Namaz row: Non-profit body writes to Gurgaon DC, seeks necessary safety measures for Muslims

  • | Tuesday | 9th November, 2021

Gurgaon, Nov 8 (PTI) Amid protests by right-wing groups in Gurgaon against offering of "namaz" in the open, a non-profit body on Monday wrote to the Deputy Commissioner seeking necessary measures to ensure safety and security of the community members offering prayers at the assigned locations.“At a few of these allotted spaces, Friday namaz has been disrupted and there has been demonstration by a group of people who used loudspeakers to chant intimidating slogans and chant bhajans right when the namaz is in progress. Their intentions are clear," the organisation named "Gurugram Momins" said in the letter."However, we are determined to maintain peace especially when the matter is related to remembering the almighty and this is important to us,” it added. According to its website, Gurugram Momins is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious organisation and represents a cooperative effort of the Muslim Community in Gurgaon.Over the last few years, Gurugram Momins has evolved as an informal self-help and community group to offer community support to the muslims in Gurgaon.“…We would like to draw your attention to these events and request you to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of the Muslims offering prayers in these assigned locations,” the body said in the letter.On Sunday, Haryana"s Home Minister Anil Vij had said that everyone should hold religious events inside places of worship.Such events should be avoided on the roads without the permission of the administration, Vij told reporters in Ambala while commenting on the Friday namaz row.         On Friday, BJP leader Kapil Mishra had attended Govardhan puja held at a site in Gurgaon"s Sector 12A, where Muslims used to offer "namaz" every week.The puja was organised by Samyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti.A Gurgaon police official had earlier said that no namaz was scheduled to be offered at the site on Friday.Objecting to anyone occupying a public place to offer prayers, Mishra had said, "If people from different religions, faiths and sects keep occupying open public spaces on one day every week, it will result in blockade of all the roads and parks." In its letter, the body said, “This is to bring your notice that attempts to disrupt peace and harmony by some people at Juma Namaz sites in open spaces in Gurugram are increasing. The Juma Namaaz -- a 45-60 minute obligatory congregational prayer once a week -- has happened peacefully over the last many years and there is a very strong need for it to continue”.The namaz is offered on Fridays around 1 pm and can only be offered in a group. So, the Muslims assemble for a short time, offer namaz and go back to their workplaces or homes, it said.“Even though we are the second largest community, there are just 7-9 mosques in Gurugram and not sufficient to accommodate the demographically diversified Muslim population," it said.All these years, like in the rest of the country, our fundamental rights to profess and practice our faith was allowed the space it needed, the body said.“But of late, there has been disruption in the peaceful namaz and it has become a worry across the community. There is an organised threat to disrupt the 2018 understanding about jumma namaz space. As a community in 2018, we accepted and all these years adhered to the revised list of the Friday namaz spots that were offered to us and were commonly agreed upon by the Gurugram administration and other communities of the city,” it said in the letter.Some community members have been stalked, abused and threatened personally to stop the namaz, the body alleged.“In spite of Haryana chief minister"s recent assurance in the media that the namaz can happen peacefully at all agreed locations, there are groups of people who continue to show disrespect and violate his assurance and openly issue aggressive statements in the media that may disturb the communal harmony in the city,” the body wrote.Around 30 people were briefly detained by police on October 29 for allegedly gathering to disrupt Friday namaz offered by Muslims in Sector 12 area in Gurgaon.Three years ago, the district administration had designated 37 sites in the city for Muslims to offer Friday namaz after which there were protests by some Hindu groups.A few months ago, a group started protests against the prayers offered in the open following which there have been demonstrations on Fridays for the past one month. PTI SUN VSD RHL

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