Islamic Voice
Rabi-ul-Akhir 1422H
July 2001
Volume 15-07 No:175

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COMMUNITY ROUNDUP


CBI to Probe Haj Scam
Madrassa Board for UP
IRF to Start School
39 Muslim MLAs in West Bengal
Darussalam Bank to Expand
New Body for Orphanage
MEASI Completes 100 Years
Osmania University book Lists Jihad Among Five Duties
27 Muslims MLAs in Assam
Bhiwandi Powerlooms: 80% Child Labourers are Muslims
Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies
Urdu School Adopted
Aeinullah Eye Clinic
Scholarships for TN Students
Orphanage by Red Crescent
Rankers Honoured
7 Muslim MLAs in Tamil Nadu
Haj Committee chief
People

CBI to Probe Haj Scam

Plea for removing Haj subsidy, more embarkation points and standard size baggage

By A Staff Writer

New Delhi: The CBI is being asked to probe into the charges of massive corruption by Haj officials in fixing shabby buildings for accommodation of Indian pilgrims in holy sites. This was the highlight of the annual Haj Conference held here on June 23. Demand for probe was supported by all members of the Committee. While Chairman Tanveer Ahmed was reluctant, he said he had no hesitation to make a request to the CBI to investigate allegation of financial bugnling in the Haj management .

The members alleged that the buildings were congested, without lifts, had poor water and sanitation arrangements, had no facilities such as fridge or gas, and larger number of pilgrims were crammed into spaces meant for a few. Most pilgrims were denied the facilities for the category for which they had paid. They charged that a mafia was involved in getting building contracts in Makkah and Madina. Officials from Indian Consulate in Jeddah and and Haj Committee were charged of indulging in shady deals.

Subsidy Opposed: Syed Shahabuddin, former MP suggested that subsidy should be scrapped in phased manner as it is vitiating the political and social atmosphere. However, a number of speakers defended this subsidy terming it as a misnomer for concessional fare.(It may be recalled that every pilgrim is paying Rs. 12,000 towards airfare between Indian destination and Jeddah and back while actual cost of travel should be around Rs. 30,000.

Deficiencies in the new Bill: The will have telephone, fridges and gas facility. Next year Haj will become marginally costlier for the Indian pilgrims on account of increase in accommodation rentals and transportation charges in Saudi Arabia from existing Saudi Riyals 465 to 495. There is all probability that airfare would go up from Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000.

Plea for Standard size Baggage: In his inaugural speech, Minister of State for External affairs U Krisnam Raju stressed the need to introduce standard size of baggage the absence of which is a major cause for confusion and delay in flights. He cited the examples of Iran, Indonesia, Turkey and Malaysia which have fixed the standard size of baggage for the pilgrims.

The Committee also decided to abandon the practice of issuing Saudi Riyal bank drafts to the pilgrims. Henceforth, pilgrims will get cash in lieu of bank drafts before their boarding the plane instead at the Haj Terminal in Jeddah.

Flights from More Points: At present, there are eight embarkation points. but Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh state Committees demanded the increase in embarkation points. Pleading Lucknow to be made an embarkation point, UP Haj Committee chairman said the largest number of pilgrims are from his state, yet they have to cover a long distance for reaching Delhi while Hassan Abdullah, chairman Kerala Haj Committee, said that embarkation points should be shifted from Cochin to Calicut because more than 80 per cent of the state pilgrims come from the areas adjoining Calicut. Making strong case for Srinagar , the Kashmiri representatives Khursheed Ghani urged for starting direct flights form Srinagar to Jeddah. He said in absence of direct flights, the pilgrims of the State have to incur and invest an additional amount of Rs 7,000 to Rs.10,000. But Union Civil Aviation Minister Sharad Yadav said technical non-feasbility and financial constraints are coming in way of adding new embarkation points.

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Madrassa Board for UP

Ahtesham Qureshi

New Delhi: A long standing demand of Muslims has now been met in Uttar Pradesh. The state government has announced that an education board for Deeni education in Madrassas and other institutions of religious teaching would soon be set up. It will broadly have two objectives : to improve the educational standards and control the examination system for the state madrassas, and other is to improve the working conditions of the teachers there.

That there is politics in this decision is self evident coming as it does on the eve of Assembly election. That the education board for madrassas comes through a decision of the government led by the Bhartiya Janata Party does not matter. It is alright so long as it serves the education needs. The state government has also promised to provide a fund of Rs. one crore as the corpus fund for the purpose.

The fact is that there is no uniform or standard curricula for teachings in a few thousand of madrassas spread all over the state. There is hardly any authority or agency to see that the courses are properly prepared for various levels of education.

Nor is there any systematic gradation of these institutions. It has by and large been left for the discretion of those who set up a madrasa to decide upto what level they will have the teaching. And how many students would there be in a class. Nor is there any system for the selection of maulvis to teach. There is nothing like a system of examination and promotion to higher classes. All this needed a state level authority to guide and regulate the teaching and examination in these madrasas.

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IRF to Start School

M H Lakdawala

Mumbai: Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) will be launching an ambitious experiment by starting Islamic International School, (IIS) in Mumbai from this academic year. It would be an English medium school with Arabic as a compulsory language. Besides subjects from the secular education syllabus, Hifz of Quran Tajweed and Qirat, Shariah and Hadith studies Tafsir of the Quran and study of the Prophets Seerah would be taught in detail.

As per claim of IRF the basic difference between IIS and other educational institutions is the approach towards the knowledge. At IIS general subjects would be taught with an Islamic perspective enabling the students to relate with the world from an Islamic point of view said, Dr Zakir Naik chairman, IRF.

“Students in our school would be free to express Islamic attitudes and behavior, proud and openly. Uniforms for students would be as per the Islamic guidelines provisions for congregational prayers in the school are also being made,” said Dr Naik

The ultimate aim of IIS according to Dr Naik is to provide the academic programme and curriculum, which will be more comprehensive than most Islamic religious schools as well as better than most reputed English medium schools.

Located in the thickly Muslim populated areas of South Mumbai, IIS could be boon to Muslim parents who are anxious to impart Islamic knowledge to their children simultaneously with the secular education. Considering the track record of IRF in the dawah activities and its achievements, establishing an IIS is an obvious extension of its activities.

But IIS has raised few basic questions such as: Can Muslim community afford and risk such type of exclusive institutions in the plural society like India, Won’t such school would put extra burden on the already over burdened students with the extra syllabus of Islamic studies. What about the vast majority of community students who could hardly afford to study in such elite institutions?

It is beyond doubt that a system of education and school curriculum alienated from the society and its reality cannot produce the desired results .The laboratory like atmosphere in the school such as IIS is not sufficient for the students to face thegrim realities of the outside world .

For years the Muslim community has adopted the approach of isolation and the results are quite obvious. The need is for a participatory approach, which would not only secure our religious identity but also help the community to progress. An important component of cultural and spiritual values is love of diversity and pluralism in human societies.

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39 Muslim MLAs in West Bengal

Kolkata: The newly elected 294-member West Bengal Assembly has 39 Muslim MLAs. Of these, 22 have been elected on the tickets of the Leftist Front (comprising Communist Party Marxist, Communist Party of India, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party), seven on Congress(I), three on Trinamool Congress while three are independents. For a proportional representation, the 23 per cent Muslim community should have elected 69 MLAs. The current representation is nearly 30 short of this figure. West Bengal Muslims being the most backward social group are scattered thin over wide areas of the state and are unable to throw up enlightened leadership which could manoeuvre support from other communities in mixed constituencies. Massive illiteracy, poverty, partition of the state and low economic status have further sapped it of dynamism and vision required for political mobilization. Thirdly, most constituencies have been carved out in such a way that areas of Muslim concentration are fragmented between segments. The process known as gerrymandering in French, nullifies their voting power. As a result, Muslims are fielded as candidates only in those constituencies where such deliberate gerrymandering could not produce the desired result.

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Darussalam Bank to Expand

Hyderabad: The Darussalam bank, a prominent and the oldest urban cooperative bank of Hyderabad operating in the twin cities of Hyderabad and secundrabad is planning to open its new branches in the twin cities in order to help the economically weaker sections and the minorities. The bank also registered ‘A’grade for its services. The bank was founded and is functioning under the chairmanship of Sultan Salahuddin Owesi, MP and president All India Majis Itehadul Muslimeen.

The bank has recorded an over all profit of about 165 lakh rupees for the fiscal year 2000-01. It is also expected the profits would cross to 157 lakhs. The bank has released 28 per cent divident last year, the bank’s deposits have crosses 27 per cent and at the end of 12 month as on March 31,2001Rs. 4852 lakh as deposits. The banks lending ratios has risen 100 per cent last year, and its lending amount stood at Rs.2392 lakh rupees.

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New Body for Orphanage

Bangalore: The century-old Muslim Orphanage here received a shot in the arm as a 19-member syndicate of activists with known reputation for social work received sweeping success in the election held on June 24 for the governing council. Nearly 350 members participated in the voting. Following elections, business tycoon Ziaullah Sheriff was elected president of the governing council, businessman Syed Masood vice president, A. K. Burhan secretary and M. Fazal Ahmed Khan treasurer.

The orphanage with enough income-yielding assets has a picturesque location in Bangalore. Though asset development has been attended to during the last few years, the lot of orphans has shown no improvement. Two high schools under its management too have miserable performance. The new committee has vowed to address these aspects while thanking people who reposed faith in the new committee.

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MEASI Completes 100 Years

Chennai: The Muslim Educational Association of Southern India (MEASI) unfolded plans to set up an Institute of Information Technology, community polytechnics and Community Instructions Centres with fully equipped mobile workshops to go into rural areas to impart training in various skills.

According to M. Mohammed Hashim, chairman, MEASI Centenary Celebration Committee, the MEASI will put up a Centenary Building at a cost of Rs. 3 crore to house the new IT Institute in 2002.

MEASI runs The New College, The New College of Management, MEASI Computer Academy, MEASI Academy of Architecture, MEASI Urdu Academy Trust, MEASI Charitable Trust, and Institute of Research in Soil Biology and Bio-technology in Chennai. Curiously, the most prized offspring of the MEASI, The New College has also completed 50 years of its life this year.

The MEASI was set up in 1902 following a resolution passed at the Muhammedan Educational Conference at its Madras sitting held on December 28, 1901.

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Osmania University book Lists Jihad
Among Five Duties

Hyderabad: Jihad has been included under five basic duties of Muslims by a book on sociology prescribed for BA second year by the Centre for Distance Education of the Osmania University. The book does not mention the reciting of Kalima or bearing testimony to unity of God and prophethood of Muhammed (pbuh) as the first duty. The book has been published by Prof. K. Mallareddy, Director, Center for Distance Education. The book has been prepared in consultation with Dr. Chintha Ganesh of Nizams College, Miss M.V. Lakshmidevi of the RBV reddy Women’s college and Dr.(Miss) Pushpa Mary Rani of Arts college.

The book distorts the definition of Jihad and says “The fifth pillar of Islam is to fight against unbelievers”. The book has been widely criticized by the Muslims of Andhra Pradesh for promoting dubious knowledge and spurious scholarship about Islam.

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27 Muslims MLAs in Assam

Guwahati: The newly elected 126-member Assam Assembly has 27 Muslim MLAs. 19 of them belong to the Congress(I), three are from Nationalist Congress Party(NCP), one Trinamool Congress, one Samajwadi Party and one belongs to Samata Party while two are independents. The United Minority Front could not open its account in the Assembly. It had fielded seven candidates in alliance with the Samajwadi Party. The new chief minister Tarun Gogoi has inducted Ismail Hussain as cabinet minister while Najeebul Umar has been taken as minister of state.

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Bhiwandi Powerlooms:

80% Child Labourers are Muslims

Malegaon: Muslims constitute over 80 per cent of the child labour in powerloom town of Malegaon in Maharashtra. A survey jointly conducted by Malegaon Municipality and School Board under the Mahatama Phule Shikshan Yojana in the town revealed that of the 2,058 child labourers in the town, 1721 were Muslims while 337 were from other non-Muslim comunities. While 408 children were under nine years of age, 1,650 were in the 9-14 age group. Of the 1,650, girls were 529 while remaining 1121 were boys. All of them had dropped out of schools. Most working children were offspring of labour parents. Girls had to abandon education in order to do household chores as both parents and male kids were employed in plastic workshops, tea stalls or powerlooms. The Malegaon Muncipal School Education Board has decided to start classes at 114 locations in the town to provide education to the child labourers.

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Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies

Aligarh: The foundation stone was laid here for the Khaleeq Ahmed Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies second week of May. The Centre’s building will be constructed at a cost of Rs. two crore in the premises of the Sir Syed Hall, the largest students hostel in the Aligarh Muslim University. The plan for the Centre has been prepared by architect Prof. Abdul Wahid Al-Wakeel, who is connected with the Oxford University. Mr. V. P. Mittal, the University engineer is supervising the construction. Mittal hopes that the building would be ready within a year.

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Urdu School Adopted

Belgaum: People’s Education Society and Trust, Belgaum has adopted the 110-year old Government Model Urdu Girls School No. 1, the largest minority school of the city with effect from this academic session.

This step has been taken in response to government’s offer to NGOs to participate in education of backward community children. The school has a strength of about 700 students and 23 teaching staff. An agreement was reached between the Scoiety Chairman Abu Sheikh and DDPI G. Chandrashekhar of Belgaum.

The People’s Education Society and Trust, Belgaum runs the A. M. Shaikh Homeopathic Medical College, the first ever Homoeopathic college in India to get both ISO-9002 and 4-star NAAC Accreditation Certificates.

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Aeinullah Eye Clinic

Bangalore: Aeinullah Eye Clinic was inaugurated here on June 24 in Austin Town by the Imamia Educational and Welfare Trust. The clinic functions under the care of ophthalmologists Dr. Irshad and Dr. Samina. "The clinic will offer treatment at a nominal cost and dispense free medicine to deserving patients. It is part of the 4-year old Zainabia Health Centre which offers health care among the weaker sections", says Mirza Mohammed Mehdi the Chairman of Imamia Educational and Welfare Trust. S. H. A Rizvi, former Senior Vice president, Mico Bosch inaugurated the eye clinic.

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Scholarships for TN Students

Dubai: Indian Muslim Association (IMAN) which offers scholarships for poor but meritorious students from Tamilnadu every year has invited applications for Diploma/Degree in Arts & Engineering Courses. Candidates who cannot continue studies due to poverty should send the same with their bio-data, mark list, family income, letter from the masjid jamaath, passport size photograph to Indian Muslim Association, P. O. Box: 13302, Dubai, UAE.

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Orphanage by Red Crescent

Hyderabad: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Red Crescent Society has built an orphanage here, known as the Muhammadiya House, paid for by a donation from Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hamid. The orphanage is now home to 150 orphans, who are provided with all the necessities of life, including education, medical care, food and clothing. The orphanage’s budget is set at Dirhams 265,000.

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Rankers Honoured

Trivandrum: Kerala Education Minister N. Soopy distributed medals and awards to Muslim rankers in the recently held exams in the state on June 20. Among the 25 rankers honoured at the occasion was Shimna Ismail who stood first in the state SSLC Board examinations. KNA Khader MLA presided. K. Surendran, M. P. Kunju, R. P. Lalaji, M. Nishad and K. Yoonus spoke at the occasion.

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7 Muslim MLAs in Tamil Nadu

Chennai (from M. M. Zakir Hussain): Following are the seven Muslim MLAs in the new 234-member Assembly of Tamil Nadu elected on May 10, 2001. S. A. M. Hussain, Triplicane, S. N. M. Ubaidullah, Tanjore, T. P. M. Mydeen Khan, Palayamkottai, all three from DMK; A. Anwar Raja, Ramnad and E. A. Ziavuddin Sait, Aravankkurichy(Karur dist); C. A. Latheef, Vaniyambadi, all three on AIADMK ticket; M. A. Hakeem, Madurai central, TMC. Latheef is president of Indian National League (INL) in Tamil Nadu which had alliance with AIADMK and hence would be treated as member of the AIADMK.

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Haj Committee chief

New Delhi: Tanveer Ahmad has been re-elected chairman of the Central Haj Committee for the third consecutive term as per the Supreme Court order. Former Assam chief minister Syeda Anwara Taimur and Mohamed Sohail Lokhandwala from Mumbai were re-elected vice-chairmen by the partially reconstituted Haj Committee at a meeting convened by Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer.

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People

Elected: Mohammad Abdur Raheem Qureshy has been elected the President of the All India Majlis e Tameer e Millat at the meeting of Majlis' consultative council held on April 13. Qureshi, an advocate, is also one of the secretaries of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. The election was unanimous.

Appointed: A. Q. Siddiqui has taken over as the new managing director of the Mumbai Mercantile Cooperative Bank from May 26, 2001. He retired as principal chief general manager of the Reserve Bank of India prior to the appointment. Her served the RBI for 40 years.

Died: Ali Siddiqui, founder Aalimi Urdu Conference died on June 7 in Hyderabad after prolonged illness. Siddiqui gained prominence through a series of mushairas and conferences on Urdu, seerat, Palestine etc convened in New Delhi during 80s with assistance from members of the Nehru-Gandhi family. He ran the Priyadarshini Computer Institute in Pragati Maidan in Delhi which was claimed to be premier institution to introduce computer training in India. He even brought out a weekly Aalimi Urdu Morcha which soon became defunct. Most of his contribution to Urdu was of populist nature which gained him proximity to powers that be. He is survived by widow, son Kabeer Siddiqui, and two daughters. He was buried in Hyderabad.

Died : Abdul Ali, well known ornithologist(bird expert) died in Mumbai on June 2. He was 87. Ali was the honorary secretary of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) between 1950-62. He was the advisor for Mumbai State Wild Life Advisory Board. Mumbai Wild Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act 1951 was framed by the Ministry of Forest under his able advise and it later became the basis for Wildlife Protection Act 1972. He was known for his vast knowledge of birds. He authored about 265 papers on Natural History that include 60 books on the subject.

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