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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

Subramanian Swamy courts controversy, says ‘A mosque is not a religious place’

Guwahati: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has stoked a controversy with his reported remark that mosques and churches are mere buildings and can be demolished following which an FIR was lodged against him and the Assam government on Sunday threatened to ban his entry to the state.

Swamy, who was on a personal visit to attend an event of a university in the state last week, had reportedly said that mosques and churches are mere 'buildings' to offer prayers. "So there is no problem in demolishing them. They demolish mosques even in Saudi Arabia," he had said. He further said that god lives only in temples.

Various organisations and parties have condemned the remarks of the BJP leader. "His comments are completely insulting for a community. We will take action. If he continues to talk like this, we will ban his entry into Assam," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

He wondered why BJP was not taking any action against Swamy in spite of 'controversial comments' made by him.

However, Swamy stuck to his stance and took it to Twitter to reiterate his views. The politician posted a link of a media report on Saudi Arabia removing mosques.

BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday sought to distance himself from his party colleague Subramanian Swamy’s controversial comment that “a mosque is not a religious place”, holding it was a comment made by him in his “personal capacity” and nothing to do with the party.

“We will have a talk with him on the matter. These comments, which I have not seen, must be made by him in his personal capacity. This is not the party’s stand,” Javadekar said.

When asked if there is a possibility of the party expelling him given his penchant for making controversial remarks Javadekar said, “I cannot comment on that for now”.

While speaking in Guwahati on Friday, Swamy had reportedly said, “A mosque is not a religious place. It is just a building and it can be demolished any time. If anyone disagrees with me on this, I am ready to have a debate on the issue. I got this information from people of Saudi Arabia”.

Muslim Personal Law Board also criticised BJP Swamy for his statement, saying it was intended to divert people’s attention from “failures” of the Centre.

“We don’t agree with the statement. Like in other religions, a mosque is a religious place. In our country there was Islamic rule for 800 years but none of the rulers demolished any mosque,” All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) general secretary Maulana Nizamuddin said.

“Had it not been a religious place, there would have been examples of its demolition in the pages history,” he said.