COVID-19: Islamic Scholars appeal to PM Narendra Modi to take adequate measures to stop spread of communal hatred in the country

Appeal to Hon’ble President and Prime Minister of India to take adequate measures to stop spread of communal hatred in the country.

We the people of India are passing through a severe test of time in the form of Coronavirus as is the case with large majority of human population on the planet earth. It is really a matter of relief that when compared to many other countries, we are doing a lot better in preventing this pandemic by reducing its horror to a remarkable level. The joint efforts of government authorities, police persons, health workers and community volunteers are instrumental in bringing the situation under control.While the people generally keep hygiene, social distancing and other restrictions stipulated by the authorities, few instances of huge social gatherings were also reported from different parts of the country. Some of them were before the declaration of the lockdown whereas few others were afterwards out of sheer ignorance or negligence. However, it is not rational to hold any particular group responsible for deliberately spreading the pandemic in the country.

But once corona virus infection was confirmed in the case of some attendees of the congregation at Nizamuddin Tablighi Markaz, a furious propaganda is getting widespread day by day that Muslims as a community is responsible for the current pandemic situation in the country. Unfortunately, some social and political segments are deliberately deploying various means at their disposal to ccommunalise this public health issue for spreading hatred against Muslims. In particular, Nizamuddin Markaz Masjid and Tablighi Jama’at are viciously targeted and accused of being the carriers of corona virus. Many objectionable and derogatory terms like ‘Tablighi Virus’, ‘Corona Jihad’ etc are being propagated in an organised way. Many thousands of digital hate mongering clips through social media tools like You Tube,TikTok, Face book, Twitter etc goes on without control. The Islamophobia content aired by many major media houses has made the situation worse. Consequently, we have reports from some parts of India that innocent Muslims are being attacked and patients are denied medical treatment based on their religious identity. The attack on Masjid at Delhi by a mob alleging Muslims spreading the virus is also a result of the Islamophobic content propagated through mainstream media and social media.
It is a welcome sign that few state governments have taken serious note of this situation and warned about stringent action against the perpetrators of hate. But it is unfortunate that till this moment the Government of India has not come out with required measures to curb this menace of communal virus from the social and political fabric of our secular nation. On the other hand, the updates on corona virus cases released by the Union Health Ministry particularly refer to the number of Tablighi Markaz connected cases which is like pouring fuel to the communal fire.

We hereby request the Hon’ble President and Prime Minister of India to take adequate measures including an appeal to the people to desist from spreading hate and an advisory to all state governments to take penal action against hate propaganda carried by individuals and groups as well as mainstream and social media at a time when the country has to fight the pandemic together.

New Delhi / 09 April 2020
1. Maulana Sayyid Mohammad WaliRahmani (General Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board)
2. Syed Sarwar Chishti (GaddiNasheenKhadim, DargahHazratKhwajaMoinuddin Chishti, Ajmer Shareef)
3. Maulana K R Sajjad Nomani (Islamic Scholar)
4. Adv.ZafaryabJeelani (Senior Advocate)
5. Navaid Hamid (President, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat)
6. M K Faizy (National President, Social Democratic Party of India)
7. Dr S Q R Ilyas (National President, Welfare party of India)
8. O M A Salam (Chairman, Popular Front of India)
9. Mujtaba Farooq (Director, Public Relations & Member, Central Advisory Council, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind)
10. Maulana Umrain Mahfooz Rahmani (Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board)
11. Kamal Farooqui (Former Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission)
12. Maulana Obaidullah Khan Azmi (Former, Member of Parliament)
13. Shahida Aslam (President, National Women’s’ Front)
14. Dr.Azma Zehra (Chief Organiser, Women’s Wing, All India Muslim Personal Law Board)
15. Mehrunnisa Khan (National President, Women India Movement)