Indian Muslim News - INDIAN STATES

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 31 August 2009 | Posted in

What Maharashtrian Muslims Really Want?

By Aamir Edresy

The achievements for 15% targets under various National level schemes earmarked for minorities are not satisfactory in the State. Under enhancing opportunities for Education, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) schemes through Anganwadi Centres; improving access to school education through Sarva Shikshan Abhiyan (SSA), Quality Improvement of Madarsa Education, establishment of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBVs); Equitable share in economic activities and Employment for the poor like Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojna (SGSY), Sawarnjayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojna (SJSRY), Sampoorna Grameen Rojgar Yojna (SGRY); Upgradation of skills through technical training, like establishment of new ITIs ; Enhanced credit support for economic activities from banks; Improving the condition of living of minorities by providing equitable share in rural housing scheme, Indira Awaas Yojna (IAY); Improvement in conditions of slums inhabited by minority communities through Integrated Housing & Slum Development Program (IHSDP) and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

These are the national flagship programs with very huge budget e.g., for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which is being implemented in partnership with States(60:40), Local Bodies and the community ; Rs. 13,100 crore were provided in 2008-09 for SSA. Its 15% means Rs. 1965 crore must be utilized for minorities at national level and approximately Rs. 196 crore in Maharashtra exclusively under SSA benefiting minorities.

Special measures to improve access to credit has been directed by RBI. Public Sector banks have to set up lending to minorities from 9% to 15% during 2007-2010. Ministry of Minority Affairs claims the improvement in recruitment of minorities from 6.95 % in 2006-07 to 8.65% in 2007-08 in Central Ministries/Departments. State Government who is recruiting 55 thousand police staff during 2004-09, although minority representatives are included in the selection panels, but percentage of Muslims is hardly more than 2-3%. In MPSC appointments (2006-07) for class I/II posts, just three Muslims were appointed out of 416 selections.

Central Government sponsored Free Coaching and allied scheme for minorities is very poorly implemented in the Maharashtra State. In the years 2006-07 and 2007-08, no coaching centers from Maharashtra were approved, where as in 2008-09, five coaching centers have been selected to coach 980 minority candidates for MHT-CET, AIEEE, IIT, BPO, retail marketing, sales Mktg/Mgt programs. Rs. 1.16 crore were granted. All the centers approved are very infamous.

Most surprisingly only one institute named M/s Educare Pvt. Ltd. 317, Corporate Centre, Nirmal Life Style, LBS Road, Mulund (W), Mumbai has been granted Rs.86.035 lakh grant to coach 730 students for CA-CPT, MHT-CET, IIT, AIEEE, BPO, Retail Mgt, Sales Mktg. & Mgt. Now, results for these exams are declared, what is the performance of minority students who got coaching from this center is the matter of search.

Maharashtra State Government claims itself as the first State in the country to establish a separate department for minorities. Perhaps, its authorities didnt know West Bengal has established Minority Welfare Department in 1996, A.P., U.P., M.P., Tamil Nadu States have separate departments for minority welfare since years back, even Bihars BJP Government has Minority Department. Moreover, State Government in its 100 important decisions in last four years, records that, Alpasankhyankana Dilasa! what a mercy !

In Maharashtra, four districts Parbhani, Hingoli, Washim and Buldhana are identified by Central Government as Minority Concentrated Districts for Multisectoral Development Program during XI Plan (2007-12). But unfortunately no project/development program has been approved for these districts up to the end of March 2009, while Rs. 270.82 crore has been approved for 47 such districts of the other States. (Achievements of Ministry of Minority Affairs, Govt. of India uploaded on www.minorityaffairs.gov.in)

For over all development of minorities in the State, following are the suggestions/demands for effective implementation of existing welfare schemes and requirement of new schemes/projects.

1. A provision of Rs. 167.62 crore was made for the year 2008-2009 to implement various welfare schemes for minorities while Rs. 2,332 crore were allocated for Social Justice i.e. SC & ST's welfare. The State annual plan for 2009-10 has been fixed at Rs.26,000 crore which include Rs. 2,652 crore for social justice ( more than 10% of the total ) while just Rs. 210.31 crore for minorities (less than 1% of the total).

On one hand, Justice Sachar Committee's findings reveals that Muslims are far backward than SC & STs and Government claims implementation of Sachar Committee's recommendations, but on the other hand, for the welfare of minorities, State Government is allocating just 8-10 % of the funds allocated for SC & STs.

Is it the concerted action for the welfare of minorities involving them in the social development for inclusive growth?

Hence, the funds for development of minorities must be increased to Rs. 2600 crore at par with the funds for SC & STs. Even additional funds must be provided to fulfill their backlog.

2. The affirmative constitutional policy of reservation has successfully transformed the lives of SCs & STs and they are getting 100 % weightage for their population in education, services and development schemes.

Hence, it is strongly urged to adopt the time tested affirmative action of 15% reservation for minorities consisting of 10% for Muslims.

A constitutional Commission to study Muslims social, economical, educational status in the state is to be urgently formed and official data from NSSO, NUEPA, HRD ministry, etc must be considered for declaring reservation to minorities as suggested by Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission.

3. Recently, in the budget presented on 4th June' 2009, State Government has announced an amount of Rs. 32 crore for scholarships to professional minority students. 36,800 scholarships for pre-matric minority students and 16,000 post-matric scholarships by the Central Government for the year 2009-10. It do not cater the needs of a large number of poor needy minority students. Hence, the number of scholarships must be increased upto ten times specially for pre-matric and post-matric students by considering the number of applications received in last year.

4. The application process for these scholarships must be simplified and it must be declared in June/July at the start of academic year. The pre-requirement of Declaration of religion, Income Certificate and A/c Number must be scrapped. These documents must be collected by selected students only.

5. Complete 100 % reimbursement of Tuition Fee for minority students must be declared at par with SC & Sts.

6. Encouragement allowance to the parents whose wards are in class V to VII to improve their attendance in the schools must be increased from Rs. 2/- per day to Rs. 10/- per day.

7. Minority Schools and Junior Colleges must be provided the grants for computer lab, Science, Maths and language laboratories, libraries. The amount for infrastructure development must be increased from Rs. 2 lakh per school to Rs. 5 lakh.

8. Grants for development of minority dominated areas must also need to be increased at least to ten times of existing Rs. 18.85 crore (2008-09)

9. Providing free uniforms, free bicycles to minority students must be increased by considering the requirement.

10. Job Oriented Training Programs for minority students with a budget of Rs. 4.66 crore is very insufficient. At least twenty times increase in the amount for this scheme is required. Andhra Pradesh Government's Jawahar Knowledge Centre's Model can be helpful for our State. In Andhra Pradesh 1.70 lakh students got jobs through those centers in aviation, Railways, Defence, Banking, Finance, Insurance, Transport, Automobile, Petroleum, Dairy, Food Processing, Construction, Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Sectors.

11. As declared by former C.M., on August 18, 2008, proposed 16 Residential Schools across the State, 10 Girls Hostels for Minorities must be established and started immediately.

12. State Government is planning to establish 21 Model Schools for Tribal Community Students in 2009-10, in the same way at least 30 Model Schools (Residential Schools, proposed by MHRD, Govt. of India) must be established exclusively for minorities.

13. Urdu Libraries and Computer Training Centres must be established by the State Government in each Minority dominated Taluka/ Municipality and Corporation.

14. The budget of Urdu Academy must be increased from Rs. 50 lakh to 50 crore.

Study material in Urdu for IV, VII, National Means Cum Merit Scholarships for VIII, Maharashtra Talent Search Scholarship Exams, clerical grade, competitive exams, MHT-CET, AIEEE, IIT exams must be developed and published by the State Urdu Academy.

The proposed single Text Books at Junior College for Arts, Science and Commerce students must be translated in Urdu and published by the State Urdu Academy. Best Urdu Schools at District level, Divisional Board level and State level must be provided with special grants.

Construction of Urdu Ghar, Urdu literary centers, Urdu Mela, such activities for promotion of Urdu language must be organized.

Urdu must be declared as second official language of Maharashtra and all competitive exams like MPSC, clerical grade, for police recruitment must be conducted in Urdu.

All the vacancies in Urdu Medium Z.P. High Schools, Corporations, Municipalities must be filled up in the time bound manner. SSA must be implemented effectively for minorities by including all Urdu medium primary schools and madarsas.

All the non granted Urdu medium schools and Junior colleges must be considered for releasing the grants on priority basis.

15. Boys and Girls separate Hostels must be established for minorities at each University place of Maharashtra (at 15-16 places).

16. At least 20 Marathi Medium, 20 English Medium and 5 Military Schools on grant-in-aid basis must be approved by the State Government as Residential / Day-Boarding Schools under Public Private Partnership Scheme.

17. At least 20 new ITIs in Urdu Medium must be recognised on grant-in-Aid basis. And at least 20 Second shift ITIs in Urdu/Marathi medium must be started in Govt/ Aided ITIs exclusively for minorities.

18. At least 10 new polytechnics in Urdu Medium (with affiliation from Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad) and 10 new polytechnics in English Medium must be started by the State Government for minorities.

These can be started as Second Shift Polytechnics using same infrastructure of Govt/Semi Government Polytechnics as suggested by National Knowledge Commission and A.I.C.T.E.

19. 20 D.Ed., 10 B.Ed and 5 M.Ed. colleges in Urdu medium must be started on Grant-in-aid basis at those places where Urdu medium colleges are not existing.

20. At least 20 new Engineering colleges, 10 new Pharmacy, 4 Medical (M.B.B.S.), 10 Management, 5 Hotel Management institutes must be started/recognised by the State Government in Second Shift exclusively for minorities or Independent Institutes under Public Private Partnership (PPP) as suggested by Planning Commission.

21. To increase the present gross enrolment ratio of Muslims in Higher Education from 8.27% to Hindu's 24.28% and Christian's 25.19%, new Degree colleges, Evening Colleges, Girls Colleges for Muslims must be started on grant-in-aid basis.

Minority Educational Managements/Trusts must be encouraged to establish Higher Educational/Research Institutes, Private Universities and Professional Colleges. Other barriers such as land requirement, built up space, fixed deposit are needed to be lowered to realistic levels in order to facilitate the opening of new colleges by Muslim Managements.

22. State Government must provide land to the proposed campus of Aligarh Muslim University at Pune and Maulana Azad National Urdu University at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nanded, Amravati.

23. Madarsa pass outs must be admitted in formal Degree programs of State Universities at par with equivalence given by Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University.

24. State Government must sponsor at least 200 minority candidates to study abroad as it awards scholarships to SC/STs for same purpose.

25. State Government must conduct Pilot Training Program, Hotel Management and Catering Technology courses for Minority students with full sponsorship as it has conducted for SC/STs.

26. Competitive Examination Coaching Centres for Minority students must be started in each district (instead of divisional level) where minority students must be coached for Banking Services, Railway Services, Defence Services, MPSC, UPSC, NET/SET exams.

27. Separate batches for minority students must be run at the State Government's well known reputed SIAC, Mumbai, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Kolhapur ; YASHDA's Dr. Ambedkar Competitive Exam Coaching Centre, Pune and Chintamanrao Deshmukh Institute, Thane Corporation for competitive exam preparation.

28. Talent Minority Students must be identified at their graduation first year level by conducting State level Scholarship Exam and they must be selected for guidance purpose, so that desired results / selections in MPSC/UPSC could be achieved.

29. Exclusive separate batches for minority students must be conducted at State Government's Defence/Military Services Pre-exam Coaching Institute, Aurangabad so that Muslim's ratio in Police and Defence/Military can be improved.

30. Presently State Minority Commission runs 3 schemes (2008-09) ;

(1) Civil Services Pre-Exam Coaching Centre, at Divisional level.

(2) Police Recruitment Pre-Exam Training Scheme at 25 Districts.

(3) Marathi Foundation Classes at Urdu Medium High Schools.

These schemes are non-productive, non-benfitting to the minorities due to their poor implementation and lack of funds. They must be brought under direct control of Ministry of Minority Welfare, Government of Maharashtra.

31. Secondly, under Central Government Sponsored Free Coaching & Allied Scheme, very unknown private coaching centers are being sponsored which do not produce any remarkable results. Therefore, those private renowned coaching institutes which have very good results in IIT, IIM's CAT, AIEEE, MHT-CET,GRE, GMAT, UPSC, MPSC, CA, ICWA, CFA exams must be selected, or minority students studying in well reputed institutes must be awarded the coaching fee and scholarships.

32. Minority students studying job oriented P.G. Diplomas in Finance/ Business Management, Retail Management, Bio-informatics, Chem-informatics, Bio-technology, Animation, etc. from private institutes must be granted with complete tuition fees and scholarships.

33. State Government has taken a decision to construct 5 lakh tenements in metropolitan region to provide temporary shelter to poor and needy people of the city on leave and license basis. Among which 75 thousand tenements must be constructed for minorities.

34. In Maharashtra, where 1.14 lakh units have been completed at the end of March 2009 during 2008-2009 and 44,811 units were in progress under Indira Awas Yojna (IAY) of which 15% must be for minorities means number of beneficiaries belonging to minorities must be 17,100 for completed units and 6,721 for units in progress. An expenditure of Rs. 480.93 crore has been incurred upto March 2009, of which Rs. 72.13 crore must be utilized for minorities.

Under this scheme target for the year 2009-10 is constructions of 2,24,323 dwelling units. An out lay of Rs. 216.62 crore has been proposed for this purpose. Hence 33,648 units must be targeted for minorities in Maharashtra.

35. Under JNNURM, started by Central Government, till now 85 projects amounting to Rs 12,204 crore have been approved for the State of Maharashtra. Out of this Rs. 2,016 crore have been released by Central Government to the State Government. From this amount, the projects of 315.9 crores must be benefiting to minorities (15% target).

36. The State Government has decided to waive off Khavti loan of 9,65,265 Tribal families, amounting to Rs. 184.41 crore during current year 2009-10. Further State Government has also waived off loans of other State Finance Corporations like Mahatma Phule Arthik Vikas Maha Mandal, but it didn't waived off the loans of Maulana Azad Alpsankhyank Arthik Vikas Mahamandal which has released just Rs. 34.04 crore as loans to 16,056 beneficiaries.

Hence, it is strongly demanded to waive off loans given to minorities as it has been done for beneficiaries of other State Finance Corporations.

For effective time bound implementation of minority welfare schemes, following are the suggestions to be worked out at State level and local level by the Government and Non-Government Organizations.

1. Administrative set up of District Minority Welfare Officer, at each district Head Quarter is essential at par with District Social Welfare Officer by the State Government. (A.P. and U.P. model can be referred in this regard)

2. For empowerment of Minorities, a State level Minorities Welfare Action Committee must be constituted.

3. For mass awareness of the schemes up to root level, programs must be organized at each taluqa/minority populated areas.

4. In depth study of implementation of each and every scheme, practical difficulties observed during its implementation, number of deserved applicants, all such aspects must be considered to review the existing schemes to cater the needs of a large number of minorities.

(Courtesy: DalitMuslims.com)

Halal: The most humane slaughter

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

By Syed Ashraf Ali

The great festival of Eid-ul Adha, popularly known in this subcontinent as Bakrid, is celebrated by the Muslims all over the world on the tenth of Dhul-Hijja every year through sacrifices and prayers in memory of the glorious sacrifice of the prophets Ibrahim Khalilullah and Ismail Zabihullah (peace be upon them).

Millions of cattle are slaughtered on this auspicious day with a view to receiving the Divine Mercy through benevolence, Samaritanism, patience and constancy. This noble effort is, however, condemned by many ignorant non-Muslims, shrouded by total ignorance about the significance and sublime essence of Qurbani, as an act of wanton cruelty. What is more, the Islamic practice of slaughter or sacrifice by slitting the throat with a sharp knife has come under attack by some animal rights activists as being an inhuman form of cruelty to animals.

It is claimed that the slaughtering of an animal with a knife is the most painful and tortuous method of killing. Nothing can be farther from the truth. It has been established beyond any shadow of doubt, through impartial scientific experiments conducted in non-Muslim countries, that the Islamic method of slaughtering with a knife is the least painful and thus the most humane method of killing an animal.

An animal is being stunned in a slaughterhouse in BrazilIn most of the Western countries, it is required by law to stun the animals with a shot in the head before the slaughter. It is done with a view to rendering the animal unconscious and thereby preventing it from reviving before it is killed so as not to slow down the movement of the processing line. It is also used from a humanitarian point of view. It is presumed that this stunning prevents the animal from feeling pain before it dies. But research conducted in a non-Muslim country like Germany has come out with very surprising findings which nail to the counter the allegations against the Islamic method of slaughtering with a knife.

The intensive research conducted at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Hanover University in Germany was headed by Professor Wilhelm Schulze. He was assisted by Dr. Hazim. The study was named: "Attempts to objectify pain and consciousness in conventional (captive bolt pistol stunning) and ritual (Islamic method of cutting with knife) methods of slaughtering sheep and calves."

The results were most unexpected to the non-Muslim Westerners. The claim that the CBPS (Capital Bolt Pistol Stunning) method was least painful and most humane dashed to the ground. The findings testified to the fact that the slaughter of an animal with a sharp knife is the least painful and most humane of all methods of killing.

In the study several electrodes were surgically implanted at various points of the skulls of all animals under experiment, touching the surface of the brain. The animals were allowed to recover for several weeks.

Some animals were then slaughtered, according to the Islamic method, by making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck cutting the jugular vein and the carotid arteries as well as the trachea and esophagus. Other animals were stunned with the aid of a 'Captive Bolt Pistol' (CBP).

During the experiment an electroencephalograph (EEG) and an electrocardiogram (ECG) recorded the condition of the brains and the hearts of all the animals during the course of slaughter and stunning.

The results were as follows:

Slaughtering with a knife (The Islamic Method)

1. The first 3 seconds from the time of the slaughter (in the Islamic Method) as recorded on the EEG did not show any change from the graph before slaughter, thus indicating that the animal did not feel any recognisable pain during or after the incision.
2. During the following 3 second, the EEG recorded a condition of deep sleep-unconsciousness. This is due to the large quantity of blood gushing out of the body. The sudden and profuse bleeding from the incision on the neck causes a shock resulting in a state of unconsciousness due to severe shortage of blood supply to the vital centers located in the brain.
3. After the above-mentioned 6 seconds, the EEG recorded zero level, showing no feeling of pain at all.
4. As the brain message (EEG) dropped to zero level, the heart was still pounding and the body convulsing vigorously (a reflex action of the spinal cord) driving out a maximum amount of blood from the body, thus resulting in hygienic meat for the consumers.

Captive Bolt Pistol (CBP) Stunning Method

1. The animals were apparently unconscious soon after stunning.
2. But EEG showed severe pain immediately after stunning.
3. The hearts of animals stunned by CBP stopped beating earlier as compared to those of the animals slaughtered according to the Islamic method, resulting in the retention of more blood in the meat. This in turn is unhygienic for the consumer.

CBP Method and mad cow disease (MCD)

The Western method of stunning animals with a shot in the head is not only severely painful, as shown by the above experiment, but it is also alarmingly unhygienic. There is rising concern (based on the findings of some researches) that the method may be a factor in the spread of Mad Cow disease (MCD) from cattle to human beings.

Two independent researches carried out recently at the Texas A & M University and by Canada's Food Inspection Agency discovered that a method called Pneumatic Stunning (in which a metal bolt is fired into the cow's brain and followed by a pulverising burst of 150 pounds of air pressure) delivered a force so explosive that it scattered brain tissue throughout the animal's body. The findings are really disturbing since brain tissue and spinal cord are the most infectious parts of an animal with Mad Cow Disease which causes Swiss cheese like holes in the brain of the infected animal. It is all the more alarming because 30 to 40 per cent of the American cattle are stunned by pneumatic guns before the slaughter.

As for the most modern method of electric stunning being practiced in many developed countries, the Meat Inspection Branch of the United States Department of Agriculture came to the following conclusion in 1953: "The use of electric stunning methods by plants which operate under federal meat inspection has not been permitted as a result of experiments which were conducted several years ago at the University of Chicago. These experiments indicated that electric stunning in hogs resulted in certain changes in the tissues which could not be differentiated by gross examination from similar changes produced by disease."

In 1955 the Danish Ministry of Justice issued a circular, which said, "Stunning with electricity causes extravasations in meat, sanguinary intestines and fracture in the spinal column, pelvis and the shoulder blades through shock. The blood in the meat makes it more susceptible to putrefaction and has a detrimental effect upon its taste. The properties of the meat which would co-operate with the salt in extracting the blood traces are interfered within the animal undergoing shock convulsions prior to slaughter."

In 1954 British regulations were amended and electric stunning was prohibited, "the reason being that stunning seriously affected the quality of British bacon."

It was also observed: "Electric stunning hastens the onset of putrefaction in meat. The explanation of the phenomenon lies in the high lactic acid level following electric shocks prior to bleeding. High lactic acid alters the bacterial resistance of meat."

If the head of the animal is severed by one sharp blow through guillotining or Bali at the sacrificial post, there will be sudden contraction of voluntary muscles, which will expel important nutrient fluids and, as in electric shock, some lactic acid will also form. What is more, since the heart will stop suddenly, there will not be sufficient bleeding which is needed for better and healthier meat.

It is evident from the above-mentioned studies that the Islamic slaughter of animals is a blessing to both the animal and the person who consumes it. It may, however, be mentioned in this connection that the Islamic method insists on several measures to make the slaughter lawful.
This is done to ensure maximum benefit to both the animal and the consumer.

The holy Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) emphatic declaration in this regard should be mentioned first. The holy Prophet (pbuh) said: "Allah calls for mercy in everything, so be merciful when you kill and when you slaughter: sharpen your blade to relieve its pain."

According to a tradition transmitted by Muslim, the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) ordered a horned ram with black legs, a black belly and black round the eyes, and it was brought to him to be sacrificed. He told Bibi Ayesha Siddiqua (RA) to get the knife, and then told her to sharpen it with a stone. When she had done so he took it, then taking the ram he placed it on the ground and cut its throat.

The Islamic method indeed demands that the knife to be used for slaughtering animals must be sharp and used swiftly. The swift cut of vessels of the neck disconnects the flow of blood to the nerves in the brain responsible for pain. Thus the slaughtered animal feels no pain.

It may be mentioned in this connection that the movements and withering of the different limbs of the animal after the incision is made are not due to pain, but due to the contraction and relaxation of the muscles deficient in blood. The convulsions are due to the contraction of the muscles in response to the lack of oxygen in the brain cells.

The muscles, by these contractions, squeeze out blood from the blood vessels in the tissues to pour it into the central circulation system to be sent to the brain, but this is lost on the way (due to cutting of big vessels in the neck) and the brain cells consequently keep on sending messages to the muscles to wring out blood, until the animal dies.

Convulsions thus occur when the animal becomes unconscious. And because the slaughtered animal becomes unconscious for massive hemorrhage, it does not feel pain while bleeding.
The holy Prophet's (pbuh) kindness to the animals extended to such an extent that he also instructed the Muslims neither to sharpen the blade of the knife in front of the animals nor to slaughter an animal in front of others of its own kind. It is unfortunate that very few Muslims today abide by this noble and unparalleled instruction of the last and greatest Prophet.

While offering Qurbani on Eid-ul-Azha most of the Muslims unfortunately, ignore the above-mentioned humane instruction of the Apostle of God (phub) and recklessly slaughter camels and cows and lambs right in front of other animals. We not only fight shy of the holy Prophet's unique instruction but also very easily forget that the animals feel and suffer in the same way as the humans do.

Lastly, the Islamic method also insists that the cut should involve the windpipe (trachea), gullet (esophagus), and the two jugular veins without cutting the spinal cord. This method results in rapid gush of blood draining most of it from the animal's body. If the spinal cord is cut, the nerve fibres to the heart might be damaged leading to cardiac arrest, thus resulting in stagnation of blood in the blood vessels. The blood must be drained completely before the head is removed from the body. As most of the blood, which acts as medium of microorganisms, is removed the meat becomes purified and also remains fresh for a longer period as compared to the meat obtained through other methods of slaughtering like gullotining or decapitation, CBPS and electric stunning.

The Islamic method of slaughter is, therefore, not only the most humane and least painful but also the most hygienic of all the methods of killing animals.

(Courtesy: The New Nation, Dhaka)

Indian Muslim News - EDUCATION

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , ,

Beyond Cattle and Sheep: The Islamic Education and Finance Industries in Australia

By Zulfikar M. Shariff

The land of cattle and sheep. That is how the Australian halal industry seems to be perceived by non Australians. True, New Zealand is better known for sheep (or at least for Australians), but whenever the halal industry is discussed outside of Australia, the most common interest is in Australian meat. Australia does produce quality meat products. With the keenness of the abattoirs to meet Islamic requirements and the non shortage of halal certifying bodies in Australia (18 bodies at last count) halal meat is easily obtainable. Melbourne, a multicultural city of 5 million and regularly rated as the world’s most livable city is home to more than 100,000 Muslims. Halal butchery is always a short drive away. Sydney Road, (the road that links Melbourne to Sydney, albeit almost 900km away) is scattered with Turkish kebab shops, Lebanese grocers and several major butcheries. The sign board for Medina Halal meat, one of the most popular halal butchers can be easily seen amidst others notifying the customers of Persian rugs and Harley Davidson motorcycles. However, meat is not all that the halal industry or even Muslims in Australia has to offer. While the Muslim population is slowly increasing, the Islamic market is expanding in leaps.

Two important emerging industries are education and finance. Education is an important industry in Australia. With quality universities like University of Melbourne, Monash University, Australia National University and with more than 230,000 international students from about 195 countries, the education industry is fast recognized as valuable and vital. Malaysia has 19,500 students in Australian tertiary institutions. However, the emerging Australian education industry is not confined to tertiary education. Islamic education in Australia is fast growing with more than 20 Islamic colleges around the country. Still in its nascent stage, with most Islamic colleges established only in the 1990s, the growth and its engagement with the wider society and government makes Australian Islamic colleges an excellent platform for students who want to study in Australia and yet retain their Islamic identity. Islamic Colleges follow the state sanctioned curriculum with Islamic subjects included as part of the curriculum. Mr Selim Kayikci, Vice Principal of Ilim College illustrated, “Ilim College provides an Islamic environment that encourages high achievement and focused ambition and equip students with enough knowledge and confidence to put Islamic beliefs, values and morals into practice in their own lives.” Islamic colleges provide a strong foundation for students to enroll in Australian universities. By the time students enroll in university, their command of English, knowledge of culture and the educational system will be well established. Bridging the divide between Islam and the West, graduates of Islamic colleges in Australia gain greater appreciation living as Muslims in an Islamic environment in a Western country.

The bridging of the Islam-Western divide is done on various scales in Australia. Apart from the various community-government and multicultural organisations that seek to improve relations, the government’s continued appreciation of Islamic finance as an industry that is due recognition provides a stronger platform for the continuous mutual respect and understanding between the cultures. One example of the respect accorded to Muslims is the relative ease with which the Muslim Community Cooperative (Australia) Ltd, Australia’s largest Islamic finance and investment organization engaged with the Victorian government for the exemption of double stamp duty. Founded in 1989 with an initial capital a little more than AU$20,000, MCCA initially started by providing Murabaha and Musharakah type house financing to the Muslim community. However, given the need for assets to be transacted in both systems, MCCA clientele had to pay stamp duty in multiples when the property is first purchased by MCCA and sold at the end of the contract. However, when the team led by Dr Abdul Rahim Ghouse, General Manager of MCCA met with the Victorian State Revenue Office (SRO) in October 2003 and in subsequent meetings, they found the SRO not only tolerant of Muslim needs, but also appreciative of the development of Islamic financing. As a result, in just 1 year since the initial meeting, the Victorian government gave bipartisan support to the Tax amendment to exempt payment of double stamp duty in Shariah compliant financing with Royal Assent granted on 19th October 2004. MCCA then proceeded to engage the Office of State Revenue in New South Wales and has been given a waiver for Murabaha financing from double stamp duty. During The World halal Forum, it was illuminating how much Muslims in Australia is able to engage on equal footing with the federal and state governments. While Muslims in other Western countries detailed their difficulties in gaining recognition for Islamic financing, MCCA has been able to not just encourage the state government to amend the Tax Act, but was able to work with the regulators on various levels. MCCA also engaged with the Uniform Consumer Credit Code Management Committee, the organization that governs consumer-financing organization relationship, to exempt Islamic financing from using the word “interest”.

These recognitions of Islamic requirements reflects the openness from both sides, the Muslim community and the government to not only engage, but work out mutually beneficial solutions. As a result, Australia is now able to provide financing products that suit Islamic requirements. And as a consequence, it allows organisations such as MCCA to develop more products that complies with both, Australian and Islamic laws. As an example, MCCA is launching in July 2006, the Crescent Ethical Managed Discretionary Account (Crescent Ethical MDA), an investment product that allows investors to invest in the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) through Shariah screened shares. It attracts investments from Muslims internationally who wants to invest in the strong Australian market but requires it to be done according to Shariah requirements. In the next few months, MCCA is launching several other investment products to attract greater investment, which will not only benefit the Muslim community, but also Australia as a whole. While the cattle and sheep market has dominated discussions about the halal industry in Australia, the education and Islamic finance industries are emerging to provide greater avenues for development of the halal industry in Australia while serving the international Muslim market.

(Courtesy: HalalJournal.com)

Indian Muslim News - ISSUES

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

Creation and aim of Pakistan – Two main Views

By Farooq Hussain

The causes of the division of India and creation of Pakistan have been debated by the intellectuals and political thinkers since the day one. Though there are more than one views regarding the causes of division of India in 1947. However, here the topic would be confined to the aims and concept of Pakistan.

The main causes of the struggle for Pakistan by Muslim League under Quaid-e-Azam leadership are being stated by different Pakistani intellectuals as freedom from foreign rule, fear of Hindu dominance in united India, establishment of Islamic system in the newly created state, and India Muslims identity question in united India etc. Though there were many who did not agree with the logic of two nation theory but few could dispute that Pakistan came into existence on the basis of it. However, what was the real aim of Pakistan it is disputed and is being debated since its inception. There are mainly two views in this regard.

One view contends that Pakistan was created for Islam. The other one argue that its purpose was to safeguard the political, religious, cultural as well as economic interests of the Muslims of India. In simple words the first view is that Pakistan meant to be religious state while the other insist that Pakistan was to be a Muslim well being state.

The supporters (who are mainly the religious political parties) of the first view base their arguments by referring to the thoughts and concept of Allama Iqbal and some speeches of Quaid Azam and also refer to some well known slogans raised and chanted during the struggle for Pakistan (Pakistan Ka Matlab Kia? La Illaha Illa Allah, chanted during Pakistan movement) Likewise they contend that Allama Iqbal, considered as the creator of concept of Pakistan, demanded in his address a separate state for the Muslims of north India so that they could adopt a system according to Islamic laws. About Quaid Azam concepts they refer some of his following statements:

(1)We have to fight a double edged battle, one against the Hindu Congress and the British Imperialists, both of them being capitalists. The Muslims demand Pakistan where they could rule according to their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions and Islamic laws.” (Speech at the Frontier Muslim League Conference on November 21, 1945)

(2) In August 1941, Quaid-e-Azam gave an interview to the students of the Osmania University to a question that What are the essential features of religion and a religious state?Quaid-e-Azam replied that – In other words, the Islamic state is an agency for enforcement of the Quranic principles and injunctions.

The contender of the second view – Muslim well being state – have their own arguments and they too quote from Quaid Azam views and speeches meant to say that Quaid-e-Azam never worked for Theocratic state.

Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed, are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan.” (Feb. 1948 in his broadcast to the people of Australia)

In refutation of the former view (Religious) they put the following counter arguments:

(1) If Pakistan was being created for Islam why the religious political parties and most of Ulema opposed it?

(2 ) Quaid Azam and other League leaders were though Muslims but they were all secular regarding politics.

(3) If one goes through the Muslim League Council records from 1906 to 1948, there is no reference to a theocratic Pakistan. The repeated reference (and there are a multitude of these) was that Pakistan was to be a homeland for the Muslim minority of British India.

( 4 ) Quaid Azam well known speech of 11 August 1947 to the constituent assembly in which he declared that religion has nothing to do with the affairs of the state. “You will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state. ”

(5) The first Law minister of Pakistan appointed by Quaid Azam was Mundle, a Hindu. If Quaid Azam meant to make Pakistan as religious state he would have appointed some Muslim scholar instead of him on that very important post

About the Islamic factor in the movement they are of the view that the slogan of Islam raised during the movement of Pakistan was, in the first place, not the official slogan of Muslim league as nor Quaid Azam nor the top leaders of the movement raised it, rather it was being chanted by the workers at the lower level and secondly it was just for motivating the Muslim masses and mustering their support while basic end was protection of political cultural and economic interests of the Muslims of north India. Regarding Allama Iqbal concept they argue that of course he did talk about Islamic state but he never meant it to be theocratic state if looked in proper context of his thoughts and philosophy.

No doubt he dreamed and wished for such independent Muslim state in the Muslim majority areas of India where the Islamic principles and laws may be applied in such way where it should also be compatible with the modern thoughts and requirements. However except some random excellent views and comments neither he had sorted out a detailed and feasible plan for it at the moment (though he did urge the need for Ijthihad in this regard) and nor Jinnah was his like idealistic views about the future of Muslims of India.

As for Quaid Azam views they argue that of course he too had exalted the great and high principles of Islam and its importance and efficacy in his various statements however this never meant that he wanted a theocracy. They contend that his views are quoted without context otherwise his approach was secular and liberal. (Secular does not mean anti religion as often wrongly understood mainly due to the propaganda of orthodox). Different quotations from the speeches of Quaid Azam are referred which show that his concept of Pakistan was of modern welfare state guided by the ideal principles of Islam. They further argue that Allama Iqbal had presented his well known address in 1930 while Muslims League under Jinnah for a long time continued efforts for reaching some sort of arrangement with the Congress and the British government where the political, cultural and economic rights of the Muslims could be given constitutional guarantee. For this he made many efforts encompassing a whole decade and it was after League and Jinnah became convinced that no such guarantee could be granted then in March 1940 Pakistan resolution was passed which stated that in the light of lot experience Muslim League has reached to the conclusion that only separate state could be the only solution of Muslims political problems. Of course on that occasion Jinnah did talk of two nations and elaborated the two nation theory. However that did not mean that the demanded state was final word. Here it could be further said that if Congress would have not been adamant in granting what the League were demanding then League would have never passed the Lahore resolution

Supporters of this view further argue that though Muslim League did pass Pakistan Resolution however as politics is the name of seeking different possibilities and a politician has several alternative options, so being a politician Quid-e-Azam too had several options for the protection of Indian Muslims multiple interests and preservation of their cultural identity. Among such options one was through division of India but it was not inflexible. Jinnah continued talks with both British government and Congress leaders for seeking some other constitutional ways of the Indian problem. It means that Pakistan was not the final and un-negotiable option before League and Jinnah.

Second argument in support of this view is that League and Jinnah accepted the cabinet mission plan in which the demand for Pakistan was not accepted and instead a sort of loose federation or say confederation was proposed. The acceptance of that plan by League and Jinnah meant that creation of separate state was not their main and ultimate demand. As in the cabinet mission plan Muslims could have got the safeguards of their rights for which they were demanding since long so League accepted it. The arrogant and imposing attitude of Nehru and Congress regarding the plan led Jinnah to withdraw his earlier acceptance of the plan, otherwise India would have not been divided. This explain that if the establishment of Islamic state was his basic aim he would have been totally adamant for exclusively independent Muslim state and would have never shown any elasticity.

(This topic, though, needs a separate article. However, here Two Authors, both Hindus and Indians, can be referred. One is H.M Seervai (Well known Indian Constitutionalist) In his book Partition of India: Legend and Reality (1990) challenged the existing view that blamed the partition of India on the Muslim League. He argued instead that it was the latent bias on the part of Indian National Congress leadership which resulted in partition. The other is S. K Hindu Padaya (Congress leader).

It is true that Muslim League did use the name of Islam during Pakistan Movement and for it some intellectuals and critics condemn this approach however the defenders have their own arguments or explanation for it.

According to them if the League adopted the slogan of Islam for its movement, it was justified and was a proper approach seen in the context of the situation of that time. They argue that raising of such slogan was aimed for the success of such movement which had a very great objective. The objective of safety of Muslims' political, cultural and economic rights could not be declared bad as after all this aim was by itself lofty and for the interests of billions of Muslims.

Again if someone criticizes Muslim League for using the name of Islam for politics why such persons, they argue justify the movement launched against Bhutto by the nine parties alliance (PNA) on the name of Nizame Mustafa and ironically Nawab Zada Nasrullaha Khan, Wali Khan, Pir Pagara and Asghar Khan like purely secular leaders were part of that alliance and movement. If these leaders, according to them, can be justified for employing the name of Islam for much petty cause – overthrowing Bhutto government – then why Quaid Azam and League could not be exonerated as he was struggling for more lofty cause – achieving a separate state for the interests of Muslims.

Quaid Azam never claimed nor thought of himself any saintliness or holiness, though the truth is that he was a true believing Muslim, but not the one who wore his religion on his sleeve. He was fighting for the rights of Muslims of India since his early practical career with all sincerity which even his worst opponents cannot deny, provided such persons honestly judge Quaid Azam character. Quaid Azam did state about Islam being a complete code of life and no Muslim can disagree with it. He did believe that Muslims were separate nation and had different interests from those of Hindus – and thus was his slogan of two nation theory. Likewise about Islamic ideal and principles, in particular related with social and economic aspects, his observations were that it were not only fully compatible with the modern world but were also more better and suitable compared to western ones. Of course his approach towards religion was not orthodox like the religious class, who mainly confine Islam to the petty Fiqi issues or Hadood laws or insist only in its form, but for Quaid Azam, the spirit of Islam was of real importance. In this regard his views were in line with that of Iqbal, though he was not scholar of Iqbal caliber however the source of his Islamic insight was, besides his own personal reading, the views of Allama Iqbal and some other enlightened scholars. In nutshell, Quaid Azam's political struggle was for the interests of Indian Muslims when he realized, after exhausting all options, that they could not be better protected and served in united India he opted for a separate state – Pakistan, which was essentially meant mainly for the interests of Muslims but not for the cause of Islam in the sense the religious class claimed and perceived.

Quaid Azam approach was secular to the extent that in his view the system of Pakistan would be not run by the religion as meant and interpreted by the orthodox religious class. However, Quaid Azam was also a Muslim in heart and as stated above he was of the belief that Islamic ideals and principles related in particular, with the socio and economic aspects and rule of justice etc had great value and importance so he sincerely thought that these principles and ideals must be guiding source for the constitutional set up of Pakistan.

In Feb. 1948 in his broadcast to people of United States of America, “The Constitution of Pakistan is yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know that the ultimate shape of this Constitution will be, but I am sure that it will be of the democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions, and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as the framers of the future Constitution of Pakistan.”

For further support of it the opinion of Fatima Jinnah as quoted in a book Memories of Fatima Jinnah by Sorayya Khurshid is also referred as much reliable authority. According to it Ms Jinnah believed Jinnah stood for Islamic socialism and wanted the Constitution framed on those lines and didn’t like feudalism (p.63).

Similarly at another place the authors stated about her views thus. About artists she said, “I feel they will not be treated well here. Some people want to color Pakistan with Mullahism by hook or by crook although the Pakistan Movement mentioned only Islamic socialism” (p125).

All this mean that Jinnah's concept of Pakistan was both against Mullahism and western type of secularism in which no regard is given to ethical or spiritual values. However, as balanced and realistic person he did believe in the importance and utility of many Islamic ideals and values particularly in the context of Muslim culture and belief so he could never ignore or set aside them in spite of his not being personally religious in the traditional sense.

In view of many sober and balanced intellectuals if Quaid Azam had been alive for a year or so he would have defiantly helped in inculcating those great principles of Islam in the constitution. Moderate intellectuals are of the view that Quaid Azam and Iqbal were never in favour of such religious state the like of which existed in Europe during middle ages, governed by the clergy or of which latest example is the one set up in Afghanistan by Taliban. However, Quaid Azam had had his own version of Islam. He and Iqbal had a view of such state which would be guided by the ideal and principles of Islam never meant to be ruled by Mullahs — NEVER. It is one of misfortune that most of the Pakistan Muslims think that only the traditional religious class can be the interpreters of Islamic teachings. And another misfortune of Pakistan was that the then religious leaders did prevail when the constitution was being made and under their pressure Objective resolution was passed which in the course of time has been exploited both by the religious and the ruling junta for their own vested and short term political interests. It is assumed that if Jinnah were alive at that time he, with his extraordinary sagacity and wisdom would have fond out a way and Pakistan would have a very feasible and agreed political system.

In the conclusion it could be said that Pakistan was mainly created for the multiple rights of Muslim of India in the name of Islam. Though, Sharia as understood and preached by Mullahs was never the aim of Quaid-e-Azam however in spite of his all secularism he was also not averse to the Ideals of Islam It is reasonably supposed that had he been alive for sometime he would have recommended such political and constitutional set up for Pakistan where both the Islamic ideals and modern thoughts had been fully accommodated and Pakistan would have been such state which would be defiantly having the best principles, values and ideal of Islam in its system but would have never been theocratic state. And there would perhaps have no intellectual confusion regarding the aim, political system of Pakistan and nor, thus, there would have been the religious extremism being espoused by the religious political parties who were totally against the creation of Pakistan till 14 August 1947.

(Courtesy: Pakistan Daily)

Indian Muslim News - ISSUES

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 29 August 2009 | Posted in

On Religion and Muslim Backwardness

By Syed Akbar Ali

"They have chosen the straying instead of guidance and thus, their trade never prospers, nor are they ever guided.” (Surah 2:16)

Islam is not a religion. Islam is a deen or a way of life. Islam does not breed hatred. Surely then what is breeding all this hatred in Iraq is not Islam.

The example of Pakistan and the presence of its perceived arch rival India right next door provides us a unique opportunity to compare the fate of two countries that were both one not too long ago. Pakistan was born of the partition of India in 1947. Until recently India too was a failed state. In fact according to the criteria used to measure Failed States discussed earlier it can be argued that India is still a failed state.

Literacy at 59.5% is still a luxury in the rural parts of India. Infant mortality is high at 56 deaths or 5.6% per 1000 births. But India has enjoyed buoyant economic growth exceeding 6% for the past decade.

In contrast Pakistan has a literacy rate of 48.7%, infant mortality stands at 72.4 deaths or 7.24% per 1000 births with 32% of the population living below the poverty level. It is obvious that since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, India is pulling ahead of Pakistan.

But like in Pakistan there are many parts of India where law and order is decided locally. In some parts of India like Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and other places the Central Government or even State authorities can have less clout than local landlords, warlords, brigands and others. Caste wars are too common in India until today. In Bihar whole villages are slaughtered by people of different castes. If the reader recalls these are some of the characteristics of a Failed State where the Central Government does not have full control or effective say in all its territories. The other characteristic of a Failed State exhibited by India is the fact that millions of Indians still exit the country to search for a better life elsewhere. Then corruption is still rife in India. When dealing with Government few things get done without paying someone some money. Higher education is still a privilege. Health facilities are basic. 60 years after Independence there is no clean water in all parts of India.

But India is at last just beginning to crawl out of this morass. India is touted the IT capital of the world and also the outsourcing center for the West. However 25% of the 1.2 billion population lives below the poverty level. In absolute numbers there is supposed to be a large 300 million middle class population in India. But many aspects of the so called middle class group in India are overrated. For example the entire population of programmers in India did not exceed 500,000 people in 2004. The Indians target to have 2.0 million IT professionals by 2008 (APJ Abdul Kalam). This is less than 0.2 percent of the 1.2 billion Indian population. But still this modicum of success is acting as a catalyst to spur other Indians forward. Indians are now among Forbes magazines list of world billionaires. And these are usually IT and steel billionaires.

Compared to India, there are no IT or steel billionaires from Pakistan. What differentiates India tremendously from Pakistan is that India is not shackled about reinventing everything in a religious format. Despite the presence of religious Hindu fanatics among the majority the Indians have embraced secularism. As I stated earlier, all they have to do is clean up their act, cut the corruption and improve the implementation of a workable system largely inherited from the colonial British. Once the cobwebs are cleared and the tarnish removed, the shine should come through again. At least they have a very good chance.

Pakistan does not enjoy this luxury anymore. Over successive waves of Islamisation perfectly workable systems were undermined and thrown out as being western, christian, colonial and other such malicious labeling and replaced with a confusing hodge podge of religious and tribal laws, customs and practices. And then these unworkable systems became further bogged down by the same old corruption, inefficiency and apathy of the Civil Servants, the administrators and politicians. Now even if Pakistan reduces corruption and improves the efficiency of its Civil Servants they still have to go to work in an increasingly religion infested system that is inherently flawed. You can polish the car and change to new tyres but if the engine is broken down that car is not going to get you very far.

This is the difference between India and Pakistan. The underlying institutions in India are still sound. India has a fighting chance of crawling out of its hole and it looks like the Indians are slowly doing it. But the Pakistanis have traded away their underlying workable systems for something much inferior. They have almost no chance.

And like the Osamas, the Taliban and the Ikhwan ul Muslimeen in Egypt, many Pakistanis are further hobbled by their belief that they are not successful in life because they are not commiited enough to their religion. As many of them see it, to cure their ills they must have an even larger dose of their religion. Welcome to the Club of Doom. This is like the Malay saying biarkan si luncai terjun dengan labu labunya which loosely translated means let the fat guy sink himself in the deep end. Their understanding of religion seems to focus their energies on hate, hate and more hate. They have nothing better to do with their lives.

Pakistan too has its world class scientists but they are not always appreciated. The fact is some of them have even been threatened with death. And all because of religion. Lets take the case of Dr Abdus Salam, a Pakistani scientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979. Dr Abdus Salams Nobel Prize and scientific achievements are belittled and have been dismissed by the majority of Pakistanis who accuese him of being a religious deviant. Dr Abdus Salam was a member of the Qadianis - another religious sect in Pakistan which is condemned by the orthodox Sunni majority. They have even accused Dr Abdus Salam as being part of a Jewish conspiracy another favorite bogeyman in Pakistan. Here is a sample of more Pakistani bluster on the Internet against their own countryman Dr Abdus Salam: A Glimpse into Qadiani-Jewish Objectives.

In Dr. Abdul Qadeer's interview, there is one meaningful epithet. The epithet is "Like-minded". Most appropriate, because the Qadianis are great allies of the Jewish/Zionist movement. They cooperate with each other in spitting out venomous propaganda against Muslims on an international base. Zionism is a sworn enemy of Islam since its inception. History testifies that they damaged the Islamic polity by motivating separatist movements. This time they have a protagonist in Qadianism and a ready mule to ride on. The award (of the Nobel Prize) to Dr. Abdus Salam Qadiani is in pursuance of a common cause of the antagonists of Islam.

Even as great an achievement as winning the Nobel Prize does not get any appreciation. This is the terrible fate of the Islamic countries. There is this never ending hate, hate and more hate just because someone believes in a different sect.

The description of Pakistan and India should further open our eyes about the negative effects of fanatic religion. India is still pretty messed up socially, economically and politically in large part because a vast majority of Indians still believe in irrational beliefs - usually tied to religion - which has created humongous divisions and hatreds among its people. Differences created by caste, beliefs, ritualistic practices, oppressive traditions and other irrationalities has caused hardship, and even bloodshed among its people even until today. Although 1.2 billion in number the Indians do not represent one united nation.

In stark contrast, we can see the Chinese in China beginning to pull ahead of India, Italy, France, Britain, Russia and soon Japan and America by leaps and bounds because Mao Tse Tung had the great foresight to eradicate the more irrational aspects of religion and other debilitating traditional beliefs from the Chinese psyche. Before Communism, the Chinese people were also divided by caste, religion, tradition and other differences. Once these were got rid off and a uniform philosophy based on science and technology imposed upon the people the Chinese have become a more united entity. More importantly they have been able to organise themselves, pick themselves up and move forward at a rapid clip.

In my view the modern China of today is the best example of a nation making a great success of itself almost completely through the application of science and technology without being hindered too much by overbearing religious beliefs and other suffocating philosophies of life. It is doubtful if India can ever catch up with China anytime in the foreseeable future. Among the few Indians who are moving up in life in good numbers and being very productive citizens are those same IT practitioners. To make a living as a successful IT professional Indians have to leave behind their religion or caste based notions and cultural or traditional obstacles and instead rely on plain logic to write their software. This simple comparison alone should open peoples eyes (especially the Muslims) that debilitating religion not only causes hatred but it also prolongs poverty.

And what happens when the process is reversed ie when people give up a way of life based on science and logic and revert back to divisive religion ? Although it can be argued extensively if Communism is indeed the all encompassing philosophy which many think it is, Yugoslavia provides a good example of a country which was divided largely by religion and was then united through the iron grip of General Titos communism for 35 years from 1945 till 1980. After the death of Tito and the fall of communism, within 10 years Yugoslavia broke up in 1990 again and saw the resurgence of religious based hatreds. Hence we in Malaysia became familiar with the war in Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, the deaths of Muslims and Christians and so on. Titos religion free communism kept the peace for almost 35 years but post communist religion brought war and destruction to the Balkans in less than a decade.

Islam on the other hand is not a religion. Islam is a deen or a way of life. Islam does not breed hatred. Surely then what is breeding all this hatred in Iraq is not Islam.

The Quran talks about aamilus solihaat or righteous works. The South Koreans and Chinese have established a cycle of aamilus solihaat or circle of righteous works. These types of righteous works must be preceded by a willingness on the part of the people to cooperate and help each other. They must agree to abide by so called secular laws. They must have disciplined Civil Servants whose duty is to implement those laws fairly and efficiently. Unfortunately this circle of righteous work or aamilus solihaat has so far eluded the Islamic countries. Despite producing so many university graduates few of the Islamic countries can even manufacture their own underpants.

Just educating the Muslims and making every Muslim an engineer or doctor is not enough to create a successful Islamic country. Somehow a PhD does not automatically make a Muslim respect his neighbour, his environment or stop him from being holier than thou or be able to contribute some useful work in a disciplined and professional manner which can compete with the non Muslims. The continuing suffering of the Islamic countries bears witness to these failures.

Another characteristic of a Failed State is the dominance by a restrictive religion. Certainly this is what we have been talking about here. In Malaysia religion is getting more intrusive into peoples daily lives. Some of the more foolish religious authorities have lately embarked on another crusade to set up moral squads to go around snooping into peoples private lives. The ummah is being inculcated with this type of diseased mentality to become peeping toms and volunteers in these snoop squads. So far there seems to be some common sense among the political leadership which has put a stop to these snoop squads. But the disease is spreading. Many Muslims now love to observe what time their neighbours get up for the early morning sahur meal during the fasting month. They also like to check up which mosque their neighbours attend for prayers. Sometimes they will pry Didnt see you at the mosque?. We have created a nation of religious busy bodies.

Frequently we also hear of the snoop squads physically assaulting couples caught for khalwat or being in close proximity. In one case a snoop squad started beating up a policeman caught in such a situation. The policeman promptly pulled out his gun and killed one of the snoop squad. In another case that was not reported in the Malaysian media, a snoop squad beat up a boy and a girl who were caught for khalwat. The girl promptly made a police report over the assault resulting in the snoop squad being arrested by the Police.

Then we come to the aversion to hard work. This is another characteristic of a Failed State irrespective of whether Muslim or not. But the fact that the Muslims are at the bottom of the economic totem not just in Malaysia but in all Islamic countries is sufficient evidence that here is another characteristic of a Failed State that is embraced with passion by the Muslims in Malaysia. Among the Arabs it is even worse. I have already quoted figures about the contraction of the Syrian economy and the economic doldrums which are the fate of the 22 member Arab League of Nations. To work is almost disgraceful. Taking all these negative elements in total, the Muslims in Malaysia already exhibit many of the characteristics that have been observed among what is known as the Failed States.

“Some of them even twist their tongues to simulate the scripture, to make you think that it is from the scripture when it is not from the scripture, and claim that it is from God, when it is not from God. They invent lies and attribute them to God, knowingly.” (Surah 3:78)

[Syed Akbar Ali is a noted writer and activist from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be contacted on ali.syedakbar@gmail.com]

How Qasabs are manufactured in Pakistan

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

How Qasabs are manufactured in Pakistan
By Zhi Yuan
Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, s/o Mohammad Amir Imam Qasab and Noor-e-Tai r/o Faridkot, Tehsil-Dipalpur, Jilla-Ukada, Suba-Punjab is not a blue blooded Jat Sikh. His family was highly debt ridden and in survived like most other rural impoverished Indian family. By caste a Qasai, also known as Qasab and Qureshi Amir Qasab’s father is a landless poor villager who elks out family living by vending a roadside Dahi-Puri and Pakora stall. Imam Qasab’s five children did not get quality education. Brothers Afzal (22) is a labour and Munir (11) is a student. Sisters Rukayyia Hussain (22) and Suraiya (14) did not have the privilege of attending any formal school.
Amir Qasab studied up to class four, mostly in madrasas and was forced by poverty to leave the school in 2000 and went to Lahore and stayed with brother Afzal and worked as a casual labour whenever he was hired. He went home in 2005 and had quarreled with his father over matters of employment and again ran away to Lahore only to find shelter at Ali Hajveri Darbar, a home for destitute children. He was picked up by Shafiq a casual caterer from Jhelum in Jhang Maghiana. This stint of life had exposed Amir Qasab to the criminal fringe of Lahore and Rawalpindi, which is considered one of the resource pools for recruitment by the Markaz ud Dawa or the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
His employer Shafiq was a serious businessman but sudden appearance of Muzaffar Lal Khan of Attock in Qasab’s life propelled him to the realm of crime and later jihad. They shifted to Rawalpindi and he and Muzaffar developed crazy ideas about committing robbery with helps of fringe Talibans and antisocial posing as jihadis. On the lookout for weapons for committing robberies they were attracted by a Lashkar-e-Taiba stall at Raja Bazaar, Rawalpindi. The lure of weapons and brainwashing by Lashkar operatives induced them to join the jihadi outfit. They were recruited in the name of fighting jihad in Kashmir. After detailed grilling they were enrolled as LeT members and were sent to Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal Irshad (parent body of Markaz-ud-Dawa and LeT) camp at Muridke, near Lahore, for training.
Qasab was grilled again and was selected for Daura-Sufa (preliminary training). His daily routine started at 04.15 and concluded 21.00 hrs after dinner. The 21 day training was tough, but Qasab liked the lectures on Quran and Hadith, physical exercises and hate-lectures against Hindus and India. Special talks on alleged plight of the Kashmiri and general Muslims in India were buttressed by some audio-visual displays.
Daura-Sufa was followed by Daura-Aam lasting for 21 days. The routine was same but physical training by Abu Anas was far more rigorous. In this camp Qasab was given training by Abdur Rehman in the use and application of Kalashnikov rifles, Green-O, SKS, UZI, M 16, pistol and revolvers.
Let us peruse what Qasab said to his interrogators: “After two months I was allowed to go to meet my parents…Thereafter, I went to L-e-T Camp at Shaiwai Nullah, Muzaffarabad for further advance training…Then we were taken to Chelabandi Pahadi area for advanced training called Daura-Khas.”
This course lasted for three months during which Qasab learnt using H.E grenades, rocket launchers and mortars. Their physical training instructor was Abu Mawiya. Abu also trained them in sophisticated weapons. This was flowed by lectures on Indian intelligence and security agencies.
Since it is a bulky document only relevant excerpts are included:
Ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam”
O mankind! Fear your guardian lord who created you from a single person. Created, out of it, his mate, and from them twain scattered [like seeds] countless men and women; fear Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual [rights], and be heedful of the wombs [that bore you]: for Allah ever watches over you.”
Ye who believe! Fear Allah, and make your utterance straightforward: That he may make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins. He that obeys Allah and his messenger has already attained the great victory.”
Afterward, the most truthful saying is the book of Allah and the best guidance is that of Mohammed, God bless and keep him.”
The young came to prepare themselves for Jihad [holy war], commanded by the majestic Allah’s order in the holy Koran. [Koranic verse:] “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.”
I present this humble effort to these young Moslem men who are pure, believing, and fighting for the cause of Allah. It is my contribution toward paving the road that leads to majestic Allah and establishes a caliphate according to the prophecy.”
Principles of Military Organization:
Military Organization has three main principles without which it cannot be established.

  1. Military Organization commander and advisory council

  1. The soldiers (individual members)

  1. A clearly defined strategy
Military Organization Requirements:
The Military Organization dictates a number of requirements to assist it in confrontation and endurance. These are:

  1. Forged documents and counterfeit currency

  1. Apartments and hiding places

  1. Communication means

  1. Transportation means

  1. Information

  1. Arms and ammunition

  1. Transport
Missions Required of the Military Organization:
The main mission for which, the Military Organization is responsible is: The overthrow of the godless regimes and their replacement with an Islamic regime.
Other missions consist of the following:

  1. Gathering information about the enemy, the land, the installations, and the neighbors.

  1. Kidnapping enemy personnel, documents, secrets, and arms.

  1. Assassinating enemy personnel as well as foreign tourists.

  1. Freeing the brothers who are captured by the enemy.

  1. Spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy.

  1. Blasting and destroying the places of amusement, immorality, and sin; not a vital target.

  1. Blasting and destroying the embassies and attacking vital economic centers.

  1. Blasting and destroying bridges leading into and out of the cities.
Importance of the Military Organization:

  1. Removal of those personalities that block the call’s path.

  1. All types of military and civilian intellectuals and thinkers for the state.

  1. Proper utilization of the individuals’ unused capabilities.

  1. Precision in performing tasks, and using collective views on completing a job from all aspects, not just one.

  1. Controlling the work and not fragmenting it or deviating from it.

  1. Achieving long-term goals such as the establishment of an Islamic state and short-term goals such as operations against enemy individuals and sectors.

  1. Establishing the conditions for possible confrontation with the regressive regimes and their persistence.

  1. Achieving discipline in secrecy and through tasks.
The member of the Organization must be Moslem. How can an unbeliever, someone from a revealed religion [Christian, Jew], a secular person, a Hindu, a communist, etc. protect Islam and Moslems and defend their goals and secrets when he does not believe in that religion? The Israeli Army requires that a fighter be of the Jewish religion. Likewise, the command leadership in the Afghan and Russian armies requires anyone with an officer’s position to be a member of the communist party.
Commitment to the Organization’s Ideology
This commitment frees the Organization’s members from conceptional problems.
The requirements of military work are numerous, and a minor cannot perform them. The nature of hard and continuous work in dangerous conditions requires a great deal of psychological, mental, and intellectual fitness, which are not usually found in a minor. It is reported that Ibn Omar – May Allah be pleased with him – said, “During Ahad [battle] when I was fourteen years of age, I was submitted [as a volunteer] to the prophet -God bless and keep him. He refused me and did not throw me in the battle. During Khandak [trench] Day [battle] when I was fifteen years of age, I was also submitted to him, and he permitted me [to fight].”
He [the member] has to be willing to do the work and undergo martyrdom for the purpose of achieving the goal and establishing the religion of majestic Allah on earth.
Listening and Obedience
In the military, this is known today as discipline. It is expressed by how the member obeys the orders given to him.
That is what our religion urges. The Glorious says, “O, ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those charged with authority among you.” In the story of Hazifa Ben Al-Yaman -may Allah have mercy on him -who was exemplary in his obedience to Allah’s messenger -Allah bless and keep him. When he [Mohammed] -Allah bless and keep him -sent him to spy on the Kureish and their allies during their siege of Madina, Hazifa said, “As he [Mohammed] called me by name to stand, he said, ‘Go get me information about those people and do not alarm them about me.’
As I departed, I saw Abou Soufian and I placed an arrow in the bow. I [then] remembered the words of the messenger -Allah bless and keep him -’do not alarm them about me.’ If I had shot I would have hit him.”
Keeping Secrets and Concealing Information
[This secrecy should be used] even with the closest people, for deceiving the enemies is not easy. Allah says, “Even though their plots were such that as to shake the hills! [Koranic verse].” Allah’s messenger -God bless and keep him -says, “Seek Allah’s help in doing your affairs in secrecy.” It was said in the proverbs, “The hearts of freemen are the tombs of secrets” and “Moslems’ secrecy is faithfulness, and talking about it is faithlessness.” [Mohammed] -God bless and keep him -used to keep work secrets from the closest people, even from his wife A’isha-may Allah’s grace be on her.
Free of Illness
The Military Organization’s member must fulfill this important requirement. Allah says, “There is no blame for those who are infirm, or ill, or who have no resources to spend.”
[The member] should have plenty of patience for [enduring] afflictions if he is overcome by the enemies. Be should not abandon this great path and sell himself and his religion to the enemies for his freedom. He should be patient in performing the work, even if it lasts a long time.
Tranquility and Unflappability
[The member] should have a calm personality that allows him to endure psychological traumas such as those involving bloodshed, murder, arrest, imprisonment, and reverse psychological traumas such as killing one or all of his Organization’s comrades. [He should be able] to carry out the work.
Forged Documents (Identity Cards, Records Books, Passports)
The following security precautions should be taken:

  1. Keeping the passport in a safe place so it would not be seized by the security apparatus, and the brother it belongs to would have to negotiate its return (I’ll give you your passport if you give me information)

  1. All documents of the undercover brother, such as identity cards and passport, should be falsified.

  1. When the undercover brother is travelling with a certain identity card or passport, he should know all pertinent [information] such as the name, profession, and place of residence.

  1. The brother who has special work status (commander, communication link,…) should have more than one identity card and passport. He should learn the contents of each, the nature of the [indicated] profession, and the dialect of the residence area listed in the document.

  1. The photograph of the brother in these documents should be without a beard. It is preferable that the brother’s public photograph [on these documents] be also without a beard. If he already has one [document] showing a photograph with a beard, he should replace it.

  1. When using an identity document in different names, no more than one such document should be carried at one time.

  1. The validity of the falsified travel documents should always be confirmed.

  1. All falsification matters should be carried out through the command and not haphazardly (procedure control)

  1. Married brothers should not add their wives to their passports.

  1. When a brother is carrying the forged passport of a certain country, he should not travel to that country. It is easy to detect forgery at the airport, and the dialect of the brother is different from that of the people from that country.
The following security precautions should be taken during the training:
The Place
The place should have the following specifications:

  1. Distance from the populated areas with the availability of living necessities.

  1. Availability of medical services during the training.

  1. The place should be suitable for the type of training (physical fitness, shooting, and tactics).

  1. No one except the trainers and trainees should know about the place.

  1. The place should have many roads and entrances.

  1. The place should be visited at suitable times.

  1. Hiding any training traces immediately after the training.

  1. Guarding the place during the training.

  1. Appropriateness of the existing facilities for the number of training members.

  1. Exclusion of anyone who is not connected with the training.

  1. Taking all security measures regarding the establishment.

  1. Distance of the place from police stations, public establishments, and the eyes of informants.

  1. The place should not be situated in such a way that the training and trainees can be seen from another location.
The Trainees

  1. Before proceeding to the training place, all security measures connected with an undercover individual should be taken. Meanwhile, during training at the place, personnel safety should be ensured.

  1. Selecting the trainees carefully.

  1. The trainees should not know one another.

  1. The small size of groups that should be together during the training (7-10 individuals).

  1. The trainees should not know the training place.

  1. Establishing a training plan for each trainee.
The Trainers
All measures taken with regard to the commanders apply also to the trainers. Also, the following should be applied:

  1. Fewness of the trainers in the training place. Only those conducting the training should be there, in order not to subject the training team to the risk of security exposure.

  1. Not revealing the identity of the trainer to trainees.

  1. Keeping a small ratio of trainees to trainer.

  1. The training team members should not know one another.” (Source-LeT classroom training manual-amalgamated with al Qaeda training manual).
Besides these elaborate tech-training about preparation to be made by a Jihadi Qasab revealed that there were 32 trainees in his batch. Out of this 16 persons were selected by Zaqi-ur-Rahman for a confidential operation. There were two officers from some government office (probably ISI) with Zaqi. Three trainees ran away from the camp; the rest 13 along with one Kafa moved again to Muridke camp. Some preliminary training required by seafaring warriors was given at Muridke. Besides Qasab Mohammad Azmal@ Abu Muzahid, Ismail, Abu Umar, Abu Ali, Abu Aksha, Abu Umer, Abu Shoeb, Abdul Rahman Bada, Abdul Rahman Chhota, Afadullah and Abu Umar took part in the intensive training. After completion of the training Zaki selected 10 and his teammate was Ismail.
Besides showing locations of the targets in Mumbai in Google earth, some unknown persons had shown them videos of the interiors of the targets and explained the detailed landing route and getting around in selected parts of the city. The persons who briefed them were fully acquainted with the terrain and specialties of the targets assigned. (could be Dawood Ibrahim operatives).
What Qasab has not stated was a top-secret operation carried out by a group of SSG naval warfare experts. They trained the selected jihadis is naval-craft maneuvering, underwater sabotage and operations of the GPS system for smooth navigation.
On November 23 Zaki and Kafa escorted the contingent of 10 to the seashore near Karachi and were asked to board a launch. Later they shifted to a bigger ship Al Husseini. Each jihadi was armed with AK 47 rifle, 200 cartridges, 8 grenades and a cell phone.
While in Indian waters Al Husseini hijacked an Indian fishing vessel. After 3 days journey they reached a spot near Mumbai and Asfadulla killed the Indian seaman. Thereafter they boarded an inflatable dinghy and landed near Budhwar Park, Colaba. While other teammates proceeded to their targets Qasab and his mate proceeded to VT station to carry out the assigned task of killing as many Indians as possible.
The detailed dossier of evidences and clues shared by the Ministry of External Affairs with Pakistan, US and UK are exhaustive and confidential in nature. I do not want to breach that confidentiality. However, the simple narration of recruitment and training of Qasab and others does not complete the processes that are directly and indirectly involved in manufacturing Fidayeen groups to carry out jihad. These materials have been largely obtained from Qasab’s interrogation report. The bigger story is not available in the interrogation report and circumstantial evidences.
Pakistan government (Army and the ISI) are manufacturing jihadis in a systematic manner to wage war in Kashmir and to spread the ambience of jihad and separatism in the minds of Indian Muslims; an unfinished agenda of the partition; a new beginning of another separatist movement.
The people of Faridkot/Dipalpur are abominably poor. They traditionally supported the PPP which promised land and job to the impoverished people. According to Jugnu Mohsin of Friday Times (Pak) the poor flock received only promises; nothing substantial.
“They began to take heart from the message that came blaring down from the pulpit every Friday. There is suffering everywhere in the world. Your brethren in Kashmir, whose right to be in Pakistan as a Muslim majority area has been thwarted for decades, need to be liberated. Pray for their liberation. Your brethren in Bosnia, who are being killed in a genocide by Crusaders, need to be liberated. Pray for their liberation…”
“With poverty having driven young Ajmal from his home, he was easy prey for these jihad-manufacturers. He was already on his way as a petty robber when they got him. Life as a jihadist gave Ajmal a livelihood, money for his family (they were able to marry off his sister Ruqaiya), respect, a sense of belonging and importantly, independence from the local landowner. No longer would he or his father have to go and sit at Mian Manzoor Wattoo’s feet (landlord and village Shylock), waiting for hours in his dera, for petty favours. No longer would they be herded at election time to the Pakistan People’s Party booth or to the Muslim League’s stall to cast their vote in line with the current allegiance of their overlord. No longer would they be bullied or their votes bought.”
Ajmal Qasab was on the fringe of a criminal career. His poverty and frustration was exploited by the Markaz. They did not consider him as a prime cadre. They trained him for the special Fidayeen mission, not for Kashmir jihad. According to Jugnu, “No wonder Hafiz Saeed Amir of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba refused to call him a ‘mujahid’ when asked on a recent television interview. Ajmal’s story is as much the story of hopeless poverty as of State failure, as of recalcitrant regional hegemony and as of misplaced concreteness.”
There are other cesspools of the breeding ground of jihadis. People like Qasab have been trained in Madrasa. Madrasa education in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (Quwami and Alia madrasa) are growing by leaps and bounds. These educational institutions impart religious training and motivate the young children in fighting jihad.
The following would indicate the growth of Madrasa education in Pakistan:
Profile of madrassa education in Pakistan

  • Number of secondary and higher madrasas: 6,000

  • Senior and graduate level madrasas: 4,335

  • Deobandi madrasas: 2,333

  • Barelvi madrasas: 1,625

  • Ahl-i-Hadith madrasas: 224

  • Shia madrasas: 163

  • Number of all students: 604,421

  • Local students (Pakistani): 586,604

  • Foreign students: 17,817

  • Afghan students: 16,598
Growth of higher madrasa education in Pakistan: 1947–2001

  • Pre-1947– Madrasas: 137

  • 1950–Madrasas: 210

  • 1960– Madrasas: 472/ Number of teachers: 1,846/ Number of Students: 40,239

  • 1971–Madrasas: 908/ Number of teachers: 3,185/ Number of Students: 45,238

  • 1979–Madrasas: 1,745/ Number of teachers: 5,005/ Number of Students: 99,041

  • 1984– Madrasas: 1,953

  • 1986– Madrasas: 2,261/ Number of teachers: 12,625/ Number of Students: 316,380

  • 2001– Madrasas: 4,345 */ Number of Students: 604,421
* This does not include 655 other madrasas that do not offer complete Dars-i-Nizami curriculum. Source Mumtaz Ahmad –Madrasa Education in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Pakistan’s school education contain perverted outlook towards India and Hindus. Children are taught to hate India from class ii and iii itself.
The education report of Pakistan (1980) started with the hangover of Two Nation theory, “The Muslim demand for a separate independent state sprang from the cultural differences and from fear of overwhelming Hindu majority in any future constitutional set-up of India. This fear was not without foundation. It was more and more evident during the last decades of the 19th century, which made Sir Syed, in the later years of his life, the champion of Muslim revivalism.”
The 2009 education perspective of Pakistan also reiterates the separatists and somewhat hate materials.
SECTION 1: Cultural and historical background to the Pakistan Movement
Shah Wali Ullah, Syed Ahmad, Shaheed Barailvi and the Jihad Movement, Hajji Shariat Ullah and the Faraizi Movement…
This section is designed as a background to the politico-religious debate precipitated by the decline of Mughal power and the gradual political domination by the British. Candidates will be expected to place each individual mentioned above in his religious and historical setting and have not merely a basic knowledge of each individual’s biographical details and main writings, but also an understanding of the different responses offered by individual thinkers to the decline of Muslim rule and of their relationship one to another. Candidates may be required to write comparative essays on two or more of these individuals….
The decline of the Mughal Empire and the expansion of the East India Company and British colonial rule in Northern & NW India. The reasons for the decline of the Mughal Empire. A general overview and background of the East India Company and reasons for its involvement in the subcontinent: British relations with the later Mughal rulers of Delhi; the rise of the Sikh empire under Ranjit Singh; British expansion north-westwards from Bengal up to 1810. A general overview of the course of, and reasons for, British annexation of the territories which now encompass Pakistan, including the Anglo-Sikh wars, British annexation of Lahore, the Punjab and Peshawar in particular; the British search for a ‘natural’ and ‘scientific’ NW Frontier; British policy towards Tribal Territory…
NB: This section does not require detailed teaching but is regarded as essential to provide a suitable background and context for British colonial rule of the territory now encompassed by Pakistan, as well as for the War of 1857. Candidates may be asked to use this information in questions related to the background to the events of 1857.
The War of Independence of 1857…
Immediate and main causes of 1857 uprising. The attitude of the Mughal ruler to the war. Course of the war proper, with particular reference to the role played by Muslim rulers and the population of what is now Pakistan in the uprising; reasons for its failure; assessment of the war’s effectiveness and its subsequent impact on the Muslims of the subcontinent…
British reaction during and immediately after the War, including the major constitutional, educational and administrative reforms which followed. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and the Aligarh Movement. His contribution to the education of Muslims and revitalisation of their national consciousness: an overview of his main educational works and their importance; an understanding of his social and political theory and its origins; the impact of his work on Muslims and the western world; his status as a writer, educationalist and political thinker in modern Pakistan; his relations with the British and the ullama; the foundation of Aligarh College and reasons therefore; his role in the Indian National Congress and Muslim League; the meaning and origin of his ‘Two-Nation Theory’ and the Hindi-Urdu controversy…Literary and linguistic background of Muslims in the sub-continent The importance of Urdu and the reasons for its choice as the national language of Pakistan. The advantages and disadvantages of Urdu as the national language.”
No Indian school text book prescribes such politically biased and hate-laden materials. A cursory glance at Pakistani school textbooks – especially the compulsory subjects like Pakistan studies and social studies – gives an idea of how history has been distorted and a garbled version prescribed to build this mindset and attitude.
The objective of Pakistan’s education policy has been defined thus in the preface to a Class 6 book: “Social studies have been given special importance in educational policy so that Pakistan’s basic ideology assumes the shape of a way of life, its practical enforcement is assured, the concept of social uniformity adopts a practical form and the whole personality of the individual is developed.” This statement leaves no doubt that “social uniformity”, not national unity, is a part of Pakistan’s basic ideology.
The Class 5 book has this original discovery about Hindu help to bring British rule to India: “The British had the objective to take over India and to achieve this, they made Hindus join them and Hindus were very glad to side with the British. After capturing the subcontinent, the British began on the one hand the loot of all things produced in this area, and on the other, in conjunction with Hindus, to greatly suppress the Muslims.”
The Standard VIII book says, “Their (Muslim saints) teachings dispelled many superstitions of the Hindus and reformed their bad practices. Thereby Hindu religion of the olden times came to an end.”
On Indo-Pak wars, the books give detailed descriptions and openly eulogize ‘jihad’ and ‘shahadat’ and urge students to become ‘mujahids’ and martyrs and leave no room for future friendship and cordial relations with India.
According to a Class 5 book, “In 1965, the Pakistani army conquered several areas of India, and when India was on the point of being defeated, she requested the United Nations to arrange a ceasefire. After 1965, India, with the help of Hindus living in East Pakistan, instigated the people living there against the people of West Pakistan, and finally invaded East Pakistan in December 1971. The conspiracy resulted in the separation of East Pakistan from us. All of us should receive military training and be prepared to fight the enemy.”
The book prescribed for higher secondary students makes no mention of the uprising in East Pakistan in 1971 or the surrender by more than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers. Instead, it claims, “In the 1971 India-Pakistan war, the Pakistan armed forces created new records of bravery and the Indian forces were defeated everywhere.”
The students of Class 3 are taught that “Muhammad Ali (Jinnah) felt that Hindus wanted to make Muslims their slaves and since he hated slavery, he left the Congress”. At another place it says, “The Congress was actually a party of Hindus. Muslims felt that after getting freedom, Hindus would make them their slaves.”
And this great historic discovery is taught to Std V students, “Previously, India was part of Pakistan.”
With these kinds of school teachings the tender Pakistani children grow up inside the colony of hate-bacteria towards India and Hindus. Anwar al-Awlaki a US born and highly educated engineer and Education Leadership scholar, now living in Sana, Yemen invented 44 ways to support Jihad. This important document is popular amongst Pakistani youths and Muslim jihadists all over the world.
Since the readers are not acquainted with Awlaki and his writings I produce a photograph of the ideological guru of Jihad, who is followed by innumerable youth in Pakistan and other countries and whose writings are taught in Pakistani madrasas.
His famous quotes are “Jihad is the greatest deed in Islam and the salvation of the ummah is in practicing it. In times like these, when Muslim lands are occupied by the kuffar, when the jails of tyrants are full of Muslim POWs, when the rule of the law of Allah is absent from this world and when Islam is being attacked in order to uproot it, Jihad becomes obligatory on every Muslim. Jihad must be practiced by the child even if the parents refuse, by the wife even if the husband objects and by the one indebt even if the lender disagrees…
Dear brothers and sisters the issue is urgent since today our enemy is neither a nation nor a race. It is a system of kufr with global reach. The kuffar today are conspiring against us like never before.
So could we be heading towards the great battle between the Romans and the Muslims – Al Malhamah – which the Prophet (saaws) spoke about?…
Again, the point needs to be stressed: Jihad today is obligatory on every capable Muslim. So as a Muslim who wants to please Allah it is your duty to find ways to practice it and support it. Following are 43 ways for the brothers and sisters to support Jihad fi sabeelillah.”
The ways and means suggested by him need summarization as the treatise is very long: “Having the right intension; Praying to Allah to award you with martyrdom; Jihad with your wealth; Fundraising for the Mujahideen; Financing a Mujahid; Taking care of family of a Mujahid; Sponsoring a family of a Shaheed; Sponsoring the families of the prisoners of war; Paying your Zakah to the Mujahideen; Contributing to the medical needs of the Mujahideen; Providing Moral support and encouragement for the mujahideen; Defending the mujahideen and standing up for them; Fighting the lies of the Western Media; Exposing the hypocrites; Encouraging others to fight Jihad; Protecting the mujahideen and preserving their secrets; Praying for the mujahideen; Following the news of Jihad and spreading it; Spreading the writings of the mujahideen and their scholars; The issuance of Fatwas supporting the mujahideen; Providing the scholars and Imams with information and news about the mujahideen; Physical fitness; Arms training; First aid training; Learning the Fiq of Jihad; Protecting the mujahideen and supporting them; Developing the Aqeedah of Qalaa’ and Barra’
This requires elaboration – “The issue of loyalty towards Allah, His Messenger and the believers and the declaration of our animosity towards the disbelievers and their gods has not had its fair share of attention in Islamic circles. Allah says: “There has already been for you an excellent example in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people, “Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone” (60:5);
Fulfilling our responsibilities towards the Muslim POW; WWW Jihad (through Internet); Raising our children on the love of Jihad and the mujahideen; Avoiding the life of luxury; Learning skills that would benefit the mujahideens; Joining groups that work for Jihad; Spiritual preparation for Sahadat; Guiding others to the scholars of Truth and Jihad; Preparing for Hijrah (“Muslims living amongst non-Muslims have put themselves at the mercy of the kuffar. When the Islamic state was established in Madinah the Messenger of Allah (saaws) declared it illegal to live amongst the disbelievers. Muslims should therefore prepare themselves to leave when the opportunity arises. Preparation for hijrah is not restricted to Muslims living in non-Muslim countries but applies to every Muslim because more often than not Jihad in its self demands hijrah. That is why the Messenger of Allah (saaws) said: “Hijrah does not stop as long as there is an enemy to fight”;
Giving naseehah to the mujahideen; Studying the Hadits of Fitan; Exposing Pharaoh and his magicians (apostate Muslim rulers, crusaders and Jews); Role of Nasheeds (ballad singers and composers in spreading Jihad); Boycotting the economy of the enemy; Learning Arabic-the language of the Paigambar and Gabriel; Translating Jihad literature in other languages and Teaching others about the characteristics of al Ta’ifah al Mansoorah (“The Messenger of Allah (saaws) says: A group of my ummah would continue fighting, obeying the command of Allah, defeating their enemies and they would not be harmed by those who are against them until the hour starts (the Day of Judgment)” (Related by al Hakim and he stated that the hadith is authentic)”
Awlaki literature on Jihad is vast and for lack of space all the details cannot be included. However, it is acknowledged that this new messiah of Jihad is as potent as Osama bin Laden, al Jawahiri and Hafiz Ibrahim of Lashkar-e-Taiba. These are taught in LeT camps as well as in madrasas. The fertile breeding grounds for colonies of Jihad bacteria can be located in madrasas, government and private schools and in the Tanzeem training centres.
Qasab was one of the products of these colonies of Jihad bacteria. Everywhere in Pakistan the poor and starved young children are being drafted towards jihad oriented education. In present day Pakistan teaching and preaching of Jihad is more popular and paying next only to army employees and some categories of government servants. The milling poor and poverty stricken Pakistani youth and children are drawn to such propaganda for holy Jihad. Al Qaeda, Taliban and Markaz ud Dawa and ISI created jihadi tanzeems have overtaken the civil society spaces. Between the jihadis and the army and the ISI Pakistan has been transformed into a jihad manufacturing organised state entity.
The madrasas in Muslim South Asia teach a curriculum known as Dars-i-Nizami, first introduced by Mullah Nizamuddin Sihalvi (d. 1747) who was a scholar of some repute in Islamic jurisprudence and philosophy in Lucknow. This curriculum is not the same as that associated with the name of Mullah Nasiruddin Tusi (d. 1064) and the Madrasa Nizamia, which he established in eleventh-century Baghdad.
Almost all Sunni madrasas, irrespective of whether they are of Deobandi, Barelvi, or Ahl-i-Hadith persuasion, follow the same standard Nizami course of studies adopted by the Deoband seminary in 1867. It consists of about twenty subjects broadly divided into two categories: al-ulum an-naqliya (the transmitted sciences), and al-ulum al-aqliya (the rational sciences). The subject areas include grammar, rhetoric, prosody, logic, philosophy, Arabic literature, and dialectical theology, life of the Prophet, medicine, mathematics, polemics, Islamic law, jurisprudence, Hadith, and Tafsir (exegesis of the Quran). It is important to note that out of the twenty subjects; only eight can be considered as solely religious.
The remaining subjects are otherwise secular and were included in Nizami curriculum both to equip the students for civil service jobs and as an aid to understanding religious texts. Also, facilities for teaching all of the subjects and books are not usually available in all madrasas. This is particularly true in the case of subjects such as medicine, mathematics, history, philosophy, prosody, and polemics. The result is that the students often have to move from one madrasa to another to complete their curriculum. This also results in the failure of many madrasas to institutionalize their grading and promotion procedures. However, the Deobandi curricula followed in Pakistan and Bangladesh have deviated from the mother institution in India. They have included several current affairs courses including teachings of the merit of Jihad.
Despite reform efforts in India the Barelvi and Ahl-e-Hadith managed madrasas continue to teach hate-curricula on the lines of majority of madrasas in Pakistan and Qwami madrasas in Bangladesh. While in Pakistan about 60 lakh students study in madrasas, in Bangladesh about 35 lakh students undergo fundamentalist education in madrasas. In India the approximate number of students undergoing Dars-e-Nizami and Nasiruddin Tusi streams of madrasa education is about 25 lakh. Most of these are breeding grounds of fundamentalism and radicalism.
It would therefore, be seen that Ajmal Qasab, a helpless, directionless, poor youth was attracted towards Jihad and fidayeen dasta of the LeT under pressure of multitudinous circumstances. Out of poverty he leaned towards crime and from a budding criminal he walked into the LeT trap. Once trapped and motivated a jihadi cannot escape from the trap. Destruction of the assumed enemy and self becomes an inevitable consequence.
Ajmal Qasab was made to believe that waging jihad was the holy duty as explained in dissertations of Hafiz Ibrahim, Anwar al Awlaki, al Jawahiri etc. Many Indian Muslim youths are also being trapped in the witches’ mirrors of jihad and certain pockets of Indians Muslims have been greatly affected.
(Courtesy: Sohu.com)

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