Islamophobia In India Has Turned Muslims Into A Persecuted Minority, Says Chomsky

Islamophobia in India has turned Muslims into a persecuted minority says Chomsky
The US american social critic Noam Chomsky delivers a speech in the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, 30 May 2014. Photo: Uli Deck/dpa | usage worldwide (Photo by Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images)

In a video message to a webinar organized by Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) on Thursday, Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said that the pathology of Islamophobia has grown throughout the west, however, Islamophobia has taken a most lethal form in India.

Along with Chomsky, several other academics and activists also participated in the webinar on “Worsening Hate Speech and Violence in India.

Chomsky views that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist regime has significantly increased crime rates in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

He added that the country is now a brutally occupied territory, and its military control is even considered to be similar to occupied Palestine.

On the other hand, pressure on the international community to focus on the status of press freedom in India as the situation has become very alarming under the BJP government, comes from Annapurna Menon.

Journalists, especially women, are often the target of reprisals, including harassment, illegal detention, police violence, and even accusations of sedition.

According to John Sifton, director of Asia Advocacy at Human Rights Watch (HRW), the biggest threat to the Indian constitution is the promotion of majority religion by the Indian government at the expense of minorities. For example, the BJP and its affiliates make hateful statements against Muslims to gain Hindu votes around elections, says Sifton.

He added that it can also be seen when the BJP government adopted laws and policies that systematically discriminated against religious minorities and other groups. ‘The Citizenship Act is enforced by the government to target minorities, especially Indian Muslims.

Angana Chatterji, Anthropologist, and Indian Scholar at the University of Berkeley, California, argues that the prejudices embedded in the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP government have infiltrated the police and judiciary, influencing nationalist groups to threaten, harass, and attack religious minorities with impunity.

Chatterji explained that the culture of violence and impunity has become increasingly entrenched since Yogi Adityanath became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in 2017, pointing out that UP police have carried out hundreds of extra-judicial killings of suspected criminals belonging to minorities, especially Muslims.

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