India’s percentage over 55 in spreading online Islamophobic content: report
ISLAMABAD: Twitter users in India contribute to 55.12 percent of anti-Muslim content on microblogging site, a study tapping into Islamophobia online has revealed.
Study by Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) apex Muslim body in Australian state of Victoria which represents an estimated 270,000 community members found “a strong correlation between spikes in hate and newsworthy events related to Islam, particularly protests, terrorist attacks and eruptions of conflict in Muslim world”. Study found that “Response of politicians to current events connected to Islam can have a considerable impact on prevalence of Islamophobia”.
A large spike in Islamophobic tweets was observed on February 25, 2020, which study links with “hateful remarks” made by leaders of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party against Muslim protesters of Citizenship Amendment Act. Daily frequency of Islamophobic tweets between August 28, 2019 and August 27, 2020. Source: Islamic Council of Victoria Primary factor contributing to rise in hateful content online in India was particularly found to be associated with ruling party, as “There are an endless number of examples of how BJP has actively normalised hatred towards Muslims”.
Similarly, in United States, “although Islamophobia has long been a problem”, study noted “that it was dramatically exacerbated by racist, conspiratorial and inflammatory rhetoric employed by Donald Trump”. “Trump ranked as third most frequently mentioned user in Islamophobic posts, a great many of which were focused on defending his ban on Muslim immigration, in addition to forwarding his theory that Democrats were collaborating with ‘Islamists’ to take over West,” study also reported. Nearly 86 percent of Islamophobic content between 2019 and 2021 has been found to have originated from three countries, namely India, US and UK.
Addressing UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, independent rights expert Ahmed Shaheed had placed blame on “numerous” states, regional and international bodies.
Published in The Daily National Courier, September, 22 2022