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No place to pray: Muslim worshippers under pressure in India's Gurgaon

Bilal9

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AFP
  • Published at 04:31 pm December 24th, 2021
Indian Muslims at a mosque in Madhya Pradesh

Indian Muslims at a mosque in Madhya Pradesh BIGSTOCK

Hardline groups see India as a Hindu nation and its 200 million-strong Muslim minority as potentially dangerous outsiders.

Dinesh Bharti drives around with other activists on Fridays heckling and harassing Muslims praying outside in Gurgaon, the latest flashpoint of sectarian tensions under India's Hindu nationalist government.

Muslims praying in the open "create problems in the country and the entire world," the thickset Hindu man in his 40s said, a red tilak on his forehead marking him out as a devout member of India's majority religion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election in 2014 emboldened hardline groups who see India as a Hindu nation and its 200 million-strong Muslim minority as potentially dangerous outsiders.

Gurgaon is a modern satellite city of the capital New Delhi. Around 500,000 Muslims either live there, have migrated to the area for work or labour there during the day.

The city has 15 mosques for them, but the local government has refused permission to build more -- even as the number of Hindu temples has grown.

This has forced the community to hold Friday afternoon prayers -- the most important of the week for Muslims -- in open spaces.

In recent years, Hindu groups have sprayed cow dung at Islamic prayer sites and called worshippers terrorists and Pakistanis -- referencing India's Muslim-majority neighbour and arch-rival.

The local government, meanwhile, has steadily cut the number of approved outdoor worship sites.

Also Read - Muslim prayers barred again in north Indian city

'No longer tolerated'

Earlier this month, the Haryana state chief minister, a member of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, declared that outdoor prayers in Gurgaon "will no longer be tolerated".

Undermining their argument that religion can be practised only indoors, Hindu groups celebrated last Friday by setting up a makeshift temple and community kitchen to feed hundreds as devotional music blared.

Across town, hundreds of Muslims queued to take turns to worship at one of only six remaining prayer venues still available.

At another site, Muslims were heckled and forced to chant slogans such as "Hail Lord Ram" -- a Hindu deity -- that have proliferated under Modi among his supporters.

"If the government doesn't find a solution to the issue... it will become more complicated and serious," Sabir Qasmi, a Muslim cleric at the prayer meeting, told AFP.

Lifelong hardliner

Modi is a lifelong member of the hardline Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Hindu nationalist group.

He was briefly barred from the United States over religious riots in Gujarat in 2002 when he was state chief minister.

Since his coming to power, a string of lynchings of Muslims by Hindu mobs for so-called cow protection -- a sacred animal for many Hindus -- and other hate crimes has sown fear and despair in the community.

Several states have brought in legislation criminalising conversion to Christianity and Islam, including through marriage -- or "love jihad" as Hindu hardliners call it.

This week, a video emerged from a recent gathering of right-wing Hindu groups in which some delegates called for Muslims to be killed, reports said.

Also Read - India hunts 'fake news' spreaders after anti-Muslim attacks

Hindu protesters in Gurgaon say outdoor prayers pose a "security" risk, cause traffic problems and prevent children from playing cricket.

But critics say the real reason is simply that Muslims have no place in Modi's new intolerant India, where Hindu zealots are dictating government policy.

Arati R Jerath, a political commentator, said there is an agenda to convert India from a pluralistic and secular nation into a "Hindu country".

"Whether it is economic spaces or spaces for worship, or spaces for the food and customs or anything with a Muslim identity, that is going to be part of the project," Jerath told AFP.

"It is not necessarily a government-sponsored project, but certainly a project by the supporters of this government, who... get tacit support from the government."

On Sunday, the head of a Hindu umbrella group proposed a solution: Muslims should convert.

"They will have their temples to pray and this (prayer) issue will end," said Mahaveer Bhardwaj, chairman of the Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti.
 

Vapnope

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Around 500,000 Muslims either live there, have migrated to the area for work or labour there during the day.

The city has 15 mosques for them, but the local government has refused permission to build more -- even as the number of Hindu temples has grown.
15 mosques for 500,000 worshippers and then bhakts complain why they offer namaz outside the mosques. Bhakts will never allow muslims and other minorities to live in peace in India.
 

Vapnope

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Gurgaon streets are not where you pray. Just as you cannot pray on Broadway or Wall street or the Strand in London.

Does this place look like you can sit in the middle and start praying ?

Streets are not the place to worship or do your cultural festival, correct. But did you miss the part where author has pointed out that for 500,000 muslims there are only 15 mosques and govt is not allowing more mosques to be built?
 

kingQamaR

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Indians ok and ignore there 300 million Indians sleeping on the streets every day in poverty . Not bothered by seeing such disgusting sights daily everywhere But get seriously offended by a religious group praying in there own country outdoors for 20 mins max. You people win the medal for being the biggest retards.
 

Sudarshan

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15 mosques for 500,000 worshippers and then bhakts complain why they offer namaz outside the mosques. Bhakts will never allow muslims and other minorities to live in peace in India.
There aren’t many temples in gurugram either so what is your point? If Pax are so libral and sekoolar then where is the Islamabad mandir whose construction was used as a taunt towards India that look how minorities are happy in Pakistan compared to Endia until a brave Ghazi destroyed it?

The whole city of gurugram is a privately built up city with no government involvement, this city doesn’t even have proper law enforcement and firebrigades and some are wondering why are there so less of mosques.
 

Vapnope

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There aren’t many temples either so what is your point? If Pax are so libral and sekoolar then where is the Islamabad mandir whose construction was used as a taunt towards India that look how minorities are happy in Pakistan compared to Endia until a brave Ghazi destroyed it?
1 - Read the article - I cannot spoon feed you
2 - Comments from my side and so many of my patriots in favour of temple in Islamabad are still present at this very forum once you remove your sanghi lense
 

Sudarshan

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1 - Read the article - I cannot spoon feed you
2 - Comments from my side and so many of my patriots in favour of temple in Islamabad are still present at this very forum once you remove your sanghi lense
The whole city is a fuckup so move on. There’s not much to expect from a city which is not even a city. Everything is privately built. If there is shortage of mosques them they should raise money and construct a few. Government can’t use their money to fund construction of religious structures anywhere unless is aimed for renovating historical religious structures or for generating tourism, there’s a reason why both kashi vishwanath corridor and the tombs of delhi sultanate kings are maintained with taxpayers money because they are having historical significance. And as I said the whole city is a f*ck up, so move on. These things happen everyday.
 

Vapnope

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The whole city is a fuckup so move on. There’s not much to expect from a city which is not even a city. Everything is privately built. If there is shortage of mosques them they should raise money and construct a few. Government can’t use their money to fund construction of religious structures anywhere unless is aimed for renovating historical religious structures or for generating tourism, there’s a reason why both kashi vishwanath corridor and the tombs of delhi sultanate kings are maintained with taxpayers money because they are having historical significance. And as I said the whole city is a f*ck up, so move on. These things happen everyday.
Read below excerpt from the article. No one is asking Indian government to build mosques using taxpayer money. Muslims are more than capable to build their own mosques.

Gurgaon is a modern satellite city of the capital New Delhi. Around 500,000 Muslims either live there, have migrated to the area for work or labour there during the day.

The city has 15 mosques for them, but the local government has refused permission to build more -- even as the number of Hindu temples has grown.
 

Sainthood 101

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There aren’t many temples in gurugram either so what is your point? If Pax are so libral and sekoolar then where is the Islamabad mandir whose construction was used as a taunt towards India that look how minorities are happy in Pakistan compared to Endia until a brave Ghazi destroyed it?

The whole city of gurugram is a privately built up city with no government involvement, this city doesn’t even have proper law enforcement and firebrigades and some are wondering why are there so less of mosques.
Why tf are you intentionally writting it this way? Are you trying to insult the name of the nation like an edgy teenager, cause this seems to be your level
If you are intentionally doing this to insult than say it so anyone can play that game and a 100 times better too...
There are many names that rhyme with india
 

Bilal9

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There aren’t many temples in gurugram either so what is your point? If Pax are so libral and sekoolar then where is the Islamabad mandir whose construction was used as a taunt towards India that look how minorities are happy in Pakistan compared to Endia until a brave Ghazi destroyed it?

The whole city of gurugram is a privately built up city with no government involvement, this city doesn’t even have proper law enforcement and firebrigades and some are wondering why are there so less of mosques.

In the land of India's baap (America), churches, mosques and mandirs are pre-planned and plots allotted prior to building road infra.

Who built the city is irrelevant, they have to get permits to build from Govt.

Where people need to pray is a undeniable inalienable religious need, whatever religion they follow. This is part of city planning. Even cities in Bangladesh follow this.

But who am I trying to teach? India is a 3rd world country which does not care about any of this.
 

terry5

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Gurgaon streets are not where you pray. Just as you cannot pray on Broadway or Wall street or the Strand in London.

Does this place look like you can sit in the middle and start praying ?


Broadway you say ? Where I lived lol lying little phucker

Wall Street lol you don’t seem to get out much of your slum or did pandit preach to you these lies
Stick your lies up your backside and feed it to your fellow shit swallowing Indians
Bit harsh but a lie peddler needs to be taught .

strand & Wall Street comparison to Indian shit slum

A group of Muslim men at their regular Friday afternoon prayer session on Broadway & West 29th Street in Manhattan, New York City

54FB0699-BA7E-473B-BA2D-CE43C5E7659E.jpeg


funny little phucking Indian duncebat:partay:
 

Sudarshan

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Why tf are you intentionally writting it this way? Are you trying to insult the name of the nation like an edgy teenager, cause this seems to be your level
If you are intentionally doing this to insult than say it so anyone can play that game and a 100 times better too...
There are many names that rhyme with india
I wrote Pax as an alternate of Paks coz both sound the same. And whats offensive there?
Except 1 or 2 streets most of Gurgaon is garbage dump.

View attachment 804481
View attachment 804482




Surely you've never been to one of these places slumdog.
Your whole country is a garbage dump bonglo, I can understand your obsession with India, keep seething.
This is part of city planning.
Yes I know that, but Gurugram was never planned, if you want then you should look at how big of a mess it is beyond Cyber city.
 
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