Int’l Oeuvre to Proselytise Global Dialogue

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Sehrish Khan

The heated remarks were not the fault of some low-ranking leaders within the ruling party, but accurately reflected the Bharatiya Janata Party’s views and attitudes towards Muslims and Islam

The trend of anti-Muslim sentiment in India is on the rise and all this is happening under a well-thought-out plan, backed by the Modi government as the RSS elements are targeting Muslims based on their faith.
There is complete freedom and mischievous elements are given full opportunity to take action against Muslims. Politically, right-wing Indian youth affiliated with the BJP is also suspected of harming the lives and property of Muslims based on suspicion. The Indian government does not deliberately take legal action, according to video clips uploaded by civil society and videos shared on social media, the homes and properties of Muslims who had been protesting peacefully in the previous days had been demolished by the government machinery. What has been done in India is an example, which is not found in any civilized society. The latest example of this hateful trend was seen when BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and another party leader Naveen Kumar Jundal made derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and after worldwide condemnation, the Indian ruling party had to distance itself from the statements and announce disciplinary action against both. However, the statement issued by Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary Arun Singh did not mention the comments being objected to, nor did it name Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, who made the remarks. Controversy had arisen, which led to unrest in Muslim countries, including the Muslims of India. However, it was emphasised that the party does not insult any religion and respects all religions.
The BJP government claimed that Sharma and Jundal’s insulting remarks do not represent the party’s views. These remarks were not the fault of some low-ranking leaders within the ruling party, but accurately reflected the Bharatiya Janata Party’s views and attitudes towards Muslims and Islam. The issue was first reported by a Kuwaiti website and later picked up by other Arabic news organizations. The words “insulting” were quoted by Naveen Jindal. Arab media reports cited an increase in “hatred against Islam” and compared the issue to Islamophobia in the West. Leaders of Muslim countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan called on diplomats to apologize to the Indian government and protest against anti-Islamic remarks. The resentment among Muslims had intensified. While ordinary Muslims in the Gulf countries boycotted Indian products and some agencies even hinted at laying off Indian workers.
The influential 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in a statement that the insult came in the wake of growing anti-Islamic hatred in India and systematic harassment of Muslims. In recent years, especially during the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred have increased in India, and India, under the rule of the BJP, is becoming an Islamophobic country where Muslim attacks and insults are common.
Measures taken by the Government of India include laws criminalizing triple divorce or immediate divorce, ban on cow slaughter, criminalization of religious conversions in the name of protecting religious freedom, the marriage of Muslim men and Hindu women a crime, and executive orders across the country banning the use of all meat are measures that reflect the Islamophobic policies enacted during the BJP rule in India.
It may be recalled that on March 15, 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution declaring March 15 as the International Day for Combating Islamophobia, an annual reminder of the need to combat Islamophobia. The resolution was tabled by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). As expected, 57 OIC members supported the resolution. Eight other countries, including China and Russia, also supported the resolution. However, even on this important occasion, representatives of India, France, and the European Union expressed reservations over the resolution. However, the General Assembly decided to declare March 15 as World Day to Combat Islamophobia and to promote tolerance at all levels based on respect for human rights, and diversity of religions, and beliefs and called for the strengthening of international efforts to foster a global dialogue to foster a culture of peace. Pakistan has always raised the issue of Islamophobia in international forums, while the Modi government has been concerned about the hateful treatment of Muslims in India. The time has come for the nations of the world, especially the Muslim world, to take the issue of Islamophobia seriously and ensure that the UN resolution passed on March 15 is implemented in its true spirit. An official trade boycott by Muslim countries, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, could be a useful and effective tactic.