Anti-Muslim Social Media Posts: India is the Epicenter of Global Islamophobia

 India has just 5.75% of global Twitter users but the country accounts for 55% of all anti-Muslim tweets, according to a recent report entitled "Islamophobia in the Digital Age" published by the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV). It also found that the US, the UK, and India contributed a staggering 86% of anti-Muslim content on Twitter during a three-year period. It should be noted that both the US and the UK have a sizable  Indian diaspora infected by hateful Hindutva ideology. 

India Accounts For 55% of Islamophobic Tweets. Source: ICV


Individuals and organizations connected to the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) are active users of social media. They are working to promote India's divisive Islamophobic politics among the Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and their children. Hundreds of the RSS shakhas (branches) are now found in at least 39 countries around the world. Hindutva is a Hindu supremacist ideology inspired by 20th century Fascism and Nazism in Europe; it is very different from the ancient Hindu faith, according to American history professor Audrey Truschke who teaches Indian history at Rutgers University in the US state of New Jersey. Top Indian economists have raised alarm about it.  

India has only 23 million Twitter users, 5.75% of 400 million Twitter users worldwide, but Indians generate more than half of all Islamophobic tweets in the world.  Numbers published in Twitter’s advertising resources indicate that Twitter had 3.40 million users in Pakistan in early 2022. ICV counted 15,766 Islamophobic tweets geolocated to Pakistan in a three year period.

Executives at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, recently told human rights groups that they wouldn’t release the full India Hate Speech study for their own security. An earlier 2020 company study concluded that Hindutva groups support violence against Muslims and Christians & should be banned from the platform, according to the Wall Street Journal. Here's an excerpt of the Wall Street Journal story:

"Meta has for years faced criticism from rights groups and has been probed by authorities regarding the presence of hate speech on its platforms in India, where more than 300 million people use Facebook and more than 400 million are on its WhatsApp messaging service. Meta has said it invests significantly in technology to find hate speech across languages in India. In 2020, Meta’s safety team concluded that a Hindu nationalist organization in India supported violence against minorities and likely qualified as an organization that should be banned from Facebook, the Journal reported that year. Facebook didn’t remove the group following internal security-team warnings that doing so might endanger both its business prospects and staff in India". 



Comments

Rana said…

Rana Ayyub
@RanaAyyub
Dear Indian Hindu, including the silent well meaning, you are as complicit in the genocidal hate against Muslims in India coz you see it every single day and yet you do NOTHING. You see your best friends, your neighbours who are muslims being dehumanised and yet you remain quiet

https://twitter.com/RanaAyyub/status/1579153545848188928?s=20&t=4Uqmvi9SVZQK_uxuv-uJBg
Riaz Haq said…
Rana Ayyub
@RanaAyyub
To the world that continues to give Narendra Modi a free pass. Indian foreign minister
@DrSJaishankar
says that the western press is out to discredit Modi. In the last two days in India, there have been calls for economic boycott & genocide of Muslims by government lawmakers.

https://twitter.com/RanaAyyub/status/1579173940735676417?s=20&t=4Uqmvi9SVZQK_uxuv-uJBg
Riaz Haq said…
Hindutva and the shared scripts of the global right

The forum on “Hindutva and the shared scripts of the global right,” curated by Supriya Gandhi (Yale University) and edited by Mona Oraby (TIF editor and Howard University), examines the rise of far-right movements and actors through a global lens with Hindutva and the Hindu right at the center of this inquiry. As Gandhi states in her introductory essay to the forum, “these movements do not exist in silos but, rather, frequently feed into each other.” On the other hand, Gandhi also makes clear that differences between emerging forms of authoritarianism are significant to scholarly and public debate on this topic, suggesting that “the questions and problems examined here include asking how supremacist projects, such as Hindutva and white nationalism, may reinforce each other even as they also diverge.” The contributors to this forum urge scholars and the public to consider how far-right movements are born in local environs but also converge into a global phenomenon.

https://tif.ssrc.org/category/exchanges/hindutva-and-the-shared-scripts-of-the-global-right/

------------

Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
Like white nationalism, Dr. Gandhi points out, Hindutva crosses borders. The gravest consequences are in India, and she highlights here Hindutva persecution of Muslims, environmental degradation, and more.

https://twitter.com/AudreyTruschke/status/1580204242555768832?s=20&t=EfAiBxLb6mEzrdlSiEkV3g

---------------


Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
In introducing a series of essays, Dr. Gandhi argues for identifying convergences and divergences between "supremacist projects, such as Hindutva and white nationalism."

Contributors to this forum will write on Turkey, Brazil, and other sites of authoritarian projects.

-------------------


Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
One really important point that Dr. Gandhi makes is positing the analytical place of Hindutva in understanding other supremacist movements --

"Hindutva holds up a multifaceted mirror reflecting the complex web of connections between the global right." #Hindutva

Riaz Haq said…
Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
The below tweet is steaming pile of Hindutva nonsense. I haven't done this in a while, but let's unpack, shall we?

https://twitter.com/AudreyTruschke/status/1590094703478702080?s=20&t=U7boyHt0FFLwnelmGIlAjw

-------------


Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
First of all sources -- Those making this ahistorical statement are not historians. Both men are Hindu Right ideologues, and the individual to whom the statement is attributed is a plagiarist and Savarkar sycophant.

What are they claiming and how does it hold up to scrutiny?

-------------


Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
There seems to be a claim of a single Islamic conquest of India. That's wrong.

Real story -- There were many Indo-Muslim dynasties who ruled parts of South Asia over the centuries. Some came from outside the subcontinent, and others did not. Nobody ever conquered all of India.


------------------


Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
I think we're talking here about early political conquests, because of the mention of Nalanda.

Here "Khalji" is said to have sacked Nalanda. Khalji is a dynastic name, so this would be a bit like saying "Tudor" or "Mughal" did something. Which Tudor? Which Mughal?

----------------


Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
I'm guessing (because some of us know both real South Asian history and Hindutva mythology pretty darn well) that he means Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, a general who conducted raids and other military activities in Bihar in the late 12th–early 13th centuries.

--------------


Dr. Audrey Truschke
@AudreyTruschke
Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar hit various Buddhists sites, although there isn't especially strong or clear evidence that he sacked Nalanda specifically (a Buddhist monastery and site of elite learning).

I go into the evidence on this point here:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5fd8d19b84774a17d4cd0bf7/t/5fd93330bf6e125e3a45f66d/1608069936451/Truschke+Power+of+the+Islamic+Sword+in+Narrating+the+Death+of+Indian+Buddhism+2018.pdf

"I agree with Hodgson’s assessment of the lack of evidence for the proposition that Islam killed off Indian Buddhists or Indian Buddhism and also with
his contention that this narrative relies mainly on prejudices rather than facts.
Here I take up Hodgson’s call for “active revision” of the presumed destructive relationship between Islam and Buddhism by interrogating premodern
and modern limiting preconceptions.
I am far from the first scholar to take issue with the “Islam killed Indian
Buddhism” narrative, but my interests and interventions stand apart from earlier work in a few key ways. Several scholars have tried to undercut the assumption of a single-mindedly destructive relationship between Islam and
Buddhism by drawing attention to little known interactions between medieval Buddhists and Muslims. Johan Elverskog’s Buddhism and Islam is especially enlightening in this regard, but it ultimately takes us away from the
question of what happened to Indian Buddhism circa 1200, a query in which
I am invested. Scholars such as Jinah Kim and Arthur McKeown have presented new evidence about Indian Buddhist patronage and monks, respectively, in the early to mid-second millennium.11 I cite the insightful work
of both scholars here, but my lens is larger and more attuned to historiographic
and narrative issues. The idea that Islam violently undercut Indian Buddhism
cannot be overturned by new research alone because the theory does not rest"

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