Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 6: Amidst the raging controversy surrounding an alleged hate speech against Muslims by influential leader R Balakrishna Pillai, socio-religious outfit Jamaat-e-Islami has sought introspection within the community, to curb the anguish created against them in the society.
Pillai, the chief of political outfit Kerala Congress (B) had allegedly compared azaan, the five time call for prayer through the mosques, as a dog barking five times a day. The irresponsible comment was made by him after the members of the Hindu and Christian community complained about the nuisance caused due to multiple mosques in their locality calling for prayers through the loudspeakers at five different times of the day. The prayers timing usually differs in various mosques by few minutes. This leads to multiple azaans for the same prayer, and few of the azaans cascade over each other.
While Muslim organizations have demanded the state government to take action against Pillai for his communal remark, the umbrella Muslim outfit Jamaat-e-Islami has also asked the community to rectify the concept of using loudspeaker for azaan as it could disturb communal harmony. (ALSO READ: Hate speech: Police to register case against Kerala Congress leader R Balakrishna Pillai for derogatory remarks against minorities)
Jamaat-e-Islami, in its Malyalam mouthpiece Madhyamam, has not asked the mosque committees to abort the use of loudspeakers. Instead, it has demanded them to identify one major mosque in an area which should give the call for prayers on loudspeaker. This would eliminate the cascading effect, and would not cause much hindrance for other community dwellers.
The chief of Jamaat-e-Islami’s Kerala unit MA Abdul Azeez claims that there is a strong sentiment among the harmonious members of the community to restrict the use of loudspeakers. “One segment fixes prayer timing, which differs from other segments, leading to repeated calls for the same prayer,” he was quoted as saying in a report. He further opined that either the mosque with maximum members should use the loudspeaker, or they can adopt the use of mic on rotational basis.
Another prominent Sunni Muslim leader of Kerala, Nasir Faiz Kodathi claims that the rampant use of loudspeaker is making people question the “humanity of Islam”. He has requested the community members to respect the sentiments of others as well since India is a pluralistic nation.
Since the past year, Kerala Muslim Federation has appealed to nearly 8,000 mosques to restrict the use of loudspeakers. The microphones should be mainly used for Friday congregational prayers and on the occasion of festivals.