Not a day passes when India is not maligned for being anti-Muslim. Much of the criticism we face is based on misinformation, whose source is often traced to the Pakistan deep state. Such is the impact of this misinformation campaign that even thought leaders in the Middle East have been swayed by it.
A top daily in the region has warned expats about the growing “Islamophobia” in India and accused our news channels of spreading it. "Stop Indian media from exporting hate to Gulf. Toxic TV channels cannot be allowed to spread Islamophobia and vitiate atmosphere," wrote Gulf News in an editorial Thursday.
Accusing popular channels of twisting news—like the "fake news of Muslims spitting on fruits to spread Coronavirus," the newspaper said that some popular channels build fake narratives to target Muslims in India.
"This fake news was repeated on some news channels until people actually started believing it. Now, in several parts of India, Muslim vendors are boycotted and banned from entering neighborhoods. This hateful content on prime time reaches Gulf countries, including the UAE where these channels are widely available," the newspaper wrote.
"Hate propagated on live TV has a powerful impact especially when it comes from popular anchors. Authorities in the Gulf must take action against these channels, the preachers of hate, including Republic TV, Zee News, India TV, Aaj Tak, ABP and Times Now," it mentioned further.
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While there were some instances of fake videos being circulated—most of them at the peak of Tablighi Jamaat incident spreading the Covid-19 to various parts of the country—the reality is that it was Indian media itself which did an immediate fact-check and uncovered the truth.
While it is true that the conduct of one or two media organisations in India has been questionable — just like in any other country — it would be wrong to tar the entire Indian media as anti-Muslim. In fact, it is the media organizations and persons who have reported any unfortunate incidents involving the Muslim community.
The Indian authorities were and are battling enemies at many fronts—Covid-19 pandemic on the streets of the country, Pakistan's efforts to infiltrate terrorists in Kashmir, a sagging economy, misery of migrant laborers, and so on. Fake profiles, dubious handles operating from across the border, and even in the Arab states are a new threat; it is fanning the flames of communalism.
As mentioned above, it was the Indian media that exposed the truth about the fake viral videos. Just like this video which might have landed in many Whatsapp groups or on Facebook in the past few weeks, its location falsely told to be from Hyderabad or Lucknow but was actually taken from a report on Pakistan in a British newspaper… (<a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6148825/British-tourist-catches-Pakistani-street-vendor-red-handed-SPRAY-PAINTING-green-grapes.html?ico=embedded">https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6148825/British-tourist-catches-Pakistani-street-vendor-red-handed-SPRAY-PAINTING-green-grapes.html?ico=embedded</a>).