A prominent Muslim cleric has criticised Bengali actress and TMC MP Nusrat Jahan for participating in Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata on Sunday. Mufti Asad Qasmi, a cleric associated with Darul Uloom Deoband, accused Nusrat of defaming Muslims and Islam. He even suggested the actress to change her name and religion, adding that there is no place for a Muslim like her in Islam.
"This is nothing new. She has been offering puja to Hindu Gods despite the fact that Islam orders its followers to pray only to 'Allah'. This time she performed Durga Puja. I want to tell her that this is haram (sinful) in Islam and she has committed haram," he said.
The cleric further said that she had also married outside religion and she should change her name and religion.
"Islam doesn't need people who assume Muslim names and defame Islam and Muslims," he said.
On Sunday, resplendent in a saree and sporting sindur and mangalsutra, Nusrat Jahan attended Durga Puja celebrations at a pandal in Kolkata with her husband Nikhil Jain. She was seen chanting hymns recited by a priest with her eyes closed and hands folded. She also played ‘dhaak’ (a drum) and danced joyously at the pandal to celebrate the festival.
Watch: Nusrat Jahan participates in Durga Puja
Later, Nusrat Jahan told reporters that she had prayed for peace and prosperity of all. "In Bengal, we all celebrate all festivals together. I always enjoy being part of the celebrations. I don’t bother about controversies," she said.
Jahan is a Trinamool Congress’ Lok Sabha MP from Bashirhat constituency. The first-time MP defeated BJP’s Sayantan Basu by a huge margin of 3.5 lakh votes. She is in the line of fire of the Muslim hardliners ever since she married businessman Nikhil Jain in June.
Immediately after her marriage, when Nusrat made her first appearance in the Lok Sabha for oath-taking ceremony, she was spotted in a Hindu bridal attire. Besides, she was sporting mangalsutra, sindur and bangles.
At that time as well, several Muslim hardliners had criticised her for marrying a non-Muslim man and dressing like a Hindu bride. She was called un-Islamic.