Hours after the riots broke out in Bengaluru over allegedly offensive Facebook post on Prophet Muhammad, where rioting Muslim mobs attacked police station and cops, a video went viral on social media. At around 2 AM on the intervening night of 11th and 12th August, Congress National Secretary and social media in-charge Zakiya Khan shared a video wherein she claimed that Muslim youth formed a ‘human chain’ to ‘safeguard’ a temple from ‘unruly mob’.
#muslim youth from #bangalore stands outside #temples to safeguard against unruly Mob .#bangaloreriots @ProfNoorul @_garrywalia @sushant_says @SalmanNizami_ pic.twitter.com/TM8iTNE1ck— Zakiya Khan (@ZakiyakINC) August 11, 2020
Very cleverly ‘temples’ (plural) was hashtagged and religion of the ‘unruly mob’ was hidden while religion of men in ‘human chain’ was highlighted. Fact: Religion of ‘unruly mob’ was also Islam.
It is interesting to note that the Hindus perhaps never in their wildest imagination thought that someone will come and destroy their temples over a Facebook post. However, this ‘protecting the temple’ appears more of a soft-threat or a nudge that the temples can be demolished over a post that Muslims find offensive. This especially appears more terrifying after the lowkey threat by All India Muslim Personal Law Board on the eve of Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan where the Islamic body had cited example of Hagia Sophia and threatened how once a mosque will always remain a mosque, thereby implying how Ram Mandir which will be constructed where disputed structure once stood will be demolished by Muslims.
One social media user Muhammad Nuammir also shared the same video with the caption how this is the beauty of India.
That’s the beauty of India— 𝗠𝘂𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗱 𝗡𝘂𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗶𝗿 💞 ( نُعَمِّرْ ) (@iam_nuammir) August 11, 2020
Muslims created human chain to guard a Temple in #Bengaluru during violence.
Stay calm make peace #BengaluruViolence
Here again while ‘Muslims’ are creating ‘human chain’ to guard temple, Nuammir conveniently forgets to mention that the attackers were also their own Muslim brethren.
Congress leader Salman Nizami too referred to the rioters as ‘mob’ but ‘human chain protecting Hindu temples’ was made by Muslims.
Human chain by Muslims to protect Hindu temples from mob. Well done Bangalore, stay calm, maintain peace! pic.twitter.com/ahNt3ZLbwV— Salman Nizami (@SalmanNizami_) August 11, 2020
Nizami had referred to 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru a martyr and termed 5th August, the day Government of India abrogated Article 370 a ‘black day’.
News agency ANI too shared the video sourced from a localite wherein it referred to rioters as ‘arsonists’.
India Today employee Rajdeep Sardesai also hailed the Muslims ‘human chain’.
#WATCH Karnataka: A group of Muslim youth gathered and formed a human chain around a temple in DJ Halli police station limits of Bengaluru city late last night, to protect it from arsonists after violence erupted in the area. (Video source: DJ Halli local) pic.twitter.com/dKIhMjQh96— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2020
As always, for every rioter who takes law into their own hands, there will be those who will stand up for communal harmony and rule of law. Defeat the vandals and law breakers, don’t demonise a community. 🙏 https://t.co/2l7Te12oF4— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 12, 2020
These ‘arsonists’ too didn’t have religion, but men making ‘human chain’ to ‘protect temple’ do.
However, many netizens raised concerns whether the above video was staged and a PR stunt especially by Congress as its leaders were the ones to push it to make it viral.
Another video from the same location has now surfaced where one can hear someone in the background urge the person shooting the video to ‘upload it fast’.
You should see this video. ‘jaldi upload kar’— ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರ ಹೆಬ್ಬಾರ್ (@RK_Hebbar) August 12, 2020
All drama for publicity sake @smitaprakash pic.twitter.com/agHW4ayRP9
This casts aspersions on whether the video of ‘human chain’ by Muslims to ‘protect the temple’ was a mere publicity stunt after the rioters burned down the city over a social media post.