Distancing himself from the video statement released by Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri, praising Karnataka college student Muskan Khan for defending hijab, her father on Wednesday termed the comments of the terror outfit’s leader as “wrong”, and said he and his family were living peacefully in India.
Noting that such incidents are disturbing the peace of the family, he said the police and state government can initiate any inquiry to ascertain the truth.
“We don’t know anything about it (video), we don’t know who he is. I saw him today for the first time. He has said something in Arabic…..We are all living here with love and trust like brothers,” Mohammad Hussain Khan told reporters in response to a question on Zawahiri’s video.
Queried on Zawahiri praising Muskan, he said, “People say whatever they want….this is unnecessarily causing trouble. We are living peacefully in our country, we don’t want him to talk about us, as he is not related to us… it is wrong, it is an attempt to create division among us.” In the Arabic video clip, with English subtitles provided by SITE Intelligence Group that tracks the online activity of white supremacist and jihadist organisations, Zawahiri also reads out a poem, which he says he wrote for “our Mujahid sister” and for her “brave feat”.
“May Allah reward her for exposing the reality of Hindu India and the deception of its pagan democracy,” the Al-Qaeda chief said in the video, also ending speculations about his death due to natural causes.
Observing that Muskan too has seen the video, Mr Khan said whatever Zawahiri has said is ‘wrong.’ “… she (Muskan) is still a student, she wants to study,” he said.
Asked about demands from a section of people for an inquiry to find any links, Mr Khan said let it be done, there is law, police and government for it.
Reacting to the video release, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said it proves the involvement of “unseen hands” behind the row.
At the peak of the hijab row in February, Muskan Khan, a second-year B.Com student in Mandya, was heckled by a group of students, wearing saffron shawls, for entering the college with hijab.
As they shouted “Jai Shri Ram”, Muskan retorted by shouting “Allah-hu-Akbar.” Following this, college authorities intervened and brought the situation under control.