The Tablighi Jamaat has almost singlehandedly turned the battle against the Wuhan Coronavirus against India. After spreading the virus across the lengths and breadths of the country, members of the Islamic Missionary organization has engaged in the worst form of behaviour against the healthcare providers of the country. However, in this moment of crisis contributed to greatly by the Tablighi Jamaat, Shekhar Gupta’s The Print decided it was a good idea to run apologia for the organization and attempt to shift the blame on the BJP.
In a report published on The Print, ‘journalist’ Jyoti Yadav claimed that ‘Indians are fighting against coronavirus and BJP IT cell is fighting against Indians’. In a long tirade against the BJP’s IT Cell, The Print claimed that it was spreading fake news in the midst of the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. In a remarkable bit of completely ridiculous fake news, Yadav claimed, “Until the Modi government announced a complete lockdown, the IT cell continued to mislead the public. It is quite possible that due to this propaganda, people also became casual and many stopped taking the situation seriously.”
Yadav further opined, “From the moment some coronavirus cases began to emerge among Muslims linked to Tablighi Jamaat, which had held a religious gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz in mid-march, the IT cell went into overdrive to shame the community and put the blame entirely on them — as if each Muslim in India was responsible for the foolishness of a group.” Nowhere did anyone blame ALL Muslims for the crimes of Tablighi Jamaat and yet, she makes the false claim that they did in order to shift the attention from the Islamic Missionary organization. Jyoti Yadav claimed, “The IT cell had been relentlessly targeting Muslims, even accusing them of “deliberately” spreading the coronavirus. There is no consideration for administrative lapse or behaviours common to all religions; it’s all hate.”
From the contents of the report, it is abundantly clear that the report was written and published with the sole intent of deflecting attention from the crimes of Tablighi Jamaat. The only people who are equating criticism of the Jamaat with spreading hate against the entire Muslim community are the ones who seek to run apologia for the Islamic missionary organization. It is a completely bizarre and malicious claim to make.
Furthermore, Jyoti Yadav dubs the antics of the Tablighi Jamaat mere ‘foolishness’. In reality, what they have done is nothing short of criminal. Members of the Tablighi Jamaat first gathered in large numbers at the Markaz Nizamuddin against government guidelines recommending social distancing. Then, they refused to cooperate with the authorities regarding the future course of action. Some of them have even engaged in sexually predatory behaviour against the female healthcare staff at hospitals, roaming around naked and making lewd gestures at them. Many of them have reached various parts of the country and have refused to come forward on their own in order to assist the government in curbing the spread of the virus. Thus, to label all of it mere ‘foolishness’ is a blatant attempt at whitewashing the crimes of the organization.
It is also pertinent to note that while The Print accords all manners of insidious motives to the BJP, it is more than eager to overlook the crimes of the Tablighi Jamaat. During the course of the report, nowhere are the crimes of the Jamaat mentioned while random bits of fake news is attributed to the BJP’s “IT Cell’. From messages urging people to drink GauMutra to claims of the Wuhan Coronavirus not being able to survive in hot weather, everything is attributed to the BJP’s IT Cell without a shred of evidence while the actual crimes of the Tablighi Jamaat are summarily ignored and branded as mere ‘foolishness’.
The Print’s report shows that there is a deliberate attempt underway to whitewash the crimes of the Tablighi Jamaat. The crimes of the Islamic Missionary organization are indefensible and it could not even be tried. Therefore, the mainstream media appears to have reconciled itself to the fact that the best way to proceed is to divert attention from it. And the convenient entity to place the blame on is, of course, the BJP.
We have already seen prominent journalists such as the senior editor at The Wire and another at the Wall Street Journal claim that the sexual harassment allegations against the Tablighi Jamaat are ‘false’ and accuse the nurses who were the victims of the members of the organization’s predatory behaviour of indulging in ‘propaganda’. The argument employed was that the Muslims of Tablighi Jamaat are very orthodox in their faith and hence, they could not or would not behave in such a manner with women. Such arguments, of course, have nothing to do with the truth at all as religious fundamentalists of Abrahamic faiths often engage in the most horrific of sexual behaviours, as evidenced by the priests at the Vatican and the terrorists of ISIS.
We see a similar chain of events in the report by The Print. While the crimes of the Tablighi Jamaat are downplayed by terming it ‘foolishness’, the gravity of the alleged mistakes of the BJP’s IT Cell is blown out of proportion. Simultaneously, preposterous claims are made to further paint the BJP in poor light. This is not journalism, this is propaganda. This is an instance of a deliberate spreading of misinformation in order to serve one’s political agenda. It is political bias hiding under the garb of objectivity and neutrality.
Spitting on doctors in order to infect them with the Wuhan Coronavirus cannot be called ‘foolishness’, calling the virus a conspiracy against Islam is not mere ‘foolishness’. Refusing to cooperate with healthcare providers and creating a ruckus at hospitals and refusing to obey the social distancing guidelines while in quarantine is not ‘foolishness’ either. These are deliberate attempts to sabotage the government’s efforts towards curbing the spread of the virus. Most importantly, criticizing the Tablighi Jamaat for the same is not spreading hate against Muslims.
Every time an Islamic fundamentalist organization engages in atrocious conduct and receives criticism for the same, the left-wing mainstream media peddles propaganda equating the criticism of the specific organization to spreading hate against the Muslim community. The journalists are quite obviously well aware that they are engaging in false equivalence and yet, the realization does not stop them anyway because their primary objective is to act as apologists for the malicious conduct of the specific organization.
All in all, the apologia offered by The Print is of extremely poor quality contrary to Shekhar Gupta’s normally sophisticated malicious propaganda. Jyoti Yadav’s report blaming the BJP’s IT Cell is akin to the liberal version of the sermon preached by Maulana Saad where he called the Wuhan Coronavirus a giant conspiracy against Islam. The content of the report makes it quite clear that the objective of it was decided first, that is, to absolve the sins of the Tablighi Jamaat and shift the blame on the BJP instead, and the actual content was deliberated upon much later.
The Print has once again demonstrated that its allegiance is not towards truth but political propaganda. By now, given their track record, it has become evident that they do not care the slightest bit about facts. Recently, they published an article littered with misleading assertions in order to denigrate India’s response to the pandemic. That article was by the same author who has earned a reputation for himself of fabricating quotes in order to push the liberal political narrative. In the past, it has also spread the ‘righteous Jihad‘ narrative.