A Facebook India executive has apologised to Muslim staff for sharing a post that dubbed Muslims in India a “degenerate community”, according to a report by BuzzFeed News.
The post, originally written by a police officer last year in response to nationwide protests against a new citizenship law, said for Muslims, “nothing except purity of religion and implementation of Shariah matter”.
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed last year by India’s Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi fast-tracks nationality for non-Muslim minorities from neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The United Nations has termed the law “fundamentally discriminatory”.
“The intent of my personal Facebook post was not to denigrate Islam,” Ankhi Das, the social media giant’s policy director for India and South and Central Asia, wrote in an internal message obtained by BuzzFeed News.
“It was to reflect my deep belief in celebrating feminism and civic participation. I value all perspectives I have heard over the past days about how the post was received and as a result I have deleted the post. I genuinely regret any hurt it may have caused, including to my Muslim colleagues in the company.”
‘Hate speech and Islamophobia’
Some Muslim employees of the company commented on Das’s apology. “As a company, we now need to do an honest reflection of hate speech and Islamophobia against Muslims on our platform,” an employee said as reported by BuzzFeed.