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November 2008
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Community Round Up

AlKauthar Institute launches short term courses in Islam
By A Staff writer
AlKauthar Institute founded by Australia based Mercy Mission in 2006 has launched a short term courses leading to degree programme in keeping with standards and credit hours to be equivalent to a BA in Islamic studies. AlKauthar Institute has taken conventional Madrasa education to another level by offering knowledge of Islam in small packages using latest technology for communication that can be done over a weekend.

“Structured courses will be conducted in a professional learning environment by highly qualified instructors using information technology to communicate with students,” said Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury, director of Alkauthar Institute that is registered in Australia and the UK. These courses are conducted over a period of 16 hours in two days and have “credit” value in Australian Universities. Students can take the courses and gain credit points in a degree or diploma course of the University, he said. But they have not yet been able to make any arrangement with Indian Universities, Chowdhury said.

“Traditional institutes do not equip students with tools to convey the principles of Islam in the 21st century,” said Chowdhury adding, “We have identified numerous challenges facing Muslims trying to learn about Islam and developed specific and unique solutions for them.” To deal with issues like lack of modernity by traditional scholars, Alkauthar uses technology. “All our faculties have classical training in Islam as well as a secular Western education background or have lived in the West. In fact, it is a prerequisite,” said Chowdhury.
Jodhpur Muslims show Solidarity
The Muslim community in Jodhpur  collectively decided to hold  sober Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations as a show of solidarity with victims of the Chamunda Devi temple stampede.  The community was among the first to organise relief operations at the Meherangadh Fort  and has donated Rs 1 lakh to a relief fund  and also began blood donation drives.  The show of solidarity began  when Muslim youth went around the city putting up posters requesting the community to only offer namaz on Eid day and not celebrate the festivsl with the usual pomp.“This stampede is probably the worst such tragedy in Jodhpur ever. How can we celebrate after such a tragedy?” said Ateeq Ahmed, Chairman of the Marwar Educational Society and a social activist. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s state president Salim Engineer said they  requested Muslims across the state to celebrate a muted Eid as a show of solidarity with the families mourning the loss of their loved ones. The efforts of the Muslim community have not gone unnoticed. Sunil Rajoria, a resident of the Kallal Colony, which lost 10 men to the stampede, said: “We have always lived as one here and Muslims were among the first to rush to hospitals to donate blood and help with the rescue effort”.
Homelessness hits students in Jamia Nagar
New Delhi :
Fear continues to strike roots in Delhi ‘s Muslim majority  Jamia Nagar. Landlords fearful of being linked to the bombings in  Delhi are refusing to rent out homes to single men. And students  coming back after Eid holidays are finding they have no place to stay  in. Days after the Sep 19 shoot-out that left two suspected terrorists and  a police officer dead with police claiming they have unravelled the conspiracy behind the Sep 13 serial blasts, students living in rented  accommodation in and around Jamia Nagar were asked to vacate their rooms by their mostly Muslim landlords. At the time, they had no option but to go back to their hometowns. But  as the students begin to return after Eid, they say they are still desperately trying to seek accommodation in the Okhla area of the capital that includes Jamia Nagar. “In my three years in Delhi I have never felt so helpless. Nobody is  ready to rent out a room to me. I am not a criminal or a terrorist.  Then why am I facing this problem?” asked an angry Wamiq Ali Khan, a student pursuing his final year in business administration in the  Western International University in Lajpat Nagar. Wamiq is now staying with his relative and has to traverse a huge distance to attend class.

It is not just students who have had to run from pillar to post chasing accommodation. Even young, unmarried  professionals face the same problem in Jamia Nagar. Arshad Alam, a member of Jamia Teachers Solidarity group, said the problem was acute. “We have received complaints from some students that they have been asked to vacate rooms. This is a serious matter. If this trend continues even after the return of students from holidays, it will  hamper their studies.”
Hindu police inspector restores mosque
By Mohammed Siddique
Hyderabad :
At a time when a gulf is widening between the police force and the minorities in India and a wall of distrust is coming up, a police inspector in Hyderabad has set a shining example of Hindu-Muslim amity and commitment to duty. Sri Hari, a police officer of rank of inspector and a resident of communally sensitive old city of Hyderabad has gone out of the way to help the Muslim community in the restoration of an old mosque which was lying locked and unused for the last 18 years. “Masjid-e-Kambal Posh”, a 400 - year old mosque, located in the Gowlipura area of old city, was closed down during the communal riots of 1990 as all the Muslim families in the vicinity of the mosque were forced to migrate from the Hindu majority locality in an atmosphere of terror. Since then the key of the mosque was with the inspector Sri Hari whose house is located close to the mosque. Sri Hari, who is now happy to handover the keys of the mosque to a group of Muslims after helping in its repair, renovation and reopening, said, “I had come under pressure from the local people to not to protect the mosque but I never relented. I thought it was my duty to look after the mosque”. So serious was Sri Hari in this matter that he did not allow the neighboring Hindu families to open their doors or windows in the direction of the mosque. When a wall of the mosque fell down due to the rains, it was Sri Hari who got it rebuilt. “In my absence my mother used to protect the mosque”, says the inspector with a sense of pride. Sri Hari, who is now working in the anti -water theft cell served as police inspector in several sensitive areas like Golkonda, Bahadurpura and Asingar in the past. Due to his efforts the closed mosque was cleaned, its electricity connection was restored, and a fresh coat of paint was given to it. The mosque also had an open well from where the residents of the locality used to draw the water in the past. The well has been cleaned once again and the newly constituted organizing committee has announced that the people of all the communities can draw  water from the well. There is a shrine of a saint in the compound of the mosque and the members of Hindu community used to visit it in the past. The committee said that they were free to come and pay their respects at the shrine once again. After the reopening of the mosque, Muslims are now regularly offering the Namaz five times a day. More than 200 people had died in the 1990 riots in Hyderabad and the victims included the members of both the communities. While Muslims were forced to migrate from the Hindu majority areas of the old city, Hindus were also forced to leave their homes from the Muslim dominated areas. (Two
No illegal Bangladeshis in Assam : Tarun Gogoi
New Delhi :
There are no illegal Bangladeshi nationals staying in  Assam, stated Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently, attributing the recent violence in his state to the handiwork of “devious elements”.  ”There are no illegal Bangladeshis in Assam . Who says they are killing the tribals?”  said Gogoi
Gogoi claimed there was a conspiracy by vested interests to malign his state’s image by claiming that illegal Bangladeshis were behind the recent ethnic violence in the north-eastern state. “Violence in Udalguri and Darrang was the handiwork of devious elements,” the chief minister said.  At least 55 people were killed and over 200,000 displaced following ethnic violence in the northern Assam districts of Udalguri and Darrang. The violence has been attributed to clashes between illegal Bangladeshi migrants and ethnic tribal Bodos.
Muslim woman donates 5 acre land for Urdu University
A Muslim woman politician from Maharashtra has donated five acres of land in the historic city of Aurangabad to the Hyderabad  based Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) for setting up a university campus there. Fauzia Tehseen, Member of Legislative Council of Maharashtra announced   the donation during a visit to MANUU in Hyderabad on the  invitation of the university management.  Chancellor of MANUU, Prof K R Iqbal Ahmad said that the proposed campus at Aurangabad will have courses like B.Ed., Polytechnic and an Urdu model school.
Maharashtra Police meet Muslim Representatives
Facing much criticism following the communal riots last month, the  Maharashtra Police convened a state-level meeting with prominent members of the Muslim community and representatives from riot-affected minority pockets.The agenda of the meeting was to work out ways to check alienation of the Muslim community and prevent communal flare-ups in future. Immediately after the Malegaon riots, areas like Dhule, Thane and Shirud and villages in their vicinity saw communal flare-ups. Such a meeting with the police was taking place after the 1993 riots though it was for the first time that something on this scale and at the state-level was happening. Police had called representatives of the Muslim community to understand their grievances and ensure that all channels of communication were open. Police tried to build up  confidence and provided a platform where Muslims from riot affected areas can directly communicate with the top echelons of the police force.
 Representatives from various districts, including Aurangabad, Latur, Dhule, Nandurbar, were present in the meeting. Issues like “lack of immediate policing that could have otherwise prevented the riots”, “inaction of the police machinery in registering FIRs”, “inadvertent acts of omission and commission by the police officials” in the riot-affected areas were placed in the meeting by the members of the community.

Nanotechnology Dept at AMU
Aligarh, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India has sanctioned Rs.2.74 crore as financial assistance for  M.Tech in Nanotechnology at Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology under the Aligarh Muslim University.

Professor S. Alim Husain Naqvi, Programme Coordinator of Nanotechnology said that the Ministry of Science and Technology has approved fellowship to 15 students and grant for equipment.
Prof. Naqvi appreciated the initiatives of AMU Vice Chancellor, professor P K Abdul Aziz who has taken interest in this new emerging discipline in AMU.

 The Council of Science and Technology, Uttar Pradesh has also approved the proposal for establishment of Center of Excellence in Material Science (Nanomaterials) at the Aligarh Muslim University.

The University Grants Commission has already sanctioned a grant of Rs. 50 lakh for Advanced Post Graduate Diploma in Nanotechnology at Aligarh Muslim University.
Biased terror probe will increase terrorism: Prashant Bhushan
New Delhi:
For every terror attack and blast in the country, Muslims are accused and arrested while in several blasts which had signature of Bajrang Dal, no serious probe was made. This biased terror probe will push a section of the minority community to terrorism, said eminent Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan. In several bomb blasts in the country – Mehrauli, Kanpur, Maharashtra and Gujarat – there were clear signature of Bajrang Dal’s bomb making factories, yet the organization or its members were not touched. But for every blast wherever it occurs, at mandir or masjid, Muslims have been accused and arrested. This biased investigation by intelligence agencies into terror attacks will push some people from the affected community towards terrorism, and this will be a disaster for the country, said Bhushan. He was addressing a symposium on “Campaign Against Fascist Designs” by Jan Hastakshep, a human rights organization. What is happening to Muslims today is the third stage of the planned attack on Muslims by Hindutva forces. The first stage was the movement to demolish Babri Masjid, its demolition and consequent nationwide riots and the second stage was Gujarat 2002 pogrom, said the lawyer.

He said since Narendra Modi has been appointed BJP’s campaign in-charge for the coming Lok Sabha election, there has been rise in attacks on Muslims. Prashant was among the first to visit Batla House area after the encounter. He led a team of social workers and human rights activists to know the truth.He said the two youth killed in the Jamia Nagar encounter on September 19 were innocent. He lambasted the police story about the slain suspected terrorists.The police said when they entered the building they had no clue there may be terrorists. But within half an hour after the encounter, the police put before the media the detailed story of how Atif and Sajid planted bombs in Delhi and that Atif was mastermind of all blasts in the country and he was chief of Indian Mujahideen. This police story itself has put the police in the dock, the lawyer and human rights activist said.

He, however, admitted that there may be some Muslim terrorists in the country. And this is possible after what happened in Gujarat in 2002. But surely they are not behind every bombing in the country, he said. He expressed concern over the fact that the police administration is communally poisoned. Irrespective of which party rules – BJP, BSP, SP or Congress – the police are biased against Muslims. Coming down heavily on  the Gujarat government, he said that Gujarat seems to be out of the range of the Indian Constitution. It has become a communal fascist state where Muslims cannot expect justice even from the judiciary, he said.
Muslim politicians in Maharashtra resign
A number of Muslim politicians have resigned from their elected positions following a series of anti-Muslim violence in Maharashtra . Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporators have submitted their resignation to party bosses to protest against the ruling parties that have failed to protect Muslims. Advocate Maqbool Salim ,  corporator from Nanded and Nanded President of the Nationalist Congress Party and Sufia Shaikh Ghani, the independent corporator from Dhule, submitted their resignation to the Municipal Commissioner on October 14 2008. Talking to, Advocate Maqbool Salim said that in the  last one month or so the state witnessed five communal riots in Pusad, Rabodi, Digras, Dhulia and Malegaon . In these riots, around 100 have been killed either by the Hindutva groups who were behind the riots or by the police. What is very important is that the administration played an indifferent role in all these riots further aggravating the trauma of the Muslims. Close to 40 corporators belonging to the two parties have resigned in the State, threatening to take Muslim votes away from the Congress and the NCP. They took this extreme step reportedly to protest against what they see as the abysmal and unsatisfactory response of the government of the NCP-Congress alliance against the recent “pre-planned” attacks and communal riots.
International Women's Dawah Conference
In the field of Dawah, At-Tawheed International Dawah Centre for Women is  the first all-women dawah organisation. The aim of the organisation is to spread the knowledge of Islam among women. A 2-year distant education course has been specially designed by Alima Nowhera Shaikh, the President of the organization who is in the field of Dawah for the last 14 years.  The course includes Quran and books compiled by Shaikh Iqbal Kilani from Riyadh. The books are a compilation of Quran Ayahs and ahadeeth on different topics, which include tawheed, following the Prophet’s  path, cleanliness, salat, fasting, zakaat, Hajj and Umrah, etc. Presently, the course is only available in Urdu and English. Thousands of women have enrolled for the course not only from across the country, but also from Makkah, Jeddah and Doha. At-Tawheed International Dawah Centre for Women was launched in July 2006 in Mumbai. This year a two-day International Women’s Dawah Conference was held in Mumbai on the 16th  & 17th of August 2008. Women from Surat, Jabalpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Vishakapatnam, Tirupati, Lucknow, Pune, etc. made it to the venue. The theme of the conference was “Dawah.” About 18 topics dealing with the theme were discussed. Interesting topics included “Do women have the responsibility to spread the message of Islam?” “Remembering women companions “The conditions of those women who accept Islam,” “Etiquette and morals of a Muslim have an effect on Dawah.”
Divorced Muslim woman not entitled to maintenance
The Allahabad High Court  said a divorced Muslim woman could not claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code as a special law is in force to protect the rights of women of the community on divorce.

Justice V K Verma expressed his disagreement with an order of March 31, 2008 when another judge of the court had held that a divorced Muslim woman was entitled to maintenance under the aforesaid section of the CrPC. The court was hearing a revision petition filed by one Shahid Jamal Ansari who had challenged the order passed by Family Court, Gorakhpur, on June 3 this year whereby the petitioner had been directed to pay Rs 2000 per month to his divorced wife Anees Fatima, in addition to imposition of cost of Rs 1000.The petitioner had claimed that Fatima had moved an application under Section 125 CrPC on June 27, 2003, much after their divorce on June 1 the same year, alleging she was his legally wedded wife but was driven out of home by him and claimed maintenance pleading that she was unable to maintain herself. Dismissing the revision petition, the court, however, remarked that ‘after the judgement of the Supreme Court’s constitutional bench in the Shah Bano case, there was a big uproar in the country. Consequently, Parliament enacted Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) with the intention of making the decision of the Shah Bano case ineffective’.”After enforcement of the 1986 Act, a divorced Muslim woman can claim ‘fair provision’ and ‘maintenance’ under the 1986 Act only and she is not entitled to have recourse to Section 125 CrPC claiming for maintenance from her former husband”. The court, however, added that a Muslim woman was entitled to maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC only if she has been separated from, but not divorced by her husband.

Knee surgery performed in AMU
The First full-flexion (155o) total knee replacement surgery was performed by Dr. Aamir Bin Sabir at Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, J.N. Medical College under the Aligarh Muslim University, according to a press release. It is for the first time that this surgery has been performed independently by a surgeon at Aligarh. The surgery was carried out on a 49-year old male Mahender Pal, a villager from the Aligarh district. He was suffering from severe knee pain from last nine years and was not able to walk more than few metres.

This surgery is performed on the patients of Osteoarthritis with long standing knee pain and difficulty in walking and climbing stairs. After the surgery the patient is able to walk without pain and also to climb stairs easily. The surgery costs around Rs. 2 to 2.5 lakh at most of the hospital in big cities like New Delhi, but in J.N.Medical College, Aligarh this surgery cost around Rs. 90,000 only.
AMU to open five centres
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is all set to open five centers across the country. The union human resources development ministry has accepted the proposal of the university for the purpose. The project would cost Rs 2000 crores. While confirming that the HRD Ministry has accepted the AMU proposal, the Minister of State for HRD M A. A Fatmi, said that the university would now need to prepare a project report as required by the planning commission. The minister was speaking at the World Summit of AMU Alumni organised here between October 17-19 . The World Summit of AMU Alumni was inaugurated by Vice President of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Governor of Uttar Pradesh T. V. Rajeswar and Governor of Jharkhand Syed Sibtey Razi were the guests of honor. AMU Alumni from 20 countries and 19 Indian states are attending this two-day historic event.
On this occasion prominent alumni have donated Rs. 2.5 crores to the University corpus. Ameer Ahmad, Group Managing Director of Teejan Group of Companies, Oman, donated Rs. One crore, Er. Nadeem Tarin announced a donation of Rs. one crore on behalf of the AMU Alumni Association, Riyadh. Dr. Athar R. Khan and Yusuf Ali Khan donated Rs. 10 lakh each, Mrs. Arjumand Bano, Mrs. Maryam Khan, Shahnawaz Tarin and Mrs. Shahnawaz Tarin donated Rs. 5 lakh each and Prof. Abad Ahmad, Fazal Khan, USA, donated Rs. One lakh and Syed Zafar Mehmood, Income Tax Commissioner, donated Rs. 10,000 per annum and dedicated 530 sq. yard plot of land to his alma mater. This fund will be utilized for various academic research and development project including computing facility in Halls of residence and Departments of Studies. This fund would also provide international travel to students and teachers for joining short term training/orientation programmes in universities of repute and creation of new centres and laboratories for research.
Protect Tamil Muslims in Sri Lanka: TMMK
All twenty DMK MPs have sent in their resignations to the party chief Karunanidhi to force the government of India to take steps in halting Sri Lankan forces taking action against LTTE. Prof. Jawahirullah, president of Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) has appealed to Karunanidhi to protect Tamil speaking Muslims too.  DMK had set the deadline of October 29 as the date when all their MPs will resign from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha if  the government  fails to force Sri Lankan put an end to their offensive against LTTE. TMMK’s letter addressed to Karunanidhi recalls that Tamil speaking Muslims of Sri Lanka have always stood by the side of Tamils in their struggle. Prof. Jawahirullah recalled that Muslims participated in the peaceful struggle for democratic rights of the Tamils. In 1956 A.M. A. Azees, a Tamil Muslim resigned from the ruling United National Party to oppose the enactment of the Sinhalese Language Act that was deemed against the aspirations of the Tamil community of Sri Lanka. Tamil Muslims are about 17% of the population of the North Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka and the violence in 1985 put a dent in the relations between Tamil Hindus and Tamil Muslims.
Leaders decry forces maligning Islam
By Andalib Akhter
New Delhi:
Senior Congress leader and former chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijay Singh asked  Muslims to side with secular forces to fight against fascist and communal forces. Speaking at the 29th Ahle Hadees Conf-erence here at Ram Lila Ground recently,  Singh said: “we sho-uld all fight out against the fascist and communal forces.” The Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind, the oldest organisation of Indian Muslims organised a  two-day All India conference on “Message of Islam to the Humanity”, here on October 18-19.

Speaking on the occasion, minister of State for Home Affairs, Dr Shakeel Ahmad said: “The need of the hour is to keep a balance in thinking and action,” He said that this was the time the Muslim youth should refrain from any emotions and abide by the high teachings of Islam with regard to maintaining peace and justice in the society. Raghunath Jha, minister of State for Heavy Industries, said Islam had nothing to do with terrorism. So, it was baseless to malign it.  Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit said all the citizens of the country had got equal rights irrespective of religion, caste, colour or creed. Therefore, these rights could not be snatched away by any body or group.  
Atul Kumar Anjan, National Secretary, Communist Party of India, said it was wrong to blame Islam and Muslims for terrorism. According to him, at a time when the existing capitalistic system was failing, other ideologies should come forward with their economic systems to save the world. Swami Onkaranand Saraswati Maharaj, Shankaracharya of Prayag and President, Vishwa Kalyan Parishad, said there were a number of misunderstandings about Islam. He said those who alleged Islam to harbour terrorism actually did not know it. According to him, he was himself impressed by most of the teachings of Islam and practised them, and from this point of view he was too its follower.
The conference was also addressed by a number of Muslim leaders  and Ulema. Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri, Ameer, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said that Islam’s main objective was to end ‘fasad-fil-Arz’ (Corruption on earth) and injustice. Therefore, it was the responsibility of its followers to help establish peace and justice, fighting out corruption and injustice, he asserted. Maulana Umri said this conference of Jamiat Ahle Hadees was most timely and relevant and it was hoped it would help in achieving the above targets.  Maulana Syed Arshad Madani, President, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, said nothing could be more dangerous than the allegation that Islam encouraged terrorism. Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat (AIMMM) said this was the time Muslims, who were passing through a tough time due to various reasons, should show tolerance and forbearance.n

Jamaat-e-Islami distributes Dussehra gifts among Hindu flood victims
By Andalib Akhter
New Delhi/ Patna:
At a time when distrust and suspicion among the communities is fast spreading across India, some good news has come from Bihar.   Jamaat-e-Islami Hind recently distributed hundreds of Dussehra gift pack among the Hindus who were worst affected by the recent floods in Bihar. The gift included new cloths, sweaters and tuhari’ (a small amount given to children during festivals).  ”While Hindus were celebrating Dussehra festival across the country, thousands of people from the community were submerged in the flood effected areas of Bihar without help. So Jamaat distributed Dussehra kits each among nearly 1000 Hindu families so that they could celebrate the festival with happiness,” said  Ejaz Ahmad Aslam, secretary of Jamaat. A central team of the Jamaat headed by its vice president, Prof. Siddique Hassan and secretary Ejaz Ahmad Aslam along with doctors and workers made an intensive tour of the flood devastated districts with money and material help recently. The central team asked the local team headed by Qamarul Hoda and Haji Nayaruzaman not to discriminate affected people on religious or caste lines while distributing relief.  As the relief team tried to bring some happiness on Eid among the Muslim flood victims by distributing special Eid kit containing new clothes and Eid food items, says Qamarul Hoda, head of Bihar relief operation, it also offered similar ‘Dussehra gift’ to Hindus, particularly children staying in relief camps and submerged villages on Dussehra which came just a week after Eid.