Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

MUHARRAM - SAFAR 1424 H
MARCH 2004
Volume 17-03 No : 207

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Letters to the Editor


Excellent Gesture
Utterly Shameful
Why Blame the Indians?
More on Pakistan Please
Hey Muslims! What's Peace?
Bleak Future

Excellent Gesture

I enjoyed reading many articles in the February 2004 issue of Islamic Voice, but two of its write-ups "US Muslims Appreciate Diversity" and "Pak Christians Face Discriminatory Laws" stole my heart and made me learn some important things. We have to learn not only by our own experiences, but also from the experiences of others. In the first article, Dr. Omar Khalidi presented the positive Islamic atmosphere in the U.S. which gladdens our hearts. In the second article, Maqbool Ahmed Siraj has done a great service to the community in interviewing Mr. Victor Azariah, Secretary, Pakistan National Council of Churches in making us know the invaluable views of an important representative belonging to the Christian minority community in Pakistan. Kudos to the writer and Islamic Voice for this excellent gesture which is Islamic in nature.

Mr. Azariah's advice for Indian Muslims against separate electorate is worthy of consideration by political leaders belonging to the minorities in the country who demand such a system. He feels that the separate electoral system in Pakistan had alienated the minorities there. This should be a lesson to the minorities here and they should try to "swim and sail with joint electorate". I feel that Indian Muslims have understood this philosophy and that is why they are not extending any support to any political leader who talks in terms of "this community and that community". The 55 years of our freedom has made the Indian people realise that their strength lies in their unity and integrity and any harm done to any community can only weaken our country.

V.M. Khaleelur Rahman, Ambur

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Utterly Shameful

It is quite shameful that beggars are leading our community in financial lending,(M. Hanif Lakdawala's story on beggars inc), in Islamic Voice, January 2004. Not long ago, one of my friends from Hyderabad mailed me enquiring about "interest free loans" for her higher education ( a P.HD in Islamic Economics is what she wants to pursue). She had exhausted all possible avenues (banks and financial institutions) and was unable to find the required amount without interest. Finally she had to contact individuals to lend her money compromising on her self-respect.

Is it not shameful that with so many intellectuals, "leaders" and millionaires in the community, we have not been able to build institutions which can offer financial solutions within the Islamic framework? The young Muslims are busy pursuing their career dreams and debating to no end on the finer points of fiqh and tafseer and conveniently ignoring practical issues which face us on a day to day basis. Economic models exist which can help us solve our financial problems in a creative, yet Islamic way. (the micro credit model pioneered in Bangladesh; which has been tremendously successful and has been adopted by the United Nations is a case in point). Muslim NGOs' and "leaders" who claim to work for the benefit of the poor and downtrodden need to think hard and work to develop institutions.

All that is required is the will to find solutions to our problems. And that is what we seem to be short of.

Sabith Khan, sabithisthebest@rediffmail .com

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Why Blame the Indians?

This is with reference to Dr Rafiq Zakaria's speech on " Indian Muslims" reproduced in Islamic Voice, January 2004, (Partition was the biggest blunder). I would like to inform, you that I do not agree with this learned Islamic scholar. Indian Muslims have only the coat and shirt, minus the buttons. It is Pakistan which has all the buttons. It is Pakistan which is controlling India. So how can Indians be blamed for the Partition?

Riaz, riazbhai11@yahoo.com

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More on Pakistan Please

Your coverage on Pakistan on page 13, Islamic Voice, February 2004, is the need of the hour. Thanks for the same. Islamic Voice should publish many more articles on the life- style, culture, occupation, employment potential, rural welfare measures and basic needs of Pakistanis. Frequent mutual visits of Muslim journalists and religious scholars between the two countries should be encouraged. Ignoring and sidelining peace measures will be a loss to the poor people of both the countries.

Ibrahim,.aribrahim2003@yahoo.co.in

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Hey Muslims! What's Peace?

It is good to hear that "Peace-Vision of Islam"- a 10-day mega event (Islamic Voice, February 2004) was held in Chennai. -- a state where Muslims constitute no more than about 6 per cent of the population. The question is why such events never take place in places where Muslims are in large numbers - Kashmir for instance. A lecture on "similarities between Hinduism and Islam" would do a great deal of good in Muslim insurgency- ridden Kashmir, would it not? Your readers need to be aware that there is a perception among non-Muslim Indians that when Muslims are in a minority, peace and secularism become important, but in majority, jihad and Islamisation become the issues. Such feelings are not out of the blue. After all, the Muslim majority states in India's own neighbourhood are Islamic- not secular and they support jihad in Kashmir. I have a question for Muslim readers of Islamic Voice: what is your community doing to discourage Kashmiri Muslims from waging jihad on India, and promote a vision of peace?

Moorthy Muthuswamy, New York, moorthy@charter.net

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Bleak Future

I read " Ten Thousand Tales of Lost Childhood" by M.Hanif Lakdawala in the Islamic Voice of January 2004. The condition of those innocent children as stated by the writer, Hanif, is really very miserable. We keep saying that the children are the future of our country, but what will be the future of these children?

Mohsina Hussain, aribrahim2003@yahoo.co.in

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News Community Roundup Editorial Letters to the Editor Community Initiative Globe Watch Event Diary Trends Muslim Perspectives Metro Mail Men, Missions and Machines Muharram Children's Corner Heritage Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Fast Farword Special Space Opinion Guidelines Our Dialogue Miscellany Reflections Lessons to Learn Soul Talk Rights and Wrongs View Point Matrimonial
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