India Today’s Rahul Kanwal condemned for promoting Islamophobia by inviting convicted Dutch hatemonger to speak on Prophet controversy


India Today TV anchor Rahul Kanwal is facing widespread condemnation for his decision to invite a notorious hatemonger from the Netherlands to push Islamophobia in India amidst growing controversy over remarks made against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Several journalists and Twitter users have lashed out at Kanwal and his employer for fuelling Islamophobia by inviting a foreign panelist, who was found guilty of hatemongering in his own country.

Sharing the video of his interview with notorious far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders, Kanwal had tweeted, “Nupur Sharma only spoke the truth. We should defend her, she did nothing wrong; they (Islamic nations) have the worst track record when it comes to human rights”: Dutch MP Geert Wilders.”

However, netizens were left perplexed as to why an Indian TV channel would feel the need to invite a notorious Islamophobe to be a part of the conversation over controversy triggered by objectionable remarks by a suspended BJP spokesperson against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Journalist Radhika Bordia, who has previously worked with NDTV, wrote, “Not content with hate-mongers from India as panelists, we’re now picking out Islamophobes from the far-right in Europe. Geert Wilders was convicted for his hate speeches in 2016. Who’s next Vlaams Belang?”

Also Read: Demand to arrest ‘hatemonger’ Navika Kumar of Times Now after Nupur Sharma row over comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Radhika also shared a link to a news story by the Guardian website on the conviction of Kanwal’s international guest. According to the report, Wilders was found guilty of inciting discrimination against Dutch Moroccans in 2016. His party’s draft manifesto includes pledges to close every mosque in the Netherlands and ban the Qur’an from public buildings.

One user Dr. Saaheeba wrote, “Who exactly is Geert Wiilders, the Dutch MP, invited by ‘neutral’ journalist Rahul Kaπwal to defend Nupuπ Sharma? Here are his notable credentials : – A known |slaomophobe, he is known to have called the Prophet a ‘dev!l’ and a’terroriist’ – Has advocated imposing ‘Hijab tax'”

Also Read: Nupur Sharma Deleted Islamophobic Video Went Viral on Facebook

Retired Lt. General HS Panag tweeted, “The Empire strikes back albeit through foreigners. Will ideology prevail over economics?”

Also Read: Covid-19 pandemic and Islamophobia: Activist Kavita Krishnan lashes out at India Today’s Rahul Kanwal for ‘dustbin of journalism’; appeals to Rajdeep Sardesai to break silence

One user James B tweeted, “If you want to know how things are going in India: the Saffron press has found a friend in Geert Wilders. And Wilders must be delighted to find a new market for his poison.”

User Yogesh Kumar wrote, “You could also invite some Nazi Sympathiser and debate what Hitler did was right..”

This is not the first time that Kanwal has had to face public humiliation for his attempts to fuel Islamophobia. In 2020, Kanwal had flaunted his decision to hound poor Muslim madrasa students, who were forced to take refuge in their boarding Islamic schools at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic. They were unable to retun homes due to sudden ban on public transport. Kanwal had gone to town blaming those poor Muslim children for violating lockdown rules.