Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

MUHARRAM - SAFAR 1424 H
MARCH 2004
Volume 17-03 No : 207

Camps/Workshops

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Community RoundUp


Culture Buzz at Jinnah House
Mohammad Yunus Saleem (1912-2004)
Annual Day Function-AL-Mu'minah School
National Commission Speaks for Muslim Women
Two KMMs Vying to Unify Votes for Secular Candidates
Shah Waliullah Award
Muslim Prisoners Discriminated in Tihar Jail

Culture Buzz at Jinnah House

Jinnah House will be the new cultural centre of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

By A Staff Writer

Mumbai: Despite the fact that the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) are the custodians of the controversial Jinnah House, it appears that they have very little to say about the project. It is the Ministry of External Affairs who are looking into this project, they will tell you, without revealing the status of the project.

While it is true that Jinnah House will be the new cultural centre of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), from the looks of it, very little progress has been made on the same. Although the ICCR took over the building in 1997, the issue of ownership came up during Pakistani President General Musharaff's visit to India. There was talk of converting the building into the Pakistan consulate but that did not materialise. Finally, it was decided that the ICCR continue to be the custodians.

The question is, when is the building going to officially be converted into a cultural centre. Everybody knows that a cultural centre means organising regional cultural events showcasing the best traditions of the South Asian countries. But when is it actually going to happen, is what everybody wants to know.

For 20 years, the building has been lying vacant. The last person to occupy it was the British Deputy High Commissioner, from there it was handed over to the Central Public Works Department. Designed by Claude Batley, who also designed the Bombay Gymkhana and the Tata Memorial Hospital, Jinnah House was a grand place, now it is nothing, but neglected. The trees have overgrown, the grass has grown wild and the building needs a fresh coat of paint.

Jinnah lived in the house from 1935 to 1947 and it was he who designed the house. It boasts of several Islamic style arches, Italian marble, Persian carpets, exquisite woodwork, large garden, two dining rooms and six bedrooms. Several meetings between him and Gandhi took place here. After the Partition, it was the official residence of the British Deputy High Commissioner. It is said that once renovated, the building will have an auditorium, library, reading room, seminar rooms and an art gallery.

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Mohammad Yunus Saleem (1912-2004)

Tribute:

By A Staff writer

New Delhi: The former governor of Bihar and minister in the central government Mohammad Yunus Saleem, who passed away in New Delhi recently after a brief illness was an honest politician, a devout Muslim and above all a great human being. Born in Lucknow in 1912, he lived a challenging life. After his High School from a missionary school in Lucknow, he shifted to Hyderabad where he did his B.A and LLB from Osmania University. He then practised Law at Andhra Pradesh High Court and also the Supreme Court. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Nalgonda constituency in Andhra Pradesh in 1967 for the first time. Indira Gandhi inducted him in the Union Ministry with the portfolio of Law and Justice, Waqf and later Railways. In 1974, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh. When the Congress Party split in the late 70s he joined Congress (Urs). Later he joined Lok Dal of Choudhry Charan Singh and became its Vice President. He played an active role of bringing all Parties together and in the formation of Janata Dal. In 1990, he was appointed Governor of Bihar. later he won the Katihar Lok Sabha seat in 1991. He returned to the Congress Party in 1996 and remained in it till he died.

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Annual Day Function-AL-Mu'minah School

Confident toddlers presented a plethora of performances ranging from Qirat and rhymes, to plays and martial arts

By Dr Shehnaz Shaikh

 

The 4th Annual Day function of Al-Mu'minah School was held recently at Framjee Cawasjee hall, Mumbai. The auditorium was jam-packed with parents and eminent personalities including Dr Abdul Karim Naik and Dr Zakir Naik, President of IRF. Mr Abdul Munim, Consul of Economy, Indonesian Consulate was the chief guest of the programme, who enthralled the audience with a soul-stirring recitation of the holy Qur'an. The translation of the verses was rendered into English by little Mubashira Patel of LKG who is only 4 years old. 

Confident toddlers presented a plethora of performances ranging from Qirat and rhymes to plays and martial arts. The outstanding feature of the function was the fact that it was entirely compered in English by two students - Sadiyah Shaikh of Std I and Mariya Sorathiya of Std II. The mission at Al-Mu'minah School is to provide academic and Islamic education in a secure Islamic environment. Misbah Shaikh of Std I demonstrated how the children memorise the Quran at Al-Mu'minah School using the Alim Software. How lightly we take our Deen? A play by Std II had an eye-opening message to deliver. The surprise item of the programme was the demonstration of Filipino Martial Arts by the girls of Std I and II. The self-defence techniques demonstrated how one could over-power the opponent when confronted in the front, when an adversary catches one's hand or when he holds one's neck from behind.

(The writer can be reached at shehnaz@vsnl.com)

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National Commission Speaks for Muslim Women

By Andalib Akhter

New Delhi: The National Commission for Women has appealed to the Muslim community to review its Personal Law, particularly the laws related to Talaq, polygamy and maintenance for women. It has said that changes are necessary for the improvement of the social and economic status of Muslim women in the present times. With the change of time, the Commission said that countries, like Turkey, Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan have taken initiative in the direction. The chairperson of the Commission, Poornima Advani said: "the changes are due in India". Addressing a workshop on "Social and economic condition of Muslim women", held at Jamia Millia Islamia here, Mrs Advani said the initiative should come from Muslims themselves. She said that the issue should be debated widely among leaders, scholars and social activists and the recommendations should be presented. "The Women's Commission will ensure to the government to implement them". Poornima Advani has taught Muslim Personal Law in the Department of Law, Mumbai University. "After several hearings in the previous years, the Commission found that Muslim women were more affected due to the Triple Talaq and Polygamy," she said. Mrs. Advani emphasised the need of education for women so that they could fight for their rights enshrined in the Quran and under Indian Constitution. Another member of the commission B. B. Rani said the status of six crore Muslim women cannot be improved without empowering them educationally and economically. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh's minister for family welfare, Ahmad Hasan, at a seminar in AMU, Aligarh said any interference in the Muslim Personal Law will not be tolerated. The vice-chancellor of AMU, Nasim Ahmad said that Islam has given equal status to men and women. He said the status of women cannot be changed in India unless social changes are brought in.

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Two KMMs Vying to Unify Votes for Secular Candidates

Bangalore: Two organisations are vying with each other to unify the political choices of Muslims in Karnataka. The Khadiman-e-Mulk-o-Millath (KMM) and the Karnataka Muslim Muttehada Mahaz (KMMM) are out in the field asking the community to opt for winnable secular candidates.

The Khadiman-e-Mulk-o-Millath (KMM), the apolitical body to determine political choices for the Muslim community has begun its exercise in view of the forthcoming polls. At its first convention on February. 15 at Bangalore, the KMM reiterated its resolve to defeat the communal and fascist forces in Lok Sabha as well as the Karnataka Assembly. General Secretary of the KMM, Ghulam Ghouse who introduced the objectives of the KMM said the members would visit all Parliamentary constituencies to assess the political mood and devise strategies to unify the votes of minorities and the underprivileged classes. He said the KMM support would not be party specific. It would mobilise the support for 'a winnable, secular party candidate' by taking various factors in a particular constituency. He said the KMM delegation had already met AICC President Sonia Gandhi and the KPCC President Janardhan Poojary and briefed him about the unfulfilled promises made by the Congress leaders during the Bellary Lok Sabha by-election. A meeting with the Janata Dal(Secular) leader Devegowda was also being sought.

Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Siraj in his keynote address said it has to be ensured that both the treasury and opposition benches in the Karnataka Assembly should be occupied by secular parties. He said only 40 per cent of the minority people were casting their votes and urged the Ulama and others to exhort Muslims to ensure 90 per cent vote casting. He said the community needed both long and short term strategies for political mobilisation. He said under the short term strategies, the votes should be mobilised for secular, winnable candidates and a comprehensive economic blueprint should be presented before the secular parties for the social and economic amelioration of the minorities. He said political parties should be urged to announce programmes for people engaged in transport, small scale industries, self employed groups, butchers, auto drivers and tailors. He said since most Muslims were engaged in these trades or vocations, their development would enable the community to be a player in primary politics rather than being a pawn in the secondary politics. As for the long term strategy, he suggested that Muslim youth be exhorted to take up courses in journalism, law, humanities, sociology and economics. He lamented that there was a herd like endorsement of technical courses among Muslims and the community was not bothered about producing thinkers, planners and economists. He also lamented the brain drain in the community to the West.

Advocate and columnist Zia Karnataki said the Muslims should learn to participate under the existing conditions and learn the tricks of the ropes as other communities were doing.

Akhtar Begum, advocate and Prof. Nazneen stressed identifying potential political workers and their grooming for future. Taj Mohammad Khan, Mysore, said there were communally inclined people among all parties and there was need to minutely scrutinise every politician. Representatives from Bellary, Belgaum and several other places expressed the views.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Muslim Muttehada Mahaz, (KMMM) which had been in field for quite some time is also working for similar aims. It has also got into action recently. Several KMMM delegations have visited the districts to unify political choices.

Both groups have declared that they would decide the choices at the constituency level and mobilise support for winnable and candidates with secular credentials.

All India Milli Council Karnataka has also announced their programme of action for the forthcoming elections which will be deliberated on March 14 2004, at Darrus Salam, Queens Road, Bangalore. The general Secretary, Moulana Mufti Mohd Ashraf Ali has appealed to all the state level members to attend the programme.

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People

Shah Waliullah Award

The Fourth Shah Waliullah Award has been conferred on late Maulana Shihabuddin Nadvi, the internationally acknowledged scholar on Quran and Science. His books on Quran and Science are popular across the globe. According to Dr Manzoor Alam of Institute of Objective Studies, Delhi, which has constituted the award, the previous three awards were conferred on Late, Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Nadwi, Late, Qazi Mujahidul Islam and Prof Najathullah Siddique. Late, Maulana Shihabuddin Nadvi has been conferred this award for his immense contribution in the field of Quran and Science.

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Muslim Prisoners Discriminated in Tihar Jail

New Delhi: Noted social activist and intellectual, Surendra Mohan has appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to look into the cases of discrimination against Muslims in jail, particularly the high security Tihar jail in Delhi. In a petition to NHRC, he has appealed to allow prisoners in special cells of Tihar jail to register their complaints in writing. Recently, some Muslim prisoners have alleged that the jail authorities discriminated in their behaviour towards them. They alleged that they are physically exploited and ill-treated. Surendra Mohan also submitted a letter written to the chairman of All India Defence Committee, Rajni Kothari by a Delhi university lecturer S.A.R Geelani who was arrested in the Parliament attack case and remained in jail for almost two years. He was released recently for lack of evidence against him. Geelani in the letter has accused the jail authorities of physical exploitation and disrespect to Muslim prisoners, particularly Kashmiris. He has also accused the jail authority of targeting and ill-treating Kashmiri prisoners.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Letters to the Editor Community Initiative Globe Watch Event Diary Trends Muslim Perspectives Metro Mail Men, Missions and Machines Muharram Children's Corner Heritage Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Fast Farword Special Space Opinion Guidelines Our Dialogue Miscellany Reflections Lessons to Learn Soul Talk Rights and Wrongs View Point Matrimonial
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