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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Anti-Muslim crackdown in Assam triggers ‘Boycott Indian products’ calls on Twitter

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The boycott hashtag has trended in the Arab region, with thousands urging Muslim countries to take action.

Calls to boycott Indian products in Qatar have racked up as the first trend on Twitter after Indian authorities violently attacked and evicted thousands of Muslims in the South Asian state.

A hashtag that roughly translates to #BoycottIndianProducts trended region-wide in response to the violent crackdown in the Darrang District of Assam, where at least two people have been killed.

The “forced evictions” of Muslims started on 20 September. So far, more than 800 families have allegedly been forced out of their homes on the grounds that they were “illegally constructed.”

India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party has made headlines in recent months for its fierce Islamophobic campaign against Muslims in Assam, who make up one-third of the population in the northeastern state.

In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped millions of Muslims in Assam of their Indian citizenship over immigration claims.

This week, a video showing the moment in which a government photographer assaulted one of the evictees went viral online, prompting thousands to protest against the crackdown online.

Social media users have accused the Indian government of turning a blind eye to the targeting of the Muslim community in the country, while others are now demanding the boycott of Indian products.

“World Muslim Organisations, leaders of Islamic countries, leaders of the GCC, United nations: where are you while the Indian government is committing heinous crimes against Muslim men, women, and children?” one social media user tweeted.

“Boycotting Indian products is now a legal obligation,” he added.

“We, in Qatar, and other Muslim countries, [are encouraging] all Muslims, individuals and companies to boycott goods from India in response to its crimes against Indian Muslims,” another Twitter user said.

“Arab world is Boycotting lndian products in protest to the crimes of Indian Hindutva fascist regime against Muslim population This is 2nd time Arab world is calling for a boycott of a certain country after France,” another added.

Qatar has a large community of Indian expats who live and work in the Gulf state, and relations between the countries have seen significant increases every year.

Qatar-India bilateral trade amounted to nearly $8.7 billion in 2020, making the South Asian country Qatar’s third top trade partner, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Supermarkets in Qatar have yet to respond to boycott calls.


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