"It is the only way to recover from such a tragedy. We
accept it as G-d's will. We believe that it had to happen
and the only way to get out of this shock is to seek G- d's
help." This quote is not from a mussar shmuess in a
yeshiva. It is from Nurmohmad Yousuf, a Muslim priest in
Bhuj and the tragedy he is referring to is the earthquake
that took place a few weeks ago in India.
Scared and shaken, the traumatized people of the earthquake-
hit areas are taking refuge in religion for solace according
to Newindpress. Temples and mosques have more
visitors than ever before. This movement has had further
ramifications: Following the advice of their religious
leaders, they are destroying their TV sets "which are
spreading obscenity and immorality in the society and thus
attracting G- d's wrath." They want to be sure to prevent a
recurrence of earthquakes.
Altaf Mohammed Hussein Mansoori, a cloth merchant from
Dalgadwad, said that the muftis asked the people to
"immediately destroy these toys of 'Shaitan' (devil)."
Mansoori had taken out his brand-new television set to the
road and destroyed it immediately after he returned from the
mosque. "Everybody is scared after the devastation of
January 26. The Almighty showed a glimpse of his wrath. We
saw tall buildings and concrete buildings crumble like a
house of cards," he said. "Who wants it to recur? It is
better to have no television and live."
In Surat too, scores of Muslim families destroyed television
sets one Saturday night. "This [the earthquake] clearly
indicates Allah's anger on humankind. Television is the
epicenter of all evil," one leader said.
Soon, people in other areas began to destroy television
sets. Some threw them out on the street. Some smashed them
with rods at street corners. Some set them on fire. Gaffar
Noormohammed Chandiwala, a resident of Saudagarhwad, had
purchased a TV set only a few days ago. "I went home and
broke my TV set. My children used to watch Hindi movies and
serials, and I think this was creating an evil impression in
their minds. It was necessary to destroy the TV," he
The Islamic cleric said that he did not provoke people into
doing what they did. "They have not acted on my instruction;
they have only acted according to what Islam teaches. And
this will happen across the country, and abroad," he
In the temporary shelters and tents pitched for the victims
of the quake across Gujarat, the chanting of special prayers
has become a regular feature. And in the Muslim areas,
people keep on reading verses from the Quran loudly.
Our thanks to a reader in England who called our
attention to this story.