JNU Student Leader Shehla Rashid Denies Blasphemy Charge Against Her in FIR

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shehla-rashid

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MEERUT — The U.P. police on Friday registered an FIR against Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union vice-president Shehla Rashid, based on a complaint from the Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union alleging that she had made derogatory and objectionable statements against the Prophet in a Facebook post. Ms. Rashid, maintained in subsequent posts that she had quoted Hindutva abuses against the Prophet to highlight hate speech and blasphemy, reported the Hindu.

Ghazala Ahmad, a member of the AMUSU, who filed the complaint with the Civil Lines police station here, told The Hindu that the JNUSU vice president had used “inappropriate and objectionable words against the Prophet and against other religions”.

Ms. Rashid, clarified that she was misunderstood by the AMUSU about her post, where she quoted statements and arguments used by Hindutva leaders and trolls, to make a distinction between hate speech and blasphemy.

“In the allegedly blasphemous post, I am making a distinction between hate speech and blasphemy. In fact, it is my topic of research to accurately define hate speech in India. However, some people are hell bent upon insisting that I insulted the Prophet (SAW). This is not true,” she wrote on her Facebook wall.

“I have posted, in an earlier post, 11 screenshots where right-wing RSS trolls are abusing me by abusing the Prophet (SAW) using a certain word. If I’m quoting these tweets as an example of abuse, how does it become my statement? It is the abuse that I receive because I support Muslim rights,” she further wrote on Facebook.

The controversy has led to several members of the AMUSU coming out in support of the JNUSU leader, condemning the AMU students’ body “for missing out a basic point about language and semantics”.

Ms Ahmad’s complaint comes just ahead of a leadership meet in AMU where the AMUSU had invited Ms Rashid meet to speak on ‘The role of student leaders in building contemporary society’. The meet, which was scheduled for Saturday, has since been cancelled by the AMUSU.

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