Fake news is international. “Over 200 million Muslims call India home,” Bernie Sanders tweeted Wednesday. “Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, “That’s up to India. This is a failure of leadership on human rights.” Bernie is, as usual, wrong. His tweet reflects the American establishment media’s position that the riots in India over the last few days are examples of Hindu violence against Muslims, but they only maintain that position by an extremely selective, misleading, and inexcusably irresponsible presentation of what is going on in India.
The disinformation begins with the establishment media description of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which is the cause of the rioting. In an article entitled “Trump declines to condemn India’s anti-Muslim law,” the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that President Trump had “declined…to condemn India’s controversial new citizenship law, which discriminates against Muslims.” The law, said the Times, “excludes Muslims and has helped fuel a new wave of communal violence….The law passed by India’s parliament last year prioritizes citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians while excluding Muslims.”
That’s partially true. Gulf News is closer when it says that “the Citizenship Amendment Act allows for the fast-tracking of applications from religious minorities including Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but not Muslims.” Why would these religious minorities be given preferential treatment? Because they are being persecuted in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Who is persecuting them? Muslims. So the Citizen Amendment Act offers refuge to these persecuted minorities, and not to people among whom may be their persecutors.
What exactly is wrong with doing this? Are non-Muslims not actually being persecuted in those three Muslim countries? They are, and as The History of Jihad shows, the Islamic jihad against Hindus is a 1,400-year-old war. The LA Times’ headline shows how the charge of being “anti-Muslim” is used to intimidate and silence anyone who dares stand against the jihad or with its victims.
In reality, every nation on earth should offer a similar refuge. Muslims in India made that abundantly clear as far back as December, when they first began rioting over the CAA, throwing stones and torching vehicles. The riots got a new impetus when President Trump visited India; apparently the Muslims in India determined that the best way they could show that there need be no law protecting victims of Muslim persecution was by brutalizing innocent non-Muslims. The rioters don’t seem to be aware of the irony.
But you’d never know any of this from the media in the United States. One telling incident took place on Monday night, when a 51-year-old Hindu named Vinod Kumar was murdered by a Muslim mob in Delhi for the crime of having a sticker reading “Jai Shri Ram” on his motorcycle. The whole thing was captured on a video that went viral, featuring a crowd screaming “Allahu akbar” as Kumar is killed. But the tragic story of Vinod Kumar has not been reported in the Western media; nor have the stories of other Hindus who have been murdered by rampaging Muslim mobs.
Even worse, there appears to be a concerted effort to conceal such stories. Wikipedia has a page on the Delhi riots, but it has been systematically scrubbed of any mention of Muslim-on-Hindu violence. Compounding the impression that the violence has all been against Muslims, the Wikipedia entry on the riots features a photo not of the riots themselves, but of a Hindu leader.
Even worse, the Wall Street Journal reported that the brother of one of the people who was killed in the riots, Indian official Ankit Sharma, was killed by a mob that was chanting “Jai Shri Ram.” This was implausible on its face, because Ankit Sharma was not a Muslim, but it perpetuated the media narrative that Hindus are entirely at fault for the violence – that is, it perpetuated that narrative until Ankit Sharma’s brother himself denied the Wall Street Journal report and accused the WSJ of lying.
Maybe the Journal was just following the lead of the Leftist Indian media outlet NDTV, which was caught having edited out of its riot coverage images of a pile of stones, ready to be used as weapons, on the rooftop of a mosque. Or on the other hand, it could be that NDTV figured that if the venerable Wall Street Journal could do it, so could they.
In light of all this, it’s no surprise that Bernie Sanders would not have all the facts and rush to condemn those who are being attacked. But Bernie is not excused from the responsibility to be better informed; nor is anyone else. The establishment media is inundating us with fake news about India. Don’t take their bait.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.