UP Govt. Shelves Controversial Bill
UP Police Unleashes Harassment Campaign
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
AIMPLB to Seek Support from Hindu Leaders
"Germans Have Developed Plastic to Replace Steel"
Over the Mountain Released
Al-Ameen Officer Bearers
Ek Sa'ati Nizam
By Obaid Nasir
Lucknow :Succumbing to the pressure from secular forces the BJP government at the Centre has decided to put the controversial UP religious places bill in the cold storage.
BJP’s national general secretary and former union Minister Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi while speaking to a news service disclosed that BJP government has decided to put the bill in cold storage as it was not the opportune time to bring such controversial bills. Earlier the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had informed Maulana Rabey Nadavi, rector of Nadwatul Ulama that the bill is still under the Centre’s examination and had assured him that his government was fully committed to preserving the country’s secular fabric. It may be remembered that Maulana Rabey had sent letters to almost all the important leaders of the country requesting them to oppose this black bill which infringed the fundamental rights of the minorities and doubted their patriotism.
The Maulana had taken strong exception to the statement of Vajpayee’s right hand man and state’s urban development minister Lalji Tandon’s statement dubbing the minorities religious institutions as dens of ISI activities.
UP Police Unleashes Harassment Campaign
By a Staff Writer
Lucknow : Even before the controversial Uttar Pradesh Regulation of Religious Buildings and Places Bill 2000 was shelved the administration particularly police has started implementing it and if sources can be believed renovation and repair work on about 200 mosques was been forcibly stopped by the police. Construction of a new mosque has always been a tedious job in the state whereas temples are mushrooming on every conceivable patch of government land. No police station, no outpost and no government office in the state is without a temple.
The state police has also started implementing the suggestion of sangh parivar particularly VHP and Bajrang Dal to implicate important and reputed person of the minority community in false cases. A booklet containing such suggestions has recently come to light in Gujrat. It suggests that respectable persons belonging to the minority community should be implicated in false cases rightly or wrongly just to harass them. They may get relief from the courts but the process of litigation will sap their energies and resources and it will serve our purpose as most of them will deter raising their voice against Hindutva.
Acting on this direction the Santkabirnagar police at the behest of deputy inspector general arrested Moulana Atiqur Rehman, the founder of Madarsa Islamia Dariyabad, in Sant Kabirnagar district on 25 April under sections 406, 420 case no. 72/ 2000. The administration alleged that Maulana Rehman has collected huge amount from Islamic countries in the name of religious education but has utilised the fund for his own benefit. It is said that magnificent building on about two acres of land has been constructed for the Madrassa. He has 52 shopping complexes in Basti city and two multipurpose halls worth more than a crore. The ignorance and partisanship of the administration could be gauged by the pressnote issued by the state home department at Lucknow, which states: Shri Atiq Ur Rehman putr Safat Ahmad niwasi gram Daryabad Thana Dodhara Janpad Santkabeernagar, jo kattar islami sangathan ahle hadis ka sakriya sadsya hai. (Sri Atiqur Ur Rehman son of Safat Ahmad resident of village Daryabad P.S. Dodhra district Santkabeer Nagar, is the active member of hard core Islamic organisation the Ahle Hadees) for UP administration Ahle Hadis is not a sect (Maslak) but a hard core organisation. The administration has also sought the rechecking of the account submitted by Maulana Atiq to the central government under foreign contribution regulatory Act 1976. Not only this, at the behest of DIG Basti the patron of Darul Uloom Islamia Basti and a member of Muslim personal Law Board Maulana Baqar Husain Qasmi, Rector of Madrasa Islamia,
Maulana Zaheer Anwaar Qasmi, Maulana Abdul Hameed Nadvi and Maulana Rafiq Ahmad, were also called to the Basti police station and were made to sit there from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and treated like criminals, and when nothing could be found against them they were released.
In 1990 Maulana Atiq founded the Ahle Hadis Taleemi and Refahee Society and established Jamia Islamia. In a very short span of time it became a well developed Madrasa, where 500 students are getting education, 150 of them are living in hostel and expenses of their board and lodging are borne by the Madrasa. It has 28 teachers and 12 non-teaching staff. Poor students are getting the stipend amounting to Rs 13,500 per year, besides providing regular help for widows and orphans of the area.
During the devastating flood in Mehandawal area of the district the society provided relief worth Rs. 60,000 to district magistrate Santkabeer Nagar. It may be noted that Mehandawal is a Hindu dominated area and no discrimination was shown on the basis of religious affiliation of the people. The Society is also registered under Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act and its account is regularly submitted to the union home ministry after due auditing by chartered accountants.
The Muslim Personal Law Board Chairman Mujahidul Islam Qasmi has taken strong exception of this act and has sent a fax message to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister condemning the act. . He has also warned that attempts to malign our religious and educational institutions will not be tolerated. All India Muslim forum, president Nehaluddin General Secretary, Prof. M .K.Sherwani, Muslim Samaj president Dr. M.A.Haleem, Dr. Khan Mohd Atif, All India Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jilani and others have strongly condemned Maulana’s arrest and has sought his immediate release. Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tewari in his strong worded statement said that this government of criminals and communal elements is hell-bent upon demoralising the minorities and is thus tearing apart our social fabric but it must not forget that the minorities are not alone in their fight of protecting their Constitutional rights. Every secular Hindu is at their side and Sangh Parivars’ dream of converting India into a Hindu Rashtra will never bear the fruit.
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
Aftab H. Kola
Bhatkal : The platinum jubilee celebration of the Anjuman Hami-e-Muslimeen kicked off with a memorial lecture on May 20 in this coastal town, 400 kms north-west of Bangalore. Perhaps the oldest Muslim educational trust in the state, the Anjuman has completed 80 years of service.
Inaugurating the celebrations Moulana Ashraf Ali of Madrassa Sabeelur Rashad, Bangalore, recalled the sacrifices made by the elders of the Anjuman. Mr. R.V.Deshpande, Karnataka minister for large-scale industries, complementing the Anjuman emphasised the need for interaction between industry and institutions. He appealed to the Anjuman to start information technology courses in its institutions. Mr J.D.Naik, Bhatkal MLA and former student of Anjuman asked the Anjuman to set up a medical college in the district. Prof. A. M. Khusro, chairman, Finance Commission, in his keynote address, spoke on “economic resurgence of the Muslim community”. Mr. Khusro averred that economic development is possible through modern education. He added that information technology must be fused with religious and cultural background. Mr. Khusro also said women’s education must be accorded priority. Mr. S. M. Syed Khaleel, president, Anjuman Hami-e-Muslimeen, in his presidential address said that the need of the hour for the Muslims is proper education. He announced that the All-India Muslim education conference will be held at Bhatkal as part of the celebrations. Earlier, Mr. Syed Hasan Sakkaf, chairman, Memorial Lecture Committee, welcomed. Mr. Ismail Hasan Damudi, senior vice-president of Anjuman, introduced the guests. Mr. Syed Abdurrahman Batin conducted the proceedings. Mr. Muallim Zafar Ali, Trust’s general secretary, thanked the audience.
Services and sacrifices of two great founders of Anjuman, the late M.M.Siddique and the late I.H.Siddque were recalled on the second day of the inaugural function. Mr. Sayyid Hamid, former vice-chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University and the present chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, spoke on ‘Madrassa education: strengths, relevance and need for reforms”. He said the myth that the doors of Madrasa-educated youth are closed for employment is irrational as education is not just for seeking employment. Mr. Syed Hasan Sakkaf presented a paper on M.M.Siddque and Mr. M. A. Gani, former vice-president of the Trust spoke on I. H. Siddique. The next memorial lectures are slated for July 1, 15 and 16.
AIMPLB to Seek Support from Hindu Leaders
By A Staff Writer
Lucknow : The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board [AIMPLB] is considering meting with the head of various Hindu institutions to garner their support to oppose the UP Religious Places Regulation Bill. The Board has decided to send a delegation to meet the President of India to register its protest and urge him not to give his approval to the Bill, on the grounds that it curbs basic human rights and the right to freedom of religion.
The controversial Regulation of Religious Buildings and Places Bill, which has now been passed by the UP state legislature, has come in for sharp attack by Muslims, Christians and secular opposition forces, who see in it yet another attempt by the Hindutva forces to pursue their own political agenda.
The Bill makes it mandatory for anyone to get prior permission from the concerned district magistrate before starting the construction of a religious place. It empowers the district magistrates to order the demolition or stop the construction of any such place and prosecute anyone violating his directive if he feels that the construction of the structure would violate ‘public order, morality and health’. Opposition parties allege that the Bill gives the district administration virtually unlimited powers through which the Hindutva lobby, particularly influential as it is in the administration, can brazenly assault the basic freedom of non-Hindu religious groups. In a memorandum to the President of India, the AIMPLB has pointed out what it describes as the ‘unconstitutional provisions’ of the Bill. It notes that ‘ensuring public order’ is the only reason given in the Statements of Objects and Reasons attached to the bill, but it remains completely silent on the extent to which religious institutions have caused any public law and order problem at all. The objective of harassment of minorities has been made plain by the UP Chief Minister who has described as ‘a measure to curb the alleged activities of the ISI on the Indo-Nepal border by regulating the use and construction of Muslim Madrassas and mosques.’ Apprehension finds support from the attempt to defame the renowned Muslim institutions such as Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, Shibli College in Azamgarh and Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi recently.
The real motives of the Bill, according to the AIMPLB memorandum, is to ‘stop the construction of mosques and madrassas in the rural areas’, to ‘force the existing ones to close down’ and to ‘vilify the Muslim community’, thereby further building walls of mistrust between the various communities, all in order to promote the political agenda of the Hindutva forces.
The Bill has a number of technical faults that clearly suggest that its actual purpose has little, if anything, with its stated aims. Thus, it defines the terms ‘public religious places’ and ‘public religious buildings’ in such a vague manner that even minor repair and maintenance works shall invite its provisions, and for which permission would need to be taken from the state authorities, which may well be refused on even the most flimsy of excuses. This would open up the flood gates of endless harassment of groups such as Muslims, Sikhs and Christians by petty bureaucrats subservient to the communally motivated executive. The absence of due safeguards against misuse of powers in this case is a mockery of people’s basic rights and of the concept of due process of law. The Bill also denies the right to access to the judiciary to appeal against the decision of a district magistrate even though a fundamental right is clearly affected in this case. It makes the power of denial or delay, a closely protected preserve of the executive. Under the provisions of the Bill, an aggrieved person or party can appeal against the decision of the district magistrate only to the divisional commissioner, another bureaucrat, and not to a court of law. Meanwhile, the BJP-led government in New Delhi has communicated to the President of India that it sees no problem in his giving his consent to the controversial Bill. Going by past precedent, it would hardly be surprising if the Hindutva camp now begins to demand a similar Bill to cover the entire country. Ominous portents, indeed!
The U.P. Government has shelved the controvercial Religious Places Bill. Please see the
Editorial titled Muslimphobia.
By A Staff Writer
Bangalore: “Germans still hate foreigners and are driven with fierce patriotism. They work hard, do not tolerate even small indiscipline. Even if a child of 10 years does not have money enough for ticket, the conductor would ask him to get down from the bus.
Not that they are unkind towards children, they believe in law being equal for all. They do not encourage beggars even while they have large charitable organisations that help the victims of earthquakes, people facing difficulties at high seas or for orphaned animals.”
These observations come from Mr. Nazeer Ahmed, secretary of the German Association of Muslims from India. A Bangalore born Indian, Nazeer Ahmed had been residing in Berlin (West Berlin before East and West Germany joined) and working for an engineering firm since 1972.
According to Nazeer Ahmed, German authorities do not allow separate schools for Muslims, mostly Turks (in the three million Muslim population). Only a few provinces have allowed inclusion of Islamic studies in lower classes. Replying to queries from Islamic Voice, he said Germany had no confrontation with Muslims in the history and therefore there are no harsh feelings against the community. But as part of xenophobia, they are opposed to presence of all foreigners.
He said Germans are highly innovative. They have recently developed plastic harder and more durable than steel and will start replacing the steel wherever plastic can work as a substitute. They still maintain supremacy in making good cars. BMW, Volkswagon and Daimler-Benz are world famous German cars. Recently Dailmer-Benz acquired the Chrysler of the US.
He said rising divorce rate has disintegrated lot of families and people do not raise children. Empowerment of women has put them in jobs. They no longer look towards men, hence no need for family life. With no homes for emotional security, old aged people are increasingly being consigned to altheims (Old aged home). This is having adverse impact on population. Working hands are declining and dependence on foreign workers may increase to maintain the present growth rate of economy. Social tensions might rise.
Nazeer Ahmed said German Association of Muslims from India is a part of the American Federation of Muslims from India (AFMI) based in the US and strives to fund students and NGOs for the socio-economic upliftment.
By A Staff Writer
Bangalore: The children’s novel Over the Mountain was released here at a function by Member of Parliament K. Rahman Khan. The Urdu novel authored by later Mirza Adeeb has been translated into English by journalist Maqbool Ahmed Siraj.
Releasing the novel Mr. Khan said the novel was replete with the spirit of life, adventure and creativity. He said reading habits were coming down due to onslaught of television which was more entertainment oriented and imposing Western ethos over the society. He urged the Islamic Voice to translate the novel in regional languages and begin multimedia production of such cultural heritage based material. Introducing the novel, Mr. Siraj said the novel inspired the young generation with spirit of undertaking challenges in life, protecting environment, appreciating the nature and a spirit of camaraderie. Islamic Voice editor A.W.Sadathullah Khan welcomed the gathering. Mr. Feroze Abdullah proposed a vote of thanks.
The 50-page, illustrated novel Over the Mountain has been published by Islamic Voice.
By A Staff Writer
Bangalore: Nearly 25 students attended a 2-day course in journalism and mass communication held under the aegis of Islamic Voice on May 20-21 at the Al-Ameen A.C. Hall in the Al-Ameen College campus. The students were given a preliminary idea about the mass media, ethical code, press laws, advertising, public relations, electronic media, reporting and editing. Among those who delivered lectures were Messrs. Habib Beary from The Observer, M. A. Siraj from Meantime, C. T. Joshi from IPA, B. A. Lazar from BEL, Ajay N. Jha from Aaj ki Baat TV, Nigar Ataulla from Meantime, freelancer Yoginder Sikand, etc. Director of Al-Ameen Campus Mr. M. A. Ataulla urged the youngsters to take up journalism with a cause and commitment rather than the lucre and glamour.
Bangalore: Mr Sadaqath Peeran is the new chairman of the Al-Ameen Education Society. He took over from Mr K Rahman Khan, MP at the annual general meeting of the Society May 21 held in Bangalore. Mr. Atheeq Ahmed and former vice chancellor Dr. B. Sheik Ali are vice presidents. Mr. Irfan Razzaque continues to be Hony secretary. Mr. M. A. Ataullah is the new joint secretary while Yunus Mohammad is treasurer.
Ek Sa'ati Nizam (one hour period) introduced by Mufti Shoebullah of Baidwadi Mosque in Bangalore cantonment areas is attracting increasing number of school-going or working children. The classes are held in the street corners between Asar and Maghrib period and participants are taught tenets of Islam, essentials of faith, and procedure of namaz etc. Having run for nine months, the children are flocking to the classes on their own.
(Photo & text by Azmath)