A trend on Twitter, #BoycottIndianProducts, was launched few days ago and has been going on since. This was launched by the Muslim Brotherhood, who with fake news and multiple afflicted ‘news media’, to target India’s economic interests.
The target was India, but it ended up targeting Saudi Arabia instead.
The campaign, according to The Disinfo Lab, was essentially targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, or maintaining a good relation with India.
However, the India relations are a mere ruse. This was not one off campaign, and the Qatar-Turkey-Pakistan Nexus has been targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE for questioning their ‘right’ to be the leader of Islamic world.
The idea is obvious – by discrediting MBS, the leader of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, would be crowned as the rightful leader of the Ummah (Global Muslim community).
The Ertugrul Ghazi was prelude. The Ottoman Empire is in remaking! Well.. you get the picture.
India was not the only country targeted for this economic boycott. The campaign also targeted France, asking to boycott French products.
This social media trend was not only in virtual realm. There is a solid economic logic behind it.
By creating the subaltern culture of boycott through social media, they would also create a potent weapon. And once the Qatar-Turkey-Pakistan Nexus takes centre stage in the Islamic world, this would create an exclusionary economy of gigantic proportions.
The economic power the nexus built will not only affect the Muslim world but would dictate terms all over the world – in the name of accommodating this huge market.
The petro-dollars of Qatar (gas-dollars to be precise), may not last forever to sustain the radical Islamists of Muslim Brotherhood. They would need new economic logic to sustain their radical Ideas. This could be one.
At around September 26, a trend was observed on social media with the hashtag – #مقاطعة_المنتجات_الهندية (#BoycottIndianProducts).
The trend was essentially in Arabic, except for few handles who also used the English language trend.
In the past few days, some social media users in the Arabic world (essentially Egypt & Iraq), along with Turkish and Pakistani users were engaged in running coordinated campaign, with the hashtags #مقاطعة_المنتجات_الهندية (#BoycottIndianProducts) and الهند_تقتل_المسلمين (#IndiaIsKillingMuslims).
They called for a boycott Indian products as a means to teach India a lesson. The call for ban has been brought about, citing atrocities committed against Muslims in India.
While on the face of it, the #Boycott_Indian_Products felt like it was a reaction to the most unfortunate and condemnable incident in northeast India, it became apparent that the trigger would not have mattered.
Given the overwhelming amount of fake news used in the campaign, it is obvious that the campaigners were waiting for an excuse - any excuse. The one incident was pushed with an overdose of fake news – recycling all old and unrelated media.
It was not a spontaneous reaction. The same campaign is being run for the last four years – starting 2018.
These campaigns (#BoycottIndianProducts) were launched earlier in Jan 2018; Feb 2019; and Sept 2020. However, they never got much success.
While the reasons are not clear, the Pakistani establishment was not effective – and may be why the Muslim Brotherhood stepped in?
Muslim Brotherhood major media outlets also participated this fake news campaign.
From being a ‘fresh alternate voice’ to the Western ‘global media’ – to falling outright into the categories of propaganda outlets – AJ’s journey has been rather swift, taking on hardcore Muslim Brotherhood positions since the so-called Arab Spring in 2011.
Not only that most basic reporting standards were missing, one of the sister news media of AJ went on to recycle the story through their Twitter every six hour.
All the major portals of Al Jazeera promoted the campaign by tweeting from its various handles i.e., Al Jazeera Global, Arabic, Kuwait, Turkey, Egypt etc.
AJ’s perspective towards India has been less than transparent, to say the least. It has had a history of sharing fake news, particularly targeting India.
The anti-India slant of AJ was also visible, where it did not show the J&K as part of India, which is followed by all media houses publishing in India. This is not unique to India, as most countries desire that any publication in their territory should depict their official claims.
For global audience, most of the neutral platforms adopt the UN maps. But AJ’s sympathies were clear.
What is even more shocking was that AJ did not show Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands as part of India, the territories that are not even in dispute.
The U.S. ordered Al Jazeera Affiliate to Register as Foreign Agent.
The Justice Department says AJ+, a media outlet backed by the royal family of Qatar, engages in “political activities.
As noted above, several of its journalist have been found to be members of Muslim Brotherhood, with some having been on terror watchlists.
TRT World is a state-owned Turkish public broadcaster news channel. It is managed by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation and is heavily aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.
TRT World is one of the several media houses to have covered the news and even promoted the campaign of #BoycottIndianProducts.
However, TRT World went one step ahead, and removed any doubt whatsoever about its intentions.
It launched a promotion of the news article through TRT Arabia, which ran a Facebook Ad (now deleted).
The target location of Ad could not be determined as it is currently active.
While it is not common for any major media house to run paid advertisements of particular news article, some media houses still do. But TRT’s history of paid promotions tell their own story.
As is the case with such endeavors, fake news is almost always part of the package.
TRT World has also shared several fake news via its portal targeting India.
Incidentally, TRT’s fake news are not only limited in targeting India, but to other countries who may not be in the good books of Turkish government and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The entire expose can be read here.