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Call it a mistake, not conspiracy against India, say Muslim scholars on Tablighi Jamaat event

Muslim scholars Arshad Madani, Ahmed Bukhari and Mahmood Madani condemn Tablighi meet, but also criticise what they call the 'communalisation of the pandemic'.

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New Delhi: India’s death toll from coronavirus crossed 100 this week, and over 4,000 cases have been reported so far. The health ministry Monday said 1,445 of these cases are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that took place at its Nizamuddin headquarters in Delhi in mid-March.

The Tablighi Jamaat has been widely criticised for holding the congregation that has emerged as a Covid-19 cluster.

ThePrint spoke to some of the leading Muslim scholars of different Islamic bodies on what they make of the incident and the controversies that followed.

Arshad Madani, president of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH), said the narrative around the Tablighi Jamaat incident has “served to make every Muslim an enemy in the eyes of the majority”.

Woh chahte hain har Hindu yeh soche ki sirf Musalman unhe khatra pahucha sakta hai, isliye Musalman ke saath apni doori aur nafrat ko barkarar rakho (They want all Hindus to think that only Muslims can cause them danger, so maintain your distance and hatred against them,” Madani told ThePrint.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the Modi government to stop dissemination of fake news pertaining to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, and take strict action against those spreading communal hatred and bigotry.

“Each time there was a bomb blast in the country, the home ministry would find some Muslim men to blame. These men would then rot in jail for eternity, even if they were innocent,” Madani said.

“This is a continuation of the same vilification. The government wants everyone to think that Muslims alone have brought upon this crisis to the nation.”

“It’s the misfortune of this country that even a pandemic can be reduced to a Hindu-Muslim issue,” Madani added.

The Tablighi Jamaat congregation saw the participation of over 3,000 people, including foreigners from Indonesia and Malaysia. Following the outbreak, those who attended the congregation, have been kept under quarantine in different parts of the country.

Also read: What is Tablighi Jamaat? Organiser of Delhi event behind spike in India’s Covid-19 count

‘This isn’t the time for blame-game’

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, said Muslim scholars going to TV debates to talk about the incident are also doing everyone a disservice.

“TV channels should be calling WHO representatives and other health experts. The Muslims who are going on TV shows aren’t helping anyone. No one made them the spokesperson of the community, they should stay at home,” Bukhari told ThePrint.

“Tablighi Jamaat should have been more careful. But this isn’t a time to point fingers and play the blame-game. It’s the time to look ahead and make everything better,” Bukhari added.

“No one is defending what the Tablighi Jamaat did,” Ejaz Aslam, general secretary of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said.

“But to make it out to be some sort of a deliberate conspiracy against the country is downright deplorable,” he added.

“The people of Tablighi Jamaat made a grave error, but so did Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa, and so did all the leaders who continued to attend Parliament during the same period as the congregation.”

Aslam was referring to Yediyurappa attending a wedding, which had 2,000 guests on 15 March — after issuing an advisory against such gatherings.

Also read: Tamil Nadu is worst-hit by Tablighi Jamaat event, but also seeing men admit participation

Muslims being ‘harassed’

The scholars also argued that the incident and its coverage has led to many cases of harassment of Muslims.

“Some colonies are banning the entry of Muslims. A Muslim pregnant woman wasn’t allowed entry into a hospital. A Muslim was mocked and forced to commit suicide. All of these are nothing but cases of widespread harassment of the community,” Mahmood Madani, general secretary of another faction of the JUH, told ThePrint.

In the last few days, several such reports of harassment have emerged — of a pregnant Muslim woman’s child dying after she was denied entry by a government hospital in Rajasthan, and a Muslim man in Himachal Pradesh, who was in touch with a Tablighi Jamaat member, committing suicide after he allegedly faced social boycott by the villagers even after testing negative.

“Sooner or later, there will emerge other patients who had nothing to do with the Tablighi Jamaat. Will we see them as criminals too?” Madani asked.

‘Cooperate with the administration’

While condemning the ‘communalisation’ of the incident, the leaders said they have also asked the community members to cooperate with the administration.

“No one should see the government as their enemy. Whatever is in the public interest, it’s in the community’s interest as well,” Bukhari said. “If anyone attacks doctors, they are doing wrong for themselves and for the entire country at large.”

Mahmood Madani also said everyone should strictly follow the regulations.

“I would like to say to the members of the community that if anyone deliberately and knowingly flouts any of the advisories, then that person is a criminal,” he said.

“If in the name of worship, you will defy the guidelines in place, then you will be nothing but a criminal. So please stay at home and don’t do anything unadvisable,” he added.

Also read: One in India’s five Covid-19 patients is linked to Tablighi Jamaat and its Delhi event


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  1. It was a mistake. what followed next was deliberate attempt by BJP IT Cell & RSS Media to communalise and in India it works. Blind bakth whose brain is in their ass will just follow. TJ corona +ve patients were harassed in hospital and fake story created around them. TJ is the only sect in Muslims who will not harm another human being even if they are attacked. So all the stories around them all are crap nothing more than that.
    Indian Health Ministry says 30% of COVID cases are from TJ, so the balance 70% is from Sanghis, there pride will not allow them to blame. They need a scape goat and in India Muslims are punching bags and Muslims are silent by not spreading any fake news against these guys

  2. I also thought it was a mistake. Untill I heard the audio that deliberately call for disobeying mass gathering restrictions, knowing the consequences. It was done in many several parts of India only that Delhi and Nalanda cases were reported in news.

    The members who attended, knew about the consequences. They knew lives of several thousands of people including children will be in danger.

    It was not a mistake. It was well organized.

  3. A commie journalist meets the most communal and anti- national congregation. The print should be banned.

    • And yet you come here to read this article.
      And spew hatred and bigotry out of your khaki rear end.

  4. It is only administration had to see why there was violation of rules. How the persons on travel visa gathered together? Why not administration used it’s power to disperse the people? Why there was a feel of backlash from s particular community? Why there are two set of rules in India? These questions come in mind .

  5. Atleast now, Jamaat should resolve to stop referring Hindus as Kafirs. Jamaat should pass a fatwa that madrasas should not preach hate or violence. Jamaat should pass a fatwa that religion is indoors and respect Nation and civil laws outdoors.

  6. If Tj want to committee suicide, why govt want to save them. Let them suicide. Our population can be controlled. They are culprit s.

  7. This is yellow journalism at best. Trying to defend the terrorists for their heinous crime of spreading Corona virus in India. It was done purposefully, knowingly.

  8. Communalising Muslims Or any one community is anti democratic.
    See the chronology of Jamaat to understand their innocence.
    It is failure of administrators of Justice
    There 40000 devotees in Tirupati.
    Kaniksha Kapoor party was attended by high profile persons.
    Hindu Mahasabha conducted Gou Mutra Party.
    CM Yogi attended pooja at Ayodhya towards Ram Mandir construction.
    1600 Or so, was allowed to travel to Ahmedabad and there is discussion about it.
    Markàaz was continuously requesting the administration regarding Curfew passes and there was no response from the government.
    Several violated Lockdown, be it thali bajaoo Or Diya jalaloo

  9. It’s all happened only because GOD’S wish But no early prevention took place in all sectors of gatherings either from the two Govts both State n Central as WHO warned well in advance nor the TJs nor any body else not even poor and unaware public to tackle pandemic. My dear friends still We as purely Indians GOD has given a GOLDEN CHANCE to save ourselves n neighborhoods too only thing is past is past think about how to save yourself n your neighbors . I think We should first obey Stay Home policy from Govt and equally Govt has to support livelihoods.. Any how a much needed LOCKDOWN is necessary step as the time goes We will b victorious in this battle of life.. Only thing what I understood is instead giving colors of communalism or blaming any body at this level of juncture of time 11th April 2020 . We all should remember is Sacrifice ( Stay Home) is the only solution to come out this pandemic.. I wish you all the Best. HAPPY and Ssfe Healthy Stay Home..

    • What bull shit “it has happened only because of god” . R Chinese the satan or prophets ? There are no words to condemn your community .

  10. Instead of clarifications and excuses these clerics should have guided their community to cooperate the authorities,through variuos media in the beginning itself.Already a great damage has been done to the nation. Nobody believes them.

  11. Did Print ask them if they know about the event being held when it was on? What did they do to stop it? When lock down started did they appeal to Muslims to cooperate? Did they condemn Pakistan when terror attacks, stone pelting happens? Calling them now looks like an attempt to whitewash, nothing more.

  12. Mislead, mislead, mislead.
    The title of this article little reflects the contents captured here. I have seen several interviews by Mr. Madani.
    According to him, it is all the narrative.
    Mr. Madani:
    These are facts:
    1. The TJ folks met in violation of the Delhi govt. order prohibiting group >50. people
    2. Willfully violated Visa rules – missionaries pretending to be tourists
    3. Refused to vacate the building even after the leaders of the Masjid were called in by the local police an told to vacate the premises- see the recorded video posted by the Delhi PD
    4. Deliberate efforts to spread the infection by spitting on medical personnel giving them free treatment
    5. Men exposing themselves to female nurses
    6. Using Azaan speakers to broadcast to an entire neighborhood – for Muslims to come out and attack health workers doing contact tracing to protect- wait for it, the Muslims!
    There is a pattern of willfully spreading the infection here – no “narrative “ here.
    Causing the COVID doubling in 4 days as opposed to the earlier 8 days is genocidal – these are hard numbers – not a narrative
    The narrative here, if any is the same old Muslims ranting to the same old “liberal media” about being victimized.

  13. Do not spread lies about the pregnent woman of Rajasthan. Her condition was critical and she was refered to another hospital, and you rascals are portraying that she was not allowed entry in to hospital.

    Shame on you

  14. Sadly, a mistake has turned out to be a fiasco. All accepted that it was a mistake and was a genuine case of ignorance. But after that, Tablighi Maulana Saad and his son issue inflammatory videos which go viral on social media, the followers instead of cooperating with health and law enforcement agencies go missing/ underground, the Markaz Authorities prevent Govt agencies from vacating the premises, the Tablighis misbehave and jeopardise the safety of medical staff. The Muslim leaders and preachers should have come out and helped in controlling the misguided Tabligis, but they are shouting conspiracy.
    Let alone this, city after city in various parts of the country, Muslim neighbourhoods have seen violence against Police and Medical fraternity. They want to throw social distancing out of window and congregate for weekly Namaz.
    What do you call all this? Isn’t this against public health and safety? Should this be condoned?

  15. Our backwardness being the backwardness of the mind, our mental spaces stacked with the lumber of useless and archaic ideas. Ayaz Amir, The News dated 3rd Jan, 2014.

  16. dam it !!!!! what heading you mention is nothing like they said in articular , no scholar out of this three had said
    the print media also playing dirty communal politic

  17. Muslims should stop blaming Hindus for their plight. It’s not Hindus who are stoning Nurses and Doctors or Law Enforcement officers working to protect the population. Its Muslim gangs. It’s not Hindus spitting on hospital staff, throwing urine and excrement at them, using filthy language and lewd gestures. Its Muslims. It’s not Hindus who have sent out video clips praying to God for the death of 50 crore Hindus. Its Muslims. Is it any wonder they are being blamed?

    I am sorry to say that Muslims want to live a separate nation within India. They want Triple Talaq, they want to be excluded from population control programs, they will not accept a Uniform Civil Code, and so on. They support the likes of Tukday tukday gangs in JNU, want a portrait of Jinnah, the man who broke up India at AMU. Its them who have opposed CAA and not Hindus and made a complete mess of life in Delhi.

    Basically, when a Hindu looks at it, Muslims don’t want to be a part of the common good for India. They want to be treated different from the rest of us. Is it any wonder Muslims are blamed?

    • Mosquito or Corona does not know religion. Physical distancing was not observed even by others. Agreed the organisers have made Blunder, we have also failed until 23 March when Parliament was working. This group has contacts only with their community, so let them not be scapegoat. Why our government did start physical distancing from the day we got the news of death in December. If it has followed physical distancing then, TJ like events could have been contained. Then it was both BJP and AAP were busy to win election. So TJ has come handy to cover up its own failure. Even Rahul who is often rediculed as Pappu was not taken seriously when he raised Covid related issue as early in February

  18. They have never accepted the mistakes, they keep on hiding and misbehaving with the health workers and police. You must have condemned their actions and behaviour, I think it’s because of people like you who doesn’t show their honesty with the government agencies who are really having very hard time to make them understand.

  19. Great, In this way we can justify stone pelting to nurses and doctors who are going to track, check and provide mediation and constrain th virus spread

    Just on more mistake, though its a continuous mistake on each and everything.

  20. This is okay. Now I hope the government too will come up with a statement that issuing visas to so many foreigners was a mistake and not a conspiracy.

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