DEOBAND, Uttar Pradesh — Hundreds of women in the historic town of Deoband marched in protest against the presence and hate-mongering of Islamophobe Tarek Fatah. Maintaining a dignified silence, protesters held placards in their hands that read, “Tarek Fatah is a Pakistani agent”; “Down with Tarek Fatah”; “Tarek Fatah go back”; “Tarek Fatah is a disdained figure”; “Arrest Tarek Fatah”; “Ban Zee News”; “Stop Spreading Sectarianism”; “Arrest Tarek Fatah” and “Long Live Ganga Jamni Culture”.
They walked from Mohalla Abul Barakat, a locality in the vicinity of known Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, to local police station where they handed a four point memorandum to the deputy superintendent.
The memorandum addressed to the President of India and Prime Minister said, “India is a secular country in the development of which all Indians, regardless of their religious backgrounds, have played an important part. Majority of its citizens believe in living peacefully and share each other’s moments of sadness and happiness.”
It goes on, “We want to bring it to your notices, Your Excellences, Pakistan does not like this peace the communal amity and mutual love the people of this country have for each other and the progress this country has made. For this reason it does not miss any opportunity to destroy peace and tranquillity here. Sadly some of our fellow countryman have fallen prey to the ploy of that ill-wisher.
“Excellencies, we, as true Muslims and true Indians, would like to bring in your notice, a weekly programme, “Fatah ka Fatwa” being broadcast on Zee TV in which a Pakistani by the name of Tarek Fatah, has been blurting out misleading and malicious statements about Islam and Muslims. There are several clips on YouTube in which he has uttered blasphemous and baseless statements about Allah, Qur’an and the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) which is intolerable for any Muslim. Tarek Fatah is a Pakistani and he could be an ISI agent sent to India to spread mischief”
The memorandum urged the President and the Prime Minister to, “1) Cancel Tarek Fatah’s Visa; 2) Bar his entry into India; 3) Order the related authorities to file a case against Zee News and its owners for recording and telecasting and continuing a program that is spreading hatred; 4) Impose immediate ban on this program, proscribe and destroy all the recordings of this program so that no other channel can dare allow a Pakistani to spread communal hatred in this country in future.”
The demonstration was organized by the students and staff of madrassa and seminary Mahad Aaisha Siddiqa Qasimul Uloom lil Banat, who were joined by hundreds of other residents of the town.
In a separate statement, the Head of the seminary, Ms Iffat Nadeem, said, “The man being given a celebrity status by Zee TV and tolerated by the Government is on record to have said that he would be happy to see India disintegrate into smaller countries. Any Indian worth his salt would be wondering to know what is behind all this tolerance shown by the authorities so far.”
Ms Iffat added, “Have all the laws and all the codes of criminal procedure code of India been waived for this man who has brazenly alleged, not once but several times, that Muslims gather in mosques on Fridays to pray for the destruction of India. What else can it be except attempting to push the country in the fire of communal hatred and pitch communities against each other.”
Ms Iffat said, “The Government of India should look into the sensitivity of the issue and act immediately before it is too late and this man succeeds in his plan.”
Ms Iffat also said, “There is restlessness among Muslims at this issue and following the legal procedure they have been trying to file FIRs in various parts of the country but they are being denied the right to take legal recourse. Does it mean laws are only to punish Muslims for the crimes they do not commit but to be denied justice?”
In the meanwhile, the Muslims campaigning for the ban on Tarek Fatah who have made several attempts to file FIR against Zee TV and Tarek Fatah but faced hurdles succeeded in registering one at Khurja police station in Bulandshahr.
The FIR No 0192 Tarek Fatah and Zee TV have been alleged to have attempted to cause riots, disturbing communal harmony in the country and hurting religious sentiments under Sections 153Aـ195A 298,500,505,504 and 120B of Indian Penal Code.