Sunday, 25 August 2013

Ayodhya yatra fails police crackdown on VHP

 The UP government did a great job of not allowing VHP and other Hindu saffron organizations to carry out Ayodhya yatra. Security forces turned Ayodhya into fortress and Police arrested hundreds of VHP and other saffron Hindu activists.

As the VHP was adamant to complete its 84 Kosi Parikrama Yatra, the UP government on Sunday said security arrangements would continue to check those trying to attend the banned yatra even as 1,696 persons, including Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia, were arrested in a crackdown.

"The tight security arrangements will continue in the state to prevent those trying to attend VHP's yatra, which has not been recalled by it..In the state, 1,696 persons including Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia, have been arrested in the crackdown," IG, Law and Order, RK Vishwakarma, told reporters.

In reply to a question he said that all those arrested will be put in the judicial custody for next 14 days and not be released as of now. "As the programme of yatra is till September 13, those arrested cannot be released. Preventive detentions will continue and those trying to participate in the yatra will also be arrested..," Secretary (Home) Kamal Saxena said.

In addition to the state police force, 11 company of RAF and 12 company of CRPF has been deployed in the state to maintain law and order, he said. "As VHP has announced protests on Monday district police chiefs have been asked to remain alert and ensure that law and order is maintained", the official said.

Prominent among those arrested included former Union minister of State for Home Swami Chinmayanand, Nritya Gopal Das of Ram Janmbhoomi Trust, Ram Vilas Vedanti, BJP MLAs Ram Chandra Yadav and Savatribai Phule and VHP's provincial coordinator Acharya Kushmuni. In Amethi, peethdheshwar of Sagra Ashram Abhay Chaitanya Mauni Mahraj was put under house arrest.

Temporary jails have been set up in districts of Faizabad (10), Barabanki,(12), Bahraich (16), Basti (2), Gonda (3) and Ambedkarnagar (5), which are on the yatra route. The state government had banned the yatra, stating it would not allow to set any new tradition.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Islamic finance courses create a buzz in Malabar

KOZHIKODE: Islamic finance is yet to take roots in the financial landscape of the country, but several Muslim management-run educational institutions in Malabar have gone a step ahead and have started offering specialized courses anticipating huge requirements for qualified personnel to man the future Sharia-compliant finance sector.

Courses on Islamic finance and banking have found many takers in the region ever since the state government set in motion its plan to start an Islamic financing institution two years ago. The growing student interest has been fuelled by hopes that the niche sector would offer job opportunities for those well versed in Riba-free Islamic financial and economic system.

 The Sullamussalam Science College at Areekode, affiliated to the Calicut University, has become the first college in the state to offer a three year degree course in BA Islamic Finance from this academic year onwards.

"With the state government itself leading the state's foray into Islamic finance, the sector is bound to throw open numerous employment opportunities for people who can manage Islamic financial institutions," said Prof N V Abdurahiman, manager of Sullamussalam Science College, adding that the proposal submitted by the college for starting the BA course in Islamic Finance was accepted for funding by the UGC under 'innovative programmes for teaching and research in interdisciplinary and emerging areas'.

The course, which is the first formal degree level programme in the state, has seen over 100 applicants for the 25 seats on offer this year. The formal inauguration of the programme is expected soon.

Dr A I Rahmathullah, chairman of the board of studies in Arabic said that the university, in another first, has also approved the proposal for starting an MA Course in Islamic Economics and Finance.

"Already several institutions had approached the varsity to start PG course in the field that prompted the board to consider the programme. We will draft the syllabus and curriculum as soon as we get the nod from the academic council," he said.

Institutions like Al Jamia Al Islamiya, a religious college, at Santhapuram have also been seeing growing interest for its postgraduate diploma in Islamic economics and finance (PGDIEF) course. It also offers IGNOU diploma courses in Islamic banking, Islamic finance and Islamic insurance.

"Already many graduates in the state have got lucrative job offers at MNCs in the Gulf offering sharia-compliant mutual funds and venture capital funds. Now with the sector taking roots in the state, the students can look forward to opportunities at home," said Mohammed Pallath, coordinator of the course at the institution.

The Elijah Institute of Management Studies in Thrissur is also offering a postgraduate diploma course in Islamic banking and management as an add-on course for their MBA students. There are many other institutions in Malappuram and Kozhikode which have recently started offering similar courses sensing the growing interest in the field.

Kozhikode: Islamic finance is yet to take roots in the financial landscape of the country, but several Muslim management run educational institutions in Malabar have gone a step ahead and have started offering specialized courses anticipating huge requirements for qualified personnel to man the future Sharia compliant finance sector.

Courses on Islamic finance and banking have been finding many takers in the region ever since the state government set in motion its plan to start an Islamic financing institution two years back. The growing student interest has been fuelled by hopes that the niche sector would offer job opportunities for those well versed in Riba-free Islamic financial and economic system.

The Sullamussalam Science College at Areacode, affiliated to the Calicut University, has become the first college in the state to offer a three year degree course in BA Islamic Finance from this academic year onwards.
"With the state government itself leading the state's foray into Islamic finance, the sector is bound to throw open numerous employment opportunities for people who can manage Islamic financial institutions," Prof. N V Abdurahiman, Manager of the Sullamussalam Science College.
He said that the proposal submitted by the college for starting BA in Islamic Finance was accepted for funding by the UGC under the 'innovative programmes for teaching and research in interdisciplinary and emerging areas'.
The course, which is the first formal degree level programme in the state, has seen over 100 applicants for the 25 seats which were on offer this year. The formal inauguration of the programme is expected soon.
Dr. A I Rahmathullah, Chairman of the Board of Studies in Arabic at the Calicut University, said that the university, in another first, has also approved the proposal for starting a MA Course in Islamic Economics and Finance

Muslim share in govt jobs moving upwards

NEW DELHI: The intake of Muslims in central government bodies has increased by over 3% in six years, reflecting a visible improvement in the community's share of public sector jobs that the UPA marked out as priority after coming to power in 2004.

Government figures show that the recruitment of minorities in central government organizations stood at 10.18% in 2010-11, up from 6.93% in 2006-07.

 The 3% increase in employment across sectors in the last six years coincides with the directives that the Centre issued to ministries and departments that they should take special measures — publicity campaigns about recruitment drives and inclusion of minority members in interview panels — to boost minority presence in jobs.

Minority has been a thinly-disguised term for Muslims who form an overwhelming share of religious minorities.

Social activist and former National Advisory Council member Harsh Mander dubbed the increase as significant and credited the community for the success.

"It is the outcome of efforts on the part of community members to break out of restraints on social mobility they have been traditionally bound by," he said, adding the government contribution in the trend was smaller.

The percentage of minorities in total hiring across central government jobs was 6.93% in 2006-07. It went up to 8.23%, 9.90%, 7.28% and 10.18% in the following years. Sensing inconsistency, the ministry has called for review of the 2011-12 figures that stand at a dismal 6.24%.

The significance of increasing number of Muslims in central recruitment extends beyond mere job share. That they are joining paramilitary forces and railways, the largest public sector employers, in greater numbers could start a robust trend for future. The community's increasing share in the police force would also strengthen their confidence in security matters.

Minority affairs minister Rahman Khan said, "There is improvement in certain sectors while it is not satisfactory in others. We keep insisting to ministries that they should follow government circulars to beef up turnout and intake of minorities in recruitment drives."

The creation of minority affairs ministry, followed by the Sachar committee which gave a post-independence status report on the state of Muslims, swatted aside the reluctance that Congress had about playing a muscular Muslim card for fear of rival BJP launching its campaign of "appeasement".

RBI allows non-bank Islamic finance firm

An estimated 177 million Muslims in India, the largest Muslim minority population in the world, are unable to use Islamic banks because laws covering the sector require banking to be based on interest, which is forbidden in Islam.

But some companies, especially in Kerala which has a large Muslim population and an overseas diaspora of workers who remit money back from the Gulf, are nevertheless trying to develop Islamic financial products outside the banking sector.

Cheraman Financial Services, based in Kochi, plans to offer leasing and equity-finance products under Islamic principles. It said it had obtained approval to operate from the RBI and would follow the Islamic ban on interest; it will not take deposits from customers.

"We propose to roll out the products by the end of August," a spokesman for Cheraman, formerly known as Al Barakah Financial Services, told Reuters.

He did not elaborate on the design of the products. Instead of interest, Islamic finance uses structures such as asset buy-backs and agency agreements to provide returns to investors.

The RBI did not respond to a request for comment on Cheraman's case. But its decision appears to open the door to the possibility of more NBFCs offering Islamic non-interest products in future, even though full-fledged Islamic banks are expected to remain banned.

RBI governor Duvvuri Subbarao, who will step down in September, has said Islamic banking is not possible in the country but sharia-compliant products could be delivered through alternative means.


Last year, the RBI directed Kochi-based Alternative Investments and Credits Ltd (AICL) to stop its non-interest NBFC business almost a decade after the firm was launched. This prompted an ongoing legal challenge by AICL.

"The grant of an NBFC licence should have an impact on the AICL proceedings and there are good chances that the matter may get settled soon," said Suprio Bose, Mumbai-based lawyer at Juris Corp, a law firm which previously represented AICL.

"The event reflects a significant and welcome change in RBI's attitude towards sharia-based NBFCs and sets a precedent for others to follow suit."

However, many analysts think that unless and until full-fledged Islamic banks are permitted in India, an Islamic finance sector will find it hard to develop.

"I don't think there is going to be a rush for NBFC applications. RBI's attitude towards the sharia-compliance concept is yet to be tested," said Shariq Nisar, director of research and operations at Mumbai-based Taqwaa Advisory and Shariah Investment Solutions.

Running a sharia-compliant financial institution under Indian regulations is still difficult and other firms are likely to stay on the sidelines pending the success of existing schemes before deciding to join in, he added.

Islamic equity and venture capital products have attracted little demand in India and NBFCs could face the same fate, said Nisar. "NBFC business overall has been declining over the years."

The RBI issued guidelines for NBFCs in June, cracking down on debt issuance by an industry that relies heavily on capital markets to fund its business but has faced less regulatory oversight than banks.

According to central bank data, credit extended to NBFCs increased by 1.9 percent from a year earlier in June, compared with an increase of 43.9 percent in June last year. There are over 12,000 registered NBFCs in India.

A handful of politicians have been lobbying for years to start Islamic banking in India, but they have met strong opposition from bureaucrats in the finance ministry and banking circles. Some politicians, especially from the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, say they fear Islamic banking could be used by militants and might strengthen the hold of clergy over India's Muslim community. (Editing by Andrew Torchia)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Owaisi gives warnings: On Hyderabad, saffron activities, poll alliance

Hyderabad, Aug 18: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) threatened to begin a massive protest if the government decided to announce Hyderabad a Union Territory or permanent capital following the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. 
MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, the MP from Hyderabad, said the government would commit a blunder if it decided to act on such suggestions by some leaders from the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

Owaisi, who was speaking at a public meeting organised at the Khilwath playground here on Saturday night, said Hyderabad belonged to all irrespective of their places of origin and every resident is secure here. He said the city is a part of India and nobody can ask one to leave the city.
Owaisi asked the secular parties to chalk out proper strategies to deal with the growing saffron activities in the country. He said it is urgently required or could make the nation pay huge price in the future. The MIM chief also warned the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) against making any electoral alliance with the BJP.
Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's chief of the 2014 poll campaign committee Narendra Modi's holding late TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N T Rama Rao in high regards and meeting with TDP leaders during his recent Hyderabad visit has given rise to speculations that the TDP might inch closer to the BJP. Owaisi said the results of such deal were visible in 2009 and the TDP should have learnt from it.
Owaisi also took a dig at Modi while speaking, saying the MIM was ready for a debate with the latter on any issue. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

IT firm specialising in Islamic core banking opens in Kerala

Support and Development Centre at Infopark Cherthala in Alappuzha district.

Path Solutions India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Path Solutions K.S.C.C, Kuwait, a recognised market leader specialising in providing Islamic and investment software solutions for banks and financial institutions

The company already has presence in the Middle East, GCC, Africa, South East Asia and Europe with over 90 financial institutions using its Islamic core banking system.

"We are determined to take advantage of local skilled resources to build on our heritage of delivering value-added software solutions and services to our esteemed clients," said Mohammed Kateeb, Path Solutions' group chairman and CEO.

Located in Pallipuram village, the Cherthala Infopark campus is housed in an area of 66 acres, of which 60 acres has been declared as special economic zone.

Islamic Banking in India

For almost 20 years, Haris Koyisseri invested in his business only from his own earnings. The dry fish merchant in Kerala's Kozhikode never took any bank loan to expand his operations. Why? Bank loans are against the tenets of his faith - Islam - as they charge interest. Four years ago, however, he took on a Rs 10-lakh  loan (16,000 USD) from Alternative Investments and Credits Ltd (AICL). The Kochi-based finance company adhered to the Koran's ban on interest and instead took a share in the profit or loss of a venture it funded. Business has grown 60 per cent since for Koyisseri. "I do not have to worry about repaying the money when business is lean," he says. "Whenever I need additional capital I will take it from a Shariah-compliant fund."

Koyisseri is one of scores of Muslims in the country who rely on Shariah-compliant products from companies such as AICL to meet their funding needs. The development is significant given that India has the world's third-largest Muslim population - after Indonesia and Pakistan - but does not allow Islamic banking. The trend is most visible in Kerala, where Muslims comprise a fourth of the population, but is also catching up in some other states such as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Most Muslim-majority countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, as well as the US and the UK allow Islamic banking (see Simplifying Islamic Banking). In 2005, the Reserve Bank of India formed a panel to look into the issue. Three years later, a committee led by Raghuram Rajan - currently the top economic adviser in the finance ministry - recommended allowing interest-free banking products. But there has been no progress thus far. In May 2012, the RBI revoked AICL's licence as a non-banking finance company (NBFC) citing non-compliance with its rules on interest rates. AICL, which says it financed about 200 businesses with capital ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore before the ban, challenged the cancellation in the Bombay High Court. The case is pending.

The cancellation, industry observers say, was a fallout of another case. AICL had been offering Shariah-compliant products for nearly a decade. But it came into the limelight only after Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy in 2009 moved the Kerala High Court against Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation's investment in Al Barakah Financial Services Ltd, an NBFC floated to offer Islamic finance products. Swamy argued that a state-run company's involvement in a firm set up on religious lines was against India's constitution. The court threw out the plea in 2011.

AICL, meanwhile, has found an alternative - it plans to launch a Shariah-compliant venture capital (VC) fund. This fund, says Chief Operations Officer Thanveer Mohiyudheen, does not violate any law as capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) permits pooling of capital from investors. A VC fund is Shariah-compliant as it makes equity investments and shares the profit or loss in a venture, he adds.

AICL is not the only one which is setting up a so-called Alternative Investment Fund registered with SEBI. Cheraman Financial Services Ltd, the new avatar of Al Barakah, has received SEBI approval for a fund to raise up to Rs 300 crore. Kozhikode-based Secura Investment has a real estate VC fund that complies with the Shariah. Industry observers say the RBI's tough stand against NBFCs such as AICL is the main reason why Shariah-compliant VC funds are gaining importance. M. Thomas Isaac, former finance minister of Kerala, says many financial firms in the state work even without the RBI's permission. The idea behind Cheraman and other registered funds is to work under a legal framework, he says.

More such funds are in the offing. "Seven to eight Shariah-compliant funds are in the formalisation stage," says Shariq Nisar, Director of research and operations at Mumbai-based Taqwaa Advisory and Shariah Investment Solutions. The firm provides Shariah advisory and investment services. C.H. Abdul Raheem, AICL's founder MD, says four to five SEBI-registered VC funds that comply with the Shariah will likely come up in Kerala in the next few years.

Observers say Bangalore-based Bearys Properties and Developments, Mumbai's Pragmatic Wealth Management, and Chennai-based ETA Group are among those looking to launch Islamic finance products. Taurus Asset Management and Multigain Shariah Investments are also planning to join hands for a VC fund. Bearys Chairman and MD Syed Mohamed Beary confirmed the company's plans to launch a Shariah-compliant real estate fund in the first quarter of 2014. The company is looking at a corpus of Rs 100 crore to begin with and will target wealthy investors, he said. Email queries sent to Pragmatic and ETA went unanswered till the time of going to press.

These funds also provide an opportunity to investors. Muslims are generally averse to investing in stock markets as they perceive it as gambling. Shariah bans investment in companies that make alcohol, tobacco, pork products, and weapons. To attract Muslim investors, both the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange have launched indexes which comprise Shariah-compliant stocks. But the response to these indexes has been muted, says H. Abdur Raqeeb, General Secretary at advocacy body Indian Centre for Islamic Finance. Shariah-compliant VC funds are filling this gap. Raqeeb says these funds, including realty funds, can potentially raise about $1 billion in India.

Masoud Abdul Rahiman, a Kochi-based software engineer with Cognizant, is one such investor who prefers Shariah-compliant products. He invested Rs 6 lakh over two years in Secura's first fund. His first investment installment of Rs 1.2 lakh earned him a return of Rs 1.96 lakh in 2012. "While returns are not guaranteed, I can at least consume the earnings," says Rahiman, who gives the interest income he earns from his bank deposits to charity. Doctors are also investing in these funds, as Kerala develops into a hotspot for medical tourism.

In Kerala, these funds are targeting investors from overseas as well. Cheraman, for instance, is backed by NRIs including P. Mohamed Ali, Vice Chairman of Oman's Galfar Engineering and Contracting Company, and C.K. Menon, Chairman and MD of Doha-based Behzad Group. A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, MD at Cheraman, says the company plans to hold road shows to attract Kerala's diaspora and sovereign funds from the Gulf countries that want to invest in Shariah-compliant products.

Kerala has a large diaspora, mainly in West Asia. Muslims comprise up to two-thirds of this segment. These workers send a large amount of money back home. Data from the Kerala Migration Survey 2011 show remittances to the state rose 15 per cent to Rs 49,695 crore that year from Rs 43,288 crore in 2008. M.A. Majeed Zubair, Dean at Hyderabad's Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, says India is an emerging market for capital from West Asia. India has an advantage over China, where language and cultural constraints as well as political reasons discourage investors from West Asia, he adds.

While several companies are looking to launch Shariah-compliant VC funds, some experts are wary. Kerala, they say, has seen several instances of financial companies duping investors. The latest case grabbing the headlines is that of Lee Capital, which reportedly duped investors of as much as Rs 100 crore (16 million USD).

A recent change in SEBI rules is prompting companies to tweak their strategies. SEBI has fixed minimum capital commitment by each investor in such funds at Rs 1 crore (160,000 USD). Some industry observers say small investors may pool capital and set up a limited liability partnership that will invest in a VC fund. In its first two funds, Secura routed investment from wealthy investors directly into real estate projects while accepting money from smaller investors. This is because the two sets of investors have different expectations from the VC fund. Managing Director M.A. Mehaboob says Secura will adhere to the SEBI rule in the future and rope in wealthy investors who put in Rs 1 crore in its funds. "We may also come up with multiple funds clubbing investors according to their appetite."

P.C. Anwar, MD at AICL, says the venture capital industry in India may find it difficult to find enough professional managers with experience in Islamic finance. Mahendra Swarup, President of the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, says Shariah-compliant funds look promising considering they can also attract funding from charitable institutions such as the Wakf Boards. But he adds a note of caution. "We will have to gauge what kind of returns they can generate in the long run."

Islamic banking proposal may get a push under Rajan

With appointment of government's Chief Economic Adviser Raghuram Rajan as the next RBI governor, Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan today hoped that his ministry's plan to establish Islamic banking in India will get a boost.

Khan said Rajan was positive when he met him recently to push the proposal.

"The financial reforms commission headed by Rajan had even advocated Islamic banking. I am sure his appointment as RBI governor would be a big push for the proposal," the Minority Affairs minister told PTI.

He hinted that various stake-holders like finance ministry and RBI are apprehensive of the idea of Islamic banking because of its religious overtones.

"They believe they will be blamed that they are doing it for religious-based reasons. You can have regulator for chit funds companies, tree companies, this company, that company, companies collecting big money and vanishing but you do not want a sharia-compliance institution," Khan said.

The minister said all over the world, Islamic banking system is in practice and it would enable Muslims to save their money for their and country's development.

"They are not saving in bank because earning interest is against the fundamental of their religion," he said, adding that the present banking system based on interest excludes a large number of Muslims.

"We can save so much we can take care of our developmental, educational needs," he said.

In a letter to RBI governor in December, 12, Khan had said the Constitution allowed citizens to practice their faith and it was the state's duty to facilitate people to practice their religions, arguing in favour of Islamic baking.

Khan's predecessor Salman Khurshid, now the Exteranl Affairs minister, had first floated the idea and asked RBI to explore the possibility of establishing Islamic banking in India.

Clean chit for ex-Aligarh Muslim University VC Aziz

NEW DELHI: The CBI has closed the probe against former vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), P K Abdul Azis, in which he was accused of financial irregularities during his tenure in the varsity. The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry in July, 2011, against Azis (64) after it was alleged that he had flouted rules of the institution for his own benefits. Azis had also been questioned by CBI in the enquiry.

The probe has been closed as the agency couldn't find anything substantial against Azis.

CBI had started the investigation on the request of Union ministry of human resources and development, which had set two probe panels against Azis, but their findings remained inconclusive. Azis has been VC of AMU between June, 2007, and end-2012.

Azis was accused of allegedly committing misconduct under the AMU Act, 1920, violating the statues, directives, ordinances and regulations of the Aligarh Muslim University Grant Commission. It was alleged that VC made the AMU pay his income tax and also violated varsity rules by transferring Rs 8 crore of Provident Fund money from the State Bank of India to Shreyas Gramin Bank.

It was also alleged that varsity funds were misused for interior decoration of his residence. Azis had refuted these charges.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Eid to be celebrated on Friday 9th August across India

Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the culmination of the fasting month of Ramzan, will be celebrated across the country on Friday.

The announcement came after a meeting of Qadeem Royat Hilal Committee headed by Maulana Mufti Mohammed Mukkaram, Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid today.

"The Eid moon has been sighted today in various places across the country. Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated tomorrow," Maulana Mufti Mohammed Mukkaram, Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid, told PTI.

Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is observed as a fasting period by Muslims who abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset and it culminates in Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.

A Documentary on AL Haaj Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi

Popular Front of India during ramzan

Popular Front of India (PFI) non-profit Muslim organization.

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Bhagyalakshmi illegal temple issue

This is Charrminar a historic Islamic monument in Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh.

This is an illegal Bhagyalakshmi temple beside Charminar.

There have been may tensions between Hindus and Muslim in that area because of this temple.

Hindus want to expand this temple. The case is in the court and the court has officially said that no construction activity should be done at the site but in the past in has been seen that Hindus secretly carry out construction of the illegal temple which creates tensions between Hindus and Muslims in that area. Thankfully that area is a Muslim majority area otherwise Hindus would have been more violent and who knows they would have demolished Charminar like the Babri Masjid. Muslims have been peaceful and tolerant so far in that area.

Hindus are trying to expand the temple which is against the court orders and any construction activity there causes tensions. This is one such incident from the past.

Akbaruddin Owaisi speech on Bhagyalakshmi temple issue.
Akbaruddin Owaisi has been peacefully maintained that no construction should be done at the site.

The Archeological Survey of India (ASI), custodian of the Charminar monument, had denied any permission for construction around the temple. A show-cause notice was issued by the ASI to the temple management for some construction done in August 2012.
ASI plans to stall construction work at Bhagyalaxmi temple:

Activist S.Q. Masood speaks on the issue of Bhagya lakshmi temple
Some Hindus say that the temple existed before Charminar and it is legal but they don't have any evidence to support their claim. Also the high court doesn't support their claim and it have given the verdict that no construction activity to expand the temple should be carried out in that area.

Asaduddin Owaisi  on the temple issue

The root cause of this issue is the illegal temple. The court should order the demolition of the temple which has become a tool for Hindu organizations to create tensions. Root out the cause and the problem will be solved.

Slut Walk mocks Indian women real Issues

When women turn out dressed like sluts, slags, jezebels, floozies, hussies, tarts and tramps on the streets of Delhi on June 25 to assert women’s right to dress any way they like without inviting male sexual attention, I will support them. SlutWalking has been gathering strength since it began in January, provoked by a Toronto policeman’s remark that ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised’.

Incensed, Canadian women put on bustiers, stockings, vampish makeup, heels and garters and went on the first SlutWalk in April to protest against being morally judged by the way they dress. Since then, SlutWalks have taken place in many cities. When Delhi’s turn comes, I’ll be cheering them on because everyone needs a bit of fun, a break from the normal routine, some diversion to liven up their lives.
But let the Indian SlutWalkers dare claim there is anything remotely serious about their caper. In a country where 10 million babies have been killed in the womb because they were girls, where women are burnt for dowry, murdered in honour killings, face domestic violence so frequent it’s as common as a power cut, where Dalit women fear sexual humiliation by upper caste men and where young girls are forced into prostitution, who needs the right to dress like a slut? And while we are listing women’s sorrows, a recent global survey by TrustLaw found India to be the fourth most dangerous place in the world for women.

Such a misguided protest only serves to mock Indian women and the real issues they face. I doubt if the women who roll beedis all day long for R30 are going to shout ‘hurrah’ when they hear about the SlutWalk. Indian women are still denied so many fundamental rights that this preposterous event, performed by women who are aping the antics of white, educated, middle-class females in the West (who appear to be short of genuine problems in their lives), can only be a bagatelle.

In the West, the SlutWalk might just have a modicum of meaning because the feminist movement has notched up victories in many fields. By force of their searing critiques of society, feminists have succeeded in improving women’s lives in great measure. If, at this stage they wish to take on relatively lightweight matters such as the use of ‘slut’, how such words are part of the madonna/whore categorisation of women and how there is no equivalent of ‘slut’ for a man (because he is a stud), there is nothing very discordant about it because of the substantial advances that have been made.

Transpose the same campaign to India, which has not been through the same feminist trajectory, and it jangles because of its irrelevance and discontinuity, a bit like a shipwrecked man, rescued naked and asking for cuff links instead of underpants.

SlutWalkers are wrong to link the way women dress with rape. A Bangalore group called White Noise had an exhibition some years ago of the clothes women had been wearing when they were groped or assaulted. They covered the entire gamut of female attire, including outfits that covered them from neck to feet.

When women are raped during times of war or ethnic cleansing, it is not because of what they were wearing. When a woman in rural India is raped, it’s definitely not because she was sporting a thong. What Indian women need is protection against violence, not a campaign to reclaim the meaning of ‘slut’ and give it a positive connotation. If SlutWalkers think that their effort to reclaim the word slut or slutitude is perhaps akin to the ‘negritude’ movement by intellectuals in French Africa that sought to reclaim the pejorative ‘negre’ as a positive word, they are pretentious in the extreme.

Their strange stance bemuses me. Earlier feminists had railed against popular culture’s reduction of women to body parts — breasts and buttocks. This belittlement of women as nothing more than sexual objects was regarded as one of the most degrading things that patriarchal societies had done to women.

Yet, this new generation of feminists want to dress in clothes that reveal their breasts and buttocks and demand this ‘self-objectification’ as a ‘right’? Again focusing attention onto their bodies? Is this false consciousness gone mad?

Even the basic argument of SlutWalkers that men should not ogle women who are dressed revealingly is ultimately unrealistic. Yes, a woman can control how she projects herself in the world but she needs to be aware that the way she dresses can trigger certain reactions around her which she cannot control.

My non-Indian friends in Delhi dress more conservatively than they would do in London or New York because they are aware of the cultural differences and wish to protect themselves against possible misinterpretation.

SlutWalkers inhabit a fantasy world if they think they can be invulnerable to the force of culture, history and social conditioning — and the fact that most of us take three seconds to form an opinion of someone based on their appearance or accent.

It’s odd that the women who will be participating in SlutWalk have not been out on the streets denouncing female foeticide or dowry deaths. No doubt they will get their regulation 15 minutes but if they believe that Indian women lie awake at night wishing they could dress like a strumpet without attracting a glance, they are delusional.

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MIM appeals for peace

 Majlis party president Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday appealed to the people to maintain peace and tranquillity and pray for harmony in the State in view of ongoing political developments.

Addressing the gathering at ‘Youmul Quran’ programme organised at the Mecca Masjid after the Friday prayers, Mr. Owaisi said that the party still stands by its decision of not supporting the separate Telangana State.

However, he said now that the UPA alliance has endorsed the formation of Telangana, the Majlis would ensure that people, irrespective of their region or State, peacefully stay in Hyderabad.

“It’s a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen of the country,” he said.

Referring to the remarks made by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi of comparing Muslims with ‘puppies’, the leader wondered why no case was registered against Mr. Modi while the government was quick enough in registering criminal cases against his brother for alleged hate speech.

He said the country equally belongs to the Muslims and there is no question of doubting them as they had time and again proved their patriotism from the days of India’s independence struggle.

His Majlis party would fight democratically against the communal forces and ensure justice to the victims of Gujarat riots and fake encounters.

Meanwhile, about 40,000 people offered the Jummat-ul-Vida prayers at the Mecca Masjid. A pious atmosphere prevailed around the historic edifice with people dressed in their customary attire making a beeline from across the city since morning.

The police made elaborate security arrangements by deploying additional forces including APSP, RAF, Task Force and BSF units as a precautionary measure.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Muslims unhappy Gita to be taught in Madrasas and urdu schools in Madhya Pradesh

The state government of Madhya Pradesh wants to introduce chapters from a Hindu book Bhagavad Gita into the curriculum of Madrasas and Urdu schools. The government wants to make it compulsory for young students in Islamic schools of Madhya Pradesh to read chapters from Gita.
This decision triggers a storm in Muslim community and various Muslim organizations and prominent Muslims in India have protested against it.

This is not the first time this kind of thing is happening in India. Some years ago government's decision make Surya Namaskar and chants compulsory in government schools was toned down after Muslim bodies moved court against it.

In 2007 Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced holding a state-wide 'surya namaskar' and yoga program in all government run schools on January 25. It was compulsory for every student to take part in that program.
Various Muslim groups protested against it and moved to court. After that the High Court ordered that participation in it would not be compulsory, but voluntary.

The petitions claimed that 'surya namaskar'was part of worship system of a religion and that worship of sun was forbidden in certain religious communities. Therefore, it should be voluntary as students come from different religious backgrounds, it pleaded.

Giving the interim order, the HC said, no student shall be compelled to take part in the 'surya namaskar'and added no action including expulsion and de-recognition of schools would be done for not taking part in the program.

Again the state government of MP doing something similar to 2007 but this time its bigger. It is making it compulsory for young Muslims in Urdu and Islamic schools to read chapters from Gita. Today they want to force Muslim students to read gita tomorrow they will ask them to worship their idols. All this needs to be stopped and Indian Muslims are rightfully protesting against it. Muslims have the freedom to decide what they want to do and no one can force their beliefs on them.

It must be very clear that a Muslim cannot bend in front of  or worship any other god expect Allah. Allah is the one he is the almighty. As far as surya namaskar is concerned Muslims cannot bend in front of a false god Sun or chant mantras. Hinduism is a pagan religion and pagans worship these kinds of things; sun, moon etc..
Islam is a Monotheistic religion, Muslims believe in one god that is Allah now do you want Muslims to become polytheistic idol worshipers.
Surely Hindus question this ideology and ask Muslims to change their beliefs but will a Hindu change his belief , will a Hindu eat cow or stop animal sacrifice carried out in various temples?  No.
In the surya namaskar case Muslim organizations rightly said  'surya namaskar'was performed with chanting Hindu 'mantras' which is not allowed in Islam. Even if mantras are not chanted bending in front of a false god is a major sin.
Surely there are various saffron Hindu forces that like the decision of MP government and want to create communal tensions.
If a Muslim wants to Study Gita willingly just as a study then its fine but no one can compel him to read it.

Most fundamental pillar of Islam "There is no deity worthy of worship except the One True Almighty God ie; Allah" (in Arabic: "La ilaha ill Allah").

From Hindustan Times:
The state government’s decision to include chapters on the Bhagavad Gita in Urdu medium schools, starting from Class 1 and 2, from this academic session has sparked a new controversy. The decision has earned the ire of Muslim organizations.

Several such organizations have come out against the government’s decision and have said if required they would seek court intervention in the matter.

“The decision to include chapters on Gita in government schools itself is wrong and unconstitutional. Now, by including Gita in the syllabus of Urdu medium schools and in Urdu books is like adding insult to injury,” said member of Muslim personal law board Arif Masood.

He termed the government’s decision as interference in religion.

Those who wish to study Gita can go ahead but others should be provided with an alternative.

Muslims would protest this decision tooth and nail and would knock on court’s door if the government does not reconsider its decision, said Masood.

MP unit of Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims has also opposed and condemned the decision. Secretary of the committee, Javed Akhtar asks why the government has chosen only the Bhagavad Gita to impart moral lessons.

India is a secular country and such decisions are against the spirit of communal harmony. “We would definitely take legal recourse,” said Akhtar.

“Such decisions go against the spirit of a secular state. I remember before 1970s, the state government had a book in schools where chapters on Guru Govind Singh, Bible and Islam were incorporated in some form or another. That book disappeared gradually,” said Mohammad Mahir, president of Muslim Vikas Parishad.

If government’s intention is really to teach moral lessons then teachings from all religions should be included, said Mahir.

Social activist Abdul Jabbar said it is really ironical that Urdu has now been associated with a religion.

Earlier, it was considered only as a language that everybody studied; now it has been confined to Muslims alone.

Moreover, the decision of teaching Gita in Urdu medium is another attempt to relate it exclusively to Muslims.

The government should try to teach Islamic preaching as well especially misconceptions spread about Islam.

"It is unconstitutional," said Haleem Khan, member of the Centre's National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education. "If the government does not take back its decision, we will go to the court."

The true face of Hindu led government in Madhya Pradesh has been unveiled. Various Muslim organizations in India have protested against it and now this matter will go to court. Hopefully the verdict will be righteous and in favor of Muslim community.

- By Arslan Khan
( B.A in Islamic Studies, PG Diploma in Journalism, Delhi)

The Maulanas and Dargahs promoting education and competitiveness in Muslim youth

Muslim maulanas (clerics) and dargahs (religious shrines) dot the landscape of Muslim India – the cities and towns where India’s Muslims live. Having grown up in India, the scenes of multitudes of worshippers thronging the shrines and bearded maulanas lecturing away to the congregations are ingrained in my mind. Countless movies and TV coverage of religious occasions have further reinforced these images over the years. Many people stereotype the extraordinary educational and socioeconomic backwardness of the Muslims of India with the sub-culture of dargahs and maulanas that is pervasive in the lower middleclass Indian Muslim community.

On the other end of the spectrum of the Indian society are the images of successful bright Indian youth who compete fiercely for top professional opportunities like IAS/IFS/IPS civil services and the bright eyed engineers from IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and doctors from prominent medical colleges entering promising careers in the modern fields of engineering and medicine.
The two images are poles apart. Yet in recent weeks my attention has been pleasantly drawn to the two images coming together for a few Muslims. No, they did not crack the Powerball lottery. A counted few among the lecturing maulanas and the maudlin dargahs took a big leap forward and bridged the vast gap between the two images to make it possible for a few ordinary Muslim youth to touch the modern Indian moon. Let me share this pleasant observation with you in the following.

Maulana Mohammad Fazlur Rahim Mujaddidi’s Crescent Civil Service Academy, New Delhi
About ten years ago Maulana Mujaddidi, a very respected Muslim cleric, established the Crescent Academy in New Delhi as a division of the Maulana Abdur Rahim Educational Trust, with a vision of providing proper guidance, academic coaching and training to the Muslim aspirants for the country’s topmost Civil Services (IAS/IFS/IPS etc).

Typically every year less than 1 percent successful candidates are Muslim. In the just announced results for the very tough multipart competition for these coveted careers for 2013, 13 trainees from the Crescent Academy came through as successful candidates. In fact 30 candidates from the Academy were successful in the first round examinations and 19 cleared the main IAS examination.

It should be noted that to-date the Academy with its limited infrastructure and resources, has been able to produce more than 100 IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, judges and State civil servants throughout the country. These are the very top government services in India and the careers lead to their being the makers of the top policies in the country.

Maulana Wali Rahmani’s Rahmani-30 IIT Entrance Coaching Center, Patna
About five years ago Maulana Rahmani, another very respected Muslim cleric, established this coaching center to provide academic and competitive training to Muslim youth who aspire to enter the Indian Institutes of Technology - India’s most prestigious engineering colleges. Typically every year no more than about 1% Muslim youth are successful in enrolling in the IITs. The results of the competitive examination held for 2013 announced last week show that 24, mostly Muslim, of the 30 candidates from the Rahmani-30 Center cracked the IIT-JEE (Joint Entrance Examination).
Besides the 24, four students of Rahmani-30 who could not clear the test last year have also got success this year. These 28 candidates have qualified for IIT-JEE Advance test to be held in June.

Typically graduates of IITs go on to work in prestigious positions in the country’s top corporations, or multinational corporations or receive employment in foreign countries.

Khaja Bandanawaz Gaisudaraz Dargah’s Engineering College and Institute of Medical Sciences, Gulbarga
Khaja Bandanawaz Gaisudaraz, who passed away in 1422, was a illustrious sufi saint who settled in Gulbarga, Karnatak at the invitation of the then Bahmani Sultan Tajuddin Firoz Shah. He was a disciple of the very illustrious sufi saint Hazrat Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlvi. His ancient dargah in Gulbarga is a popular center of attraction in south India.

In 1966 the Dargah’s Trust established the Khaja Education Society to promote education in the educationally backward Muslim community. They started with a school for girls and now operate 15 minority educational institutions in Gulbarga, including the Khaja Bandanawaz College of Engineering established in 1980 and the Khaja Bandanawaz Institute of Medical Sciences established in 2000. The pioneering spirit behind the Khaja Education Society has been the Dargah Trust and Padamshree Shah Mohammad Hussaini who passed away recently.

Without a doubt this dargah is totally different from the thousands of dargahs spread throughout the country, in that it has put its primary focus on imparting modern high education to the Muslims. Also they have been so eminently successful in transforming youth from the backward Muslim community into high quality engineers and doctors, who are helping uplift the Muslim community and the country into a modern nation.

Spread the secrets of success
One important factor for the handful of brilliant success stories in the Muslim community enumerated above is the close cooperation between the Muslim religious leaders and the Muslim intelligentsia leaders.

Instead of competing with each other or ignoring each other, they pooled the street popularity of the religious folks with the knowledge of modern education of the educated Muslims to make it a win-win situation for the community.

These undoubtedly rare success stories in India’s Muslim community make one wonder how much socioeconomic development can take place in the community if many more maulanas and dargahs dedicate themselves to the cause of imparting quality modern education and competitive ability to the Muslim youth and include the well educated Muslims in their team. Instead of spending so much time and energy on political and publicity activities if we spend more of it on the development of our youth, we can change the community’s picture drastically in just one generation.
- By Kaleem Kawaja