Advisory body’s condemnation follows P.M. Khan alleging Muslims being targeted to divert backlash over stringent lockdown
An advisory body of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Sunday condemned the Islamophobic campaign maligning Muslims for the spread of the novel coronavirus in India.
In a series of posts on Twitter, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC-IPHRC) urged the Indian government to take urgent action to protect the rights of Muslims in its state. “OIC-IPHRC condemns the unrelenting vicious Islamophobic campaign in India maligning Muslims for spread of COVID-19, as well as their negative profiling in media subjecting them to discrimination and violence with impunity,” it said.
“OIC-IPHRC urges the Indian government to take urgent steps to stop the growing tide of Islamophobia in India and protect the rights of its persecuted Muslim minority as per its obligations under international human rights law,” it added.
Indian authorities and media have blamed a gathering of the Muslim Tablighi Jamaat for spreading COVID-19 in the country. There is no official breakdown of COVID-19 cases by religion, but many Muslims in the country feel unfairly blamed for the disease. There have been reports of hospitals and housing societies turning away Muslims due to the government’s failure to correct the perception among the masses.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday also slammed India for accusing Muslims of spreading coronavirus. In a tweet, he alleged that his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, was targeting minority Muslims in an attempt to divert backlash from the stringent lockdowns imposed in the country.
Modi last month announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19; that lockdown has since been extended till May 3.
“The deliberate and violent targeting of Muslims in India by the Modi government to divert the backlash over its COVID-19 policy, which has left thousands stranded and hungry, is akin to what Nazis did to Jews in Germany. Yet [this is] more proof of the racist Hindutva supremacist ideology of Modi government,” P.M. Khan said in his tweet.