The Tablighi Jamaat's mission was started for making better Muslims of Muslims. But in recent days, it has gained notoriety for becoming the biggest 'super spreader' of the Covid 19 virus.
I come from a Muslim dominated the then state of J&K (now a UT without Article 370) where we have seen Sufi culture, both Muslims and Hindus respect each other’s religion with lot of tolerance.
Outside the state, many people call it `Kashmiriyat` where communal clashes were unheard of till late 1950s. Local Kashmiri Muslims manned the mosques which were used as places of praying and also for seeking blessings for sick and needy irrespective of their religion.
The `mullahas` used to seek blessings for sick and needy after the Friday prayers and in response he used to get back in the form of `Aameen'. There was no concept of Tablighis Jammat for propagating Islam until early 1970s when Mullahas from outside, especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, started trickling into valley and took over these mosques including `Azan' from local control. One could see these outside Mullahs multiplying and moving into each and every corner of the state and establishing their rights on mosque.
By early 1980s, the mosques became the places of preaching `Wahabism` in the name of Islam. The Friday prayers became important for issuing `fatwas` against the administration and the country in the name of Islam.
The post Friday Prayer 'Wazkhani' (seeking blessings for sick and needy) became time for giving Fatwas. By 1990s, majority of the mosques, especially those in Muslim dominated areas, all over India became the places for propagating Wahabi Islam which brought about radicalisation among many Muslims in India.
This was happening saliently with the patronage of the previous Congress governments which followed only appeasement towards Muslims and treated them as committed vote bank. The things came to the fore when BJP-led government came to power in 2014 at Centre and Congress was made to bite dust in the elections.
The antinational forces became active and started provoking the 25 crore odd Muslims in India that the BJP was out to practice Hindutva and Muslims were in danger, a total false narrative which many educated Muslims have realized in the last six years of the BJP rule. The Modi-led BJP govt practices Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas and Sab ka Vishwas. Small incidents are blown out of proportion, when the fact is that there has been no communal riot in the last six years. CAA was made an issue by these anti national forces both Muslims and Hindus mostly belonging to Congress and Communist parties to serve their political motives.
Shaheen Bagh protests and similar protests in other parts of the country are the off shoot of this radicalisation process. And now supporting the Tablighis Jamaat for their anti-national acts is something which cannot be tolerated in any country.
The Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) has by now become a well- known outfit in India for defying the rules of quarantine and becoming a super spreader of Covid 19 in many states in India wherever they travelled and had close connections.
The Tablighi Jamaat's mission was started for making better Muslims of Muslims. But in recent days, it has gained notoriety for becoming the biggest 'super spreader' of the Covid 19 virus in not just South Asia where this group has its roots - its international headquarters are in Nizamuddin area of Delhi - but also in rest of Asia and perhaps other parts of the world as well. The outrage being expressed in India over the discovery of a Covid 19 cluster in the capital Delhi's Nizamuddin area where the Tablighi Jamaat followers had gathered from around the world for their annual congregation is entirely justified.
The Tablighi Jamaat has gained a rather unsavoury reputation worldwide on account of the links of its followers with notorious terror organisations. From Harkatul Ansar and Harkatul Mujahideen to Jaish-e-Mohammad, the entire menagerie of Taliban groups, to sectarian terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, all have been associated with the Tablighi Jamaat. Surprisingly, India's 'liberals' including actors, journalists and authors are quiet on this.
They have only tried to whitewash the Jamaat's doing by pointing out the loopholes of the government and the administration. This entire fiasco, caused solely for the purpose of preaching Islam, does not seem to be a matter of concern for them. Ironically, if such irresponsibility was shown by some other religious group in the country, the same liberals would have ridiculed it, like they did for Yogi Adityanath's Ayodhya celebrations. The developments have put the spotlight back on an outfit that has been under a cloud for several decades.
Thousands of part-time Jamaat preachers from across the world volunteer for a fixed number of days in a year to preach in other countries what they consider to be 'true' Islam. The management of these preachers across the world is overseen from the Delhi headquarters. 'Union home minister Amit Shah, while at the helm of the home department in Gujarat, had made efforts to curb the Jamaat's activities. On one occasion, he enabled the deportation of a dozen Yemeni Tablighi Jamaat preachers on technical grounds. On another occasion, he helped save a dargah that Jamaat activists were allegedly trying to take over in Navsari in south Gujarat. However, this is not the time to discuss Tablighis Jamat. We need to contain spread of Covid 19. These people have exposed themselves enough to attract the relevant provisions of Law. I am sure the Govt of India will take appropriate action at the appropriate time to nip the evil in the bud and save our Muslim brothers falling prey to radicalisation.
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Last Updated Apr 9, 2020, 1:55 PM IST