Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic conservative movement, became the super-spreader of Coronavirus disease in many countries with large Muslim population like- India, Pakistan, Malaysia.
In Pakistan and Malaysia, the members and leaders of Tablighi Jamaat are facing criticism from the government, health officials, as well as the common people for spreading the Coronavirus disease in the country. In fact, as per a report by Pakistan English Daily Dawn, the sect organized its annual gathering in March at Raiwind Markaz despite strong opposition from Punjab government.
Dawn published a story titled ‘Tableeghi Jamaat in hot water in Pakistan too for COVID-19 spread’, in which it argued that the Tablighi members made a mistake, and they are being held responsible for the act by Punjab government.
Pakistani Human rights activist Arif Ajakia released a video on his Youtube channel on April 16, to expose Rana Ayyub, Saba Naqvi and Arfa Khanum Sherwani- the gang which gave a clean chit to Tablighi members and leaders; blamed Hindus for spreading hatred against Muslim- and argued that Indian government is not even mentioning the name of the group, and calling it ‘single source’, while Pakistan is dealing with the members of the group more strictly.
Pakistani people are, obviously, not happy with the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, as the majority of cases emerged in the poor country can be traced to the group. Moreover, Maulana Suhaib Rumi, 69, Faisalabad chapter head of Tablighi Jamaat, died due to COVID-19. “The elderly preacher had attended the Tablighi gathering in Lahore’s Raiwaind last month. Five members of his family, including two grandchildren, are also infected with coronavirus,” Deputy Commissioner of Faisalabad Muhammad Ali said.
More than 10,000 people of Pakistan attended Tablighi Jamaat annual event, despite the fact Coronavirus disease spread warning. Now the politicians and medical experts are furious over the group. A federal minister, Fawad Chaudhary, had condemned the “stubbornness of the clergy.”
There is also Wikipedia page named ‘2020 Tablighi Jamaat coronavirus hotspot in Pakistan’ while the Indian Wikipedia page on Tablighi Jamaat was deleted by the US-based organization. Wikipedia has deleted the page titled, ‘2020 Tablighi Jamaat Coronavirus Hotspot in Delhi,’ despite the event being the most significant reason for the coronavirus outbreak in India.
Not just Delhi, but the gathering of 8,000 Islamic preachers at the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid in the Nizamuddin area of South Delhi- the global centre for Tablighi Network has caused damage across the country from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu and Arunachal Pradesh to Maharashtra.
There was no Coronavirus outbreak in India before the Tablighi Jamaat came into the picture. 640 out of 700 cases in Telangana, for instance, are associated with the Tablighi Jamaat which means that there would have been no Coronavirus crisis in the state but for the Tablighi fiasco. Telangana’s neighbouring state Andhra Pradesh is no exception either, and most of the 572 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state are related to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in South Delhi’s Nizamuddin.
Majority of the cases in Tamil Nadu are also attributable to a single source (read “Tablighi Jamaat”), and as of April 14 itself, 1,079 of the 1,267 cases in the state were traced as the attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi or their contacts. In Assam too, the Tablighi Jamaat has been the sole cause of the Wuhan virus outbreak with more than 90 per cent of the cases having Tablighi links.
In Pakistan, as well as in Malaysia, the government agencies, politicians, medical experts and common people, are name-calling Tablighi Jamaat for spreading Coronavirus disease, and rightly so as the majority of the cases are due to the group.
But in India, the secular governments are not naming Tablighi Jamaat cases as ‘single-source’ case despite the fact that around 28 per cent cases are directly related to the group. The secular government have refrained from name-calling so far, and the ‘secular’ journalists like Saba Naqvi, Siddharth Vardrajan have given a clean chit to the group while human right activists in Pakistan name-call the group.