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Kuwait appeals to Muslim world body to tackle Islamophobia in India

The emirate calls on Organisation of International Cooperation to take 'urgent measures' to preserve rights of Indian Muslims
Muslims protesters hold placards and indian flags during a demonstration against a new citizenship law at a mosque in Amritsar (AFP)

Kuwait has appealed to the Organisation of International Cooperation (OIC) to intervene in India to tackle anti-Muslim sentiment in the country.

In a statement released on Monday, the General Secretariat of the Kuwait Council of Ministers expressed its "deep concern" about the treatment of Indian Muslims.

It called on the OIC to take "necessary and urgent measures" to "preserve the rights of Muslims there".

Abdullah al-Shoreka, a minister in Kuwait's Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, tweeted that it was time for Muslims to speak up against the persecution of their co-religionists.

"Did those who commit crimes against humanity against Muslims in India and violate their rights think that Muslims in the world will remain silent about these crimes and do not move politically, legally and economically against them?" he said.

The statement follows comments last month in which Kuwait raised concerns about the treatment of Muslims in the country.

February saw riots erupting in the Indian capital Delhi that led to dozens of deaths, mostly Muslims targeted by Hindu nationalists.

The rioting came in the wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's passage of a controversial citizenship law, which has been accused of excluding Muslims and undermining the principle of secularism in India.

Witnesses said that Delhi police initially did little to intervene as mobs fought running battles, with groups armed with swords and guns setting fire to thousands of properties and vehicles.

Indian Muslims have also been the subject of widely spread conspiracy theories in India around the coronavirus pandemic.

The Indian government has blamed a mass gathering of Muslims last month in New Delhi for helping spread the virus, while members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have appeared in interviews describing the gathering as "corona terrorism".

Fake video clips purporting to show Muslims spitting on security officials led to the spread of a "CoronaJihad" hashtag on Twitter, despite the videos being debunked.