Etiquette for the Guest in Islam

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 10 February 2021 | Posted in , ,

[The IndianMuslimObserver.com endeavors to acquaint its readers about the Islamic values and conduct. We publish such write-ups from time to time to enhance knowledge and present the true teachings of Islam, especially at a time when this great religion and its followers are demonized, vilified and targeted worldwide through constant Islamophobic attacks. – Founder-Editor]

1. When you visit someone as a guest, do take some gifts for the host or for his children according to your means. Keep in mind the taste and liking of your host while choosing gifts for him. Exchange of presents and gifts augments the sentiments of love and promotes intimate relationship. A gift creates a soft corner in the heart of the receiver for the donor.

2. Do not stay as a guest with anyone for more than three days, save under special circumstances or when the host insists on your staying with him for a longer period. The Prophet (peace be upon him) affirms: "It is not permissible for a guest to stay so long with the host as to cause him trouble." (Al-Aadab-ul-Mufrad). Sahih Muslim reports: "It is not permissible for a Muslim to stay so long with his brother as to make him a sinner." The people submitted: "O Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him)! How will a Muslim make his brother a sinner in this manner?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "By staying so long with his brother that his brother may be exhausted of all means of entertaining him."

3. Do not always be a guest of others. Invite others also to be your guests and entertain them liberally.

4. When you stay as a guest with somebody, take along with you necessary baggage and bedding etc according to the season. In winter especially, never forget to take the bedding with you, otherwise the host will be put to extreme hardship. It is highly improper that the guest shall in any way become an unbearable burden for the host.

5. Keep in mind the engagements and duties of your host. Take care that your host’s occupation, duties and engagements are not in any way disturbed by your presence as a guest with him.

6. Do not make all sorts of demands on your host. Be content with whatever provisions he makes for your comfort and entertainment and thank him for that. Do not put him in any extraordinary trouble.

7. If your host’s women are not your close or blood relation, avoid entering into a conversation with them without reason. Do not eavesdrop on the mutual conversation of your host’s women. Behave yourself in such a manner that your conversation or conduct does not become a nuisance for them. Do not violate the privacy and the limitations of Purdah in any case.

8. If for some reason you do not wish to eat with your host, or you are observing fast, excuse yourself politely and say a prayer invoking the Grace and Blessings of Allah upon your host. When the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) presented a sumptuous meal to his venerable guests and the guests would not partake of it, he said to them: "Gentlemen, why don’t you eat?" In a bid to put him at ease, the angels submitted: "Please do not take it ill. As a matter of fact, we cannot eat. We have come only to convey the glad tidings of the birth of a talented son to you."

9. When you attend a feast, say a prayer at the end of the meal invoking Allah to bless the host with extensive means, grace, favour, salvation and His Mercy. Abu Athhim bin Tahan once invited the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his illustrious companions to a feast. When the meal was over, the Prophet (peace be upon him) observed: "Reward your brother." The illustrious companions submitted: "How can we reward him, O Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him)?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) observed: "When a man pays a visit to his brother and eats and drinks there, he can reward his brother by praying for Allah’s Favour and Blessings upon his brother." (Abu Dawud). The Prophet (peace be upon him) once visited the house of Sa’ad bin Ubadah. Sa’ad presented to the Prophet (peace be upon him) bread and olive oil. The Prophet (peace be upon him) took the meal and then prayed for him: "May the fasting people break their fasts with your provisions! May the pious partake of your meals and may the angels pray for Allah’s Mercy and forgiveness for you." (Abu Dawud).

(This is an extract from Etiquette of Life in Islam by Muhammad Yousuf Islahi)

“Be Our Guest" campaign launched for Malls in Northern Emirates

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

Line Investments & Property (LIP) malls initiates five weeks of Spend and Win promotions with Valentine's and Mission Mars Celebrations

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: The shopping mall and management division of Lulu Group International, Line Investments & Property (LIP) introduces the 'Be Our Guest' campaign with a number of initiatives for the month of February across three Malls in Northern Emirates, RAK Mall, Lulu Mall Fujairah and Mall of Umm Al Quwain.

The Spend and Win promotion will have 35 daily prize winners and a grand prize winner in each mall. From February 7th to March 13th, shoppers can be part of the Spend & Win promotion by spending AED 100/- at any store and AED 200/- at Lulu Hypermarket to stand an additional chance of winning.

Shoppers spending AED 100/- at any F&B outlet can double their chances of winning a daily Prize of AED 1,000/- for 35 days or win a grand prize of AED 10,000/-. The prize adds up to AED 50,000 in Tenant Vouchers and there will be Social Media Contests to give away AED 2,000 worth of vouchers as prizes.

For Mission Mars celebrations, there will be amazing photo opportunities with replicas of space shuttle and astronauts. Visitors to the Malls can attend information sessions on Mission Mars and get detailed knowledge from the experts at hand. Customers are also encouraged to take their pictures at the Mars lookalike photo wall, post them on their channels and tag the mall.

For Valentine’s, there will be special offers by numerous retailers and special activations in the mall on the 14th of February. Each mall will be distributing flowers and gifts to couples and customers next to Valentine’s picture frame. People can also click a memorable picture while receiving the flowers.

The Food Festival, Valentine’s Day and the Mission Mars celebrations with two weeks of engaging entertainment will enrich the mall visit experience further, in addition to the giveaway prizes. 

 All Line Investments & Property Malls place great emphasis on safety measures regarding COVID-19, ensuring the public areas remain a safe place to shop and dine in.

OPINION: Issues faced by Indian Muslims and Key to emancipation

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 08 February 2021 | Posted in , , , ,

By Asad Mirza

It seems as if the Indian Muslims are under a collective siege from the external as well as internal forces and pressures. External pressure is being applied from the outside to weaken it psychologically, lessen the morale of its followers and instead of allowing them to focus their energies on the community’s and country’s progress, they are thrown challenges continuously, to counter which a lot of energy and resources of the community are ill spent.

However, it would be better if the Muslim community instead of turning the issues into an existential one, introspects and analyze the factors which are responsible for the community’s current fate and dilemmas faced by it. The strategy to tackle the issues should be a multi-pronged one, with clear and identifiable inputs, ensuring maximum tangible outcomes. The problems faced by Indian Muslims are social, political, economic and religious, thus the strategy to handle them should be a multi-pronged one.

The political developments during the last five years, and in particular since last May ‘19 in India, have forced almost all Muslims, community’s intellectuals, sympathizers, leaders and well-wishers to turn into a pessimist. They brood on many recent political developments and reaction of the Muslim religious and community leaders to the issues. However, this brooding is not accompanied by any affirmative action by them. This pessimist attitude and a feeling of despondency do not bode well for the community. Instead, what is needed at the moment is neither self-pity nor brooding, but to self-introspect sincerely. Identify and analyze the issues, which afflict the community, and seek out pragmatic solutions, which may bode well for the community and the country, both.

The answer to most of the ills faced by the community lies in introspection and analyzing the issues, which have held the community despondent and backward so far, in depth and with sincerity. The first step should be to prioritize the issues. Altruistically speaking, first, the community should try to present a unified image, not fraught by sectional differences.

Issues faced by Muslims

A movement should be started within the community to eschew its sectional and denominational divide, by its religious leaders. Others see the Muslims as a monolith community, not a faction ridden one. So if we are seen as one, then we should act as one. This is easier said than done and would require a lot of efforts and tolerance amongst our clerics and their blind followers.

Secondly, the community should adopt a proactive approach not a reactionary one to handle issues at hand. At the political level, people who do not represent the community sincerely should not be promoted and tolerated as representing the community instead they should be excommunicated. Only sincere, committed and result-oriented individuals should be allowed to be part of the decision-making and delivery mechanism process on behalf of 14 million Muslims.

Thirdly, it should try to forge sustainable links with other minorities in the country like Parsis, Sikhs and Christians. It should try to learn from these minorities, as to how they have fared well in educational, social and economic sectors, utilising their community’s resources and guidance by their leaders. This collaboration will also help further the principles of tolerance and coexistence.

Fourthly, Muslims should engage in sincere self-introspection and try to reform the community of customs and practices, which are detrimental to the growth of the community as a whole, besides being un-Islamic, such as curbing wasteful expenditure on marriages and other religious functions. They’ll have to focus more on image building of the community by promoting cleanliness and education, two issues that have been stressed again and again in the Holy Quran.

And lastly, the message to change the community’s psyche and approach on issues facing it should be conveyed in a logical and easily understandable format to all, by a committee of elders representing all the factions and schools of thought of the community besides the political and social activists.

At the political front, Muslims should adopt a multi-dimensional strategy, strengthening the secular and democratic forces of the country, assured of the support of 63% secular and right thinking population of India.

Key to emancipation

As far as being an active player in the county’s political process is concerned, we should nurture and motivate our youngsters to involve themselves in the political activities, shoulder to shoulder with the secular forces. We seldom engage with our political representatives constructively. We should try to form a proactive relationship with the politicians, to ensure that besides raising our grievances with our representatives we are seen as part of the team, which delivers the results on their behalf in their constituency. We’ll have to build a committed cohort of leaders, who reflect the true aspirations of the community besides striving to empower it both educationally and politically.

A key factor identified for the plight of the community is the lack of education amongst Muslims. In reality during the last 25 years or so the educational consciousness amongst Muslims has increased and the community is much more educated than previously. However, we still have to focus our energies on and plan for educating the children at the lowest rung of the social and economic ladder. We need to strengthen our schools and colleges at village and district level, ensure delivery of quality education to all sections of the community, besides a zero dropout rate. This will need coordinated efforts and counselling, both. For this to be achieved, instead of looking up to the government, we should initiate our own efforts.

It’s a fact that Muslims have a school and college in every city and town of India. But most of them are not equipped to the modern standards or don’t have the faculty which could ensure delivery of quality education. The need is to chart out a comprehensive plan for making these institutes functional and productive. This could be achieved through an all-India umbrella body, which should be tasked to ensure how to impart quality education to all at the lowest cost through available infrastructure.

During the last 25 years or so a number of educational and social organizations managed by Muslims have sprung-up in every nook and corner of the country. But in reality, most of these initiatives are confined to individual self-promotion and lack enough professional attitude and commitment to perform and deliver. The task should be to bring all such organizations at a common platform, and pooling their human and financial resources, hammer out a deliverable strategy which is in tune with the current demands and aspirations of the people and which fulfil the community’s and society’s needs pragmatically.

Besides education, the proposed all-India body should also represent the Muslims at every conceivable charity work, whether be it a natural calamity or supporting the government’s various social drives or feeding the poor or providing care to the ailing. We need to emerge as a community, which should be seen at the forefront of every welfare event, helping out shoulder to shoulder with our brethren.

Fostering a Community psyche

The Indian Muslims, as a community, do not possess a common community psyche. They are divided in many factions and no faction is ready to tolerate the other. Community unity, in spite of factionalism is found in abundance in other minorities of the country like Sikhs and Parsis. We have to learn a lot from other minorities on how to develop a community psyche, so that each and every one considers them to be part of a larger whole, and the guiding spirit should be collectivism instead of individualism, every Muslim should be seen as contributing both physically and financially, for enhancing the community’s and lives of our brethren.

All the above is easier said than done, and the big question remains, who is going to deliver it and how? The answer lies in our religious leaders. It is a fact that a vast percentage of the Muslims, still listens to and acts upon the messages conveyed to them by our clergy. But most of the time the messages conveyed are not relevant in any manner to the development and progress of the community in the light of the Islamic teachings, but on mundane issues. Instead our clerics will have to work to contextualize the message of the Holy Quran and Ahaadith to the present era, only then they’ll be effective and remembered. For this purpose the speech before the Juma Khutba can be a very important tool.

Clergy’s role

The Muslim clergy should first try to modernize it. It would be good if it could start on a path of critical and scientific thinking or Ijtihad, on issues of importance to the community. Instead of harping back to old and irrelevant texts, it would be better if it could consider each and every issue in a pragmatic fresh perspective based on the correct interpretation of the Holy Quran and Ahaadith. As the Holy Quran is a dynamic not a static book, it offers new solutions as per the new assimilation and analytic prowess gained by its followers with every passing day.

We also bemoan the issue of lack of funding for establishing new educational institutes. Here we forget that if the Indian Muslims decide to contribute every paisa of the interest accrued in their bank accounts and the yearly Zakat to a single entity, then the fate of the community could be changed completely in the next 5 years. This sum could be utilised to establish and rejuvenate the educational institutes, orphanages, taking care of the needy and providing for medical facilities for the community and everyone else.

In addition we also have to present a modern image of the community to other faiths and countrymen. We sound hollow when we decry the increasing tide of Islamophobia in the country and elsewhere in the world. But how do we tackle the issue? In this age of information technology, many battles are being fought and won using social media tools. The latest example in this regard is the surge in Islamophobic messages on the social media and response of the Muslim nations. Due to the overwhelming response of the Muslim countries, many social media platforms had to issue guidelines on how to manage the Islamophobic content, besides immediate remorse shown and forgiveness sought by people who engaged in posting Islamophobic content on various social media websites.

Muslims and the Media

It would be better if the community should equip itself to counter the fake and biased news, first. A strong rebuttal and countering mechanism would serve the community well, as the cost for this would not be too high.

The first step towards this could be to build a monitoring team, which could keep track of all anti-Muslim news, to be fed to a team of fact checkers, who with strong research and messaging capabilities should be able to counter any anti-Muslim narrative promptly and professionally.

A central team of Media Monitors based in Delhi should keep track of state monitors and should be equipped to work out quick and coherent responses to every issue, charge or misrepresentation on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Next, a group of community spokesmen should be trained in the language of the states to which they belong. They should be coached in language nuances, debating skills and how to engage in a coherent and conclusive dialogue with their competitors, viz. every aspect of conducting a successful verbal communication process.

Every state should have a small team of at least five people who could represent the community at every media opportunity. An effort should be made to constitute a panel of erudite and knowledgeable people to represent the community at various media outlets. The views espoused by this panel should be endorsed by leading clerics and social leaders beforehand.

All this seems achievable and commendable, but the biggest requisite for this to succeed would be the coming together of different leaders representing various sects, outfits and schools within the Muslim community at one platform. We should have a panel of academics, researchers, ideologues, businessmen and entrepreneurs, activists and ground level workers, who should be seen as the real face of the community.

Way forward

Moreover, it would be better if the Muslim community instead of turning the current concerns into an existential one, introspects and find the areas and issues, which beleaguers it and where it has floundered, besides trying to be seen as part of the county’s mainstream. Follow it with judicious and committed planning and strategizing, so that these determinants could be overcome and after the next 25 years, when we’ll be celebrating the century of our independence, we can proudly say that the community has fulfilled the aspirations of its followers and countrymen, both.

What we need is a clear-cut plan and a will to innovate and implement those programmes, which will take the community out of its slumber and apathy and take it on the path of progress. Until and unless the Muslim community as a whole decides to change its psyche and reform itself, nobody can help the community survive the present onslaught.

[Asad Mirza is a New Delhi-based political commentator. He was also associated with BBC Urdu Service and Khaleej Times. He writes on Muslims, educational, international affairs, interfaith and current affairs. He can be reached at asad.mirza.nd@gmail.com]

AMU alumnus Dr Sandeep Shandilya becomes first person in India to crack UGC NET in 6 different subjects

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

IMO News Service

Aligarh: The University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) is one of the challenging competitive tests in the country, and cracking it is not a cakewalk. Many candidates spend years preparing to clear it. But, it looks incredible to the mind and eye that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) alumnus, Dr Sandeep Shandilya, was the first person in the country to qualify UGC NET in six different subjects.

He holds the distinction of a NET qualifier in an array of subjects like the Management, Commerce, Economics, Population Studies, HRM and Education and UPSLET in Commerce.

Qualifying NET in six different subjects should have made him a story of grit, motivation and inspiration for others. But, it is lamentable that Dr Sandeep, who remains an unsung hero, still sits puzzled about why his record never came to the public eye.

Surprisingly, earlier in the month, a news dispatch reported a story of a Kanpur resident making a record by qualifying NET six times. A record accomplished long time ago by Dr Sandeep.

On being asked, if he had lost hope, Dr Sandeep said: "I still do not wobble in my path. My courage has been born out of despair. Even if the world fails to recognize my accomplishments, my alma mater, teachers and parents stand by my side."

Dr Sandeep regularly delivers lectures at the Residential Coaching Academy at AMU helping students reach important milestones by qualifying competitive exams. He also delivers lectures for orientation and refresher programs at HRDC, AMU.

"I feel contentment by guiding AMU students in their endeavors. After all, AMU is just not an alma mater to me, it is a temple of learning which provided me with higher education," said Dr Sandeep.

He added that it is imperative for him to live with the inquisitiveness for knowledge and its dissipation.

"I like to provide students with an effective study plan for competitive exams and help them with ways to handle the situation by staying positive and motivated," said Dr Sandeep.

He has developed techniques to solve complicated mathematical and reasoning problems that appear regularly in competitive exams.

After earning a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from AMU, Dr Sandeep went on to pursue a Masters of Finance and Control (MFC) from AMU. He later completed two Phds, one in commerce from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and the other in economics from Dr BR Ambedkar University, Agra. 

He also holds M Com, MA (Economics), MADE, PGDHE, PGDDE, PGDIBO and CIC qualifications and has a splendid experience of 23 years in teaching at AITM (Aligarh), DS College (Aligarh), Government PG College (Fatehabad) and at a private university in Aligarh.

UAE citizenship law for foreigners announced

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

IMO News Service

Dubai: Amendments to the Executive Regulation of the Federal Law regarding Nationality and Passports allowing professionals, special talents, investors and their families to acquire the Emirati nationality and passport under certain conditions has been approved by the UAE cabinet under the chairmanship of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, WAM news agency reported.

The move is aimed at appreciating and acknowledging the competencies and talents present in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and also to attract more bright minds to the Emirati community leading to the overall prosperity and development of the country.

The categories qualifying to seek the Emirati nationality include artists, intellectuals, talents, scientists, inventors, specialists, doctors, investors and their families (spouse and children). The new amendments will allow them to retain their current nationality.

The Emirati citizenship can be acquired through nominations from Rulers and Crown Princes Courts, Executive Councils, and the Cabinet based on federal entities nominations.

The specific conditions to be met compulsorily for each category for acquiring Emirati citizenship will be the following:

Investors should own a property in the UAE.

Doctors and specialists must be specialized in a unique scientific discipline or any other scientific principles that are highly required in the UAE, the applicant must have acknowledged scientific contributions, studies and research of scientific value and a practical experience of not less than 10 years, in addition to obtaining membership in a reputable organization in his field of specialization.

Scientists are required to be an active researcher in a university or research centre or in the private sector, with a practical experience of not less than 10 years in the same field. They also should have contributions in the scientific field such as winning a prestigious scientific award, or securing substantial funding for their research during the past ten years, it is also mandatory to obtain a recommendation letter from recognized scientific institutions in the UAE.

Inventors who are willing to acquire Emirati citizenship are required to obtain one or more patents that are approved by the UAE Ministry of Economy or any other reputable international body, in addition to a recommendation letter from the Economy Ministry.

Individuals with creative talents such as intellectuals and artists should be pioneers in the culture and art fields and winners of one or more international award. A recommendation letter from related government entities is mandatory as well.

In case of qualifying, and before acquiring the citizenship, other requirements include swearing the oath of allegiance, committing to abide by the Emirati laws and officially informing the respective government agency in case of acquiring or losing any other citizenship are mandated.

The UAE citizenship will be offering several benefits, including the right to establish or own commercial entities and properties, in addition to any other benefits granted by federal authorities after the approval of the Cabinet or local authorities. 

The citizenship can also be withdrawn upon breach of the conditions, according to the new amendments.

Global Halal Food Market expected to reach USD 922.53 billion by 2026

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

IMO News Service

The Halal Food market is witnessing a tremendous growth with the increasing Muslim populations worldwide and their continuously rising annual spending on food. As such, the demand for halal food and beverage products has significantly grown thus compelling the market players to focus on authentic and branded products. A recent study by Polaris Market Research has indicated that the global Halal Food Market is expected to reach USD 922.53 billion by 2026.

Presently, consumers are showing growing interest in halal industry. This is primarily due to the increasing consumer awareness about the nutritional and hygiene advantages, and improving lifestyles as a result of increasing disposable income. These products being processed and packed with much higher regulatory compliance compared conventional food products are gaining significantly popularity. Basically, they do not contain contents or ingredients that are against Islamic beliefs.

Halal foods are expected to be produced, packaged, stored, and distributed as per Islamic teachings. Moreover, these products are considered to be safe, clean, and highly nutritional. The significant growth in Muslim populations across the globe is expected to offer immense opportunities to Halal Food market. In addition, the rapidly accelerating economic power of Islamic countries is anticipated to largely influence them to spend additional money on the branded products.

The growing issues over the absence of proper regulatory framework to assure the authenticity of these products might be a restraint to the commercially produced halal food. The industry can be considered as a fragmented one and the absence of standardized regularizations has repressed the mainstream F&B participants from venturing this section of the worldwide Halal Food market. However, the number of small scale companies meeting the needs of the local populations has been increasing significantly.

Low level of awareness about the presence of authentic halal food brands is acting as a challenge to the industry. As a consequence, the industry is not experiencing demands to its full potential as expected. Moreover, halal authentic issues within the sector are considered quiet minor among consumer. Thus, this requires manufacturers to improve their marketing strategies and production facilities. Furthermore, it becomes difficult to understand consumer perspective about halal food & beverage brands. 

The Asia Pacific Halal Food market is anticipated to dominate the global market by 2026, owing to the presence of emerging nations such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Pakistan. These nations have significant population that follows Islamic beliefs. Moreover, the rising economic conditions in the region provide an opportunity for the foreign players to start of their production facilities, thus offering cost effective products the consumers in the region.

Muslims increasingly enduring ethnic profiling and surveillance in Europe: Amnesty International

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

IMO News Service

Amnesty International and Open Society Foundations have published a guide alleging that Muslims are being discriminated against, ethnically profiles and subjected to surveillance in European counter-terrorism efforts.

The Human Rights Guide for Researching Racial and Religious Discrimination in Counter-Terrorism in Europe has specifically highlighted how to lawful activities and affiliations of Muslims have been used for justifying nationality-stripping, expulsion, arrest, surveillance, counter-radicalization measures and many other restrictions on their rights.

Eda Seyhan, the author of the research guide, was quoted by Helsinki Times as saying, “In the never-ending ‘War on Terror’, Muslims continue to endure ethnic profiling and are disproportionately subjected to surveillance, limitations on their movements, arrest and deportation.”

The author said that its unfortunate that Muslims are being targeted by European governments with counter-terrorism measures thus reinforcing the racist view that Islam is a ‘threat’, and has successfully created an environment in which making hate speech against Muslims is considered to be normal.

Seyhan said that the target of a discriminatory counter-terrorism measure will result in excessive damage to the psyche of Muslims by causing fear, trauma and anxiety. Such discriminatory approach by European governments has all the potential of hugely impacting with long-lasting effects, including anxiety, psychological distress, depression and diminished self-esteem.

The guide is aimed at encouraging civil society bodies for redoubling their efforts to combat discrimination specifically in the context of counter-terrorism and equipping readers with the tools to challenge systemic racism and threats to religious freedom. The guide has also recommended a major rethink on how to effectively address counter-terrorism measures within the European Union.

PEOPLE: Dr. Eijaz Ahmed Bhat makes J&K proud with Young Scientist Award

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 05 February 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Danish Ahmad Khan

Dr. Eijaz Ahmed Bhat has been conferred with International Scientist Award (Young Scientist Award) at the 11th International Scientist Awards-2020 for Engineering, Science and Medicine held by VDGOOD TECHNOLOGY FACTORY. Dr. Bhat was also conferred with Young Researcher Award 2020 for his work published in Nature Cell Research by the Institute of Scholars, Bangalore.

Dr. Eijaz Ahmed Bhat is currently working as Postdoctoral fellow in Life sciences Institute, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, China. He did his Masters in Biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Department of Biochemistry. He then moved to South Korea for higher studies. He earned his PhD in Biochemistry from Yeungnam University, School of Natural Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, South Korea, in August 2018. Dr. Eijaz was awarded the Yeungnam University Post Graduate Scholarship. He has also served as a Vice president of Yeungnam University International Students Association (YUISA). After completing his doctorate, Dr. Eijaz Ahmed Bhat joined as a postdoctoral research fellow in Zhejiang University, China, Life Sciences Institute, School of Medicine. His research interests include Study of proteins related to various signalling pathways, especially TRAF signaling; and Apoptosis, inflammation and other pathways. He also worked on very important membrane proteins in cell signalling and explored their molecular mechanism of action by using a powerful toll such as Cryo-EM or X-ray crystallography techniques.

Dr. Eijaz has more than 20 publications to his credit in International peer-reviewed journals having high impact factors like Nature Cell Research, Nature Cell Discovery, Scientific Reports, Frontiers in Microbiology, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry etc. He serves as an editorial board member and reviewer of many reputed journals like Translational Oncology (Elsevier), Cancer Treatment and Communication (Elsevier), Biochemistry and Analytical Biochemistry etc. He is serving as Brand Ambassador of Bentham science publishers in India since 2019.

Early Life and Education

Dr. Eijaz Ahmed Bhat was born and brought up in a small village Kenihama in Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir. He began his early education at Government Middle School, Kenihama, where he spent four years. His better performance at the school prompted his teachers to advise his parents to send him in the private school called Bright Mission School in Kanipora, one of the leading private schools at that time. He continued to excel in academic and was attracted toward research.

Later, he joined the Government Higher Secondary School in Kanipora. He was considered one of the best students in his school as well as village. He topped in both 9th and 10th standard in his school, and was greatly praised by his for the success. After completing his 10th standard, he again joined a private school called Fayaz Education Higher Secondary School at Faiz Abad Nowgam. He got admission in medical subjects here. He also qualified the Jammu Kashmir Common Entrance Test held in 2007, but later on left it as his interest lay in research field.

Ejaz then decided to go for research in Biochemistry. He gave entrance test in Sri Pratap College, Srinagar (Kashmir Division), and was opted for biochemistry, chemistry and botany subjects in the college. He was considered one of the best students in his college. He profoundly remembers his teachers Mr. Bashir, Mr. Ejaz Rizvi and Dr. Manzoor Lone, who lovingly guided him in every way possible. Apart from studies, Ejaz also actively participated in sports activities, especially volleyball and cricket, in the college.

After completing graduation, he decided to do post-graduation study outside the state. It was quite challenging for him to get a seat in Department of Biochemistry, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. He gave the national level entrance test and got selected achieving 14th rank in biochemistry department, which had only 18 seats. During his post-graduation, Ejaz presented the seminar lectures on the topic Systemic Lupus Erythomatosis (SLE). He also presented the postal presentation on the topic of Alpha 2 Macroglobulin as a drug delivery system. He also represented AMU at many national level conferences and seminars.

At a time when people of Jammu & Kashmir are facing political challenges and being viewed with suspicion for no reasons, Dr. Ejaz Ahmed Bhat has indeed made the nation and his state proud by emerging as a role model and inspiration for the youth. We, at IndianMuslimObserver.com, heartily congratulate for making J&K and India proud. May he continue with his excelling spree in the future as well!

[Danish Ahmad Khan is Founder-Editor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper – IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at indianmuslimobserver@gmail.com]

Saudi Arabia aiming to become exciting tourism destination for foreigners

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By Danish Ahmad Khan

The conservative Saudi Arabia was until now a closed society, and generally not welcoming for foreign tourists. But, ever since the visionary, dynamic and suave Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman took charge the kingdom is witnessing a sea change. Consciously moving away from its oil-dependant economy, the diversification into other sectors is perceptible.

The unlikely destination for many in the past, Saudi Arabia replete with its rich history, heritage and gorgeous beaches is set to become an exciting tourism hotspot. Massive investments in tourist infrastructure and attractions are currently underway, Arab News reported.

Saudi Arabia had so far not allowed people to visit for tourism purposes either for sightseeing or recreation, except for the annual pilgrimage to Makkah and Medina. But the new changes in the country promises to bring significant transformations and positive effect. This is undoubtedly groundbreaking in many ways and will prompt the world citizens to see the kingdom differently, in a new light.

Ahmad bin Al Khateeb, Saudi Minister of Tourism, was quoted as saying that the Red Sea is still pristine, virgin, with protected corals and reefs and islands. Around 10,000 historical sites have also been discovered in the country, with five of them being listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The minister also said that huge investments of $20 billion is to be made in future to boost tourism infrastructure, including airports, resorts and amusement parks.

It may be noted that the Red Sea, which has been attracting millions of tourists on the Egyptian shoreline, has remained mostly untouched on the Saudi Arabian side. Moreover, Saudi Arabia being the cradle of Arab civilization and birthplace of Islam is home to many ancient and medieval sites of historical significance, and bound to attract foreign tourists in a big way.

A recent study said that 1.5 billion people visited Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes in 2019. Of these, 30% were interested in history and heritage, while 40% visited for sea and sunshine.

Saudi Arabia is marching ahead with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the country’s economy from oil dependency to other industries, including tourism and energy. Saudi Arabia is planning to welcome 100 million annual visitors in the next 10 years, with the tourism revenue set to increase by 7% to contribute 10% of the country’s GDP.

[Danish Ahmad Khan is Founder-Editor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper – IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at indianmuslimobserver@gmail.com]

Aligarh: AMU Vice Chancellor releases Law Society News Letter

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

IMO News Service

Aligarh: If you are a law researcher or a budding lawyer, who wants robust legal news and editorials related to all aspects of law and legal practice on the desk and in the favourites folder; start leafing through the Law Society News Letter 2020, Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Released recently in a special event by AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor; the letter features rare interviews of legal luminaries like the High Court and Supreme Court lawyers and judges.

“One of the major highlights are articles on Prof Neelakanta Ramakrishna Madhava Menon (Indian Civil Servant, Lawyer and Legal Educator) and Prof Hafizul Rehman (Founder Dean, Faculty of Law),” said Prof M Shakeel Ahmed Samdani, Dean, Faculty of Law.

He added that the unique content in these articles include details on the work and life of legal dignitaries.

The feature on Prof Madhava Menon has details of his tenure as a member of the Law Commission of India, Legal Aid, Civil Services Examination Reform, Criminal Justice Reform, Police Act Drafting Committee and the Committee on Draft National Policy on Criminal Justice and Committee on Restructuring of Higher Education in India; while the report on Prof Hafizul Rehman recounts his efforts in establishing the Faculty of Law, and developing a modern curriculum and research programme.

It is a gazette, providing future lawyers and leaders with the latest legal updates, support, and networking opportunities to assist their career progression, said Abdullah Samdani, former Secretary, Law Society.

“The magazine focuses on the law industry, its events, trends, and the people who drive its success delivering content focused on legal management, client relationships, and more. It also gives an accurate and comprehensive schedule of all Faculty of Law webinars, web talks, lectures, seminars and other events,” he added.

Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Zaheeruddin also attended the release function. Ilsa Irail, Joint Editor was also present.

UAE: Sharjah Airport becomes first airport in the country to obtain the International Health Accreditation Certificate

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

IMO News Service

In a new global achievement Sharjah Airport has succeeded in obtaining the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) certificate from the Airports Council International (ACI). With this Sharjah Airport has now become the first airport in the UAE, and the seventh in the Middle East to do so. This certification has recognised the achievements of Sharjah Airport as an International Hub, which continues to provide a safe travel experience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The accreditation was awarded after a thorough evaluation of the health and safety measures in place, including social distancing measures, the cleaning and disinfection of facilities, and security inspections.

Ali Salem Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said, “Obtaining this accreditation from the Airports Council International is a reflection of the relentless efforts being made by Sharjah Airport to maintain public health and safety. We are applying the highest level of health procedures and measures in accordance with the directives of ACI and His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Al Midfa added, “The health and safety of all travellers, customers, and employees, is our number one priority in all operations. Since the start of these exceptional circumstances, Sharjah Airport has developed an integrated plan in cooperation with partners from the operating authorities, to ensure that we are adhering to the highest standards. We thank and applaud the aviation sector and international bodies, including the Airports Council International, for laying out these guidelines and measures with the aim to protect all members of society.”

Stefano Baronci, Director General, ACI Asia-Pacific, said, “I would like to congratulate Sharjah Airport for meeting the highest level of expectations of travellers and customers, and becoming the first airport in the United Arab Emirates to receive the Airport Health Accreditation certification from ACI.

He added, “Sharjah airport’s obtaining this international accreditation is further evidence that the airport’s team has succeeded in implementing health standards and measures that ensure safe travel through the airport. This accreditation also confirms that Sharjah Airport is making all efforts to preserve the health and safety of travellers, customers and employees in various facilities and departments. "

Sharjah Airport has tried its best to curb the spread of coronavirus as part of its integrated plan to strengthen preventive measures by implementing several effective measures. The airport has intensified sterilization operations, including within the departures and arrivals halls and public facilities, in addition to sterilizing floors, barriers, walls, check-in counters, passenger bridges, waiting chairs, passport counters, security inspection devices, conveyor belts, luggage trolleys, and toilets.

It may be noted that the Airport Health Accreditation program (AHA) focuses on commitment to the health and well-being of passengers, customers and employees. The program looks toward the quality of airport health procedures in the wake of COVID-19, such as cleaning and sterilization practices, and the promotion of social distancing. The program had started in July 2020.

Jordan Tourism Board ties up with Venture X to launch a dedicated Tourism Startup Accelerator

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

IMO News Service

The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) has signed a MoU with Venture X to create a strategic partnership aimed at the launching of a tourism dedicated startup accelerator.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly jeopardised the tourism industry worldwide, the accelerator programme seeks to “fortify the position of global tourism from Jordan and push the national plan for the revival of the tourism”, a JTB statement said.

The tourism industry is one of the hardest hit sectors with nearly 75 million jobs at risk globally, the statement said.

Under these circumstances with greater virus curtailment measures — such as compulsory COVID-19 tests and quarantine for tourists from the worst affected areas — “the travel experience is likely to get more gruelling, tiresome and demotivating”.

This situation creates even more job uncertainty for those directly associated with the sector, such as workers in the transport and hotel industries, noted the statement.

“Jordan’s tourism industry made great strides in the preceding years with a wider acknowledgement and interest from all corners,” the statement said.

The accelerator will be a highly selective, equity based three-month programme for the most promising technology start-ups, or pre-scaleups that can power the travel and tourism industry, the JTB said.

The accelerator programme will be looking for the very best in innovation and are particularly interested in companies that are developing solutions to “future-proof” the travel and tourism industry and help tourism companies thrive in the new normal brought about by COVID-19, the statement said.

The selected companies will gain “unparalleled access” to work with some of region’s and the world’s most important industry players. They will undergo a three-month intensive accelerator programme identifying a potential pilot project and scope, followed by three months of pilot implementation with selected industry partners for the top 10 companies, according to the statement.

The programme will be looking for promising start-ups and pre-scaleups that can attract quality tourists to Jordan, “future-proof” travel and tourism businesses in Jordan for “the new normal” brought about by COVID-19 and generate productivity gains and cost savings for tourism businesses, among other criteria.

Managing Director of the JTB Abdul Razzaq Arabiat said: “This partnership is a response to the challenges ahead, and my team, is going to assist these projects by using our media and marketing tools.”

Managing Partner of Venture X Yousef Hamidaddin said: “The pandemic is going to change the tourism industry. Innovative solutions will allow people to continue to travel and explore, which represents an opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups.”

IndianMuslimObserver.com becomes Media Partner of Saudi International Halal Expo 2021

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 31 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Danish Ahmad Khan

India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper – IndianMuslimObserver.com is proud to announce that it has become the Media Partner of the Saudi International Halal Expo 2021, to be held from November 29 to December 1 this year at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center. Earlier, the Saudi International Halal Expo was scheduled to be held in 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The Saudi International Halal Expo 2021 promises to be an outstanding platform for businesses providing both products and services that efficiently promotes ethical as well as fair business interactions and transactions. At a time when paradigm shift in economy is taking place post COVID-19 era, the Saudi International Halal Expo 2021 provides a great opportunity for businesses to position their brand among the latest and most state- of-the-art Halal products and services, which shape the global Halal industry.

The Saudi International Halal Expo 2021 is expected to host more than 200 national and international exhibitors, along with 5000-8000 visitors. The expo will also incorporate a series of B2B meetings engaging more than 200 buyers from 35 countries engaging within this exceptional trade business event.

According to a recent study, the large investments in halal products around the world exceeded $ 7 trillion in 2019. The investments in halal products and services are expected to increase in coming years.

A top official of the Saudi International Halal Expo 2021 in a statement said: “The World Bank has described Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s top summits in providing good and attractive business for all kinds of investments. We are undoubtedly proud to help in leading the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to become part of a list that includes 190 countries where the business environment has improved. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has jumped up 30 places to be placed 62nd.”

The statement added: “The food processing industry in Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to grow at a considerable rate in the near future. Domestic, regional and international demands for Saudi food products have been increasing year after year, with seafood, dates and halal foods leading the way. The Kingdom is famed for its authentic halal food products — particularly those from Makkah and Madinah. Saudi Arabia market is a great potential Halal Food Market, where Saudi Arabia’s Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) has announced plans to launch what is claimed to be the world’s largest center for halal food and products. Plans for the center came under the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform agenda and aimed to utilize its geographical position between continents and role as the birthplace of Islam.”

Halal as a Lifestyle

The halal lifestyle leads to the right and unbiased way of life; it also refers to actions in our everyday life that incorporates different principles, values and standard of living. The concept of “Halal” goes far beyond the food and beverage industry and applies to the daily lives of Muslims and Non-Muslims , where it has a wider meaning due to nowadays complex manufacturing process. This makes it applicable to many sectors and even becoming the important way of life of the Muslim population. These sectors can be played together or simultaneously integrated in global trading that leads to Islamic economic growth. Being halal-conscious is actually the springboard to an optimal and cordial lifestyle-choice.

[Danish Ahmad Khan is Founder-Editor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper  IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at indianmuslimobserver@gmail.com]

Mumbai’s Dongri Police Station gets its first Muslim lady in-charge officer

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

IMO News Service

Mumbai: Muslim women in India are increasingly breaking stereotypes and taking a proactive role in national affairs. Shabana Shaikh has made the community proud by becoming the first Muslim woman in-charge officer of Dongri police station in its history, Hindustan Times reported.

Shabana Shaikh, who is a role model and an inspiration to women in uniform, first joined the Maharashtra police in 1992. Shabana originally hails from the Akole taluka of Ahmadnagar district, and is the first Muslim woman to become a police officer from her district.

Before joining as in-charge officer of Dongri police station, Shabana had earlier served as an inspector in the special branch in the Mumbai police.

Shabana Shaikh was born in a large joint family, and has two brothers and seven sisters. She says that though her father is not much educated but he took care of his children and stressed on education by sending them to school. Shabana moved to Pune for higher education and completed her Masters from there.

Shabana Shaikh said, “I always wanted to do something different. Police service became a natural choice. I failed to qualify for the direct Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police. I however cracked the sub-inspector exam in my first attempt, and also completed my MA during the training itself. I also want my two daughters to join the Indian Police Service (IPS) as well.”

Kerala: IUML to change its policy, may allow more Muslim women to contest state polls

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

IMO News Service 

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Muslim political outfit the Indian Muslim Union League (IUML) seems to have a change of heart and is open to the idea of fielding more Muslim women during the 2021 state assembly elections. The IUML, which has so far fielded only one woman in its history in 1996 assembly elections, has now decided to change its policy during the current polls in the key South Indian state, IANS news agency reported. 

The IUML had fielded Muslim Women League leader Khamarunnisa Anwar as the party candidate in 1996 elections from Kozhikode North seat. She however failed to win the seat. 

After the drubbing, the IUML refrained from fielding women candidates either for assembly or parliament elections. However, several women leaders contested and won elections in gram panchayats, block panchayats, district panchayats, municipalities and corporations. 

The male-dominated IUML sought to block women candidates from fighting assembly and parliamentary elections on the plea that their presence in elections would be strongly opposed by Muslim clerics. 

E.T. Mohammed Basheer, IUML organising secretary and Member of Parliament, has already hinted that a large section of the party leadership want to see women candidates to be fielded in the 2021 assembly elections in certain sure seats. He said that he would convey his opinion in the party state executive, after which the party may decide to take a call on this. 

P. Kulsul, Muslim Woman League state secretary and former member of Kerala state woman's commission, was quoted as saying that women candidates will be welcomed in the next assembly elections. The women have waited for long ever since 1996 when the then Muslim Woman League president Khamarunnisa Anwar contested from Kozhikode. She said that it is strongly hoped that the IUML will be fielding some women in the current state election.

Madinah acknowledged among world’s healthiest cities by WHO

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 28 January 2021 | Posted in , , ,

IMO News Service

Jeddah: The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged the holy city of Madinah in Saudi Arabia as among the world’s healthiest cities. The accreditation was given to Madinah after a WHO team visited the holy city and said that it met all the global standards required for being a healthy city, Arab News reported.

Madinah has become the first city with a population of above 2 million to be recognized by WHO under its healthy cities program. The WHO accreditation was made possible with the active assistance from 22 government, community, charity and volunteer agencies.

Taibah University collaborated in a strategic partnership with the city’s integrated program to create an electronic platform for recording government requirements for the WHO’s review.

The WHO also selected Taibah University for providing training to other national city agencies as well who want to take part in the healthy cities program.

A healthy city as defined by WHO is the one that constantly creates and improves those social and physical environments and expands those community resources that enables people for mutually supporting each other to perform all functions of live and develop to their maximum potential.

The story of the UAE is only just beginning

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Fifty years ago, our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace, laid down the core values for our new nation: peace, hope, equality, tolerance, openness and coexistence. It is these values that helped us endure the extraordinary year of 2020, and underpin the UAE’s commitment to making 2021 a year of recovery, growth and decade-defining ambitions.

This year marks the UAE’s Golden Jubilee – a period of celebration and a time to look ahead towards the success that we aspire to achieve in the country’s next 50 years. While preparing for this remarkable anniversary, we may also reflect on the astonishing firsts that our young nation has reached, as a global innovator, a super-hub for international trade and humanitarian logistics and a champion of the values of tolerance, generosity and dynamism on the world stage.

While the last 12 months have challenged the entire world as we have collectively fought Covid-19, the introduction of effective vaccines and breakthrough treatments has sparked hope for a recovery that will stimulate economic growth, facilitate international connectivity once more and boost the quality of life for all while improving global health outcomes.

Although Covid-19 defined the year 2020, it certainly did not define us as a nation. What defined the UAE was our reaction to the pandemic, which allowed us to demonstrate the UAE’s strong commitment to its proud values, a commitment that we feel will help make future years better, prosperous, and safer—not only for our own people, but for our region and beyond.

It is without doubt that our advanced technology, healthcare systems, governance model and leadership helped us combat the virus. So did the strength of our economy, the diversity and expertise of our people, and our foresight in ensuring food and financial security for those affected by the pandemic. Now, what stands out to me is not how we successfully managed to help ourselves, but how we helped others in this difficult time.

When the UAE secured the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine for Phase 3 clinical trials, thousands of volunteers were among the first to take the vaccine and helped prove its safety and efficacy. This year, the UAE will continue to build upon its world-leading role as the top provider of humanitarian aid by continuing to develop its advanced logistical capabilities to store and distribute the vaccine worldwide, while ensuring equitable access through our agreement to distribute millions of vaccines globally through Abu Dhabi’s Hope Consortium.

This spirit of goodwill and faith in a post-Covid future was just as evident abroad as it was at home – from the UAE’s hundreds of repatriation flights, the thousands of tonnes of medical assistance and equipment provided to countries and frontline workers around the world, and our partnership with the World Food Programme for the global delivery of food and medicines. Therefore, the UAE will continue its efforts in the fight against Covid-19, and in making the world a better place.

The UAE’s contribution to the global fight against the pandemic was not the only notable achievement during 2020. We are proud that we were the first Arab country to commission a peaceful civilian nuclear energy power plant in the region at Barakah, and also became the first Arab nation to send a space probe to Mars. This follows the UAE’s landmark success as a nation in sending the first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station in 2019, a moment that inspired thousands of Arab youth to explore how they may contribute towards further strengthening global innovation and co-operation among nations to the benefit of humankind.

The signing of the historic Abraham Accords with the State of Israel stands out as another defining moment of 2020. The Accords delivered a genuine opportunity for lasting peace in the Middle East, and hope for achieving prosperity for future generations through unprecedented levels of co-operation in fields such as science, medicine, education, culture, tourism, artificial intelligence and investments. Ultimately, the Abraham Accords exemplify what can be achieved when nations set aside their differences and focus on what they have in common in the service of their peoples and the opportunities they deserve.

Peaceful coexistence and tolerance will always be at the heart of the UAE’s story and legacy. I am very much looking forward to the UAE advancing in its construction this year of the Abrahamic Family House, a multidenominational place of worship for people from all cultures and religions to come together in the spirit of tolerance and coexistence. On a much larger scale, we will welcome the world in October 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai, which extends the hands of friendship to more than 190 participating countries and global organisations.

A decade ago, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced to the Cabinet his vision for 2021: “To make the UAE among the best countries in the world.” The four supporting pillars of this vision were prosperity, knowledge, destiny and responsibility. In overcoming the challenges we faced over the past 10 years, we have come a long way towards achieving this vision. We have a prosperous, growing, sustainable economy, world-class healthcare, a first-rate education system, a strong judiciary and a cohesive society that is now acknowledged globally as one of the safest in the world.

Finally, the stage is indeed set for our nation to achieve truly spectacular accomplishments before our centenary in 2071. The only limit is our imagination. The only challenge is our creativity. The only path forward for the UAE is illuminated by boundless enthusiasm and hope for a more peaceful and prosperous future for all.

[Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and Head of the UAE Golden Jubilee Celebrations Committee]

(Courtesy: The National)

Saudi Arabia: Uttar Pradesh Overseas Welfare Association Riyadh holds online competition among Children

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

IMO News Service

Riyadh: Uttar Pradesh Overseas Welfare Association (UPOWA) Riyadh conducted an online Painting, Speech and Essay Writing Competition among the children of the families of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, especially from Gonda, Basti, Balarampur and Siddharth Nagar living in Riyadh. 

The competitors were divided into three groups:

Group (A) Painting: KG - 3rd

Group (B) Speech: 4th - 7th

Group (C) Essay Writing: 8th - 12th

The winners of the first, second and third positions were awarded certificates along with cash prizes.

Here are the winners of the position:

1. Group (A): Summayah Ataur-Rahman (1st), Yasir Hossam (2nd) and Muhammad Abdul Mubeen (3rd).

2. Group (B): Ali Faris (1st), Abdullah Khan (2nd) and Shadin Irfan (3rd).

3. Group (C): Haifa Irfan and Tuba Akmal (1st), Huda Akmal (2nd) and Hassan Abdul Mubeen (3rd).

Abid Aqeel was the Judge for Painting Competition, while Dr. Abdul Rahim, Abdul Mateen Nadvi and Zafar Bari were the Judges for Speech and Essay Writing Competition.

Irfan Ahmed Khan, President of the UPOWA, congratulated the winners. He encouraged and thanked all the participants in this contest and thanked all the judges who volunteered their services.

The guardians of the children expressed their good wishes for the association and also expressed their desire to hold such competitive programs in the future as well. General Secretary of the UPOWA Muhammad Akmal and other officials made their best efforts to make the program successful.

OPINION: Conspiracy of silence to the growing Hindu radicalization in India

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

By Syed Ali Mujtaba

Hindu radicalization is brimming at its seams but many among the community refuse to acknowledge this growing phenomenon under the Modi rule. The hallmark of the Modi government is the radicalization of the Hindu community and the victimization of Muslims in India. There is no social or institutional opposition to this blatant disregard of the constructional values that is taking place in the country. It seems there is a conspiracy of silence to the Hindu radicalization in India.

The Hindu society refuses to acknowledge that the victimization of Muslims is taking place due to the radicalization of the Hindus. They see this radicalization as a normal phenomenon and refuse to raise their voices against such open bigotry. The Hindu community fails to recognize that majoritarian communalism is against the spirit of the Indian constitution.

This Hindu radicalization is happening at two levels. First, at the societal level second among those who run the country; politicians, police, judiciary, bureaucracy media, etc.

In a general conversation among families and in private discourse the Hindu bigots justify this trend, citing similar developments in other countries. The Hindu society refuses to accept that constitutional values are being flaunted by maltreating the Muslims in India.

There is a definite conspiracy of silence among the Hindu community towards the growing radicalization within their fold. Their normal response towards the blatant bigotry against the Muslims is; look how Hindus were oppressed during the Muslim rule, then they will turn to the maltreatment of Pandits in Kashmir; after that, they may talk about the activities of the Taliban and ISIS and finally they come to Pakistan and highlight the maltreatment of the Hindus there to justify Hindu radicalization in India.

The bigotry within Hindu society is growing since 2014. It is a part of well-crafted state policy. The radicalization of the Hindus is at the expense of the victimization of the Muslims. The Hindu religious extremists have taken the law in its hands and hate crimes that began as a trickle by the fringe Hindu elements became a flood under the Modi rule.

There have been several instances where Hindu mob attacking Muslims and taking their lives. This is happening in complete disregard to the rule of law AND in complete defiance of the constitution. But there is none to uphold the rule of law and protect the oppressed.

Most perpetrators of crime against Muslims get away without any punitive action and some are even felicitated by BJP ministers. The most erroneous part is such hate crimes are slowly slipping from the front pages in the media to inside pages with small headlines to signify that there is nothing unusual in such activity. This new media culture has given a gist to the Hindu radicals to do whatever they like to do, as this is a new normal under Modi rule.

The mass radicalization of Hindus explains Modi’s enduring popularity despite his bad governance, autocratic behavior, and economic disaster. What Modi has been able to succeed is to instill in Hindu's minds to believe that a golden era that reflects their glorious, ancient tradition is round the corner. The Hindus will be redeemed of the centuries of Muslim oppression and the pampered Muslim community in India will be shown its place under Modi rule.

The state, the judiciary, and the media are all working in tandem to perpetrate Hindu radicalization. The Hindu radicalization has seeped into the veins of many Indians. The administration, the judiciary, politicians, all echo what Hindu-vigilante boldly profess while showing their hatred against the Muslims.

There are many new laws mainly aimed at cementing Hindu supremacy and restricting social and economic options for the Muslims in India. These laws are meant to send the message to the Muslim community that the constitutional guarantee no more holds true and they have to live under the shadow of the majority community.

There is virtually no criticism from the Hindu community to the laws that are made targeting the Muslim community. Even the political Opposition’s do not resist the Hindu radicalization going on under Modi’s rule. They fear the ruling government and try to soft-peddle this phenomenon as if, its normal discourse.

This is definitely a disintegration of the rule of law. The state is blatantly aligning with the Hindu religion. The President of India Ram Nath Kovind has publicly announced making a contribution of Rs 5 lakh for the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya. The government of Uttar Pradesh has opened a bank account and has urged the government employees to make a “voluntary donation” to temple construction. It is a clear cut case of the state and the religion getting entwined under the Modi rule which is against the grain of the constitution.

The government has further spurred Islamophobic instincts with changes in Muslim divorce law and bringing many new laws that are anchored in severing majoritarian interests. These laws are eagerly prosecuted by the police and the courts are allowing such anti-human laws without any legal basis. As Hindu radicalization progresses, Indian Muslims are finding hard to negotiate their life under the Modi rule and there is no sympathy towards their misery by the majority community.

The irony is many Hindus do not acknowledge that there is a mass radicalization of their community taking place at the expense of the Muslims. Even liberals among Hindus who use to go gung-ho at the Muslim radicalization are mute spectators to the radicalization of their own community. They also interpret the new phenomena with the same false equivalence of Islamic intolerance, within or outside India. They fail to bring out much-needed attention to the oppression against the Muslims that is going on in the country and maintain a stoke silence to the phenomena of the Hindu radicalization.

There is no doubt that the national consensus on maintaining religious harmony is falling apart. There are individuals and institutions that are actively engaged in dismantling the concept of peaceful coexistence in India. This is in complete disregard to the constitutional values and the rule of law in the country. Anyone criticizing such activities could be made liable and persecuted under Modi rule.

To say that every Hindu in India is radicalized will be a misnomer. Indeed, the majority are not. The Hindu society is very complex and even if the BJP may be able to consolidate many Hindu caste groups and divisions, it certainly cannot lord over the entire Sanatan-Dharma. This is not to deny the fact that those who defend Hindu bigotry in response to Islamophobia are on the rise in India. They have high-jacked the public discourse and are enjoying their time of fame under Modi rule.

There is little doubt that there is general withering away of the rule of law under the Modi regime. There are also no two opinions that victimization of Muslims has increased many folds under his rule. However, there are too few Hindus to raise a voice against the oppression of the Muslims they are singled out for persecution and this phenomenon is glaringly obvious. What does all this mean? Well, this is Post-Truth India the Brand New Republic.

[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. His forthcoming book is Post Truth India- Brand New Republic. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com]

Muslim scholars Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and late Maulana Kalbe Sadiq to get Padma awards

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

IMO News Service

The Government of India has announced conferring of the nation’s second highest civilian award ‘Padma Vibhushan’ to prominent Muslim scholar 96-year-old Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for his distinguished and exceptional service to bridge Hindu-Muslim divide through his writings focused on interfaith harmony.

The renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is originally from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, but is currently residing in Hazrat Nizamuddin area in Delhi for past several decades. Khan is widely acclaimed to propagate his ideas and teachings through writing. He had in the past written Tazkirul Quran, a commentary on the Holy Quran, and also runs a popular monthly magazine Al Risala. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has been presented several awards including Padma Bhushan (2000), Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award (2009), National Citizens’ Award, Demiurgus Peace International Award and others.

Late Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, a prominent Shia Muslim scholar, has been awarded posthumously the country’s third highest civilian award ‘Padma Bhushan’. Considered to be a great ambassador of Shia-Sunni unity, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq died in November 2020. He was also Vice President of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Both Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and late Maulana Kalbe Sadiq were considered close to Hindu right-wing ruling party BJP at the Centre, and were vocal proponents asking Muslims to give up their claim on Babri Masjid. They also had a neutral stand on the construction of Ram Mandir on the ruins of Babri Masjid dismantled by Hindu zealots.

The Padma awards were announced for other Muslim personalities as well. India’s fourth highest civilian award ‘Padma Shri’ was given to Ali Manikfan, Gulfam Ahmed, Lakha Khan, Ghulam Rasool Khan, Sanjida Khatun and Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir.

Ali Manikfan, a marine researcher, ecologist, shipbuilder, agriculturist and a polyglot from Minicoy Island of Lakshwadeep, was awarded for his contribution in grassroots level innovations. Gulfam Ahmed from Uttar Pradesh was awarded for his contribution in the field of Art, Lakha Khan from Rajasthan for Literature, Ghulam Rasool Khan from Jammu and Kashmir for Art, and Sanjida Khatun for Art and Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir for Public Affairs (both from Bangladesh).

This year the Padma awards will be given to 119 personalities (7 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri). The awards are announced every year by the Union Government to commemorate India’s Republic Day. The awards will be presented by President of India Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremonial function at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

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