Can the rise of Islamophobia in India unite the Muslim world?

With the rise of anti-Muslim hatred in India, the Muslim world seems to be awakened. Interestingly, the Kuwaiti government, a UAE royal princess, Turkish President, Iranian leadership, and the Arab intelligentsia are now asking for strict action against those committing crimes against innocent Muslims in India. Can it unite the scattered Arab world?

Muslim world

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that growing state crimes against Muslims in India have become a serious threat to Muslims living in the country. He said this in his recent letter written to Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Foreign Ministers of OIC countries, to draw the attention of the Muslim World towards the rising intolerance in India against minorities, especially Muslims.

Analysts believe that the rise of the anti-Muslim wave in India has, in reality, the potential to unite the Muslim world. Importantly, the entire Muslim world remained subject to internal strife and regional alliances which did not allow it to become a powerful Muslim block to be able to represent its people like the EU.

The foreign minister said Muslims of India are being held responsible for spreading coronavirus in India is the latest incident of hate based on Hindutva ideology of RSS and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Read More: Islamophobia in India: New attacks on Indian Muslims

He said that a malicious campaign against Muslims is going on. FM Shah further said that the character assassination of Muslims by holding them responsible for the spread of coronavirus and declaring them as human bombs are few bright examples of this malicious propaganda.

FM Shah said that social media has been flooded with anti-Islam content. “Terminologies like Corona-Jihad, Jihad-COVID-19 and Islamic rebellion are being spread through specific trolls, being run by social media cell of the ruling BJP,” he added.

The foreign minister said hate campaigns against Muslims are being run at the mass level. “The international and local media houses are showing attacks on Muslims in streets, shops, and mosques,” he stated.

Read More: Mehwish Hayat blasts India for torturing Muslims over coronavirus

The foreign minister said we welcome concerns of OIC against biases of the Indian government against Muslims. He called upon OIC to highlight this issue on International forums, including the human rights commissions.

After a recent wave of Islamophobia in India, the relations between the Arab world and PM Modi were seen being jolted. Jyoti Malhotra, a prominent Indian Editor, noted that “India’s carefully cultivated Gulf policy has been at risk of unravelling over the past fortnight, with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Kuwaiti government, a UAE royal princess, and the Arab intelligentsia decrying hate speeches by Indian nationals accusing the Tablighi Jamaat of deliberately exacerbating the coronavirus pandemic as well as a crude tweet by a BJP MP on the sexual impulses of Arab women”.

Muslim world condemns India

Recently, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in a two-part tweet condemned the violence in Delhi, ‘expressing its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and describing the acts as ‘heinous’.

“The OIC calls on Indian authorities to bring the instigators and perpetrators of these acts of anti-Muslim violence to justice and to ensure the safety and security of all its Muslim citizens and the protection of Islamic holy places across the country,” the tweet said.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged India to ‘confront extremist Hindus’ and ‘stop the massacre of Muslims, adding to the international fallout over deadly violence in New Delhi.

Read More: ‘Islamophobia is a challenge created, developed and aggravated by Muslims’

“Iran condemns the wave of organized violence against Indian Muslims,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, in response to which New Delhi summoned the Islamic Republic’s ambassador and lodged a protest.

Similarly, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit out against ‘massacres’ of Muslims in India after communal riots in New Delhi left at least 50 dead. “India right now has become a country where massacres are widespread. What massacres? Massacres of Muslims? By who? Hindus,” Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara after violence broke out this week between mobs of Hindus and Muslims over a citizenship law.

In this regard, Professor Christophe Jaffrelot, a senior research fellow at CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS, Paris, professor of Indian Politics and Sociology at King’s India Institute, London, and Haider Abbas Rizvi, an Uttar Pradesh-based Information Commissioner, wrote an article for The Indian Express to highlight that India has lost friends due to the incumbent government’s anti-Muslim policies.

Read More: Opinion: How Islamophobia originated in the west?

The authors argue that “Muslim countries with which India had increasingly good relations have become less friendly,” but, at the same time, Pakistan was able to seek diplomatic support in order to present its case for Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).

This is, however, yet to be seen whether the OIC takes any other firm action to highlight being committed by Indian nationals and armed personal against the Muslims.

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