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As Gujarat Samachar copies OpIndia report except for the exclusive identity of Muslim culprit, know how mainstream media shields Islamists and crimes committed by Muslims

Gujarat Samachar copied the OpIndia report of Ashish Goswami who did a Ghar Wapasi after converting to Islam, but they did so by hiding the religious identity of the perpetrators and other details related to religion.

Ashish Goswami, a resident of Jetpur in the Rajkot district of Gujarat who embraced Islam after establishing contact with a Muslim girl from Bangladesh through the social media platform Instagram, was brought back to Hinduism by Kanhaiyanand Maharaj, the revered leader of the local Hindu Dharma Sena and the Mahant of the Narasimha temple in Jetpur on 5th July 2023. OpIndia’s Gujarati team contacted the Hindu seer and covered an exclusive ground report of this Ghar Wapasi. Gujarat Samachar, a leading newspaper in Gujarat copied the details of the incident from the OpIndia and published the news, but they did so by hiding the religious identity of the perpetrators and other details related to religion.

OpIndia published the report on 6th July 2023 at around 4:20 PM in Gujarati. Gujarat Samachar, a leading newspaper of Gujarat, copied the OpIndia report word by word and published it on 7th July 2023. However, the Gujarat Samachar deleted the terms ‘Muslim’ and ‘Islam’ from its report. Instead, Gujarat Samachar called it a ‘particular community’.

In the OpIndia ground report, it was clearly mentioned that the victim youth was influenced by fugitive Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik. It was also mentioned that he was accompanied by two Muslim youths when he went to a government hospital to get circumcised because he wanted to convert to Islam. It was also mentioned that the Bangladeshi girl who lured him into marriage and asked him to convert was a Muslim. Gujarat Samachar did not mention the word Muslim or Islam anywhere in this regard. It rather hid the identity of the community the perpetrators belonged to.

Besides, the victim youth Ashish Goswami had grown a beard like a Muslim religious person and he shaved the beard when he was brought back to Hinduism by the Hindu saint who visited his house and invested 2 hours to discuss with him and guide him to come back to his original faith. The Gujarat Samachar mentioned the 2-hour-long efforts but cleverly hid that the youth shaved the Muslim-like beard and rejected the Islamic symbol of identity.

The Gujarat Samachar however did not forget to mention that the members of Hindu organisations gathered outside the house of the victim youth late in the night and chanted Hanuman Chalisa and raised slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Mentioning this, without context or mention of the faith of the youths who brainwashed Ashish Goswami may lead a reader to an anti-Hindu perception through such news.

This is not the first time that the mainstream media has shielded the wrongdoings of Islamists and crimes committed by Muslims. A popular way to achieve this is by writing ‘particular community’ or ‘minority community’ instead of Muslims or Islam. While this method is employed in every small case where the accused Muslim is practically a nobody or as common as the victim. If the accused is a known face, the media switches to humanising the culprit.

An incident from Bihar that took place in 2019 is a classic example of how the media not only conceals the identity of a Muslim culprit but imposes a Hindu identity on him. In this incident, several media organisations attributed the death of a 10-year-old boy because of the rituals performed by a Muslim healer to a “Tantrik”. While the death of the child occurred due to a Muslim healer, the PTI report gave an obvious Hindu slant to the headline and calls the Muslim healer a ‘Tantrik’. This headline was then carried by many media houses such as NDTV, India Today, and The Tribune verbatim without changes.

On the other hand, when a culprit is Hindu, or particularly an upper caste Hindu, or the victim is a lower caste Hindu the identity of the person is screamed through the headlines even in cases as insignificant as a minor road accident. When the culprit in some incident is a known face from the Muslim community or a brazened Islamic terrorist the mainstream media tends to humanise him however inhuman his crime.

The media and their Islamist-Leftist counterparts have frequently employed a powerful tactic of humanising terrorists or Muslim criminals which can be easily dismissed as mere shenanigans. However, this approach effectively distorts the perception of the public, making it challenging for them to accept the facts presented against these terrorists. By portraying them as likeable and relatable individuals, the common reader becomes inclined to disregard the evidence against them.

Times of India published an article talking about how much Umar Khalid’s girlfriend misses him, how much she loves him, how they met and started dating, how they meet in jail, and so on and so forth.

The Indian Express, Huffington Post, and The Wire published articles that sought to humanise Riyaz Naikoo, a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, by emphasising his background as the “son of a tailor” and a former math teacher, while also referring to him as the operational chief of the terrorist organization. The Wire, in particular, went a step further by avoiding any mention of the term “jihadi” in their article.

Despite Naikoo’s active involvement in the valley and his responsibility for numerous abductions and recruitment activities for the Hizbul Mujahideen over the years, propagandists mourned his death and presented misleading narratives suggesting that he was driven towards “extremism” due to actions by the Indian state. This deliberate manipulation served to whitewash his terrorist activities and glorify him as a “martyr.”

Hindustan Times portrayed Yasin Malik, who is responsible for the killing of Indian Air Force personnel and collaborated closely with Pakistan, as someone with a “long history of struggle.”

Yasin Malik actively engaged in attacking Indian individuals in Kashmir, aiming to separate the valley from India. However, the Indian state has taken measures to isolate him from Kashmir, leading to his imprisonment where he remains today.

In her article, The Quint’s Legal writer, Mekhala Saran, made a defensive case for Sharjeel Imam, who was accused in the Jamia violence case. Rather than providing a legal news analysis, she attempted to school the justice system, as if it needed her validation.

For decades, the mainstream media has adhered to a consistent trend that went unquestioned. The sympathies of India’s mainstream media towards Jihadis and Islamists are not unique but rather mimic the support seen in Western media. Recently, Gujarat Samachar replicated a ground report from OpIndia while conveniently omitting the religious identity of the Muslims involved in the brainwashing of Ashish Goswami for his conversion to Islam.

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