Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Safar\Rabi-Ul-Awwal 1424 H
May 2003
Volume 16-05 No : 197
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Community Roundup


Rioters Hole in Terror Net
Imams Spread Awareness on AIDS
Khan Jahan Darwazas near Death's Door
Ahmedabad Gets Muslim Mayor
Fountains Spring to Life after 400 Years
Shahabuddin Dismisses Islamic Council Statement
Aga Khan in India


Rioters Hole in Terror Net

Ahmedabad: A debate is raging in Ahmedabad over the rationale behind slapping the anti-terror law on 123 people accused of engineering the Godhra carnage and not on those responsible for equally horrific massacres in its wake. Those witness to killings at places like Naroda Patia and Gulbarg Society are enraged that the government is so “deliberately and openly” shielding post-Godhra rioters. The Congress and other Opposition parties have come together with social activists and legal experts to question why the anti-terror legislation cannot be applied to those responsible for the riots that continued for well over a month after the train carnage. “The administration’s claim that one was a pre-meditated conspiracy and the other was a spontaneous reaction just doesn’t make sense,” said Amarsinh Chaudhary, a Congress member. Mukul Sinha, a senior high court advocate, said the primary intention in both the Godhra and the post-Godhra massacres was to “strike terror in the heart of a community”. If the government has booked the Godhra accused under the anti-terror law, the same legal paradigm must apply to the “other party”.

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Imams Spread Awareness on AIDS

Srinagar: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has been silently spreading its tentacles through the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Realising the seriousness of the situation, religious leaders have stepped in to raise awareness about the disease. The state government is distributing literature and audio-tapes in different languages among the preachers. “We’ve roped in the Imams.This is a good way to spread awareness. said Dr M A Wani, Director, AIDS Prevention and Control. Imams in this state are becoming the key for AIDS awareness, probably other states of the country will can also take a cue.

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Khan Jahan Darwazas near Death's Door

Ahmedabad: The Khan Jahan Darwazas near Jamalpur, built in the 16th century by a Junagadh king, lie forgotten these days both by the authorities as well as the citizens. With encroachments eating away and surrounded by almost 2,000-odd people who are unaware of its history, the darwazas seem to be at death's door. "We've been living here for more than 30 years. When I first came here, there were about 30-odd hutments, now there are more than 250 pukka houses, a few of which have been built on the Sabarmati river bed. Our locality is now known as Khan Jahan Chali," says Fatimabiwi Ismail Mohammad Patel. The Khan Jahan Masjid dates to the early 16th century. Divided into seven bays, it has minarets at extreme ends. A simple pillar pavilion in the open court in front of the mosque is where the grave of Khan Jahan is believed to be situated. Khan Jahan was actually Rai Mandlik, King of Junagadh, who converted after Mahmud Begada took over the kingdom. He is said to have served Begada for some years, but no one in the locality is aware of this. Tabassum Faruq Shaikh, an 18-year-old girl whose house is just outside the outer gate, dries her washed clothes on the metal wires tied to both sides of the gate. Her family has conveniently nailed the wall of the gate for the metal wires and the electricity wires. "We have always been doing this. We don't have an electricity connection so we pull electricity wires from houses across the gate and share the electricity bill," says Tabassum. Seventy-year-old Jalauddin Imuddin Shaikh, a resident of the inner Khan Jahan Darwaza, has set up his biscuit stall here. Part of the age-old monument also serves as one of the walls of Shaikh's house for the past 30 years.

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Ahmedabad Gets Muslim Mayor

Ahmedabad: Corporators of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation created history by electing Congress party's Aneesa Mirza as Mayor. Aneesa, who is in her mid-50s, became the first Muslim woman to become the First Citizen of Ahmedabad, defeating BJP's Bharti Patel in the election. Addressing a press conference, Aneesa said, "I am happy that the Congress has realised that soft Hindutva does not pay dividends. In Gujarat, they tried it and lost. In Himachal Pradesh, they stuck to core Congress values and won." A corporator representing Raikhad since 1987, Mirza was always in the race for the coveted post.

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Fountains Spring to Life after 400 Years

New Delhi: A centuries-old marvel came to life recently. The numerous fountains and water channels in the 16th century Humayun's Tomb now has water flowing in them after 400 years. The gardens have been restored to their pristine and original Mughal glory, thus erasing the colonial character it had wrongly acquired since 1860s. Acquiring contemporary relevance for the parched city, the 30-acre monument complex will house one of the largest rainwater harvesting systems in the entire country. As many as 128 recharge pits and several wells will ensure that each and every drop of rain is directed to the earth and not lost. The fountains and water channels will spring to life. Five ancient wells were discovered while the work was on. They were desilted and now have fresh water flowing in them now. For restoring the gardens of the World Heritage Monument, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) collaborated with the Geneva-based Aga Khan Trust for Culture that gave US $ 6,50,000.

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Shahabuddin Dismisses Islamic Council Statement

New Delhi: Syed Shaha- buddin, MP and convener of the All-India Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Comm- ittee, dismissed the Islamic Council of India, statement saying that the majority of ordinary Muslims have no objection to the construction of a Ram temple on the "undisputed" site in Ayodhya. He said the Council represented just itself. "They certainly do not reflect the opinion of the Muslim community". The Babri Masjid Action Committee does not recognise any distinction between the disputed and undisputed site, Shahabuddin said. "This distinction is false. The 1994 court order speaks of the disputed area and adjoining areas." There are only three organisations that reflect Muslim sentiments on the Ayodhya issue, Shahabuddin added. These are the All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board and the Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee. Those who signed the press release of the Islamic Council of India were Maulana Ghulam Abdul Qadir Alvi, representing the Islamic Council of Uttar Pradesh, Maulana Fazle Haque Qadri of the Islamic Council of Rajasthan, Maulana Osman Ghani of the Islamic Council of Gujarat, Kazi Abdul Hassan Qadri, again from Uttar Pradesh, and Zahid Raza Qadri from the Uttaranchal Islamic Council.

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Aga Khan in India

Mr Khan with President of India

New Delhi: The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims, visited India last fortnight for a six-day official visit to India during which he met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and President Abdul Kalam. The Aga Khan discussed ways to "broaden the framework of activities being undertaken by the Aga Khan Development Network" in India in his meetings with leaders. The Aga Khan Network's agencies work for the improvement of quality of life through rural development,education, healthcare, micro-credit, financial services,humanitarian assistance and the enhancement of non-governmental organisations. Khan said his trust had undertaken various projects in India and adopted 600 villages in Gujarat for their development.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Men, Mission and Machines War & Peace Community Series Profile Investigation Event Diary Muslim Perspective Commentary Children's Corner Narrative Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Reflection Religion The Month Of Rabi-Ul-Awwal Islamic History Women in Islam Islam and Astronomy Living Islam Miscellany Journey To Islam Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

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