India’s Institutionalized Bias Against Islamophobia

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India’s whatbaoutism to divert attention from Islamophobia to ‘religion-phobia’ is evident

India recently denounced the United Nations (UN) resolution which declares May 15and such as the International Day Against Islamophobia. TS Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN, has expressed concern that the focus on one religion is diverting attention from phobias against Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. He states that India had offered sanctuary to Zoroastrians, Jews and others in the spirit of pluralism and expressed concern over the attack on gurudwaras (Sikh temples), the destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan and the glorification of the destruction of idols. Tirumurti further stated that he rather prefers the umbrella term religion-phobia to combat hatred against all religions.

Such a stance was to be expected from India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is determined to “decolonise” the influence of former Muslim invaders by advancing Dharmic religions (Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism). to the detriment of the demonization of the present. day muslims and islam. The fact that the ruling party remains strategically silent when calls for the genocide of Muslims are made testifies to this observation. Dozens of Hindutva trolls are commonly present on Pakistani media sites and other social networks where they demonize Muslims and perpetuate their status as victims despite their overwhelming majority in India. It is in this context that the Indian representative has brazenly projected his country’s institutionalized prejudices.

However, Tirumurti conveniently failed to acknowledge and mention the systemic genocide of Rohingya Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar, the Uyghur concentration camps in China, the mass destruction of Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq in a post-September 11 world which has led to the universal singularization of Muslims and Islam. He ignored the fact that two billion Muslims are often generalized and stereotyped as terrorists and that many Sikhs in the West are targeted not because of their Sikhism but because they are perceived as Muslims. In other words, the targeting of people of color and Sikhs in the West is also due to Islamophobia.

It is true that Hindu girls face forced conversion in the Sindh province of Pakistan, but this oppression is unique to this province (based on feudalism) and not found in Arab countries. Likewise, the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas was carried out by the rogue Taliban and not by other Afghans who had good relations with India. In fact, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also recently facilitated the construction of a large Hindu temple. The same goes for Pakistan which has unilaterally taken measures to facilitate the access of Sikh pilgrims to their holy places in Pakistan. On the contrary, it was the Indian government that took drastic action against Sikhs and the Golden Temple in the mid-1980s.

The Indian representative mentioned the glorification of the destruction of idols, reminiscent of the ancient Muslim invaders of Central Asia in the era of empires. However, these Muslim invaders from Persia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and other places in Central Asia are long dead. It was another time when human rights violations were perpetrated by anyone and everyone. The looting of Baghdad by the Mongols is an example of this. However, the BJP and its leader Narendra Modi seem obsessed with the past and not the present where their government singled out and marginalized Muslims through citizenship law.

The Indian state’s whatbaoutism in an attempt to divert attention from Islamophobia to ‘religion-phobia’ is clear to everyone. Tirumurti’s words remind us of those white supremacists who oppose “Black Lives Matter” by responding with “All Lives Matter”, or those homophobes who oppose the Pride Parade by resorting to the nonsense of “what about Straight Parade “.

It is time for India to stop comparing itself to Pakistan, which itself has huge problems with intolerance, and start tackling its internal problems of systemic discrimination and Hindutva calls for genocide of its own Muslim minorities.

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