Online auction.. Muslim women for sale in India


A new application to “sell Muslim women” in India through an online auction has caused a sensation, especially as it is the second of its kind in India in months.

This is another evidence – according to what was stated in a report By Samir Yasser, New York Times writer, on the organized nature of virtual bullying and the attendant threat of sexual violence to silence anyone who authorizes her to pose as a Muslim activist.

The report first tells the story of Muslim journalist Heba Beg who was visiting her grandfather’s grave in New Delhi over the weekend when she learned that it was being “for sale” by public auction to the highest bidder, via an online platform.

Her screen has been filled with dozens of calls and messages from friends all sharing the same screenshot of a profile created for her on an app on a fake auction site called Bulli Bai.

The former journalist, with a large presence on the Internet, soon discovered that it was not only her that had been offered for sale, but that more than 100 other prominent Indian Muslim women, including artists, journalists, activists and lawyers, had all posted their photos on this application without Teach them on Saturday, the first day of the new year 2022, and this application was not removed from the platform through which it was prepared until after 24 hours.

The writer adds that “Poly Pay” is the second application of its kind aimed at insulting Muslim women in India. Last June, a similar application called “Sulli Deals” appeared, and they are colloquial terms intended to insult Muslim women.

The app has been active for weeks and was only taken down after complaints from victims, and although the police opened an investigation into the matter, they have not charged anyone in the case.

Misogyny and harassment are rampant in India’s internet space, but these “auctions”, according to the author, have heightened concern about the organized nature of virtual bullying, and how targeted defamation and threats of violence, particularly sexual violence, are being disseminated to try to silence women, particularly those who criticize some policies Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Journalist Heba Beg commented on this by saying, “The intimidation aims to force Muslim women who raise their voices against injustice to withdraw from public life…but this will only make them more determined.”

The writer says that Muslim women were at the forefront of one of the largest protest movements in India in recent decades, when they came out in early 2020, before the current Corona pandemic swept India, in large numbers, closing roads and organizing massive demonstrations in protest against the new citizenship law, which was seen as biased against Muslims.

The app, which launched last June, and the current app are hosted by GitHub, an open software development platform owned by Microsoft Corporation and based in San Francisco.

And the Indian Federal Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnau said – on Sunday – that GitHub has banned the user behind the latest application, but the platform has not publicly commented on the issue, according to the writer.

Karti Chidambaram, a member of the Indian Parliament and leader of the opposition Congress party, wrote on Twitter that he was appalled that those responsible for this latest application had dared to do so due to the government’s failure to take action against those who prepared the previous application, saying, “It is unacceptable that such work will return. The dangerous thing that betrays hatred for Muslims.”

Police in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh said on Monday that they had opened an investigation and filed a criminal complaint against several users and developers of the app on Twitter, based on a complaint from a Muslim woman, but many of the complainants say the lack of progress in previous investigations does not bode well.

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