Muslim man’s arrest for pro-Palestine social media post shows up police’s Islamophobia

Lucknow, May 27 (KMS): All 32-year-old Yasser Arafat had wanted to do on the night of May 19 when he posted a pro-Palestine image and comment on his social media page was display the courage with which residents of the battered city of Gaza were standing up to Israel.

The citizen from Saraimir town in east Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district was not only trolled by Indian supporters of Israel, but actually arrested in the early hours of May 20 by the Azamgarh police and placed in a lock-up. Although he was out on bail by the evening of May 21, the experience was so harrowing that, according to his family, he remains in a state of shock even today.

Arafat’s post on his Facebook page, which he calls Azamgarh Express and on which he usually posts local news that is sometimes combined with his own views, had simply noted that in Gaza the coming Friday, every house and every vehicle would fly the Palestinian flag.

But some readers among the Azamgarh Express page’s 17 lakh followers appeared to have misread the post as an appeal by Arafat for every Muslim in Azamgarh to raise the Palestinian flag in their home and on their vehicle on the coming Friday.

Although Arafat was quick to post a clarification, Indian supporters of Israel trolled him relentlessly, demanding to know why he had asked his readers to raise the flag of another country in India.

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