Bollywood continues with its Islam-ophobic activities yet again

Spreading hate

Media coverage of Islam-related issues has changed dramatically since the beginning of the new millennium, both in quantity and quality. The events of September 11, 2001, thrust Islam into the global media forefront: not only did coverage of Islam drastically increase, particularly in news and entertainment media, but the way in which Islam was framed by the media changed as well. Having said that, Bollywood has been largely involved in promoting religious hatred through movies, especially regarding Islam and Muslims. Indian movies often show Muslims in a stereotypical avatar, mostly spreading violence and fear. Yet another movie promoting Islamophobia is the recently released Sooryavanshi. Soon after its release, the internet swarmed with arguments on how the film promotes hatred against Muslims and the Hindu nationalist agenda of Modi’s government. Indian journalist Rana Ayyub, in her Washington Post article, said Sooryavanshi is a film that "stokes the dangerous 'love jihad' conspiracy, which paints Muslim men as colluding to seduce or kidnap Hindu women or girls and convert them to Islam" amongst other Islamophobic tropes. With the growing hate crimes in India, it is imperative that mainstream media offer a more balanced representation of Muslims given the strong influence of negative media representations in deriving anti-Muslim hostility and policy support.