Indian MP visiting Australia compares Muslim conquest of India to Holocaust

In May 2022, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya made some public appearances in Australia, including the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD). He told an audience in Parramatta that the history of Islam is “writ large with bloodshed and violence.”

Comparing it to the Holocaust, he also said, “The Islamic chapter in India is the bloodiest chapter in the history of the world.”

Junaid Ahmed, a student at the University of New South Wales and a representative of a coalition of Muslim Student associations from across Australia which had protested Surya’s visit, told the Guardian that giving a platform to Surya “normalizes” his views. He also considers that the comments constituted hate speech and promoted Islamophobia.

“Such hate speech promotes Islamophobia and facilitates violent extremism. Discrimination and hate speech should not be accepted at our universities or in our wider Australian societies.”

A representative from the Islamic Council of Victoria also commented. “The ICV does not believe that providing such a hateful figure with a prominent platform is consistent with the AIYD’s aim of nurturing a diverse and equitable dialogue.”

A representative from AIYD came out and spoke to the Guardian about Surya’s visit. “There are deep complexities in the range of views held by people in both countries. Recognizing that these deep complexities exist will help Australia and India understand one another better. That doesn’t imply support for any particular view. The AIYD is staunchly apolitical.”

Hindutva often uses the period of Islamic rule to self-victimize and spread anti-Muslim rhetoric. During an event commemorating the 400th birthday of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru who is remembered for championing religious freedoms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to the podium and spoke about India’s most despised Muslim ruler, Aurangzeb Alamgir. “Aurangzeb severed many heads, but he could not shake our faith.”

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