As a result of a relentless anti-India campaign launched by Indian Islamists in response to the Citizenship Amendment Act and Corona Jihad, the Islamist-Salafi fanatics in various West Asian countries have jumped on the bandwagon, and started targetting Hindus working abroad and spitting venom against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP.
Spreading hatred against India in West Asia, Kerala-based Islamic terrorist outfits started this massive witch-hunt against fellow Indians on foreign soil that has now snowballed into a massive anti-India campaign in Arab countries.
Kerala-based Islamic extremists pioneered the hate campaign and spread fake videos and hate messages on social media, urging Arabs and local administrations to take punitive actions against Hindus working in West Asia because they “kill Muslims in India with our money”! A Facebook page and twitter profile named ‘NRIs against Hate’ were formed to unleash a flood of fake contents for Islamic groups in Arab countries in order to propagate that India has turned out to be Islamophobic.
As per the Intelligence sources, the pattern of the campaign is in line with the ISI international propaganda over the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The agencies also found that the ISI has got active support of Kerala-based Jihadi elements in generating text and graphic contents.
Pak’s proxy war against India in West Asia
According to sources, various Islamic organisations based in Kerala used leading businessmen and religious leaders to influence the Arab ruling class and administration and feed them with the fake narrative against India. Various Arab media platforms like Al-Jazeera, Gulf News, Khaleej Times etc. were also used to disseminate the fake news. Even though the Indian media have time and again busted the fake narratives of Al-Jazeera that were aimed at tarnishing India's image at the international level, the Islamist propaganda organ has never agreed to that.
The on-going hate campaign against India is seen as a part of the ISI operations in Kerala and West Asia. A report passed by Pakistani Senate titled “Policy Guidelines in view of the Latest Situation Developing between India and Pakistan,” suggests its agencies to work on the internal fault lines inside India: “Comprehensive outreach to those segments of Indian public opinion which are opposed to Modi’s extremism and his anti-Pakistan policies including political parties, media, civil society organisations and human rights groups.”
According to a think-tank with a special focus on West Asia, the on-going anti-India campaign has received the support of the Pakistan-spy agency ISI as its previous anti-CAA campaign had failed to generate the desired outcome. Indian intelligence sources suggest that the agency has handed over a detailed report to the Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard. The agencies have identified major social media profiles that piloted the propaganda campaign, targeting India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and arrived at the conclusion that it is a part of a coordinated effort between certain Kerala-based Jihadi elements and ISI-network in UAE. Indian Security agencies indicated that the recent hashtags like Islamophobia in India, Shame on Modi, Chaos in India etc. on Twitter in the forms of bots, trolls and fake ids are mainly run from Pakistan.
The snow-balling persecution
Speaking to Organiser, a group of NRIs said, the targeted attacks against the Hindus in West Asia started much earlier but took an ugly turn during anti-CAA riots. “The cadres of Islamic terrorist outfits like PFI and Jamaat-e-Islami are on the forefront to attack Indians in West Asian countries like UAE, Saudi, Kuwait, Qatar, etc,” a migrant worker from Kerala said in an online conversation.
Jihadi migrants from Kerala are hell-bent on targeting nationalist Indian citizens who work in West Asia for supporting the policies of the Government of India. Muslim communal elements, especially the members of the Muslim League, Jamaat-e-Islami and Popular Front of India, formed dedicated social media cells in West Asia to identify Hindu social media profiles which supported the Citizenship Amendment Act and criticised the Tablighi Jamaat for spreading COVID-19.
In December 2019, an Indian doctor was expelled from service in Qatar after a group of Muslim extremists made the hospital authorities into believing that his Facebook post in support of CAA was against Indian Muslims and communal. Now several Indian businessmen and migrant workers are facing cases for sharing news reports regarding Tablighi Jamaat. Many of them have already lost their job. The Islamic extremists and their dedicated social media teams are widely reporting such profiles to the police and authorities and also spreading their photos with hate messages on social media.
“If the Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Embassies initiated stringent action against those who hold Indian passports and spread fake messages and run anti-India campaign on the foreign soil, the issue would not have escalated. They remained silent when each Indian was dismissed from job and deported to India on fake complaints registered by anti-Hindu groups,” he said on the condition of anonymity.
Kerala-based Islamic extremists pioneered the hate campaign against India, urging Arabs to take punitive actions against Hindus working in West Asia
Cyber-Jihad against India
According to sources, ISI has hired a group of lawyers in various West Asian countries to push their anti-India narratives. Abdur Rahman Nassar, a verified account of an Islamist from Kuwait has been spreading anti-India messages on twitter, propagating fake news and baseless allegations against Indians. He has also shared several doctored images and videos on twitter, to establish his claims that Muslims are mistreated in India! “In 53 Muslim countries Indians where most of them Hindu, are treated with humanity and respect .. How do Muslims are treated in India?,” asks the semi-literate Islamist. Labelling RSS a terrorist organisation, he has shared several fake images intending to vilify India’s nationalist organisation. In a tweet pinned to his profile, Abdur Rahman Nassar has urged the Islamic radicals in the country to send him the details of Indians who write against the minorities in India so that he can initiate legal action against them! “Indian extremists will be watched in the Gulf. If you see extremist writings against minorities in India .. send it private to this account (send the photo + account link) (sic),” he says in the tweet.
Hend Qassimi, a verified Twitter user who calls herself ‘Princess’, had warned that ‘Anyone that is openly racist and discriminatory in the UAE will be fined and made to leave.’ She had posted a tweet of an Indian and quoted it as ‘an example’!
In a blatant display of arrogance, Hend who introduced herself ‘a royal’ said that Indians are making bread and butter from UAE! “The ruling family is friends with Indians, but as a royal your rudeness is not welcome. All employees are paid to work, no one comes for free. You make your bread and butter from this land which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed,” the ‘royal’ said.
The security agencies and India-based think tanks have found that most of the fake Twitter accounts used for the campaign were mainly operated from Pakistan. For example, a Twitter account which was initially @pak_fauj had changed it to @SayyindaMona and used profile picture of Princess Mona bint Fahd al of Oman @MonaFahad13. Islamists from India as well as abroad had widely propagated a tweet against India, claiming to have posted by the Princess of Oman, that says,” Oman stands with its Muslim brothers and sisters in India. If the Indian Govt doesn't stop the persecution of Muslims, then 1million workers living in Oman may be expelled. I will definitely take up this issue with the Sultan of Oman. @narendramodi — H.H. Mona bint Fahd al Said 🇴🇲 (@SayyidaMona) April 21, 2020.”
Close on the heels of the fake tweet, the Omani princess came up with a statement, clarifying that the tweet was not made by her. "Friends, First of all, I thank you for your concern to verify the offensive post published through an account impersonating me, which you are sure that I have no connection with it. With full trust in all of you in strengthening awareness among all regarding such activities, which are not acceptable to the Omani society, I confirm again that my presence in social media is restricted on the following accounts: @hhmonaalsaid and @MonaFahad 13." Prince Mona clarified. A social media user Anshul Saxena, in a series of tweets, exposed as to how a Facebook page, Classified Journal Post (CJ Post) with thousands of subscribers including many Indians, manipulated to project itself as a neutral platform.
As part of the misinformation campaign, the Islamic radicals were also seen propagating old tweets of BJP MP Tejaswi Surya, Indian singer Sonu Nigam and a video clip of Subrahmanian Swami, alleging that India’s ruling party is spreading Islamophobia!
Raising the bogey of Islamophobia, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday urged India to take "urgent steps" to protect the rights of its minority Muslim community and stop the incidents of "Islamophobia" in the country.
In the wake of the hate campaign, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had posted a tweet and said that COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking. "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," he said.
However, instead of warning the Indian Passport holders who are indulged in the hate campaign against India and Hindus in UAE, the Indian Ambassador in UAE chose to remind Indians about the country's moral fabric and rule of law. “Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the Rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this,” his apologetic statement read. Fortunately, as the Embassy of Oman rightly maintained, “In these challenging times, it is important that we stay focused and united in our fight against COVID-19, and not get distracted by fake news on social media with malicious intentions’ and MEA is also proactively addressing the concerns.
Meanwhile, voices are rising from various corners of West Asia that the Arab countries are denying treatment to the migrant workers who tested with Covid 19. According to the sources in West Asia, some Arab countries have adopted an Arab-first policy as far as the treatment for Covid-19 is concerned. This discriminative approach has invoked criticism from various corners including the Muslim organisations working among migrant workers from other non-Arab countries.