Several Twitter users claiming to be Muslim took to Twitter this week to share an identical piece of text announcing their support for Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was signed into law by President Ramnath Kovind on Thursday.
“I’m a Muslim. I support #CABBill,” their messages claimed. “I strongly denounce the protests launched by my muslim brothers across the nation. They either didn’t understand the bill and have been manipulated or they’re knowingly targeting the govt as a political move. But I’m very proud of it. Jai Hind.”
The Act has sparked protests around India. It offers citizenship to refugees from all South Asian religions, except Muslims, fleeing oppression from India’s neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Critics say the legislation is discriminatory on religious grounds.
When Alt News examined the Twitter profiles and previous messages of some of the people declaring support for the Act, it found that several among them used to identify as Hindus. The sudden shift to Muslim identities occurred after the citizenship legislation was introduced in Parliament earlier this month.
In August, when another user used a communal slur. Twitter handle @ambersariyaaaa replied, “Bhai mai hindu hu” – brother, I’m Hindu. At the time of writing this article, a tweet where the handle claimed to be a Muslim who supports the citizenship legislation had garnered close to 500 retweets.
On April 26, a Twitter user who goes by the handle @NeecheSetopper tweeted, “i am hindu.”
A Twitter user with the name BaashaBhai posted a message on April 16 where he said, “I am a Hindu have never looked at anyone as Hindu , Muslim or a Christian but there are many who show up their hatred for Hindus / Hinduism openly!”
“I am a hindu, and I will not step back again. I am a hindu and this will be hindu rashtra again,” tweeted a user named Dehati Intellectual who also supported legislation by posting the identical text as the users above on December 14.
This article first appeared on Alt News.