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India’s Minister for Minority Affairs has visited Madinah, one of the holiest sites in Islam on Monday.
Smriti Irani has been known to make anti-muslim remarks in the past.
In a post on X, Irani shared details of her ‘historic journey’ to Madinah, highlighting visits to the periphery of the Masjid-e-Nabwi, Uhud mountain, and Masjid-e-Quba.
She expressed the significance of the visit to these sites, courtesy of Saudi officials, emphasizing the intertwining of their historical importance with early Islamic history. Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan accompanied her on the visit.
Currently on a two-day visit to India, Irani’s itinerary includes the signing of a bilateral Hajj agreement. The delegation also engaged with volunteers who supported pilgrims in 2023.
The agreement allocates a quota of 175,025 pilgrims to India, with the majority being managed by the government. Irani, a former TV actress and producer turned politician, has risen through the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Party and is now one of its prominent figures. Notably, she defeated Rahul Gandhi to become the MP from Amethi in the 2019 election.
Undertook a historic journey to Madinah today, one of Islam’s holiest cities included a visit to the periphery of the revered Prophet’s Mosque, Al Masjid Al Nabwi, the mountain of Uhud, and periphery of the Quba Mosque – the first Mosque of Islam. The significance of the visit to… pic.twitter.com/WgbUJeJTLv
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) January 8, 2024
Despite her political success, Irani has faced controversies, including allegations of dubious educational qualifications and making contentious remarks against India’s Muslim minority. In May 2023, she praised the movie “Kerala Stories,” depicting the forceful conversion of Hindu women to Islam and their alleged association with terrorist organizations, amid a ‘love jihad’ campaign by right-wing elements in India. Facing criticism, Irani termed the movie a ‘wake-up call’ and accused those opposing it of being terrorist sympathizers.