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India’s Islam row and Delhi’s place in evolving world order

In the month since Nupur Sharma, a former spokeswoman for India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), offended Muslims around the world with disparaging comments about the Prophet Muhammad, India’s diplomats have been doing damage control – with limited success.

After 18 Islamic countries, along with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), condemned Sharma’s remarks, the BJP dismissed her comments as those of “fringe elements,” failing to explain how a ruling party’s official spokeswoman might represent a minority view. 

Given the Indian government’s defense, certain questions need probing, such as: Why have these diplomatic protests broken out now, rather than during previous instances of Islamophobia in India? And how will the BJP temper its responses to future hate speech?



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