On January 6, Twitter user Jagdish Sethi shared a video of clashes between a group of people, claiming that it depicted “Islamic terrorism in West Bengal”. He captioned the video as –“2019 में जिसे कमल चुनने में परेशानी हो वो भविष्य चुनने के लिये तैयार रहें। भविष्य का भारत आप देख सकते है । बंगाल में इस्लामिक टेररिजम की एक छोटी सी झलक पेश की है। देखने के बाद आगे जरूर भेजना । ताकि लोग जागरूक हो सके। (Those who have a problem choosing the lotus in 2019, be ready to choose the future. Presenting a small glimpse of Islamic terrorism in Bengal. Do forward after watching so that people stay aware.)”

Jagdish Sethi is followed by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s Office on Twitter. That same day, he identically captioned another video depicting clashes.

The video has also been circulated on Facebook with the same “Islamic terrorism in Bengal” narrative. From a page Resurgent Dharma, it attracted 32,000 views.

2018 video from Bangladesh

Alt News found that similar videos have been circulating on Facebook since December 2018, but with a different narrative. One Mohammad Omar Faruq described it as – “Confrontation between the two groups of Tabligh Jamaat, supporters of Maulana Saad on one side and those who do not like him on the other side led to over 200 Muslims being injured.”

This was uncalled for. Confrontation between the two groups of Tabligh Jamaat, supporters of Maulana Saad on one side and those who do not like him on the other side led to over 200 muslims being injured.

This is scary, Muslims fighting Muslims cannot be tolerated. This is the same group that profess itself to be peaceful and kind, but guys you are doing a very bad advertising for your group as well as the entire religion. May Allah (swt) save us. If this is what you do to your fellow hanafis, what would you have done if the conflict was with the followers of some other Madhab.

It is because of people like these that a peaceful religion like Islam gets a bad name, gets labelled as extremist and barbaric. Well I know this is not the best of you, but you have done a great disservice to Islam and Muslims. For the sake of Allah (swt), please stop! fear Allah! The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).

For more info:

Posted by Mohammad Omar Faruq on Saturday, 1 December 2018

Faruq also attached a Dhaka Tribune report on his post. According to the Bangladesh-based news organisation, a series of clashes took place at the Bishwa Ijtema grounds between two factions of Tabligh Jamaat on the banks of the Turag River. The agitation took place on December 1 where more than 200 people were injured and one was killed.

Bishwa Ijtema is the second largest congregation of Muslims worldwide after Hajj. It is organized by the Tablighi Jamaat.

“Tabligh Bangladesh chapter split into two groups following disputes among its top leaders over establishing dominance and the visit of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi…The radical Islamic organization Hefazat-e-Islam initially tried to prevent Saad’s arrival because they were strongly opposed to his participation in the Ijtema…” as per another report by Dhaka Tribune.

The incident was reported by other media outlets as well – bdnews24.com, The Daily Star and ummid.com.

Alt News also found December 2018 videos of the clashes on YouTube. These were the same as the viral video recently circulated as “Islamic terrorism in Bengal”.

Incidents of riots or clashes in Bangladesh are often circulated as violence perpetuated by members of the Indian Muslim community. West Bengal is a frequent target in this regard with an attempt to portray Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a Muslim sympathiser via the use of misinformation.

About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.