:: EDUCATION :: Anis Ansari appointed VC of the new Uttar Pradesh Urdu Arabi Persian University

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 23 April 2010 | Posted in ,

Anis Ansari appointed VC of the new Uttar Pradesh Urdu Arabi Persian University

Former IAS officer Anis Ansari has been appointed as interim Vice-Chancellor (V-C) of UttarPradesh Urdu Arabi Persian University in Lucknow by the state government on Thursday (April 22, 2010). Ansari who was a chief secretary level officer in state government will have a tenure of three years.

Chief Minister Mayawati laid the foundation stone of the university on her birthday on January 15, 2010. The university will be offering high quality research and education opportunity for national and international students in Urdu, Arabic and Persian. The university will also grant affiliation and assistance to several minority institutions offering similar courses across the state.

The university will come up on Lucknow-Hardoi road at an area spanning over 11.182 hectares. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 181.72 crores. The building of the university will be in sync with the Arabic and Persian culture which will include a five storey administrative building, six storey teaching block, guest house, community centre, hostel, bank, post office, canteen, shopping centre and other facilities.

Anis Ansari will be the first V-C of the university. He completed his studies from Aligarh Muslim University and has served as a faculty member in AMU between 1969-72. His thesis for PhD in Economics has been submitted in Lucknow University (LU). An IAS officer of 1973 batch, he served in important departments such as Panchayti Raj, Planning, Rural Development, Energy, Tourism before retiring as Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) of the state.

Besides, Ansari is also an accomplished poet and has eight collections to his credit. The prominent among them include Sharey Sarab (1981), Suraj Ka Safar (1982), Jung Aur Mohabaat Key Darmiyan (1986), Agley Mausam Ki Khushboo (1995), Zindagi Wasl Hai (1997), Teesrey Din Ka Sooraj (2001), Dard Abhi Mahfooz Nahi (2008) and Tere Wasta Rota Hoon Zameen (2009). He has been awarded with Firaq Gorakhpuri Award, UP Urdu Academu Award, Imtiyaz-A Mir Award, Jai Shanker Prasad award, Maulana Mohd Ali Jauhar Award, Urdu Award award and many more.

Mr. Ansari recently launched Muslim Dalit Reservation Movement to lobby for reservation for Dalit Muslims.

:: GENERAL :: Indian Muslim scholars visit Iran, meet Grand Ayatollah Taskhiri

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Indian Muslim scholars visit Iran, meet Grand Ayatollah Taskhiri

The secretary general for the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought (WFPIST) Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri said religious scholars from all Islamic schools have a key role in helping prevent discord among Muslims.

Speaking at a meeting with Indian Muslim scholars in Tehran on Tuesday (April 13, 2010), Taskhiri stressed the need for unity among the Ummah and said, “The holy Qur’an has equated differences and discord with adversity and affliction.”

Scholars, theologians and preachers should know that “Enemies of Islam are trying to sow discord among Muslims” and that it is their obligation to prevent divisions in the ranks of Muslims.

During the meeting prominent Indian Muslim scholars, including Dr. Qalbe Sadeq and Abdul Wahab Khalaji , emphasized the need for Muslims to help the oppressed and downtrodden, close ranks and strive for the unity of Ummah.

:: BUSINESS & ECONOMY :: Indian exchange operator delays Bahrain bourse start

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 17 April 2010 | Posted in

Indian exchange operator delays Bahrain bourse start

The Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX), owned by Indian exchange operator Financial Technologies Ltd (FITE.BO), will delay its launch date until October due to sluggish market sentiment, it said on Tuesday (April 13, 2010).

BFX, which will offer trading in both conventional and Islamic products in equities, derivatives, commodities and currencies, had earlier said it planned to start operations during the first quarter of this year.

"We are ready to go live any time now but we are a market-oriented exchange," Arshad Khan, managing director and chief executive of BFX, told Reuters.

"The sentiment still needs to become a little bit better ... the first months of any new exchange are crucial," he said.

Khan said the exchange would also like to avoid launching operations before the summer lull in the Gulf Arab region, when business activities are subdued, and the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan this year ends in early September.

Gulf Arab capital markets had just started to slowly recover alongside global markets last year when the debt problems of the region's tourism and business hub Dubai hit regional equity and debt markets in November.

BFX will compete with the Bahrain Stock Exchange and other bourses in the region such as Nasdaq Dubai NDAQ.DI.

It has also signed an agreement with Bursa Malaysia to study a common platform on which Islamic finance products such as commodity murabaha can be traded.

(Courtesy: Reuters)

:: FOREIGN :: Indian-origin ex-MP creates political storm in Canada

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Indian-origin ex-MP creates political storm in Canada

By Gurmukh Singh

Indian-origin former MP Rahim Jaffer, whose acquittal for cocaine possession last month led to a political uproar in Canada, has created a fresh controversy for Prime Minister Stephen Harper by his alleged shady business dealings.

An investigative report by the Toronto Star Thursday exposed Jaffer as promising to get business deals done through his influence with the prime minister's office.
In the investigative report, the former MP, who is married to cabinet minister for woman affairs, Helena Guergis, has been exposed as promising an alleged conman Nazim Gillani to get business deals done because of his sway with the prime minister.

'Mr. Jaffer has opened up the Prime Ministers' office to us and as a result of that dinner - he today advised me that he is just as excited as we are and joining our team seems to be the next logical step,' the conman said in an email to his business associates after throwing a dinner party for Jaffer in September.

According to the investigative report, Jaffer was using his minister wife's office email address to conduct his private business and still handing out his parliamentary business cards despite ceasing to be an MP.

In a quick damage-control exercise, the Canadian Prime Minister's office said: 'Any accusation that the PMO has opened doors for Mr. Jaffer or his business associates is false and it is also absurd.'

PMO spokesman Dimitri Soudas said, 'I can tell you that the doors to the Prime Minister's Office are padlocked to anybody who wishes to peddle influence.'

The ruling Conservative Party also asked Jaffer to remove its logo from his personal website which he currently uses to promote his new consulting firm Green Power Generation Corporation.

Putting the government in the dock over the issue, opposition leader Michael Ignatieff said, 'These are very serious allegations that go to the heart of the integrity of the Conservative Party government. The question is, 'Who did Mr. Jaffer see in the Conservative government, what promises did Mr. Jaffer make, what did he propose to deliver to his clients?'

The opposition leader said: 'Why wasn't Mr. Jaffer a registered lobbyist. We need the whole story here.'

Jaffer, an Ismaili Muslim of Gujarati origin, became Canada's youngest non-white MP at the age of 25 in 1997. He served four terms till his loss in the 2008 parliamentary elections.

The 38-year-old former MP is married to 41-year-old women affairs minister Helena Guergis who herself is in the thick controversies for various reasons.

[Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in]

(Courtesy: IANS)

:: SHARIAH :: Divorced from the will of God

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Divorced from the will of God

By Arif Mohammed Khan

The Islamic idea of marriage is best expressed in the following Quranic verse: “It is He who created you from a single person and made his mate of like nature in order that he might dwell with her (in love). When they are united she bears a light burden and carries it about. When she grows heavy they both pray to God their Lord: ‘If You give us a goodly child we vow we shall be grateful’.” Elsewhere, the Quran says: “They are your garments and you are their garments.”

On the other hand, in Shariat (Islamic law) marriage is described as aqd (contract) and like any other contract, it requires free consent of the contracting parties. The parents or guardians may act as facilitators but the final decision rests with the man and woman who can propose their own terms and conditions to conclude the marriage.

The Quran views marriage as a source of physical and emotional comfort and a means of perpetuating mankind, so it is necessary both partners intend the bond to be for life. However, in cases where living together becomes impossible, the law permits divorce, described as “the most odious among permissible things”.

The Quran lays down the detailed procedure, which is informed by a strategy that encourages reconciliation and prevents family breakup. The Quran says: “When you do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods and count (accurately) their prescribed periods, and fear God. And turn them not out of their houses nor shall they leave except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness. Those are limits set by God: and any who transgresses the limits of God does verily wrong his soul: you know not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation.”

The Quranic procedure of divorce provides that the couple continue to live in their matrimonial home during iddat (the three-month cooling-off period) and the option of reunion and remarriage remains available.
In Islamic legal theory, the Quran is accorded the highest status. It is from this that Sharia laws are extracted and construed. It defies reason that Muslim family laws as practised on the Indian subcontinent are mostly in conflict with Quranic provisions.

Some of the legal provisions with respect to marriage and divorce compiled by the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) sharply violate the spirit —and word — of the Quran. On the question of parity between husband and wife, Section 117 (3) of the AIMPLB compendium differentiates between Muslims of Arab and non-Arab origin. It provides that “regard shall be had in respect of descent among the Arabs especially Quraysh and those non-Arab families who have preserved their descent. People in the rest of the non-Arab world are mutually equal”. What a travesty of Islamic egalitarianism and equality.
Similarly, in matters of divorce the compendium makes a mockery of the lofty Islamic principle of ‘no compulsion in matters of religion’.

The chapter dealing with divorce not only validates instant divorce but Section 5 (b) says: “For the effectiveness of talaq (divorce) it is in principle necessary that the man pronouncing it should be in his senses. This demands that a talaq pronounced in an inebriated condition should not be effective. However if a person has unlawfully consumed an intoxicant by his own liking and habit, his talaq will become effective by way of punishment”.

Sections (6) and (7) are even more ludicrous. Section 6 says: “If a person under compulsion or duress pronounces a talaq it will be valid if it is verbal but not otherwise.” Section 7 says: “A talaq pronounced in hazl i.e. jest also becomes effective.”

There is nothing Islamic about these laws; in fact they smack of pre-Islamic Arab jahiliyya (ignorance), which thrived on class differences and the use of brute force. Is it any wonder then that many hapless women are exploited through fraudulent marriages and then shown the door with an instant divorce? It is futile to talk of reform so long as the authors of these atrocious laws continue to enjoy political patronage.

[Arif Mohammad Khan, a former Union minister, quit the Rajiv Gandhi government over the Shah Bano controversy.]

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

:: HAJ :: Good if government quashes Haj subsidy, say leading Muslims

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Good if government quashes Haj subsidy, say leading Muslims

If the government wants to do away with the subsidy for Haj pilgrims it is fine, some leading Muslims feel, but they want transparency and privatisation of the pilgrimage programme.

"There is no demand for the subsidy. The Haj becomes necessary only if you can afford it - physically as well as financially. If the government wants to end it (the subsidy), I will more than welcome that," Maulana Abdul Hamid Nomani, spokesperson of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, told IANS.

Asked if Islamic law allows the subsidy, Nomani said Indian Muslims, like members from other communities, also pay taxes and thus have a stake in the resources.

"No government official or politician pays it from his own pocket. Subsidy is not prohibited as such, but the money which they spend on subsidising the pilgrimage can be used for other purposes equally noble as Haj," said the leader of the Jamiat, one of the leading and oldest Muslim organisations in India, founded in 1919.

The remarks come as the government is said to have moved a proposal to phase out the multi-crore rupees subsidy in the airfare for Muslim pilgrims who visit the holy cities of Makkah and Medina in Saudi Arabia. In 2008, the government said it had to shell out Rs.826 crore for about 100,000 Muslim pilgrims.

The external affairs ministry, the nodal agency for Haj, has sent the proposal to the civil aviation, finance and minority affairs ministries for their response.

Even as the move may cause displeasure among the 14 million Muslim population in India, many scholars from the minority community like Nomani welcomed the move to phase out the subsidy saying the government should bring in more transparency to the system.

"They are not doing any favour to Muslims, you should understand that," Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari, who leads prayers in Delhi's Jama Masjid, told IANS.

"Why would anybody want to travel with Air India knowing how pathetic their service is," he said, adding the government generates revenue through the subsidy scheme and gives a discount on "overpriced tickets".

He said the government should invite tenders from global airlines where all bid competitively. "And you will see the ticket prices would be much lower than what Air India charges," Bukhari said.

The Air India Haj ticket, he said, costs Rs.40,000, but if you travel to Saudi Arabia by other airlines it will cost around Rs.20,000.

The national carrier, Bukhari said, "runs at a loss and the Haj programme makes up for their losses in the name of subsidy to Muslims. Let them do away with it. It is a good step. I don't think anybody will oppose it."

Echoing the same view, Syed Yousuf, a guest teacher in the capital's Jamia Millia university, said: "If the government is serious about doing away with the subsidy it is good for Muslims. They can travel at lesser cost. Plus the government should use this money on other issues like education, drinking water, welfare of Muslims if they want to do any favour to the community."

(Courtesy: IANS)

A Note for Political and Economic Empowerment of Backward Muslims

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 12 April 2010 | Posted in

Anis Ansari
By Anis Ansari, IAS (Retd.)

This note pleads: (1) Clause (3) of Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 must be deleted in order to abolish religious discrimination against Muslim and Christian Dalits, (2) All the groups of Muslims and Christians which traditionally share the professions which are carried on by Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist Scheduled Castes must be treated at par with their counterpart Hindu Schedule Castes. (3) No reservation should be extended to all the Muslims just as it should not be extended to all the Hindus. Reservation benefits must be restricted only to socially and educationally backward classes of Muslims and Christians. (4) No division of OBC quota of 27% should be done on religious basis. However mechanisms should be made to ensure that Muslim OBCs get proportionate benefits in OBC quota. (5) To ensure that Muslim OBCs get their due share, Bihar model can be adopted wherein Muslim OBCs are grouped with most backward Hindu groups. (6) To ensure social and educational development of OBCs , on the pattern of Special Component Plan for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes, 27% of Plan Budget should be earmarked for OBCs which will benefit Muslim OBCs also.

The root cause of decline of Muslims in India after independence is their under-representation in the political institutions and bodies of governance such as Parliament, Assemblies, Govts. and Panchayats etc. To rectify this situation, following suggestions are made:-

1. Clause (3) of Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 makes it obligatory that a member of Schedule Castes as listed under Article 341 of Constitution must be a Hindu, a Sikh or a neo-Buddhist. This clause bars Muslim and Christian dalits from sharing the benefits of reservation policy both at the Central and the State levels. Specially, this clause results in making Muslim and Christian dalits ineligible for contesting on the seats reserved in Parliament and Assemblies for Schedule Castes. Out of 119 seats reserved in Parliament for Schedule Castes, 36 reserved seats have substantial or majority Muslim population. Similarly, about 200 reserved Assembly seats would have similar population share of Muslims in them. Thus, if clause (3) were deleted, Muslims can almost double their representation in Parliament from the present level of 28 MPs to 28+36=64 MPs. Their representation in Assemblies too can increase by additional 200 seats. Muslims constitute more than 15% of the total population in the country. In the Indian Parliament having about 550 seats, Muslims' share should not be less than 15% of 550 MP seats i.e. more than 80 seats.

This enhanced level of representation of Muslims in Parliament and Assemblies can be secured without any constitutional amendment. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order of 1950 is an executive proclamation issued by President of India but approved by Parliament. Clause (3) of this Order can be deleted by a simple majority in Parliament.

Clause (3) of the above Order is plainly arbitrary, unconstitutional and unfair. This view has been taken by Rangnath Mishra Commission which was set up by Congress Government at the Centre. The demand for the deletion of clause (3) is based on the very sound principle of Indian Constitution that no citizen can be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste and sex etc. This clause discriminates against Muslim and Christian dalits on the basis of their religion in as much as members of Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist Schedule Castes obtain benefits of reservation in different fields but Muslim and Christian dalits carrying on the same traditional, caste occupations such as washer-men (Dhobi) Sweepers (Lal Begis) Nat etc. are denied these benefits just because they follow Islam or Christianity.

2. Steps should be taken to abolish clause (3) of this Order and to include all those groups of Dalit Muslims and Christians as Scheduled Castes whose traditional occupations correspond to those carried on by Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist Schedule Castes. To illustrate, Muslim butchers, weavers, sweepers, vegetable seller etc. must not be treated differently from the same groups of people in Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities. Rangnath Mishra Commission made this recommendation very clearly. If the Indian society desires that Muslim poor should participate equally in the development of the country the above religious discrimination must be ended up forthwith.

3. A few Muslims are demanding reservation for all the Muslims. Muslims should be well advised not to press for this demand and Indian society should be wise enough to reject their demand outright. Under Article 15(3) of the constitution, State can make special provisions for socially and educationally background classes of citizens for educational purposes. Under Article 16(4) backward classes of citizens who are inadequately represented in public employment can be given reservation. Under the Indian Constitution all the Hindus cannot be given reservation because not all the Hindus belong to socially and educationally backward classes of citizens. If all the Hindus, who are 82% of the Indian population, per se cannot get reservation, how can all the Muslims be given reservation while they are only 15% of the population. It will be untrue to claim that all the Muslims of the country are socially and educationally backward. Attempt should be made to pick out those sections of Muslims and Christians who are socially and educationally backward and only they should be brought under the reservation safety net. This proposition, besides being unassailable under the Constitution, is also a non-communal approach to mitigating the under-representation of Muslim poor in the structure of governance. Any effort to raise a communal demand will ultimately be misused by the communal forces against Muslims presently lying low. Both before and after the partition of the country, Indian Muslims were damaged due to communal strategies adopted by the leaders. Present and future generations of Muslim must reject any communal strategy for improving their lot in the country.

Pursuing a non-communal approach would be more beneficial to the Muslims for two reasons. Muslims are only about 15% in the country. If they want their voice to be heard they must build up bridges of amity and goodwill with Hindus and other communities to obtain support of atleast 51% of the population. Secondly, Prophet Mohammad observed that love of the country is part of the faith of Muslims. Thus, it is a religions duty of Muslims to have amicable relations with the countrymen of other religions also in order to be good practicing Muslims.

4. In some quarters, a suggestion has been made that out of 27% quota reserved for other backward classes (OBCs), about 1/3 of 27% i.e. 9% quota should be created for Muslims. This is also not a wise suggestion. This suggestion implies that all the Muslims should get benefits of reservation even if they do not belong to socially and educationally backward classes of the society. It has already been clarified in the beginning that like all Hindus all Muslims cannot claim and should not be given the benefits of reservation.

5. Sometimes it is suggested that about one third of 27% i.e. 9% quota may be reserved for Muslim OBCs. Rangnath Mishra Commission has recommended that out of 27% reservation for OBCs, 6% should be reserved for Muslim OBCs In the long run, this suggestion will also damage Muslim poor because this suggestion amounts to separating Muslim OBCs from Hindu OBCs on religious lines. It is agreed that Muslim OBCs so far have not been able to secure even 1/3rd out of 27% of jobs reserved for OBCs. But to achieve this objective, creating a divide among OBCs on the basis of their religion would be harmful both to the Muslim OBCs and to the OBCs in general. Muslim OBCs and Hindu OBCs combined can fight out the ill-effects of social downgrading inflicted by casteist groups more effectively by working together rather than working separately as Muslim OBCs and Hindu OBCs.

6. A better strategy to ensure Muslim OBCs get their due share would be to adopt Bihar model. In Bihar, OBCs have been divided into 2 groups : Backwards and Most Backwards. Most Backwards include Muslim OBCs also. Most Backwards get higher quota than Backwards. This is a non-communal approach which will be more beneficial to the Muslim OBCs.

7. To ensure social and economic development of members of Schedule Caste & Schedule Tribes Government of India earmarks about 21% of Plan Budget as Special Component Plan every year. This amount is utilized for construction of pakka roads, school buildings, power, hand pumps, drainage, centres of public health and scholarship etc. for the areas pre dominated by these communities. If a similar provision is made for OBCs by earmarking 27% Plan funds, it will benefit Muslim poor in a big way. Roughly speaking every year 2.5 lakh crores are budgeted as plan expenditure in the country. 27% of this amount (Rs. 67,500 crores) is a big amount. Even if one third of this amount reaches Muslim OBCs, every year about Rs. 22,500 crores would be available for improving their condition. One important aspect of this suggestion is that as this demand is based purely on social and educational backwardness of the OBCs, any effort to give it a communal colour is likely to fail. Even small segment of those persons who keep raising artificially the issue of appeasement of Muslims would not be able to come out against this demand because this demand is in favour of more than half of India’s population which is included in OBC category. In a democratic set up to oppose more than half the population would be like hitting oneself with one’s axe.

[Anis Ansari is the convener of Muslim Dalit Reservation Movement (MDRM). He is based in Lucknow (UP) and can be reached at anisansariias@gmail.com or on phone number 91-522-2236192]

:: EDUCATION :: Indian Muslims should emulate Super 30 model

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in ,

Indian Muslims should emulate Super 30 model

By Syed Ali Mujtaba Syed

There is a view among a segment of Indian Muslim that instead of seeking favors from the government and hankering for reservation for shedding the burden of backwardness, some members of the community should come forward and emulate the Super 30 model of Bihar to uplift the fellow members of the community.

The Sachar Committee report reveals the abysmally low share of Muslims in professional courses, especially in institutes of excellence in the country. In 2006-07, only 3.3% of all students in all IITs and around 1.3% in all IIMs were Muslims. In IAS, the representation of Muslims was only 3% and it was 4% in IPS.

Super 30 is an initiative under which poor students are giving educational coaching free of cost to crack the highly competitive Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE).

The coaching institutes’ takes 90 students every year divided into a batch of 30 students each and it has repeatedly demonstrated that how professional coaching can make the under privileged students crack the entrance test of the top engineering colleges of the country. 

The 30 students are selected from among 3,000-odd aspirants who write the Super 30 entrance test. The entrance test is held in Lucknow, Agra, Gorakhpur and Varanasi in UP, Ranchi, Bokaro, Dhanbad and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur in Bihar.

Once selected, the students are provided professional coaching, food and lodging facilities, all free of cost. Parents of most of the students come from the bottom rung of the society, some being brick kiln workers, domestic help and doing menial jobs.

The institute was started in 2003 by two dynamic persons, one a mathematician and other a police officer. In the first year, 18 of its students made it to the prestigious IITs and the number rose to 22 in 2004 and 26 in 2005. In 2007 and 2006, 28 students made it through ITT-JEE.  In the last seven years, 182 students out of 210 have made it to different IITs of the country. And for the last two years, all 30 students of Super 30 have made it to the IITs and this includes students from the Muslim community as well.

A British filmmaker narrated the success story of Super 30 trough the Discovery Channel and also a Japanese documentary film maker made a film on this innovative and successful attempt to send poor children to India’s top most engineering colleges.

The Super-30 success has made the government of Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh to replicate the model in their respective states. A team of government officials of these states are making a beeline in Patina to study this model of teaching and are preparing a blue prints for its implementation in their states.

Is the Muslim community in India being aspired by the initiative like Super 30? This is a big question mark as I have discovered that there are small and big, more than fifty coaching institutes run by the Muslim community in different parts of the country.

Many of these insinuations are receiving funds from the government, and are making tall claims to run the show and receive more funds but contrary to the claims these institutions are no more than government offices, providing employment and money to those who run them.

A close look at the functioning of Muslim run coaching institute provides a very unrealistic picture. Most of them have taken umpteen numbers of courses and they could hardly do justice to any of them. There is hardly any desire or inclination to provide a specialized training. No wonder, the bright students of the community keep themselves away from such institutions.

The Super 30 has provided a direction how a success story could be scripted in the most humble way.  Now the onus is on members of the Muslim community to take this idea forward and replicate it for uplifting the not so privileged members of their faith.  This they can do through professional approach and with utmost resolve and commitment and dedication to the cause.

The Rahmani Foundation, Munger, Bihar leads the way by adopting the Super 30 model  for under privileged Muslim students of Bihar to crack IITs exams. The Foundations picked-up poor average Muslim candidates from Bihar and coach them in Patna providing them free coaching, lodging and foods to appear IIT Jee test. It costs Rs. 80,000 per year for each student’s expenses.

Additional Director General of Police Abhyanand, who coached and helped 30 students from poor families to join the prestigious IITs is heading this institution. Abhyanand began working for Rahmani 30 after disassociating himself from Super 30.  The idea of coaching Muslim students to the police officer struck because Super 30’s successful students included Muslim students.

The Rahmani foundation announced that students who have scored more than 60+ marks in 12th can appear in the test at selected locations throughout Bihar. About 2,300 candidates appeared in the test and finally selected 10 candidates. All the 10 students enrolled in a special coaching institute passed the IIT-JEE exams.

It’s high time that some dynamic persons from the community should come forward and try to start specialized coaching institute in a professional way on the lines of Super 30 and Rahmani 30 in other parts of the country. They should hire the best faculty available  and Muslim philanthropist should come forward to foot their bills. Similarly, the food and loading arrangement should made by members of the community. 

A good administrator can do wonders, in running such institutions and there is no dearth of them in the community who can produce results.  If this happens with missionary zeal, it won’t be long when Indian Muslims can too write a new script that can become a talking point in every nook and corner of the country.

[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a working journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba@yahoo.com]

:: TERRORISM :: Indian Muslim scholars accuse LeT of conspiring against Islam

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Indian Muslim scholars accuse LeT of conspiring against Islam

Indian Ahl-e-Hadees scholars accused their ideological peers in Pakistan recently – the banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LT) group and its parent body, Markaz Dawa al-Irshad – of being part of a global conspiracy against Islam. “We believe Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the LeT chief, is a khawarij (rebel) and needs to be punished under the law,” declared Maulana Asghar Ali Imam Mehdi Salfi, secretary general of the Markazi Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadees.

The Ahl-e-Hadees sect is often criticised for sharing its ideology with the LeT or Dawa al Irshad, headed by Hafiz Saeed. Clarifying his stance, Maulana Salfi said both Hafiz Saeed and the Taliban were part of an international conspiracy. He called these groups marauders and said their struggle was nowhere near jihad. He questioned why these groups did not oppress America when they had aligned with it to fight against the Soviet Union?

Claiming that a majority of Ahl-e-Hadees followers in Pakistan were also “up in arms” against Hafiz Saeed for taking over their mosques and establishments, Maulana Salfi said Islam does not endorse extremism. Maintaining that bomb blasts and suicide attacks were forbidden in Islam, he said there was no justification whatsoever for such acts of terrorism and wanton killings.

Quoting a mutual edict of 36 Ahl-e-Hadees scholars, Maulana Salfi said such acts of violence were more critical than robbery. He, however, said a full and fair investigation was imperative under judicial supervision to ensure that innocent people were not punished in the name of terrorism.

Maulana Salfi said the khawarij, who first emerged in the late seventh century AD, also observed all Islamic tenants strictly, but actually created waywardness and rebellion. “Islam does not believe in extremes,” he added.

:: BUSINESS & ECONOMY :: Kerala HC lifts stay on Islamic banking, says no to government role

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in

Kerala HC lifts stay on Islamic banking, says no to government role

By George Joseph

There is no problem in forming an Islamic bank if the procedures and permissions in this regard are adhered to, but neither the government nor its enterprises can associate with such an effort, the Kerala High Court (HC) said today (April 9, 2010), in an interim order.

The order partly modifies a January 5 order, which had frozen the Kerala government-sponsored process of setting up an Islamic bank.

Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan said the state government would decide what to do after a detailed examination of today’s developments.

The next hearing is on June 3. The Union finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India are supposed to file their replies by then (notices in this regard were issued on January 5).

On that latter date, the HC had issued an interim stay on the decision to help establish such a bank. The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) had been made the nodal agency for the project. The state government, KSIDC and Al Barakah Financial Services, a company formed to take the endeavour forward (in which KSIDC took 13 per cent stake), asked the HC to remove the January 5 stay.

Al Barakah was formed as a non-banking finance company (NBFC), as the first step to have a bank which functioned in full compliance with the traditional Islamic code, the Shariah.

Since there are strictures on usury-based lending in Islamic beliefs, many Muslims are opposed to modern banking or depositing their money with banks. The proposed Islamic bank was meant to help draw more Muslims (20 per cent of the state’s population) into the modern economy and tap their savings. The partners in this effort were various businessmen, including many non-resident Keralites based in West Asia. The plan was to raise Rs 500 crore with the state government also putting in some equity.

Ernst & Young, commissioned to report on the viability of an Islamic bank, said in August last year there was a market for it.

The January 5 order was issued by a two-judge Bench of the high court comprising the then Chief Justice, SR Bannurmath, and TB Radhakrishnan. Today’s order was also from a two-judge Bench of the present Chief Justice, J Chelameshwar, and CN Ramachandran Nair.

The HC got into the issue due to a public interest suit filed to stop the government effort. The suit was filed by former Union law minister Subramanian Swamy and a body called the Hindu Aikya Vedi.

Swamy had challenged the October 14 order of the state government’s principal secretary (industries) to allow KSIDC to register a company to provide banking services on Sharia lines. The NBFC was registered as the Banking Regulation Act does not permit Islamic banking.

The suit argued that such an institution would be against the basic principles of the Constitution, which provided equal status to all religions. Starting a bank that followed Shariah principles and worked under a Shariah board would be preferential treatment to a religion, it said.

KSIDC had invited applications for posts of chief executive officer and company secretary for the NBFC through its website. The notification said the selected officers would report to the Shariah board that governed the NBFC and that the institution would be governed by the Muslim Personal Law. Since the Shariah is confined to Muslims, starting a bank under this law would be against the basic principles of India’s Constitution, the petitioner said.

(Courtesy: Business Standard)

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