Issue Brief on “Covid-19 – Hard Times for Indian Muslims”

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The dust of Delhi riots was not yet settled when the Muslims of India found themselves in yet another quandary. This time, the community saw a new wave of hatred after news of a religious gathering amid Covid-19 was blown out of proportion not only by the Indian media but also by the functionaries of the ruling elite.  

Between March 13 and 15, Tablighi Jamaat, which mainly focuses on reviving the true spirit of religion, met in New Delhi with around 3400  members  traveling from across the country and abroad to attend the event at the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque in central Delhi.[1] By this time, though, the official nationwide lockdown was not in place but due to the threat posed by the virus, there were already official warnings advising people to avoid mass gathering. Though, most of the participants had left the premises prior to the announcement of official nationwide lockdown. However, once the lockdown was put in place, some 1000 participants still remained in the premises mainly because all train and flight services were suddenly halted and therefore, these people could not leave for their homes. Once, the news of the gathering came to light, the officials aggressively followed and tested people who were part of this particular gathering. The situation became an excuse for the officials to create a separate column of the Tablighi Jamaat related cases in their daily briefings which gave an impression as if Muslims were solely responsible for the spread of virus across India.

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