On June 21, 2020, former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif took to social media to celebrate International Yoga Day and shared pictures of himself posing in various Yoga poses.
“Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit,” he tweeted. However, he was soon attacked by Islamists who asked him to perform 5 times namaz (obligatory prayer performed by practicing Muslim) instead of Yoga.
Bahi ye nautanki mat kar Namaz 5time ka padh full fit रहेगा with mind and soul..at least aap log to ye mat kar bhai. Kaif, Irfan, Yusuf aga aisi nautanki me fase ga to bad hai…😡😡— Azam (@Azam82055616) June 21, 2020
“Don’t do this drama, do 5 times Namaz, you will stay fit with mind and soul,” one of the Twitter users said. He pointed out that at least cricketers like Kaif, Irfan (Pathan) and Yusuf (Pathan) should stay away from such ‘drama’.
Baadwe— Farukh Khan (@farukhan255) June 21, 2020
The rabid Islamists post nasty comments on Instagram too.
Similar comments were also spotted on his Facebook account.
Most asked him to offer namaz instead of doing Yoga as if one offers namaz, one does not need to do yoga.
Kaif, a soft target for Islamists
This is not the first time Kaif has faced a backlash from Islamists for supporting a good cause. He faced a lot of criticism for supporting PM’s Janta Curfew in March this year. Later in April, when he posted a tweet for lighting lamp, the rabid Islamists abused him on social media accounts. In 2016, he faced a lot of criticism from Islamists for posting photos doing Surya Namaskar. He was called out for compromising religion for publicity.
Other celebrities targetted for supporting Hindu festivals
Kaif is not the only Muslim celebrity who has faced a backlash from Islamists. Mohammad Shami was trolled and abused for celebrating his daughter’s birthday. Zaheer Khan was trolled for lighting a Diya in April. Irfan Pathan was trolled for sharing a photo on Rakshabandhan, stating it is against Islam. Shah Rukh Khan was called a “False Muslim” for sporting a Tilak and he often faces backlash for posting on Hindu Festivals. The Islamists questioned Sara Ali Khan for wishing people on Ganesh Chaturthi. Journalist Rubika Liyakat has faced attacks on social media countless times for her views. A Muslim Yoga teacher Rafia Naz has faced abused from her own community for teaching Yoga.
India leads International Yoga Day
21st June is celebrated as International Yoga Day since 2015 after its inception by United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed it during his speech on 27th September 2014 in which he said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”