Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Anti-Muslim hate saw increase in India amid Israel-Gaza war – US research group

India Hate Lab’s report, released Monday, concluded that anti-Muslim hate in India increased by 62% in the second half of 2023, compared to the first six months of the year.

The Washington-based research group documented 668 hate speech incidents targeting Muslims in 2023.

As per the study 413 of the total number of cases occurred in the second half of the year, with 75% of them taking place in BJP-ruled states.

Also, among the top eight states with most hate speech events, six were ruled by the BJP throughout the year.

The research found that the Israel-Gaza war began in October 2023, played a key role in the increase of hate crimes against Muslims, in the last three months.

Most hate speech cases were reported from the states of Maharashtra (118), Uttar Pradesh (104) and Madhya Pradesh (65).

Since Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza began on October 7, there have been 41 incidents of hate speech against Indian Muslims, till December 31, the report added.

Israel-Gaza war related verbal attacks constituted about 20% of hate speech in the last three months of 2023.

239 (36%) of the incidents involved direct calls inciting violence against Muslims, and 77% of these events took place in BJP ruled states.

307 (46%) of hate speech events were organised by Sangh Parivar outfits.

In BJP ruled states, around 11% of events featured BJP leaders, whereas in non-BJP states, the figures accounted for 28%.

In addition, Hindu religious leaders delivered hate speeches at 93 (14%) of the events.

Notably, the number of public events (almost 48% – 318) of the total inciting violence against Muslims rose between August and November.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad-Bajrang Dal Shaurya Jagaran rallies and legislative assembly elections in Rajasthan, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh took place during the same time period.

According to the United Nations’ definition – any prejudiced or discriminatory language towards an individual or group based on attributes including religion, ethnicity, nationality, race or gender, could be termed as hate speech.

India Hate Lab, relying on the same definition, tracked online activity of Hindu nationalist groups, verified videos of hate speech posted on social media and compiled data of isolated incidents reported by Indian media.

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