The city of Gurugram in Haryana is witnessing the resistance of Hindus against the illegal encroachment and public offering of Namaz by the Muslim community. On Thursday (December 9), the Muslim Ekta Manch in the city had reiterated their decision to offer namaz on all 37 public grounds. On the other hand, the Hindu outfits had also reiterated their resolve to strictly oppose the offering of Namaz at those public places from December 10 onwards.
The Gurugram Police and the district administration have been on high alert due to the possibility of a law and order situation. This is however not the first time since non-Muslims stood up against the public offering of Namaz. Back in November 2017, about 100 French politicians had hit the streets in the Clichy commune in the northwestern Paris suburb. The objective was to protest the public offering of Namaz by the Muslim community on Fridays whereby they blocked roads and public spaces. The politicians wore tricolour sashes of office and sang the national anthem (Marseillaise) in unison.
This was in response to a group of 200 Muslims who were offering the Friday prayers on the streets in Clichy. Given that France adheres to a strict secular system, the use of the public property for prayers is unacceptable. The local Muslim community had been praying on the streets for 9 months before the French politicians took to protests as the final resort. In their defence, the Muslims claimed that they had nowhere to offer prayers and that a townhall, which was earlier used for the purpose, was taken away from them.
Although authorities had opened a new mosque for them, the worshippers claimed that it was 1.5 km away and hard to reach. Through their street prayers, they hoped to pressurise the local council to open a prayer hall in the heart of the commune of Clichy.
Vehement opposition by French politicians against public Namaz
The President of the Paris Regional Council, Valérie Pécresse, had led the protests against the Friday Namaz. He said, “Public space cannot be taken over in this way. We are in a country where we do not pray in the street, the rules of law are being flouted.” Similarly, commune Mayor Rémi Muzeau opined, “I am responsible for guaranteeing the tranquillity and freedom of everyone in my town…We did what the police should have done a long time ago.”
He had also called upon the Interior Ministry to ban Muslims from praying on the streets. In order to pacify the situation and prevent any law and order issue, a contingent of riot police was deployed at the site. The French politicians marched next to the Muslim worshippers in an attempt to displace them physically.
Journalist Théo Maneval tweeted, “It’s getting even more surreal, as the elected officials with their sashes try to jostle the people praying. Movement of the crowd, jostling, people falling…The police intervene.” According to French politician Marine Le Pen, Franch should launch an offensive against Islamist provocation. “What is the Minister of the Interior waiting for to restore public order and secularism? Laxity is not an option,” he concluded.
Residents in Gurugram Sector 37 chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ to protest
On December 3, local residents and members of various Hindu organisations were compelled to launch a protest after a large number of Muslims turned at the public ground in Sector 37 of Gurugram to offer Friday namaz.
There are dozens of mosques in Gurugram, yet the Muslim community has been insistent on using public spaces and roads for the Friday prayers, a practice that the being opposed by local non-Muslims.
Videos had surfaced where the Hindus are seen chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Vande Matram’ slogans as they protest against the Namazis who reached the public ground to offer their Friday namaz. The Gurugram police, instead of stopping the Muslims from offering Namaz in the open space was seen physically removing the Hindus from the ground. The police were seen pushing and creating a human chain in order to keep the protestors away from obstructing the Muslims from offering Namaz.
According to reports, the Gurugram police had detained nearly 50 people who tried to stop the Muslims from offering Namaz in Sector 37 on December 3. Opposition to the illegal occupation of public places by Muslims to offer their religious prayers is steadily gaining momentum. For weeks now, conscientious locals have pushed back against Muslims who have resorted to indulging in communal praying in public places instead of mosques and homes.
Recently, Haryana CM ML Khattar had announced that the blocking of public spaces in the name of Friday namaz will not be allowed.