Irena Akbar, formerly with the Indian Express, has thanked God for Covid-19 and claimed that if not for the novel Coronavirus, Indian Muslims would have been in detention camps. The comments come a day after liberals online were debating fervently whether they should help a ‘Sanghi’ combat Covid-19.
Irena Akbar said, “If it weren’t for Covid, Indian Muslims would’ve been in detention camps. I’m NOT being grateful for the virus which killed my aunt, sent my dad to the ICU & is causing tragedies across homes. I’m stressing the fact that while fascists were making their plans, God was making His.”
“It’s between the devil & the deep blue sea for IMs. Either die/live in fear of Covid OR die/live in fear of anti-Muslim state violence. At least the former doesn’t specifically target us & the public will eventually question the state. But in latter, the public would rejoice it,” she added.
The tweets in question remind one of the comments made by Rahul Gandhi’s ally Abbas Siddiqui during the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic last year. Abbas Siddiqui had wished for a virus from Allah that killed 50 crore Indians.
There is not an ounce of truth in the comments made by Irena Akbar but they are, quite clearly, engineered towards fearmongering and inciting passions in a time of crisis. There are no detention camps planned to lock Indian Muslims in. Indian Muslims are not victims of an orchestrated campaign of state-sponsored violence. But the ‘journalist’ makes such claims anyway in what appears to be an effort to disguise her happiness at watching people lose their loved ones.
Irena Akbar is known to engage in hateful rhetoric online. In February 2020, she accused Dalits of gang raping and killing Muslims during the Gujarat riots. She has also advanced boycotts of business establishments run by Hindus. During the CAA controversy, she expressed disappointment with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for not speaking up for not speaking up for Jamia.