As Arab world evolves, section of Indian subcontinent’s Muslims get more regressive

Last year, a congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat group broke all Covid protocols and became a super-spreader. When these reports emerged, t...

Last year, a congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat group broke all Covid protocols and became a super-spreader. When these reports emerged, there was obvious outrage. This immediately triggered accusations of Islamophobia and targeting of the community.

Last week, Saudi Arabia proscribed the Tablighi Jamaat group and called it “a gateway to terrorism”. There is an awkward silence among the subcontinent’s Muslims, who form the major catchment of Tablighi’s 350-400 million global followers. How can they call Saudi Arabia, the fountainhead of Islam and home to its holiest sites, Islamophobic?

This year, there is a massive flashpoint over protests by Gurugram residents against Friday prayers at public spaces like parks and roads. In spite of Gurugram reportedly having 22 mosques and every faithful having a home, there is apparently no place for Muslims to pray.

Throwing the fig leaf of secularism to the wind, Muslim influencers are going as far as demanding that the government provide places for namaz. Is that the government’s job? Certainly not.

Member of the Central Waqf Board Rais Pathan dispelled the lie that there was no place for Muslims to pray.

He then tweeted that while fake ‘liberal’ Muslims were provoking the community to break the law, they themselves may not have offered prayers ever.

Again, while this section of forever-in-victim-mode Indian Muslims raged over the backlash against namaz at public places, the United Arab Emirates had imposed a fine of 1,000 dirhams (about Rs 20,000) for prayer on roads and undesignated places.

Saudi Arabia went a step further and asked mosques to turn down the volume of loudspeakers and not use the outer speakers. Violators are promptly fined.

Egyptian Member of Parliament and journalist Farida al-Shoubashy is about to move a bill to ban the burqa at public places.

While the Arab world is embracing a slew of reforms and openness, a large section of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims refuse to move out of that cloistered world. In fact, the educated, so-called liberal Indian Muslims work to reinforce orthodoxy and fanaticism in the community through social media.

One day they provide covering fire to anti-Hindu rioters in Bangladesh, the other day they are covering up for Islamists who lynched a Sri Lankan worker in Pakistan. And every day they are exhorting Indian Muslims to go down the path of extremism and anarchy, instead of nudging the community towards a better, shared future.

It is unclear how Islam’s bizarre geopolitical trapeze will play out. But with the oil economy waning and the Arab world deciding to open up and makes friends with even sworn enemies like Israel, the nature and size of funding of political Islam is likely to undergo radical, unforeseen shifts.

The welcome showers of change may arrive on the Indian subcontinent’s shores, albeit a bit late.

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India World News: As Arab world evolves, section of Indian subcontinent’s Muslims get more regressive
As Arab world evolves, section of Indian subcontinent’s Muslims get more regressive
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