In the wake of a Hindu tailor’s gruesome murder by two extremist Muslim men in Udaipur on June 28, NewsX declared that it would give “no more airtime to extremists” and “put India first”. It has aired several shows in the past week reiterating this commitment, complete with a running appeal urging the public to be “aware that at times like this, motivated foreign players, bot armies, and proxy social media accounts may try to run inflammatory campaigns”.
It should have added ‘TV news channels’ since the very shows that featured the public appeal ran “inflammatory campaigns” against prominent Muslim men and women such as journalist Rana Ayyub and political leader Asaduddin Owaisi. The TV channel’s anchors called them “Jinnahs of today” who “put hate first” and are thus allegedly out to divide India. As evidence, the anchors highlighted Owaisi’s purported statement that “Muslims targeted for only crime of being Muslim” and Ayyub’s remark “In India calls for Muslim genocide grow louder”.
Instead, NewsX will give the microphone to “moderate Muslims who choose to put India first”. They are “India 1st Muslims. The Muslims you should hear”.
“Amid this continued India bashing by some radical Muslims, we bring you some moderate Muslim voices who describe their real life stories and explain how Indian Muslims feel safe and secure in India better than all other Muslim-dominating countries across globe,” reads the of a YouTube from the channel.
The channel’s anchors don’t define what they mean by “moderate Muslims”, but they exclude “elitists, activists, journalists who call themselves the real voice of Muslim comminity and say that ‘India ka Muslim dara hua hai’.”
As opposed to them, the “moderate Muslims” include MJ Khan, president of an organisation called ; Lubna Kamal, ; Mohd Ali Shah, defence analyst; Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, head of the Ajmer dargah; and Sajid Yousuf Shah, CEO of Real Kashmir News, who was recently for spreading fake news.
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