As always there have been many entities trying to inject extremist ideologies into society to maintain their authority. Easily accessible Internet and micro-blogging giants like Twitter and Facebook have made this task of exchanging hateful and provoking thoughts easier. Major parts of this agenda are amplifying any event with communal spin, the use of misinformation/disinformation, and sharing disproportionate and biased information.
مرصد مسلمي الهند (@India__Muslim) is one such unit of a humungous network driving anti-India campaigns and promoting extremism and hatred. This DFRAC exclusive will shed light on the pattern in which this account spread misinformation and animosity.
In the Twitter bio, this Arabic account claims that it tries as much as possible to show the issues of Muslims in India to the Arab and Islamic nations. However, this account continuously propagates its hateful and extremist ideology.
@India__Muslim joined Twitter on April 2017. The tweets of this account are in the Arabic language. It mainly targets the Arab audience and tries to tarnish India’s image in front of them. Currently, it has more than 11.5K followers. It follows 70 accounts that include hate mongers and fake news peddlers like kakavani, Zakir Naik, and Ashok Swain.
The Tweet Timeline of the account indicates that the account has been quite active since October 5, 2022. The maximum number of tweets i.e., 15 were done on 1st December 2022. Since then, the account has been very much active in spreading disinformation and hate speech.
Creating an Illusion of Muslim Victimhood
In many of the tweets, this account has attempted to portray that Hindus are doing atrocities on Muslims. To fulfil its propaganda the account uses a lot of fake and misleading news. For example, in one of the tweets it wrote, “The Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, headed by the radical Hindu Prakasarao Velagapudi in the USA in Frisco, Texas, is raising funds to support the systematic demolition of mosques and churches in India.”
In our investigation, we found many media houses covering this incident. According to an article by sabrangindia, “US Hindutva fringe group calls for the demolition of “illegal churches” in India,” it was mentioned that the Hindutva group in Frisco, Texas, USA held a fundraiser for “demolition of illegal churches” in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, among other things.”
Moreover, in the Annual Gala Dinner Invitation, there is no mention of demolition of mosques as claimed by the @India__Muslim account.
In another such tweet, @India__Muslim again spread its hate propaganda against Hindus by sharing a video, the account wrote: “When they become extremists in power. It is natural for the police to treat them with filth, especially Muslims. India is an example.”
Reality: The same clip was found on the verified Youtube channel of Times Now. The video was uploaded on 6th April 2020 with the headline “Coronavirus scare: Crowd attacks Bareilly Police for enforcing a lockdown.”
The police force had asked about 20 people flouting prohibitory orders to disperse, but the crowd instead of listening attacked the police, and many cops sustained injuries. There is no communal angle involved in the video.
Similarly, this account has tweeted a lot of hateful and communal content about and India. Some of them can be seen below:
Promoting extremism and communal hatred
There are many tweets done by this account which are demeaning towards other religions.
To amplify its malicious agenda this account resort to fake and misleading news against India. Some of them include:
Misleading video claiming that extremist Hindu students protesting to cancel prayers in the school and chant the Hindutva slogan
On November 3, 2022, @India_Muslim shared a video with the caption: “Extremist Hindu students are protesting today in the secondary school in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, where they demand the school administration to cancel prayer in the school and chant the slogan “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, which means the Hindu god as they claim!”
Reality: The video is of a incident held in a Christ Senior Secondary school in Guna, Madhya Pradesh. The whole incident is totally different as presented by @India__Muslim. When a student chanted ‘Bharat Mate ki Jai’ after the national anthem his class teacher made him sit on the floor for 4-5 periods. Then, some parents and organizations were protesting outside the school after a student was reportedly punished over chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai.’
There was no demand from the school administration to cancel prayer in the school and chant the slogan Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Moreover, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ is said by Indians to honor their motherland. It means, “Long live Mother India.” It is not a Hindu slogan but a patriotic slogan. Link to the detailed Fact Check is here.
Baseless claim that Indian government plans to Demolished 3000 Mosques-
Sharing a video, @India__Muslim tweeted: “The Indian Government plans to demolish 3000 Mosques.”
Reality: The video is old. Various illegal structures were demolished after the Supreme Court orders in the Khori Gaon case. This mosque, like many other structures, was constructed illegally and therefore was demolished by the government authorities. There were many incidents in which holy places of other religions were also demolished in India as they were constructed illegally. Giving communal colors to these incidents of demolishing illegal construction can trigger hatred between communities. The detailed of the fact check link is here.
Video with a deceptive claim that Hindu extremists burned the Holy Quran-
By sharing a video @India__Muslim captioned:” In the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Hindu extremists today burned the “Holy Quran” inside a Fikri Alam Mosque in order to provoke Muslims there.”
Reality: According to a report of Dainik Bhaskar a man named Taj Mohammad arrested for burning religious texts in mosque.
Furthermore, Sahajahanpur Police tweeted about the incident that, “The accused Taj Mohammad son of Yusuf Nir Badujai police station, Sadar Bazar district, Shahjahanpur, who damaged the religious book in police station area, was arrested within 24 hours, after interrogating the accused, further legal action is being taken.”
There is no communal angle involved in the incident.
Communalizing College students dance
Sharing the video @India__Muslim claimed, “Hindu students at St. Joseph’s Engineering College, in Mangalore, India, wear headscarves and dance to Hindu songs that mock and incite Muslims.”
Reality: The official Twitter account of the St. Joseph Engineering College, Mangaluru clarified about the video by tweeting that “The video clip being circulated in social media has captured a part of the dance by students of the Muslim community itself who barged on stage during the informal part of students association inaugural.”
The tweet further mentioned that. “It was not part of the approved program and the students involved have been suspended pending an inquiry. The college does not support or condone any activities that could harm the harmony between communities and everyone.”
In the viral video, the 4 boys who were dancing in Burqa to a Bollywood song belong to the Muslim community. The detailed fact check link is here.
Accounts that were mentioned or quoted the maximum number of times by @India__Muslim indicates the accounts that are in the network of @India__Muslim. @Ashoswai, @Muslim__news, @drassagheer, etc. are a part of this network.
Below the graph shows the hashtags that were used maximum number of times by the account. Some of them are HijabBan which is used maximum number of times, KashmirFiles, islamophobia, etc. are also in this list.
To fulfill its agenda, it has used deceptive videos and photos. Majority of the posts shared by it are communal in nature. There are many such accounts that actively spread misinformation and animosity on social media. These accounts are used as weapons in the info warfare against India. In the past also DFRAC, has exposed such entities. Moreover, the DFRAC team will keep on highlighting such accounts and their propaganda.