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It is not prejudiced to suspect the Tablighi Jamaat of sabotage through the Coronavirus pandemic

Even Maulana Masood Azhar and Hafiz Sayeed claim to be running religious charities. Clean chits for them as well?

This is an actual Twitter conversation between two Indian liberals – The Wire’s Arfa Khanum Sherwani and Sadanand Dhume, trying to protect the Tablighi Jamaat who have been spreading Coronavirus everywhere.

Conversation between Arfa Khanum Sherwani and Sadanand Dhume

The fallacy here is so obvious, so in your face, that it hardly needs to be debunked. Since when have we started giving clean chits to organizations based purely on their claims of religious purity? By this absurd logic, the Babaji who heads Dera Sacha Sauda would be innocent too. All the so-called godmen who have been accused of rape and various other crimes would be declared innocent. Priests of the Catholic Church would receive a clean chit, whether in matters of sexual exploitation of nuns or of young children.

Even Maulana Masood Azhar and Hafiz Sayeed claim to be running religious charities. Clean chits for them as well? Which religious organization in the world would admit to supporting criminal acts? Should they all be treated as above suspicion purely based on their claims of religious piety?

It is hard to believe that Indian liberals would endorse all of that. If there is prejudice here, it is coming from Indian liberals who perhaps feel that certain Islamic organizations enjoy a special moral status, high above the ranks of so-called non-believers.

Read: Tablighi Jamaat and its links to terrorist organizations: History of association to Al Qaeda, Taliban and Kashmiri terrorists

It is not bigoted to point fingers at the Tablighi Jamaat. Their irresponsible behavior is a matter of public record. As is the fact that they didn’t cooperate with authorities. And finally, the fact that even after the disaster became apparent, their members behaved with police, doctors and nurses in extremely anti-social ways. Teams of police and healthcare workers looking for Jamaat attendees were assaulted, pelted with stones. There are reports of those being taken to quarantine spitting on the streets, trying to endanger everyone. And finally, reports of them misbehaving while in quarantine, including obscene behavior towards women.

But there’s more. Can you believe this?

Outlook article on Tablighi Jamaat sharing links with terror outfits

Reportedly, some 6000 Tablighis were trained in Harkat ul Jihadi Islami in Pakistan! And reports also say that the terrorist group responsible for the infamous Kandahar hijacking was founded by members of the Tablighi Jamaat!

Outlook article on Tablighi Jamaat sharing links with terror outfits

Their names even came up in connection to the Godhra carnage. And apparently, being a preacher of the Jamaat was regularly used as cover story by terrorists headed to camps in Pakistan.

And finally, here is the most terrifying bit of all.

Outlook article on Tablighi Jamaat sharing links with terror outfits

The same building in Nizamuddin West in Delhi. According to Wikileaks, 9/11 Al Qaeda suspects detained by the Americans may have stayed in that building!

In the light of all this information, surely it makes sense to at least ask the question of whether the Corona virus disaster related to the same Jamaat was at least in some part deliberate.

In fact, it makes us wonder how this organization was even still legal. Whether it has been subjected to a full and complete investigation by agencies.

Political correctness cannot be allowed to stand in the way of national interest, nor national security. The immediate need of the hour is to put an immediate ban on all activities of the Tablighi Jamaat, subject its office bearers to detailed interrogation, carefully trace all their contacts and verify every single claim. There are now over 1000 cases of infection related to this single source. As a nation, we deserve to know if this was deliberate sabotaging of a national effort.

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

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