Ever since news reports on Nahid Afreen, a young Assamese, Muslim singer being served a Fatwa by clerics in Assam started doing the rounds, there has been a strong backlash from the leftist Media. 2-bit columnists have typed “scrolls” on how the entire story was a falsehood planted by vested elements who want to defame the religion and its clerics.
The main argument of these writers is that there was no Fatwa, going by Islamic jurisprudence, that was ever issued. All that had happened was a group of Clerics who signed a document decrying Nahid and her singing as an act against Allah.
Going by their point of view, the main issue is not whether attempts were made to silence Nahid’s singing, but whether, the clerics did indeed issue a Fatwa, going by the stringent guidelines laid down in Islamic jurisprudence. But, before that, here is a quick recap of what happened in Assam.
2015 Indian Idol’s first runner up, Nahid Afreen was supposed to participate in a programme in a college on 25th of March. This college is situated next to a Mosque and a graveyard. Apparently, this roused the ire of Mullahs who saw Nahid’s singing as an act against Islamic values. A group of 46 clerics came together to issue a ‘Fatwa’ (technicalities contested) and leaflets with the ‘Fatwa’ with were distributed in parts of Assam to pressurize Nahid to cancel her performance.
One part of the leaflet/Fatwa read’ “If anti-Sharia acts like musical nights are held on grounds surrounded by masjids, idgahs, madrassas and graveyards, our future generations will attract the wrath of Allah,” Incidentally, songs sung by Nahid, especially Bhakti-era bhajans are quite popular in Assam. Assam Chief Minister spoke to Nahid and the show will go on after Nahid refused to back down to extremists’ threats, given an outpouring of support for her.
Perhaps it was this that prompted leftist websites to question the veracity of the news. Given that the leaflet was already floating around, it became difficult to discredit the news entirely. Hence, a new strategy was sewn together. By getting into obscure elements of Islamic jursiprudence, an attempt was made to refute the news report. The ‘Fatwa’ was reduced to an ‘Opinion’. The leaflet was recast as an ‘exhortation’ rather than a call for action and the threats to Nahid were rephrased as ‘counsel’.
Also, because the leaflet was not verified, Leftist websites chose to slam their political opponents for trying to inject Islamophobia in national discourse. Obviously, the fact that the leaflet was issued in the name of some members of Jamaat-e-Ulema of Assam is an irrelevant piece of information for them.
On technical grounds perhaps, it would be wise to agree with these Leftist Journalists and Online portals. Perhaps, it was not a Fatwa. Perhaps, it did not seek to intimidate Nahid. Perhaps, the clerics have no bone to pick with Nahid on her singing and are perhaps being unfairly targeted. But, would these Leftists adopt a similar tone when a deranged Swami or Sadhvi issue random, meaningless comments against Muslims? Why the leftist ire on Ghar Wapsi carried on by Fringe elements? Why the rage over church burnings carried out by Bangladeshi illegals? Why the anger over Love Jihad executed by a nutty few ? Why are Islamic extremists perennially given the kid glove treatment, while the Hindu extremist fringe is lambasted, hauled over the coals and the entire Hindu religion is portrayed as Intolerant and extremist? Clearly, Leftist intellectuals and liberals aren’t exactly people who can be trusted with their words and deeds.
Going back to the legality of Fatwas, all Fatwas issued in India, which the leftists forget, is a constitiutional democracy, are illegal. Given their apparent illegality, there are no ‘legal’ means for Fatwas to be legal and enforceable. Given that the word ‘Fatwa’ itself means legal opinion, who are these Leftist Intellectuals kidding when they say the Leaflet against Nahid was not a Fatwa? Moreover, since there are no legal pre-requsites to be met for a Fatwa to be issued in India, the leaflet might very well be a Fatwa, in which case, Sarbananda Sonowal was right to react and promise Nahid’s safety. The (il)legality of the Fatwa aside, does it not scare our Leftists and Liberals that a group of religious fanatics can come together and attempt to intimidate a young woman by making religious exhortations? All the prized -isms of Leftists, Feminism, Human rights, free speech etc., one would say, vanish before the sight of Islamic extremists.
Worry not Nahid Afreen. Even if the Leftists abandon you over meaningless technicalities, India stands solidly behind you. Go ahead and infuse life into Srimant Shankardev’s Borgeet with your mellifluous voice.