Nigeria: Fatwa Issued Against Indian Actor Salman Khan

News article, posted 03.24.2010, from India
Muslim clerics had issued a fatwa against Salman Khan and his family for celebrating Ganeshotsav, the popular Hindu festival, in their home, asserting that worshipping Lord Ganesh is in his blood as his mother is Hindu. The fatwa against his entire family was issued by Mufti Manjar Hassan Khan Ashrafi Misbahi, the chief of Darul-Uloom Hijaziya Chishti, Mumbai.

Salim Khan, Bollywood's legendary scriptwriter and father of megastar Salman Khan, is deeply hurt by this and denounces the fatwa, saying, "They claim to be speaking for Islam, but actually what they are doing is anti-Islamic. And I am relying on the scriptures of the Holy Quran, which says my religion is with me, yours is with you. Don't force your religious beliefs on others." They have never considered issuing such fatwa against any terrorist who butchers innocent people. They only pick on secular Muslims," he pointed out in an emotion-charged voice.

Justifying his family celebrating Ganeshotsav at home, Khan said, "We are born in India, it is our motherland and it is our duty to respect the sentiments of the people of this country, partake in their festivities, joys and sorrows. How can a handful of these people decide who will go to heaven and who will not? Have they already reserved their places in heaven?"

Justifying the decision to celebrate Ganeshotsav with family last week, Salim said his wife Sushila was forced to change her name to Salma after marriage by hardline Muslim clerics.