Press Releases

CAIR Joins Call for Suspension of Facebook India Head, Ankhi Das, for Allowing Islamophobic Activity

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/9/20) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined dozens of civil and human rights organizations in demanding that Facebook be held accountable for its willful and deliberate neglect to address anti-Muslim hate speech on its platform in India.  

That letter, signed by leading international civil society actors from the technology and rights sectors, called for Facebook India’s director, Ankhi Das, to be placed on leave pending an audit by the company’s U.S. headquarters. 

This demand letter, published by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, was triggered by ongoing reporting by the Wall Street Journal regarding problematic ties between FB India’s leadership and the BJP, India’s far-right party responsible for implementing a succession of anti-Muslim policies and actions. 

SEE: Wall Street Journal Article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-hate-speech-india-politics-muslim-hindu-modi-zuckerberg-11597423346 

The letter addressed and delivered to Mark Zuckerberg, states, in part: 

“An August 14th, 2020 article described how top leadership at Facebook’s India office refused to apply Facebook’s own rules to politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), despite clear violations of Facebook’s policies against incitement to violence, hate speech, and misinformation. Your top policy executive, Ankhi Das, reportedly “told staff members that punishing violations by politicians from Mr. Modi’s party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country,” according to current and former employees. In an August 30 article, former employees in both India and the U.S told The Wall Street Journal that “Facebook declined to act after discovering that the BJP was circumventing its political ad transparency requirements.”” 

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: 

“It is disturbing that global Islamophobia has become so normalized that a household name like Facebook can allow openly anti-Muslim hate activity on its platform without any consequence.  

“There is an established connection between online hate speech and offline violence and harassment. At some point social media platforms will have to come to terms with the fact that they are not only witness to, but also complicit in, the terrible wave of anti-Muslim bigotry that has taken over India and our world.” 

Awad noted that in March, CAIR called for unity between faiths and nations on the first anniversary of the terror attacks. He said CAIR has been working with the New Zealand government and other partners to find solutions to online extremism and hate speech on the internet.  

SEE: White Supremacist Terror Can No Longer Be Ignored  

https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/434302-white-supremacist-terror-can-no-longer-be-ignored

FOR BACKGROUND, SEE:   

CAIR Marks First Anniversary of New Zealand Mosque Attacks with Call for Unity – #51Lives  

CAIR Condemns Terror Attack on New Zealand Mosques, Urges Stepped-Up Security by Muslim Communities in U.S., Worldwide  

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.  

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.  

END 

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw, 202-999-8292, rmccaw@cair.com  

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter