Religion often takes precedence over reason. People across the world have committed horrible sins in the name of religion. Once again a crime was committed in the name of religion. Last month, more than 2000 people gathered for a religious congregation in the Nizamuddin area of New Delhi amid the coronavirus outbreak.
On March 13, Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic reformist group, organized a large gathering of more than 2000 people in the Nizamuddin area. The gathering was attended by foreign nationals from Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan, and Malaysia. The area has now become a hotspot of the spread of the fatal coronavirus. Intentionally or unintentionally, the Jamaat has also become responsible for spreading the virus across national borders.
According to the reports, the head of the Jamaat, Maulana Saad has been accused of influencing the attendees of defying the lockdown. As of now, the Maulana has gone missing. The Delhi Police has lodged an FIR against him and the search to find him is on. Maulana Saad has also released a video statement claiming that the allegations against him are completely wrong. He has also said that he has self-isolated himself and has requested everyone who attended the event to come out of the closet and get tested.
Now, people across India who had participated in the Islamic congregation are testing positive for COVID-19. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, people who attended the religious gathering have traveled across 27 states and carried the virus with them.
It is not about one particular community or religion but unfortunately, a crime has been committed in the name of a particular religion. It is not about encouraging Islamophobia but the act has been executed in the name of Allah. If ignoring a lethal pandemic that is responsible for more than 50,000 deaths worldwide is not blind faith then what is?
Many people are defending their actions by citing various reasons. It does not matter whether the complete lockdown was imposed or not. The question here is that when the red flag was already raised against the global pandemic and when social distancing was termed as the only way of staying safe, why did they organize such a large gathering?
However, the Delhi government on 13 March prohibited any gathering of more than 200 people under the Epidemic Diseases Act. Moreover, they also directed people coming from any COVID-19 affected countries to self-isolate. Members of the Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin violated both these rules. Reports have been pouring in from Uttar Pradesh of the Tablighi linked COVID patients for misbehaving with the doctors. The least they can do is to cooperate with the doctors and help the administration in contact tracing.
The Health Ministry has confirmed that a total of 647 positive coronavirus cases in the last two days are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat. The cases have been reported from across India. Around 10 deaths reported are linked to the event and more than 9000 Tablighi Jamaat contacts have been traced and quarantined. The total number of COVID cases in India touched 2,547 with 62 deaths so far.