Supporting bigotry, Islamophobia?
0 comments | by Saeed
Supporting bigotry, Islamophobia? Diaspora NGO opposes Australian MP's views on Yogi
Humanism Project, an Australian civil rights organisation with large number of India diaspora as its members, has a shot letter to letter Craig Kelly, member of Parliament from Member for Hughes, New South Wales (NSW), on his alleged effort to spread misinformation about Covid-19 and his “inadequately informed” views about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Telling Kelly that his view comes even as Australia is struggling with the resurgence Covid-19 epidemic in NSW, the letter insists, it is “important that our parliamentarians do not support misinformation on Covid-19”, accusing him of siding with Adityanath, who has been a protagonist of “bigotry and Islamophobia.”
We are an Australian civil society organisation that represents the interests of the Indian diaspora in Australia. We write to you in relation to your tweet congratulating Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on his use of Ivermectin to control the Covid-19 pandemic. You can access your tweet here.
We are concerned that your views on Ivermectin, Chief Minister Adityanath and his management of Covid-19 pandemic in India have been inadequately informed. We detail our concerns below.
Your views on Ivermectin
The role of Ivermectin in eliminating Covid-19 in lab studies was first postulated in Monash University-led collaborative study. As evident from the link, Ivermectin was never deemed to be suitable for treating Covid-19 in humans.
The Australian Department of Health (DoH) notes that there is currently insufficient evidence to support the safe and effective use of ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of Covid-19. You can access the DoH recommendations here.
The DoH recommendations have been validated by the British Medical Journal of Evidence Based Medicine (accessible here) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations from US (accessible here).
As evident above, the current evidence based guidelines do not support the use of Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of Covid-19.
Your views on Chief Minister Adityanath and his management of Covid -19
This BBC report (accessible here) reported that during the Covid-19 pandemic, India's holiest river, the Ganges was swollen with bodies. The Ganges flows through Uttar Pradesh - the state governed by Chief Minister Adityanath.
A journalist told the BBC said he believed that many of the bodies were either Covid patients who died at home without a test, or poor people who couldn't afford a cremation. Another journalist told the BBC the corpses were evidence of massive discrepancy between the Chief Minister Adityanath’s government’s official Covid-19 death figures and the actual numbers on the ground.
This was also covered in many large national and international news media outlets like ABC (accessible here), Reuters (accessible here) and Washington Post (accessible here).
Chief Minister Adityanath's gross mismanagement of Covid -19 therefore caused death and suffering for many Indians. Chief Minister Adityanath is also known to flaunt his bigotry like a badge of honour and does not disguise his hatred and contempt for Indian Muslims, Christians and other oppressed sections of the Indian society.
He actively promotes Islamophobia and has sought to annihilate the livelihoods of many poor Muslims through his weaponisation of law and the police for overtly majoritarian political ends. This is evident from the article on Chief Minister Adityanath here.
In addition, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom's (USCIRF), in its recent briefing on June 21 2020, raised concerns about mosque demolitions, hate speech against minorities in Chief Minister Adityanath state of Uttar Pradesh. You can access the report here.
Your validation of Chief Minister Adityanath and his management of Covid-19 pandemic is therefore deeply hurtful and troubling to many Australian Indians. As we struggle with the resurgence Covid-19 epidemic in NSW, we do feel that it is important that we do not support misinformation on Covid-19.
It is also important that we don’t enable leaders who spread bigotry and Islamophobia. Consequent to the above, could we please ask that you
- Reconsider your views on Ivermectin and Chief Minister Adityanath’s management of Covid-19 in India.
- Reconsider your validation of Chief Minister Adityanath given his deeply troubling background of bigotry and Islamophobia.
- Consider condemning Chief Minister Adityanath’s assault on religious freedoms in India with particular reference to mosque demolitions, hate speech against Christians, Muslims and his efforts to annihilate the livelihoods of many poor Muslims in his state. Many thanks for considering our concerns and request above.