New Delhi, 27 Nov. 2021: A delegation of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) led by its vice-president Prof. Mohammad Salim Engineer visited the Gurudwara Shri Guru Singh Sabha in Sadar Bazar, Gurgaon inHaryana to applaud its management for offering its premises to Muslims for Friday prayers. Though the Friday prayers could not be held in Gurudwara premises because of the day being Gurupurab, the biggest festival of the Sikh community, the Muslim leaders said that the gesture itself was very important, particularly when some people were strongly opposing Friday prayers in government parks and open plots and Muslims have very few options.
Expressing thanks to Gurudwara chairman Sherdil Singh Sidhu and his wife-Gagan-for their offer for Friday prayers, the JIH Vice President said that the gesture was a strong message to those who wanted to divide society. Prof. Salim said that Sidhu’s gesture and a Hindu youth Akshay Yadav permitting Muslims to use his shop in Sector 12 of the city for Friday prayers showed that the majority of the people in India believed in co-existence and religious tolerance.
Mr. Sidhu offered the Gurudwara basement in the one of the biggest tech cities of India for Friday prayers after some Hindu groups organized protests against Muslims, offering Friday prayers in public parks and open government plots.
During discussions with the JIH delegation, Gurudwara chairman Sidhu said that he decided when he learned that Muslims were harassed for performing prayers in government parks and other places. Mr.Sidhu said, “Gurudwara is a religious place and is open to anybody with any discrimination. There should not be any politics on prayers.” He admitted that there was pressure on him from protesters who wanted Guruduwara premises not to be allowed for Muslim prayers. “But I told the protesters that Gurudwara is a religious place and everyone, irrespective of his faith, is welcome,” Sidhu added.
Prof. Salim also met several shopkeepers in Sector 12 automobile market who are running car repair workshops. Shopkeepers told him that they did not face any problem in the city, except protest against Friday prayers in the open spaces by some interested groups. Hindu outfits are opposing Muslims praying in the premises of a shop belonging to a Hindu. The Hindu hardline group has already forced Muslims not to pray in an open space belonging to a Hindu.
Muslims have been offering prayers in open public parks and government lands because the government has not allotted them land for a mosque in the New Gurgaon. In addition, as many as 19 mosques-big and small-are under illegal possession of Hindus since 1947. All efforts by the Haryana Wakf Board to get them vacated have failed so far. Local Muslims allege that police and administration are not interested in restoring the mosques to the Muslims.
The JIH leader has also called on Sanyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti leader Kulbhushan Bhardwaj leading the protest against ’namaz’ in open spaces. Samiti is a conglomeration of 22 Hindu outfits. Prof. Salim said that the purpose of the visit was to know the root cause of the issue and find a durable solution. He said that the discussions were held in a very cordial atmosphere. However, he refused to divulge the details of his talks with the Hindu leader.