Islamic Voice
Shawwal/Zul-Qada 1422
January 2002
Volume 15-01 No:181

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Community Roundup


Keeping Tabs on Muslim Hosts and Guests
Ramadan Gift from Libyan Prince
Muslims Face Raw Deal
Islamic Centre at Bangalolre
Pressure Mounts on Babri Issue
Islamic Declaration of Human Rights
Best Social Worker Award
One Man's War
Cops in Coorg watched as 22 Mosques were Burnt
Seminar on "Media Perception of Islam"
Bookings for Jeddah Fair
Azeez Sait Passes Away
Awarded

Keeping Tabs on Muslim Hosts and Guests

Armed with strange queries, cops in the Capital hound Muslim homes

By Andalib Akhter

New Delhi: Since how long you are here? How did you get this house? Why did you leave your previous house? Where is your ancestral home? When did you come to Delhi? What is your profession? How many members are there in your family? Who comes to meet you? What is your office timing?

If you are a Muslim and living in Delhi, you must be ready with prompt replies for all these queries or else, you may land into deep trouble, most probably you will be branded as a terrorist. Armed with these queries, the investigating officer can land at your doorstep anytime particularly at the time when the male member of the house is away.

The December 13, 2001, terrorists' attack on the Parliament has jolted the already confused Muslims, particularly the Kashmiri Muslims of Delhi.

The landlords are terrified and the tenants have turned panicky. In the last two weeks, more than 20 landlords across the city were arrested for failing to give details about their tenants to the local police. "I am scared, I will no more offer my house to Muslim tenants", says a flat owner in south Delhi. "No one will give me his house on rent as I am a Muslim", laments Jawaid, a tenant of Okhala.

For Kashmiri Muslims, the drive is almost a nightmare. "We do not allow the guest to stay in our house. We cannot afford to be hospitable for fear of harassment", says a Kashmiri Muslim living in Malviya Nagar. There is nothing official about this drive as there is no circular from the police stations and no directives from the bigwigs. Says joint commissioner of police, Amoth Kanth: "There is no such instruction or drive other than tenant verification." But the police sources say that Station House Officers (SHOs) heading police stations have instructed their beat constables to keep tabs on local Muslims, specifically the Kashmiris and their guests. " Local Kashmiris are being told to register themselves and their guest from their state to avoid trouble" said a police officer. "Kashmiri traders had over the years developed friendly ties with Delhiites. But now there is suspicion in the air," says Masood Mir, a hawker selling shawls and jackets in the streets of Delhi.

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Ramadan Gift from Libyan Prince

By Andalib Akhter

Saif-ul-Islam Muammar GaddafiNew Delhi: The recent visit of Saif- ul -Islam Muammar Gaddafi, son and heir of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi to India, brought some cheer to the Indian Muslims. Saif, 27, who is the chairman of the Gaddafi International Foundation For Charity Association, a philanthropic organisation helping needy people across the globe, visited Delhi, Deoband and Moradabad during Ramadan. Within an hour of his arrival in Delhi, Saif signed a cheque for $ 8,00,000 for the Indian Islamic Centre which has been under construction for the last one decade or more. He visited the Islamic centre and met the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmad Bukhari, chairman of the Islamic Centre, Moosa Raza and other prominent Muslims of the city.

Talking to Islamic Voice, Saif said he was on a “humanitarian mission” to India aimed at providing assistance under the programme of his charity organisation. “Our humanitarian activities cover a number of places in this country. Our aim is to serve different groups of the society out of our belief in the need of establishing the foundation of peaceful co-existence among people of various creeds, caste and races,” he said. In Deoband, the prince extended monetary aid for the construction of a 100-bed hospital. In Moradabad, he met several Muslim NGOs, and apart from providing them monetary assistance, his Foundation also donated food items and blankets to the people. “Our presence in India will be a permanent feature as we shall carry out our activities through Indian NGOs,” he confirmed. The prince also assured that he would provide aid for the renovation of the historical Shahi Jama Masjid of Delhi and promised to provide scholarship to 300 poor and needy students in India. The Gaddafi Charity Foundation is a non-governmental organisation which adopts and incorporates modern concepts in the work-system of volunteers throughout the world. The Foundation has its headquarters in Tripoli, Libya.

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Muslims Face Raw Deal

Thiruvananthapuram: The Justice (Retd) Narendran Commission, entrusted with the task of looking into lapses in implementing the Reservation for Government jobs submitted its report to the Chief Minister of Kerala recently. According to the report, reservations as per rules in the case of minorities including Muslims was not adhered to in the Government services. The Commission has gathered evidence after scrutinising all records of job reservations. Headed by Justice Narendran, the Commission includes T. M. Savankutty, former chairman of the Kerala Public Service Commission and K. V. Rabindran Nair, former chief secretary.

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Islamic Centre at Bangalore

Bangalore: An Islamic Information Centre and Library was inaugurated at Masjid-e-Ummul Hasnain recently by Maulana Riyazur Rahman Rashadi in Indiranagar in the city. The library has over 900 books on Islam and Muslims and is a boon to not just to readers of Urdu language, but also Arabic, English, Kannada and Malayalam. Comprising of an audio and video section, the library has a separate section for women.

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Pressure Mounts on Babri Issue

Chennai: The Babri Masjid Reconstruction Movement Committee, Chennai filed a Public Interest Litigation writ petition before the Supreme Court of India last month during the 9th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The litigation focused on the inordinate delay by the Allahabad High Court in clearing the series of cases before it pertaining to the Babri Masjid. A demand has been made for the immediate intervention of the Apex Court and to dispose off the cases within a short time frame.

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Islamic Declaration of Human Rights

Chennai Book Release

By Muqith Mujtaba Ali

Chennai: The Islamic Foundation Trust, Chennai has come out with its second re-print of the popular booklet, Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights. “This book is the need of the hour”, said Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer while releasing the book recently during the fifth International Book Fair at Kochi in Kerala. “The book which presents the humane aspect of the religion should be read by all,” he added.While the book is of immense utility for those who care for human rights, it has added value as it elucidates examples from the Quran and the Sunnah. The book costs Rs. 10 and is available at: Islamic Foundation Trust, 138, Perambur High Road, Chennai -12. Ph: 662 4401 Fax:662 0682, E-mail: iftchennai12@email.com Website:iftchennai.org

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Best Social Worker Award

Thiruvananthapuram: Advocate A. Nafeesath Beevi, former Deputy Speaker and senior member of the Kerala State Women’s Commission bagged this year’s ‘Best Social Worker Award’ instituted by the Muslim Welfare Association of Kerala. The award is in recognition of Beevi’s untiring efforts towards the betterment of the lives of downtrodden women. Chief minister of Kerala, A. K. Antony presented the award to her at the Press Club Hall in Thiruvananthapuram. The Award Committee is headed by Thalekunnil Basheer, former member of Parliament.

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One Man's War

In a world that is highly materialistic, it is a refreshing change to see Agha working towards eradicating illiteracy

Azmatullah Shariff

Syed Munzir Ahmed AghaHe has a soft corner for kids and makes no qualms about the fact that the little citizens in this country deserve a better life. Syed Munzir Ahmed Agha from Bangalore is a crusader working to uplift the Muslim society through children. A one-man army fighting for a cause for the past seven years, his style makes him unique and he strongly believes that children can be moulded well and values of life can be inculcated in them. He maintains personal rapport with the children and their parents alike and continues to maintain a low profile to carry on with his mission to change the society .

In a world that is highly materialistic, one hardly finds a committed person working for a just cause. But it is a refreshing change to see Agha working towards eradicating illiteracy and imparting knowledge among the locals of Padranpura, an extremely backward locality in Bangalore. Popularly known as “Agha Sir” among the locals,. his association with Padranpura is over seven years old. He maintains personal touch with the children and parents to prevent any communication gap and also to ensure that slum dwellers send their children to school. Agha says, “ I argue with the parents if they do not send their children to the school and convince them of the importance of education” .

Given the ignorance of the slum-dwellers and the high rate of dropouts due to poverty, his role is invaluable. Agha even keeps track of those children who miss school. You can spot him asking children ‘why they do not go to school’. His efforts are not for monetary benefits or personal gain, but he genuinely wants these children to grow up as responsible adults .

Students at the congested AcademyHe functions from a tiny room where he runs the classes in shift system in order to accommodate large number of students. His meagre resources have never proved to be an obstacle to his work. Despite acute financial difficulties, he never allowed his students to suffer. Within his limitations, he provides his students with basic necessary study material. Occasionally he also organises excursions and study tours in order to create awareness among these poor children. He does not receive any aid from any philanthropists or any funding agency to carry on with his routine work. contributions from well-wishers is the sole source of funds.

Agha says that some of the parents are very poor. “Where will they bring money from?” he asks. “Whether they give me money or not, Allah will take care of me. What I want them to do is send their children to the school.” Agha identifies the students as per their age limit and encourages them to take up exams at a higher level. Some of his students are now teachers in the nearby convent schools. He says: “ It is a sort of a cycle. These girls work as teachers and reform the younger generations, who in turn will work towards reforming the society.” He strongly resents the attitude of the current generation of the community leaders and says that mere speeches and resolutions will never change the society and the society can only be changed by working at the grass root level. Agha regularly organises classes on adult education and imparts basic education among the women and prepares them to take care of their children’s education. He takes the needy and the poor to the hospitals for treatment. He apprises the locals about the various government schemes and also inculcates awareness among them. He says, “this provides me with inner strength and a strong resolve to carry on with my work. Agha can be contacted at: Agha Educational Academy,No 35, 9th main road, Padarayanapura, Bangalore-26

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Cops in Coorg watched as 22
Mosques were Burnt


Remains of the Mosque burnt in a Coorg Town

Bangalore: Fire and smoke has ruined the peace and tranquility of the misty hills in Coorg! Twenty two mosques were burnt and damaged. Properties were looted and burnt by communal elements in towns of Coorg last month, according to a delegation report of prominent Muslims from the city which toured the district on December 22. Headed by Mufti Ashraf Ali and K. Obaidullah Shariff, chairman of the Minority Cell of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) , the delegation conducted a thorough study of the area and to their horror discovered shells of burnt houses, shops and mosques desecrated in towns of Madikeri, Ambathi, Gonikoppal, Ballamuri and Boikere. But what was it that started the fire and who started it? According to the report of the delegation, Muslims were made targets of attacks in 21 villages and towns in the district and it took the communal elements an imaginary excuse to go about burning the mosques. Rumours were floating regarding the desecration of a six by six feet temple in an obscure hill near Napoklu and to add to the mess, a Kannada Daily Shakthi initiated it further by publishing irrelevant and provocative reports. It went to the extent of accusing the Muslims of Napoklu village and called for a gathering of Hindus to protest the desecration. But it seems the foundation for this strategy was laid

when Bajrang Dal leader Pramode Mithali addressed a gathering in Mercara on December 6 and threatened that mosques would be bombed. The mob instigated by the Daily went around setting fire to the mosques and looting Muslim houses. The men in khaki-the cops too ransacked the Badria Mosque in Madikere. The destructions went on for two days and required the intervention of Additional Director General of Police Subhash Bharani from Bangalore to take steps to stop the dastardly activities of the rioters. The roads to the towns in Coorg were blocked by chopped trees which indicated that the rioters had master-minded these disturbances days in advance. Mercara Superintendent of Police Ramesh was a passive onlooker to the episode along with his team. While 120 non-Muslims were booked under bailable offences, 26 members of the Muslim community who were the victims were arrested under non-bailable offences

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Seminar on "Media Perception of Islam"

Bangalore: The United Theological College here is organising a one-day seminar on ‘Perceptions of Islam in the Media’ on January 25, 2002. The seminar is meant for journalists, editors and scholars. According to convener Dr. Joshva Raja, the seminar will focus on the current images of Islam in media, understand media policies, initiate dialogue between media practitioners and religious scholars that will help arrive at an alternative perception of Islam. The venue is United Theological College, P O Box: 4613, Millers road, Bangalore-560046, Phone 3333438, 3330502. e-mail: joshvajohn@hotmail.com

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Bookings for Jeddah Fair

Bangalore: The Raheem Group of companies here has been appointed as the authorised agent for the Saudi Exhibition company. The company has authorised the Group to book stalls and space for the Jeddah Trade Fairs. The Saudi Exhibition Company will hold three trade fairs next year- the Spring International Trade Fair between January 15-25, Jeddah Amusement and Tourism Expo between April 8-12 and 6th International Trade Fair between October 29 and November 4. For details contact: Dr. Md. Imran, Raheem Group of Companies, 8, 2nd floor, Lalbagh Road, Bangalore-27. Phone: 080-2243953

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Azeez Sait Passes Away

Azeez SaitMysore: Azeez Sait, veteran politician, MLA and chairman of the Karnataka Minorities Commission died here on December 28. He was 81. Azeez Sait was a leader in his own merit. Extremely popular among beedi workers for the upliftment of whom he devoted several years, Sait was elected to the Karnataka Assembly four times from Narasimharaja constituency in Mysore city. While thrice, it was on Congress ticket, once he represented Janata party. He was also elected from Dharwar South constituency to Lok Sabha and defeated another extremely popular minister Nazeersab in that encounter.

Sait began his career as a councillor in Mysore in 1952 and rose to occupy all legislative positions. His astute perception of political trends and swinging popular moods combined with keen political sense had made him a political weathercock. Yet in all his pursuits, he kept the people’s interest close to his heart and raised voice in the legislature as well as outside. His signal contribution lies in initiating several measures for the betterment of the lot of the beedi workers in the state. He prevailed upon the Union Labour Minister Kaka Kelkar to levy a special Beedi Cess on sale of beedies which could be used for the welfare of the beedi workers, patterned after the cess on limestone for the lime quarry workers. The Cess today goes into ensuring mobile health dispensaries for these workers, into subsidies for housing, stipends for the education of beedi workers etc. He was instrumental in building the beedi workers town with 1000 housing units in Kalyangiri in the outskirts of Mysore. Even the model Haleemnagar slum in Mysore owes its debt to Azees Sait. He introduced unique reforms in improving working conditions of transport workers, established institutions such as Karnataka State Waqf Foundation for Women’s Development, introduced the concept of developing waqf properties in order to perpetually use the waqf incomes for the depressed sections of the society, restored serenity and magnificence to the Tipu Sultan mausoleum as the chairman of the Tipu Waqf Estates and set up a few educational institutions for education of the poor Muslim children in Mysore.

Sait held the portfolios of labour, transport, education, industry etc under various chief ministers and introduced innovative reforms. An able legislator, orator, and administrator, Azeez Sait did not balk from raising genuine problems of Muslims and other depressed classes in public fora and even rebuking the Muslims for their irrational attitudes and sentimental approach to problems and issues.

He was buried in the Bada Makan graveyard of Mysore after funeral prayers at the city’s central eidgah. A place reserved for him for his burial in the beedi workers town was cancelled by him after the ulama objected to it. He leaves behind his widow, two sons and four daughters. Two of his sons and a daughter had predeceased him. Death of Azeez Sait leaves a big void in Muslim politics of Karnataka. Died: M A Latheef, leader of the Indian National League (INL) and MLA from the Vaniyambadi constituency in Tamil Nadu died on December 18, a day after Eid-ul-Fitr. Born in the small town of Alangayam, Latheef was an advocate who dominated the Muslim political scene in Tamil Nadu for nearly a quarter century. He was elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly four times, twice on the Muslim League ticket and twice on INL. An extraordinary orator in Tamil, Urdu, Malayalam and English, Latheef had his baptism in politics early in life and honed his skills under the leadership of people like Qaide Millath Ismail Sahib. A divorcee, he had no offspring. He was buried in Vaniyambadi. The turn-out of people at his funeral was unprecedented.

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Awarded

Adil Nadeem Faridi, a student of BDS final year of the Aligarh Muslim University Dental College, received the “ best scientific paper award” on `Oral Manifestation of AIDS-A case report,’ at the 26th U.P. State Dental Conference held at Kanpur recently.

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