Muslim Yoga Teacher Rafia Naaz Hounded by People of her Community

Muslim Yoga Teacher Rafia Naaz

I am asthmatic. I stay in Delhi. For 7-8 years straight, I followed a reckless lifestyle that comes along with the corporate package. The reckless lifestyle included a total disregard for routine, obsession for junk food, minimal exercising and erratic sleep schedules. And I paid for it. My lung capacity went down considerably. While wheezing and coughing used to accompany me all through the year, Onset of winters used to be the particularly painful. It was on the advice of a friend that I reluctantly joined Yoga Classes. And It was boring to be honest, at least for the first few weeks. There were no treadmills or Benches for Dumbbell presses. People around me looked calm, they lacked the natural aggression of gym goers. And there was no music. Just 1 instructor and 10-12 Yoga Practitioners facing him on their Mats. There was way too much focus on breathing. After every session the instructor talked about the need for a good routine and how body’s Circadian clock must be synced with Sun for best results. I went ahead.

From last 2 years, I have been a regular Yoga Practitioner and its benefits have been immense. Lung Capacity has gone up considerably (as demonstrated by PFT tests), there is some order back in my life and more than anything else my focus has considerably improved. Now some would say that this is a rather unnecessarily long introduction for what was supposed to be a piece on an entirely different thing. Allow me to justify the long introduction. The point that I wish to prove is that Yoga is all about respecting your body and synchronizing it with your surroundings. Yoga doesn’t instruct a practitioner to lift 50 Kg barbells to build arm muscles, but focuses on different combinations of pushing and pulling to strengthen them. Likewise, Yoga focuses excessively on postures, right breathing techniques etc. While it’s a fact that Yoga is inherently Hindu in nature, but many Yoga Schools begin their sessions with Shiva Stutis, there is no binding on the practitioner to participate in the Ritual. Many Breath Control exercises are coupled with Chanting ‘Om’ – one of the most important spiritual syllables in Hinduism, but it’s not mandatory for a practitioner to chant Om. So basically, Yoga can be performed without any religious symbolism, purely as a way to strengthen body and enlighten the inner self. But this is very difficult for some people in our country to understand. They consider Yoga a Hindu Ritual, something only Hindus should perform. Muslims and Yoga practitioners of other religions are routinely hounded, some are even ostracized.

One such woman is Rafia Naaz. Rafia Naaz is a a Muslim Yoga teacher based out of Ranchi. Rafia has been performing Yoga since the age of four.

As per Rafia, practicing Yoga as a Muslim had never been an issue in her family or in the neighborhood she lived in. In fact, she was told by her elders that Yoga doesn’t belong to a particular religion or caste or faith and it’s for everyone who respect their bodies. This was a motivation for Young Rafia who went ahead and chose his career path as a Yoga Teacher.

She shot to fame in her community and became a local icon after she shared stage with Celebrated Yoga guru Ramdev. Rafia Naaz has won many accolades and awards in this field.

But with fame, came hatred. She became the favorite target of her community. She received threats to stop performing Yoga, but she disregarded them and continued pursuing her passion. Then came the physical intimidation. On Wednesday, a bunch of People from her community pelted stones at her house. Police had to called in to drive away the attackers but the but resumed again on Thursday morning. Rafia now fears that she may be killed by these monsters who have zero tolerance for anything outside the set code of conduct of their faith.

According to this Zee News Report, A Fatwa against Rafia Naaz has been issued. This incident evoked strict condemnation from luminaries such as Ramdev, singer Sonu Nigam, Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas and various others.

We haven’t forgotten the Intolerance campaign engineered by the opposition parties and executed to perfection by several journalists and many so-called intellectuals in academia, literature and cinema. The Campaign declared that Hindu Majority India had suddenly become intolerant. Since then there have been many occasions where the same old raga of Intolerance in India has been crooned. Akhlaq killed, Intolerance. Pehlu killed, Intolerance. Some Muslim Youth in a train killed (dispute over seats), Intolerance. Cow Protectors confront smugglers, Intolerance. Then they came up with an equally vile campaign intended to malign the central government. It was called #NotInMyName. They went ahead and created a Lynch Map of India where people killed in Mob Lynchings were represented by red dots on the map. Such was their brazenness and duplicity that their so called lynch map had no space for patriots like Umer Faiyyaz who were killed by murderous mobs in Kashmir, or RSS workers killed in Kerala by CPIM Goons.

Normally the first ones to react, the Cartel of 5-star Protestors and NotInMyName Activists are still to express their opinion about the Rafia Naaz Incident. Understandably so.

The ordinary Hindu of the country who is too busy labouring to make his ends meet is simply too busy and too disinterested to play the intolerant. The ordinary Hindu has no time to shove Fatwas down people’s throat or heckle them or throw stones at people he doesn’t agree with. He certainly has far better things to do. Despite the well-funded propaganda of the left-liberal intelligentsia, it is becoming increasingly clear as to who the real intolerant is. You need to advertise lies and half-truths, Truth has a way of promoting its own self.