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FEBRUARY 2001

MONTHLY    *    Vol 15-02 No:170    *   FEBRUARY 2001 / ZIL-HIJJA 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

COMMUNITY ROUNDUP


Relief Operations in Gujarat
TADA Cases Revoked
Hajis are Opting for 5-Star Comforts
Haj House Stalled
Amanath Bank Sponsors Motor Owners Coop. Society
Interview with Rahman Khan : "Modassa Inspired me"
Padma Bhushan for Maulana Parikh
Court Bans Construction Around Begumpuri Masjid
UP Minorities Commission chief Irshad Mirza Quits
"PLS Activity Must for Islamic Banks"
Struggle on Common Issues Urged
Destination Makkah!
Laparoscopic Surgery in Tibbiya College
Obituary : Mohamed Husein Allana
Award for Muradabad Colleges, Teachers
Blood Donation Camp at TBAK College
On Record
People......
News in Brief
Book Mela

Muslims Bodies Gear up

Relief Operations in Gujarat

By A Staff Writer

A Medical Relief Camp by Jamath-e-Islami Hind

A Medical Relief Camp by Jamath-e-Islami Hind

Ahmedabad : The Islamic Relief Committee and the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind have begun the relief work in the earthquake devastated areas of Kachch district in Gujarat. The two organizations have set up the main relief centre at Haji Ali Masjid, Sarpat Gate, Bhuj. 150 volunteers including 24 doctors and three engineers are already working in the area and are engaged in the rescue and relief operations. The first among the relief centres is working at Maliamiayana, 235 kms west of Ahmedabad. Nearly 22 villages around this centre have been completely detroyed. The second centre is working from a school building in Samakhiali. It is covering 16 villages. In Bhuj town the Jamaat has set up a relief camp under the charge of Mr. Baig Mirza. 

As luck would have it,  Islamic Voice Executive Editor Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj was on a sight-seeing trip to Bhuj in Kachch district of Gujarat on January 25-26, 2001. He records his experiences in a first person account in Insights in this issue. The photographs of the Earth Quake appearing in this issue were snaped by Mr. Siraj within an hour of the quake in Bhuj town.

Figures released by the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind put the death toll in Bhuj town at 845 Muslims and 6,052 non-Muslims. (Bhuj town has a total population of 1,70,000 including 50,000 Muslims). Among the injured Muslims number 3,646 while non-Mulims are 15,846. Nearly 10,348 Muslim houses and 19,000 non-Muslim houses have been totally destroyed. A press release received from the Islamic Relief Committee, Gujarat said survey in 31 villages in Kachch district reveals that the nearly 7,000 persons have been reported killed in these villages of which Muslim alone number 854. The figures pertain to survey between January 26 and February 3. All houses in villages have been destroyed due to quake. This picture emerges only after completion of 30 per cent of survey work in these villages. The Committee has decided to provide the relief to all those affected by the catastrophe. Survey work is continuing in remaining villages of Kachch district. A survey of 21 Rajkot district villages indicates that of the 1,926 dead in these villages, 145 are Muslims. In Bhuj alone, 80 mosques have collapsed. Bhuj has nearly 130 mosques. In Samakhiali region the death toll is put at 132 Muslims and 276 non-Muslims.

The Committee has so far (till February 5) spent Rs. 2 lakh on medicine while Rs. 3 lakh worth of foodgrain, water, milk and other material have been distributed in the affected areas.

According to Committee secretary Mohammad Shafi Madani, the IRC is currently working on “Emergency Residential Shelter” basis where people without shelter are being accommodated and their daily needs are being met. They have established camps at Bhuj taluk, Anjar taluk, Gandhi Dham, Miyana etc. In Miyana camp alone there are nearly forty volunteers and four doctors. They have 25 small-medium vehicles and 2 Ambulances for the relief work. As per their survey, nearly two hundered villages have been completely devastated.

Mumbai: Meanwhile Mumbai Muslims too have formed the Central Relief Committee under the aegis of Red Crescent Society of India with its headquarters at Hajee Saboo Siddique Musafir Khana, near Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus(previously Victoria Terminus), Mumbai -400001. They have formed four committees for collection of funds, volunteer mobilization, medical relief and for setting up relief camps. Red Crescent Society of India too is working round the clock from its Susheel Building office in Kolaba, Mumbai-400005.

Bangalore : Muslims here have formed the “Association of Muslim NGOs Gujarat Relief Fund” and are coordinating with the Islamic Relief Committee in Ahmedabad. A 5-member survey team headed by social worker A. K. Burhan has already been dispatched to Ahmedabad and Bhuj to assess the needs. 20 wheelchairs and 20,000 water bottels have been despatched to IRC in Ahmedabad. The Bangalore Association decided to take up rehabilitation and reconstruction work rather than engaging in rescue and relief operations. An orthopaedic camp is also proposed to be organized in Bhuj by a team of medical doctors from Karnataka. The Majlis Millia Islamia too has decided to collect relief operation in Gujarat.

Contributions for earthquake relief can be sent to:

“Islamic Relief Committee, Gujarat “ (Account No. 5039). The account is at Mumbai Mercantile Co-operative Bank Limited, Tilak Road Branch, Ahmedabad. The contribution may be addressed to :Mohammad Shafi Madni, Ameer Halqa, Dawat Manzil, Kalupur Tower, Jamaate Islami Hind, Ahmedabad-380001. Website: www.jamaatrelief.com

In Bangalore contact: Assoication of Muslim NGOs Gujarat Relief Fund, Feroze Real Estates, Cunningham Road, Bangalore- 560001, Phone: 2202427, 2261873, Fax: 2266973.

In Mumbai contact : Central Relief Committee: Hajee Saboo Siddique Musafirkhana, Mumbai-40001, 2678731, 2620915, Fax: 2613865,

Red Crescent Society of India, Ground Floor, Susheel Building, Kolaba, Mumbai-400005, Phone: 2040226, Fax: 2834785.  

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Rajasthan

TADA Cases Revoked

By A Staff Writer

Jaipur: The Rajasthan Government has withdrawn all cases registered under the now-defunct Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act against a large number of Muslims in Jaipur, Kota and Bikaner. The cases were booked in 1989 and early 90s when the State was rocked by communal riots during the Ram temple movement launched by the BJP.

The accused - whose number had been reduced to less than 20 after several acquittals - had undergone more than their share of mental and physical trauma during the decade-long trial. Many of them were incarcerated for as long as two years before their release on bail. The harassment had no signs of end as they had to present themselves in the Designated TADA Court in Ajmer on every date of hearing. The Congress had promised to revoke the cases in its 1998 election manifesto. But it had failed to keep the promise even after two years of coming in power. This led to widespread resentment among Muslims.

A group of concerned Muslim lawyers from Jaipur had formed the Rajasthan TADA Relief Committee in early 90s to render legal aid to the detainees. Its convenor Abdul Qayoom Akhtar, told Islamic Voice that in addition to the cases in which 55 accused were acquitted in the early years of trial, there was no tangible evidence against others as well.

The accused were arrested on the vague grounds of recovery of knives or fighting the rioting mobs in self-defence. There could be no justification for slapping the draconian TADA Act in such cases, especially where the accused persons were old and weak.

The delegations of Muslim community had approached the Prime Ministers Chandra Shekhar, V.P. Singh and P.V. Narasimha Rao, during the last 11 years pleading withdrawal of TADA cases against innocent Muslims, but to no avail. As there was no progress on the front even during the Congress (I) rule in Rajasthan, the TADA Relief Committee decided to take a stern step.

The decision to revoke TADA cases came following a threat to stage a dharna by the Committee. The warning seemed to have the desired impact. The Chief Minister announced the decision in a Cabinet meeting. The cases against 41 people in all were withdrawn and they included both Muslims and Hindus. The accused were facing trial in a total of eight cases.

The prolonged legal battle, lasting 11 years, could result only in conviction of innocent people in view of the harshness of the law which now stands repealed. The Government, on the other hand, had forgotten its own manifesto and had to be shaken out of its somnolence.

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Penance in Style

Hajis are Opting for 5-Star Comforts

Private tours are turning Haj into an excursion. Does it compromise the spirit of Haj?

M. H. Lakdawala in Mumbai

Pilgrims boarding the bus at Haj Camp in Bangalore

Pilgrims boarding the bus at Haj Camp in Bangalore

EXCLUSIVE suite for couple, 24 hours buffet facilities, with menu ranging from Muglai and Konkani to Continental. Airport escorts provided with standby vehicles during the entire tour, provisions for shopping. In fact 5- star facilities at affordable cost.

This is not an advertisement of a holiday travel operator carrying vacationers on a sightseeing tour but an advertisement for the forthcoming Haj tour by a Haj tour operator.

Haj, which is usually associated with a tough journey and arduous on the foot trails and crushing rush, is slowly graduating to the comfort zone. Jumping at the opportunity are tour operators who are promising five-star convenience for modern day Hajis.

“More and more domestic travellers are opting for convenience during Haj tours,” says Rashid Patel, chairman, Cosmos Tours and Travel. “In fact, people are most keen about the facilities we offer instead of the training provisions we arranged for our clients,” he said.

Take for instance, Zubair Merchant and his family who have preferred Khogeer Tours for there five star service. “I opted for Khogeer because even during the main five days of Haj the facilities are top class. A\C tents, good food and other convenience makes our tour all that comfortable and easy,” he said.

Tahir Darvesh, director, Fine Chemicals Limited is on tour throughout the year. He opines that it’s very difficult to adjust to the environment without the facilities you are used to. “ Hence I am planning to join Haj tour, which would offer the best of facilities,” he said

Call it fallout of liberalization and burgeoning disposable incomes. The fact is that even Hajis have been beaten by the bug. They are looking for the same quality that one normally associates with leisure vacations.

A random survey conducted by the Islamic Voice reveals that accommodation facilities, food, provisions for traveling and cost of the entire Haj package are preferred in descending order while deciding for a Haj operator.

Many operators have tied up with the local five star hotels and other agencies in Makkah and Madinah to offer best of services as specified by each client.

Just couple of years backs the official Haj agency i.e. Central Haj Committee had a large waiting list. It was very difficult to get a berth on official tour. But today the CHC quota is not utilized fully. Even the last minute applicant, get immediate clearance.

It is obvious more and more people are opting for private Haj operators to official agencies because of better facilities. Nasir Shaikh has opted for economy class offered by a tour organizer. “I had option to join Haj Committee tour also. But when I am getting better facilities at the same cost why should I go through the so called subsidized Haj,” said Nasir.

But are these cosy tours as fulfilling an experience as the normal penance filled Haj? The entire perception of spirituality is changing,” says Prof. Shakeel Ahmed , lecturer of Islamic studies. “Earlier too people had money but they had a different connotation of spirituality which meant hardship and suffering.”

Maulana Athur Ali of Ulema Council believes that what really matters is the spirit and your intention. “Islam does not forbid spending if you can afford. It does not matter whether you spend Rs. 50,000 or Rs. 2 lakh on Haj. As long as the essence of Haj is not compromised and maximum efforts are towards prayers and meditation one can utilise all the available facilities one can afford,” said Maulana Athur.

Moreover, the three Ps of a pilgrimage are purpose, penance and preparation notes Dr A. R. Dabir a Haj tour organizer. “If the hardship factor is removed, there is no preparation. It is penance that prepares you for the feel of the divine,” he adds

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Spokes in the Wheel

Haj House Stalled

A row between two politicians stalls the plan for the Hajj House in Bangalore

By Maqbool Ahmed Siraj

K. Rahman Khan
K. Rahman Khan

R. Roshan Baig
R. Roshan Baig

Bangalore: A row between two Muslim politicians of Karnataka has put paid to the hopes of the state capital getting the much-awaited Haj House.

The proposed foundation stone laying for the Haj House on the Millers Road could not come off on 26th January as chief minister S. M. Krishna refused to be drawn into a controversy over the officio-legal status of the proposed building. The ceremony merely saw the inauguration of the Haj flights for Jeddah. Tourism and Haj Minister Roshan Baig who has overseen the Haj arrangements - and justifiably won enough laurels from the people - cut a sorry figure as the CM was dissuaded from associating with the foundation stone laying ceremony by Congressman and MP Rahman Khan. Consequently, the invitation cards were hurriedly remodelled and guests were invited merely for the inauguration of flights. For months together, the city had been agog with reports of Haj House coming up in the centrally located Quddus Sahib Eidgah, the current venue of the Haj camp near the Cantonment Railway Station.

The Jumma Masjid Trust which controls a number of waqf properties in the city, was agreeable to leasing out a 400 feet by 150 feet portion of its land along the Railway Station for the purpose. According to Jumma Masjid Trust Chairman Syed Masood, most members of the Board, a body appointed by the Karnataka High Court, had agreed to lease out the land though no formal resolution had been passed in this regard. The earmarked land cost nearly Rs. 2.5 crore. Asked if the leased out portion would not hinder the Eid prayers as the space was already proving insufficient for swelling Eid congregation, Masood told Islamic Voice the portion to be leased out for the Haj House was not being used for the congregational purpose.

However, Mr. Rahman Khan MP lobbied against the foundation stone being laid on a land which had still not been formally leased out nor was it clear as to who was building the Haj House, the State Haj Committee or a public trust. Khan in a letter to Baig dated January 24, alleged that the Hajj arrangements in the state were being "personalized while the need was to institutionalize" such public interest activity. It was also not clear if the plan was sanctioned by the Municipal Corporation and formal approval of Wakf Board (of which Mr. Khan is also a member) was obtained in advance.

However Mr. Roshan Baig maintains that the proposed Haj House was being constructed by a public trust namely Karnataka Haj House Trust and that the Trust comprises eminent ulema and respectable personalities of the state. It is however clear that Haj arrangements in Bangalore have been politicized.

The hype added to the annual camps has turned into a mega show unnerving - and even upsetting - the rival camp within the party and the government. The need to rise above politics in such community projects has been given a go by and not merely niceties and proprieties but even formalities have been neglected. A Haj House in Bangalore is a necessity not merely for organizing Haj but even to fulfill the need for a multipurpose facility for convention, conferences, camps etc. Such a project should have involved a cross section of the Bangalore Muslims and the procedural transparency would have fostered the needed spirit of harmony.

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Amanath Bank Sponsors

Motor Owners Coop. Society

Amanath Cooperative Bank in Bangalore


Amanath Cooperative Bank in Bangalore

Bangalore: The Amanath Motor Owners Cooperative Society which was formed in December last has leased out 34 buses to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The Society has planned to purchase a total of 100 buses and lease them out to the Corporation which operates city transport. This is being done under an agreement signed with the State Transport Department.

According to Bank President K. Rahman Khan, the Amanath Motor Owners Cooperative Society membership can be obtained by purchasing shares worth Rs. 2.50 to 2.75 lakh. Such shareholders will be eligible for a loan of Rs. 9 to 10 lakh from the Bank. The combined amount will finance the purchase of a bus which on being leased out for six years to the BMTC will yield a dividend of around Rs. 5,000 each month. On completion of the 6-year lease period, the investing shareholder will become the owner of the bus.

During the lease period, the buses will be maintained and serviced by the Amanath Motor Owners Cooperative Society. The Society will set up petrol bunks, garages, service depots and repair sheds. Society members can invest in a maximum three number of buses. Mr. Khan said, such a cooperative society is currently functioning in Gujarat.

Mr. Azeez Mohammad has been appointed the chairman of the society while M. A. K. Taiyab, a retired IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre and former chairman of the Tamil Nadu Transport Corporation, and Mr. Dr. Abdul Wahab Naddaf, former managing director of North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation are advisors and directors.

More details can be had from Manager, Amanath Cooperative Bank, Amanath House, Shivajinagar, Bangalore - 560 051. Ph.: 2865701, 2869415.

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Interview with Rahman Khan

"Modassa Inspired me"

Islamic Voice spoke to Rahman Khan on the concept and operational details of the Society

K. Rahman KhanQ. The Amanath Motor Owners Coop. Society is a new venture of Amanath Coop. Bank. Where does the concept emanate?

A. I happened to visit Modassa, a town in Gujarat where the local Muslims successfully run a transport cooperative society. Though my visit was primarily to survey the situation after a communal riot as part of the Congress delegation, I studied the functioning of the Modassa Transport Cooperative Society. It inspired me. We are trying to replicate that model with local modification.

Q : The monthly return of Rs. 5000 on an investment of Rs. 2.75 lakh does not seem to be much attractive.

A : In today’s context, the returns which work out to 22 per cent of the investment, are quite rewarding. No sector of the economy assures us this much return. Besides, there is no erosion of the capital which remains in the forms of vehicles. We have been deluged with requests for shares. Already 34 buses have been leased.

Q : Is the cooperative concept anywhere near to interest-free business concept?

A : Muslims have failed to utilize the cooperative concept which offers a lot of potential in poverty alleviation. The cooperative concept treats all members as equals. There is no exploitation. The credit and the borrowing is in-house. No outsider takes interest. Interest remains within the organization. A book by the Egyptian Islamic thinker Mufti Muhammad Abduh had encouraged the promotion of cooperative concept in Islamic countries earlier during the century which has just ended.

Q : How could this Motor Owners Coop. Society benefit the community?

A : The leasing of 100 buses would generate employment for 250 to 300 persons. Owing to liberalization, the BMTC is inclined to lease buses because its own record shows that it has to employ 6.5 persons for each of its bus which is much higher when private agencies operate the buses. Besides we would be setting up petrol bunks, spares outlets and repair garages. These too would create employment.

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Padma Bhushan for Maulana Parikh

Maulana Abdul Karim ParikhNew Delhi : Quran Scholar Maulana Abdul Karim Parikh; former advisor to the Governor of Kashmir, Lt. Gen. Mohammad Akram Zaki; Director Deccan Medical College and Owaisi Hospital Research Centre, Dr. C. M. Habeebullah have been honoured with Padma Bhushan on the eve of the Republic Day. Urdu novelist Jeelani Bano from Hyderabad has been selected for the Padma Shri. Maulana Parikh, a close aide of Maulana Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi of Lucknow has translated the Quran into simple Urdu and Hindi. A businessman based in Nagpur and an eminent scholar of Quranic studies, Maulana Parikh has constantly worked for inter-faith dialogue and communal harmony. He has authored several books on different faiths. Dr. Habeebullah had earlier been the director of Medical Education, Andhra Pradesh and also served as principal of Osmania Medical, Hyderabad. Jeelani Bano is a known literary figure in Urdu circles and several of her novels have been filmed.

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Court Bans Construction Around Begumpuri Masjid

Begumpuri Masjid

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court has banned further construction within 100 metres area around the historic Begumpuri Mosque, the largest ever built during the Muslim rule over Delhi (The entire building of historic Jama Masjid built by emperor Shahjehan can sit inside its courtyard). In a directive to the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI), Municipal Corporation of Delhi(MCD) and Delhi Development Authority(DDA), the division bench of the court comprising Justice Anildeo Singh and Justice O. P. Divedi has also sought a list of all buildings that came up after 1992 around the mosque.

The bench was acting on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Heritage and Cultural Forum, Delhi, an NGO promoting consciousness about the cultural heritage. The Forum had alleged that several unauthorized buildings had come up around the mosque jeopardizing its archival status and this could not have been done without collusion of the ASI, DDA and MCD officials.

On a direction of the court, a team of 50 junior engineers of the three bodies had surveyed the area and presented a report to the Court. The report had alleged that several buildings with two floor and cellars had come up within 15 metres from the hoary mosque while a few were just adjacent to the mosque.

The Begumpuri Mosque is located in the southern part of New Delhi between Malviyanagar and Sarvodaya Enclave. A portion of the main building has collapse long ago while its sprawling courtyard is a grazing ground for the cattle and used for drying laundry. It was built in the 14th century by Jane Jehan, prime minister of Feroze Shah Tughlaq alongwith Khirkee Mosque in Khirkee village and Masjid Moth in today’s South Extension. Made of red sandstone, the mosque could be easily termed as the largest in India.

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UP Minorities Commission Chief

Irshad Mirza Quits

By A Staff Writer

Lucknow: The chairman of the Uttar Pradesh State Minorities Commission, Mr. Irshad Mirza has finally resigned from his post after holding the post for four months.

The resignation came soon after Eid Milan (Eid Get Together) organized in Kanpur by the Chairman where the new BJP Chief Minister Rajnath Singh failed to make any announcement regarding taking back of the draconian UP Religious Places Bill.

Irshad Mirza, a leading industrialist who heads the multi-crore Mirza Tanners and Mirza Shoes, was under tremendous pressure from the Muslim community to impress upon the government the community’s extreme disapproval of the Bill and urge its withdrawal. The Get Together ended in commotion.

The UP Minorities Commission had been a thorn in the BJP’s side ever since it took the reigns of the power in 1996. Unable to disband it, the Government had kept it headless for first four years. Even when it appointed Irshad Mirza, he was neither given powers nor allocated finances thereby virtually scuttling its functioning. Mirza could not even tour the riot-affected areas in the state. He was however assigned the duty of bringing Muslims closer to the Bhartiya Janata Party. The Eid Milan was an effort in this direction.

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Seminar on Interest-Free Banking

"PLS Activity Must for Islamic Banks"

Vaniyambadi (Tamil Nadu): A national seminar on New Concept Banking organized by the Islamiah College here on January 28-29 has recommended incorporating profit and loss sharing(PLS) economic activity into the interest-free banking concept and has set up a working group to introduce necessary changes, mobilize opinion and establishing PLS institutions. It also appointed another working group to study the functioning of existing PLS institutions and bringing about a loose federation of such bodies.

Mr. K. Rahman Khan, chairman of Amanath Cooperative Bank speaking at the seminar said the RBI regulations need to be modified to allow the Islamic banking system in India. He said the interest free banking institutions have not only failed in India but have collapsed. He however pointed out that the possibility of organising interest free financial institutions under the Companies Act can be explored.

Dr. F. R. Faridi, the renowned theorist on Islamic banking from Aligarh, said most institutions functioning in the name of Islamic banks were merely deposit mobilizing and lending institutions in India and no serious attempt was ever made to set up Islamic banks.

Dr. Y. A. Khan, economic advisor, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) opined that the Islamic banks in India can offer their asset portfolios of primary securities in the form of open ended mutual funds units and shares for sale to investors. Islamic banks can be identical to open ended mutual funds that hold only traders’ non-interest bearing assets.

Dr. Tahir Baig, associate professor from the International Islamic University, Malaysia suggested that a legal framework should be put in place for PLS Banking in India. He also suggested merger of some Islamic financial institutions and founding of a joint venture capital and opening of Islamic banking windows in commercial banks.

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IFIE Seminar on Communalism 

Struggle on Common Issues Urged

Ahmedabad: A seminar on the theme “Knitting the Communities” by the Institute of Initiatives in Education(IFIE) and the Muslim Intelligentsia, Delhi held here on December 28 stressed the need for bringing various communities closer.

Speaking at the seminar Prof. Imtiyaz Ahmed of JNU observed that the secular parties were far from regaining their political space against the communal forces. He said the de-idiologisation of political parties has made this process difficult. “Though the Congress cannot be marginalised in the struggle against communalism, it is finding it difficult to regenerate its base because identity struggle within the various social groups too is severe,” he noted. Prof Imtiyaz stressed the need for struggle on common ideological issues.

Mr. Nagarajan, social activist from Tamil Nadu urged the Muslims to join war against the US imperialism which was out to economically destroy India and the third world countries.

Dr. S. A. I. Tirmizi, former director general of the National Archives said communalism of any religious shade should not be tolerated. He lamented the communal interpretation of history syllabus. Pointing out instances from Indian and Mughal history, he said Shah Jehan recalled Aurangzeb from governorship of Gujarat in 1645 merely because a mosque had been unauthorisedly constructed on the land belonging to Jains and a Jain representative had complained about it. The mosque was later demolished following an edict from a court mufti. Aurangzeb also demolished the Jama Masjid of Golconda because a treasure lay beneath its floor. He also contributed huge jagirs and funds for several temples. Similarly, Gujarat ruler Siddharaj Jaisingh contributed 1000 Bogot(then currency) for reconstruction of a mosque demolished in Khambatt during his rule. He wanted the religious policies of the formers rulers to be understood in line with their pursuit of power, glory and wealth.

Haroobhai Mehta of Movement for Secular Democracy urged Muslims neither to surrender to the communal forces nor to resort to militancy. “Instead”, he said, “the Muslim youth should take up promotion of secularism”.

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Destination Makkah!

Nigar Ataulla

Bangalore : It is the best in India and for the Hajees, it is a place which will be linger in their memory long after they return from their pilgrimage to the holy cities. The Hajj Camp organized by the Karnataka State Hajj Committee in Bangalore in the sprawling maidan of the Quddus Saheb Idgah is playing host to the 5000 pilgrims who have arrived here from Karnataka to board their direct flight to Jeddah. “The Karnataka State Hajj Committee has this year switched over to online booking of the flights and soon we will have a portal of our own,” confirms Syed Ajaz Ahamed, secretary to minister for tourism and Haj. “The ratio of pilgrims this year is between men and women is 50-50,” says Roshan Baig, minister for Tourism and Hajj and chaiman of the Hajj Committee. Keeping up with the ambience for which the Camp is known for, this year the entrance has been patterned on the lines of the minarets of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the visitors will not miss the lifesize illuminated hoarding of the Kaabah which occupies centrestage. From ihrams to tea, everything is available for the Hajees inside the Camp and the medical facilities too have been upgraded this year. “We take care of the basic health requirements of the pilgrims. Manned by volunteers and doctors who offer their services without any price tag, the hospital is equipped with facilities to handle emergencies. To make life easier for the pilgrims, this year a separate hall has been set up to enable the Hajees to store their heavy luggage as the Safa, Marwah and Mina halls in the Camp are strictly for the Hajees for lodging. The air-conditioned Mosque especially for the women comes as a boon as the women can perform prayers with the congregation- a refreshing change as Bangalore hardly has a handful of mosques which are open to women for prayers.

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Laparoscopic Surgery in Tibbiya College

Aligarh : The Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College here conducted the first laproscopic surgery earlier this month. Laproscopy is used to detect the dysfunction and apply cure for the body organs by avoiding major surgeries. The method shortens the post-operative stay in hospitals, minimizes pain and localizes the incision. The surgery was conducted by Prof. Anees Ismail.

Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College is a Unani Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College is a Unani system based medical college and hospital and conducts around 20,000 surgeries every year, said a press release.

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Obituary

Mohamed Husein Allana

Mohamed Husein AllanaMumbai : Mohamed Husein Allana, Chairman of Anjuman Khairul Islam, Mumbai, businessman and director of Allana Foundation died in Mumbai on January 26. A great philanthropist, Mohamed Husein built up a group of companies with diverse activities such as pharmaceuticals, bakeries, garments etc. He generously donated for setting up professional colleges in Mumbai and Pune including Allana Pharmacology College, Pune, Allana Institute of Business Management,Pune and Mumbai. He is survived by his elder brother A. Razzak Allana and wife Mrs. Fatima a social worker and a trustee of the Anjuman Khairul Islam.

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Award for Moradabad Colleges, Teachers

New Delhi : Bharat Seva Trust has given excellence awards for five colleges, 24 students and 30 teachers for putting up excellent performance in Board examination in 2000. Mr. Saleem Iqbal Sherwani, MP, and chairman of the Bharat Seva Trust, Sherwani Charitable Trust and Star Hotels Limited has presented awards totaling Rs. 42,500. The colleges include Abdus Salam College, Shan Girls College, Falah Darain Punjabi College, Abbas College and Ansar College. This was stated by a press release from Nusrat and Ahmed Rasheed Sherwani.

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Blood Donation Camp at TBAK College

Blood Donation Camp

Kilakarai (T.N) : The Thassim Beevi Abdul Kader College for Women here conducted a blood donation camp on January 5. A team of doctors from blood bank of the Government Hospital, Ramnad collected blood from 23 students and a staff members. Dr. A. R. Subramaniyan, joint director of health services inaugurated the camp and principal Mrs. Sumayaa Dawood spoke at the occasion.

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On Record

Hindu and Muslim Gangsters

There is nothing such as a Hindu gangster or Muslim gangster. Even my gang comprises 25 per cent of Muslims who want to revenge on those in the Dawood Gang.

Gangster Chhota Rajan to Star News in an interview from an undisclosed destination in Europe after his escape from Bangkok Hospital. The Hindu, December 13, 2000.


Not Babur's Offspring

Emperor Babur had brought an army of only 1200 foreign soldiers. How could the 50 crore Muslims of the sub-continent be the progeny of Babur?

Muslims are the least empowered sections among the deprived sections of people. My party, (newly formed Lok Jana Shakti) will provide maximum representation to Muslims.

Union Communication Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in an interview with UNI Urdu Service. The Siasat Daily, Hyderabad, December 18, 2000.


Not Censorship

I am a subscriber to VSNL's internet service with e-mail address skazi@ned.vsnl.net.in. Since September 2000, I noticed that all e-mails to and from me to Middle East Socialist Network (MESN) could nether go through nor reach me. I came to know from the MESN moderator that my account had, for some unknown reason been "blocked" by my server. Upon enquiring as to why this had been done without my knowledge or consent, one of VSNLs managers — Mr. Goel from the Customer Services Section-informed me that since "Muslims have links with Pakistan and because of reasons of security they had taken this step".

I would like to ask Mr. Goel and VSNL is this how you treat your Muslim customers? Are we, once again to be collectively branded and placed in the suspect category due to the prejudices and communal bias of VSNL officers?

Researcher Seema Kazi of New Delhi in the letters column of The Hindu, dt. November 11, 2000.

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People......

Appointed: Ms. Anjum Mohammad Saaid took over as the first woman Attorney General of Malaysia on January 1 from Mohtar Abdullah. Abdullah oversaw the controversial prosecution of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Appointed : Syed Sadat Hussaini who was re-elected president of the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) for another 2-year term last December has appointed Zameer Quadri as general secretary and Sajid Ahamed, Abdul Hakeem and Javed Zafar as secretaries, according to a press release.

Awarded: Galfar Mohammed Ali, industrialist based in Oman has been adjudged the winner of the V. Gangadharan Memorial Award for the most prominent Non Resident Indian. Mohammed Ali owns the Gulfar Engineering and Construction Company in Oman which has branches all over the Gulf and Kerala.

The Trivandrum based Award Committee said the award carrying Rs. 25,000 and a memento will be given at a function at Quilon around the end of January. Award

Committee Chairman T. K. A. Nair said the Gulfar Company has contributed a lot to generating employment and the industrial progress of Kerala. The Award is given by the Nair Service Society in the memory of freedom fighter V. Gangadharan.

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News in Brief

Rahmath Orphanage

Chennai : Rahmath Trust has started an orphange in Chennai especially for girls. Girls who have completed the age of five and without parents, will be admitted. All their needs will be met by the orphange and the arrangements for their future life will be done. Rahmath Trust, 29 Second Main Road, CIT Colony, Mylapore Chennai - 600 004, Tel : 499 77 73 Fax : 498 40 37, E mail : deen@giasmd01.vsnl.net.in


Tamil Literary Prize

Chennai : Entries are invited for Sheik Sadakathullah Appa Islamic Tamil Literature Prize 2001 by Seethakathi Trust’s Islamic Research and Cultural Centre, Chennai.

The title assigned for this year essay is ‘Human Values of Prophet Muhammad (Nabigal Nayagam Unarthiya Manitha Kula Manbu) in Tamil. Book should be in 200 pages (if in published form) in the size of 5" x 7". Five copies should be sent on or before 31st March 2001.

For details please contact : Islamic Research and Cultural Centre, Seethakathi Manimadam, 688 Anna Salai Chennai - 600 006.


New Campus Inaugurated

Kollam (Formerly Quilon): The campus of the Thangal Kunju Musaliyar College of Advanced Learning (TKMCAL) was inaugurated here by Kerala Governor Sukhdeo Singh Kang on January 24. The campus located on 34 acres is situated near Cheerankavu in Kollam district. While the TKM Institute of Management has started functioning from the campus, courses in several emerging areas will be started shortly. These will include a new engineering college, Communication and Infotech engineering, Agri Business management, Rural Development, Planning, Design and Architecture, Business Management and Administration, Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Travel and Tourism Management. The inauguration of the new campus is seen as a step forward in gaining a deemed-to-be-university status by the college. Messrs V. P. Ramakrishnan Pillai, minister for irrigation and labour, Kodikunnil Suresh MP, N. D. Prema Chandran MP, Dr. N. A. Karim, Dr. Abdussamad, Shahal Musaliyar. President of the TKM Trust spoke on the occasion.


Modern School within Mosque Premises

Bangalore: Taking a cue from the City Jama Masjid, the management of the Indiranagar Mosque in Bangalore has decided to set up a modern public school within the mosque premises. The mosque management has formed the Salsabeel Trust for the purpose comprising several officials. The Trust will be starting Silicon City Public School from the next academic session with admissions from LKG to 5th standard. A building with 20 classrooms over a 9600 sq. ft. area has been constructed within the Ummul Hasnain Masjid premises in the upmarket Indiranagar area of the city.

At a meeting of the trustees and the residents, Maulana Riazur Rahman of the City Jama Masjid exhorted the trustees to combine the religious education and modern sciences and equip the kids with basic elements of a believer and a human being. For more information contact: Ziaullah Khan, secretary, Salsabeel Trust, Phone: 080-5250431.

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Book Mela

Bangalore: The Islamic Book Centre here organised an Islamic Book Mela at Darussalam between February 11 and 17. The Mela has on display nearly 50,000 books on various aspects of Islam, CDs, Audio Cassettes and Audio Visual shows. Lectures by scholars are being held during the week. A mushaira was organised on February 12 and a cultural programme on February 14. A programme for women would be held on February 16, said a press release.

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