Educating Muslim Women in Modern India: Problems and Perspectives

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 29 June 2011 | Posted in ,

By Rakhshanda Jalil

You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women. — Jawaharlal Nehru

The proportion of Muslim women who are illiterate is substantially higher for rural north India than for the entire country — more than 85 per cent reported themselves to be illiterate. Fewer than 17 per cent of Muslim women ever enrolled completed eight years of schooling and fewer than 10 per cent completed higher secondary education, which is below the national average.

According to the 1991 Census, there were over 48 million Muslim women in India; in 2001 the number rose to 62.5 million. In popular perception, these women are typically seen as a monolithic entity undistinguished and indistinguishable in their homogeneity. The spotlight, when it falls on them, tends to do no more than view the role of religion in their lives and reinforce the usual stereotypes: pardah, multiple marriages, triple talaq, the male privilege of unilateral divorce and the bogey of personal law. The truth, however, is that like women from other communities, Muslim women too are differentiated across class, caste, community, and geographical location (including the great rural-urban divide). Despite these differences within their lot, when compared to women from other faiths in India, the majority of Muslim women are among the most disadvantaged, least literate, most economically impoverished and politically marginalized sections of Indian society. While debates on personal law and divorce are pertinent and timely, and one is not for a minute running down these issues, Muslim women need to be seen as social beings too, entitled to the same rights that the Constitution of India grants to all its citizens. The right to education, especially at the primary level is mandated by the Constitution, yet over six decades after Independence less than 50% of Muslim women in India are literate. Compare this with other women from other minorities: 76% literacy among Christians, 64% among Sikhs, 62% among Buddhists and a whopping 90% among Jain women!

According to an ORG-Marg Muslim Women’s Survey — commissioned by the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi — conducted in 2000-2001 in 40 districts spanning 12 states, the enrolment percentage of Muslim girl children is a mere 40.66 per cent. As a consequence, the proportion of Muslim women in higher education is a mere 3.56 per cent, lower even than that of scheduled castes (4.25 per cent). On all-India basis, 66 per cent Muslim women are stated to be illiterate. The illiteracy is most widespread in Haryana while Kerala has least illiteracy among Muslim women closely followed by Tamil Nadu. Muslim women are found to be more literate than their Hindu counterparts in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Most of the northern states are in urgent need of vigorous and sustained literacy campaigns.

The very low level of schooling is one of the most depressing findings of the survey. In fact, nearly 60 per cent of the total Muslim respondents never attended school. There is a negative correlation between education and employment among Muslims and the minuscule proportion of Muslims in formal employment or wealth-creating occupations. The proportion of Muslim women who are illiterate is substantially higher for rural north India than for the entire country — more than 85 per cent reported themselves to be illiterate. Fewer than 17 per cent of Muslim women ever enrolled completed eight years of schooling and fewer than 10 per cent completed higher secondary education, which is below the national average.

One of the most striking insights into the situation of Muslim women comes from their dismal work participation rate — estimated at 11.4 per cent for urban Muslim women and 20 per cent for rural Muslim women. This low figure is especially striking in the light of the obvious deprivation of most of these women. Significantly, only a minuscule 0.14 per cent of Muslim women respondents cited pardah as the reason for not working.

So what is it that makes Muslim women so badly placed at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid (lower even than OBCs) and so disenfranchised in every sense of the word? A sprinkling of high-profile Muslim women judges, academics, ministers, sportspersons does not offer a complete picture. In the hamlets of rural India and the slums of urban India, young girls are still encouraged to stay within the home (first their own, then that of their husbands’). A complex web of circumstances makes the schooling of Muslim girls a daunting task. There is, of course, a fair degree of conservatism, a general mistrust of Western-style education, even a tendency to regard education for girls as being not entirely necessary, sometimes even viewed as an impediment in getting a girl married. But this is not the complete picture.

Historically, while there has always been a gap between the education of boys and girls in India in the case of Muslims, the gap has been a yawning chasm. The education of girls has always demanded higher investment in terms of more facilities, more women teachers, separate schools, transport and scholarships to provide the much-needed incentives. Muslim educationists and thinkers themselves, and as a consequence the state and central governments, have been tardy in redressing this imbalance. While there are numerous instances of minority-run institutions among Christians, Sikhs and Parsis that have made special efforts to provide free education to their girls, among Muslim faith-based organisations this consciousness has been late in coming.

Those involved in the education of the Muslim girl child have not been able to reach any consensus on the sort of education to be given to the Muslim girl child and ambivalences persist about the merits of Deeni Taalim vs Duniyawi Taleem. Meanwhile, there is a growing hunger for education among Muslim girls and women that can no longer be ignored. Several initiatives have been taken by women themselves when they feel the State or patriarchal society is not giving them their due. The Minorities Vikas Manch in Jaipur is doing great work to raise Muslim women’s literacy levels in Rajasthan. Elsewhere, private educational institutions have stepped in providing both secular and religious education. Often women have come forward to set up coaching schools to redress the high dropout rate among school-going girls. The states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, to some extent Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, have more successful stories to tell largely due to overall higher literacy rates and greater persistence on the part of NGOs. Established in 1966, the Anwar ul-Ulum Women’s Arabic College in the village of Mongam near Calicut, is one such institution that provides a blend of modern and Islamic education. Lok Jumbish (People’s Movement), an NGO specializing in education, has done excellent work among the Meos in Haryana who have almost 90% illiteracy among their women. Lok Jumbish found a simple but workable solution to the steadfast refusal among Meo fathers to send their girls to school. It offered Urdu as a medium of education.

Another myth about Muslims is that they refuse to opt for secular education and prefer only madrasa education and madrasa education makes them religious fanatics. This flies in the face of not just common sense but also statistics — according to the Sachar Committee Report only 4% of all enrolled Muslim children go to madrasas; 66% go to government schools and 30% to private. No middle class person sends his children to madrasas; it is only poor Muslims who cannot afford secular education or happen to live in areas where the State, whose duty it is to provide primary education, fails to do so that children are sent to madrasas. In fact, the cause of lack of secular education is poverty, not religion. But so popular is this myth that madrasa education is ascribed to religious fanaticism and orthodoxy rather than to poverty.

The link between poverty and illiteracy among Muslim women can not be over-emphasised. Regardless of whether illiteracy is a consequence of poverty or vice versa, regardless of the debates between the ‘modernists’ and the ‘traditionalist’, regardless of the merits of an English-medium western-style education and an Urdu-medium traditional education, what Muslim women want today is some form of knowledge that empowers them to better their lot.

Individual initiatives — few and far between and laudable for their courage, no doubt — will not take the Muslim woman very far. While much is being achieved in pockets, in an isolated, random, almost ad hoc manner, a lot still remains to be done. What is needed, and needed urgently, is a more proactive role on the part of the state. More cash incentives, attendance incentives, special stipends to meritorious girl students, special bus services, more morning shift schools, more emphasis on basic literacy and numeracy, adult-education classes, public reading rooms, gender-sensitive learning materials – these need to be factored into any schemes involving education among Muslims. Given the increasing incidents of communal violence where women are the easiest victims, parents are often wary of sending girls to “unsafe” neighbourhoods. The Sachar Committee Report talks of the co-relation between place of residence and education. If more schools were located in or closer to Muslim-dominated areas, more parents would be willing to enrol their children. While this co-relation is especially strong in rural areas or communally-sensitive neighbourhoods, the positive co-relation has been seen in big cities as well. The Delhi Public School at Mathura Road runs a free school for poor children from the Basti Nizamuddin area. Called “Ibtida” (meaning Beginning), its catchment area is almost 98% Muslim. It caters to the poorest and most disadvantaged by offering free western-style education from nursery till Class VII, using its own classrooms and teachers and providing free books and uniforms.

At the Ibtida school, one can actually find a student whose mother begs on the streets of Nizamuddin! Likewise, the feeder schools of the Jamia Millia Islamia cater to the disadvantaged sections, to those living in the urban ghettos of Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh, Batla House, etc. and manage to attract – and retain – enough girl students right uptill middle and senior school because of its location. The morning shift school is Urdu-medium till the VIII standard and English-medium thereafter and has been showing consistently good results for both the Xth and XIIth Board examinations. Those students who make the ‘switch’ from Urdu-medium to English manage to do well due to better teaching aids, better textbooks and most of all enough Urdu-medium teachers – a combination that is found to be lacking in most government-run Urdu schools. The government’s much-hyped madrasa-modernisation scheme or catchy slogans such as ‘Education for All’ will amount to little if the so-called incentives fail to meet ground realities.

The state of the Muslim girl child is such that no single institution – be it government or private – can bring about lasting change. What is needed is an ideal mix between non-governmental organizations, local community, government and international donors. A survey of availability of textbooks in regional languages needs to be undertaken. More Urdu medium schools with better facilities, more women staff, more books in Urdu too would go a long way in encouraging girls to go to schools and stay there. There is also a need for debate and mobilization by the Muslim community itself to make a clear-eyed assessment of the situation.

Finally, let’s remember that literacy alone is not the key. It will not magically open the doors of opportunity. The quality of education is just as important. It has been seen that after the first few years of the primary education afforded to the Muslim girl child, one of two things usually happens. Either the girl is plucked out of formal education by the time she reaches puberty and for all practical purposes lapses into virtual illiteracy, or, if she continues in school and does climb up the education ladder, with every rung, the quality of education available to her is so inferior that it equips her for very little. The quality of education in some Urdu-medium schools as also the calibre of teachers in such schools is so inadequate that the girls who do come out from such institutions – many privately run, others with dubious affiliations from quasi-religious bodies – cannot cope in a competitive environment.

However, to conclude on a less grim note, I want to quote once again from the Sachar Committee Report: “While the education system appears to have given up on Muslim girls, the girls themselves have not given up on education. There is a strong desire and enthusiasm for education.” It is this enthusiasm that we clearly need to tap.

[Rakshanda Jalil is Director of Culture and Media at Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi. She can be contacted at rakhshandaj@yahoo.co.in]

Wilders, Israel and the Jews

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

Acquittal of ‘anti-Muslim’ politician could have problematic consequences for Jews

By Manfred Gerstenfeld

Last week, Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, was cleared by an Amsterdam Court of all charges of insulting Muslims and inciting hatred and discrimination against them. The trial of the only internationally known Dutch politician drew major media attention in many countries. The verdict is generally being hailed as a triumph for almost unbridled free speech. Concerning Israel, the Jews and what may be said about them in The Netherlands, this judgment could invite very problematic consequences.

The developments in the court case were bizarre. The public prosecution had concluded years ago that Wilders should not be prosecuted. The Amsterdam Court, however, forced the prosecution to charge Wilders. This started a three-year procedure. The first round ended abruptly in October 2010. Then judges of the Amsterdam Court deposed their colleagues sitting on the Wilders case, because they had shown bias against him. Thus, a new court had to start the hearings from the beginning in February. The public prosecution requested Wilders’ acquittal as it had also done in the first round.

The charges included a long list of statements by Wilders, one of which was: “The Koran is the Mein Kampf of a religion which aims to eliminate others and which calls the others - the non-Muslims - unreligious dogs.” On another occasion he had said: “The core of the problem is fascist Islam, the sick ideology of Allah and Mohammed, as written down in the Islamic Mein Kampf, the Koran.”

Regarding Muslims, Wilders had said inter alia: “Close the borders. No more Muslims should be let into the country, many Muslims should leave the Netherlands and criminal Muslims should lose their Dutch nationality.”

The court found that while Wilders may have on occasion spoken in a hurtful and coarse way, he should be able to propagate his views as part of public political debate. After the verdict, Muslim and other organizations announced that they want to take the issue up with the United Nations Human Rights Council. In the meantime, Wilders continues to receive many death threats, mainly from Muslims, and must be heavily guarded.

One has to analyze Wilders’ policies separately from the way he expresses them. He has been a pioneer in pointing out that the greatest threat to humanity comes out of the Islamic world. This goes far beyond the more than hundred million adherents of Bin Laden’s worldview, suicide and other bombers, as well as the many crimes against humanity in countries such as Yemen, Syria, Libya and so on. However, to consider all Muslims as a global threat is an unfounded and populist generalization.

Anti-Semitic talkbacks

Wilders has been a consistent defender of Israel. The Freedom Party supports the Dutch minority government of Liberals and Christian Democrats from the outside. This government has, as part of its official program, the improvement of Dutch-Israeli relations. Wilders plays an important role in making sure that this is indeed the case.

The Freedom Party has, together with two small Christian parties, taken a lead role in the fight against anti-Semitism. With regard to physical and verbal attacks on recognizable Jews in The Netherlands, Muslims and in particular youngsters of Moroccan origin, have a disproportionately large share in these crimes, compared to their size in the population. The Freedom Party’s spokesman on anti-Semitism issues Joram van Klaveren, is making consistent efforts to convince the government to pay for the security of Jewish institutions. Financing their own security is a heavy burden for the small organized Jewish community, which numbers about 8,000 members.

The Freedom Party, however, plays a very negative role in the current debate on a private bill introduced by the Party for the Animals to prohibit religious slaughter without stunning an animal first. Initially, Wilders’ party’s support for the bill was seen as part of its anti-Islam policies. In the interim, it has been found that the percentage of Dutch Muslims who are not willing to eat Halal meat from stunned animals is very small.

The Freedom Party has supported this prohibition enthusiastically, knowing full well that orthodox Jews will be its main victims. In the parliamentary debate, its spokesman Dion Graus has called religious slaughter “ritual torture.” He also stated that his party is not against Muslims, as the proposed prohibition also hurts Jews. Thus once again, Jews have become an instrument in Dutch politics.

When analyzing what consequences the Amsterdam court decision may have for Jews and Israel, one needs to be informed about Dutch anti-Israeli propaganda, which has succeeded in convincing more than 38% of the Dutch population that Israel intends to commit genocide against the Palestinians. This information was found in a major poll undertaken by the University of Bielefeld in Germany. Anti-Israeli inciters regularly publish in most leading Dutch media.

The religious slaughter debate has unleashed a sewer of anti-Semitic talkbacks in several mainstream Dutch papers. After the verdict in the Wilders case, many of these as well as statements comparing the Torah and Talmud to Mein Kampf, and claims that Judaism is a sick religion, cannot be legally challenged.

[Manfred Gerstenfeld is the author of 20 books. Last year, his book in Dutch, "The Decay: Jews in a Rudderless Netherlands, sparked a major debate in the Netherlands]

(Courtesy: YNetNews.com)

UP Elections: Muslims need a united front

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

By Mohammad Shahid

With less than a year to go for the UP assembly elections a mud-slinging match among the poll players has began. While the four main parties – Congress, BJP, SP and BSP —blame each other for all ills in the state, the smaller outfits hold these four responsible for the retarded development in the state. Every move and action of the parties is decided with an eye on elections. As elections in the state are fought basically on caste and communal lines, the parties are trying to outwit each other to woo a particular caste or community. And Muslims who constitute about one-fourth of the electorate and are deciding factor in 130 Assembly and 24 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, are cynosure of all eyes particularly of Samajwadi Party and Congress who are leaving no stone unturned to woo the community in their favour.

Muslims who traditionally supported the Congress were alienated with the party after its dubious policy on Babri masjid shilanyas and finally deserted it in favour of the SP after the demolition of the mosque. Ever since all efforts by the Congress to win back the community’s faith has failed except in the last Lok Sabha elections when angry with the Samajwadi Party for hobnobbing with Kalyan Singh, the perpetrator of the demolition, a section of Muslims voted for the Congress. Much water has flown the Ganga since. Now realizing his mistake and importance of the Muslim vote the SP has distanced itself from Kalyan and has expelled former general secretary Amar Singh, allegedly responsible for bringing Kalyan Singh close to the party. With Azam Khan, the Muslim face of the party back into its fold, the party now hopes to win back the Muslim electorate. On the other hand Congress is pinning its hope on the secular and clean image of its young leader Rahul Gandhi and disillusionment of the community with regional outfits.

But some Muslim outfits who have decided to jump into the poll fray may play spoilsports to the SP and Congress plans. The three main parties – Peace Party, Ulema Council and newly formed Welfare Party – encouraged by the pattern of Muslim voting in recently concluded elections in Assam, West Bengal and Kerala, see their prospects bright in UP as the Peace Party president Dr. Mohammad Ayyub has said ‘It is only natural that Muslims feel let down by parties like Congress and SP which the trusted for years but in return have only been subjected to vote bank politics. No issues of the community was ever solved by these parties which is why there is a plethora of Muslim outfits coming up and doing well in elections. The voting pattern in UP elections is bound to change given these changed perceptions.’

With this objective in view and also to consolidate non-Congress and non-BJP votes the Peace Party has already forged an alliance with the Lok Dal, Indian Justice party, Lok Kranti Morcha, Bharatiya lokhit Party and Janawadi Party to form Lok Kranti Morcha. While the alliance and also the Ulema Council have decided to contest all assembly seats the Welfare Partry has commissioned a survey to identify the pockets where it would be at an advantage because of concentration of Muslim population. The party is also trying to bring together Deobandi and Barelvi sects besides other minorities, SCs and OBCs under one political umbrella.

All the three parties have a similar agenda--to give Muslims and other minorities and weaker sections their due which has so long been denied by the Congress and other parties who have used them as vote bank—but pursuing it separately. In the past also a number of parties tried to achieve this goal but failed mainly because each of them claimed to represent the community without having the infrastructure and support base required to win an election and the leaders’ larger than life ego prevented them from providing a united front as was seen in recently held elections in Assam and Kerala. But the Muslim leaders, it seems have not learnt from past experience. Ulema Council that was formed by Amir Rashadi of Azamgarh in the aftermath of the Batla House encounter could not even win the Lok Sabha byelection in the district but only facilitated the victory of BJP which won the seat for the first time due to division of Muslim votes engineered by the council. Still the party feels that it will win the elections and has decided to contest all assembly seats.

The Peace Party, with its good performance in the Dumariyaganj byelection and alliance with some smaller outfits is better placed. But its support base too does not go beyond some districts of eastern UP. As for the Welfare Party it is still surveying the constituencies but its mission to unite all Muslim factions to form a united platform is laudable. But how far it succeeds in its mission only time will tell. Elections are still about ten months away. Alliances will be made and broken during this period. If the Muslim leaders belonging to whichever party are really pained at the plight of Muslims and have the same mission and goal to help the community they must rise above their vested interests and come together on a single platform to avoid split of Muslim votes. In unity lies their strength and it is by this mantra they can extract maximum benefit from bigger parties and governments otherwise they may end unconsciously helping the communal and divisive forces.

[Mohammad Shahid is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

Idaratul-Ilm Mahadavia Library distributes cash award to meritorious students in Hyderabad

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

IMO News Service

Hyderabad: Idaratul-Ilm Mahadavia Library on June 28, 2011, distributed ‘Mohammed Abdul Jabbar Khan Cash Award’ to the meritorious students of SSC and Intermediate at Rahmat Function Hall, Chanchalguda in Hyderabad.The chief guest on the occasion was Sri Syed Anwar-Ul-Huda (IPS), Add.DGP & Controller of Legal Metrology. The meritorious awards are given since last three years by Abdul Jabber Khan. The awards were given to


Ist Prize Rs/ 25,000 to Syeda Maliha Fatima, (MPC) 96.8%

IInd Prize Rs/ 15,000 to Syed Abdul Kareem (BPC) 95.2%

IIIrd Prize Rs/ 10,000 to Syed Fareed Esa (BPC) 93.9%

Consolation Prize Rs/ 5000 to Firasat Kahtoon (BPC) 92.2&

Consolation Prize Rs/ 5000 to Zeba Amreen


Ist Prize Rs/ 25,000 Syeda Zoha Shreen 94.5%

IInd Prize Rs/ 10,000 Neha Fatima Hussain 90.1%


Best Teacher Award to those Students who gained more marks in Science & Mathematics:

Mrs. Sultana Taranum Teacher of Mathematics of Dawn High School Rs/ 10,000

Mr. Mohammed Farooq and K.V.S.Raju Lecturer of Mathematics in M.S.Education Center Rs/5000 each.

K.L.N.Srinivas Lecturer of Physics and J.Ramesh Lecturer of Chemistry got Rs/ 3000 each.

Economic Goals behind UNSC-NATO attack on Sovereign Libya!

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

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

A staunch Arab-African with Pan-Arab cause at heart, Col Qaddafi has always striven to make Libya economically wealthy, socially supportive with financial backups and politically free from foreign dependence. The so-called Western “democracies” that are in fact the anti-Islamic terrocracies targeting energy, human and other resources, focus, a part of their hidden agenda, on Libyan resources- not just oil but also gold, cash deposited in foreign banks.

Wealthy Libya in Arab world not only has oil, it has spectacular gold reserves too and these “freedom goods” are the target of Obama forces, enforcing the “Arab Sproing” in Mideast under the NATO terror syndicate command. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its central bank has nearly 144 tonnes of gold in its vaults. There is a new thinking that the World war-III, launched by USA-UK terror twins, is all about oil, gold reserves, foreign savings, banking and water as well. Like energy and water, NATO members focus now on ample credit to develop the infrastructure to access them.

In order to achieve their illegal objectives the CIA network had in advance created a strong anti-Qaddafi terror syndicate in the south of Libya, but Col. Qaddafi,w ho had come to power by revolution, could not gauge the implications of their “uprisings” and “freedom” demands. Obama offers freedom to the “inhabitants” of Guantanamo secret torture jails to die in the crudest manner.

That is US democracy! That is also the essence of western democracy. Only the west is entitled to conspire against humanity!

The western terrrocracies argue that the UNSC-NATO war is not against Islam or Muslim nations or Muslims but Muslims just get killed in millions in the process, more than the Christians who had lost lives in WW-II, now reducing the Islamic population considerably by millions. Western “dmeocrats have murdered more Muslims than under the Stalin regime in Soviet Union during the notorious collectivization drive.

It has been suggested, rather rightly, that one of major causes for the UNSC-NATO aggression in sovereign Libya is Libya move for a common currency for Arabs and Africans. Libyan president Col. Qaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency. Qaddafi made a similarly bold move by initiating a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. The bombing of Libya, targeting Col. Qaddafi, is also seen as the punishment for this third word leader Qaddafi for his attempt to refuse US Dollar.

Today, when Libya is being attacked by anti-Islamic and anti-thrid world rogue states, other African and Arab nations have not come to its protection.

Assassination of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was also attributed in large measure to his opposition to US dollar and preference for Euro, but European technocracies stood behind their leader USA in attacking sovereign Iraq. this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar. Similar scenario has been replayed by the NATO terror syndicate in Libya.

Col Qaddafi strives to make Libya free of the grip of foreign creditors not to join the BIS, the IMF and pay them huge interests. The Central Bank Governance Networks are supposed to have as their single or primary objective "to preserve price stability". Libya's wholly state-owned bank can and does issue the national currency and lend it for state purposes. "Price stability" means maintaining a stable money supply, even if that means burdening the people with heavy foreign debts. They are kept independent from government to make sure that political considerations don't interfere with this mandate. And that may because of “threat” from Libya as it could show the world what is really possible even in the unipolar world.

The CIA had clearly gone ahead with its destabilization move with thoroughness in now occupied Libya by helping the terrorist rebels to create their own central bank in March to take care of and bring in the Libyan finances abroad that are now frozen.

Obviously, the Libyan people under President Col. Qaddafi, the so-called “oppressor/dictator”, have been thriving: education and health care continue to be free. Capable young people have the opportunity to study abroad at government expense. When marrying, young couples receive 60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 US dollars) of financial assistance. Non-interest state loans, and as practice shows, undated. Due to government subsidies the price of cars is much lower than in Europe, and they are affordable for every family. Gasoline and bread cost a penny, no taxes for those who are engaged in agriculture. The Libyan people are quiet and peaceful, are not inclined to drink, and are very religious.

One of the very popular achievements of the Qaddafi government is that it brought water to the desert by building the largest and most expensive irrigation project in history, the US$33 billion GMMR (Great Man-Made River) project. Even more than oil, water is crucial to life in Libya. The GMMR provides 70% of the population with water for drinking and irrigation, pumping it from Libya's vast underground Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in the south to populated coastal areas 4,000 kilometers to the north. The Libyan government has done at least some things right.

Western corrupt regimes have no clues as to where Qaddafian Libya gets the money to provide free education and medical care, and to issue each young couple $50,000 in interest-free state loans. It would also explain where the country found the $33 billion to build the Great Man-Made River project. Libyans are worried that North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led air strikes are coming perilously close to this pipeline, threatening another humanitarian disaster.

Washington is eager to keep all oil rich Muslim nations in its fascist hooks through various ploys. During the past year, the idea of the gold dinar was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States. The initiative was viewed negatively by the USA and the EU, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Col. Qaddafi was not swayed and continued his push for the creation of a united Africa.

Arab League led by Saudi Arabia and Dubai and Qatar support massacres in Libya possibly because they desire to keep the oil prices up and want USA to control Libyan oil supply. The planet is awash in oil and if it all arrived in the markets, it would collapse the price. Since Libyan oil is of a very high quality, there is a vested interest from other Arab nations in keeping Libyan oil away form the markets.

USA-UK terror twins oppose any nation trying to become a truly free and independent nation. Obama, with his African background, took on himself the “responsibility” of destabilizing a wealthy sovereign Libya as his own contribution to modern US imperialism. And his major weapon is drone.

Sovereignty and freedom are the bone and flesh of any independent nation and the Libyan experience with western fascism should open eyes of other third world nations not to take their gifts and good "manners" seriously and to play safe with western terrocracies.

[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism. He is Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA). He is former university Teacher, Analyst in International Affairs and an Expert on Middle East. He can be contacted at abdulruff@gmail.com or on his Mobile # +91-9961868309]

EIFF conducts a session on "Importance of Education and Financial Guidance" for labourers in Dubai

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

By Muhammad Afaque Nagoor

Emirates India Fraternity Forum (EIFF) conducted a session on the importance of education and also financial assistance to the labourers. The session was held at Al Nimr Civil Engineering Camp in Sonapur (DUBAI) on Thursday, June 23, 2011.

The program started by one of the executives of EIFF, who spoke about the importance of education and how much it matters in today's modern era. He also stressed on the need that if they would have been educated it would have helped them in securing a good job leading to a bright future for them and their families.

They were also explained that an educated person has more respect in today's society and people look upon them with utmost respect, education also helps an individual to become a good citizen of his country.

The second session was conducted on how to manage their financial situation, the most important point explained here was to make sure they try to save more and spend less by cutting down their unwanted expenses. They were told that it is better to plan their future and not to live just for the day. They were explained about the ill-effects of Credit Cards and taking unwanted loans which can disturb the whole mechanism by ending up paying more and more interests.

The program was followed by Q & A session and the conclusion was done by  Ashraf Dalwai, an executive member of EIFF. The labourers appreciated the noble gesture of EIFF members for taking out time and educating them about two most important topics which will help them improve their and their family's future.

This program was attended by more than 125 labourers from Al Nimr and also surrounding camps.

Refreshments were provided to all the people who had gathered there, EIFF would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire management of Al Nimr Civil Engineering Camp and Mr. Murali & Mr. Devraj in particular for all the support and co-operation rendered by them in making this a successful event.

EIFF also conducted programs at Ryan International School, Sharjah and Bangalore Empire Restaurant, Karama (Dubai) on Friday 24th June under the theme of "BETTER FAMILY BETTER SOCIETY" for bachelors and families which was attended by a very good crowd. The topic included the importance of having a good and better family which will in turn help in having a better society.

[Muhammad Afaque Nagoor is based at Dubai, UAE. He can be reached at afaque_001@yahoo.co.in]

Bhopal’s MANIT becomes first NIT to hold Academic Audit in India

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, (MANIT), Bhopal is the first NIT in India to have conducted an Academic Audit which is unique in itself as none other among the more than two dozen NITs in the country have taken this extra-ordinary step.

Addressing a Press conference here A. N. Singh, chairman of the Board of Governors, (BoGs), of MANIT, while highlighting the achievements in the last two to three years under his stewardship said following the Academic Audit, undertaken by IIT professors, the recommendations would be implemented for achieving academic excellence in the institute. Among the major recommendations include strengthening of laboratories of the institute and bringing about changes in the syllabi, he added.

Mr. Singh, who is in running fourth year of his five year term, claimed that not only the Academic Audit but to enhance the quality of education imparted in the institute the Ph. D. thesis is being sent to external examiners with one of them from an internationally acclaimed institute.

He informed that a fund of Rs. 5 crore was allocated for research work with 100 per cent utilization. Giving fillip to academic excellence more than 50 faculty members of MANIT have visited abroad to present their research papers/chair sessions in various international conferences, he added.

Replying to a question Mr. Singh said that MANIT administration will terminate the services of five faculty members after serving them show-cause notices as their appointments made in 2005 were found to be illegal after scrutiny. He said that a two-member committee found the appointment illegal on the ground that the appointees did not fulfill the minimum eligibility criteria required for appointment. However, he did not reveal their names.

Apart from this disciplinary action would be taken against eight other faculty members whose appointment were found to be irregular and 15 members of the scrutiny committee who allegedly prevented more eligible candidates from appearing in interviews for selection, he informed.

It may be pointed out here that the two-member fact finding committee took up the case-to-case enquiry of the 65 appointments made in 2005 after a letter was received from the Ministry of HRD to revoke the appointments. However, the letter said the rescinding of appointment orders should take place as per prevalent rules which demanded enquiry case by case. Earlier, CBI had found irregularities in the appointments.

Earlier, briefing news persons MANIT Registrar Mrs. Savita Raje revealed that the institute being in high demand all the undergraduate seats – 817 B. Tech and 120 B. Arch in the college have been filled up during the recent counseling on the basis of AIEEE. This year students with better rank opted for MANIT as last year the cut off mark for admission at MANIT was AIEEE 16000 but this time round it went up to rank 13000. MANIT’s credibility has increased and holds 22nd position in All India Ranking in 2011, she informed.

Mrs. Raje said eminent personalities like Mr. Justice A. K. Patnaik, Dr. A. Sivthanu Pillai of DRDO; Padma Vibhushan Dr. Jayant Narlikar; Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India; have visited the institute for mentoring and inspiring the faculty and the students. Mr. M. N. Buch, Padmabhushan award recipient, has been appointed as the Mentor of the institute.

The BoGs members Er. Vipin Malik and Er. Khalid Rauf, who are the alumni of MANIT In-charge Director Dr. V. K. Khare and PRO Vinita Mohindra were present amongst others during the Press conference.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

Mallika Sarabhai brings smiles on landless people in Ahmedabad

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: Veteran Gandhian leader Anna hazare was in Ahmedabad recently and he visited Sabarmati riverfront where hundreds od people were rendered landless due to development project of so-called Vibarant Gujarat..Social activist Mallika Sarabhai was instrumental in bringing Anna Hazare to Gujarat. Now their efforts seem to pay off as in a major relief to the slum dwellers of the Sabarmati Riverfront, a bench of the Gujarat high court has asked the state government to furnish a list of people who the civic body had intended to give alternative residents after the demolition drive.

The bench comprising Chief Justice SJ Mukhopadhya and Justice JB Pardiwala has asked the government and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to furnish list of people who used to live at the riverfront before 2007. The court has also suggested giving an open plot to those who begun living at the riverbank after 2007.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the slum dwellers that challenged AMC’s action of razing their dwellings to build the Sabarmati Riverfront project. Girish Patel, senior counsel appearing for the victims, contended that the government should not evict the hutment dwellers without providing any alternatives.

To this the government replied that it had already allocated alternative houses to these people. However, Patel said the houses have not yet been constructed.

During the hearing the court observed that, the government should not raze the hutments without providing alternative residence. Further hearing is posted till July 6.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

Popular Front of India holds nationwide ‘School Chalo’ campaign

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 28 June 2011 | Posted in , ,

IMO News Service

The Popular Front of India (PFI) is conducting a national level campaign called “SCHOOL CHALO”, to create awareness about the importance of education and the problems the community is facing because of the lack of education.

Popular Front of India, Jaya Nagar Division, Bangalore, surveyed around 1,450 houses in slum areas of Kalasipalyam, Illyas Nagar and Tilak Nagar and Rajendra Nagar. The PFI authorities identified nearly 78 students from very poor background who deserved to be helped. The PFI decided to adopt these kids and take care of their educational expenses for this academic year 2011-2012.

Programs were conducted at Neelsandra Bright High School (11 Am - 25th June) & Byrasandra Huda School (3 PM - 25th June) to provide fees to schools and aid.

Mohamed Shakif spoke about the importance of women education, evils of discriminating girl child with boy and evils of child labor, encouraged parents to focus on studies and think progressively.

Forbesganj Police Firing: They are not ready to give a road, how will they do justice with victims?

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

By Abdul Hannan Siwani Nadvi

On 3rd of June 2011, six people including two women and an infant brutally killed in police firing in Forbesganj. Muslim-run online News portals took up this issue and made all efforts to bring the facts before media to show how poor and labor class Muslims were discriminated, tortured and killed by police.

A video showed how a police personal jumps on the face of half dead body of a youth. FIR registered against un-known persons too.

These gruesome atrocities played by police and local administration with the consent of state administration due to protest by the residents of Rampur and Bhajanpur villages under Forbesganj block in Araria district for blocking an old road.

When this report got the attention of very few media channels, Human Rights organizations, National Commission for Minorities, social activists, Muslim organizations and some political parties condemned this gruesome act, some of them visited the village, met with the victim's families, went to hospital to meet injured people and then began same tactic Muslims are experiencing it for last 63 years in an independent and a democratic country.

Ram Vilas Paswan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded CBI inquiry, action against guilty police personals, compensation for the victims etc. The response of country's Prime Minister was that he will ask Mr. P. Chidambram to address this issue.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar refused to meet Chairperson of National Commission for Minority. Congress Party reacted as usual as it has always been reacting when Muslims fall as victims.

Now, the point is, will Forbesganj police firing victims get justice? The state which is not ready to give only a road to poor and labor class Muslims and it uses its “brave” police to fire on villagers and chased them into their homes who wanted a road ; so how that state government could do justice with the victims.

Visiting of Human Rights organizations, National commission for Minority and other NGOs will not affect the situation. These things have been seen when Muslims have been beheading in Gujarat genocide 2002. These commissions failed to put the main conspirators before court, leave small and low ranked perpetrators. It is true that adroit and adequate efforts of some organizations and social activists helped victims to keep hope in judicial process, but killers and rapists still are roaming free in the state. Even some social activists themselves are facing charges labeled by state government and they are making clear their positions through media and in court too.

According to the reports; Union Misnister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid said he will take up this issue with Union Home Minister P. Chidambram. It means that we have to forget this issue, because Salman Khurshid has never done any thing for the Muslim community, so what will he do something with grave issues like Forbesganj police firing case.

For example, Salman Khurshid after many years realized that 2006 Malegaon bomb blast accuseds are innocent, when he had said that “justice has not done in this case” in a press conference organized by ETV Urdu news channel in Mumbai on 20th Feb, 2011, but after all what he did for them, nobody knows. There is no news regarding the actions taken by him to bring these innocent Muslim youths languishing in the prison.

Hoping from central government is also futile. Current UPA government has done nothing in solving capital issues of Muslims, so, why will it interfere in this small issue (for central government).

Indeed, All India Muslim Personal Law Board also expressed its disappointments due to wavering stand of UPA government over the promises made by the central government to handle different issues raised by AIMPLB. This wavering stand of UPA forced this organization to lunch agitation against inaction by Central government.

Forbesganj police firing issue grabbed national attention due to Bihar government's inaction in this case. If bad things has taken place so that issue can be handled through strong action, rehabilitation and restoring of villager's demand.

However, 20 days have been passed. Various commissions including Human Rights organizations and National Commission for Minority whose leaders themselves are demanding justice as the victims are appealing; neither the state nor central governments have taken any strongest step to restore the confidence among these poor Muslims.

Some people and organizations came into action to help the victims. However, victims and Muslim community are still waiting the decision of Bihar state government which fulfills the demand of Muslim community and restores the road which is being demanded by villagers, as well as victim’s families get compensation.

It is very hard to say that Forbesganj police firing victims would get justice or their demand about restoration of old road or alternative road would be heard.

I think, my country is still not mature, or state and central administration of this country still not decided to deliver justice with Muslims, whether they are the victims of Forbessjang police firing, or Gujarat genocide victims, or Makkah Masjid Blast victims or the innocent, who have been arrested in different bomb blast cases or in the name of SIMI across the country.

This is not the imaginary thinking, this is the fact. Chairperson of National Commission for Minorities Wajahat Habibullah rightly said when he met with the victims of Forbesganj police firing: “Don't lose hope; you will get justice”; that reason after every atrocity, Muslims and Muslim organization move for the justice.

In this atmosphere of hostility, Muslims just raise their voices and can hope that a day this hostility situation toward Muslim community will be changed and they will get justice.

[Abdul Hannan Siwani Nadwi is based at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He can be contacted at ahannan111@yahoo.in or on his Mobile # +966 (0) 546411482]

Europe and Euro Crisis

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

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

The simmering battle between USA and European Union on the worth of their respective currencies, dollar and Euro seems to be never ending, even though Washington is making all possible efforts to use NATO terror operations in Islamic world to bridge the gap that lies between them.

After prolonged Euro crisis and months of uncertainty, EU leaders at the EU summit in Brussels have finally agreed to appoint Italian Mario Draghi, who has worked at the World Bank and as an economics professor at Harvard, as the next president of the European Central Bank. The European Parliament and the ECB board had already given their approval to Draghi's appointment

Euro is costlier than an ever weakening dollar. The European Union, the world's largest economy, has 27 member states, 16 of which are on the common currency. Founded through a string of treaties beginning in the 1950s, the EU has developed its own economic, political and legal policies.

The euro, created with the aim of permanently uniting Europe, has become the greatest threat to the continent's future. A collapse of the monetary union would set Europe back by decades, dealing it a blow from which it might never recover, especially with Europe's position already threatened by the fast-growing Asian economies. Europe's politicians want to defend the euro at all costs, but are approving one bailout package after the next, hoping that the markets will settle down and the reforms will take hold.

Irresponsible real estate sharks, unscrupulous bankers and populist politicians had ruined the finances of many a EU country. When, as the outcome of a deliberate state move to boost inflation, the euro crisis started in Greece in October 2009, nobody had any idea how quickly or broadly it would spread -- or how difficult it would be to solve. In fact the state did not want to halt the process and by November, Greece's budget deficit had ballooned to 15.4 percent of GDP from a meager 3.7 percent before October. As a result, Greece is forced to put its budget under EU monitoring. Dramatic austerity measures are implemented in a bid to clean up the country's finances in the coming years. In March 2010, the first Greek austerity package was passed, Value-added tax raised by 2 percentage points, and salaries for civil servants are frozen. The size of annual savings is estimated to be roughly €4.8 billion ($6.8 billion). In May 2010, in a bid to prop up other financially ailing member states, the EU finance ministers and the IMF agree on a provisional safety net worth €750 billion to be in effect until 2013. In June, Greece plans a further raft of austerity and privatization measures. Meanwhile, the euro-zone countries, the ECB and the IMF argue about the structure and amount of future financial aid.

EU leaders gave their clearest sign yet that Greece will receive a second bailout in the coming weeks, on top of last year's €110 billion ($156 billion). If the rest of Europe abandons Greece, the crisis could spin out of control, spreading from one weak euro-zone country to the next. Investors would have no guarantees that Europe would not withdraw its support from Portugal or Ireland, if push came to shove, and they would sell their government bonds.

The European Central Bank (ECB), the guardian of the single currency has taken on billions of euros worth of risky securities as collateral for loans to shore up the banks of struggling nations. In the event of a bankruptcy or even a deferred payment, the ECB would be directly affected. Many Euro nations criticized the ECB's program of purchasing government bonds issued by ailing euro member states. The Bundesbank already decided to establish reserves for a total of €4.9 billion ($7 billion) to cover possible risks. The failure of a country like Greece, which would almost inevitably lead to the bankruptcy of a few Greek banks, would increase the bill dramatically, because the ECB is believed to have purchased Greek government bonds for €47 billion. Besides, by the end of April, the ECB had spent about €90 billion on refinancing Greek banks.

The ECB maintains a list of "eligible assets," a sort of seal of approval for securities. Every major bank in the euro zone must have such securities, such as bonds or government bonds, or it would be excluded from the money market. There are currently 28,708 securities on the ECB list, with a total value €14 trillion at the end of 2010.

The ECB is in a no-win situation now that it has become an enormous bad bank or, in other words, a dumping ground for bad loans. The ECB accepted so-called asset-backed securities (ABS) as collateral. At the beginning of the year, these securities amounted to €480 billion. It was precisely such asset-backed securities that once triggered the real estate crisis in the United States. Experts say these securities would deal a fatal blow to the European banking system.

Turkey is one of the top ranking economies of Europe, but not yet been admitted into EU as a legitimate member, while Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain are the weak euro countries. Surveys show that many Germans are worried about the future of the euro.

The central bank's high risk is highlighted in the crisis-ridden countries of Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain. Since the countries are disconnected from the international capital market and domestic savers have only limited confidence in their banks, other European central banks are forced to inject more and more money. Mortgage loans were bundled into packages worth billions, allowing the associated risks to be transferred to the international capital markets.

The euro welds together strong and weak countries, for better or for worse. There is no emergency exit, and there are no rules to follow in an emergency.

The euro is becoming an ever greater threat to Europe's common future. The currency union chains together economies that are simply incompatible. Politicians approve one bailout package after the other and, in doing so, have set down a dangerous path that could burden Europeans for generations

Regular ECB bailouts for banks pose serious problems and specialists insist that limits be imposed on the autonomy of national central banks when it comes to recognizing securities as collateral. The old euro no longer exists in its intended form, and the European Monetary Union isn't working. Draghi, the new boss of ECB, has big burden on his weak shoulders.

[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism. He is Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA). He is former university Teacher, Analyst in International Affairs and an Expert on Middle East. He can be contacted at abdulruff@gmail.com or on his Mobile # +91-9961868309]

IOU aims to create Islamic awareness: Mohammed Shajiuddin

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

Mohammed Shajiuddin, an Osmania University graduate, who served at the King Fahad University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia, is the India representative of Islamic Online University (IOU). He was in Delhi recently. Manzar Imam, Special Correspondent of IndianMuslimObserver.com spoke with him about IOU. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

MI: How did IOU come into existence?

MS: The idea of the online Islamic University was conceived by Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. He started the university in 2007 in Qatar where it has its international head quarters.

MI: There are many universities offering courses in various Islamic disciplines. Why IOU?

MS: Changing the nation through education is the motto of its founder. Times have changed. Youths are turning professionals. Many Muslims do not get time to understand Islam. Their life schedule does not allow them time to read Islamic books and understand Islam. It was thus decided to start online courses which could be easily covered during spare times. People are familiar with computers now, hence an online course would be suitable.

MI: Which courses do you offer?

MS: At present, IOU has 26 diploma courses which are free of cost. In March, 2010 we started a four-year B.A. programme in Islamic studies. The only condition for admission to this course is a 10+2 certificate. For diploma courses no formal academic qualification is required.

MI: What response do you get?

MS: In B.A. and other diploma courses we have 5000 students in India. Globally, the number of students in our different courses is more than 40000 in 197 countries. The highest response we have got is from America followed by India.

MI: What are your future plans?

MS: The response in India is positive. With head quarters at Hyderabad, we have centres in Coimbatore, Kerala, Bangalore, Mangalore and Kashmir. Now we have entered an agreement with Islamic Da’wah Centre in New Delhi. The registration for our September semester is open. We are planning further expansion.

MI: What is the course structure of B.A. Islamic Studies?

MS: Most of the course-related and other information are available online on our international website www.islamiconlineuniversity.com and also on our local website www.iouindia.com. The B.A. course is spread over 8 semesters. It is a four-year course but one may complete it in minimum 3 years duration. It teaches Tajweed (Arabic phonetics) for better Quranic recitation, Fiqh, seerah, English and Arabic language, Islamic history and civilization, and introduces Islamic principles to students.

MI: You have signed an agreement with Islamic Da’wah Centre, Delhi and have other centres too. What is their role?

MS: We have many examination centers only for conducting examinations. There are few recognized centres with infrastructure and capacity to run our diploma, undergraduate and graduate courses. IDC, Delhi is one of them. The IOU centres would conduct examinations and also promote the university in their area of operation.

MI: Any specific objective of this course?

MS: There is a growing lack of awareness among Muslim youths about their religion which is often negatively represented. Although the course is open to all with no distinction of region and religion, we aim to educate Muslim professionals about Islam.

[Delhi-based Journalist Manzar Imam is Special Correspondent of IndianMuslimObserver.com and can be reached at manzarkhalil@gmail.com or +91-9810035066 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +91-9810035066      end_of_the_skype_highlighting]

Muslim bodies demand Salman Khurshid must quit Govt. & Congress Party

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

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: A number of Muslims representing social and political organizations have demanded the resignation of Union Minister for Minorities Affairs Salman Khurshid from the UPA Government and the Congress Party for his reported statement committing blasphemy against the Holy Qur’an and rejecting the recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, (JPC), on Wakfs and the Sachar Committee.

A joint statement issued by prominent Muslim intellectuals said that Salman Khurshid must quit the Government due to the non-inclusion of vital recommendations of the JPC and the Prime Minister's High Level Committee on Muslims (Sachar Committee) in Waqf Amendment Bill 2010 drafted by his ministry.

The statement pointed out that Mr. Khurshid has reportedly said in Chennai that Sachar Committee Report is not Holy Qur’an. This is blasphemy, (Behurmati).

Earlier, in a letter to Zakat Foundation of India, Mr. Khurshid said that the JPC on Wakfs and the Sachar Committee cannot claim monopoly to wisdom (though he did not mention that he is weighing their wisdom against whose).

The statement wondered: “Does this mean that the Congress and the UPA have been making fool of the Muslims for five years in the garb of Sachar Committee Report?” Also, by saying this Salman Khurshid has opposed the Prime Minister and the Union Cabinet which approved the Sachar Committee Report in 2007 and made the Ministry of Minority Affairs as the nodal ministry to monitor its implementation, the statement pointed out.

The statement stated that Salman Khurshid has also over-ruled the pivotal recommendations of the JPC on Waqfs without giving any reasons thereof while presenting the Waqf Bill in Parliament. Thus, he has violated the privileges of both the Houses of Parliament by showing down the JPC on Waqfs and hiding his non-compliance of JPC. He has gone against the Congress and UPA policy regarding Muslim interests and against the collective responsibility of the Central Government which is the cornerstone of our sacred Constitution.

Thus, Salman Khurshid must resign from the Government and the Congress, Muslims demanded. Also, the Government, the Congress and the UPA should clarify their position vis-a-vis Mr. Khurshid's statement committing blasphemy against the Holy Qur’an and rejecting the recommendations of the JPC on Waqfs and the Sachar Committee (most of which overlap).

The signatories to the statement included: Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood, President, Zakat Foundation of India, New Delhi; Dr. Zafrul Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, New Delhi; Mujtaba Farooq, General Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, New Delhi; Maulana Mohammad Mukarram, Shahi Imam, Masjid Fatehpuri, Delhi; Mufti Fuzailur Rahman Hilal Usmani, Mufti-e-Azam, Punjab & Shaikhul Jamia, Darussalam, Maler Kotla, Punjab; Ghayasuddin Babukhan, Chairman, Hyderabad Zakat & Charitable Trust, Hyderabad; Dr. Azimuddin, Coordinator, Federation of Minorities NGOs of Maharashtra, Mumbai; Haroon Mozawala and Ashfaq Vaid, Khair-e-Ummat Trust, Mumbai; Aftabuddin Sarkar, President, Federation of Muslim Associations of West Bengal, Kolkata; Anwar Premi, General Secretary, Sir Syed Educational Group, Kolkata; Major K. Ibrahim, President, All-Kerala Council of College Principals, Mallapuram, Kerala; Dr. Iqtedar Farooqi, Secretary, Urdu Scientific Society, Lucknow; Adv. Sajid Siddiqui, President of Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), Madhya Pradesh unit, Bhopal; and Adv. Haji Haroon, President Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind, Madhya Pradesh unit (Madani Group), Bhopal.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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