Picture Of The Day – Stupid Protest

How many people tramping upon the Israeli flag and consequently on the Star of David would know that it is a symbol revered not only by the Jews but by the Muslims as well? Both King Solomon and King David have been given the status of Prophets in Islam from whom this symbol derives its origin. See this and this. In any case this is a pretty ridiculous form of protest but then what else is Ahmed Bukhari known for?

Star of David

Prejudiced, Aren’t They?

Why do we need to prove our allegiance to the nation every time few fanatics with Muslim names, who justify their acts on the distorted interpretation of the Qura’n, kill innocent people? Why do people like Mr. Pradhan (see the newspaper report at the end) feel that the causalities and rescuers include only non-Muslims? It has been repeated time and again that Islam has nothing to do with the extremist ideologies that these terrorists promote. Those exhorting mullahs are yet to come to terms with the fact that this world has risen above the nomadic life style of violence. In fact the present situation is Muslim countries is same what existed in Europe pre-second world war, ready to butcher masses to redraw state boundaries. We just need a Hitler among us initiate another world war. Prophet, sallahu alaiye wassalam, brought Islam to the barbaric and belligerent tribe of Arabs. Taught them to live peacefully and that violence should always be the last resort. It took centuries for the Europeans to realise this secret of progress. And most unfortunately our society has degraded from acme of success to the abyss of ignorance. But then peace has to be bilateral, isn’t it? More on this here

Allegations like these sow a seed of alienation among the Muslims. Loyalty of Indian Muslim being questioned time and again has forced the community to ghettos in cities. Anti-social forces don’t leave a stone unturned in extracting the maximum from situations like these and many political leaders use this to strengthen their vote bank.

Being prejudiced is like playing into the hands of the conspirators. Those terrorists want India to be divided on religion lines. And so do organizations like the RSS and Bajrang dal. The incidents of Godhra have proved that this prejudiced attitude could be exploited against Muslims. The fake terrorsit attack on the RSS headquaters further proves my point. In the Rashtriya Sahara, July 18 journalist Zafar Agha has come down heavily on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for strangulating the voice of reason raised by Union Ministers Arjun Singh and A.R. Antulay. Citing Indian Express of July 13, he reveals that in a Cabinet meeting discussing Mumbai blasts these Ministers held the Hindu extremists, who want to defame Muslims, responsible for these blasts. The HRD Minister Arjun Singh based his argument on a report on the so-called attack on RSS headquarters submitted by a retired judge of Mumbai High Court who had come to the conclusion that the Sangh Parivar itself was behind this ‘attack’. While A.R. Antulay cited another report which showed Hindu extremists disguised as Muslims (to defame them) making bombs in Nanded in April.

Mr. Agha has questioned Prime Minister’s displeasure at this revelation and advised the Manmohan administration to initiate deep probe into the incident; for Hindu extremist organisations are most likely to be found involved therein.

“U.C. Bannerji Report has proved that Muslims had not set ablaze the Sabarmati Express at Godhra but Narendra Modi rather the entire Sangh Parivar not only blamed the Muslims for the fire but perpetrated genocide of Muslims in the whole Gujarat as well. With this case at hand, if Abdur Rahman Antulay and Arjun Singh pointed their accusing fingers towards the Sangh (for its involvement in Mumbai blasts), what sin was it after all?� writes the seasoned journalist.

The same issue of the Sahara editorially questions the temerity of the BJP to demand expulsion of Arjun Singh and A.R. Antulay from their posts in respective ministries for making “very irresponsible statements about Mumbai bomb blasts.� The paper says the party has left out one more name viz. that of Union Minister for Water Resources Saifuddin Soz; in fact these three Ministers had expressed the possibility of Hindu fascist organisations behind the blasts, in the said Cabinet meeting.

“The question is: what was the need to make such haste without any investigation and deep probe? How far is it proper and justified to declare without any investigation and probe that bomb blasts were exploded by Muslims? Was it not the duty of those who make utmost haste in holding Muslims responsible for everything bad and dreadful, to take notice of the news item published in The Telegraph and some other newspapers, in which it was reported that when the Bharat Suraksha Yatra of Shri L.K. Advani entered Maharashtra (on April 6, 2006), some young activists of Bajrang Dal were caught making bombs the same day, and meanwhile explosion of a bomb ripped apart the body of a BD activist Himanshu. This was the activist from whose house the police later seized the clothes (pathan suits) usually worn by Muslims, skull caps and many kinds of counterfeit beards. This they did with the idea to stage-manage bomb blasts and their Muslim-looking attire and make-up would lead the needle of suspicion to Muslims and they would eventually get only them (Muslims) arrested. It is very necessary to deal with the Nanded incident in its right perspective, and it is also necessary to know why the Mumbai blasts occurred only three months after it,� runs the Sahara editorial.

So did something similar happen in the case of Mumbai blasts? Let’s wait for the events to unfold and unmask the perpetrator.

The newspaper report

A well-known criminal lawyer from Mumbai, Nitin Pradhan, who defended the 18 people accused in the trial of the 1993 blasts in Mumbai, has created somewhat of a public stir by releasing to the press a letter addressed by him to his clients informing them that he was withdrawing from the case, vowing not to appear for any accused in the event of a trial pertaining to the 11/7 blasts and disclosing his reason for these decisions. Were Pradhan to withdraw from his briefs privately and without much ado, no one could join issue with him. It must be assumed, however, that in releasing his letter to the press, he submitted his decision to public judgment.

Pradhan claims in his letter that he defended his 18 clients in the 1993 case because he was approached by leaders from three Muslim organisations. No leader of the minority community came forward to give succour to the victims of 11/7 or show their solidarity with victims. Thus, says Pradhan, “I feel let down by the leaders from that community. The reason why I accepted the brief no longer survives.” By implication, Muslim leaders are responsible for the recurrence of blasts in Mumbai. ( HT, July 25 2006,Page 11)

Sharique (http://www.shaarique.com)

Yoga Class: Anti-Muslim Propaganda, No To Namaaz

Forty newly-appointed teachers were sent for Yoga training at Matoshri Upasna Vidyapith at Kharodi (Mumbai) by the Municipal Education department. Out of 40, 12 were Muslim teachers who were shown a Video CD during camp.

The CD contained extremely objectionable remarks about Islam. Later when they asked for permission to go out for Friday namaaz, the person-in-charge handed them over a form and asked to give an undertaking that they will not perform namaaz or any other Islamic prayer during their stay at the camp.

Astonished, the teachers spoke to higher officials and questioned the link between Yoga and anti-Muslim propaganda or not letting them go for namaaz. The senior officials called back the Muslim teachers from the camp the same evening. Later the issue rocked the Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s education wing meet.

The secretary of Education Committee Mohan Kandalgaonkar brought up the issue. He alleged that had the Muslim teachers created a scene there, they would have been labelled militants. The Deputy Municipal Commissioner Nande and other officials later apologised and it was unanimously agreed upon that in future Muslim teachers would not be sent on such camps unless officials hold talks with the organisers of the camp.

Though the issue was resolved later but the question arises that how those at the Yoga training class decided to stop Muslims from prayers in this democratic country. And it was when the group had a dozen Muslims and the entire episode occured in Mumbai, not in a faraway town.



Blast Follow Up: Youth Suffer

Members of the Tabligh movement are always an easy suspect after every terrorist activity. Its because of their strict adherence to the Sunnah of Prophet (Sallalahu alaihe wassalam) which is conspicuously reflected by their clothing. They move in groups, travel places and sojourn in the local mosques. According to their doctrine, leaving their homes and going to far off places is prerequisite to attain high levels of Imaan (belief in Allah). This particular group left Mumbai on the day of the blasts and thus this act of theirs was suspected as fleeing away from the crime scene. Even the choice of place, Tripura’s border with Bangladesh, further added kindled the fire of suspicion. Thus the police cannot be entirely blamed for it.

But this incident also highlights the fact that how easily a devout Muslim (which is reflected by his attire) is a blast suspect. The deep rooted feeling that anybody who strictly adheres to the basics has inherent belligerence in him, irrespective of the religion he follows, was also reflected in the arrests. Tablighi Jamaat is by far the largest Islamic movement in the world and is benign of the accusations labelled against it. It’s only propose is to revive the spirit of Islam. It’s a non-political organization and there are no evidences to prove its involvement in anti-social activities. A non-Muslim might feel hostile seeing their ardent stand on religion but the truth remains that they don’t speak ill of other religions. So next time you happen to see them, they are everywhere from railway stations to airports and from market place to mosques, don’t hesitate to talk to them and don’t treat them as aliens. Here is book by Yoginder Sikand Origins and Development of the Tablighi-Jama’at (1920-2000): A Cross-Country Comparative Study. Read the reviews here

Here are the news reports-

Blasts: The intriguing Tripura angle

A police team from Maharashtra’s Thane district is verifying the claims of 11 residents of Mumbra town, who were detained near Tripura’s border with Bangladesh, officials have said.
The 11, detained in the wake of seven blasts in Mumbai’s suburban trains that killed about 200, claimed they were sent to deliver religious discourses in Tripura’s minority-dominated areas.
Thane Commissioner of Police D Sivanandhan told PTI that a team was verifying the addresses provided by the men and that ‘things would become clear very soon’.
A team of the Anti-Terrorism Squad has also gone to Tripura to bring back to Mumbai the men who had reportedly left this city immediately after the blasts. One of the detained, Mohammed Sheikh, a 33-year-old Mumbra resident, has claimed to have worked with a software giant in the US before returning to India in 1999. Another man, Wajid (33), is an engineering diploma holder who worked with a reputed company in Mumbai, officials said.

“They belong to a town from where several persons have been booked for the 2002-03 blasts,” an official added.

“We are making no presumptions about their motive. But we want to interrogate them and rule out any possibility,” a senior ATS official said.

Meanwhile, eight more persons were detained at Udaipur in south Tripura.

They were staying in Chhanban Masjid at Udaipur. “We detained them on Saturday night after we got a tip-off,” Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Udaipur, Pinaki Samanta said.

Those arrested were brought to Radhakishorpur police station for interrogation.However, police did not find any evidence of any subversive activity from them, he said. They identified themselves as activists of Tablgh-e-Jamat, a religious organisation. Samanta said they entered Udaipur on June 22. Two of them have passports and had visited different countries.

Detained youths freed in Tripura

Eleven Muslim youths from Maharashtra who had been detained in Tripura on suspicion of being involved with militant outfits behind the Mumbai blasts have been freed, police said.

A police statement issued Wednesday night said that after completion of interrogation, it was found the youths had visited Tripura for preaching the tenets of Islam. The youths had been apprehended from a mosque in the border village of Sonarai in Dhalai district two days after the serial blasts in Mumbai and Srinagar on July 11.

Their detention evoked a strong response from the Tripura state Jamiat Ulema (ISJU) which said that the youths, all ISJU activists, who were conducting religious activities “were being harassed for no reason”.

ISJU president Mukti Tayebur Rahaman said the detained youths were “genuine” members of Tablig-e-Jamat which was confirmed by Nizamuddin mosque in Delhi and Mumbra Halka Jimedar in Thane and that they had no link with any Islamic militant outfit.

A delegation of the Ulema had also met Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and urged him to look into the “illegal” detention of the youths from Mumbra town in Thane district.

Sharique (http://www.shaarique.com)

Worldly Education

IndianMuslims.in welcomes Sharique Ahmad as a new contributor to the IM Blog. He has travelled all over India and is currently a student at IIT Chennai. His personal blog can be read at http://www.shaarique.com/.

One of the major reasons responsible for the debacle of Muslims in India is callous indifference towards education. Modern education has been completely neglected by the charitable organizations and a mere handful of Muslim institution of higher learning thrived under voices of dissidence. People were opposed to the western education labeling it as a threat to the Islamic principles. And the irony is that a huge majority of Muslim professionals today have justified their claim!

There appeared to be a wide gulf between modern education and traditional Islamic education. Which one to prefer as modern education guarantees a better standard of living in this world and Islamic education an assured place in Jannah (provided all the requirements are met with regard to intention).The solution of this perceived conundrum could be debated for years without a conclusion. As a matter of fact I think the solution is more prosaic than you think it to be. Both duniya and akhiraat are important.

Madarsas refused to include science and arts in their curriculum which resulted in frustration on the part of graduates because their education could only get them meager salaries. And as Mufti Shakeel Ahmed Sitapuri in an interview states, “poverty can lead to disbelief and wellness instills self-esteem�. He further goes on to say, “Worldly knowledge then he would have stronger character. It has often been observed that people return to religion after achieving worldly things, when they see other followers defending and preaching their own religion. So even through worldly gains, one can return to religion�.

Those who did manage to get themselves educated fell short of returning of returning something back. We should realize the importance of giving something back to the community. There are certain things which are incumbent upon you as an individual Muslim and then there are certain things as a part of the Ummah. We pray five times a day, fast, go to hajj and pay zakaat. Now these pillars of Islam have dual aspects, one for us and the other for the Ummah (the community). Now we can pray in solitude but the reward of praying it in a congregation far outweighs than that prayed alone, see the Ummah is involved here. Similarly the skills that we imbibe as a professional helps us to earn. Now that’s for individual sake, nothing for the Ummah!

We are an economically backward community in India and it irked me when few plotted to extract political mileage out of it by offering Muslims reservations in government jobs. Well the only step Muslims took to improve their financial position is by rendering their unskilled labor to the sheikhs of gulf. People go only to never return back. For them India offers them hindrance to their progress (the vast Hindu majority) and so it’s lucrative for them to work abroad and send zakat to their poor Indian Muslim brothers and sisters! No doubt most of the Muslim organizations in India are fuelled by petro dollars. How many Muslims are on the business scene in India? How many are so called entrepreneurs? Intellectually what do we contribute to the country? How many pious Muslims are in politics? (I just remember few in the parliament like the MP from Meerut) and when someone talks about Muslims playing a major role in politics they say it’s a dirty game (and all dirty Muslims play this game) they say you need to do lot of things which are not in conformity with religion so stay away. Be abundantly clear about this that until and unless we occupy important positions in the government we cannot change the plight of Muslims.

I had the opportunity to visit Hyderabad last November, at the invitation of a friend of mine. As we were walking together we happen to pass by the area of Mehdipatnam and he exclaimed, “All these houses are adorned with Saudi money. Their children get the best of education and then they fly to Saudi or US to settle”. So you see the only responsibility they take on their shoulders is to send zakat back home. And the less privileged (or I should say unlucky) Muslims back home strive to make their ends meet and dream to be in Saudi one day. So this whole aspect of Muslims going abroad is not just brain drain but a mass drain! And all these give opportunity to others to malign the Muslim community (you might remember the famous statement of VHP during the riots ” tumhare liye to 53 desh hai, hamare to sirf eek hi hai”) what did the OIC do when Muslims were being butchered in Gujarat? They could have done something on papers but no visible outcome. They just don’t have the authority. And it again comes back to Ummah’s backwardness in technology.

We need to show our proficiencies in both the fields of knowledge but not at the negligence of one. It’s really unfortunate that people are not able to balance these two important aspects of life and often end up on the extreme side of either of them. Muslims were always the frontrunners when it came to science. All the great Ulemas of Islam were also a professional in various fields. Sadly the glorious past of Muslims has never been highlighted. Proficiency in worldly art considered a taboo in various schools of thoughts has further degraded the quality of education among Muslims; the credit goes to our uneducated Ulemas who out of their ignorance brought this society from its acme of success to abyss of ignorance.

Here is the proof http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age and http://www.1001inventions.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.viewSection&intSectionID=240

Oath In The Name Of Allah Is Constitutional: HC

The Kerala High Court has said that taking oath in the name of Allah is constitutional. The Court dismissed a petition seeking disqualification of the 11 MLAs who had taken oath in the name of Allah.

The Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Kerala High Court by BJP’s youth wing leader Madhu Parumala. The division bench of Justice JB Koshy and Justice V Ramkumar dismissed the petition.

The judges held that the word Allah means God and taking oath in the name of Allah is not at all against constitution. People taking up constitutional offices have to take oath of office and secrecy. The believers take God’s oath (or Ishwar as in Sanskrit) and non-believers take a simple pledge.

The paper given out to MLAs to read out oath had two options–God for believers and A solemn pledge for atheists. Almost half of the Muslim MLAs took oath by God. But 7 Muslim League MLAs, 2 Congress and 2 Left-supported legislators took oath by the name of Allah.

The petition was subsequently filed. The court held that the MLAs took oath of integrity in their personal capacity and not on behalf of their entire electorate.The Kerala HC order said that preventing anybody from taking oath in the name of Allah would be against the secularism of the nation and the spirit of the Indian constitution.



Maoists Menace In Central India

Naxal Violence300 landmine blasts have occurred in Bastar area (former greater Bastar district that has been divided in three districts subsequently) of Chhattisgarh alone in two years between June 2004 and June 2006.

304 civilians had been killed in the small Dantewara alone by Naxalites since April 2005 until this deadly attack (not including these 40 deaths). Continue reading Maoists Menace In Central India

Mumbai Blasts, Terrorism, And The World We Live In

Second time in our life time Bombay, also known as Mumbai, has been hit by coordinated serial bombing. Mumbai blast of 1993 was terrible and what we have here is even more scaring. Though the number of fatalities, as of writing this article, is less than 1993, it is still very high and the target was Mumbai’s railway network.

I am staying in Dubai but all my families and near-distant relatives are in Bombay. When I heard the news about these blasts and that it was all in the localities that my family/relatives stays I was shivering. I was on my way for Magrib Salat (namaz) and praying & hoping my families, relatives and friends are safe. The blasts where timed and synchronized for peak hours. I was thinking how many of my friends and persons I know might be traveling during this time. And eagerly hoping I don’t get to hear any personal bad news. During the next few hours I was able to get in touch with many and was lucky to know they are safe. But how many in Mumbai may not be that lucky today and would be grieving for their lost.

The blasts happened in Mumbai and 1000 miles away I was in grip of terror, fearing for the safety of my family. It was only after talking with them that I was relieved. And most of the non-resident Indians having their dear ones back in Mumbai may have gone through similar pains.

Continue reading Mumbai Blasts, Terrorism, And The World We Live In

Mumbai Blasts

Almost a cliche but it is true that words do not come out at times. This is one of those occasions. I am too sad to say anything for now. Dilip D’Souza visited Bandra after the blasts and shares his pain. Desi Pundit has a list of links and Sepia Mutiny has a regularly updated post. If you are in and around Mumbai, you may want to check Mumbai Help.

Police Fires At Praying Muslims In Bhiwandi, Kill 2

Once again innocent citizens were killed in firing by Bhiwandi police on Wednesday. The cops first resorted to cane-charge and later on fired at the gathering.

Several rounds were fired at Muslims who had gathered outside Quarter Gate masjid to pray at the ground in Bhiwandi on Wednesday. The town was reeling under the intense rainfall for the last four days that had wreaked havoc on the City.

After the zohar namaz, the Muslims had come out for azaan call and a special duaa praying for the rain to stop. However, the police personnel used force and attacked them. As the people retaliated, the police fired at them.

The police is well equipped with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons but while dealing with certain sections it never considers the option and promptly shoots them. The citizens getting shot in cold blood at the hands of their ‘own force’ is a mockery of democracy but it has become a norm whether in Vadodara or Bhiwandi. Women were brutally beaten up.

It is to be seen what the Muslims MPs are going to do on the issue. Does the death of Malik Abdul Khaliq and Ramzan, 22, affect their politics. It is doubtful that this could stir them out of their slumber! Meanwhile, the Maharashtra CM has announced the pittance, Rs 1 lakh to family of each dead.

The fact that Muslims were earlier protesting the construction of police station on a graveyard is not sufficient reason for police to get so charged up. And they were not naive to have mistaken the prayer for an illegal assembly or something else.

In fact, such blatant terrorism of Bhiwandi police can’t be justified in any civilised society. However, what we might see is a few ‘eyewash’ suspensions who will be revoked a fortnight or month later.

[Late report: The next morning (Thursday) two bodies of policemen were recovered and the situation was clearly not getting any better at all. Only if the administration had acted judiciously and the police not acted irresponsibly the entire incident could have been avoided.]

Adnan (www.indscribe.blogspot.com)