NEW DELHI—Following the news reports of Nizamuddin Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat being a source of spread of Coronavirus in India, the right-wing trolls have have started a vitriolic campaign that reeks of Islamophobia. They are holding Tablighi Jamaat responsible for spreading the virus and not following the lockdown rules.
However, the Jamaat has made it clear that they complied with the authorities all the time and did not break any provisions of the law.
Read the actual facts about the Nizamuddin Markaz covid cases. There was an Int Conference going on there when the lockdown was suddenly announced. They kept the authorities informed at all times& kept requesting them to allow the visitors to be escorted out. Unfair to blame them pic.twitter.com/9xT37d4Sya
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) March 31, 2020
The hate campaign is seen as an alibi for the “failure” of the government to tackle the coronavirus pandemic efficiently.
The critics have also lashed out at the campaign and asked the government to initiate legal action against other people including politicians who threw parties despite advisories against doing so.
We, the team of #CPJ_India invite you to join the Twitter Storm against the false depiction of Tablighi Jamaat by Media.
Join in large numbers in solidarity with Tablighi Jamaat. pic.twitter.com/1CedSjTNWJ
— CPJ India | کاروان (@TheKarwaan) March 31, 2020
The Amir of Jamaat E Islami Hind, a prominent Muslim organisation in Country, Syed Sadatullah Husaini called the campaign “shameful” and demanded an FIR against those officials who failed to act despite repeated request from Markaz adminstration to take steps for their evacuation amidst lockdown.
When Modi announced Janata curfew for March 22, the ongoing programme in the Markaz was discontinued immediately. However, due to sudden cancellation of rail services across the country on March 21, a large group of visitors got stuck in Markaz premises. https://t.co/67gSCCY7AQ
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) March 31, 2020
He also demanded that the government should be held responsible for announcing a lockdown that triggered crises after migrant labourers came out on roads to go home.
– Yes #TablighiJamat was callous to hold congregation in March
– Despite appeal from Maulana Tariq Jameel, some of its leaders in India remained in denial about Corona
– But real issue is Govt incompetence: Why give visas? Why werent travellers checked? Why such a late response?
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) March 31, 2020
He urged that the focus of the narrative should be on the repeated statements of the Ulema and Muslim leaders appealing public to take safety measures against the pandemic. He also said that the relief effort of the Muslim organisations and volunteers to help the needy facing hardships in the ongoing lockdown need to be appreciated.
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) March 31, 2020
Several liberal voices have also come out and spoken against the hate campaign of the right wing. They say that the government should have taken steps well in advance to curb the pandemic. https://twitter.com/Joydas/status/1244853597482827776
Delhi CM Arvind kejriwal is also facing the heat of the critics after he ordered an FIR against the leaders of Tablighi Markaz. He is being asked how come he is empowered to file an FIR now when he could not do so at the time of last Month’s anti Muslim violence.
Kejriwal showed his loyalty to RSS once again. He didn't order a single FIR against rioters when the city was burning but took not a single min. to order FIR agnst #TablighiJamaat
He hasn't ordered any FIR on Gaumutra party organisers,held days after the #Nizamuddin congregation pic.twitter.com/2wEPB51Gpk
— Kashif Ahmed Faraz (@kkkash_if) March 31, 2020