PM Modi said Indian Muslims would 'die for India'

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says al-Qaida will fail in its efforts to expand its influence in India.

Gabrielle Levy
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (CC/World Economic Forum)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (CC/World Economic Forum)

NEW DELHI, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a message for Islamist extremists trying to gain a foothold in his country: You're not welcome here.

Modi said Al-Qaida will fail in its efforts, announced earlier this month, to establish a new branch of the terror network on the subcontinent.


Speaking in an interview with CNN, the full version of which will air Sunday on Fareed Zakaria GPS, Modi said Indian Muslims are Indian first.

"My understanding is that [al-Qaida] are doing injustice towards the Muslims of our country," Modi said. "If anyone thinks Indian Muslims will dance to their tune, they are delusional. Indian Muslims will live for India. They will die for India. They will not want anything bad for India."

While only about 13 percent of India is Muslim, that still amounts to some 170 people. Still, relatively few have jumped to join al Qaida's ranks.

"This is a crisis against humanity, not a crisis against one country or one race," said Modi, who is, like 80 percent of India, a Hindu. So we have to frame this as a fight between humanity and inhumanity. Nothing else."


Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said the terror group will seek support in the Indian states of Assam and Gujarat, and in Kashmir, a territory disputed between Pakistan and India. He said the plan was to free the Muslims there who face "oppression" under Indian rule.

The full interview with Fareed Zakaria will air at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. E.T.

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