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PM Modi talks of 'unity' after backlash in Saudi, Kuwait, UAE over Islamophobic attacks

Following the outrage there are reports that some BJP leaders have been advised to delete the Islamophobic messages from their timeline

Monday April 20, 2020 1:16 PM, ummid.com News Network

Outrage in Middle East

New Delhi: After maintaining silence all through the weeks when rampant communalisation of Coronavirus outbreak was underway, and anti-Muslim messages flooded different social media platforms, with a good number by his supporters and by those followed by him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday called for unity.

"COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking. Our response and conduct thereafter should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood. We are in this together: PM @narendramod", Prime Minister Modi wrote of his official Twitter handler late in the night Sunday.

Prime Minister Modi's twitter came amid the outrage in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and other Arab states where scholars and top government officials, including some members of the royal families, expressed concern over the rampant Islamophobic attacks in India.

Hashtags "#Kuwait" and "53 Muslim" trended on Sunday and Monday on micro blogging site Twitter being flooded by anti-Muslim and Islamophobic messages blaming Muslims for spreading Coronavirus in India.

Concerns were also expressed over media coverage with provocative healdines like "Corona Jihad", "Madrasa Corona Hotspots", "Corona ki Jamaat" ruling the television space of the country since last few weeks.

Unfortunately, the Union Health Ministry in itself released regular statistics with details linking this percentage and that percentage of Coronavirus positive cases with Tablighi Jamaat, adding fuel to the anti-Muslim campaign and strengthening the notion that Muslims are responsible for spread of Coronavirus in India.

The Union Health Ministry went ahead with such releases despite the WHO guidelines which suggested against segregation of Corona victims on the basis of their caste, creed ot religion.

While all this was going on an advertisement by a Meerut hospital surfaced which said Muslims will be allowed only after they proved that they are Coronavirus negative. The emergence of the hateful advertisement only intensified the outrage in the Middle East.

Responding to the advertisement, a Kuwaiti pointed out that out of 1,654 COVID-19 patients there, over 900 of them happen to be Indians. But while nobody was being discriminated there on the ground of religion and are being treated in the same hospital, why is a hospital in India denying admission to Muslim patients?

"In Kuwait .. the #Indian community tops Koruna statistics .. and is treated in the finest hospital in Kuwait. In Kuwait, there is no difference between the religions and nationalities of the sick", the social media user who uses @alnassar_k wrote on Twitter, the most popular social media platform in the Middle East.

The outrage in the Middle East is so strong that Sheikh Abidi Zahrani, a Saudi scholar, urged governments in the Middle East, especially the Gulf, to clamp down on anyone showing sympathy with extremist Hindu ideology.

“I propose to all respected followers to list all militant Hindus who are working in the GCC and spreading hate against #Islam #Muslims or our beloved Prophet [Muhammad, peace be upon him] under this #hashtag #Send_Hindutva_Back_home show a copies of their bio", he wrote.

Meanwhile, a five-year old tweet by the present BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and some by others including Subramanian Swamy also went viral in the Gulf countries.

Responding to Surya, a twitter user Noora Al Ghurair, wrote, “Pity your upbringing Tejasvi Surya, that respect for women couldn’t be instilled in your despite having India having some great female leaders”.

“Please note if some day your government bestows a foreign ministry to you, avoid travelling to Arab lands. You are not welcome here. This will be remembered", she added.

Following the outrage there are reports that some BJP leaders have been advised to delete the Islamophobic messages from their timeline.

However, it is still to be seen when Prime Minister Modi will start unfollowing those engaged in the regular hate campaigns against Muslims and other minsorities in India.

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