Moments after India suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the T20 World Cup match, Hindutva fanatics began to hound the Indian team’s only Muslim player, Mohammad Shami, accusing him of accepting money from the rival team to lose the match. Stunned by such brazen Islamophobia from Hindutva fanatics, cricket fans have urged skipper Virat Kohli and his team members to publicly express their solidarity in support of Shami.
Chasing 151 runs to win, Pakistan achieved the target without losing a wicket and 13 balls to spare. This was the heaviest defeat for India at the hands of their arch-rival in a World Cup match.
Shami, who was bowling the 18th over of the match, conceded 17 runs in five balls. This did not go down well with the Hindutva bigots, who took to Instagram to question the Indian player’s integrity due to his Muslim identity.
One user wrote, “Bloody Pakistani in Team India.” Another wrote, “A Muslim sided with Pakistan. How much money did you receive?” “Sir how much money did you receive to help your community (Muslims) win?” asked another user, identified as Saurabh Pandey.
As expected, social media users exploded in anger at the brazen display of Islamophobia against a Muslim player for his religious identity. Ironically, the development took place on a day the Indian cricket team took the knee in solidarity with the global campaign, BlacksLiveMatter. Many wondered if Skipper Kohli and his teammates would publicly condemn the hounding of Shami just the way England football team reacted after three Black players faced racist attack from bigot fans for missing penalties during this year’s Euro championship.
After England's black players were targeted post Euro 2020, Harry Kane had told the racist fans that they're not needed.
Today, Mohammad Shami is being abused after India lost to Pakistan.
Time for India's Hindu players to stand up for their Muslim teammate.#INDvPAK
— Parth MN (@parthpunter) October 24, 2021
Shah Rukh Khan and Shami are examples of how the ostracism of Muslims is a clear part of the ruling party's ideology in India. The Sang Parivar will never question the failure of Sharma and Bumrah but Shami is somehow responsible despite being a standout performer in recent past
— Fidato (@tequieremos) October 24, 2021
Mohammad Shami is an Indian cricketer; a bowler. These are comments on his IG right now, with people claiming he took money from Pakistan that he was playing for Pakistan and helped India lose because he is a Muslim. https://t.co/a9ZK5BEojF
— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) October 24, 2021
On a day when Indian Team showed solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter ,an Indian cricketer is being abused because he is a Muslim.
Let's see how many team mates of Mohd.Shami speaks out against this hatred! https://t.co/9hmH1C8Nza
— Aman Wadud (@AmanWadud) October 24, 2021
The development comes amidst growing concern over how the Narcotics Control Bureau has targeted Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan, in a drug case. After an independent witness alleged extortion by NCB officials in the case, many felt that Shah Rukh was being targeted for his Muslim identity. The Bollywood superstar’s son has been in jail since the beginning of this month with a lower court denying him bail.