Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

New Delhi, India On January 1, Quratulain Rehbar, an Indian-administered Kashmir journalist, woke up to see she was listed for an “online auction”. Her photo was obtained without her permission and uploaded to an application for “sale”.

She was not alone.

Photos of more than 100 Muslim women, including prominent actress Shabana Azami, wife of a sitting judge of the Delhi High Court, various journalists, activists and politicians were displayed on the app for an auction as “Bulli Bai” of the day.

Even Pakistan Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai was not spared by the perpetrators.

After last July’s “Sulli Deals, In which almost 80 Muslim women were “for sale”, “Bulli Bai” was the second such attempt in less than a year.

“Both ‘Bulli’ and ‘Sulli’ are derogatory words used for Muslim women in local slang. This time, however, the Punjabi language was used in the ‘Bulli Bai’ interface with English, “journalist Mohammad Zubair, who works for the fact-checking website AltNews, told Al Jazeera.

Rehbar, who previously reported on the “Sulli Deals” auction in July last year, told Al Jazeera she was shocked to see her photo on the app.

“When I saw my photo, my throat became heavy, I had chicken on my arms and I was numb. It was shocking and humiliating, “she said.

Although there were no actual sales involved, the online application – created on the open source software development site GitHub owned by Microsoft – was intended, according to Rehbar, to “humiliate and humiliate vocal Muslim women”.

The application was taken down on Saturday, with victims saying the interface of the GitHub extension on “Bulli Bai” was strikingly similar to the one used by “Sulli Deals”.

By Saturday night, dozens of other Muslim women began posting their shock and outrage on social media after seeing their photos and details on the application.

Among them was Ismat Ara, a journalist in the capital, New Delhi.

Ara on Saturday lodged a complaint with Delhi police against “unknown people” for harassing and insulting Muslim women on social media “using doctored photos in unacceptable and shameful context”.

On the basis of her complaint, a first intelligence report (FIR) was registered by the Delhi cyber police on Sunday, calling on various sections of the Indian criminal law relating to the promotion of hostility on the grounds of religion, threatening national integration and sexual harassment of women.

Following another complaint by Sidrah, whose photo also appeared on the application, a police case was also registered in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, against several Twitter handles and the “Bulli Bai” application developers.

However, Ara said she is not hopeful about the police investigation, her fears stem from the fact that the investigation in “Sulli Deals” saw that no arrests were made even after six months.

Fatima Zohra Khan, a lawyer in Mumbai whose name appears in both “Sulli” and “Bulli Bai” transactions, also lodged a complaint with the Mumbai police last year.

“We did not get any response from Twitter, GitHub and Go-Daddy (web hosting company), even though the police in Mumbai themselves requested them to disclose data. “These sites refuse to share information unless a court order is submitted,” she told Al Jazeera.

Delhi police officers did not respond to Al Jazeera’s inquiries about the latest “auction”.

“It is sad to see how these haters are licensed to target Muslim women without any fear. “This is not the first time that such an auction has taken place,” said Ara.

“The women targeted are vocal women who raise issues of Muslims on social media. “It is a clear conspiracy to exclude these Muslim women, because we are challenging the Hindu right online against their hate crimes,” she added.

During Eid al-Fitr’s Muslim festival last year, a YouTube channel called “Liberal Doge” shared photos of Pakistani women in a sexualized video titled “Eid Special”. It was removed by the company after outrage.

Weeks after the incident, Muslim women were “auctioned” on Twitter under the “Sulli Deals”.

Several Indian MPs have raised the matter with the government, including Priyanka Chaturvedi, based in the western state of Maharashtra, home of Mumbai.

Following her tweet in which India’s IT minister was called to take “strict action” against “misogynistic and common target of women”, the minister said GitHub had blocked the user responsible for hosting the website and the police authorities coordinate further action ”.

“Police complaints were registered at the time of ‘Sulli transactions’. However, no action was taken. That is why these people feel encouraged, ”Chaturvedi told Al Jazeera.

Rehbar said it was “particularly worrying” for Muslim women to “fight patriarchy and restrictions” on the one hand and “face such harassment on the other”.

“Women are often asked to remove their photos from social media and hide. “After such attempts to harass Muslim women, it will be difficult for many women to take a stand.”

Rana Ayyub, a Mumbai-based columnist for The Washington Post, told Al Jazeera that people “greet targeted harassment of women without being identified by law.”

“‘Bulli Bai’ takes hate crimes in India to another dangerous level where Muslim women are virtually violated and made a free-for-all for a large crowd,” she said.

“These auctions of women from the minority communities show the moral decline of India and its constitutional values.”

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *