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". 

Views: 78

Comment by Akhtar Hussain on October 8, 2022 at 4:09am

Dear Riaz Sb,

I was always afraid of false information and false propaganda since Internet was popularized in the early 90's. In those days people were not so polarized and we mainly used information provided by reputable institutions and businesses. Since then, no one has put much thought into authentication of information posted by random unknown users, with no credentials.

Internet should be free, just like we are free to choose our own doctor. But the doctor has to have credentials to offer advice.  I am wondering if after buying Twitter, Elon Musk has a plan to reduce fake accounts/news and provide a way to block the device from ever publishing any tweet.

We have MFA (Multi-factor authentication) and MMD (Microsoft managed desktop). Also, if I post any misinformation, I should be asked to provide evidence and references. After review/approval this information can make it to the public. Facebook and Quora have hired Indians to authenticate information. Just because they are cheaper and speak some form of English.

You will never see any misinformation about Saudi Arabia as it is taken down immediately. But bashing Pakistan and Islam is allowed without restrictions.

Iranians have started to do the same as they want regime change in their country.  Instead of opposing the government, they have become anti-Islam.  The recent killing of the young lady by the decency police (Women in uniform) has created more anti-Islamic rhetoric.  The problem is the rulers not Islam per se.

Thank you for reading.


Comment by Riaz Haq on October 12, 2022 at 7:44am

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.


Dr. Audrey Truschke
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.


Dr. Audrey Truschke
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
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


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