
As his comments triggered a row, Owaisi said it is a part of his â€œbelief systemâ€ that Islam is the real home of all religions.
â€œIt was a public speech. It was a celebration of Prophet Mohammad. I said these things in a 90-minute speech. It is our belief system.
â€œIn a democracy, I have the permission to put forth my views. You are free to disagree. I am not pushing it down somebodyâ€™s throat,â€ he said.Â