31 March 2020
I have never been against a religion out of bias. Indeed it is something I am quite proud of. But I also do not shy away from calling out a religion, when it is fair to do so, simply out of fear of being branded an extremist. This time round, a group of Islamic missionaries are squarely to blame for worsening the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
The Tablighi Jamaat is an group of muslims driven to encourage the practise of Islam exactly as it was practised during the time of the Prophet Mohammad. Despite the state issuing warnings and outright lockdown and quarantine laws—and despite everything that has been going on around the world all these days—this group (of about 200 men from across India and a bunch of other countries) met around mid-March at Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz and gave each other some SARS-Cov-2.
Now tens of people in several Indian states have tested positive for COVID-19 and the burden on the healthcare system and the ground workers rushing to detect contact and travel histories of these men has increased tenfold. This was a foolish move in the name of religion that could have been avoided—nay, should have been avoided. The news suggests these men are likely to be held legally accountable for their actions.