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While the media panders to Tablighi Jamaat, grand-nephew of Bharat Ratna Maulana Abul Kalam Azad says he feels ashamed to be a Muslim due to their activities

Speaking of how Muslims have been cajoled by the Congress for votes, Firoz Bhakt Ahmed, the chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, says that these Muslims have further been distancing themselves from the non-Muslims by imitating their so-called antagonistic leaders using provocative and inflammable language.

Though the Tablighi Jamaat congregation has clearly emerged as the sole reason for the surge in the coronavirus cases in the country, there is a section of media which has attributed the reasons behind the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus entirely to the government while claiming that it was unfair to blame the Islamic event at the Markaz Nizamuddin of Tablighi Jamaat for the spread of the disease. For example, National Herald, The Congress mouthpiece absolved the Tablighi Jamaat of all its crimes and instead accused political parties and the media of ‘scapegoating’ them.

While many leftist media houses like National Herald have been pandering to Muslims from the Tablighi Jamaat, Firoz Bhakt Ahmed, the chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University and the grand-nephew of Bharat Ratna Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, through his opinion piece published by Outlook on April 11 titled ‘When I feel ashamed to be a Muslim!’ has condemned the Jamaatis saying that their transgression has left him ashamed of being called a Muslim.

He claims that wayward felons like these or the one who carry out terrorist attacks, who are totally misinterpreting Islam, result in him hanging his head in shame.

“Today, I think in the aftermath of the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz at Bangleywali Masjid, spreading coronavirus throughout India with its participants, going for the jugular of the same health workers who come to give them life, attacking the selfless police personnel and spitting on their faces, misbehaving with nurses by walking nude, urinating and defecating outside their rooms, lofting urine-filled bottles outside the windows in the isolation centers, as alleged. In supplication to this is also the devilish creation of TikToks, mocking at the coronavirus, imploring Muslims not to wear masks and maintain social distancing and carry on congregations in the mosques”. The situation is far more ghastly as the terrorist attacks take lesser lives while the spread of the disease by the followers of Tablighi Jamaat might be huge, wrote the columnist, claiming that all this has resulted in him hanging his head in shame.

In addition to this, what is more, to be lamented, claimed Firoz Bhakt Ahmed in his article, is the fact that the community has been accusing the media of indulging in machinations to demonise Muslims.

The writer wonders that perhaps this is a deliberate attempt to overlook and let down the state even in the wake of all the instructions of the Prime Minister and the government warning for the consequences of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and for maintaining social distancing and staying at home.

He says that its appalling that these Jamaatis and many more people are violating the golden mantra given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – “Janata Curfew”, “Lakshman Rekha” and “Jaan hain to Jahaan hain” (If there is life, everything can be done). Firoz Bhakt Ahmed says that in fact, the true “Tabligh” should have been to get these three instructions be announced five times each day from the mosques.

Denouncing the Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad, the columnist writes that the biggest disservice that Maulana Saad has done to Muslims is that he has incited his unassuming devotees against the state. “The errant preaching of Maulana Saad catered to nothing in the name of God but misguided his innocent and unassuming followers from all corners of the world. He knew well that he was doing it in the wake of the government clearly announcing on March 14, 16, 19 and 24 (twice by Prime Minister Modi on March 19 and March 24) for social distancing via lockdown”.

Maulana Saad Khandalvi is the chief of Nizamuddin Markaz, the event which has now emerged as a hotspot for the maximum cases of coronavirus as over 1300 of the total number of Tablighi Jamaatis have been traced back to the event and their contacts. Nearly 25,000 people have been quarantined by the government of India.

The Delhi police have booked Tablighi Jamaat Chief Maulana Saad Khandalvi for culpable homicide not amounting to murder on Wednesday. The charges of culpable homicide under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code was added to the FIR that was already lodged against the religious leader on March 31.

Delhi police had registered FIR against Maulana Saad under the Epidemics Act 1897 for allowing religious congregation in the month of March despite repeated warnings from the center and the state government. He had allegedly disregarded the guidelines issued by the government in the light of the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic which is spreading rapidly. Thousands of people from across the country and many from abroad attended the religious congregation, the event has now emerged as a hotspot for the maximum cases of coronavirus. However, Maulana Saad is still absconding.

The writer said that the brand of Islam taught by Maulana Saad is certainly not what was the hallmark of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that was based on the teachings of the holy Quran. One fails to comprehend as to what kind of “Tabligh” (preaching) these Tablighis are propagating, wrote the Bharat Ratna recipient.

“The Maulana has himself escaped under the guise of self-quarantine, leaving in the lurch his faithful followers who have been running from pillar to post spreading the disease. Besides, carrying the albatross of the coronavirus, they have been stigmatised by one and all. Wherever they have lodged, they are refusing to get treated as Maulana Saad instructed them not to be treated by non-Muslims. No one knows the brand of Islam that Maulana Saab has been propagating which exactly seems Talibanised rather than being of Sufi nature, ultimately providing the guilt-edged opportunity to the Islam baiters”, said Firoz Bhakt Ahmed.

Highlighting the difference in the lifestyles of preachers like Maulana Saad and true Islamic fakirs and saints like Khwaja Hazrat Nizamuddin, Ameer Khusro and Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti, where the former leads a lavish lifestyle as compared to the impoverished ones led by the latter, the writer insinuates that for preachers like Maulana Saad Islam is a purely commercial undertaking.

Rather than coming in the open and asking all his Jamaatis be treated by the doctors, who have gone into the hiding unnecessarily weighing on government and police”s resources in these times of crisis, like Nero, playing on his flute, he has disappeared into his ivory tower somewhere, write Ahmed.

Speaking of how Muslims have been cajoled and beleaguered by the Congress who consider them as vote banks, the writer says that these Muslims have further been distancing themselves from the non-Muslims by imitating their so-called antagonistic leaders using provocative and inflammable language. He gives the example of Asaduddin Owaisi, when he stated in an Aajtak debate, “Hazrat Adam ne pehle sarzameen-e-Hind per qadam rakha tha isliye, yeh hamarey baap ka mulk hei!” (Prophet Adam {Peace Be Upon Him} first stepped in India and it belongs to our father!)

He blames influencers like Owaisi, Azam Khan, Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Shehla Rasheed besides the similar from the ilk, of creating huge damages by distancing the Muslim community from the national stream of assimilation and passing spiteful remarks against the government. “Owing to such misleaders and the utter absence of leadership among Muslims, the community today has been at crossroads and now there is the scare of the backlash of the Hindu community, the way the Muslims, especially their leaders, maliciously snide at Modi and the present government.

The columnist believes that the fallout of the Muslim community’s blind support to the Tablighi Jamaat and the anti-government stand on the national issues such as the surgical strikes, triple talaq, Article 370, Ayodhya Mandir and CAA-NRC has been that the ever friendly Hindus, more than 90 per cent of whom are truly secular and accommodating, have been feeling frustrated on account of this recalcitrant behaviour of Muslims.

The writer says that the way these bigoted Muslim leaders and representatives set negative narratives, in almost all walks of life, including the televised debates, it might just result in the non-Muslims completely slamming whatever the opened doors were there. He outlines the terrifying negative impact these bigots are having on their own community. “Stoke a controversy involving the community and the usual suspects start emerging from the murky and infested woodwork of the Muslim platforms. This might tear away in the social and secular fabric of India”, wrote Ahmed.

Pointing out the recent incident where a Muslim woman lost her child on the way to a Jaipur hospital, an incident twisted by the usual haters giving it a communal colour. Though the author in certain that the doctor on duty must not have refused treatment at any cost to a patient by discriminating her on the basis of religion, however, he views this venomous patterning to be the outcome of the spewing of venom by the so-called Muslim leaders who keep feathering their nests but leave their cajoled and beleaguered blind followers, at the mercy of God. How catastrophic can these things be remains only to be imagined!

“The present Markaz mishap has already created the social distancing, primarily between Hindus and Muslims and Prime Minister Modi supporters and haters. The unwarranted development smacks of the communalised ambience of 1947 pre and post Partition phase. Though India will not see another vivisection; nevertheless, there”s a parallel ghetto mindset that seems to have percolated among the Indian Muslims who do not want to adhere to the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, wrote the columnist, furthering that there is a fear that the already beleaguered and cajoled Muslims may be ostracised in Indian society owing to being provoked by these clerics whose positions are safe owing to the material wealth sans all values, amassed by them but their unassuming brainwashed followers might face the backlash”.

However, remembering Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the doyen of communal harmony and the first Minister of Education of India, who was a deeply religious Muslim leader and renowned Islamic theologian but communal harmony was dearest to him, and Ex-President of India, Dr Zakir Hussain, who too devoted his life to Jamia Millia, never once mounted a platform to espouse a communal cause, the writer said that the silver lining to this has been that not the entire Muslim community is like that. Still, 50 per cent has been liberal and balanced, catering to the voice of sanity and reason. But the problem with this liberal chunk has been that they have no courage to come up openly and call a spade a spade. They fear that the belligerent other half will turn their lives hell if they support the government or Modi.

Need of the hour is that all the people, irrespective of their region, religion, political and other loyalties, rise ecumenically to the occasion to fight the deadly virus as there is no way out, said Firoz Bhakt Ahmed.

The coronavirus epidemic numbers in India has crossed the staggering 12500 mark, with 414 succumbing to the infection.

The Tablighi Jamaat time bomb erupted across the country in the last week of March when around 200 people with Wuhan Coronavirus symptoms were admitted to various hospitals in Delhi from the Markaz Nizamuddin and surrounding places. Subsequently, the area around the Markaz Nizamuddin was cordoned off by the Delhi Police. Soon, cases began to erupt across the country with links to the Tablighi Jamaat and the country stood horrified as the magnitude of the Islamic Missionary organization’s transgressions became known. But even so, a significant section of the media and the political class is going out of its way to whitewash and hide the crimes of the Tablighi Jamaat. And some, like the National Herald, believe that the proper way forward is to take jibes at the Hindu community instead.

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