Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

November 2005
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Community Round-Up

Delhi Fails to Disburse Funds
By Andalib Akhter
New Delhi


The High Level Committee appointed by the Prime Minister to look into the state of Muslims across the country has found that the Delhi government is not doing enough for the Muslims. The panel has pointed out that the Delhi government failed to disburse funds to Muslims even from the funds allocated for them. It was found that out of the allocated Rs 40 crore, only Rs 4 crore has been spent by the government for providing financial assistance to Muslim youth. The Committee, headed by Rajinder Sachar, pointed out that there is an acute shortage of trained Urdu teachers in Delhi and inadequate training infrastructure for the traditional artisan trade. A survey by an NGO, Allama Rafiq Foundation in Delhi, found that around 40 per cent of the Muslim students were forced to drop out from fifth standard because of the absence of Urdu teachers and Urdu text books, refusal by government schools to admit students in Class VI and absence of schools in Seelampur areas of Delhi.

No Space for More Pilgrims
New Delhi


India’s decision to send 18,000 more pilgrims to Haj 2006 has not got approval from the government of Saudi Arabia as it expressed inability to provide cheap accommodation for the Hajis. Jeddah has also informed India that 44,000 Indians were overstaying in Saudi Arabia after entering the country for the Umrah. But India says it has no control on these over-stayers since they go on visa handed out by the Saudi government and on tours handled by private operators. The Union Cabinet recently added 18,000 more pilgrims for 2006 taking the total to one lakh, despite objection by the Civil Aviation ministry on grounds that Air India did not have spare aircrafts.

Hari Masjid Hearing Begins
Mumbai


During the 1993 communal riots, seven people died in an alleged police attack. They were fired at while they were offering prayers inside Hari Masjid in Sewri . Now 12 years later, the case came up for hearing at the Sewri Sessions Court on October 13. The trial had started in July this year and depositions of nine witnesses, four policemen and five civilians, have been recorded. According to a victim of the firing, Farooq Mapkar, the police barged into the mosque on January 10, 1993, while people were offering their prayers and started firing. ‘‘I was shot at in the back and was taken into custody for 15 days before being treated,’’ he said. The Srikrishna Commission report too supports this claim.

15 Muslims Selected for KAS
Bangalore


Fifteen Muslim candidates figure in the list of 191 who have qualified for appointment as probationary gazetted officers after being selected for the Karnataka Administrative Services (KAS). The examination for the same was held in 2000 and litigation held up the final announcement for nearly six years. Nearly 73,000 aspirants sat for the preliminary examination and 4771 qualified for the main round. 931 were called for interview in August this year. Seven of these candidates are from reservation category of 2B for Muslims while eight others qualified in the general open merit. There are six Muslim girls among 15.

Jinnah House will be Saarc Cultural Centre
Mumbai


Pakistan’s decision to drop the demand of handing over of Jinnah House for its Consulate in Mumbai has paved way for re-opening of Pakistani and Indian Consulates in January 2006. Diplomatic efforts would be made to acquire Jinnah House from India, but the demand that the Pakistani Consulate in Mumbai be established in the historic building Pakistan’s founder Mohamed Ali Jinnah has been dropped. The decision led to an agreement between Islamabad and New Delhi to re-open the Consulates at Mumbai and Karachi in January 2006. Jinnah House, also known as Malabar Hill House, was built by Jinnah on his return from England to take charge of the Muslim League. Jinnah had left the house to his sister Fatima Jinnah, who remained the legal owner of the house until 1985, when the Maharashtra government claimed it as evacuee property. India has now decided to convert Jinnah House into a Saarc Cultural Centre, a decision vehemently opposed by Islamabad.

Moonsighting Info on Website
Bangalore


The Karnataka Board of Wakfs has launched a website to provide information about the sighting of the moon. It can be accessed at www.karwakf.org and will be continually updated. Wakf Board Chief Executive Officer, S. Tahsin Ahmed said in a press release that the website will end the uncertainty that occurs on the eve of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.

Saffron Sympathies for Muslim Women
By Malika B. Mistry
Pune


In a bid to sustain the façade that they care for the Muslim women, more than the Muslim leaders and organisations, the saffron forces held a two-day All India Muslim Women’s Conference here on September 23 and 24, 2005. It was convened by Nafisa Hussein, former Member of National Commission for Women. There were four sessions in the conference on education, health, empowerment and social security.


The conference adopted four resolutions. The first among them urged a uniform civil code as the “Shariat Courts are not doing justice to Muslim women.” It was critical of the double standards in dealing with issues of legal and social security for Muslim women in matters of rightful share in ancestral property and land-holding, triple talaq and payment of mehr, and injustice against rape victims in the name of Shariat provisions.


The three other resolutions sought better education for Muslim girls by modernising madrasas, better health care, freedom from superstitious traditions and better protection and self-empowerment of Muslim women in the unorganised sector through effective legal enactment. The conference was inaugurated by former Union Minister for State and BJP leader, Sumitra Mahajan at the historic Lokmanya Tilak Bhavan where freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak once lived.