Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rajab / Shaban 1423 H
October 2002
Volume 15-10 No:190

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Community Roundup


"Forget the Past, Let's Talk Education!"
Is Yakub Memon Innocent?
Reaching Out-A Distant Dream!
Kamla Das' Poetry in Urdu
Media Myths about Muslims
Forgive and Forget
Charitable Diagnostic Centre opens in Kalyan
Madhya Pradesh Madrasa Board Acquires a New Look
Seminar on the Gujarat Malady
Baakza Travels Offers World-Class Service To Hajj Pilgrims
CBI probe sought in Haj scam
BIFT to set up Islamic Centre
Document on Minorities
Profit for Muslim Co-operative Bank
People


"Forget the Past, Let's Talk Education!"

Are Muslims shifting their focus from emotional issues to the core issues like
education and economic upliftment? Islamic Voice, in collaboration with
TRAC (Trends Research Analysis Center) Mumbai, conducted a survey and discovered
that youngsters resent the priority given by community leaders to emotional issues, over core issues.

By M. Hanif Lakdawala

As the plague of communal hatred ravages Gujarat and threatens other parts of the country, attempts are underway to understand the pathology of this deadly disease. Realising that the Gujarat virus is only part of the problem, social scientists are wondering why Muslims are more susceptible than others.

There are slew of reasons, both external as well as internal, for Muslims being targeted time and again. Here we focus on the internal reasons. It has long been remarked that the Indian Muslim leadership has focused on symbolic religious issues at the cost of the economic interests of most Muslims. All the available data clearly shows that Muslims are far behind others, both in the field of education and economic progress. The pre-requisite for an objective analysis is to abandon the prevailing culture of victim-hood. Instead of asking, “what did we do wrong?” we are asking “who did this to us? Islamic Voice, in collaboration with TRAC (Trends Research Analysis Center) Mumbai, conducted a survey in Mumbai to find out what today’s youth think about the issues facing the community which drags the community down on the socio-economic graph of the country.

According to the survey, 84 per cent of the youth agreed that Muslims as a community have focused on the emotive issues such as Uniform Civil Code, Partition, Personal Law, Babri Masjid, Discrimination, etc, at the cost of core issues such as education, employment, housing, culture, etc. 59 per cent of the respondents opine that during the last two decades Muslims’ twin focus was the Relief work after the riots and preoccupation with the Personal Law issues.

The total respondents of the sample survey was 128, aged 17 to 36 years. It included students, academicians, businessmen, entrepreneurs and unemployed youth. 79 per cent of the respondents were not associated with any of the Muslim/Islamic organisations. Ironically, 93 per cent, of the respondents who belonged to any of these organisations were of the opinion that emotive issues are the real issues and needed priority over the core issues.

Out of the 79 per cent who have no links with Muslim/Islamic organisations, 54 per cent said that they have no intention of joining any of these organisations as they have no interest in emotive issues raised by them and 21 per cent of the respondents kept their option open saying that they may join if these organisations do constructive work related to social, cultural or basic issues of the community. 23 per cent of the respondents said a firm ‘No’ to these bodies as they opine that they prefer joining mainstream organisations who work for the common masses irrespective of the religion, caste or community.The remaining respondents either were associated with non- community organisations or had their own agenda of social work. Out of the 84 per cent respondents, who agreed that the community focus is on emotive issues, an overwhelming 96 per cent feel that focus on emotive issues had an adverse effect on the image of the community in the eyes of other communities. 66 per cent of the total respondents agreed that though Indian Muslims did concentrate on the core education issue, their focus was on higher education and middle class, at the cost of primary education and deprived class. When asked their opinion about the single most important core issue, the outcome was as given below.

Employment and Penetration in the Power Structure:(bureacracy, judiciary, legislation and media):29 Education: 19 Dawah and Communication and Interaction with the non-Muslim Communities:12 Focus on the Deprived Section:9 Promotion of Culture: 8 Housing: 7

So from the survey, it is crystal clear that today’s youth consider core issues as the real issues. They resent the priority given by the community leadership to the emotive issues over the basic day-to-day problems.

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Is Yakub Memon Innocent?

By A Staff Writer

Mumbai:Yakub Memon, younger brother of principal accused Tiger Memon, in the 1993 bomb blasts trial has urged the court to look into his conduct.Yakub said that he had surrendered on his own to the CBI and therefore he was innocent. Yakub, a chartered accountant by profession,is alleged by the CBI that he left the country immediately after the serial bomb blasts. Criminal lawyer Majeed Memon has submitted written arguments on behalf of Yakub. In the written argument, advocate Memon has described the evidence in the 1993 bomb blasts trial as weak and urged the special TADA court to acquit Yakub as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had failed to make a case against him.

Yakub is charged with participating in the conspiracy, financing the operations, arranging air tickets for visits of some accused, to Pakistan for weapons training, purchasing vehicles to make bombs, planting bombs at important locations, using his premises for terrorist acts and asking associates to store arms and ammunition. Memon pleaded to the court that the CBI did not have direct evidence to show that Yakub had financed the terrorist operations. He argued that the CBI had relied upon the statements of co-accused Asgar Yusuf Mukadam and there was no corroborative evidence to suggest that the bomb blasts were financed by Yakub at the instance of Tiger. Although Mukadam told police that he had collected Rs 1 crore from a co-accused, Chokshi and went to Yakub’s house with another accused to deliver the amount, he did not say that the cash was handed over to Yakub personally, Memon argued. Besides, the CBI had not recorded statements of any other accused to corroborate Mukadam’s claim that he had gone to Yakub’s house to deliver the money.

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Reaching Out-A Distant Dream!

Be it in Uttar Pradesh earlier, or in Gujarat now, India's largest party of the Opposition,
the Congress has shown a distinct reluctance to negotiate and reach out to the Muslims

By M. Hanif Lakdawala

Gujarat has been a political laboratory not only for the RSS, but also the Congress  for testing different winning formulas based on religious schisms. Gujarat's political laboratory is also witness to experimentation by the Congress under its PCC chief Shankersinh Vaghela. One of the builders of the RSS in Gujarat, Vaghela and sections of the traditional Congressmen argue that in a state where communal polarisation has taken its ugliest form, no breakthrough could be achieved without winning over the misinformed and misdirected majority. This could be achieved only by creating fissures in the highly polarised masses through saner religious, caste and social leaders. In the ongoing Congress experiments in killing poison with poison, Vaghela has made some strides. He wooed Adhokshanand, Shankaracharya of Puri, to spend his chaturmas in Vasana in Mehsana district. An RSS adversary, his appointment as Shankaracharya has been under legal challenge from the pro-VHP outfits.

Efforts are quietly made to win over the heads of institutions like temples and religious trusts. Many of them have problems with the local VHP leaders. Such schism could be effectively used to get their support. The idea is to burst the myth of equating the Hindutva style Hinduism with the real Hinduism. Vaghela in his speeches, highlights the BJP proposal to set up abattoirs. "The BJP government, which seeks votes in the name of cows, has decided to set up 60,000 abattoirs to slaughter cows and bulls", he says. "If we come to power, we won't allow this." This has spread so much confusion in the BJP ranks that state leaders pushed the Centre for an immediate statement withdrawing the proposal. Even some Congress intellectuals argue that in the exceptional situation in Gujarat, diamond will have to be used to cut diamond. Ideally, the plan is to project the true Hinduism which does not discriminate against those belonging to other religions. The BJP's attempts to polarise the Gujarati voters once again could be because of the threat from Vaghela who is trying to build the new HAMDOST coalition (Harijans, Adivasis, Muslims, Dalits, and other Scheduled Tribes and castes).

This has the potential of uniting three quarters of the total electorate. In fact, it is the same paranoia that led Modi to target the 'Khajurias' (the Khajuraho MLAs who sided with Vaghela) and patronise the 'Hajurias' (the loyalists) within the party. Post-riots, Modi might have polarised the voters of Gujarat. But other than the losses suffered by all communities, the fierce opposition to Modi has the potential to unite the various Congress factions. If these unite under the leadership of Vaghela, the HAMDOST coalition with its potential of uniting three-quarters of the electorate of Gujarat, might prove to be costly for the BJP. Maybe it will not, but one thing is clear: this is what was worrying Modi and his party before the bodies began to pile up. And it must be worrying them even now. Unlike Modi's strategy, the Congress in the '80s under Madhav Sinh Solanki and Jinabhai Darji built its decade-long dominance on the basis of the rainbow KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim) coalition.

The BJP, under Modi, ripped apart this carefully constructed KHAM by targeting Muslims and isolating backwards from the coalition. Now vaghela is experimenting with HAMDOST and trying to pay BJP in the same coin. Ironically all indications so far, however, are that the Opposition is still incoherent in Gujarat. The Congress' silence, its refusal to reach out and take the early initiative, especially in the matter of alliance-making, surely is not a surprise. It is in consonance with the general set-up that has come to be associated with the style and substance of Sonia Gandhi's politics. Be it in Uttar Pradesh earlier, or in Gujarat now, India's largest party of the Opposition has shown a distinct reluctance to negotiate, to accommodate and adjust — the sine qua non of coalitional arrangements.  As sure footedly as the BJP has used alliances with smaller groups to pave its way to power, its main rival has hemmed and hawed and skirted the issue, when not rejecting the possibilities outright. It is admittedly a bit early yet, but it may well be that the strongest opposition to Modi will come from Keshubhai Patel and others like him within his own party, rather than from the Congress.

There are other signs as well that the Congress may not exactly be Modi's worst nightmare. By all accounts, the party's campaign under Shankarsinh Vaghela borrows from that of his rival. There is the same pandering to 'Hindu' sentiment, a similar repressiveness. This unwillingness to align, this purveying of a softer, kinder Hindutva, is a larger portent.

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Kamla Das' Poetry in Urdu

By A Staff Writer

Hyderabad:The treasure of Urdu literature has a new gem added to it recently. It is the well-known Malayalam short-story writer, Kamla Das’ poetry in its Urdu translation. Dr.Mughni Tabassum and Shaharyar’s prestigious journal Shairo-Hikmat, published in Hyderabad, has made it possible to become part of Urdu’s treasure. The first impression which Islam made on Kamla Das now better known as Kamla Suraiyya was bridging the gap between the unhindered expression of private emotion and acceptable level of general morality. She is still opposed to patriarchal canons of values. She has not given up her feminist outlook. The only difference being that she believes that Islam does not stand in the way of women’s emancipation. Kamla Das, India’s most celebrated living English writer, is now more of a poet than a short-story writer. She has three collections of poetry and enjoys the distinction of having been invited to Southban Centre Poetry Festival. Her writings have been translated into French, German, Swedish, Serbian and Croat. She had been short-listed for the Nobel Prize in 1984. The Sahitya Academy has bestowed on her its highest honour. She has stepped into politics and heads a political organisation, Lok Seva Dal.

She recently said that her love for Islam knows no bounds because it was after a prolonged study of world religions that she felt drawn to the simplicity and sublimity of the message of Islam, and her conscience impelled her that she must join a faith which would give her a better understanding of the moral purpose behind the creation of the Universe. So Kamla Das chose to be Kamla Suraiyya.

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Media Myths about Muslims

In a path-breaking workshop, the first of its kind in India,
Bangalore-based journalist M. A. Siraj crystallises 35 popular myths about Muslims

By A Staff Writer

Basheeruddin Babukhan speaking at the Media Workshop in Hyderabad, M A Siraj and M T Khan are seatedHyderabad: “Muslims in India are victims of myths floated and propagated by the media and the fascist forces. The readers, listeners and the viewers of the media take them at face value and begin to believe them. The fact that Muslims are “different” from Hindus is then interpreted as being “bad” and an atmosphere is created where credulous people begin to consider them ‘malcontents’ in a society which is otherwise homogenous, kind and ideal”. This observation was made by Bangalore-based journalist M.A.Siraj while addressing a workshop on “Media Myths about Muslims” here on September 14, at the Babukhan Estate.

The workshop was inaugurated by Khan Lateef Khan, editor Munsiff, Urdu Daily, who said fascist elements were all set to abuse the minds of masses through propagation of certain myths which feed the communal tendencies. Presiding over the inaugural function, Mr K.M.Arifuddin, secretary of the Madina Education Society said, Muslim religious leadership has played a negative role in keeping the Muslims away from education and sciences and technology. Former minister and philanthropist Basheeruddin Babukhan introduced the activities of the Centre. Mr Siraj said he had analysed the role of the media and could crystallise 35 popular myths about Muslims. He elaborated that the fact that Muslims demolished temples during the medieval rule, cannot be denied as the Muslim historians themselves have documented them. But when it is torn out of the context of history, it appears as pure religious bigotry.

Part of the Audience listening at Media WorkshopQuoting from history, he said several Hindu kings looted, desecrated temples and took away the deities of rival Hindu kingdoms as war Trophies. He attributed these to the conventions of war rather than to religious bigotry or deliberate sacrilege. Quoting from chronicles of Aurangzeb’s court, Mr Siraj said how the emperor’s war against Maratha chieftains Shivaji and his son Raja Ram are interpreted to paint Aurangzeb into fanatic colours, ignoring the fact that Shivaji’s grandson was brought up by Aurangzeb as a prince. Mr Siraj said the attempt to show Muslims as a monolithic community too was an effort to frighten Hindus and deny them (Muslims), caste-based reservation. He said Muslims do show caste-like features and deserve reservation on the basis of traditional social and educational backwardness.

Mr Siraj said the myth that Muslims are polygamous is laughable as 1000-935 male:female ratio among Muslims would render half the Muslim males wifeless, if only the other half took two wives each. He said, though it is true that Haj was subsidised and there was also some grain of truth that democracy had not taken roots in most Muslim countries, he said the West and particularly the United States itself was to be blamed for curbing democracy in several Third World nations. He said the US was frightened with the democratic rise of Islam in countries such as Algeria, Turkey and Iran. Mr Siraj exhorted the media-persons to take note of the media myths which were the outcome of either deliberate mischief or innocent misgivings. He said the Muslims too should turn away from the sentimental issues and take to modern education, science and technology and set up modern institutions of empowerment rather than espousing the traditional grievance mindedness. He said, several mercantile Muslim communities present a better and more organised image than the mainstream Muslims by opting for modernisation.

Dr Yousuf Kamal, former professor at the Osmania University in his valedictory address said Muslims of India could play a key role in the modernisation of the Muslims elsewhere as they have access to the best educational system, they live and participate in a democracy and struggle in a competitive atmosphere. He said these three distinguishing characteristics of India were largely attributable to the vision of the fathers of modern India and Muslims must respect these qualities as no Islamic country offered these to them. Among those who spoke during the interaction included Mir Ayoob Ali Khan of Deccan Chronicle, Omar Farooq of The Pioneer, Prof M.S.Hayat of the Ambedkar Open University, Dr. Yusuf Azmi of the International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur, Ms. Afsar Rumaan, a Telugu journalist, Dr Fatimah Shanaz, a columnist from New York and Mr. M.T.Khan of Newstime.

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Forgive and Forget

By Andalib Akhter

New Delhi: Notwithstanding the fact that Dalits and Adivasis joined the attacks against Muslims in Gujarat, they seem to be ready to forget the past and join hands with the Muslims, particularly on the eve of forthcoming assembly elections to defeat the communal and fascist forces in the state.

In fact a ‘Dalit- Muslim Front’ is being launched in the state to thwart the Sangh Parivar design of using the Dalits as fodder in communal riots like in the Gujarat carnage. The Delhi-based Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, the All India Milli Council, a representative body of various Muslim organisations and the All India Confederation of SC/ST organisations, an umbrella organisation of Dalits are the prime movers behind the Front. It will begin as a core group and foster unity between the two at the grassroot level. “Now they are feeling guilty. We discussed with them the problems of our society and the country. They are urging Muslims who fled the village to come back,” said Yasin Ali Usmani, assistant general secretary of the Milli Council. “Dalits must realise that it is not the Muslims or Christians who made them untouchables, poor and landless”, says Udit Raj, the chairman of the SC/ST Confederation.

Udit Raj and Jamiat Ulama- e- Hind general secretary, Maulana Mahmood Madni also visited the state several times in the wake of the riots. Madani says the idea is to foster unity at the grass-root and middle-level between Muslims and the Dalits instead of forging an alliance among the leaders. The move is aimed at blunting divisive politics, besides addressing the basic issues of unemployment, health and education. Raj and Madani also jointly organised a conference here on September 15 to work out the strategy for a movement. Coming down heavily on VHP chief Ashok Singhal, Madani said Singhal is an ISI agent. He is a traitor. “He is making all this statements to hide his ISI links”. Singhal was quoted as having said in Amritsar recently that Gujarat was a “successful experiment”. “Godra happened on February 27 and the next day 50 lakh Hindus were on the streets. We were successful in our experiment of raising Hindu consciousness which will be repeated all over the country now,” Singhal said.

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Charitable Diagnostic Centre opens in Kalyan

Busy in Diagnostic CentreKalyan: It has come as a boon to the citizens of Kalyan city! On September 1, 2002, the Falah-e-Aam Trust’s Charitable Diagnostic Centre, located in Ghas Bazaar area of Kalyan was inaugurated by well known philanthropist, Dr.Sumar, Vice-President of the Muslim Ambulance Society (Mumbai).The brand new laboratory managed by experienced and qualified technicians, has been set up in collaboration with one of the most reputed Diagnostic Centres of Mumbai, “The Muslim Ambulance Society.” It offers variety of services in Clinical-Pathology, Histo-Pathology, Radiology and Dialysis at down-to-earth and most affordable charges to the general public. The Centre is open to people of all communities without any discrimination. The General Secretary of the Trust, Moin Don

assured the gathering of over 400 distinguished guests that, “consistently providing quality service at most affordable rates to the public in this inflationary era is the sole motto of this centre.” The patients are expected to save up to 50 per cent of their money, on various tests like MRI and CT-Scan and Dialysis.

For further details, please contact: F.A.T Diagnostic Centre, Amin Apartment, Ghas Bazaar, Kalyan (West),     Tel: 205358 between 8.30 am to 8.30 pm.

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Madhya Pradesh Madrasa Board
Acquires a New Look

By S. Niazi

Bhopal: “India has always been a tolerant country and the communal violence in Gujarat has been disgraceful for a country that always took pride in its rich heritage and history of communal amity,” said Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijay Singh while setting up the foundation stone of the new building of the Madhya Pradesh Madrasa Board. He said that the State government would provide free land and funds of Rs one crore to the Gharib Nawaz Foundation for promoting excellence in the field of education among the Muslims. Singh reiterated that those who made allegations against madrasas should know it well that those arrested for running ISI activities in Jabalpur and Gwalior region of the state were not Muslims.

Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Madrasa Board, Prof. Haleem Khan confirmed that the Board would introduce a two and half-year diploma course in Unani system of medicine for Maulvis from the next academic session. The Board’s academic activities have intensified the modernisation of Madrasa education in the state. So far, 3400 Madrasas have been registered and the remaining 2600 would be registered by next year.

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Seminar on the Gujarat Malady

New Delhi: The Minorities Council and the IOS Committee on Human Rights organised a seminar on “The Gujarat Malady: Prevention & Cure” last month at the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi to focus attention on the fact that while The Gujarat Carnage is unique, in the most blatant abuse of state machinery for organised violence against the Muslim minority, it is not a one-time phenomenon. A questionaire was sent to the invitees so that issues relevant to the diagnosis of the malady and cures suggested by commissions and committees — official as well as NGO/voluntary groups could be clearly identified. These questions related to the absence of laws like those on the crime of genocide and on the rights of victims of riots, and laws which were impotent and inefficacious like the Commission of Inquiry Act. In his welcome address, Dr. M. Manzoor Alam pointed out the need for reforming the laws and law enforcement system so that firm institutional mechanism of protection of vulnerable minorities could be ensured. In the theme paper, Prof. Iqbal A. Ansari, convener of the seminar identified the germ of the malady in the persistent poisoning of the hearts and minds of a section of the majority community against Muslims who are demonised by the Sangh Parivar in the pursuit of its agenda of hate and revenge.

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Baakza Travels Offers
World-Class Service To Hajj Pilgrims

Bangalore: Manasek (PJSC)-UAE, a 100 million Dirham public joint stock company of UAE and one of the largest Haj and Umrah tour operators in the world with its network of 17 global partners across the world has now extended its services in India by appointing Baakza Travels and Tours as their representative in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Manasek (PJSC) is committed to conducting tours, adhering strictly to Islamic norms. It has its exclusive 3-star and 4-star hotels in Makkah. The office in Bangalore was inaugurated on September 6. Aman Travels and Tours, Bangalore.Ph: 080 - 2868229/2868230 Website: www.manasekuae.com

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CBI probe sought in Haj scam

By Andalib Akhter

Air India hikes up the Haj air fares and then demands subsidy from the Government.
A PIL in Delhi High Court exposes the scam, like proportions of the CHS opperation.

New Delhi: At a time when a serious debate is going on within the community over the issue of Haj subsidy to the pilgrims, a big scam in the affairs of Haj has come to light recently. Kul-Hind Tanzeem Khuddamul Hujaj, a Delhi-based organisation of Muslims engaged in providing guidance and training to Haj pilgrims, has come out with substantial evidence of misappropriation of funds by the Government agencies, the Central Haj Committee (CHC) and State Haj Committees in the name of Haj. The Tanzeem, has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Delhi High Court against the chairman of Central Haj Committee and has demanded a CBI inquiry into the whole affair. The case is before the division bench of justice Anil Dev Singh and Justice Mukul Mudgal. The petition filed by Mohammad Yunus, the general secretary of the organisation, alleges that, ‘as per the evidence available, more than Rs.111 crore have been siphoned off by the Central Haj Committee in the year 2001-2002 alone’. It said that the benefit of approximately Rs.150 crore subsidy provided by the government has not reached the ultimate beneficiaries.

The CHC is a 16 member statutory body which looks after the travel and accommodation arrangements for Haj pilgrims. Its chairman Tanveer Ahmad is an active member of the ruling BJP. Talking to this correspondent, the petitioner, Yunus said, “ a return ticket to Jeddah costs Rs. 21,000. But the civil aviation ministry which booked the Hajis on Air India charged them Rs 32,606, of this Rs. 20,606 comes from the Haj subsidy the government provides. The ministry thus made a neat Rs. 33 crore on 70,236 tickets issued last year”. Showing a copy of the IATA approved travel agent for the return air fare from New Delhi to Jeddah, Yunus said as today, air ticket to and from Jeddah is Rs.20,500 which is likely to be enhanced artificially around 28,000 during the Haj season. Even then the cost is not Rs. 32,606 as claimed by the civil aviation ministry. The airfare of Rs.27,800 during the Haj is also an administered rate as in the Haj season, Air India and Saudi Airlines enhanced airfare with the malafide intention in connivance with the Committee. The PIL alleges that the Haj committee also made Rs 28 crore on the foreign exchange it gives to pilgrims. “Each pilgrim is allowed 5000 riyals for miscellaneous expenses. The committee made them pay Rs 13.30 per SR when prevalent exchange rate was 12.50. In the bargain, each Haji paid extra Rs 4,000. The Hajis who visited Madinah after Haj have to pay SR-60 less. The PIL also alleges discrepancies in hiring of accommodation in Makkah –it says the first class buildings for the accommodation of the Hajis in Makkah are easily available for SR 1700, but the committee hired these accommodations for SR 2100. Similarly in Madinah, SR 50-100 for hiring the building are shown to have been paid in excess and misappropriated. The Tanzeem, has also written a letter to the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then foreign minister Jaswant Singh and Omar Abdullah about these glaring instances of corruption. “The only response we received was a letter from the ministry of external affairs saying, “your letter is being forwarded to the Haj Committee for examination and reply”.

The petitioner advocate Rana Parween Siddiqui says a whopping Rs. 145 crore in a year doled out by the government for the benefit of the poor Haj pilgrims is in fact devoured by the persons sitting at the helm of the Committee. “This is a much bigger scam than the many much publicised scams which came to light,” she said adding that a CBI inquiry is must to unearth the scam and other misdeeds of CHC. Meanwhile, minister for civil aviation Syed Shahnawaz Hussain denies any discrepancies on the part of his ministry.About the airfare he said no Haji could complain since he is paying only, 12000, the rest comes from government subsidy. “If the government money goes to the government, they should not make a furore over it”, he said. The division bench after hearing the parties at length has issued the notice to the government, central and state Haj committees and fixed the case for hearing on November 1, 2002.

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BIFT to set up Islamic Centre

Bangalore: The Bangalore Islamic Foundation Trust (BIFT), set up recently by a group of Muslim intellectuals in the city proposes to launch a Model Islamic Information Centre soon. “While the mosques and Madrasas serve the intra-community needs of the Muslims, in today’s plural society, it is very crucial to establish institutions that can serve as an interface between the communities and help in presenting Islam in the right perspective,’ says Dr. Belgami Mohd Saad, an active member of the Trust. While Islamic literature is available in plenty, the presentation in Indian languages is yet to reach the level of excellence.

The Islamic Information Centre would have courses on Islam for various sections of the society, dawah activities, promotion of communal harmony, human rights and nurturing better understanding between different faiths. While women’s issues would get due attention, the Centre would also strive towards inculcating media related skills among its members too. Moulana Salman Nadvi, of Nadwa in Lucknow has made a fervent appeal to establish Islamic Centres in all the cosmopolitan cities in India. On a recent visit to the city, he addressed a select gathering of Ulema and intellectuals wherein, he highlighted the response of the Muslim community to the turn of events nationally and internationally.

Referring to the dynamism of the early Islamic period, he cited various examples from history to show that Muslims have always had a positive attitude when it came to adopting the good aspects of alien cultures and lands. Moulana felt sorry at the poor state of the Red Crescent, in contrast to the Red Cross and urged that Muslims should excel in service towards the humanity. He stressed on the need to set up Counselling Centres, Women’s Groups and Human Rights Organisations by Muslims. The BIFT invites support from the community members.

For further details,contact:
Dr.BelgamiMohd Saad : 98440-65137
Dr. Mateen M. T : 98450-23923 and
Akmal Razvi : 98450-49766

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Document on Minorities

By A.B.Masoud

New Delhi : The third volume of Readings on Minorities-Perspectives and Documents was released here by former Chief Justice of India, Justice A.M.Ahmadi. The volume on Languages, Education and Cultural deals exclusively with Minority rights to language, education and culture bringing together papers on the subject by renowned experts and International and National documents from 1960 to 2001. The present volume brings under critical scrutiny the process of the framing of the Indian Constitutional provisions on language, script, culture and education pointing out how they need to be in conformity with international standards. While commenting on the new volume, Soli.J.Sorbajee said, “Multi-culturalism is the hallmark of our times, celebrating diversity as a source of stability”.

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Profit for Muslim Co-operative Bank

Mysore: The Muslim Cooperative Bank here has registered a profit of Rs 64.20 lakh. This has been revealed in the Bank’s report for the 87th year since its foundation. Shoukath Pasha, Chairman of the Bank said the Bank had 8053 shareholders who had invested a share capital of Rs 89.22 lakh while the Bank had other reserve funds of Rs. 144.58 lakh. He said the deposits with the Bank had grown upto Rs 1696.93 lakh and they were insured by the Deposits Insurance Corporation of India. The Bank lent Rs 985.49 lakh during the last financial year. He said the Bank’s profits had improved despite adverse circumstances for investment and decline in the interest rate. He said the Bank focused itself on lending to economically weaker sections which claimed 80 per cent of its lendings.

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People

AWARDED

Saiyid Hamid was conferred the Al-Ameen Community Leadership award, 2002 by the Al-Ameen Educational Society. Hamid is the Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi. The award was given for his service towards the educational upliftment of Minorities.

ELECTED

Sameera T Ahmed was elected first woman President of the Association of Muslim Researchers (AMR) in the United Kingdom. AMR is a Muslim charity organisation. Sameera is completing her Ph.D in Media Studies at the University of Leicester. AMR was set up in 1989.

OBITUARY

New Delhi: Ahmad Muazzam, prominent journalist, former Editor of Leftist Urdu spokesman Hayat passed away on September 7 at the age of 75. Muazzam was a Leftist ideologue, but gave up Leftist affiliation around the end of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the late 80s. From thereon he took deep interest in the study of Islam and engaged himself in writing on topics that bordered on Islam,Leftist ideology and Muslims in Central Asia etc. For a long time, he worked for the Soviet Information Services in Delhi and built up contacts within the core of the Politburo of the erstwhile USSR. Hailing from Hyderabad, he was also associated with the Telengana movement for sometime. His transition from Leftist to Islam was sudden and complete.

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