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Islamic Voice Logo
MONTHLY    *    Vol 11-01 No:121    *  JANUARY 1997/ RAMADAN 1417H
email: editor@islamicvoice.com

COMMUNITY ROUND UP

Rs.1000 crores demanded in the ninth plan for minorities
Call for Muslim Women's University at Chennai
Waqf Conference to be held in Bangalore
A.P. Government sanctions ITI, Polytechnic for Minorities
Hospital Proposed in Rampur
More Muslim MLAs in suspended U.P. Assembly
Iranian Film Festival in Delhi
Equality, Not Identicality is the Essence of Gender Rights- Dr. Zakir Naik





Rs.1000 crores demanded in the ninth plan for minorities

BY A.B. Masoud
NEW DELHI:
Muslim MPs cutting across the party lines have demanded allocation of Rs.1000 crores for minorities welfare and educational schemes in the forthcoming ninth plan. A delegation of Muslim members from both houses met the Prime Minister on December 20, and submitted a memorandum to him in this regard.

Mr. Qamarul Islam, Secretary J.D. Parliamentary party, who led the delegation told the Islamic Voice that the planning commission has started the process of consultation with various sections of society, bodies and organisations, voluntary agencies and Government Departments to assess the allocation of resources for ninth plan. Even the Prime Minister held a meeting with ST and SC MPs to ascertain their views on the ninth plan for their development.

The religious minorities constitute nearly 17 percent of the total population of the country. Even after 50 years of Independence the minorities, particularly the Muslims, remained the most backward in the society.

The memorandum drew up the over-all situation of the Muslim community, reminded the Prime Minister, that it is the duty of the State to identify which section of the society has remained backward socially, economically and educationally and bring them to the level of the other sections of the society.

The data available with various agencies reveals that various sections among the minorities have remained backward in education and also their level of poverty is much below the national average. Though Government initiated some economic programmes for the minorities like National Minorities Development Corporation (NMDC) and State Level Minorities Developments Corporation, they are not financially sound, as they have to depend upon the banks for implementing their programmes. There is a need to bring structural changes in the functioning of these corporations so they should function as financial institutions. National Minorities Development Corporation was supposed to have a capital of Rs.500 crores consisting of Rs.125 crores contributed by the Central Government and Rs.375 crores by the various State Governments. But no State Government except one or two have come forward to contribute this capital. As result the Corporation's working capital remains at Rs.125 crores.

The Memorandum also made efforts to present the real picture of educational backwardness of the Muslim Community. The Muslim population of the Country is around 112 million, of them 33 percent population is between the age group of 6 to 8 which is considered as the school going age. But a recent survey conducted by Karnataka Minorities Commission reveals that only 25 to 31 percent of this age were attending schools. This is far below national average and Karnataka is supposed to be a progressive state in education among the Muslims. Out of 37 million children among Muslims only 11 million children are attending schools.

According to National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) data on the basis of National average graduate level there should have been around nine million graduates among Muslims whereas there are only two million graduates. To overcome this disparity, the delegation demanded that Minority education should be given a priority on the governments policies and should be made part of its planning process.

Besides Mr. Qamarul-Islam the delegation had Mr. Tariq Anwar, (Cong) Mr. K. Rehman Khan (Cong.) Mr. G.M. Banatwala (Muslim League), Maulana Obaidullah Khan Azmi (Janata Dal), Ashraf Ali Fatmi (Janta Dal) and Shafeequr Rahman Barg (Samajwadi party). The memorandum was signed by about 28 MPs from both the houses.


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Call for Muslim Women's University at Chennai

Chennai
Mr. G.K. Mooppnar President of the Tamil Maanila
Congress ( TMC) addressing the gathering
By a Staff Writer

CHENNAI:
The first ever Muslim Women's Education conference that concluded here on December 23, called for setting up a Muslim Women's University at Chennai on the pattern of Aligarh Muslim University. The 3-day conference urged the Government of India to ensure proper representation for the Muslim women in the 33 percent quota for the women in legislature mooted in a bill. The demands were made in resolutions adopted at the end of the conference.

The conference which drew nearly 50 delegates from all the states and a large number of participants discussed issues related with the women's education threadbare. The resolutions also called for release of Census data pertaining to education and literacy among various communities in order to enable the communities to formulate strategies. It further said gender wise data within communities would enable the efforts to focus on women. While commending the establishment of the Urdu University in Hyderabad, the Conference suggested priority to introduction of distance education in order to enable the Muslim housewives to formalise their education through Urdu medium.

The Conference urged the state governments to locate more educational institutions in minority dominated areas in keeping with recommendations of the National Education Policy 1986 and suggested priority for residential schools for girls. It also urged concession for Muslim girls institutions in matters like mandatory campus area and endowment fixed deposit etc. It recalled that the demand for Muslim Women's University was a cherished dream of Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, the founder of the Southern India Educational Trust College (posthumously rechristened Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College) in Madras who rendered yeoman service for promotion of Muslim education. Later Mrs. Badar Sayeed, Correspondent of the JBAS College informed the audience that the college was the largest women's college of South India and 50 percent of the girls studying therein were Muslims.

Dr. Tahir Mahmood, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, in his valedictory address said Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) gave women rights which led to their emancipation. He said the concept of confining women at home was alien to Islam. In reply to Mrs. Bader Sayeed's plea for allowing women to pray in mosques, Dr. Mahmood said Muslim women did not need permission from the Muslim menfolk and cited Islamic precedents whereby Muslim women could be qazis and muthawallis.

Mr. G.K. Mooppanar, President of the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) said the minorities would come up only through education.

The 3-day Muslim Maklir Kalvi Manadu (Muslim Women's Educational Conference) drew as many as 50 papers on different aspects related to Muslim Women's education. Noted among the participants were Prof. Abeda Samiuddin, Dept. of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University; Dr. Majida Iqbal of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; Mrs. Mamdooha Majid, Secretary, Muslim Women's Welfare Organisation; New Delhi; Dr. Zeenath Shaukath Ali, St. Xavier's College, Mumbai; Dr. Salma Salahuddin, Dept. of Psychology, JBAS College, Mumbai; Dr. Taj Showkath, Secretary, Al-Ameen Women's Wing, Bangalore; Demographer Malika B. Mistry, Pune; Dr. Shaukath Parveen, Ministry of Education, United Arab Emirates; Nasira Khanum, Jamaate Islami Hind, Hyderabad; Dr. Zeenath Kausar, International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur. Mr. S.A. Rahman, Founder of the Seethakathi Trust and the All India Islamic Foundation, which sponsored the conference, in his introductory remarks said the dismal state of education among Muslims became the imperative need for the conference. Convener Dr. Nafeesa Kaleem said though the need for educating Muslim women has been reaised long back, the need for focused attention on women's employment, entrepreneurship provided the scope for the conference.


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Waqf Conference to be held in Bangalore

RABITA
Rabita Group Secretary addressing the gathering
By a Staff Writer

BANGALORE
: An all-India Waqf conference will be hosted in Bangalore to chalk out a strategy to develop Waqf properties and generate incomes for different welfare projects. This was disclosed by Mr. R. Roshan Baig, the Minister of State for Home and Waqfs. Mr. Baig indicated that the Karnataka State Waqf Foundation would soon start vocational training centres for training of individuals from the community, male as well as female. He said one such cente would start functioning in Bangalore shortly and similar centres would be started in district centres in due course.

Mr. Baig was speaking at a function got up by the Rabita Welfare Group for Women on December 12 to felicitate a delegation of American Federation of Muslim from India (AFMI). Responding to the felicitation Secretary General of AFMI said the organisation is concerned with the situation of Indian Muslims and is extending assistance to needy and meritorious students every where in India. He said 18 years ago when the AFMI called for meritorious students had 90 percent marks while this year 23 such students approached for scholarships. Rabita Group Secretary Mr. Sofia said the Group was running a vocational training programme for the destitute girls and women from the broken homes. She said security, solace, training and basic necessities for such individuals would make them useful organs of the society. She said the Rabita Group has taken up construction of a school and vocational training centre in Bangalore. Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj earlier welcomed the gathering while Mr. A.W. Sadathullah Khan conducted the proceedings.


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A.P. Government sanctions ITI, Polytechnic for Minorities

CHENNAI: The Andhra Pradesh Government has recently allocated Rs.25 crore for various development schemes for minorities. This was disclosed here by Mr. Basheeruddin Babukhan, A.P. Minister for Major Industries. He was speaking at the All India Muslim Women's Education Conference on December 23.

He said the Andhra Pradesh Government has sanctioned three Industrial Technical Institutes (ITIs), three Polytechnic, and three residential schools for the minorities under the New Education Policy (NEP). He said the Telugu Desam government has also granted Rs.10 crore for the Minorities Development Finance Corporation for the year 1996-97. Mr. Khan who is also associated with the United Economic Forum informed that the Andhra Pradesh government was considering formation of a Madrassa Examination Board in the State to unify the curriculum at the theological schools.


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Hospital Proposed in Rampur

NEW DELHI: The Rampur Muslims plan to construct a hospital on a four-acre plot on the Nainital Road. It will be a Rs.4 crore project with 150 beds.

The hospital is said to be an immediate necessity for the Rampur Muslims who have to refer cases to Lucknow, Delhi or Aligarh. The city, though known for its cultural and literary institutions, has no good hospital to care for the sick.

The foundation stone for the proposed hospital to be named after freedom fighter Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar (who hailed from here) was laid in November 1995 by noted cardiologist Dr. Khalelullah. According to Maulana Mufti Mehboob Ali, secretary of the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust, the Hospital will have operation theatres, pathology lab, blood bank, and quarters for the staff. The Trust intends to raise funds from among philanthropists.


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More Muslim MLAs in suspended U.P. Assembly

NEW DELHI: The Muslim representation in the 425-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly, currently under suspended animation after a fresh lease of President's rule, has risen to 38 from the 28 in the last elections. Of this 20 belong to Samajwadi Party, 12 to Bahujan Samaj Party, three to the Congress and two to the Bharatiya Kisan Kamgar Party while the remaining one is an independent.

Muslim voters constitute around 17 percent of the electorate in U.P. and in at least 130 constituencies their percentage varies from 20 to 40. Multiplicity of Muslim candidates in these constituencies has nullified the prospects of the community candidates. The communal parties won seven out of 12 seats in Moradabad district and six out of nine seats in Bareilly.

The highest Muslims representation was attained in 1980-85 assembly when 53 Muslim were elected. Interestingly during the simultaneous Lok Sabha elections 18 Muslims were elected from the state which was also the highest representation in the Lok Sabha. Given the 17 percent population, Muslims should occupy 71 seats proportional representation. But this mark has never been touched. Plethora of appeals by Delhi based Muslim organisations regardless of the ground realities, rivalry between two influential communities namely Ansaris and Qureshis on 'biradries' line sow seeds of confusion among Muslims which lead to split in their votes. Most Muslims were elected from the Eastern and Central parts of the state, while majority of Muslim dominated seats lie in Western UP.


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Iranian Film Festival in Delhi

NEW DELHI: One can take a leaf from Iranian film industry. An Iranian Film Festival was organised here by the Culture House of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the collaboration of the Federation of Film Societies of India in November-December 1996.

The festival was inaugurated by the visiting Iranian Majlis Speaker Hujjatul Islam Ali Natiq Nuri at Pragti Maidan on November 23. Five selected feature films on various social subjects were shown during the festival.

Iranian cinema is 64 years old. Film industry in Iran was born at a time when foreign films were dominating the Iranian screens and the repressive Monarchical regime had allowed them free reins. There were no laws to protect domestic films and culture. over the years it was crippled by cultural collapse just before the Islamic revolution.

However the film industry revived in the post Islamic period. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance drew up comprehensive plans and policies for the protection of domestic film industry in 1983. To make Iranian film industry an economically viable proposition, the ministry took drastic measures to curb the unbridled imports of foreign films. Financial measures such as cut in municipal taxes, credit and provision of equipments too came in handy for the promotion of the local industry. Incentives were offered for talented and innovative artists and awards were instituted accordingly. During the past two years, informative and entertaining films made for children had a dramatic rise. One such film "Matarsak" (scarecrow) was the prime attraction of the festival. The film deals with the prevalent wrong notions about step-mother's role.

The other films screened were "gomshedah" (missing) about broken homes, "Shayad waqt e digar" (may be some other time) deals with the modernity, "zaman e az das e Raftah" (the bygone era) and "Dar Masire tondbad" (in the eye of the storm) deals with the occupation of Iran by the allied forces.


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Equality, Not Identicality is the Essence of Gender Rights- Dr. Zakir Naik

BANGALORE: Women's rights in Islam could not be judged by individual actions, said Dr. Zakir Naik in a public talk on Women's right in Islam - Modern or Updated? Organised by the Centre for Objective Studies (COS) here on December 8, 1996. The basic duty of a Muslim was to please Allah and therefore, man and woman were not competing against each other in judging their rights, he said. He further enumerated the topic by dividing Women's right in six parts. Spiritual, Economic, Social, Educational, Legal and Political rights. Quoting verses from Holy Qur'an, he said that spiritually both man and woman were equal in Islam, and were rewarded according to their deeds. Sex was not a criteria on the Day of Judgment but God consciousness is. Even though man and woman could not have equal rights in everything as human beings they are equal. The Holy Qur'an glorifies woman by saying that pregnancy uplifts womanhood and gives respect to her. While the Bible deemed it a curse for women for misguiding Adam.

Islam conferred woman the right to own and disown property without husband's consent about 1500 years ago. Whereas the West recognised it in 1817 only. He said that no text in Qur'an or Hadith prohibited woman from working. Islam allowed woman to work but made it optional and none could force her to undertake any job. He also said that the most despised tradition of dowry had replaced Mehr nowadays, which was alarmingly increasing among Muslims, whereas Mehr was compulsory to solemnise a marriage and even the thought of dowry in Islam was prohibited.

When all other religions considered woman as an instrument of devil, Islam vouchsafed her identity and recognised her due status as a wife, mother, and daughter. As a wife, she becomes a fortress against evil and protects man from promiscuity and fornication. He further said that women in Islam are not housewives but home-makers. Dr. Naik clarified the misinterpretation of the verse 34 of 4th Surah, that men are superior to woman. "In fact, it is an additional responsibility of man to stand up for the woman and protect her," he remarked. He cited a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) emphasising the status of a mother in Islam. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) awarded the first three places to mother and only the fourth place to father.

"Another remarkable right, a woman possesses in Islam is her right to take part in law-making. She can even take part in politics provided that she maintains Hijab," he said.

A question and answer session followed the lecture. Replying to a question by Mrs. Pramila Nesargi, MLA, BJP, Mr. Naik said that both men and women were enjoined Hijab in Islam. Man has to cover his body from navel to his knees and a woman the whole body except her face and forehands.

Mr. Maqsood Ali Khan in his concluding speech reminded the Muslim community not to get defensive and said that we must make Islam the yardstick and platform to adopt and reject new life styles and culture and not vice-versa.

Mr. Danyal Kazi, Chairman COS, presided over the lecture. Earlier Mr. Mohd. Naik introduced Dr. Zakir Naik to the audience.
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