Why Muslim nations are quick to rap defamation, but often ignore minorities’ rights

The Indian diplomatic government finds itself in a crisis following offensive remarks by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson, Nupur Sharma, on national television about the Prophet Muhammad and his wife, Aisha. The BJP has suspended Sharma from the position, but that has not been enough to quell the crisis. Over a dozen Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have condemned the Indian government and asked for a public apology.

This is just another incident of hate speech against Muslims, which has been rising in India since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government came to power in 2014. The government has been criticized for several lynchings of Muslims by Hindu mobs with police indifference and judicial apathy over the past years. In 2019, the BJP passed a new citizenship law that discriminated against Muslims, and its Islamophobic attitudes recently inspired some schools and colleges to impose a headscarf ban on students.