Hashtags supporting Israel trend on Twitter

Date: 18 May 2021

Israel faced global condemnation for its actions in occupied East Jerusalem and continued bombing of the Gaza Strip, but it found support in India where pro-government activists have thrown their weight behind Israel, with some defending its policy against Palestinians. Hashtags such as #ISupportIsrael, #IndiaWithIsrael, #IndiaStandsWithIsrael and #IsrealUnderFire have trended on Indian social media over the past week, many calling Palestinians “terrorists” – a term used by Israel for Palestinian resistance groups. On Saturday night, #PalestineTerrorists was one of the top trends on Twitter in the South Asian nation. Support for Israel has been amplified on social media, particularly Twitter and Instagram, by top members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), lawyers and journalists among others. On May 12, BJP Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya, known for his anti-Muslim rhetoric, wrote on twitter: “We are with you. Stay strong, Israel.” Indian journalist and writer Rana Ayyub wrote that while checking most of the #IndiaStandWithIsrael tweet handles, a common thread that runs through is a “visceral hatred for Muslims and a bloodlust to see Muslims massacred and shown their place”.








Muslim women being ‘auctioned’ on social media

Date: 16 May 2021


Several social media accounts — which have been called out as belonging to ‘right wing’ users — have drawn flak for a virtual pretence of auctioning Muslim women, supposedly as a ‘form of entertainment’. Victims of this include Congress social media national coordinator Hasiba Amin, who has lodged a police complaint against the alleged offender and said the police are following up on her complaint. According to Amin, the virtual ‘sport’ started on 13 May, with a live on the YouTube channel, ‘Liberal Doge Live’. Promoted as an “Eid Special”, the live had images of Pakistani women, and invited viewers to “stalk women with our eyes filled with lust”. The livestream video was made private, after it was called out on social media. The virtual ‘bid’ then spilled on to Twitter in the early hours of Friday, with accounts with handles such as ‘@giyu2002’, ‘@Pinakishiv3’, and ‘@sullideals101’, tagged in the social media exchange. Words like “sulli’’, a derogatory word for Muslim women, was used by the participants, said Amin. It was here that one of the users, @giyu2002, started trolling Amin by sharing a tweet from her and adding “I invoke the legendary @sullideals101 to auction this sulli. Minimum bid : $1 USD…” .







UP CM posts communal tweet after Muslim-majority area declared a separate district in Punjab

Date: 15 May 2021


Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh criticised his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Adityanath over his tweet on the declaration of Malerkotla as a district of the state, terming it an attempt to incite "communal hatred". On May 14, Eid-ul-Fitr, Malerkotla officially became Punjab’s 23rd district, fulfilling a demand the people of the Muslim-majority city had been making for over two decades. "Any distinction on the basis of belief and religion is contrary to the basic spirit of the Constitution of India. Presently, the formation of Malerkotla (Punjab) is a reflection of the divisive policy of the Congress," Adityanath had tweeted earlier in Hindi.






Mosque bulldozed in defiance of high court order

Date: 18 May 2021

A local administration in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh defied a state high court order and bulldozed a mosque, in one of the most inflammatory actions taken against a Muslim place of worship since the demolition of the Babri Mosque by a mob of Hindu nationalist rioters in 1992. The mosque, called Masjid Gareeb Nawaz Al Maroof, in the district of Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, had stood for at least six decades, since the time of British rule, according to documents held by its committee. Police and security services moved into the area and cleared it of people, then brought in bulldozers and demolished the mosque buildings. Debris was then thrown into a river, according to images and local accounts. Security services have been deployed to prevent anyone coming within a mile of where the mosque stood. A First Information Report (FIR) was registered by the Uttar Pradesh Police against news website, The Wire and its two journalists Seraj Ali and Mukul Chauhan who did a report on the Gareeb Nawaz Mosque demolition issue.








Postcard News makes false allegation to target Muslim volunteers performing last rites in Karnataka

Date: 9 May 2021

Postcard News Kannada, one of the most popular names in the disinformation ecosystem (its English vertical was banned by Facebook), claimed that 5-8 Muslims have tie-ups with certain agencies and are making Rs 7-8,000 per funeral for those who passed away due to COVID. The agencies make Rs 35,000 for the deal. The claim was also shared by Postcard News founder Mahesh Vikram Hegde. It drew atleast 2,200 shares from his account. The complete text overlayed on the graphic reads, “Did you know this? Agencies are making a deal of Rs 35,000 for the last rites of COVID deceased in Bangalore. These agencies outsource dead bodies to 5-8 Muslims for Rs 7-8,000. At the time of cremation ‘topi’ wearing Muslims pose performing social service and spread its (positive) images on social media. This is a huge scam, the government must investigate such reprehensible (low life) acts and arrest them.” 

Postcard News has used two images to support the claim. The photograph on top in the graphic was tweeted by chief photojournalist with PTI Manvender Vashist on May 2. “After the sudden death of a Hindu friend’s family member, two Muslim brothers helped in the last rites. The family consisted of only a woman and her child. It is disheartening that the family had to look for four shoulders to take the body to the cremation ground,” he wrote. Now, coming to the second picture. After the graphic went viral in Karnataka social media, Lokesh, the son of the deceased, addressed the disinformation via video. “My name is Lokesh. I was very sad after seeing the post because this was my father who passed away due to COVID. There was no one to help us out of fear. I got PFI’s number and I called them at 2 am. They came at 6 am, carried the funeral rites as per Hindu rituals. They got their own vehicle without charging a Rupee. They brought everything that was required in order to help us. In the end, they said that they were doing social service and would not charge any money from anyone. They refused to take money even for diesel. We have referred them to other friends as well. They also brought their ambulance free of cost and performed the last rites,” he said.





Postcard website founder arrested for spreading alleged fake news

Date: 30 March 2018

Mahesh Vikram Hegde, the founder of news website Postcard News, was arrested for spreading alleged fake news through social media posts about a Jain monk being attacked by Muslims. Confirming the arrest, N Satheesh Kumar, the joint commissioner of police (crime), who heads the CCB, said Hegde was picked up from the central Majestic area of Bangalore. He was produced before a magistrate and sent to police custody for 14 days. “Contrary to the claims by Hegde, the monk had met with a road accident and sustained the injuries,” Kumar said. A complaint was filed against the alleged fake post by one Gaffer Baig on March 21 under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act (dishonest or fraudulent information).






TV anchor posts Islamophobic tweet

Date: 12 May 2021

Amid the continuing attacks on Palestine by Israeli forces and retaliating action by the Palestinians, journalist Sushant B Sinha posted on his Twitter page: “Terrorism has no religion but unfortunately #AllahuAkbar is trending to support terrorism and terrorists. Dear #Israel , Keep fighting against terrorism. Keep saving innocent lives. You have all the right to save ur countrymen and give befitting reply. #IndiaWithIsrael”





Actress posts Eid wishes, user asks if she has converted

Date:  12 May 2021

After Malayalam actress Anu Sithara posted a picture of herself wearing a dupatta over her head with Eid wishes, a user replied with “converted to?” The actress’s reply, where she said “human”, won praise online.






Video from Pakistan viral as Muslims flouting lockdown in Delhi for Eid shopping

Date: 15 May 2021

A video of a densely packed marketplace went viral on social media as New Delhi’s Jafrabad and Seelampur areas. It was claimed that the video shows Muslims who flocked to the markets for Eid shopping. The people seen in the clip were not wearing masks and were clearly flouting social distancing norms. Facebook user Vidrohi Saheb shared the clip and wrote, “Scenes from New Delhi’s Jafrabad…Looks like PM Modi has already begun holding rallies for the Delhi elections.” It racked up at least 8,900 views.  The clip went viral on Twitter and Facebook. It also made its way to WhatsApp. The viral picture was actually from a Facebook post dated April 25, 2021. The post said the incident was from Pakistan’s Ichra Bazaar in Lahore.






Sudarshan News Airs Graphical Depiction Of Bombing Masjid An-Nabawi In Its Show On Israel

Date: 15 May 2021

Sudarshan News, a Hindi news channel infamous for spewing hatred and inciting violence against Muslims, aired a graphical depiction of bombing Masjid an-Nabawi in Madina in its show ‘Bindas Bol’ on May 15 hosted by its rabble-rousing editor, Suresh Chavhanke. The channel’s show, ‘Bindas Bol – आओ इजराइल का साथ दें, कल की लड़ाई का साथी है इजराइल’ (Come support Israel, Israel is the partner of tomorrow’s fight), aired the inciting graphics, depicting the bombing of Islam’s second holiest place, while calling its viewers to support Israel, arguing that the country will stand with India in its future wars.






Author posts Islamophobic comments after Hindu doctor helps dying patient recite the Shahadah

Date: 20 May 2021

Ravichandran C, a Malayalam author known for his atheist views, posts extremely Islamophobic comments after the story of a Hindu nurse helping a dying Muslim patient to recite his shahadah. The female patient, who had been affected by Covid 19 and was in critical condition at a hospital in Pattambi, was under the care of one Dr Rekha. In her last hours, the doctor guided her to recite the Shahadah.  Ravichandran, responding to this incident, posted a highly Islamophobic post, calling it a promotion of “superstition” and calling Allah an “extra terrestrial God who only understands Arabic”. He also used the derogatory term “password to heaven” for the Shahadah.





Hyderabad driver alleges police torture, says he was asked to ‘go to Pakistan’

Date: 19 May 2021

A Muslim driver alleged that he was tortured in police custody by traffic police personnel of Shamshabad police station, near the Hyderabad Airport. The victim alleged that during his detention, a superior police officer who tortured him, asked him to ‘go to Pakistan’. Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi who learnt about the incident demanded the suspension of the police officials. Showing bruises on his body, Mohammed Subhan, the victim, alleged that he was physically tortured at the police station in Shamshabad where was kept under custody for three days. According to Subhan, a traffic police constable had clicked his vehicle’s photo for a violation. When he started arguing with them, the police personnel allegedly slapped him and took him into detention. In the police station, four traffic police personnel allegedly beat him up with bamboo sticks and a gas pipe.  “When they were about to let me go after providing medical help, a superior traffic police official told me that we have a lot of ‘heat’ in us. He asked me to go to Pakistan,” Subhan alleged. He was released following the intervention of Hyderabad MP and president of AIMIM party Asaduddin Owaisi.