India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi likened to 'Yazid' after Ashura tweet

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi likened to 'Yazid' after Ashura tweet
Modi tweeted that Imam Hussein 'placed great importance on equality and brotherhood' in an Ashura message that has attracted backlash due to his party's anti-Muslim stance.
2 min read
09 August, 2022
Modi has been criticised for encouraging anti-Muslim sentiment in India [Getty]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been slammed for a "hypocritical" tweet commemorating Ashura, given his party's "anti-Muslim stance" and a wave of violence against Muslims in India. 

Ashura is the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram and is observed by Shia Muslims to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

He was killed by the army of Yazid ibn Muawiyah, an early leader of the Ummayad Caliphate. Yazid's name has become an insult among some Muslims, including in Shia communities in India and Pakistan.  

"Today is a day to recall the sacrifices of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS)," tweeted Prime Minister Modi. "He is remembered for his unwavering commitment to truth and his fight against injustice. He also placed great importance on equality and brotherhood."

Dozens of social media users have likened Modi to Yazid. Asad Sultan tweeted "So why are you being Yazid?", while Ayesha tweeted "Ladies and gentlemen, Yazid himself," referring to the Indian Prime Minister.

Another user, going by the intitals AF called Modi's tweet the "Irony of Tyranny", and Bella Gaur said: "Pretty confident Imam Hussein doesn't like his name mentioned by the one his hands are dirty of indian muslims blood" (sic).

Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been regularly accused of targeting Muslims through their policies, and several BJP leaders have called for, or condoned, violence against Muslims.

The BJP believes that Muslims, along with other minorities such as Christians, have no place in India and routinely spreads misinformation about Muslim beliefs and history.