“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

Coronavirus Paranoia Exposes Entrenched Islamophobia in India

Kate Byng-Hall examines how Islamophobia and discrimination adds to the devastating impact of coronavirus on India's Muslim population.

Photo by Joshua Clay

Thousands of Muslims have been targeted in India amid fears that they are purposefully trying to spread Covid-19 as a form of terror movement against the Hindu population.  The attack is the latest in clashes between Muslims and Hindus in the country.

The accusations began after a meeting of Muslim missionaries in Delhi led to thousands of cases of coronavirus at the beginning of India’s outbreak in March. A religious meeting held by Muslim organisation Tablighi Jamaat in early-March was the origin of the biggest spike of cases in the country after thousands gathered there.

On 25th March, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a nationwide lockdown with just four hours’ notice, shocking the Muslims who had travelled to Delhi from around the world to attend Tablighi Jamaat’s gathering. 2500 foreign Muslims were unable to leave the country within the four-hour window so were trapped at the meeting venue, and subsequently arrested for breaking the newly-imposed rule that forbade meetings of over 50 people.

Those 2500 individuals included