In Gurgaon, gurdwaras, Hindu businessman offer space for namaz

Photo: Meer Faisal/Maktoob

Amidst Hindutva groups’ hate campaigns against Friday prayers by the Muslim community at designated sites in Gurgaon, a gurdwara committee has offered their five premises for Muslims to offer prayers in.

Sherdil Singh Sidhu, who heads the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha at Gurgaon’s Sabzi Mandi said that five gurdwaras at Sadar Bazar, Sector 39, Sector 46, Model Town and Jacobpura have been offered to members of the Muslim community for namaz, Indian Express reported.

“A gurdwara is the house of the Guru. People from all communities are welcome to come here and pray. If the Muslim community is facing problems in praying at designated sites, they can offer prayers in the gurdwaras. The doors of gurdwaras are open to all,” says Sherdil Singh Sidhu.

Mufti Mohammad Saleem, president of the Jamiat Ulama in Gurgaon, described the offer as “gracious.”

“This is a very welcome step and will go a long way in promoting harmony among communities,” he told the newspaper.

This comes a day after, a 40-year-old shopowner in Gurgaon’s Sector 12, Akshay Yadav, had offered his vacant premises for namaz.

The Hindu businessman had said that at least 15 people had offered namaz at his shop last Friday.

“I offered the place in a heartbeat,” Yadav told Scroll.in “and I will continue to do so today and tomorrow, again and again.”

“This is a true example of brotherhood where people from multiple faiths have come forward to defeat divisive forces, who have been spreading hatred and communal disharmony in Gurgaon over the last two months,” reads a statement by Altaf Ahmad, co-founder of Gurgaon Muslim Council.

Hindutva groups have repeatedly blocked Muslims from gathering for Friday namaz at public grounds in Gurgaon that the local administration had allowed them to use.

The anti-Muslim campaign began two months ago when Hindutva groups led by Dinesh Bharti, the founder of a local outfit called Bharat Mata Vahini, held up protest banners and shouted down Muslims who had gathered to pray in Sector 47. Over the next few weeks, this Islamopohic protests spread to other areas.