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Bulli Bai: India’s Muslim girls once more listed on app for ‘public sale’ | Islamophobia Information


New Delhi, India – On January 1, Quratulain Rehbar, a journalist from Indian-administered Kashmir, woke as much as see herself listed for an “on-line public sale”. Her {photograph} was sourced with out her permission and uploaded on an app for “sale”.

She was not alone.

Pictures of greater than 100 Muslim girls, together with distinguished actress Shabana Azami, spouse of a sitting decide of Delhi Excessive Court docket, a number of journalists, activists and politicians had been displayed on the app for public sale as “Bulli Bai” of the day.

Even Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai was not spared by the perpetrators.

After final July’s “Sulli Offers“, through which practically 80 Muslim girls had been put up “on the market”, “Bulli Bai” was the second such try in lower than a 12 months.

“Each ‘Bulli’ and ‘Sulli’ are derogatory phrases used for Muslim girls in native slang. Nonetheless, this time the Punjabi language was used within the ‘Bulli Bai’ interface together with English,” journalist Mohammad Zubair, who works for fact-checking web site AltNews, advised Al Jazeera.

Rehbar, who had beforehand reported on the “Sulli Offers” public sale in July final 12 months, advised Al Jazeera she was shocked to see her {photograph} on the app.

“Once I noticed my {photograph}, my throat bought heavy, I had goosebumps on my arms and I used to be numb. It was surprising and humiliating,” she mentioned.

Whereas there was no actual sale concerned, the web utility – created on Microsoft-owned open software program improvement website GitHub – was, based on Rehbar, supposed “to degrade and humiliate vocal Muslim girls”.

The app was taken down on Saturday, with victims saying the interface of the GitHub extension on “Bulli Bai” was strikingly just like the one utilized by “Sulli Offers”.

By Saturday night, dozens of different Muslim girls started posting their shock and outrage on social media after seeing their images and particulars on the app.

Amongst them was Ismat Ara, a journalist within the capital, New Delhi.

Ara filed a criticism on Saturday with the Delhi Police in opposition to “unknown individuals” for harassing and insulting Muslim girls on social media “utilizing doctored photos in unacceptable and lewd context”.

Based mostly on her criticism, a First Info Report (FIR) was registered by Delhi Cyber Police on Sunday, invoking varied sections of the Indian Penal Code that pertain to selling enmity on grounds of faith, threatening nationwide integration and sexual harassment of ladies.

Following one other criticism by Sidrah, whose picture additionally appeared on the app, a police case was additionally registered in India’s monetary capital Mumbai in opposition to varied Twitter handles and the “Bulli Bai” app builders.

Nonetheless, Ara mentioned she just isn’t hopeful relating to the police investigation, her fears stemming from the truth that the probe in “Sulli Offers” has seen no arrests made even after six months.

Fatima Zohra Khan, a lawyer primarily based in Mumbai whose title figured in each “Sulli” and “Bulli Bai” offers, had additionally filed a criticism with Mumbai police final 12 months.

“We bought no response from Twitter, GitHub and Go-Daddy (website hosting firm) regardless of Mumbai Police themselves requesting them to disclose knowledge. These web sites refuse to share info except a courtroom warrant is produced,” she advised Al Jazeera.

Police officers in New Delhi and Mumbai didn’t reply to Al Jazeera’s queries on the newest “public sale”.

“It’s unhappy to see how these hate-mongers are licensed to focus on Muslim girls with none concern. This isn’t the primary time such an public sale has taken place,” mentioned Ara.

“The ladies who’ve been focused are vocal girls who increase problems with Muslims on social media. It’s a clear conspiracy to close these Muslim girls as a result of we problem the Hindu right-wing on-line in opposition to their hate crimes,” she added.

In the course of the Muslim pageant of Eid al-Fitr final 12 months, a YouTube channel named “Liberal Doge”, shared photos of Pakistani girls in a sexualised video, titled “Eid Particular”. It was eliminated by the corporate after outrage.

Weeks after the incident, Muslim girls had been “auctioned” on Twitter below the “Sulli Offers”.

A number of Indian parliamentarians have raised the matter with the federal government, together with Priyanka Chaturvedi, primarily based within the western state of Maharashtra, house to Mumbai.

After her tweet calling out India’s IT minister to take “stern motion” in opposition to “misogynistic and communal concentrating on of ladies”, the minister mentioned GitHub had blocked the person chargeable for internet hosting the positioning and the “police authorities are coordinating additional motion”.

“Police complaints had been registered through the time of ‘Sulli offers’. Nonetheless, no motion was taken. That’s the reason why these individuals really feel emboldened,” Chaturvedi advised Al Jazeera.

Rehbar mentioned it was “significantly alarming” for Muslim girls who’re “combating patriarchy and restrictions” on one hand and “going through such harassment” on the opposite.

“Typically girls are requested to take away their photos from social media and conceal. After such makes an attempt to harass Muslim girls, it is going to be troublesome for a lot of girls to take a stand.”

Rana Ayyub, a Mumbai-based columnist with The Washington Publish, advised Al Jazeera persons are “hailing focused harassment of ladies with out being recognized by regulation”.

“‘Bulli Bai’ takes hate crimes in India to a different harmful stage the place Muslim girls are being just about violated and made a free-for-all for a bigoted mob,” she mentioned.

“These auctions of ladies from the minority communities show the ethical degradation of India and its constitutional values.”



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