For a very long time we have been reading about Kashmiri Muslims pelting stones on Indian Security Forces deployed in Kashmir. After Citizenship Act was amended vide Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), we saw stone pelting by students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University. This later took larger proportions during Delhi Riots when Muslims used slings to throw multiple truckloads of stones on Hindus. Now we are reading about Muslims throwing stones on Police Officials and Doctors who visit Muslim dominated or exclusive areas to test suspected COVID-19 positive people including Muslims who participated in Tablighi Jamaat Markaz. This has not been a stray incident here or there. We have seen stone pelting on police officials approaching a mosque in Madhubani, Bihar and very recently in Moradabad, UP where medical team was badly injured in stone pelting in Muslim area, when they went there to test people.
Stone pelting by Muslims in India is not merely a form of protest against the Indian State, Government, and its functionaries and officials, including law and order enforcement officials i.e. Police, and healthcare professionals like Doctors and Nurses. For this we need to understand the religious ritual called the Rami al-Jamarat or Stoning the Devil. The ritual of Rami al-Jamarat is the integral part of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. In this ritual, Muslim pilgrims throw pebbles at three walls called the Jamarat. These three walls are located in the city of Mina, which is situated in the east of Mecca.
This ritual of Rami al-Jamarat is a reenactment of Abraham’s Hajj, wherein he stoned three pillars representing the temptation to disobey God and preserve Ishmael. According to the ritual, on the 10th day of the month of Dhu-al-HIjjah, the pilgrims undertaking Hajj must strike one of the larger pillars with seven pebbles. After this is done, the pilgrims have to shave their hair. Later on following two days, the pilgrim must hit each of the three walls with seven pebbles. Total of 49 pebbles are required for this ritual.
The religious connection of this stone pelting done by Muslims in India on Indian security forces and medical teams is deep. The man who conceptualised this form of protest took inspiration from this religious ritual of Rami al-Jamarat performed during Hajj. Muslims in India view the Indian State, Government, and its functionaries and officials, including law and order enforcement officials i.e. Police, and healthcare professionals like Doctors and Nurses as the Devil. In all probabilities, this is the reason why Muslims in India replicate the Rami-al-Jamarat by pelting stones on Indian security forces, police officials, doctors, etc to ward these devils off.
This raises following questions in mind of every right minded and thinking Indian who believes in absolute and real secularism, non violence, liberalism, and inclusive society were rule of law and the constitution of India is upheld and is above any religion:
- Is this the reason so called self proclaimed secular liberal progressive reformist humanist cultural Muslims in India never speak against stone pelting on Indian Government Officials by Muslims in India?
- Is this the reason why they try to silence us when we speak against this act of their brethren and fellow believers, by calling us Islamophobes and accusing us of spreading hate, when all we are doing is speak the truth and ask difficult questions – like why attack police officials, doctors, etc – which they dont want to answer?
- Is this the reason why they want to defend their fellow believers and brethren by silencing us, instead of condemning this act of violence?
Muslims in India need to answer this and come out clean on this issue.