Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

SHAWWAL 1424 H
December 2003
Volume 16-12 No : 204
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Community Round-Up


" Kashmiris need Political Space " Asma Jahangir
Subsidy cut Saddens Haj Aspirants
Management Students trun Messengers of Peace
DHL grounds Six Employess for sporting Beard
" Mosque theory baseless " - says Witness
What's this New Tradition?
New avenues for school Drop-outs


" Kashmiris need Political Space " Asma Jahangir

Mumbai: Mumbai: Asma Jehangir, human rights activist from Pakistan described the human rights movement in Pakistan as stunted. She said what could you expect in dictatorship? "There is constant pressure on the judicial system. The voice of those fighting for human causes is not heard. This will happen because the system is not participatory as seen in most democracies," she said. Asked about the human rights situation in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), Asma, who was in India to attend a legal conference, said violations continued to take place and a retired general has been put in charge of the area. She agreed that cross-border terrorism needed to be ended. "Kashmiris on either side of the Line of Control (LoC) need to be given political space," she added. Asma firmly believes that the ordinary Pakistani knows what he wants. "He knows that if the country has to move forward then the yoke of military dictatorship has to be thrown out. They also know that it is not the easy way out. And they are fighting it daily" she added. Asma is also fighting for the issues such as inhuman laws like Karo Kari (constitutes honour killings) and Hadood Ordinance, in which a rape case requires the evidence of four adult male Muslims in order for the penalty of hadood to be imposed upon the accused, which continue to exist.

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Subsidy cut Saddens Haj Aspirants

 

By A Staff Writer

Mumbai: It is every Muslim's dream, aspiration and duty to successfully perform the Haj. And the government extends subsidies to some 75,000 Indian Muslims every year so that they may undertake this trip. This year, without any prior discussion with the state Haj committees, the government has withdrawn a subsidy amount of Rs 24,000, pushing the price of the pilgrimage by more than 30 per cent from Rs 72,000 to more than Rs 90,000. Muslims in the city say they have been severely affected by this increase. School teacher Amwar Alam says, "I have never been to Mecca and have been saving up for the past three years to make the journey. This year, I thought I finally had accumulated the necessary funds and now I find I have to pay almost Rs 25,000 more." He adds in a sombre tone: "I was so happy that I was going and my parents and wife were very proud. I feel as if I have let them down." According to Tanveer who handles the Public Relations at the Karnataka Haj Committee it is only those who come within the income tax net and those who have gone on the trip before who cannot avail of this subsidy. "Others may have cancelled the trip because of their own financial constraints," he explains. But subsidy or no, saving up for Haj is a major concern with many Muslims here. Says Firoj Ahmed, a 29-year-old bank employee, "I have been putting away more than 20 per cent of my monthly salary for this cause. I have not even started to think about my marriage yet as I wish to complete the Haj with my mother before I get married." The Central Haj Committee in Mumbai maintained that the decision was taken by the ministries of civil aviation and external affairs. But no comments were forthcoming from the two ministries.

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Management Students trun Messengers of Peace

Ahmedabad: They crossed the border for a lesson or two in management skills. But, they could well be messengers of peace and amity. On the sprawling Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A) campus, Ahmedabad, Salman Butt, Faraz Siddiqui and Saiyyed Atif Razzaq, students of the Lahore University of Management Studies (LUMS) mingle with future industry captains in a hope to add their bit to the thaw in the relations between the two neighbours This is Confluence 2003, Asia's biggest Bschool event conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. And Butt, Siddiqui and Razzaq are among the students from numerous B-schools from across the world and represented Pakistan. "We are aware of the peace initiatives between the two countries. "We sincerely hope that our participation in Confluence contributes to the good relationship between India and Pakistan," said the trio. Over 60 students from 20 international B-schools from four continents took part in the event here, which was inaugurated by Wipro chairman, Azim Premji and addressed by top industry captains and management gurus over three days.

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DHL grounds Six Employess for sporting Beard

Mumbai: Six employees of international courier company DHL in India have been asked not to report for work until they shave their beards. Six workers in Mumbai had been told to shave their beards so that they look well-groomed. Three of the employees, who are Muslims refused to shave because it was holy month of Ramadan. One of the other workers, who is a Hindu, protested that he had the right to decide whether he wanted to grow a beard or not. Rajendra Ghag, employees manager at the DHL branch in Mumbai, said that the company was not against full-grown beards, only those that looked shabby, as staff should look presentable. Based in Brussels, DHL is fully owned by Deutsche Post World Net, the semi-privatised German postal service.

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" Mosque theory baseless " - says Witness

Lucknow: Witness Raghunath Prasad Pandey, a retired railway officer stated before the High Court hearing the Ayodhya title dispute case here that had the disputed place been a mosque, his devoted mother would not have carried him as a child on foot from his native village to Ayodhya covering a distance of 15 km twice a month. The witness was replying to questions during cross examination by Ranjana Agnihotri, counsel for Sri Ram Janambhoomi Punar Udhhar Samiti ( reconstruction committee). When the counsel asked the witness whether he had read the sacred book Sri Ram Charit Manas and whether or not it has been mentioned in that book that Lord Rama was born as a human being in Ayodhya, the witness replied in the affirmative. In reply to another question the witness stated that he has not come across a single Hindu who believed that Lord Rama was born in some other place and not in Ayodhya. When Abdul Mannan, counsel for Farooq Ahmad a defendant in the case asked the witness whether or not it is true that Mir Baqui , a general of Mughal Emperor Babar got the mosque constructed, he replied that this theory had no basis.

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What's this New Tradition?

By A Staff Writer Dear Editor ith reference to your appeal-"Donate Interest Money " in the November, 2003 issue of Islamic Voice, it is very regretful to note the appeal for interest money as a Donation that too for an Islamic cause, in the way of Allah. In the holy Quran and the Hadith, it has been stated clearly and repeatedly that Allah wants us to spend only halal wealth for an Islamic cause. Who is there among you who will lend to Allah a good loan-Surah Al-Baqara-2:245 You can never attain piety unless you spend in the way of Allah what you love-Surah Al-Imran-3:92 Now you are opening a new tradition where in people are encouraged to spend illegal earnings in the way of Allah which is a very serious offence. You cannot justify your stand by any means in the light of the Quran and the Hadith. If a person spends his legal and favourite wealth as per the Quranic terms, certainly, he will get the reward. And even if he uses the interest money, Allah may forgive him, on the contrary, if a person spends illegal wealth for an Islamic cause, he will not get any reward, instead Allah may punish him for not spending his halaal and favourite wealth. So he will be in a total loss. Your appeal is totally misleading to the Muslim Ummah where Muslims may develop the habit of spending illegal earning, and the sanctity of Halal and Haraam may be lost. K. Abdul Waheed Islamic Information and Book Centre Bellary, Ph: 08392-240028 a

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New avenues for school Drop-outs

By Staff Writer

Mumbai: I worked as an air-conditioning mechanic and then as a salesman, but nothing worked out for me,'' said Zahid Sheikh (28), a Std X dropout from Anjuman-Khairul-Islam School, Madanpura. Sheikh was forced to discontinue his education because of a tragic event in his family. There were many Muslim youngsters like him at the seminar organised by the Qaumi Majlis-E-Shoora at the Allana Hall, Mumbai Central, recently. The seminar sought to provide employment solutions and career avenues for high school drop-outs. With only 4 per cent of Muslim students pursuing an education at the high school level of a total 10 per cent admitted, the Qaumi Majlis is distressed at the rise in drop-out rates. Emphasising the need to continue higher secondary studies, Rajya Sabha, MP, Abu Asim Azmi explained: ''This steep fall in the number of Muslim school students is a big drawback for the community. And only education will help bring down the drop-out rate and consequent unemployment.'' The discussion further highlighted the possibilities of various self-employment opportunities available to drop-outs as well as educated, unemployed Muslim youth. Bal Sadwelkar, a vocational counsellor, said: ''They can start instant food services, event management, domestic application management for electrical appliances, network marketing.'' The panelists also urged the community to opt for financial loans under the Prime Minister's Rojgar Yojana. ''Not many Muslims are aware of the loans available to them under this scheme. There are 138 self-employment openings for which loans can be secured,'' said Iqbal Ahmed, assistant manager of the State Bank of India, Girgaum.

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News Community Roundup Countdown for Hajj Editorial Features Response Features Readers Comments Insights Trends & Traditions guidelines Muslim Perspectives Living Islam Journey To Islam Children's Corner Our Dialogue Quran Speaks to You Hadith Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

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