Perceived Anti-Muslim Sentiment in India

During my week in Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, I was pretty surprised by the explicit anti-Muslim sentiment that I encountered.  I’m just going to list some observations I made and statements I heard (denoted with quotes although they may not be direct quotes given that they’re written from memory):

  • “Don’t take a tuk tuk, they’re dangerous because 80% of the drivers are Muslim”
  • “All Muslims drink and smoke all the time”
  • Most people dressed in business clothes and owning shops are Hindu, while people selling things on the street, driving tuk tuks, and living in Old Delhi are Muslim.  There appears to be a pretty clear religious wealth divide.
  • “Talk to people with lighter skin; they’re safer”
  • “Modi and the government are Hindus, so it’s difficult for me as a Muslim”
  • “My Hindu girlfriend broke up with me because I am Muslim and her father works in the government.  She couldn’t be dating a Muslim”
  • “I applied for a job at a hotel, but once they found out I was Muslim, they stopped talking to me”
  • “Make sure you let them know I’m Muslim”–clearly because this would have an impact on how someone perceived them.

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