Twitter censors writer CJ Werleman for highlighting anti-Muslim violence in India

Twitter censors writer CJ Werleman for highlighting anti-Muslim violence in India
2 min read
22 June, 2022
The move came just three days after Twitter notified Werleman that it had received a request from the government of India to censor some of his tweets
Reports of anti-Muslim violence have increased under the watch of Modi's BJP government [Getty]

Twitter has withheld the account of journalist and activist CJ Werleman following a complaint by the Indian government over his coverage of anti-Muslim violence in the country.

The move came just three days after Werleman was notified by Twitter that it had received a request from the Government of India to censor six of his tweets posted over a period of two years.

Werleman's tweets are now blocked in the South Asian country.

Werleman told The New Arab that he believes this move is a bid to censor criticism of the Indian government's actions and downplay Islamophobia in the country.

"This is the Indian Government's latest effort to silence its critics on social media, particularly those who report anti-Muslim hate crimes," he said.

"No doubt - the Modi regime has been stung into action by the US Government's unprecedented move to condemn Delhi for its mistreatment of religious minorities."

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Werleman, who has more than 300,000 followers on Twitter, regularly writes on Islamophobia - including for The New Arab - and has frequently covered anti-Muslim violence in India.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist BJP government, reports of violent acts against Muslims including lynchings and home and mosque demolitions have increased.

Among several controversial moves, Modi's government has proposed a controversial law that granted citizenship to refugees in India, but not if they are Muslim, while state BJP governments have passed laws making it harder for Muslims to marry outside their religion.

Werleman slammed Twitter's move to block his tweets and accused the social media platform of being "complicit" in proliferating anti-Muslim sentiment.

"That Twitter is seemingly taking the same action against prominent Indian Muslim journalist Mohammed Zubair as it has against me - makes Twitter now complicit in the Indian government's persecution of Muslims," Werleman told The New Arab.

The New Arab reached out to Twitter for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.