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Afghanistan crisis prompts new excuse for targeting Indian Muslims

Munawar Zaman
Press TV, New Delhi


Since the Afghanistan takeover by the Taliban, Islamophobia has gained momentum in India. It is the world’s largest democracy, but recent years have witnessed a dramatic rise in violence against minorities, particularly Muslims.

Experts say in India the political notion has changed from making the country a strong secular nation, to a theocratic Hindu nation, and it has given rise to violence against Muslims. Issues like love Jihad, Mob Lynching campaigns and the new Citizenship law are believed to be deliberate attempts to target the Muslims. Hindu extremists, notorious for spreading hatred, have been busy running their show on social and even national media. Now the Afghanistan crisis has even prompted more violence against Muslims.

As the largest minority group in India, Muslims have long been facing social, political, and economic marginalization and the drift has further increased since the emergence of Hindu nationalist government of BJP in 2014.

Rights activists say the recent years have witnessed systemic repression against the Muslim population in India. They say it has become a new normal to target the Muslim population in particular, amid a growing Islamophobia and ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan.

Based on reports by several rights groups, the ruling BJP party has adopted various laws and taken actions that have legitimized discrimination against religious minorities and stigmatized critics of the government since 2014. Experts believe that such measures could lead to insatiability in one of the world’s most populous nations.

In recent years, minorities in India have faced growing oppression against their community, such as hate speeches and crimes, mob lynchings, the controversial citizenship law, the issue of Babri Mosque, the Kashmir issue, Love Jihad, criminalizing Instant Divorce, and now the recent campaigns caused by the turmoil in neighboring Afghanistan.

However, India’s ruling party has time and again denied any discrimination against the Muslim community, saying India is a democracy rooted in equal rights for all. But critics question these claims, believing that even PM Modi’s slogans of "everyone together, development for all and everyone’s trust" has been nothing, but a move to appease the voters.

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