After it came to light that the Tablighi Jamaat event organised amidst the Covid-19 outbreak served as a super-spreader in India, a section of media started labelling the criticism of Jamaat ‘Islamophobic’.
Since the numbers are irrefutable — over 90 per cent cases Tamil Nadu, and close to 35 per cent in the country are due to the Tablighi Jamaat event — this section of the intellectuals seems to be scrambling to find a similar super-spreader event organised by a Hindu person/group.
Ulterior motives aside, their argument is that the people who attended Tablighi Jamaat are being demonised for no reason, except may be they are poor, uneducated, and made some mistakes out of ignorance.
This is a fair argument.
But the case of Tablighi Jamaat is not the same.
A previous article revealed how Tablighi Jamaat was anyway a disaster waiting to happen, a ‘bottled genie’ — spreading radicalism and fundamentalism, if not coronavirus — albeit quietly, through apolitical, grassroots work.
The guardians of the balance of secularism claim that religious congregations around the world spread the virus — Shincheonji Church Of Jesus in South Korea, Baldev Singh, a Sikh preacher in India, etc.
Yesterday, Yogendra Yadav shared a post on Twitter that compared the Tablighi Jamaat fiasco in India to ISCKON in UK, saying that 21 ISCKON members were found to be infected by the coronavirus of which five had already died, and that the ISCKON organised an event on 12 March.
Yadav said, “..How should Britain's media and people treat ISKON’s bhaktas ?”
However, he forgot to mention that UK only issued the stay-at-home order on 23 March, ten days after the ISCKON event. On the other hand, the Tablighi Jamaat event was organised in violation of a Delhi government order restricting religious and public gatherings.
But legality isn’t the only point of dissimilarity.
Let’s look at some of media reports:
- roaming nude, making lewd comments against the female doctors, nurses in Ghaziabad hospital (BBC)
- intentionally defecating, urinating in the hallways (DH, IE)
- misbehaving, spitting on doctors, other staff members to spread the disease (ANI, TNIE, Aaj Tak)
- attacking healthcare workers who come to test them (BBC)
- policemen tracking the members were assaulted, even fired upon (NDTV, FE)
- people informing authorities about congregations beaten, intimidated (IE)
- attacking, throwing urine-filled bottles on policemen coming to disperse congregations (DH, TOI, TOI, TNIE, NDTV)
- Nashik man licking currency notes, saying it is to spread the virus (NDTV)
- Thailand man intentionally coughing in other’s face, spitting on lift buttons to spread virus (Daily Mail)
These behaviours cannot be simply explained away by ‘ignorance’ or ‘orthodoxy’.
What’s the motivation behind assaulting the doctors, the same doctors who are treating you? Why try to spread the disease? Why wish for more people to die?
The speeches given by different Islamic preachers across the world, and by Maulana Saad himself (from 22 to 25 March as reported by MEMRI TV) make the answers clear:
First, the ‘commandos of Allah’ don’t respect any other authority, be it government or doctors
Asif Ibrahim talks about the reason why Tablighi Jamaat members do not follow government/doctors’ guidelines:
“The arrogance comes to the Tabligh men from the belief that they are doing God’s work, and God is their refuge. Care and caution, the advice of the medical practitioner, a directive of the government – go to hell”.
The preachers teach the members that the modern education, hospitals with intermixing of sexes, Western medicine etc is nasrani (western) and yahudi (Jewish), and a source of evil.
And as Saad says in his speech, "only the kafirs rely on the material remedies and resources" – this is why the Tablighi Jamaat patients are jumping from the sixth floor to escape quarantine, not the dubious claim that they are choosing suicide because of “Islamophobia”.
The indoctrination is that as the ‘commandos of God’, they will not be hurt, and that it is better to risk life than having to listen to the doctors, officials etc who are ‘sources of evil’.
Over this is the brainwashing that coronavirus is not a calamity that will subside with precautions, medicine etc., but it is 'Allah’s punishment’ because he is upset with the Muslims who have turned away from Islam towards sinful activities like reading the newspaper.
“..Mosques are ‘deserted’ because Muslims have no love for or fear of God, and they are mandated to ‘populate’ it.."
Maulana Saad spends a good part of his speech telling the followers to keep assembling in the mosques no matter what. He asks Muslims to not respect the lockdown even if its temporary.
Now, the policemen and the governments enforcing the lockdown are automatically the enemies of Islam – hence the vicious attacks on the healthcare and police personnel.
Saad himself says, “if the kafirs prevent you from your Amal, Allah will destroy them”.
He also asks Muslims to not adopt the remedial measures suggested by the government to fight “the wrath of Allah” (coronavirus). He clearly asks the followers to not follow the advice of doctors.
“..how to fight diseases..do the doctors know? No, the advice of only those doctors who are pious, religious minded and God-fearing and are punctual in the observance of religious practices will be followed”
"The Satan is using this opportunity as it has always done to lead us astray from our religious duties in the name of precautions, treatment and protection,” he says.
Second, ‘Covid-19 is a weapon of Allah to punish infidels’
When the outbreak first occurred in China, the Islamic preachers around the world said that the virus was sent by Allah to punish the infidels who had aggrieved the Muslims.
An influential Muslim preacher in West Bengal was caught on camera telling the crowd that the virus had been sent by Allah as a punishment, and everyone should pray that it kills up to 50 crore persons in India. The crowd responded with cheers.
Another woman at the Lucknow anti-CAA protest organised in defiance of the government order amidst the pandemic was heard saying that the virus had originated from Quran, and will affect only ‘others’. She also said that ‘they’ had brought corona (God’s wrath) by bringing CAA.
Maulana Saad also says in his speech that "it can never happen that the wrath of God will inflict the kafirs and the Muslims will also be afflicted by it”.
He further asks the Muslims to not follow what the kafirs say, as the universe runs according to the Muslims, not the kafirs.
Preachers like Saad have a huge following, and thanks to the internet, their teachings could be accessed easily anywhere. It’s no surprise that these notions became widespread in the community.
Social media was flooded with the videos by young Muslim boys showing that social distancing etc was for the weak, instead, a strong namazi Muslim would never be affected by Covid-19.
In the words of Ibrahim, “they believe that Coronavirus is a curse of God let loose on the sinful humans to teach them a lesson", and for those who routinely preach kafir-hatred, "sinful humans", of course, includes the kafirs.
This is the thinking behind the actions like spitting, etc to spread the disease as much as possible.
Now, when the videos of such acts are making rounds on social media, the mainstream intellectuals are crying ‘Islamophobia’.
What do we expect a common man to think after seeing this blatant kafir-hatred in action? Is their reaction because of a rational fear, or ‘Islamophobia’?
Or are the kafirs expected to sacrifice their lives to satisfy the selective moral standards of left-liberals?
The eminent persons who took to social media to proudly proclaim they are a member of the Jamaat, purportedly to counter “Islamophobia”, shouldn’t they have spoken up against the kafir-hate propaganda over Covid-19 that proved so costly?
The Print recently published an article quoting the Muslim scholars Arshad Madani, Ahmed Bukhari and Mahmood Madani criticising the 'communalisation of the pandemic'.
Interesting that this criticism of ‘communalisation’ didn’t include a word against those who preached that the virus is God’s punishment to kafirs and will not affect Muslims.
Even more interesting is how the very same people who go crazy over "Gaumutra pseudoscience" are dead silent on the dangerously anti-scientific and bigoted religious sermons of a man with 100 crore followers in 214 countries.
A 25-year-old IIT alumna with deep interest in society, culture and politics, she describes herself as a humble seeker of Sanatana wisdom that has graced Bharatvarsha in different ways, forms and languages. Follow her @yaajnaseni
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