Subramanian Swamy's wife is a Muslim

Spreading the faith is the job of missionaries. The missionaries of the Islamic Tablighi Jamaat passed the corona virus on to Asia. In India the grist is on the mills of anti-Muslim Hindus.

Nizamuddin, with its narrow streets, is a busy Muslim district of New Delhi. In mid-March, thousands of Muslims from India and at least ten other nations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan traveled to the annual meeting of the Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) - Mission Society - which has its headquarters in Nizamuddin. It took place even though the authorities had already banned more than 200 people from gathering on March 13.

Hundreds of participants in New Delhi have so far tested positive for Covid-19. Thousands have returned to their homes from there and have been shown to have spread the virus in Indian regions. 1,500 pilgrims stayed in the cramped accommodations in Nizamuddin, at least 40 percent of whom were infected with the virus after their evacuation in early April, according to Indian media.

Mass gatherings cause the virus to spread

In Malaysia, at least half of the 3,300 infections and half of the 53 deaths were found among participants in a mass TJ event in late February in a mosque near Kuala Lumpur. International pilgrims brought the virus from Malaysia to other Asian countries such as Pakistan, Brunei, Cambodia or Thailand.

But it is also thanks to prudent authorities that the Covid-19 epidemic in Asia does not get any worse. In Indonesia, which is predominantly Islamic, a major TJ event planned for March 19 with 8,000 participants and in Mumbai, India, one planned for March 14 with 45,000 participants was banned.

The Tablighi Jamaat, active in 150 countries - including Germany - with millions of followers, aims to establish an Islamic state. On the one hand, the TJ, founded in India in 1927, sees itself as apolitical and is therefore criticized by groups of political Islam such as the Salafist Hizb ut-Tahrir. On the other hand, the TJ has ties to the Deobandi movement, whose jihad ideology was adopted by the Taliban. In addition, according to the Times of India and the FBI, TJ missionaries are said to have connections with Islamist terrorist groups.

Hotspot of the conflict

The Nizamuddin district in New Delhi was a hotspot of the conflict between Hindus and Muslims even before Covid-19. A few weeks ago, more than 40 people were killed in attacks by Hindu nationalists with the support of the police during demonstrations against the new citizenship law, which excludes Muslim refugees from Islamic countries such as Pakistan or Afghanistan from acquiring Indian citizenship.

Prominent Indian journalist Nirendra Dev, under the headline “India's Amazing Inability to Stop the Muslim Conference” in an article for the Asian Catholic press service Ucanews, asked: “Authorities knew the Nizamuddin gathering was a ticking Covid-19 time bomb . Why didn't they act and stop them? ".

In Dev's article, connoisseurs of religious tensions in India suspect that the Islamophobic and India-ruling Hindu-nationalist Indian People's Party BJP might fit the "ticking Covid-19 time bomb" into the calculation: Muslims as scapegoats for the coronavirus disaster.

BJP propaganda

Covid-19 fits into the long-standing propaganda of the BJP and the extremist Hindu groups, according to which the Muslims are a kind of destructive virus in the Hindu national body, said the Indian-American India expert Arjun Appadurai of New York University, the "Time" magazine. The BJP politician Subramanian Swamy made it clear in an interview at the beginning of April that the constitutional principle of equality for all citizens does not apply to Muslims.

A foretaste of the intensification of the agitation against the Muslim minority - 200 million of the 1.3 billion Indians profess Islam - is given by the increase in anti-Islamic postings with hashtags such as #jihadcorona on social media. Radical Hindu groups such as the influential Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) refer to Nizamuddin as a "corona factory" and demand the closure of all mosques in India.