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COMMUNITY NEWS: 1-15 March 2001

Muslims praying for the Gujarat quake victims

Milli Council meeting
Chennai: The Milli Council has said that it will favour any efforts of the government to solve the Ayodhya problem through dialogues. But the Council has flatly refused to talk to those people who were involved in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It has also asked to create a favourable environment for talks.
   The meeting also discussed several issues including new educational policies, Constitution review, Kashmir, TADA, educational rights of the minorities and census etc. The Council has favoured the extension of cease-fire in Kashmir and praised the government's peace efforts.
   Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi was reelected as the general secretary of the Council, Kamal Farooqi as treasurer. Maulana Asrarul Haq, Maulana Syed Mustafa Qadri and Maulana Yasin Ali Usmani were elected as asst. general secretaries.

Dead body awaits burial
Patna: Another case of not allowing the dead body of a Muslim to be buried in the graveyard has come to notice. In Kosar village of Bhojpur District in Bihar, a dead body of a Muslim lady was not allowed to be buried by the villagers. The villagers not only did not allow to bury her in the Muslims graveyard of the village, but have also tried to forcefully occupy the place.
   Zaibunnisa Khatoon died on 28 January. When her relatives tried to bury her in the graveyard, a few people from the majority community objected.
   A few weeks earlier a dead body had to wait for two days for burial. It was only after the intervention of the district collector and SP that burial was made possible.
   But this time round people did not wait for the district collector and the SP to intervene. Instead, they took the dead body to the state capital, Patna, and went straight to the Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shakeel Ahmad Khan, and told him the whole story. The villagers also went to the residence of the Minister of Construction, Taslimuddin, and conveyed their grievance. It was only after the intervention of these people that the dead body was allowed to be buried in the graveyard.

No ISI activity in UP
Moradabad: Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police Mahesh Chandra Diwedi said on 6 February that the ISI is not active in the state. The DGP also denied that the ISI is giving training to its agents in the madrasas spread across the state. He added that the police is taking all steps to keep the ISI out of the state and so it is maintaining high vigil on the Indo-Nepal border.
   But he expressed his concern over the fast increase of madrasas in the state. He also said that the government will keep watch on these madrasas and activities in these madrasas. He said that home guards will be appointed to keep vigil on these religious institutions.

Cops in Jamia
New Delhi: Slogans and a demonstration outside the proctor's office in Jamia Millia Islamia had an unusual reasons. It is reported that the Proctor of the university had requested policemen at the New Friends Colony police station to go with the university officials to the canteen to check the presence of one Mubarak Alam, an ex-student who was rusticated last year. However the students apparently did not like the presence of the police and started protesting. But later according to the sources, a few students met the vice chancellor and the confusion was cleared. University officials refuted the police version that it were they who requested the police officials to come to the university campus. They say that it was the police which out of its own came searching for Mubarak.

Gaushala Bhavan on Waqf land
Agra: Uttar Pradesh chief minister is alleged to have inaugurated a gaushala (cowshed) on a plot of land owned by the UP Waqf Board. The case is in the Allahabad High court and the court has given stay order on the issue.
   A meeting was organized to take stock of the situation. It was attended by a number of prominent people of the city. The meeting deliberated on the issue and said that by using the disputed land for a Gaushala Bhavan the chief minister has acted against the orders of the court. Abdus-Sattar Quraishi, secretary, Shahi Lal Masjid, Agra, had informed the chief minister through a telegram on 27 January that the land in question was disputed.
   The telegram had said that waqf No. 356 is a waqf property and the dispute is sub judice in different courts in Allahabad and Agra. Muslims offer their Jumatulwida and Eid prayers on this land. But the Gaushala Samiti closed the shahi well on the land and illegally erected a four-feet-high boundary wall.

Urdu directorate in Karnataka
Bangalore: General secretary Karnatak State Urdu Teachers Association Shaukat Pasha has asked the government to set up a separate Urdu directorate in the state. Pasha said that the government had accepted the demand to set up the directorate way back in 1987, but it has not been implemented so far.

Raza library to have Library course
Rampur: Raza Library, one of the leading libraries in the country has decided to start a certificate course in library science in Urdu.
   The first meeting on the issue was held recently and was attended by among others the executive director of National Open School Shuaib Raza Khan, Dr Abhay Kumar, Nazar Barni, Muhammad Sajjad Usmani librarian Delhi University Waqarul Hasan Siddiqi OSD Raza Library and Asad Islahi assistant librarian of the library.
   Dr Abhay Kumar said that the National Open School will open the certificate course in library science in Urdu in the Raza Library.

Arab scholar honoured
New Delhi: Eminent Arab scholar and former rector of International Islamic University Kualalumpur Dr Abdul Hamid Abu Sulaiman was conferred honorary D Lit by Jamia Hamdard at a glittering function organized at the Hamdard Convention Centre in the Capital on 5 February.
   Dr Sulaiman, director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought at Herndon, USA, has argued in his writings against literalism and outdated interpretations of religious thoughts.
   His citation of the D Lit degree said: 'An eminent scholar of Islam and international relations, a seer and a visionary, Dr Sulayman has made a significant contribution to knowledge in diverse domains. He has to his credit a large number of publications in Arabic and English.'
   'A scholar who is endowed with deep insight, a reformer trying to bring about a socio-cultural renaissance through what had been described as the Islamization of knowledge, Dr Sulaiman is held in high esteem by all those who are imbued with a quest for knowledge' the citation read.
   Dr Sulaiman in his address said that 'the crux of Islam was to be good to the people and humanity at large.’ Striking an analogy with a Karachi-based institution, he appreciated the works done by the Jamia Hamdard and said such institutions should be encouraged through legislation for the upliftment of the society. Former Prime Minister IK Gujral also addressed the audience. He appreciated the efforts of the eminent scholar and also Jamia Hamdard.

Commerce course approved
Mau: Muslim Inter College in Mau has been allowed to run courses in commerce too. It was recently allowed by the UP government after a long period. The management was trying to get approval for it for last several years. Earlier only one college DAV Inter College offered courses in commerce and the seats were very limited. Now the students will not have to face problems as they faced earlier. The manager of the college Alam Ansari said that the classes for the commerce courses will start from the coming academic year.

BJP condemns Muslims' killing
Calicut: The BJP has strongly condemned the killing of three Muslims in Kerala by the Marxists. It has demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter. According to O Rajgopalan, minister of state for railways, who recently visited the state, said that the atrocities against Muslims were committed by the CPI(M) workers in the presence of local police who remained mute spectators during the whole incident.
   He said that surrounding areas of Calicut district witnessed communal clashes recently in which four persons died, more than fifty houses were burnt down and seventy families had to leave their homes. He alleged that a mosque was also set ablaze during this incident.

Muslims swayed by rumours on polio
Lucknow: The immunization programme faced a major set back when people particularly Muslims in different parts of UP refused to administer polio drops to their children due to fear of impotency. This was despite the orders from a large number of ulemas, a number of people refused due to the rumors spread by unknown people.
   At a number of places they not only refused their children to take polio drops which was being administered at short intervals, but also misbehaved with several doctors who came to their houses.
   The government is trying to immunize children below the age of five. The stress this time was on Muslims because the instances of polio are higher among Muslims than other communities.
   In Meerut people reportedly misbehaved with a lady doctor of the WHO when she tried to persuade them to allow their children to be immunized.

Being a soldier in Kashmir
Jammu: Being a soldier is doubly tough for Kazir Mohammad Bhat, a 23-year old resident of a village near Lolab, Kupwara, in Jammu and Kashmir. Bhat was awarded the Sena Medal by the Chief of the Army Staff General S Padmanabhan recently.
   He says that it is not easy to be Kashmiri Muslim in the Army. 'There is a fear in the back of the mind about the family. My wife, brother and the rest of my family are all in our village in Lolab. So far the terrorists have not targeted them but the fear is there' he says.

Muslim artisans embellish temple
Meerut: Amid the controversy over the Ayodhya issue, a family of Muslim artisans is making fine gold layers (vark) to coat seven kalshas to be fixed on the pinnacles of the newly built temple of Radha Govinda in the Augharnath (Shiva) Temple here.
   For Yunus Raitar and his family, making gold layers is a distinctive art, which does not differentiate between temples and mosques. "I love to work without any consideration of caste and creed," said Yunus, a resident of Kanshi village. This work is primarily done in the Hindu and Jain temples and dharamslas, he says. He is assisted by his son Aas Mohammad and daughter Afshan. The Augharnath Temple where they are working, is the place from where 90 sepoys had revolted against the British rule in 1857. Forty of them were Muslims.
   ‘When it came to inviting a Muslim artisan for the work, a few members of the mandir samiti opposed it initially, but after some persuasion they agreed,’ Yunus added.

Christian Forum condemns attack
Tirunelveli: The Christian Minorities Forum condemned the violence against the Palayamkottai mosque and called upon the police to take steps to bring all the culprits involved in the crime to book. A resolution to this effect was adopted at a meeting held here recently under the chairmanship of Rev Fr. Antony A Cruz, the convenor of the forum.
   The meeting said that communal forces through threat and terror were denying the rights to the minorities enshrined in the Constitution of the country. The meeting also condemned the attack on the minorities and damage caused to their places of worship in various parts of North India in the recent past.


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