Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rabi-Ul Akhir / Jamadiul Awwal 1423 H
July 2002
Volume 15-07 No:187

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Community Roundup


Alarm clocks wake up Mumbaiites
Pune girl bags top slot
Ladhaki translation of Quran
Inter-religious Dialogue on Harmony
West Bengal sets an example
Furqania Academy releases three books
Admissions for SECAB
Hamdard Scholarships
Members and Office-bearers of CMA
Refund by Haj Committee
Day of the poets and story-writers
ICRG Update
Amanath Bank denies allegations
When Dreams Crash...
Moulana Rabey Nadwi is new President of MPLB
Qaddafi hosts peace talks
Journalists demand Iftikhar's release
"Muslims are victimised", says Amnesty International report
Sacranie, elected Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain
People


Alarm clocks wake up Mumbaiites

Ten mosques in Mumbai have voluntarily stopped using loudspeakers for the early morning (Fajr) azaan

By Mohammed Hanif Lakdawala

Now No Azaan at Fajr TimeMumbai: Over 10 mosques in Mumbai have voluntarily stopped using loudspeakers for the early morning azaan for the Fajr prayers at 5 a.m. This is to abide by the Supreme Court order banning the use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am. The Jama Masjid, attached to Mahim Dargah, is one such mosque. It can accommodate 2,000 people. Nearly 350 people attend the congregation prayers held at around 5.15 am. The Mohalla Committee members, who initiated the process, are elated. They say the step will go a long way in developing trust between various communities.

Abdul Rashid Khan, a member of the police Mohalla committee in the area, admits that there was a lot of scepticism when the police made the request. “People were worried that there would be opposition. But there has been no problem in the last one month,” says Khan. According to Khan, the voluntary decision by the local mosques to abandon the use of loudspeakers in the morning is an example that other mosques in the city should follow.

“After all, the other communities are also respecting the order. The Christian community made changes in the timings for midnight mass during Christmas. The police enforced the court ban during Navratri and Ganesh Chaturthi. So why should we complain? If we have a problem waking up for the morning prayers, we should use alarm clocks,” he says. “We are not prevented from carrying out our religious functions, but are merely asked to ensure that others are not disturbed. In fact, in Muharram instead of holding the recital of the Quran by the imam in an open ground, we held it in a hall. Similarly, the three-day qawwali festival which the Mahim police traditionally host during Urs was held in the Karnatak Sangh Hall, Matunga,'' says Khan. The issue first cropped up in March this year, on the eve of the Holi festival, when the local fisherfolk sought permission from the Mahim police for using loudspeakers for holding late night festivities. Though the request was denied, as it was contrary to the apex court order, some committee members felt there was no harm in granting the permission as the area was Koli-dominated and the noise would not have disturbed anyone else. The issue again came up for discussion in the Mohalla Committee meeting the eve of Gudi Padwa. The Mohalla committee talked about how all the communities should come forward to enforce the ban. The next day, senior Inspector Jayant Shastry - who was transferred later - called a meeting of the imams of over 10 mosques, informed them of the apex court order and requested them to stop using loudspeakers or lower the volume for the 5 am azaan call. The imams readily agreed and from the next day, stopped using loudspeakers for the morning prayers.

“At the Topiwala Masjid, Cadell Road, the number of people attending morning prayers has gone up by 15 from 50, when the use of loudspeakers for the morning prayers was abandoned,” says Akhtar Gazi, a businessman who prays at the mosque.” “Since in the past, the azaan used to wake us for the prayers, we were not very conscious. Now we are very alert and make use of alarm clocks and wake up our neighbours”, said Gazi.

But some Muslims have a grouse against the ban. “Our mosques are silent in the morning. But we can hear the azaan from the mosques in Dharavi. Why are the other masjids in the city not following the order?” asks Syed Mohammed Sadiq, a resident of the area. “The azaan lasts for less than two minutes. It is necessary to use a loudspeaker in the morning more than any other time of the day because people are sleeping and they need to be woken up. But we have to obey the court,” says Aftab Merchant a student.

Says Bagyashree Kelkar, another Mohalla Committee member: “Rules are the same for all. I am opposed to any festivities, be it Ganapati festival or any other which disturbs others. If the drive was successful during Navratri, if the Christian community could change the mass timings from 12 am to 10 pm during Christmas, why is it not possible to stop using loudspeakers for the early morning azaan?'' Imam Maulana Khalil Pathan of Juma Masjid, the biggest mosque in Mahim, said that it was his duty to follow the court's ruling. “We were informed about it by the senior police inspector and so we decided to enforce it. I have been using the loudspeakers for over 40 years for giving the azaan call, but now I cannot.'' he says. Ameen Khandwani, Chairman, State Minority Commission and a trustee of the Mahim Kabrastan says: ''It is the rule of the law and one must follow it”.

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Pune girl bags top slot

Majeda of Anglo Urdu Girls high school, Pune has bagged the top slot in the merit list of
the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.

By Mohammed Hanif Lakdawala

Like the previous years, this year also, a student of Anglo Urdu Girls high school, Pune has bagged the top slot in the merit list of the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. Majeda Altaf Hussain Rogangar, a student of the Anglo Urdu Girls high school, topped the exam. She secured 94.66 per cent marks. Majeda, who stood first among girls in the division, ranked third among girls in the state. “When you educate a man, you educate an individual. When you educate a woman, you educate a family.” You also liberate her and make her more confident. Nowhere is this more visible than at the sprawling Haji Ghulam Mohammed Azam Education Trust campus in Pune,where scores of girls in hijab are quietly equipping themselves with one thing that matters - education. Case in point being, SSC topper Majeda Rogangar.

It is almost a silent revolution as one witnesses as many as 1,300 young Muslim girls studying in classes five to 10th at the Anglo-Urdu Girls school and many more moving into the many colleges that dot the campus. According to Mumtaz Sayyed, Principal, Anglo Urdu Girls’ High school and the Abeda Inamdar Junior college, the pursuit of knowledge and education is one of the most important tenets of the holy Quran. Sayyed, says that she has observed an increase in the number of Muslim girls being sent to school and college in the last five years. This, according to her, is because younger mothers are more educated and are insisting on educating their wards.

Fifteen-year-old Majeda, the most unassuming SSC topper, one could come across, stood first in Pune district with 94.66 per cent. Her result, followed that of school-mate Sadequa Ansari, who topped last year’s SSC merit list with 94.53 per cent. Majeda said, “I thank God, my school and family for helping me get here” and I want to become a doctor.” “Look, there’s no way somebody can prepare for a Board exam in a few months,” she says, when asked of her study habits. “It takes a lot of preparation. I would wake up each morning at 4.30 a m, offer prayers and then study. After school, I would return home and study for four more hours. I put in something like seven hours of study each day, without fail. And that was apart from school,” adds Majeda. Of all subjects, she enjoyed studying Science the most, while she found Civics tough. “The rest of the subjects were easy because I did not hate any of them,” she reasons. Ask Majeda if students need to go to extra classes to do better in studies and she says, “I went for Maths classes, because I needed the extra revision. But I honestly feel that what you learn in school is sufficient.

There’s nothing more that classes can teach you.” So what tips does she have for this year’s SSC students? “Study very hard and have a lot of faith in God. One should study at least six hours a day and concentrate on Maths and Science. You should know your subjects thoroughly at least three months before the final exam,” she says. The girls at the Anglo Urdu Girls school cut across all class barriers. According to Sayyed, while middle-class Muslims account for 60 per cent, lower middle-class and the poorer sections comprise the rest. The poor at Anglo-Urdu school are lent a supporting hand by the Trust. This enables almost 80 per cent of the 170-odd students make the transition from SSC to junior college.

According to Sayyed, 50 per cent of these girls finally proceed to complete their graduation. Haji Ghulam Mohammad Azam Education Trust and the Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society, Pune, who together manage several institutes from pre-primary to post-graduation to professional levels, have taken education to the grass root level in Pune and surrounding areas. Their unique style of identifying talent and coaching them has begun to bear fruits.

The two Trusts have jointly started the M. A. Rangoonwala Talent Search and Promotion Scheme. During the two years of coaching, the students of the scholars batch are taught science subjects right from fundamentals to the stage from where they can confidently face any competitive examination. Abeda Inamdar one of the trustees says, “the teaching of XI science commences from the middle of April and is concluded by end of November. From December onwards, these students are imparted coaching in XII subjects which is completed by the end of April, after which these students start revision, solving question papers and model papers till next March i.e. for one full year,” she said. It was felt for a long time that the meritorious girls and boys of the Muslim community do not receive expert coaching, though they have the potential to excel. “Keeping this in view, the scholars batch at the Azam campus was initiated from 15th April 1999”, she said. The students enrolled in the scholars batch are coached for the STD XI and XII Science Board examination. They are also coached for various competitive examinations.

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Ladhaki translation of Quran

Ladakh: The holy Quran is being translated in the Ladhaki language which is spoken in a part of Jammu and Kashmir. Maulana Umar Gotu Nadwi, Imam of Jama Masjid Leh (Ladakh) and Llam Konchu Pandey, an expert in Ladakhi language are putting in their joint efforts towards this. The Quran in Ladakhi will be popular in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and some areas of Nepal besides Lahaul.

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Inter-religious Dialogue on Harmony

Muslims institutions ought to emulate these sessions if they care to present Islam in the right perspective

Mr. A.W.Sadathullah Khan addressing the studentsBangalore: Why Muslims eat the cow? Why Muslims do not eat pork? Why loudspeakers are used for azaan? Why Muslims support Pakistan during cricket matches? What is the significance of Friday prayers? Why Muslim women wear the hijab? Why Muslims do not drink alcohol? Why Muslims are today hated all over the world......and many more such questions cropped up in the minds of over 1200 college youngsters at the St. Joseph’s Pre-University College of Arts, Science and Commerce here during the Inter-religious Dialogue on Harmony. The first of its kind to be organised in any educational institution in the city, the Inter-religious Dialogue on Harmony for the second year PUC students of the college comprised a five-day session on Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. The students were presented with an insight into these religions through lectures and question and answer sessions. According to B. N. Devaiah, one of the faculty members of the college, the sessions created an amazing sense of awareness among the youngsters on the religions and had succeeded in clearing up many distortions about Islam in their minds. The sessions on Islam were handled by A. W. Sadathullah Khan, Editor, Islamic Voice. With the current communal ambience prevailing in the country, sessions like these at colleges are pertinent to induce the true image of Islam in the young minds.

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West Bengal sets an example

Calcutta: The people of West Bengal under the leadership of the Left front had an inspiring mass campaign to collect funds for the victims of the Gujarat carnage. To ensure that the relief funds reach the victims, a Left Front team visited Gujarat last fortnight under the leadership of Somnath Chatterjee, MP and leader of the CPI (M). The team was accompanied by the Gujarat State Committee leaders of the CPI (M) and CPI. The team disbursed Rs. 47,32,070 directly to 996 affected families and 171 women widowed in the communal violence in about 15 areas of the State. This is the largest relief programme in Gujarat directly financed by mass collections from the people that have so far been undertaken by any political party or NGO.

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Furqania Academy releases three books

Bangalore: Rich tributes were paid to Mohammed Shihabuddin Nadvi at a book release and condolence meeting organised by the Furqania Academy Trust here last fortnight. Three books in Urdu written by the late Moulana during the fag end of his life were released at the meeting, which was presided over by eminent historian and ex-vice chancellor of the Mangalore and Goa Universities, Prof. B. Sheik Ali. “Quranic Code of Argumentation & Revival of the Ummah”, “Quranic Concept of Knowledge in the Light of Modern Science” and “My Memoirs” can be bought at: The Furqania Academy Trust, No 82, 10th main, 1st cross, BTM, 1st stage, Bangalore560029. Ph: 6682101.

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Admissions for SECAB

Bijapur: SECAB Institute of Engineering and Technology invites admissions for the first year BE course here. The college has been granted permission from the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). A Muslim managed college, SECAB Institute would have four disciplines namely civil, electronics and communication, computer science and information technology. The college and laboratory have already come up on Bagalkot Road. SECAB runs a string of schools, polytechnic and an architecture college. The SECAB Education Society was founded and is headed by Shamsuddin Punekar.

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Hamdard Scholarships

New Delhi: The Hamdard Education Society here has invited applications for grant of scholarships from Muslim students from all across the country studying in PUC, graduation, post -graduation or for their doctorates. Eligibility will be purely on merit and will require students to have secured 80 per cent marks in SSLC, 75 per cent in PUC and 70 per cent in the degree exam. Application forms can be had from Secretary, Hamdard Education Society, Sangam Vihar, New Delhi-110062. Closing date for receipt of applications is September 7, 2002. The Hamdard Scholarships were instituted by Hamdard founder, late Hakeem Abdul Hameed.

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Members and Office-bearers of CMA

The elected members of the Central Muslim Association (CMA), one of the oldest Muslim organisations in Bangalore working towards the welfare of the community comprises these elected members- Rahman R.A, Sadath Ali Khan, Maqbool Ahmed, Abdul Ghaffar Haji Latif, Syed Masood, Ateeq Ahmed, Athar Syed Murtaza Hussain, Mohammed Muqlis Ali Mekhri, Syed Altaf, Dr. Zaheeruddin Ahmed, Javed Ahmed Khan, M. Sirajullah Khan, Syed Noorul Ameen, Allah Baksh, Abdul Wahab Khan, S. Rashid Ahmed, Aziz Mohammed, Mohammed Hanif, Shujath Ali Shah Khadri, J. Shafiullah, Mohammed Ghouse Peer, Mahmood Umar Sait, Hussain Shariff, S. Shabbir Pasha, Arif Pasha, Mohammed Shafiullah, Mohammed Samiullah, Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, Mohd. Mustaq Ahmed Kalami and G. R. Riaz Ahmed. The office bearers are: President-Maqbool Ahmed, Vice-Presidents-Abdul Wahab Khan and Syed Noorul Ameen, Gen. Secretary-M. Sirajullah Khan, Joint Secretaries-Mahmood Umar Sait and Hussain Shariff, Treasurer-Aziz Mohammed and Internal Auditor-Mohd Hanif.

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Refund by Haj Committee

Mumbai: The Haj Committee (India), Mumbai has announced that an amount of Rs 9,24,77,400 has been saved on account of conversion of Indian Rupees in terms of Saudi Riyals by virtue of remitting the amount of accommodation rentals and compulsory dues to the Consulate General of India, Jeddah and Saudi Arabia by the Haj Committee (India) after determining the most competitive rates. So the Haj Committee (India) has decided to refund this amount to the pilgrims of Haj 2002 by bank draft, according to Abdul Rashid Mir, executive officer, Haj Committee (India). For further details, please get in touch with the Executive Officer, Haj Committee (India), Haj House, 7-A, M.R.A Marg, (Palton Road), Mumbai - 400001.


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Day of the poets and story-writers

By Nigar Ataulla

Bangalore : It was the day of the writers...writers who had dedicated their lives to creating prose and poetry that had stirred the conscience of the people, and the Karnataka Urdu Academy did the best thing possible by honouring these individuals who had spent a lifetime weaving reams of precious literature. Mazhar Umeed, co-founder of Bangalore ’s old and active literary association “Majlis-e-Adab” received the Karnataka Urdu Academy Award for prose writing. While short story writing and criticism are his chosen fields of creativity, Mazhar Umeed has already published a collection of short stories, Saat Rang-Saat Sur. For Sajid Umeed, recipient of the Pasban Golden Jubilee Award, it was his poetry that inspired the Urdu Academy to honour him. Taking breaks from his hectic schedule as Asst. Conservator of Forests in Watershed Development, Umeed has penned three collections of poems-Yadon-ke-Mehtab, Nafi Zarb Nafi and Nakhate Raqsan. The Daily Pasban was the starting point of his journalistic career and today S S.Ameerullah Nizami writes the piece de resistance of Nasheman, the column Thaprakhen. The Urdu Academy Award for journalism was just made for Nizami. He is called the king of wit and humour in Urdu-Mujtaba Husain joined the N.C.E.R.T in 1972 which he served with distinction and retired as Editor in 1991. Recipient of the Karnataka Urdu Academy Award for all-round service in the cause of Urdu language and literature, Mujtaba has his collection of essays (wit and humour) like Takalluf Bartaraf, Qissa-e-Mukhtasar and Aadmi Naama which are read with reverence even to this day.

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ICRG Update

Ahmedabad:The Islami Relief Committee- Gujarat (IRCG) has decided to spend an amount of Rs.15,00,000 towards short-term rehabilitation projects under the head of education to help students who had to discontinue their education during the recent carnage in Gujarat. The IRCG will also be working on projects for the self-employment scheme according to Muhammad Shafi Madni, chairman of ICRG. It had targeted to spend Rs.42,00,000 to cover 1400 persons under this scheme, out of this amount, Rs.15,50,000 had been utilised in the affected areas. Under the " home kits" project, IRCG had targeted to spend Rs.20,00,000 to cover 1000 families, out of this, Rs.8,99,000 has been spent in the affected areas. Contributions can be sent to: Islami Relief Committee, B-4, Karishma Complex, Sarni Society, Juhapura, Ahmedabad 380 051.Ph: (079) 681 9086, 682 5018, Email: ircguj@mantramail.com, shafimadni@yahoo.com or Visit at www.islamireliefcommittee.com, or www.islamirelief.org.

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Amanath Bank denies allegations

Bangalore : Amanath Co-operative bank Ltd, has denied any bungling or misappropriation of funds. In a press release last month it said, the Bank has helped millions of people from all walks of life since 25 years, especially the poor through its banking facilities. “Of late, a few anonymous attempts are being made some sections in the society to malign the name of the bank by spreading rumours. The customers of the bank are requested not to heed to such rumours. The bank is sound and safe and will continue to serve the people in the best possible ways,” says a press release from Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, founder of the Al Ameen Movement and Mr. Ziaullah Sheriff, one of the Directors ot the Bank.

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When Dreams Crash...

By A Staff Writer

Muslim depositors are running from pillar to post to get back their hard-earned money,
even four months after the Charminar Cooperative Urban Bank went insolvent

Hyderabad: Four months after the Charminar Cooperative Urban Bank went insolvent, thousands of depositors, most of them Muslims, have no hope of getting back their money. Though the government of Andhra Pradesh is considering a proposal to revive the bank by requesting a nationalised bank to take over the tainted bank, the depositors are going through a testing time. Those who deposited their hard-earned money into the bank are running from pillar to post to get back their money. As the investigations into the Rs. 500 crore scam are moving at a snail's pace, they have no alternative, but to wait. The Charminar Bank, the Muslim-owned scheduled bank in India, plunged into a crisis in February this year, when its Chairman, Syed Alamdaar Hussain Sajjad Aga committed suicide sending a wave of panic among the depositors.

A committee of experts, constituted by the state government, had recommended revival of the bank, though the bank's audit report predicted an imminent liquidation owing to non-recoverable deficit of Rs. 100 crore. The exports committee, however, pointed out that if the properties belonging to Sajjad Aga and other borrowers were auctioned and dues were realised, the real deficit would be only about Rs. 35 crore. The bank scam shattered the dreams of many, who turned penniless overnight. Lured by the high rate of interest offered by the bank, many deposited their hard-earned money. But the bank's management advanced loans not-secured, to the relatives of the bank officials, businessmen and politicians.

All dreams of Mohsin Pasha came crashing down. Moshin had deposited Rs. 5,00,000. The Reserve Bank of India suspended bank operations on February 25, a day after Sajjad Aga shot himself. A Gulf-returnee, Mohsin, with tears in his eyes, said he had deposited all his hard-earned money into the bank in the hope of giving a bright future to his children. Seventy-year-old Sakina had made a fixed deposit of Rs. 50,000 for the marriage of her daughter. Mohsin and Sakina are just two of the 1,38,327 depositors who deposited their hard-earned money into 21 branches of the bank in Hyderabad, Nizamabad and Mahabubnagar. Majority of them, from poor Muslim families in the old city of Hyderabad had put in all their savings.

The total deposits were to the tune of Rs. 475 crore. Syed Ifteqar Hussain, who had Rs. 35 lakh in the bank, passed away a few days after the bank plunged into a crisis. His family members said he was shocked to learn that the depositors would not get more than Rs. 1000 as per a direction from Reserve Bank of India (RBI).”Why does the government allow such banks,” asked an angry depositor. “We are greedy and hence Allah has punished us,” confesses another. Mohammed Ibadullah Siddiqui, who had deposited Rs. 21 lakh in the bank, to meet the expenses for the marriage of his two daughters and the higher education of his son. Siddiqui, who works in Saudi Arabia, had no option, but to postpone the marriages. Salma Sultana had deposited Rs. 15.5 lakh in the bank for the marriage of her two daughters. “The marriage was put off in the last minute as I could not arrange the money,” said Salma.

Mohammed Zameeruddin Nizami, a calligrapher, went around the country exhibiting his calligraphy to mobilise money for his heart surgery. He deposited Rs. 99,000 in the bank, but could not draw the same for surgery as the bank had closed its operations. With the assistance of police, the bank has so far recovered Rs. 10 crore from defaulters. Mohiuddin Ahmed Taher, convenor of the Non-Resident Indian Depositors' Forum, has asked the government to speed up the process of revival of the bank. The forum represents 2,000 NRI depositors. In a gesture aimed at helping the government to speed up the process of recovery, they have offered to forego the interests on their deposits. The Charminar Bank scam was the biggest bank scam in the state's history. The bank, which claimed to be the fastest growing cooperative bank in the country, was last year conferred the status of scheduled bank. With a turnover of Rs. 8000 crore, it ranked second in Andhra Pradesh and 37th in the country among all cooperative banks

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Moulana Rabey Nadwi is New President of MPLB

Hyderabad: Eminent religious scholar, Moulana Syed Mohammed Rabey Husni Nadwi is the new President of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. Moulana Nadwi, the rector of Nadwatul Ulema, Lucknow, one of the most respected seat of Islamic learning in India was the unanimous choice of the Board. He was elected on June 22, the second day of the three-day 16th session of the Board held in Hyderabad. Moulana Rabey Nadwi, apart being a renowned Aalim and an authority on Islamic law, is also a well known literary figure and author, popular in the Arab world. Moulana Rabey Nadwi is the fourth president of the Board, which was formed in 1972 to work for protection of Shariah. He has succeeded late Moulana Mujahidul Islam Qasmi. “If somebody thinks he can eliminate Muslims through killings like in Gujarat he is wrong. If a community resolves to live, nobody can kill them,” said Moulana Rabey Nadwi in his first address to the Board.

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Qaddafi hosts peace talks

By Andalib Akhter

New Delhi: The Socialist People's Libya Arab Jamhiriya, has taken serious note of the growing tension between India and Pakistan and urged both the countries to maintain peace in the region. To achieve the purpose, the Libyan leader Muhammar Al-Qaddafi recently invited a motley group of scholarly Indians to his tent in Syrte some distance from Tirpole, the Libyan capital. The Indian group comprising 30 members included among others, two vice chancellors and two Members of Parliament. Shankaracharaya Sri Adhokshjanane Dev Tirthji of Puri, Maulana Asad Madni, president of Jamiat-ul-Ulema Hind, Dalit leader Udit Raj, JNU vice chancellor G.K.Chaddha, Jamia Hamdard vice-chancellor Siraj Hussain, Prof. K. Mathew, department of African studies Delhi University, Member of Parliament, A. R. Kidwai and K. M. Khan, Namdhari Sikh Leader, H. S. Hanspal, president, Universal Association for Spiritual Awareness, Pandit N. K. Sharma, president, Hind Agro industries, Sirajuddin Quraishi and M. A. Kazmi of Media Star were some of the members. In Qaddafi's view, the rulers in India and Pakistan are not coming up to the expectation of the masses. “We talked to the leaders of India and Pakistan on many occasions, but it could not bear fruit, so I invite you people to talk peace,” said Qaddafi.

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Journalists demand Iftikhar's release

By A Staff Writer

New Delhi: Journalists in Delhi have expressed anguish over the arrest of Iftikhar Geelani, the Delhi bureau chief of the Jammu based Kashmir Times under the 'Official Secret Act' (OSA). They have urged the government to ensure “that the investigation is fair and that he does not face any harassment at the hands of the authorities”. The Editor's Guild of India and the Delhi Union of journalists have also made a similar appeal. “Iftikhar is a thorough professional. The allegations against him are absurd and he is being victimised because of his writings”, said Prabodh Jamwal, editor of Kashmir Times.The Delhi-based journalists, who have worked with Iftikhar say that he had no truck with his father-in-law's politics. The international media organisations like Reporters Sans Border and New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have also demanded Iftikhar's release. Aanisa Geelani, wife of Iftikhar Geelani has denied reports that her husband had confessed in a Delhi court that he had links with the Pakistan ISI. A graduate from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Iftikhar also works for German Radio (Urdu service) and the Pakistan based Daily Times.

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"Muslims are victimised",
says Amnesty International report

New Delhi: The London based, Amnesty International, has voiced concern over the victimisation of Muslims in India. In its latest report, the Amnesty has said that the Muslim community in India has become increasingly vulnerable to victimisation by both the states and some Hindu political groups. “Tension between the police and Muslim groups erupted into rioting in different parts of the country”, notes the Amnesty annual report. “It says that tension also escalated in connection with the intensification of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad campaign for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya at a site where Babri mosque was destroyed by Hindu rioters in 1992.” In its critical remark, the report says that, people from socially and economically marginalised sections of society continued to be vulnerable to torture by the police and the state

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Sacranie, elected Secretary of
the Muslim Council of Britain

Iqbal SacranieIqbal Sacranie was elected the Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the apex body of Muslims in the United Kingdom on April 28. He succeeds Yousuf Bhailok who served a two-year term. For Sacranie, this is a second term in the post. Outgoing secretary Bhailok said the Muslims in Britain should face upto real issues such as under-achievement of Muslim pupils, racism, Islamophobia and drugs which afflict the Muslim community. Twenty four ethnic, sectarian and religious bodies and seven mosque councils are affiliated to the MCB as on April 1, 2002. The Council was formed on November 23, 1997 at Brent in London. It has 400 members. It works for consensus among British Muslims on Muslim affairs and to establish a position for Muslims in Britain and British society that is fair and based on due rights. For more details, access the website www.mcb.org.uk

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People

Elected: Nihal Ahmed has been elected the first mayor of Malegoan Municipal Corporation. He heads the Janata Dal (secular) group in the 72-member Corporation. He won the position with 50 votes against Congress (I) candidate Haji Md. Ibrahim Sait who got 11 votes. Shiv Sena's 11 corporators were absent during voting. The 12 corporators of Samajwadi Party, one corporator of Muslim league and one Republican party corporator also supported Nihal Ahmed's candidature. The Deputy Mayor's post went to Samajwadi Party's Abdur Rashid Haji Ahmed. Nihal Ahmed has been a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly earlier for several terms from Malegoan, a powerloom town.

Bhuj: Despite adverse conditions, Suraiya Akbar Ali of Bhuj's (Gujarat) Matru Chhaya School has won the 10th place in the Secondary School Examination (10th Std) held in April this year. She secured 531 out of 600 marks and won the 10th place in the merit list of the state. There were 2,76,420 students who took the 10th Std exam. This year, even as Gujarat was in the grip of the worst anti-Muslim violence, 11 more Muslim students figure in the merit list from various districts of the state.

Appointed: Fakhruddin Khorakiwala has been appointed the new chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Noted businessman Khorakiwala, has contributed immensely to Mumbai's social and economic life. He heads the Cipla Pharmaceuticals and has co-founded the Burhani Educational Society. He was earlier Senate member of S.N.D.T University and was also Sheriff of Bombay (Now Mumbai).

Elected: Tanvir Sait registered a big victory for the Congress in the by-poll from Narasimharaja Assembly constituency defeating his nearest rival E Maruthirao Pawar of Janata Parivar by a margin of 11,709 votes. Sait is the son of Azeez Sait whose death caused the by-election.

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