Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

JUNE 2008
COVER PAGE CULTURE & HERITAGE WHAT'S NEW CHILDREN'S CORNER THE MUSLIM WORLD KARNATAKA ELECTION 2008 EDITORIAL Bouquets and Brickbats COMMUNITY ROUND UP JAIPUR BLASTS INTERVIEW COMMUNITY INITIATIVE UPDATE LIFE & RELATIONSHIPS QUR'AN SPEAKS TO YOU HADITH OUR DIALOGUE INTER-FAITH RELATIONS FIQH women in islam DEBATE FOCUS SOUL TALK LIVING ISLAM SCHOLARS OF RENOWN THE WORLD OF INTERNET TOWARDS LIGHT ENVIRONMENT BOOK REVIEW MISCELLANY MATRIMONIAL GLOBE TALK
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Bouquets and Brickbats

An Appeal to Madrasa Managers

Madrasas are the most important means for providing Islamic education and training to Muslim children. They serve to transmit and spread the teachings of Islam. Their graduates were once known for their piety and for closely working together with each other for the cause of the faith. In the past, they worked to counter movements and ideologies that were inimical to Islam and to provide solutions to new issues and challenges. But today this legacy has become just a tale from the past. Why is this the case? On the one hand, opponents of Islam, working in league with sections of the mass media, have wrongly branded madrasas as dens of terror, causing madrasa students to develop a sort of inferiority complex. In this way, they are trying to sully the image of the madrasas throughout the world and force them into a psychological crisis. On the other hand is the negative role of many of those who run or teach in the madrasas. Earlier, madrasa managers and teachers were passionately concerned about the education and training of their students. Sacrifice, empathy, generosity, piety and sincerity were their hallmarks. Today, there are relatively very few such teachers in the madrasas. There are madrasas where students are told that they should have nothing to do with the world beyond the four walls of the madrasa. They are taught that they must not have anything to do with worldly affairs. Instead of this, madrasa managers ought to have focused on adopting new teaching techniques and methods, and considered reforming their syllabus so as to make it more relevant for their students and to equip them with skills to meet new challenges. Alas! If at all they think, it is about how to prevent their students from sitting for external exam-inations, how to dampen their enthusiasm for learning English or how to quash their interest in knowing about science. Such people have no idea of the world around them and what the present age demands of them.

Rafi Parvez
Jharkhand
Muslim Women are Neglected

 The unconditional reserv-ation  for women in Parliament is more likely to increase the power gap between the haves and have-nots and may also result in further reducing representation of the under-represented sections of society. For decades, Muslim women have been utterly neglected and  have no role to play in policy making.  The Shah Bano controversy had generated a lot of discussion on the deprivation of Muslim women.  Pleas were made for the Uniform Civil Code.  All such concerns for Muslim women are put to serious test now.  A separate quota for Muslim women in proportion to their population and degree of backwardness would mean substantial advance to their cause and status.  Otherwise, it would be seen as a political gimmick by the higher class to regain the over-representation in the House which they have steadily lost to the backwards.

M.N.Ansari
New Delhi
Get Evidence or Proof
No religion including Islam preaches violence, and killing of innocents is against the basic principles of humanity. Whosoever is behind the gory bomb blasts in Jaipur, should be arrested, tried and handed over the death penalty. But there must be a careful attempt to delve into the activities of other groups too such as the right-wing Hindu fanatics or naxalites. It is highly probable that these groups are taking a powerful advantage of the over-zealousness of our sick politicians and the media in pointing fingers towards HUJI, Laskhar etc without any iota of proven evidence.

Deepak Joshi
Mumbai
Reproducing the Pattern
It is highly shocking and shameful that the investigation agencies and politicians alike point the finger of suspicion after the Jaipur blasts to HUJI, Laskar etc without even commencing their research just because the pattern reflects some similar erstwhile episodes in the past. Isn’t it possible that certain other groups like the naxalites or right-wing Hindu outfits are behind this and try to reproduce the pattern so that all fingers point to the so-called Islamic extremists? The Nanded bomb blast is a classic example of this.

Sandeep Ghiya
Mumbai
Food for Thought
The article “Muslims are extremely oversensitive” (Islamic Voice, May 2008), by William Cormier should serve as food for thought for all right thinking Muslims. I wonder why he forgot to mention whatever befell Mukhtar Mai and  the happily married couples whose marriages were annulled on flimsy grounds of tribal status by Islamic courts! By our own actions, we bring disgrace to our religion of peace. In other words, we are our own enemies. Saner voices and peaceful reactions of scholarly Muslims are drowned in the over-reactions of the belligerent. Eg. Rafiq Zakaria gave a scholarly response to the Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdie by publishing a book, “Mohammad and the Quran” from the very publishers “Penguin” who published Satanic Verses. Westerners, like Cormier, instead of hearing saner voices, focus only on over reactions which they use as a stick to beat the entire Muslim community with. There are, however, better informed writers from the western press these days who are able to differentiate between preaching of Islam and the practices of Muslims. Eg. In the April 10 issue of “The Economist” in an article “Gender Gulf”, it says: Laws based on Islam have guaranteed women’s right to own property for centuries; many have inherited wealth, and, more recently, earned it. There is no religious law barring women from managing money”.

We may forgive Cormier that he is ignorant of  the technological progress the Muslim world made when the Europeans were in the dark ages. That the current progress in science and technology by the west, indeed acknowledged by the Muslim world, is due to the  contribution from competent professionals from all parts of the world.

Dr A Ahmed
dr.a.ahmed@sify..com