The Markaz of Super-spreaders

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The Tablighi Jamaat Markaz not only became a super-spreader of the deadly Coronvirus but has also violated several Indian laws. The militant Tablighis have also defied the lockdown and are mocking the government efforts to contain the pandemic 

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One-third of the Corona virus infections can be traced to the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz in Delhi in March 

 Santosh AS

Just when we thought that the nationwide lockdown is paying dividends and we as a nation may succeed in limiting the spread of the deadly Chinese virus, we are served with the horrifying news of Tablighi Jamaat Markaz at Nizamuddin event in Delhi becoming major hub for Covid-19 infection.
In a single day on Tuesday 31 March the number of positive Covid-19 cases surged from around 300 to over 1000 cases in India. A deadly blow to India’s fight against the pandemic gifted to world by China.
At Nizamuddin Markaz, the gathering of over 4000 Muslims from all across the country and abroad from first week of March till lockdown was announced which was nothing short of defying and literally mocking the Indian laws and its precautionary measures to insulate citizens from the global pandemic.

Chain of Events leading to Nizamuddin Markaz

Before the commencement of the mega annual gathering at Delhi, several regional gatherings were successfully completed in the last twelve months at places such as Bagalkot, Bhopal, Amravathi, Mewa. Two big gatherings were planned in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Malaysian event was completed successfully and was attended by Tablighi Jamaat leaders from India.
Malaysia: In Malaysia, Tablighi Jamaat Markaz was held from February 27th to March 1st at Sri Petaling Mosque compound, Kuala Lampur. At least 16,000 people, including 1,500 foreigners, attended this. As per an attendee list available on social media, the participants included Canadians, Nigerians, Indians and Australians. Most of the Coronavirus related deaths occurred due to people who attended this meeting.
Indonesia: As a result of the deaths of members who attended the meeting in Malaysia, Tablighi Jamat canceled the meeting scheduled from March 19 at the last minute. Nearly 8,000 Muslim pilgrims, including more than 400 from the region and countries as far as Saudi Arabia, had already assembled in the provincial town of Gowa, 90 minute drive from Makassar, the largest city in the country’s eastern region.
Pakistan: Similarly, Tablighi Jamaat organised meetings near Raiwind, Lahore in March this year, which was attended by participants from as far as Gaza, Jordan etc. Once again this gathering became a hub for the coronavirus infection.
Thus from the Mediterranean sea coast to Indonesia, passing through Pakistan, India, Bangladesh,Thailand and Malaysia, this organisation has became a key link in spreading the deadly virus. The leader of the Jamat Asif Ashraf Jalali boasted that even if a single coronavirus related cases were to be detected amongst the participants, he should be hanged.
It is pertinent to note that a Muslim majority country like Kazakhstan has banned Tablighi Jamaat way back in 2013. Courts in Russia have declared this Jamaat as “extremist”.
From the Mediterranean sea coast to Indonesia, passing through Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia, the Tablighi Jamaat has became a key link in spreading the deadly virus.

Effect on South India

From 15th to 17th, Andhra Pradesh “Jod” meeting was held with more than 1,000 participants. Earlier, the Tamil Nadu and Telangana members of the Jamaat had completed their meeting at the Banglawale Masjid, the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamat.
Thus by 15th March, the Indian Tablighi Jamaat were aware of Coronavirus related death of persons who attended the Malaysian Tablighi Jamaat. Yet organisers did not take any steps to stop further gathering of persons from all over India and abroad.

Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi

Despite being fully aware of their Jamat’s gatherings becoming breeding ground for deadly virus, Delhi’s Tablighi Jamat leaders refused to co-operate with officials in following directions given by Delhi state/ Central governments from time to time. They were summoned by police officials and served notices about various laws/directives being violated by them. The entire meeting was video recorded (as per ANI news agency) and is in wide circulation in social media.
In fact, the Tablighi Jamat building was having around 2,000 persons inside at the time of announcement of lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They continued their defiant attitude till matters became worse couple of days ago when Carona virus started spreading fast amongst the inmates of the Jamaat.
Tablighi Jamaat, the organisers of Markaz continued to hold the Islamic religious congregation as per their pre-planned schedule. The attendees included foreign and local Indian Muslims. But the sudden decision of 21 days lockdown by central government on March 24 following the voluntarily Janata Curfew was a sudden blow to them and prevented them from winding up their annual Islamic activity shrouded in mystery.

Post Lockdown Orders

When ordinary citizens were bracing up for the lockdown, the news of presence of Indonesian Muslims as well as from Central Asian countries and they being deliberately hidden in mosques in Telangana, Tamilnadu, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Andaman and Nicobar islands was closely followed and monitored. As the Tamil Nadu batch completed its meeting by 5th March, the first positive Coronavirus case in south India emerged.
Once the investigation of these foreign preachers was traced back to Nizamuddin Markaz and the deteriorating health of corona infected attendees of the Markaz became public, things changed forever in India’s fight against the Coronavirus. As the outbreak in Tamil Nadu took place before the nationwide lockdown was imposed , a large number of people had to be quarantined.
For instance, in Erode 57,734 people who had direct/indirect contact with the participants of the Delhi Tablighi meetings, had to be home quarantined. The available data in public reveals that most of the attendees of the Tabligh Jamaat Markaz were from small town and villagers where Islamic presence is negligible and unnoticed.
Though, the death figures and their rise is alarming, it is equally important for any awakened citizen to look beyond these surface level developments to know why these Muslims gathered at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi and what they intended to do once they return to their native places.

Violation of Indian Laws

The organiser provoked the attendees to defy the Indian law. In a leaked audio clip, the organiser of the Markaz appeals to his fellow Muslims to gather at the Mosques and continue to carry out their agenda inspite of govt orders.
Let us examine what Indian laws these organisers violated.
-Defying Delhi government orders on implementation of Epidemic Diseases Act:

Violation of Indian Visa Norms

Missionary Visas are issued only to the people who desire to come to India to participate in service activities without the involvement of religion.
The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India have in its circular No. No.25022/82/96-F.I dated 10.4.1996 to the Home Secretaries of all State Governments and Union Territory Administrations has clearly stated that a foreigner on a tourist visa cannot indulge in religious activities.
Many people were of the opinion that to participate in evangelical activities in India foreigners should hold a Missionary Visa. While giving clarification to this, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in its reply to our RTI Application dated April 8, 2011, vide reference no RTI/18/201/F.1 clarified that Indian Government shall not issue visas to foreigners who desire to come to India to participate in religious activities. It also indicates much-needed clarity on Missionary Visa and its definition of Missionary Work.
In its reply, the government said Missionary Visas are issued only to the people who desire to come to India to participate in service activities without the involvement of religion. It also explicitly mentioned that the foreign missionaries should not work at Tribal/Agency areas, Jammu & Kashmir, North-East states except Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland and in the areas affected by militancy, terrorism and extremism.
In addition to the above, Union Ministry of Home Affairs in its official website clearly stated that Foreigners are strictly prohibited from involving Religious/Tabligh activities in India on any type of visa.
The website further announced that heavy penalty will be imposed on foreigners who violates above rule and participate Tabligh activities in India.
As per the section 7(1) of the Foreigners Act 1946, - “If the information about the participation of foreigners in the Tabligh Jamaat at Nizamuddin is withheld, then it is a deliberate violation of the section 7(1) of the Foreigners Act, 1946 which states as follows:
“--It shall be the duty of the keeper of any premises whether furnished or unfurnished where lodging or sleeping accommodation is provided for reward, to submit to such person and in such manner such information in respect of foreigners accommodated in such premises, as may be prescribed.” – But it is known fact that the organisers of the event didn’t inform the presence of Foreign participants in the event.
The organiser provoked the attendees to defy the Indian law. We have come across an audio of the organisers who appealed to his fellow Muslims to gather at the Mosques and continue to carry out their agenda inspite of govt orders. Republic TV reported that the organisers of the Markaz deliberately wanted its members to defy the lockdown.
They also Failed to intimate the health officials when they started showing symptoms of Cronavirus. Once the first case emerged from Telangana linked to Malaysian Muslims, the Central govt has informed to all states about the Nizamuddin Markaz that could pose as challenge in coming days as early as March 24.
It is acknowledged notion in India today that breaking the law by Muslims is portrayed and tagged under ‘Dissent’ , ‘Freedom of Expression’, ‘Secularism’, ‘Rights of Muslims’, et. el.

The Narrative of Muslim Victimhood

We have Muslims who believe breaking Indian laws and its constitution is their birth right. When caught they take shelter in secularism, lack of education, victim hood and Islamophobia.
We have many Muslims who believe breaking Indian laws and its constitution is their birth right. Mostly this is pampered as adventurism or acts of misguided youth. When caught they take shelter and seek support from political parties who have deep rooted connections with law and policy makers. Even if they are found guilty, they play the victim card citing poverty, unemployment and lack of resources as the reasons but they never acknowledge the crime they committed.
When their crimes become public, they switch to victimhood and conspiracy theories. When all these fail, they bring theory of Islamophobia and target the laws of the country demanding special courts and laws to ‘protect the Muslims’. At every layer, they find and accommodate required manpower to do the above things.

Lack of Monitoring by Security agencies

Lack of proper monitoring into the activities of Islamic Preachers and foreigners of Islamic nations is not a new thing. Earlier in 2015, Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) had filed an RTI application with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs seeking details of all Foreigners who visited India on Missionary Visas since 1990. Very shockingly, information obtained from Bihar state revealed the internal security loop holes of our system.
While Gopalgunj District Foreigners Branch supplied information of 164 Pakistan Nationals visited their district, Kaimur District officials provided the list of 38 Pak nationals who had visited on Missionary Visas.
Most shocking fact is, in a follow up to this information by LRPF, with another RTI application to respective authorities seeking details of their activities and the purpose of their visit, Gopalgunj officials said that they don't have any records of their activities whereas Kaimur officials blatantly said that those Pakistan nationals came here to meet their blood relatives, on Missionary visas. The Indian Government is providing Tourist Visa to Pakistan Nationals to meet their relatives in India.
Pakistani citizens have come of Missionary Visas but the foreign office officials are unaware of the true purpose of their visit or of their activities.
On 5th September, 2018 Legal Rights Protection Forum served Legal Notices to the Government of India including the then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of External Affairs Late Sushma Swaraj, Union Home Secretary, Joint Secretary of the Foreigners Division and other key officials seeking issuance of clear instructions to immigration and police authorities to prevent visa violation activities by Foreign Evangelists in India.
While responding to the Legal Notice, the Foreigners Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs replied to vide letter no. 18049/47/2018-F.II dated 27th September, 2018 stating that it has forwarded the matter to the Bureau of Immigration for taking appropriation action as per the Law. But it seems the government agencies are still not feeling the intensity and seriousness of the matter.

Masjid-Centric Activities

The Islamic activities are always Masjid centric and its an open secret that Tabliqi Jamaat member’s primary objective is to preach and spread Islam in this Hindu majority nation. Islamic history shows its journey as it always enters into non-Islamic territories by sword later converting locals into Islam, and preaching them Islamic theology centre and completely disconnecting them from their Hindu roots.

Disconnecting Indian Muslims from Indic roots

In military tactics, holding the occupied territory is key to move forward. The conversion was forceful, but to disconnect from their Hindu roots is the biggest challenge. The Tablighi Jamat Markaz is a tool to hold the occupied Hindu terrorities and converting them into Islamic zones.
To understand the spread of Islam it is imperative to understand depth of conspiracy that has objective of Gazwa E Hind or converting the Darul Herb to Darul ul Islam, a long pending project of Islamic aggressors on Hindu nation and gatherings like Tablighi Jamat Markaz is stepping stone to aid in making Darul ul Islam.
The Tablighi Jamat Markaz is a tool to hold the occupied Hindu terrorities and converting them into Islamic zones. Gatherings like Nizamuddin Markaz is stepping stone to aid in making Darul ul Islam.

Civic Responsibility need of the hour

What an ordinary citizen can do to protect himself, family and society. Find the Masjid Permissions enquiry, informing the local authorities about irregularities. Civic responsibility, intelligence gathering and executing the state decisions are critical and lifeline of the country to sail in any crisis, as these will shape and reveal in which direction the society is heading.
(The author is the President of Legal Rights Protection Forum)