Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

August 2009
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Community Round Up

Gujarat government's new communal agenda
In a surreptitious and secret move, the Government of Gujarat through its Legal Department has issued a notification (No. K/8/2009/COI/102009/33/A) appointing a Commission of Inquiry to inquire and report into the “polarization of population on the basis of religion taking place in the State of Gujarat” and “the migration of the people following different religions taking place every 10 years after 15th August 1947”.

According to the Gujarat Government, this Commission is being instituted because of “allegations which have been made in the courts as well as in the media against the State Government” that the population of Gujarat is polarized on the basis of religion.

The very nature and tone of this so-called Commission of Inquiry is bound to target the minorities of the State and add to the already existing fear among these groups. Further, it is bound to polarize even more and make the minorities sitting ducks (because of minority mapping) for the hate propaganda and violence by right wing Hindu groups who have the patronage of the State Government as is evident when the Christians were attacked in 1998-99 and the Muslims in 2001.
Tayeb Ali died during interrogation
New Delhi:
It was July 25, 1999 when poor Tayeb Ali, a tailor and salesman, was on his way to work in Imphal. He was intercepted and whisked away by some security personnel. He was taken to Kangla, the then battalion headquarters of 17 Assam Rifles. During interrogation he succumbed to torture, but to save the security men an encounter was staged. Full 10 years after the incident, the top investigating agency of the country, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has identified the culprits. Last month, the agency filed a charge-sheet against 5 personnel of 17 Assam Rifles and the Assistant commandant of 2 IRB (India Reserve Battalion) for the abduction and murder of Tayeb Ali and destroying relevant evidence on July 25. This is the first time in Manipur that CBI has filed charge-sheet against armed forces, says a report in The Hindu.

The accused are P S Banafar, the then Captain, Ashish Chand, the then Captain, Babulal Pradhan, the then Havildar, Ashok Kumar Singha, the then Havildar, Laxman Singh, the then Rifleman , all of 17 Assam Rifles and Abdul Latif, the then station house officer (SHO) of Kangpokpi police station and now Assistant Commandant, 2 IRB. The CBI has found that Abdul Latif who was the then SHO did not make proper inquiry into the case, rather destroyed vital evidence. The CBI found that Tayeb Ali got three bullet injuries fired from a distance of 3 to 5 ft. Prosecution sanction for Abdul Latif has been obtained whereas those of the Assam Rifles personnel are awaited. (
First woman MPSC of Malegaon
Bibi Fatema alias Bushra Ansari was aware of the fact that after MBBS once she completes DCH, the post graduation course, the tag of First Lady Pediatrician of Malegaon would remain to her credit for ever. But a person of great talent and courage, she had an even bigger plan. It was the coveted civil services she was eying for. Hence while doing DCH she decided to appear for the MPSC exams, the civil services tests for Maharashtra cadres. Owing to the euphoria that normally surrounds these exams however she was so uncertain of clearing in her first attempt that she did not even take any care to open the envelope containing the MPSC results the postman had dropped in her house. The envelop remained lying as it is for weeks when suddenly she received a phone call.

Bushra! Congratulations! You have done it! It was her friend who was disclosing Bibi Fatema's MPSC results to her. After receiving the tag of being the First Lady Pediatrician of Malegaon, Dr. Bibi Fatema was now the First Lady MPSC of the town.

Bibi Fatema's desire since childhood to become a doctor was perhaps influenced by her father who was also a doctor. She attained her primary education from a corporation school.Once she was at Swes High School, one among the top notch schools in Malegaon there was absolutely no looking back. And when the SSC board announced its results in 1997 she was on top in the list of girls in Nasik Division and at the 6th position in all Maharashtra merit list. Her results guaranteed her the first position in the list of the students who were selected for the National Merit Scholarship in 1997.
Two years down the line, Bibi Fatema repeated her success when results of the HSC exams were declared in 1999. Besides scoring a scintillating 87% aggregate marks, she grabbed one more gold medal, this time scoring the highest marks in the Arabic language. Though her HSC result was more than enough to guarantee her a seat in any medical college, she needed to clear the Common Entrance Test (CET), introduced first time in Maharashtra, to get the admission.

The stage was now set for her to complete MBBS. After completing MBBS from Pravra Education Society's medical college near Ahmednagar, she took admission at JJ Medical College in Mumbai to finish DCH. It was during this period that she decided to give MPSC exams a chance. While doing DCH, she simultaneously prepared herself for the MPSC and finally appeared in the exams.
The First Lady Pediatrician and First Lady MPSC of Malegaon, Dr. Bibi Fatema has now been appointed as Medical Officer at Malegaon General Hospital that was recently inaugurated by UPA Chairperson and Congress President, Sonia Gandhi.

“I would have opted for an even bigger town or a metro. But I chose Malegaon because I want to work for the deprived and poor people of my town”, asserts Dr. Bibi Fatema.
(Reported by Aleem Faizee,
A door opens for Muslim girls
Nadwa-tul-Ulema, one of India's oldest seats of Islamic learning, has opened its doors to women for being trained to become muftis or jurists.

Nadwa registrar Mohammad Haroon confirmed that 12 Muslim girls had enrolled in the course, called fazeelat, at different madarsas at Rae Bareli, Azamgarh and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
“On completion of fazeelat, these girls would be eligible for a one-year course of iftah, following which they would get the degree of mufti,” said Haroon.

Women till now were not permitted to pursue fazeelat, which is a pre-requisite to complete the iftah course for becoming muftis.

Islamic scholars said the move would go a long way in the emancipation of Muslim women. Maulvis have traditionally enjoyed a monopoly over the right to issue fatwas, or religious decrees, which were often aimed at curbing women's rights. All this could change once women become muftis and earn the right to issue their own fatwas.

“We welcome this as Muslim women will now have a level playing field to defend their rights,” said Shaista Amber, chairperson of the All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board.

“Who understands the problems of a woman except another woman?” she added, saying when women become muftis, they would be guided by women's interests while issuing fatwas.

Hizbur Rahman, a senior cleric and teacher at the Nadwa, said a separate building inside the male-dominated institute would be earmarked for holding the classes for women. “The teachers, obviously male ones, would teach them from outside the purdah — the space would be divided by a curtain between the girl students and the teacher,” he said.

Haj passports without police verification
New Delhi :
The government has decided to waive police verification of the intending Haj pilgrims so that the issuance of temporary passports becomes less time consuming. The decision was taken after two high-level meetings in the light of the Saudi government's decision that Haj visas will be issued on international passports only. "In order to facilitate the availability of international passport to pilgrims, the passports will be issued for eight months without a police verification," Ahmad Hasan, vice-chairman of the Haj Committee of India, said at the annual Haj Conference here. Hasan said these passports will be issued within 15 days. He said the Haj passports will have a validity of eight months and those pilgrims who would like to convert these into permanent passports will have to go through police verification later.
Scrap Haj delegation: Owaisi
New Delhi:
The All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslemin representative in the Lok Sabha, Asaduddin Owaisi has asked the government to scrap the practice of sending Haj delegation on government expenditure. He said that a sum of Rs.6 crore has been given for Haj delegation and it is a 'criminal waste'. Owaisi said that the amount spent on the Haj delegation should be transferred to Muslim girls' scholarship scheme.

“If you want to send your party people or any party people, let them go on their own fund. Transfer this amount of Rs.6 crore to girls' scholarship scheme”, he said vociferously. “You might be having political orphans but for God's sake why do you want to use that fare money? Give it to those poor Muslim girls or minority girls who will be very well benefited” he contended.He said that the Government of India can be represented in the Haj Committee in Saudi Arabia by the Ambassador and by the Consulate.
Book on Muslim culture in Hindi cinema
New Delhi :
A book on the depiction of Muslim culture in Hindi cinema from the 1930s, co-authored by an Indian professor and the head of cinema studies at New York University, was released here last month.
The "Islamicate Cultures of Bombay Cinema," was written over a period of almost two years by Ira Bhaskar, an associate professor of cinema studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Richard Allen, chair of Cinema Studies at New York University.

The films have been classified into four categories: historicals (now popularly called costume dramas) like "Mughal-e-Azam", courtesan films like "Umrao Jaan", socials like "Chaudhvin Ka Chand" and social new wave films like "Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro".

The book deals in detail with 16 films, among them "Pukar" (1939), "Jodhaa Akbar", "Pakeezah", "Najma" (1943), "Mere Mehboob" and "Garam Hawa".
70,000 drug addicts in Kashmir
“There are about 70,000 drug addicts comprising 26 per cent women,” said a survey recently conducted by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme. The survey said educational institutions had become the hub of such activities. “The drug peddlers run their operations by poisoning the thoughts of student community. It includes Ganja, Heroin, Cocaine, LSD, and injecting morphine and drinking alcohol,” the report added.“Students are using drugs to improve studying abilities, enhancing memory power and solving personal problems without caring for the consequences and thus becoming hard core drug addicts.”

“Students from class 9th to 12 become the victims of smoking and memory-enhancing pills, under the pressure and stress of examination,” the study revealed.

According to the people of the Valley, the drugs can be had from anywhere as some anti-social elements with the help of influential persons were running the business openly without the fear of police and administration.

Talking to Agence India Press, Mohammad Abrar Shah said people from different areas were coming to the Jhelum bund to purchase the drugs which are available freely.

(Reported by Majid Kapra, Agence India Press)
Syed Abdullah Bukhari: The legend of Jama Masjid
New Delhi:
Syed Abdullah Bukhari, the grand old Shahi Imam of Delhi's historic Jama Masjid passed away last month. He was 87 years old. The elderly Bukhari, who anointed his son Syed Ahmed Bukhari as the Shahi Imam in 2000, but continued to retain the title, breathed his last at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where he had been admitted since June 9 following breathing problems. Bukhari, was named the Naib Shahi Imam in 1946, a year before India's independence.

Belonging to a family originally hailing from Central Asia, the Bukharis were invited to Delhi by Mughal emperors to preside over the Jama Masjid.

Abdullah Bukhari, born in Rajasthan and educated in Delhi, was the 12th Shahi Imam.

The image he earned in later years as an aggressive Muslim leader often clouded the difficult role he played before and during August 1947 when he persuaded scores of Indian Muslims not to migrate to Pakistan.

During those troubled days, thousands of Delhi's Muslims, forced out of their homes by mobs, took shelter in the premises of the red-stone mosque under his care. Bukhari provided them food, clothes and medicines.

He took to the streets following communal violence in Delhi's Kishanganj area in 1974, leading to his imprisonment for 18 days in early 1975. He rose to national prominence in March 1977 when he joined national politicians in mobilising people to vote out the Congress government of Indira Gandhi, accusing it of displacing the poor from their homes and forcing their men folk to undergo vasectomy.

The senior Bukhari also played an active role in support of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, but his appeal started to wane after mobs destroyed the mosque in 1992.

As the years rolled by, he became reclusive, meeting only the family and close friends. He could often be seen resting in the mosque complex, surrounded by ducks and children.

Round Table on Muslim Development Agenda
New Delhi:
The Ranganath Misra Commission Report must be tabled in the Parliament without any further delay, the Presidential Order of 1950 should be amended to include Dalit Muslims in the list of Scheduled Castes, and a fund of Rs 25,000 crore should be allocated in the annual budget for the community, demanded Muslim MPs, intellectuals and bureaucrats in a round table conference in New Delhi last month. The conference titled, “Round Table on Muslim Development Agenda,” was jointly organised by National Economic Forum for Muslims (NEFM), Jamaat-e-Islami Hindi and Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind at India International Centre in New Delhi.
“Terrorists may have been Muslims. But all Muslims are not terrorists”: Mumbai High Court
An intervention application filed by a bunch of organisations—Jamaat-e-Islami-e-Hind, Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai, Aman Committee and the Maharashtra Muslim Lawyers Forum said that the banned book, ‘Islam—A Concept of Political World Invasion by Muslims', was a polemic intended to hold the ideology of Islam in contempt and create hatred towards Muslims.

“Terrorists may have been Muslims, but all Muslims are not terrorists,'' Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud, who was part of the full bench of Mumbai high court, made the remark during the hearing of a petition challenging the ban on the book authored by a city lawyer. The bench included Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R S Mohite. “The book selectively picks and chooses verses from the Quran out of context and advances a dubious theory that Islam preaches violence and hatred towards non-Muslims,'' said advocate Yusuf Muchchala, counsel for the organisations.