New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar today described the terror attack in a satirical magazine office in Paris as a "backlash", noting that Muslims were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan without any discrimination of being "innocent" or otherwise.
The opposition not only slammed Aiyar for his comments but his own party distanced itself from the controversy.
"If you are more powerful, it does not mean you can do anything and the weak will not respond. So when drone attacks happen and homes are destroyed and children are killed, then it is imminent that there will be a reaction.
"So, I think the way the war on terrorism has been going on, it was known that it will have this kind of reaction. It is happening now and France needs to see how it can be prevented," Aiyar told reporters here.
Attacking the United States, the Congress leader said that Muslims were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and backlash was expected.
"We have to accept that since the time the war on terror began in the aftermath of 9/11, Muslims have been killed without any distinction between the innocent and the guilty. This has been done by America in Iraq and Afghansitan. And now it seems that they will do it in Syria as well. So, a backlash to this is imminent," Aiyar added.
He said that the West should learn about the "unity of diversity" practised in India as it opposes the 'hijab' worn by Muslim girls.
"They say hijab can't be worn by Muslim girls. So it will have some kind of impact on the Muslims. So, the unity in diversity that has been practised in India is one lesson the West hasn't learnt.
"Till now, they were saying that they are Christians and it will be a world of Christian. Now since they have to accommodate others, they have to learn the lesson of unity and diversity," he said.
Earlier, Congress party has strongly condemned the attack in Paris.
"We are very clear that whatever happened in Paris is terribly unfortunate and condemnable in the strongest possible terms and that's what the Congress party adheres to. Mr Aiyar's observation are entirely his own," Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said.
"Whatever happens to terrorism in whatever part of the world. Whatever be the reasons, why people try to justify such kind of brutal slaughter... The truth is that is absolutely condemnable and as a society and a country every one needs to stand together on the issue," Jha added.
BJP alleged Aiyar's statements were like "an excuse for finding logic" for the terrorist attack, which should be condemned and his approach was "dangerous".
"It is in the correct context when you say that it is almost rationalisation of terror. It is almost speaking as an excuse and finding some kind of logic for terrorist attacks. But at the same time, it is highly condemnable. We are also facing terrorism.
"If you look at Aiyar's statement then by his logic, is the Indian Mujahideen the creation of the US or the LeT, Hafiz Saeed, Lakhvi and all the incidents that have happened in India? This kind of approach is dangerous. On one side, you have Mr Aiyar and on the other side you have people like (BSP MP Haji Yakoob) Qureshi (who praised the attackers) who are offering reward to the attackers."
Slamming Congress, AAP leader Ashutosh said Congress lacked the intention to fight terrorism.
"The war on terror should be fought seriously wherever it may be. I feel that Congress never had the intention to fight against terrorism and people like Aiyar are harming this fight against terrorism," the AAP leader said.