India softens toward Muslims after an international outcry over increasing Islamophobia in the country

  • 2 years   ago
India softens toward Muslims after an international outcry over increasing Islamophobia in the country

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called for unity and religious harmony after an international outcry over increasing Islamophobia in the country.

The Muslim outreach attempts began after influential figures in the Arab world objected to the government blaming an event organized by the religious missionary group the Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) for “contributing to a 30 percent rise in the coronavirus cases” in India.

On Sunday the head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s paternal organization and masthead of Hindu rightwing nationalism, called upon people to “come together and fight the menace of coronavirus jointly.”

“All 130 crore Indians are our family,” said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. “We are one. We should not blame the entire community for the mistake of a few individuals. People who are more mature in both communities should come forward and start a dialogue to remove prejudices among people’s minds.”

 

A day earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Muslims on the start of Ramadan.

“I pray for everyone’s safety, well-being and prosperity,” he tweeted. “May this Holy Month bring with it abundance of kindness, harmony and compassion. May we achieve a decisive victory in the ongoing battle against COVID-19 and create a healthier planet.”

Blaming TJ placed New Delhi’s carefully cultivated relationship with the Middle East under the microscope after the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly disapproved of hate speech by Indian nationals accusing the missionary group of deliberately exacerbating the pandemic.

Princess Hend Al-Qassimi, a member of the UAE royal family, reprimanded an Indian expatriate in Dubai for targeting Muslims and blaming the TJ for the spread of the outbreak.

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