A rather unusual hashtag is trending on Twitter. Some Muslims have taken it upon themselves to trend the hashtag #RentalMulle after certain Maulanas revealed themselves to be complete bigots on news channels. The ‘Rental Mulle’ used here refers to the Maulanas who appear on news channels regularly and spread their bile across the nation. The accusation is that these Maulanas are paid to voice their bigotry on television screens.
Now, Muslims on social media, some of whom are known bigots themselves are accusing the Maulanas of taking money to appear on television screens and mouthing off obscenities.
One of the Muslims being targeted is Shoaib Jamei, the media coordinator of the Shaheen Bagh. It seems unfair to criticize him for appearing on television debates because that is what his job entails as the media coordinator of the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh. During one debate on Republic TV, he called a fellow panellist ‘tawaif ka bachcha’ (son of a wh*re). And now, Muslims on social media are after him after enjoying the fruits of his efforts.
We don’t know who are they.— Abdul Gaffar (@gfr786) April 23, 2020
From where they came.
They don’t represent the Indian Muslim community. #NotOurVoice
They are the #RentalMulle.#NotOurVoice #NotOurVoice #NotOurVoice #NotOurVoice #NotOurVoice
Muslims are alleging that these ‘Rental Mulle’ don’t represent them as a community.
Some are also calling the Maulanas ‘Sanghi behind their fake beard’. It does seem preposterous to blame ‘Sanghis’ for people who are from their community. But when one considers the fact that a devout Muslim automatically becomes ‘Not True Muslim’ when he or she joins a terrorist organization, it’s not really surprising that Maulanas are accused of being Sanghis too.
While it is true that some of these Maulanas who appear on television debates are particularly venomous, their worldview does not appear particularly different from that of the Maulanas at large. Maulana Saad, for instance, has not appeared for any television debates and yet, he presides over the Tablighi Jamaat that has emerged as the biggest Coronavirus cluster in the country. Furthermore, the Muslim community itself has not covered itself in glory during the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, and no difference appear between such Muslims and the so-called Rental Mulle.
Significant sections of the Muslim community have defended the Tablighi Jamaat over their atrocious conduct following the debacle at Markaz Nizamuddin. Some of them got themselves busy making videos on TikTok where they claimed that the Coronvirus was “Allah’s NRC”. Others decreed that the cure to the Wuhan Coronavirus was daily five times Namaz. Meanwhile, Mosques across the country have violated lockdown norms and the Police have been attacked. Thus, while it is easy to blame the Maulanas who appear on television screens, it is much more probable that the opinions voiced by them have great popularity among large sections of the ‘minority community’. Therefore, some introspection might be in order.