Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Jamadi Awwal 1424 H
July 2003
Volume 16-07 No : 199

Camps \ Workshops

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Community Roundup


Apartheid in Ahmedabad
Jamaat Slams Anti-Conversion Laws
Ulema give Stamp ofApproval to 'Cyber Nikah'
Muslim Co-operative Bank Comes under the Scanner
Humayun's Tomb Sleeps Alone as Visitors Stay Away
A New Landmark in Madikere
KSOU Study Centre Opened in BET
"Pota Has Swallowed My Son"- Hasiya Begum
KMDC extends loans for beedi workers housing
People


Apartheid in Ahmedabad

By M.Hanif Lakdawala

In Ahmedabad, life is getting tough for Muslims as they are finding it difficult to get admission in schools,
buy houses or even get credit cards!

Ahmedabad: In Ahmedabad, apartheid is fast becoming a way of life, as Muslims in the city are being slowly, but surely reduced to the status of second-class citizens. For scores of Muslims, it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy a house, get a loan, a cell phone connection or anything that requires the verification of name, address and source of income. A senior AT&T employee says the company received a circular from the home ministry asking it to 'strictly monitor' what a Muslim customer does with his cell phone -- whom he talks to and what he talks. In another directive, the anti-terrorist squad has asked the company to 'avoid' giving cell phones to Muslim customers. Although Hutch denied there was any "discrimination," an official of the company said that the credentials of a prospective Hindu customer were scrutinised by only one company agent, but those of a Muslim customer were looked at by "three or four" agents. The documentation process, too, is stricter for Muslims. It is not just cell phones that are becoming difficult to obtain, loans and insurance companies are also being difficult. Nayoombhai approached IFFCO Tokyo for life insurance, but the company "flatly refused to go in for my insurance," he said. "They told me I could do what I wanted, but they would not touch my case, even with a bargepole." When Jaffer Alam wanted a credit card, most companies refused to consider his case despite the fact that he had a monthly income of Rs 1 lakh. "I know of Standard Chartered Bank refusing to give credit cards to my friends," he says.

"The problem gets compounded if you stay in Muslim localities in the walled city," he adds. Localities like Sarkhej and Shah Alam, which are pre-dominantly Muslim areas have been black-listed by credit card companies. Hanif Lakdawala, a well-known social activist and co-founder of the NGO Sanchetna, had a similar experience. He was looking for a flat in which to set up an office, but doors were firmly shut on his face. "Sab cheez mushkil ho gayee hain (Everything has become difficult). It is true we couldn't get a house in our name," Lakdawala says. "So we got it registered in the name of Sanchetna and put up the name of one of our Hindu trustees." Schools are affected as well. Even a convent school, like Don Bosco, told its Muslim students that the school could not guarantee their security. And so parents had no option, but to pull their children out of the school. Of the 250 registered Muslim students, none remain today.

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Jamaat Slams Anti-Conversion Laws

By A Staff Writer

Hyderabad:Jamaat-e-Islami Hind recently held its three-day Shura (Consultative body meeting) here. Reacting strongly to anti-conversion laws enacted by a few states, Dr Abdul Haque Ansari, All India president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind asserted that the Jamaat would continue to attract oppressed sections of other religions towards Islam. “Laws cannot prevent people from converting on their own, in a democracy like India,” he said. Speaking to the media, Dr Ansari, came down heavily on terrorism. While condemning the terrorist activities of the extremist amongst Muslims, he said that the national media and the police paint the picture as if the entire community is to be blamed. “Extremism is not affecting only the Muslim youth. Vested groups and organisations are promoting extremists amongst the youth of the majority community also. What is required is the sustained process of healing the wounds and exposing the anti-national and anti-Muslim forces who are trying to exploit the emotion of these youth to achieve their own agenda”.

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Ulema give Stamp ofApproval to 'Cyber Nikah'

By A Staff Writer

Lucknow: The institution of marriage has emerged as a mirror to the frenetic pace of society in today’s cyber age. No wonder, after giving the thumbs-up to ‘nikah (marriage) on telephone’, the ulema have now given the stamp of approval to ‘cyber nikah’, in order to cater to the needs of all those would-be brides and bridegrooms living across distant shores. Member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Khalid Rasheed, said the newly introduced cyber nikah was basically organised when either the bride or bridegroom were residing at a distant place and could not make it to the marriage ceremony. Rasheed said that cyber marriages would be valid in case the bridegroom sends his consent to the authorised person via email. Moreover, voice mail would be authorised to the person who recognises the bridegroom’s voice. The consent should be conveyed to the priest in front of two witnesses and the ‘wakeel’ (girl’s relative). Once the proceedings gets formalised, the marriage is solemnised. So far, Rasheed has helped ten ‘distant’ bridegrooms bond with their better halfs via the cyber way. These new changes in solemnising Muslim marriages were agreed upon in the 13th jurist seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, held in Uttar Pradesh. The seminar also dealt with forced marriages, business deals on the Internet and investing the zakat money. Prominent academic personalities of the Islamic world who attended the seminar and put the seal of approval on this latest decision after much debate included, president, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Syed Mohammad Rabey Hasni Nadvi, rector, Nadawatul Ulema of Lucknow and Burhanuddin Sanbhali also of Nadawatul Ulema.

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Muslim Co-operative Bank Comes
under the Scanner

By A Staff Writer

Pune: The Department of Co-operation has ordered an inspection of the books and accounts of the Pune-based Muslim Co-operative Bank Ltd. The order follows charges of financial irregularities levelled by a shareholder of the bank, S.M. Iqbal.

The inspection order was issued by additional commissioner, co-operation, B. G. Yashod under section 89 A (1) of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960. Divisional joint registrar, D.B. Gavit has been appointed as the inspection officer, who will inspect all accounts and transactions that took place from April 1, 2001.

Co-operation commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad said that the officer will check whether there was substance in the allegations, and, if yes, what action the BoD took against the guilty. In his complaint, Iqbal had levelled charges of misappropriation of bank funds to the tune of Rs 64 lakh. According to the complaint, the ladies branch of the bank purchased four cheques amounting to Rs 28.96 lakh during April 2 to June 14, 2001, under the bill purchase scheme from one Kader Khan of Silver Bright Corporation.

However, the cheques were not honoured by the Bharuch branch of the Punjab National Bank. When the manager of the ladies bank brought this to the notice of the BoD, she was asked to proceed on leave from September 2001 to April 2002.Iqbal further alleged that to show that Kader Khan has repaid the amount of bounced cheques, the BoD sanctioned four bogus housing loans amounting to Rs 26 lakh, including one for Kader Khan. All these loans were then transferred to the account of Silver Bright (owned by Kader Khan), thereby showing that he has repaid the cheque amount. Another loan of Rs 8.5 lakh was also given to Silver Bright against hypothecated goods to take care of the interest liabilities.

Bank chairman, P.A. Inamdar refuted all charges. “They have been made by a disgruntled man whose son-in-law is facing an inquiry in our bank. He made the charges only because we refused to drop the inquiry,” Inamdar said, adding that the bank was financially strong and there was no irregularity.

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Humayun's Tomb Sleeps Alone
as Visitors Stay Away

By The Staff Writer

New Delhi: As the Red Fort and Qutab Minar get ready for the spotlight and night tourism, there is another monument where these concepts, introduced two years ago, have failed to attract people. Humayun’s Tomb was thrown open to visitors during the night in June 2001, but since then it is hardly getting between 10 and 15 visitors daily after dusk.

Lamenting this fact, a senior Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officer said: “When Humayun’s Tomb was illumin-ated a few years ago, the lighting was such that it just illuminated the dome. While the place looked awe-inspiring to motorists who would view it from a distance, there was nothing really for those who ventured into the complex at night.’’

Apart from this, security concerns and poorly-lit pathways kept tourists away. While the tomb is supposed to remain open till 10 pm, it usually closes an hour earlier everyday due to lack of visitors.

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A New Landmark in Madikere

Madikere Muslim women form Association

Mr Sadath interacting with the participantsMadikeri: The Jamia- Masjid-Committee held a one-day workshop for women on May 28, 2003. Sadathullah Khan, Editor, Islamic Voice, conducted the workshop. Over 150 Muslim women participated in the workshop. Women from all walks of life from students to housewives, 15years to 80 years from different sects participated in the workshop with enthusiasm.

Afroz Mohammed Khan, President of the Jamia Masjid said that it was the first time in the history of Madikeri (Coorg) such a workshop was held to bring all sections of women of different sects together.

Mr Khan delivering SpeechEveryone felt a need to form an association for the upliftment and to cater to the various needs of the Muslim women in the town. Women expressed freely their desire to have a crafts learning centre, marriage counselling, career guidance, employment to women, weekly religious discourses, Arabic and Urdu classes and even the requirement of training women to bathe the women corpses. In the workshop, two women came forward to learn from the only elderly lady who is doing it.

The President of the Jamia Masjid and the members of the Madikeri Muslim Youth Association assured the women that they would support the formation of the women's association and extend all facilities to fulfill their needs.

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KSOU Study Centre Opened in BET

Bangalore: The study centre for the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) was opened here on June 24 at the Bismillah Educational Trust Sadathunnissa Degree College by Higher Education Minister Dr. G. Parmeshwara. While opening the new block for the Centre, the Minister assured the college of granting permission for opening B.Ed and TCH courses soon. He said literacy among Karnataka Muslims was barely touching 50 per cent while it had exceeded 60 per cent among the general population and asked the community to redouble its effort to clear the backlog.

Mr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, founder of the Al-Ameen Educational Society also attended the function. The BET College has recently re-christened itself as BET Sadathunnissa Degree College after the name of Mr. Mumtaz Ahmed Khan’s mother. Minister for Small Industries and Hajj Mr. R. Roshan Baig who is the chairman of the college, presided over the function.

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"Pota Has Swallowed My Son"
Hasiya Begum

Mumbai: Amidst the clamorous demands at a Samajwadi Party rally at Azad Maidan in Mumbai recently, that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) should be abolished, the trembling voice of the bespectacled Hasiya Begum said "Pota has swallowed my son,"

She did not want any other mother to relive her fate. She said, "Tomorrow it could trap somebody's else's child." Her son, Khwaja Yunus (27), who has been accused of playing a role in the December 2, 2002, Ghatkopar blast, disappeared under mysterious circumstances from police custody on January 7, 2003.

"I know the police has killed my innocent son in custody," Hasiya Begum said. "All I ask for now is for them to return the body so that we can respectfully bury him."Yunus and five others were charged under Pota for allegedly planning the Ghatkopar blasts, which left two people dead. Hasiya Begum maintained that her son, who had just returned from Dubai after a two-year stint with a Japanese firm, was picked up by the police while he was holidaying with friends in Chikaldhara in Amravati district.

Hasiya Begum travelled from her small village in Parbhani, Nanded, to raise her voice against Pota."Police had come looking for Yunus at our house in Nanded. I had given them his mobile number and a photograph, which I had saved for his marriage proposals," she said. The last image she saw of her engineer son was a picture of him being taken to court, his head covered with a piece of black cloth.

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KMDC extends loans for beedi workers housing

Mandya: The Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation has extended a loan of Rs. 10,000 each to nearly 800 beedi workers whose housing society is coming up on a 50 acre plot of land reclaimed from a dried up tank in the outskirts of Mandya. The housing society is being constructed on the initiative of the Mandya District Beedi Workers Multipupose Cooperative Society. A total of 1500 houses are being constructed on the plot. Nearly 90 per cent of the beedi workers are Muslims.

The housing society is the fruit of years of struggle by local Congress leader Md. Zabiullah who was helped by former Minister Azeez Sait, a politician who rose from the ranks of beedi labourers. Mandya district is in the Cauvery basin of Karnataka and has a vast Muslim population engaged in making beedis. The 1500 houses are being constructed at a cost of Rs. 11 crore and the HUDCO is providing a sum of Rs. 40,000 from the Karnataka Housing Board and Rs 20,000 from the Central Government’s Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO). The shortfall of Rs. 10,000 which the labourers were unable to meet is being extended as a loan from the KMDC.

The loans to the 400 would-be housing owners were given away at a function held in the first fortnight of June in the town. The loans for the next batch of 400 house owners would be presented in July. Rahman Khan MP, local MLA Atmananda, Labour Minister, Qamarul Islam, KMDC Chairman Suleiman Talekhani, Mandya MP and former cinema actor Ambareesh attended the meeting held at Krishnaraja Wodeyar Kalamandira. The housing society for the beedi workers would have several schools, a college, several playgrounds, mosque, mandir and a 100-bed hospital.

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People

Obituary

Kozhikode: V. Abdullah, the translator of several books from Malayalam to English and an office bearer of the Madras Book Fair for several years died at Kannur on May 16. Abdullah became known in the publishing world as the divisional director of Orient Longmans with headquarters at Madras and was associated with several publishing related bodies. He translated novels of noted novelists, Vaikkom Mohammad Basheer, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, S. K. Pottekkad and Malayathur Ramakrishnan. He was 84. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters and a son.

Abdullah reviewed books for The Hindu for several years and led the best part of his life in Chennai. He was also president of the JDT Islam Trust in Calicut after he returned to his native, Kerala upon retirement. JDT Islam runs a string of educational institutions besides an orphanage.

Appointed

Dr Mohammad Qudratullah

Dr. Mohammad Qudratullah has been appointed Principal of Anjuman Khairul Islam's (Mumbai) Poona College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Poona. Dr. Qudratullah has been associated with the Poona College for 31 years as Head, Department of Chemistry and as Vice-Principal. He completed his Ph.D from Poona University in 1980.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Heritage Women-Space Community Series Institution Profile Insights Across the Seas Muslim Perspective Matter of Fact Children's Corner Reflection Islamic Values Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Islam & Universal Religion Guide Lines Living Islam From here & There Opinion Journey To Islam Thoughts on Life Political Diary Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

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