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COMMUNITY NEWS: 1-51 May 2001

Imam Ahmad Bukhari leading a procession in old Delhi on 3 August against Israeli atrocities

Muzaffarnagar violence
This western UP town is reeling under constant fear of recurrence of violence. Muzaffar Nagar, the city that has witnessed communal tension soar up and where curfew was clamped down for continuous five days after the communal tension marred this communally sensitive town has still not come out of the after affect of the violence. Violence broke out in the city when an extremist Hindu leader was arrested by the police on 4 August following the charges of his involvement in throwing provocative handbills in different mosques in the city on 3 August.
The city is in the grip of communal tension ever since March this year when a muazzin of the Jama Masjid was attacked and provocative pamphlets were found in the mosque. The incident could be saved in time from taking serious turn thanks to the efforts of the senior Muslim leaders of the city who prevented Muslim youths from coming on the street. It had every masala to charge the communally sensitive environment but it could be saved only due to the alertness of Muslim leaders and timely action taken by the local administration.
The incident was being forgotten from the minds of the common people but all a sudden the provocateurs started taking up the same methods yet again to vitiate the environment. Provocative handbill and pamphlets were thrown in several mosques in the city including the Jama Masjid of the city and Hauz Wali Masjid on 4 August. The pamphlets were found in other mosques of the city on the next morning as well. A dargah was also attacked by assailants and a person was killed there. Though the police initially tried to pose the incident as an outcome of personal enmity but later a fundamentalist Hindu organization accepted its responsibility. The same organization is alleged to have also taken responsibility for throwing the pamphlets in mosques in the city. the pamphlets not only contained provocative slogans but also threatened to blast the Hauz Wali Masjid.
Muslim called for a bandh in the city that was more or less successful. But things started deteriorating when the police arrested Anil Kashyap and two more people Sanjeev Tyagi Advocate and Deshbandhu Kaushik, who were reportedly behind the incident of pamphlet throwing incident. This infuriated the saffron organization so much that they came on the streets and forcibly tried to close down the market. The activists of these organizations allegedly raised anti-Muslim slogans and also attacked several Muslim shopkeepers in the city. A photographer who took snaps of this whole incident was also beaten black and blue by these people. His camera was broken by these people and film role was destroyed.
When the Muslim came on the street demonstrating against the incident police opened fire on the mob critically injuring two people. It was in total contrast when the Hindu fundamentalist groups took to the street and ransacked shops, beat shopkeepers. No action was taken against them for trying to vitiate the environment in the city that had been reeling under communal flare up following their heinous tactics.
The curfew was later clamped down in the whole town. The curfew that continued for five whole days was the hardest thing suffered by the local Muslims. It is alleged that the police vigil was more tight in Muslim area than areas inhabited by Hindus. Essentials even like milk and vegetables were denied to residents in Muslim majority area while everything was freely available in areas inhabited by majority community.
It is now evident that the whole affair was well planned by extremist Hindu outfits who took to the streets following the arrest of one of their leaders in the pamphlet case. These people instead of targetting police that had arrested their leader attacked Muslims and targetted Muslim shops and markets.
It is now evident that Muslims were never involved in this unholy affair at any given point of time. Their is no report regarding them either attacking or targetting anyone or harming any place of worship. But then too the administration under the pressure from Sangh outfits has issued a warrant against MLC Qadir Rana and several other Muslim youths.

'No Large-scale violence'
New Delhi: Government denied dangerous increase in cases of communal violence against minorities since 1998.
While answering a question of Sarla Maheshwari in Rajya Sabha internal affairs minister ID Swami confessed that in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa some crimes have been committed against some Christian institutions with regard to law and order in which involvement of Deendar Anjuman has been found. Deendar Anjuman has been declared an illegal organization on 28 May.
He said that it is the basic responsibility of the state government to maintain law and order. He further said that Center sends secret reports, suggestions and important messages to states and central territories. Central force is also sent on request, he added.

Madrasa Saffronization in Bengal
Kolkata: Syed Ali, a distinguished intellectual, has accused leftist government for saffronization of madrasas in West Bengal. With regard to Kanti Biswas’ alleged negative remark about grant of madrasas, Syed Ali said in a press release that other subjects are also taught in madrasas along with religious education. He said that people opposing madrasas are only those who wish to promote communalism and want to promote a dangerous educational view. He also objected to the alleged remark of the education minister that madrasa graduates can only be imams or maulvis. Whether the college and university products or the imams and maulvis of madrasas were involved in big scandals, he asked. He further said that the process of setting up madrasas would continue and that if need arises they would approach the court with constitutional references for seeking government’s permission.

Catholic Schools closed in Mumbai
Mumbai: About 250 Catholic educational institutions remained closed in Mumbai and Thane in protest against alleged attacks on a priest by members of Bajrang Dal. Hundreds of students returned to their homes after offering prayers in Churches without attending classes. Mumbai archbishop has strongly condemned the attack. Catholic employees also performed their official duties by tying black bands on their wrists. Bajrang Dal members had allegedly attacked Asker Mendoza of Thane’s St Johns School. It is said that two years ago the father was asked to beg public pardon in Tripura for the murder of two RSS activists by Christians, which he had denied. Catholic group held a big rally expressing extreme reaction over the attack.

SIMI banned for two years
Indore: Indore administration foiled an attempt of the controversial Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) to hold a meeting and put a ban on its activities for two months.
Six SIMI members were arrested when they tried to hold a meeting in Khajrana area. District Collector, Muhammad Suleman said that the administration has put a ban on the activities of the organization in view of its unlawful nature.

Two Hizb men arrested
Kanpur: Police attested two militants involved in various incidents of disruption and seized arms and ammunitions along with RDX, rocket launcher and remote control panel. What emerged from the inquiry is that the captured weapons and arms and ammunitions were meant to be exploded and disrupt the Independence Day ceremonies in other parts of the country. When asked, they said that they were associated with Pakistan’s Hizbul Mujahidin group, which has links with Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad. These groups have taken part in disruptive activities in New Delhi, Kanpur and Faizabad.

‘Minor Fiqhi differences disastrous’
Dubai: The biggest challenge today is that the image of Islam is being distorted, Prophet (pbuh) is misrepresented and means of communications are used on large scale to defame Islam and to create hatred against Islam. And we Muslims are fighting with each other on the grounds of language, region, race and minor fiqhi problems and wasting our energy.
Qadi Mujahidul Islam Qasimi president All India Muslim Personal Law Board expressed these views to Indian Muslims residing in Dubai on the occasion of the Prophet’s birthday in a meeting organized by Dubai Indian Islamic Center. The Qadi, who is seriously ill said in a painful voice depicting himself as Turkey’s sick man that, ‘I have brought to you the gift of pain and sorrow for the ummah. What benefit will receive the ummah if I struggle only for myself? He emphatically said that when an individual is attached to ummah, he is like a drop of ocean, which along with other drops becomes a powerful wave. But if he is separated from ummah, he is like a drop out of ocean, which cannot even exist.
The Qadi gave his message to every individual of the ummah that they should have close watch over every conspiracy hatched against Islam. They should come together on the basis of Kalima Tawhid being above personal interests and petty differences and work for the community. On his tour to Dubai, the Qadi presented the beautiful picture of Islam and invited people to break the idols of race and colour and to be dissolved as one unit in Islam.
He had come to Dubai after his 10-day tour to South Africa, where he had been invited to give final touches to the documents on marital law. These laws are prepared under Law Commission formulated by the Project Committee of South Africa’s Ministry of Law, so that South African Muslims get judicial form to act upon Muslim Personal Law after it is passed in Parliament.
It should be noted that the Islamic marriages in South Africa are not considered legal in the eyes of the country’s law, which has caused difficulty in acting upon Shari'ah on various issues regarding maintenance, divorce, inheritance, etc.

Imams' petition granted
New Delhi: Delhi high court has granted the writ petition filed by Bahauddin Barqi, chairman of the organization's Legal Advisory Board on behalf of the secretary general of the Organization of Imams of Mosques (Tanzim Aimma-e-Masajid), Maulana Muhammad Zakir Al-Wahidi regarding increase of salaries of imams and muazzins. The All India Organization of Mosques had also submitted a writ petition in the supreme court ten years ago, which has also been granted, in which the supreme court, on the application of imams, had instructed the Central Waqf Council to fix the salaries of imams and muazzins on the scale of Punjab and Haryana Waqf Board. The Central Waqf Council had sent its recommendations to the Waqf Boards of the country as per the instruction of the supreme court. But Delhi Waqf Board did not accept those recommendations and instructions. As a result Bahauddin Barqi, advocate for the Organization of Imams of Mosques had filed a writ petition in Delhi high court in 1998. The court has issued its judgement in favour of the organization along with instruction to Waqf Board that they should start paying salaries of imams and muazzins on the scale of Punjab and Haryana Waqf Board within eight weeks.

AMU demands inquiry
Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Staff Association has demanded a high level inquiry into Jamia Urdu Institute (JUI) affairs alleging embezzlement of funds to the tune of crores of rupees.
The association alleged at a special general body meeting that during the past few years several crores of rupees have been misappropriated by the JUI authorities.
For the past several months, more than two hundred employees had not been paid their salaries, the association said.

Sangh responsible for attacks
Bhubaneshawar: RSS or Vishwa Hindu Parishad was involved in the attacks on Christian missionaries in the state's Phulbani district's Mother Teresa Shanti Nivas. This was revealed by district SP Sanjay Singh. He said that last month when Christian missionaries were distributing blankets and old clothes among poor people of the district, some communal elements made murderous attacks on two Christian missionaries. He further said that they did not like that Christian missionaries should do these works. Assailants have not been arrested so far.

Violence in Rai Bareilly
Lucknow: Reacting to the alleged attack on RSS leader, some people pelted stones on a group and indulged in arson in Lalganj mohalla of district Rai Bareilly. DP Singh IGP (Lucknow zone) told UNI that after the attack on RSS leader a mob damaged many houses of a group. It is said that this attack was in response to an earlier incident.Nine people have been arrested. Additional police force has been sent to this area, Singh said. The situation is under control now.

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