Under fire from a section of Muslim community for his remarks on Gujarat riots, Pakistani Islamic scholar Tahir-ul-Qadri has clarified that he only stated that unfortunate incidents should not recur.
Qadri accused a section of media of distorting his statement made during his visit to Gujarat last week.
"I was repeatedly asked about Gujarat incidents. I declined to comment. I only said to them (people) to not repeat such unfortunate incidents in future and to learn to live in peace. Cutting throats of each other is condemnable whether it is here or somewhere else. I said move on towards peace."
The Canada-based scholar gave his clarification in the early hours of Saturday at a mammoth public meeting to mark 45th anniversary of revival of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a Muslim political party.
Without naming Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, he said he thanked the state government for providing him the security and for facilitating his visit.
"This was my moral responsibility," he added.
Qadri has come under sharp criticism from Jamiat-ul-Ulema and some other organizations, which alleged that he advised Muslims to forget the riots. They also accused him of praising Modi.
Qadri, who has given a fatwa against terrorism, called upon the international community to stop linking terrorism and Islam.
"When some Christians, Jews or Hindus resort to terrorism, you don't call them Christian, Jewish or Hindu terrorism, then how can you use a term Islamic terrorism?" he asked.
"Every religion and every country has terrorists. Terrorism is terrorism. It has no religion. If you want to win war against terrorism, stop linking terrorism and Islam," he said.
Member of Parliament and president of MIM Asaduddin Owaisi said that the Gujarat chief minister will go to jail for the massacre of Muslims.
Modi would not only lose the next elections in Gujarat but would also land in jail, he said.
"Modi will spend rest of his life in jail. We have no faith in the government but we have firm belief in Almighty Allah that Modi will be punished," said the MP from Hyderabad.
"Modi's hands were soaked with blood of thousands of Muslims and even after 10 years of Gujarat riots, the guilty are roaming free," Owaisi added.