Opinion | Corona Jihad Narrative: Anti-Muslim And Islamophobic Propaganda

So far as this pandemic is concerned everyone knows that it affected whole world within a short span of time, because the whole world has now become a global village. Not only underdeveloped and developing countries has come into to its clutches but the developed countries like China, America, Italy, France , Great Britain etc. are now most affected countries in the world. During a Sunday evening news conference American president himself briefed the media that “based on models that the corona virus outbreak could bring 100,000-200,000 deaths in the US”. Death rates are so high that the burying and cremation has now become an issue for the governments of the world. Under such and such circumstances it is responsibility of every one to help the humanity in these hard times according to their power, potential and possibility. In these hard times everyone has a role to play. No one can be exempted so for as the nature of this pandemic is concerned. From bikhshu to priest, Muazzin to Imam, Safayee wala to PM and President, NGOs, religious organisations all are supposed to play their part in the global fight against this deadly virus. In this regard we are fortunate enough that whole society irrespective of religion and party affiliations cooperated wholeheartedly after the government called for complete shut down by declaring it a great health concern on 24th of March 2020. Till that announcement government herself was not so much serious of the developments taking place in our neighbouring country -CHINA. Because till the announcement the international air traffic was open for the immigrants and no proper screening was being done on our airports with regards to corona infection. Furthermore all governmental and public meetings were being celebrated with great fervour. All religious places viz. temples, mosques, guruduwaras, vihars and churches were open. The complete lockdown of all institutions was observed only after the announcement of worthy PM.

As our country is an attraction for the outsiders due to its geographical, religo-political and socio-cultural ethos therefore People throughout the world like to visit our country. According to a report shared by Cabinet Sec. Rajiv Gauba 15 lakh international passengers entered in the country during January 18 to March 23. Thus, it was but natural that many corona infected people entered here and got amalgamated with the local population. It is obvious that all the15 lac passengers were not jamatis nor even muslims , therefore it is sheer injustice to say that the only carriers of this deadly virus were muslims and Jamatis.

Maulana Arshad Madnai the president of Jamiat- e -Ulema -e -Hind told in a TV show of ZEE Salm that the Bayan of Maulana SAD Kandhalvi in which he is advising the muslim community that they should not give up the five times congregational prayers in any case is off course his, but that has been done before 24th of March 2020. The president of Jamiat said that if I were asked before the PM’s announcement in which it was declared pandemic ,my reply would have been the same. Not only would mine but the reply of every religious preacher belonging to other religions have been the same regarding their religious rituals. After 24th of March a new audio of Moulana came into surface in which he advises all his workers to sit in their respective houses and also urges his followers to co-operate with the health officials with regards to their investigation. After 24th of March the scenario got changed hence Ameer of Tabligi Jamat changed his decision in this way he seems to be fully cooperative with the government. Thus, it is mere media propaganda and false allegation that Molana Sad sahib did not follow the governmental advisory regarding the lockdown.

Tablighi Jamat is an international missionary movement having its devotees almost in all the countries of the world. Since this movement has been established in 1927 by Maulana Ilyas Kandhalvi (RA) – the grandfather of Maulana Sad, in our country, therefore, its international Markaz is in Dehli. It is apolitical in nature and is working since 1927. From its inception government of India has never recorded any criminal intention with reference to its activities being done in the mosques and open fields of the country. Even in the times of Indra Ghandi Ji, it is said the CID,s who were given the task to investigate whether the movement has any ill intention towards the government or not ,the investigating officials put forth their report with the remarks that the said movement is apolitical and has nothing to do with this world. They are telling transcendental stories to their workers hence there is no threat from this movement. Similarly this movement is working only in Muslim community calling them to adopt virtue based life. Hence it is no way any threat to Hinduism too, as its object is only Muslim community. But in these hard times some of the media channels are communalising this pandemic and are trying to relate the whole situation with the Jamat and muslims. In response to the question “whether the jamatis had any intention to spread this deadly virus in the country’’ posed by one of the anchors of the NDTV India news channel, to Mr Arif Khan-the sitting governor of Kerala, he replied, “ I do not believe that they are consciously carrying the virus to destroy India because there is same threat to their lives too” so it is an absurd allegation which is being vehemently propagated by the certain media channels of our country under the “ #corona jihad” . This in no case is the patriotic vision as it can fragment the whole society in to two. It is need of an hour that a stern action should be taken against those who are trying to communalize the situation at a time when the whole nation is fighting for its survival. Some of the media channels’ deliberately come up with such news items which are enough to add fuel to the fire. If these channels are not kept under surveillance then the day is not far when our whole society will lose its faith in the unity in diversity culture.

Salik Bilal, Author is a Columnist, Expert in Islamic Studies and from Jammu and kashmir. He can be reached at salikbilal.rnb@gmail.com. Views and thoughts expressed by writers in this article are their own and do not necessarily reflect Millat Times’s editorial point-of-view.

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