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MONTHLY    *    Vol 13-02 No:146    *   FEBRUARY 1999/ RAMADAN 1419H
email: editor@islamicvoice.com

COMMUNITY ROUNDUP


Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Gearing up for South India Conference
Interview with Jamaat e Islami Chief : "Focus will be on State of the Nation"
The National Commission for Minorities is battling for Survival
Citizens' Initiative on Haj House in Hyderabad
Haj Committee-MEA tussle Haj Arrangements likely to be Affected
Discussion on Moon Sighting
KMM Visit to Chikamagalur
30 Lakh Qur'an details on CD
Human Rights Journal
Texcity Arts and Science college
News in Brief


Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Gearing up for South India Conference

By Mohammad Javed

02jamat.jpg

Moulana sirajul Hasan President of the Jamaate-Islami Hind
is being briefted regarding the arrangements for the
South India Conference on 19, 20, 21 February 1999.

BANGALORE: The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s South India conference here on February 19-21 is likely to draw 60,000 delegates from five states and a union territory. The states include Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Orissa while Pondicherry is the union territory. The delegates would include around 20,000 women and 5,000 non Muslims.

The preparations are on for the conference at Shikaripalya, 20 kilometres from Bangalore near the Electronic City. It is situated on the Bangalore - Hosur fast track highway. It will consist of two auditoriums. Separate arrangements are being made for men and women for namaz, ablution, kitchen and dining, hospitals, bookstalls and exhibition. Closed circuit TV and 70 mm screen are being put up for clear viewing of the proceedings. The menu will be pure vegetarian in order to enable the non-Muslim brethren to share food with Muslims. Nearly 8,000 volunteers, including 1,500 women, will man the venue and various facilities.

‘Rush Towards Allah’ or Fafirru Ilallah is the theme of the conference. “We are thoroughly convinced that the solution to all human problems lies in reverting towards Allah. It is only when man forgets God, he plunges into problems, with morality being the most affected aspect”, says Mr. Rafeeq Ahmed, member, state advisory committee, Jammat-e-Islami Hind. The speeches will be delivered in all south Indian languages besides Urdu and English. A mushaira in various languages will also be the highlight of the conference. Poets of national fame are expected. A delegation from Sri Lanka Jamaath e Islami led by their chief will also participate.

Separate arrangements have been made for women who will attend parallel sessions. Prominent women speakers include Nasira Khanum, Jamaat in-charge of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa; Sajida Tabassum of Vellore, Tamil Nadu; and, Dr. Afrozunnisa of Goa.

In addition to Maulana Sirajul Hasan, President, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, others who will address include Maulana Jalaluddin Ansar Umri, vice-president; Justice (retd.) Sardar Ali Khan, former chairman, National Commission on Minorities; Justice (retd.) R S Narula and Kannada poet Patil Puttappa. A symposium on “India - Present and Future” will be held in which many prominent speakers will participate. The other topics include, “The Message of Islam”, ‘Misconceptions about Islam’ and ‘Unity of Ummah’. Interestingly, all the speeches will be given in the regional languages.

Mr. M. P. Basheer is the chief organiser of the Conference.

He can be contacted on phone: 080-6709694, 6700491 and cellular phone: 98440-08247.

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Interview with Jamaat e Islami Chief : "Focus will be on State of the Nation"

Maulana Mohammad Sirajul Hassan, the president of the Jamaat e Islami Hind, hailing from Karnataka, spoke to the Islamic Voice on the eve of the South India conference of Jamaat in Bangalore.

What is the magnitude of Jamaat work currently?

The Jamaat has currently 4,500 members divided in 14 zones. The Jamaat concentrates a lot on character building of its members and workers. Dawah training camps are regularly held. Besides, the Jamaat has been undertaking relief and rehabilitation work. The people who saw the Jamaat relief work after earthquake in Jabalpur, came to us asking to erect a mosque too in the village as they already had a church and a temple even though there were no Muslims in the village. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh admitted that the Jamaat did splendid work among the quake victims.

Will there be no national Ijtimas of the Jamaat any more?

According to decision made by the Central Advisory Council of the Jamaat, the Ijtimas will be held on a regional basis during this meeqath (period of four years). So we held Ijtimas in Kerala, Allahabad, Mumbra (near Mumbai) and now in Bangalore. Next will be held in Calcutta. The Council may decide to hold national Ijtima in the next meeqath. But the decision to hold regional ijtima was taken to decentralise the management. It is also borne out of the fact that number of participants had been increasing in the Jamaat conferences. The recent Ijtima in Mumbra (near Mumbai) drew 32,000 delegates. Nearly 40,000 women were attending the various sessions.

Highlights of the Bangalore Conference.

All conferences are held to promote the message of the organisations. So also with the Jamaat. This Ijtima will provide the Jamaat workers an opportunity to do some stock-taking, to gauge its strengths and deficiencies. In Bangalore, we are trying to draw maximum number of non-Muslim participants. Even the menu for the conference has been deliberately kept vegetarian in order that non-Muslims do not shy away from the Ijtima just because they will have to go to separate dining halls for the vegetarian food. We are expecting nearly 7,000 non-Muslim delegates who will be staying with us for all the three days.

How has been Jamaat's Dawah work proceeding?

During the last meeqath (four year period) we concentrated on dawah even while arousing consciousness against totalitarian tendencies and communal forces. During the current Ijtimas we are focusing on Qur'anic verse Fafirru ilallah (rush towards Allah) which is the theme of the conference. It is emphasise the fact that man is dependant on the guidance from Allah.

The Jamaat floated the Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity (FDCA) during the ban on the organisation. But no longer the Forum is heard about. Has it outlived its utility?

The FDCA is very much in existence and its meetings are periodically held. During the ban period, it was heard more because it was on its introductory campaign across the country.

Doesn't the Jamaat consider education, health, slum improvement etc. as tasks to be tackled as a priority among Muslims?

Ideological movements have their own priorities i.e., to arouse the consciousness about the basic maladies. Every ideological organisation has to attend to this basic work. The Jamaat does think about the Muslim problems but tries to focus on the ideological ramification of the problems. It does the practical work through varied fora. For instance, the Jamaat has a full-fledged education department which is setting up a network of schools and prepares and periodically reviews the syllabus.

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The National Commission for Minorities is battling for Survival

By A Staff Writer

New Delhi: The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is battling for its survival these days. Not a single report of the Commission has been yet tabled in the Parliament since it got the Constitutional status in 1993. The Ministry of Welfare and Social Justice has been sitting on the recommendations, which it has been regularly fowarding to the ministry. The ministry has not even bothered to prepare the action taken report (ATR) on these recommendations.

This year, the NCM sent its 1997-98 report to the government on July 20. But, the sources in the Commission said that they did not foresee any positive change in the attitude of the government. The new report submitted by the NMC can not see the light of the day till the government submits its action taken report (ATR) on the previous report presented by NMC which was placed by the then Welfare Minister MR. Balwant Singh Ramoowalia before the parliament on August 4, 1997.

It is reliably learnt that the Commission in its latest report has made several recommendations for the welfare of the minorities. These include providing ST status to economically and socially deprived Muslims. Abolition of reservations policy in the minority run institutions, providing equal compensation to the riot victims. Sources here said that most of the recommendations have been summarily rejected by various ministries.

Sources in the NCM told Islamic Voice that the Chairman Dr. Tahir Mahmood, is deliberating with the government so that 1997-98 report could be tabled in the Parliament but so far his endeavours have remained unsuccessful and the government seems adamant on presenting the earlier reports before the new one can be taken up. The commission and the government are at loggerheads over the issue.

The Commission’s reports have been gathering dust for the last eight years, while the SC/ST Commission report have been presented with meticulous regularity along with ATRs. The government’s argument is that the ATRs are related to various ministries who do not cooperate in forwarding their suggestions in time. However, the ministry officials claim that NCM has not submitted its report for the last five years. But the officials fail to explain why it took seven long years for them to present the ‘1989-90 report before the Parliament.

The NCM sources vehemently deny these allegations of the ministry. According to them the commission had submitted all its reports well in time after it got constitutional status in 1992. The three reports under the Chairmanship of Justice Sardar Ali Khan, and two under the present Chairman, but the ministry has for reasons best known to them not forwarded these reports to the governmnt so that these could be laid on the table of the House.

The NCM sources told the Islamic Voice that the report has been submitted in English with the required number of copies. As per the rules every report is to be submitted in the Parliament in Hindi and English, however the Ministry has refused to translate NCMs report. NCM has now to take up the task of translating this report in Hindi. NCM sources say that it is the duty of the Ministry of Welfare to get the report printed and published but the ministry has been shirking from this responsibility too.

The NCM came into being in 1978 but it got the constitutional status in May 1992. However, it was constituted a year later in 1993 with justice Sardar Ali khan as its first Chairman. Till 1992 the Commission had submitted 14 reports of which only twelve were presented before the Parliament. The callous attitude of the ministry to this Commission has created a flutter in the commission. The NCM feels that the attitude of the present government is in no way different from the previous ones. Even the ministers like Sita Ram Kesri and Balwant Singh Ramoowalia did not take any interest in the reports submitted by the Commission.

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Citizens' Initiative on Haj House in Hyderabad

By A Staff Writer

HYDERABAD : Unhappy over the delay on the part of the state government in the construction of a Haj House, various Muslim organisations have come together to construct a Haj House on their own without taking any help from the government.

The foundation stone for the Haj House was laid by Grand Mufti of Palestine and Imam of Masjid-e-Aqsa, Shiekh Ikrama Saberi, during his visit to Hyderabad last month. The five-storey building will provide accommodation for Haj pilgrims from different parts of the state during their stay in Hyderabad before taking flight to Jeddah.

It will come up at Shivarampalli on the city’s outskirts on a land belonging to Jamia Islamia Darul Uloom. The initative to form a committee of prominent Muslims for the purpose was taken by Syed Viqaruddin, chairman, Indo-Arab League, after the state minister for minority welfare Khaleel Basha announced that government would construct a Haj House in the premises of the office of state Wakf Board in Nampally. The announcement followed a judgement by Wakf tribunal that the land was a Wakf land. But a section of Muslim community in Hyderabad feels that Haj House could not be constructed on a Wakf land as it would go against the purpose of Wakf. The government on several occasions in the past had announced construction of Haj House but every time there was some controversy or the other about the nature of the land and location for the proposed building.

Viqaruddin feels that Muslims should not depend on the government for works like construction of Haj house and should take up the works with contributions from the community. On the day when Grand Mufti of Palestine laid the foundation stone for the building, prominent Muslims came forward to donate Rs 12 lakh for the proposed building, the estimated cost of which is Rs 2.5 crore. Since then several people have come forward to contribute their mite and have taken the responsibility of constructing 18 rooms. The proposed Haj house will have a total of 60 rooms.

The unique feature of the Haj House would be free accommodation facilities for poor Muslims coming to the city for various personal works. Free accommodation would be provided to such people on the recommendation of district committees to be formed in future. Viqaruddin said free accommodation facilities would be available throughout the year except during Haj season. This is expected to meet the long felt need of the Muslim community. A large number of poor Muslims who come to the city from different parts of the state do not find any accommodation facility.

An ad-hoc committee has been constituted to oversee the construction of Haj House which is likely to start after the holy month of Ramazan. The committee comprises Moulana Auqil, founder of Darul Uloom; Moulana Syed Shah Mazhar Hussaini, chief advisor, Jamiatul Mashaikh; Abdul Basit Anwar, president, Jamaat e Islami, Andhra and Orissa zone; Khadeer Baig, president, managing committee, Jamia Masjid, Secunderabad; Ghouse Khamoshi, president, Indian National League; Moulana Rizwanul Qasmi, manager, Sabeelussalam and Abdur Rahim Qureshi, president, Tameer-e-Millat.

Meanwhile, the state government has announced that it would construct the Haj house at the office of the state wakf board at a cost of Rs 4 crore to provide accommodation for 800 Haj pilgrims. Khaleel Basha said Rs 40 lakh had already been allocated for the construction. A committee under the chairmanship of principal secretary, minorities welfare, has also been constituted. City police commissioner is the secretary. City legislators Amanullah Khan and Asaduddin Owaisi are the members of the committee. This year a total of 2,459 people from the state will be performing Haj through the state Haj committee.

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Haj Committee-MEA tussle Haj Arrangements likely to be Affected

By A. B. Masoud

NEW DELHI: The growing rift between the Central Government and the Central Haj Committee (CHC) is likely to affect the arrangements for Haj 99, resulting in more hardships to the pilgrims. The simmering discontent among the Haj Committee members has made the government call a meeting of South Block officials and the Committee last month. But it failed to resolve the tug of war.

Top officials in the CHC allege that the MEA including the Indian Consulate in Jeddah have shown “utter disregard” to the Committee.”The indifferent and non-cooperative attitude of the ministry has increased since the BJP government assumed office at the Centre.” The MEA officials too have an axe to grind. They complain of “irregularities” and blame the Committee of mismanaging Haj affairs. The BJP government has been longing to re-constitute the Committee since its assumed office at the Centre. Informed sources in the BJP told the Islamic Voice that the party president Kushabhau Thackeray has even recommended the name of party’s national secretary Tanveer Ahmed to head the next national Haj panel. For the time being, however, the Supreme Court has stamped their attempts by staying the re-constitution. Anyhow, the bad blood between the Government and the Committee has seriously affected the preparations for the Haj arrangements.

The Haj Committee came into being through the Haj Act passed by the Parliament in 1959. The Act stipulates that the Committee should serve a minimum period of three year. It, however, does not mention any maximum period. The Act provides the responsibility of all the Haj arrangements either in India or Saudi Arabia to Haj Committee and does not mention the role of the government or the Consulate. The current committee has completed five years. An official in the CHC told Islamic Voice that for the first time, the MEA has totally ignored the Committee in Haj management for 1999. Earlier, despite hiccups in the relations, both used to work in tandem to hire accommodation, negotiate rents, signing of the agreement with the landlord and making transport arrangements etc. in Saudi Arabia. According to the Chairman of Haj Committee, Mr. Salamatullah, Consulate General in Jeddah and Indian Embassy in Riyadh have refused to even recognise the Committee either. “They claim that it is their exclusive purview to hire accommodations and other arrangements. They have refused us access to the building agreements and other related documents.” A member of the Committee blamed the triumvirate including joint secretary (Gulf) Talmeez Ahmad, Indian counsel general in Jeddah Zaki-ur- Rahman and Indian envoy in Saudi Arabia Hamid Ansari, having developed vested interests in the Haj arrangements. Last year, while the pilgrims had paid for residential facilities upto 600 metres for first category and 1,000 meters for second category from the outer periphery of Haram Sharief. The mission officials, failed to provide proper accommodations and some buildings were as far as 1,550 metres. Out of which 42 structures were depilated and inferior quality. “The troika always hires buildings through agents, who amass crores, providing sub-standard accommodations to 60,000 Indian pilgrims,” they charged.

In a communique to the Central government, Mr. Salamatullah has charged the Indian mission in Saudi Arabia for procuring inferior quality of accommodation and discrepancies in the pattern of allotment of residential facility. He alleged that the administrative staff in Makkah did not attend to the problems of pilgrims and often leaves them stranded at the Jeddah airport.

The Central government had advised the Secretary East in the MEA, Mr. Naresh Dayal to set things right between the MEA and Haj Committee and ensure smooth Haj. Mr.Dayal called a meeting of Haj Committee chairman Mr. Salamatullah and joint secretary (Gulf) also in charge of Haj, Mr. Talmeez Ahmad. Though, both expressed their desire to work in close cooperation with each other, but the circle of misunderstanding seems ever increasing day by day.

The CHC also complains that the MEA officials have ignored all the 18 resolutions passed at the All India Annual Conference for Haj-99 in July last year. “Our avowed interest in convening conferences of state Haj committees and passing resolutions go waste, as lately it has been noticed that some of the important resolutions passed by us have either been ignored or disapproved,” lamented Salamatullah. Some of the resolutions passed this year had been submitted before the MEA continuously for last three years.

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Discussion on Moon Sighting

BANGALORE: A meeting of Muslim intellectuals in the city was held here on January 22, two days after Eidul Fitr, which was celebrated on Shawwal 2 in Karnataka. It decided to furnish the following points before the Ulema and the Ruyath Hilal Committee.

1- The Ruyath Hilal Committee in Bangalore showed utter negligence towards the reports of moon sighting pouring in from other places in the country and decided too early against the celebration of Eidul fitr on Jan. 19. It should have monitored the situation throughout the night.

2- The second announcement to forgo the celebration of Eidul Fitr on first date of Shawwal (January 19) was much more disturbing for Muslims. It was totally violative of the spirit of Islamic Sharia.

3- The participants were regretful that the solidarity expected of the Eid was ruined due to negligence by the Ruyath Hillal Committee. It must be restored, they felt.

4- They also took note of the anarchic situation found in the Muslim localities in Bangalore and in small towns of Karnataka as the Ruyath members were not available after 8 pm.

5- A participant pointed out that Eid in pre-independence India was celebrated on a single day by Muslims all over the sub-continent.

6- Participants pointed out that experts from Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore should be consulted for accurate moon sighting.

7- It also recommended induction of astronomers in the Ruyath Hilal committee. References were made to the recent conferences on unification of lunar calendar recently held under the auspices of OIC and the University at Kualalumpur.

8- It also recommended that Shahi Imam of Delhi should appear on Doordarshan to make the announcement of moonsighting.

9- It also recommended that the Islamic Fiqh Academy should call a seminar on the topic and explore the ways by which the Eids could be celebrated on a single day all through the country.

Among the participants were: Mir Maqsood Ali Khan, Md. Nisar, Ubeidullah Shariff, Maqbool Ahmed, Masood Abdul Khader, Siddiq Sait, Ejaz Ahmad Sait, Maqbool Ahmed Siraj, Feroze Abdullah, Noor Ahmad Makki, Syed Kaleemullah, Ghulam Ghouse, Nayeemullah, Noor Mohammad Khalid, Ziaullah Khan and Hafiz Shamsulhuda.

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KMM Visit to Chikamagalur

BANGALORE: A delegation of the Khadiman e Mulk o Millat visited Chikamagalur on December 17 in order to make a pre-election survey of the situation in the district. A meeting was held in Furqania Shadi Mahal under the chairmanship of Nisar Ahmed Khan. Mr. Nasrullah Shariff welcomed the gathering. Addressing nearly 70 local residents Secretary Masood Abdul Khader stressed the need to remove the sense of inferiority complex among the Muslims. He recounted the sacrifices made by the ulema in the freedom struggle for the country. Delegation member Maulana Usman Beg said only collective measures could solve the problems afflicting the Muslim community. He said the identity of Muslims is under attack everywhere.

Among those who spoke at the occasion were Syed Arif Pasha, Dr. Saleh Ahmed, Shahid Ali, Rajah Ahmed Khan etc. The local residents decided to set up adhoc committee for the purpose.

The delegation later visited the Baba Budhangiri Hills which was recently in news after a campaign by communal forces.

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30 Lakh Qur'an details on CD

By K. M. Hidayathullah

COIMBATORE: Haji M Ameer Althaf, head of Makkah Masjid Centre here has collected 30 lakhs very intersting minute details about the holy Quran through a computer. Althaf works for a central government department. According to him the computer took more that 300 crore searches for the data. He is taking steps to bring out a compact disc containing these details running into 2500 pages. The CD will itself run into 19 volumes and will be known as IQRA (Index to Qur’anic Alphabets). He is also working on a project to inform the world about the uniqueness of the Quran through Internet. (Address: Haji Ameer Althaf, 12 Ashok Nagar, Madukkarai Road, Sundarapuram, Coimbatore-641024. Telephone: Computer Centre 872161, Res, 875614.

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Human Rights Journal

NEW DELHI: The Institute of Objective Studies has brought out IOS Bulletin Human Rights Today, a journal appearing once in two months. The publication began with July-September 1998 issue. The Bulletin carries reports on human rights, women’s rights, minorities rights, several documents on international conventions, covenants and charters pertaining to the subject and introduces human rights organisations and reports on various riot commissions etc. It is edited by Prof. Iqbal A. Ansari of Aligarh. Annual subscription is Rs. 35. It can be had from 162 Jogabai Extension, P O Box. 9725, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi-110025.

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Texcity Arts and Science college

BOTHANUR (Tamil Nadu) : First ever Muslim minority college has been set up in the Coimbatore district under the Bharthiar University. Courses in BBM, B.Sc Computer Science, B.Sc Company Secretaryship , B.Com have been started in the 1998-99 academic session. Prof. T..A. Nizamuddin is the principal while A.M. Khaleel the Chairman and correspondent and Haji Hassan Koya is the vice chairman.

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News in Brief

Islamic Foundation Trust centre at Madurai

The Islamic foundation Trust, Chennai has set up a promotion centre at 85 Masi Street, Madurai which dispenses Islamic literature in

Tamil, translations of the Holy Quran in different languages. IFT Promotion Centre, 85 West Masi Street, Madurai-625001. T.Nadu.

Librarian Award:

Sheikah Abdullah bin Ali Al Mahmoud of Sharjah has been awarded the Librarian Literature Award by Directorate of Libraries of the Sharjah Department of Culture and information (DCI). It carries 5,000 Dirhams. It was announced by Ossamah Murrah, head of the media section of the DCI. .Afra Ali Salem Qutam was given the prize for her study on the role Libraries in general in cultural development. She will receive 3,000 Dirhams. The third winner Ahmed Riziq Thabet of the Islamic Science Institute in Ajman will get Dirhams 2,000 for his study on the role of school libraries in educational development. The prizes will be presented at a ceremony to be organised by the Directorate of Libraries at the Sharjah Central Library on April 23 as part of the world book and copyright day.

Appointed

Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood, Additional Commissioner, Income Tax, has been given the additional charge of the Punjab Waqf Board, according to a central government press release. He succeeds Mr. A. K. Thathai. Dr. Mahmood was earlier Indian Consulate at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

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