Will we confront Islamophobia?
The Indian Express
The New Zealand massacre has inspired a groundswell of sympathy and support for Muslims around the globe, said Apoorvanand, but not here in India. In Western nations, people of all faiths have sent flowers and letters of support to local mosques, and expressed their horror at the hatred that led a white supremacist to kill 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch. In India, “we saw no such initiative,” even though Indian-born Muslims were among the Christchurch victims. Instead, as India prepares for a general election in April, mosques are in the news for a sinister reason: The ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has asked the election commission to send observers to Islamic houses of worship to make sure imams are not spreading hatred or urging people to vote along religious lines. The request is yet another example of how we as a society have normalized the demonization of our Muslim citizens. Where other countries demand action against Islamophobia, we call Muslims “unnecessarily touchy” if they complain against even overt discrimination. Where else but in India are the eating habits of Muslims—who consume beef—actually criminalized? “Islamophobia continues to run like blood in our veins.” Until we recognize this disease in ourselves, we can’t begin to cure it.