Global Civil Society Condemns Indian PM Modi, BJP Leaders for anti-Muslim Hate Speech During Elections

A coalition of 48 civil society organizations worldwide has issued a statement condemning the hate speech targeting the Muslim community by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top leaders of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the parliamentary elections set to conclude on June 4th.

The statement highlights the use of Islamophobic, inflammatory rhetoric by PM Modi, which has fueled a climate of anti-Muslim hate that jeopardizes the safety of millions and the integrity of India’s democracy. The political use of dehumanizing speech is a precursor to violence, yet the Prime Minister has himself targeted citizens with derogatory labels and unfounded accusations. The undersigned organizations call upon the international community to hold PM Modi and his party accountable and urge them to cease spreading hate speech immediately.

The text of the statement:

The undersigned civil society organizations and concerned individuals across the world strongly condemn the hate speeches made repeatedly by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top leaders of his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party against India’s Muslim community since India’s parliamentary elections began in April.

Despite repeated complaints2 by India’s opposition parties and tens of thousands of concerned citizens3, Prime Minister Modi has continuously targeted Indian Muslims and his political opponents alike in his hate speeches, fanning the flames of an already dangerous climate of anti-minority hate and violence in the nation.

In his many election speeches, the prime minister has labelled India’s 250 million Muslims as “infiltrators”4, deployed Islamophobic tropes accusing Muslims of having more children5 than India’s Hindus, and claimed that Muslims would rob other marginalized communities of their reservations. This is a blatant attempt to further normalize and amplify anti-Muslim fears and hatred within Indian
Shockingly, Modi has also called6 the right of India’s Muslim citizens to vote as “vote jihad”, in a blatant attempt to disenfranchise them. Almost on cue, police in Sambhal district of BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh state beat up hundreds of Muslim voters and chased them away not to allow them to vote.

Modi has stoked hatred for and fear of Muslims by saying that should the Opposition parties win power, “terrorists in jail would be invited to the prime minister’s office and served biryani” and “land will be taken away to give to Muslims as part of land jihad.” He has further sought to stoke hatred for Muslims by saying10 that if the Opposition parties win the election, they will withdraw affirmative quotas (reservations) from the tribal and Dalit communities and give them to “those who practice vote jihad,” a reference to Muslims.

Modi’s hate-filled rhetoric has also been copied by several other leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, who accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of promoting Islamic seminaries (madrasas), preachers (mullahs) and mafia, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who said11 the Opposition parties wanted to bring the “Taliban” rule to India to implement the Sharia and redistribute “your” (Hindus’) properties to Muslims.

Assam Chief Minister Hemant Sarma, also a BJP leader, has been spewing hatred towards Muslims12 at public rallies by targeting the setting up of Muslim religious schools, which is a Constitutional right of the Muslim community, and even the right of the Muslims to wear the religious caps.

In March 2024, experts from the Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council expressed their concerns13 about the level of anti-minority violence and rhetoric within India as it prepared for the coming elections, as well as the lack of response from the government about these reports and the United Nation’s own communique. They warned of the danger to minority groups and called for change, citing the need for an election free from discrimination.

We, the global civil society, maintain that the leader of the world’s largest democracy – whose parliamentary elections have significance and bearing for the rest of the world – should not stoop to spreading hate speech and must be held accountable for doing so. We call upon the leaders of the international community to impress this upon Mr. Modi, urge him to retract and apologize for his statements immediately, and urge him to commit to holding his fellow party members accountable for spreading violent hate speech as well.


Indian American Muslim Council Hindus for Human Rights

Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Genocide Watch

Dalit Solidarity FIACONA

New York State Council of Churches

North America Manipur Tribal Association (NAMTA) Asian Children’s Educational Fellowship

American Sikh Council Justice for All

International Christian Concern India Civil Watch

Coalition Against Fascism

Boston South Asian Coalition

Black African Cemetery Coalition Justice4Palestine Actions Enablement Network Virginia Political Action Committee

Tunisian Action Network Libyan American Alliance

Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition Islamic Leadership Institute of America Coalition of Seattle Indian Americans ICNA Council for Social Justice

The London Story (TLS)

South Asian Diaspora Action Collective (SADAC) South Asian SOAR

The Citizens Foundation World Without Genocide Sikh Information Centre

Sikh Assembly of America Incarnation Anglican Church Assembly for Human Rights World Without Genocide Global Buhjan Group

Georgia Muslim Action Committee (GAMAC) American Muslims for Palestine- New Jersey

Coalition of Americans for Pluralism in India (CAPI) Islamic Community Center of Laurel

Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit ImpactHub

Incarnation Anglican Church Jubilee Campaign

Muslim Community Support Services NRI Ambedkari



1 “PM unleashing hate speech against Muslims from every available forum: Opposition.” Business Standard. Accessed May 29, 2024. Business Standard.

2 “Opposition accuses India’s Modi of ‘brazen’ violations.” Yahoo News Australia. May 20, 2024. Yahoo News.

3 “”Over 17,400 citizens write to EC seeking action against PM Narendra Modi for hate speech.” April 22, 2024.

4 “Modi’s Speech Against Muslims Sparks Outrage.” The New York Times. April 22, 2024. The New York Times.

5 “Asaduddin Owaisi slams PM Modi’s remarks at Rajasthan rally.” India Today. April 22, 2024. India Today.

6 “Modi’s anti-Muslim ‘Vote Jihad’ rhetoric faces severe criticism.” VOA News. May 22, 2024. VOA News.

7 “Muslims in UP’s Sambhal ‘not allowed’ to cast vote, thrashed by cops.” Siasat Daily. May 7, 2024. Siasat.

8 “‘Merciless’ assault, ‘abused’, men detained for shooting videos: 24 hours in UP’s Sambhal.”

Newslaundry. May 11, 2024. Newslaundry.

9 “If Congress wins, terrorists will be fed biryani in PM house: PM Modi.” Times of India. May 29, 2024. Times of India.

10 “Modi keeps up reservation rhetoric, says Congress wants to give SC/ST quotas to people who practice ‘vote jihad’.” The Hindu. April 22, 2024. The Hindu.

11 “Now, Yogi raises property redistribution, Sharia spectre.” Times of India. May 22, 2024. Times of India. 12 “Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind condemns Himanta Biswa Sarma’s offensive remarks against madrasas.” The Wire. May 22, 2024. The Wire.

13 “India: UN experts urge corrective action to protect human rights and end attacks.” OHCHR. March 2024. OHCHR.


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily mirror Islamonweb’s editorial stance.

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