January 1st, Quratulain Rehbar, a journalist from Kashmir administered by India, woke up to find herself included in an “online auction.” Your photo was obtained without your permission and uploaded to an app for “sale.”
She was not alone.
Photographs of more than 100 Muslim women, including the prominent actress Shabana Azami, wife of an acting judge at the Delhi High Court, various journalists, activists and politicians showed up on the auction application as “Bulli Bai “ of the day.
Even Fatima Nafees, 65-year-old mother of missing student Najeeb Ahmed, and Pakistani Nobel laureate. Malala Yousafzai they were not spared from the perpetrators behind the app.
After the “Sulli Offers” last July, in which about 80 Muslim women were “put up for sale”, “Bulli Bai” was the second such attempt in less than a year.
“Both ‘Bulli’ and ‘Sulli’ are derogatory words used for Muslim women in local slang. However, this time the Punjabi language was used on the ‘Bulli Bai’ interface alongside English, “journalist Mohammad Zubair, who works for the fact-checking website AltNews, told Al Jazeera.
Rehbar, who had previously reported on the “Sulli Deals” auction in July last year, told Al Jazeera that was surprised to see his picture in the app.
“When I saw my photograph, my throat got heavy, I had goose bumps and I was numb. It was shocking and humiliating, ”he said.
While there was no actual sale involved, the online application, created on the open software development site GitHub, property of Microsoft, it was intended, according to Rehbar, to “degrade and humiliate vocal Muslim women.”
The app was removed on Saturday, and victims said the GitHub extension’s interface on “Bulli Bai” was strikingly similar to that used by “Sulli Deals.”
On Saturday night, dozens of other Muslim women began posting their surprise and outrage on social media after seeing their photos and details on the app.
Among them was Ismat Ara, a journalist from the capital, New Delhi.
Women report app to Indian authorities
Ara filed a complaint with the Delhi police on Saturday against “unknown persons” for harassing and insulting Muslim women on the social media of the India “Using manipulated images in an unacceptable and lewd context.”
On the basis of his complaint, the Delhi Cyber Police recorded a First Information Report (FIR) on Sunday, invoking various sections of the Indian Penal Code that refer to promoting enmity on the grounds of religion, threatening national integration and sexual harassment of women.
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