In a bizarre turn of events, a Maulvi entered a police station in Murshidabad, West Bengal, and preached measures to fight the Coronavirus. In the video embedded below, the Islamic fundamentalist can be seen preaching that those who read the Quran and perform Namaz will stay unscathed by the global pandemic. Showing respect towards Allah, according to this Maulvi, can rescue people from being infected by the deadly virus. While he proceeds with these bizarre claims, several policemen can be seen sitting nonchalantly as though there was nothing objectionable in his statement.
মুর্শিদাবাদ জেলায় থানার মধ্যে চলছে #coronavirus সচেতনতা কর্মসূচী। এক মৌলবি বলছেন, যারা কোরান পরবে, নামাজ রাখবে তাদের নাকি করোনা ভাইরাস কোন ক্ষতি করতে পারবে না। @CPKolkata বাবু, গুজব ছড়ানোর জন্যে এই পুলিশ অফিসারদের সাথে মৌলবির সাজা হবে তো, নাকি আইন কেবল সাধারন মানুষের জন্যে?? pic.twitter.com/YmjHqHYSMT
— Abhijit Basak (@abhbasak) March 20, 2020
It is shocking that while the Mamata Banerjee government has demanded strict adherence to medical advisories from all civilians, and warned rumour-mongers of severe prosecution, it is right under the nose of government officials that a Maulvi propagates Islam and calls for the reading of Quran and offering Namaz for combating the contagion.
Here, we must remind our readers that Iran, an Islamic country that prides itself over its strict religious adherence, has recorded 24,811 positive cases of Covid-19 and the death toll is nearing 2000 as on 25 March 2020. An Islamic scholar who had proclaimed that the epidemic is Allah’s punishment for China, has himself tested positive for Corona. For Sunni fundamentalists who believe this is Allah’s punishment for Shias and other kafirs, we would like to remind that Sunni Muslim-majority countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia and others are also struggling with hundreds or thousands of Covid-19 patients.
In another shocker, on Sunday, March 22nd, when the entire country was following the Janta Curfew diligently to respond to the Prime Minister’s clarion call, a major Muslim-dominated thoroughfare in Kolkata enjoyed a regular weekend. As seen in the video below, hundreds of people wearing the Muslim skull cap were swarming the main road of Rajabazar, like nothing has happened. These people are not unaware of the lock-down or the global threat. These people are innately adamant and accustomed to ignore every guideline issued by the government.
This is video of the street scene in one part of central Kolkata this morning. It was sent to me by a concerned citizen pic.twitter.com/0fZu4MK93T
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) March 24, 2020
Aware of the state government’s habitual minority appeasement, this crowd is confident that they will be handled with kid gloves and are entitled to exercise their ‘minority privilege’ to defy the lockdown. While the internet is rife with videos of lathi-wielding police in other state disciplining defaulters, Kolkata Police chose to stay miles away from the Muslim-dominated Rajabazar and allowed hundreds of people to loiter around just minutes away from the Narkeldanga Police Station.
It is time for educated and progressive Muslims of the country to stand up and counter these fundamentalist claims that Islam and Muslims are somehow immune to Coronavirus. This brazen disregard towards mandated health measures will cost Bharat and all Bharatiyas heavily, given that they not only form Bharat’s second largest community but are also one of the biggest population of Muslims in the world.
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