Islamophobia: Footballer Mesut Ozil slams India for “shameful situation”

German footballer Mesut Ozil tweeted on Wednesday condemning violence against Muslims in India and called upon citizens to speak out on the matter.

He asked his Twitter followers to speak up and create awareness about the treatment of Muslims in India.

“Praying during the holy night of Lailat al-Qadr for the safety and well-being of our Muslim brothers and sisters in India,” he wrote.

“Let’s spread awareness to this shameful situation! What is happening to the human rights in the so-called largest democracy in the world? #BreakTheSilence.”

The 33-year-old footballer has been Arsenal’s highest-ever paid footballer. The former Real Madrid midfielder is the captain of Turkish Super Lig club Fenerbahce.

In the past too Ozil has made political statements against Islamophobia. In December 2019, Ozil posted a poem on social media criticising China’s persecution of Uighur Muslims. His then club Arsenal publicly distanced itself from the player’s sentiments.

In several parts of India in the past few months, hate speech and calls for genocide against Muslims have been made by Hindutva groups. Many Muslim settlements including houses, shops and mosques were vandalised in Hindutva attack and BJP controlled government bodies’ targeted demolitions. Hindu monks affiliated with Hindutva groups have threatened to rape Muslim women and online abusers have created apps to put them on “auctions.”

“Sickening to see the violence against Muslims celebrated in India,” said Indian-American author Padma Lakshmi in a series of tweets.

“The widespread anti-Muslim rhetoric preys on fear and poisons people. This propaganda is dangerous and nefarious because when you consider someone less than it’s much easier to participate in their oppression.”