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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-31 October 2000

Fight illiteracy and backwardness
Meerut: Dr Iqtidar Farooqi, former director of the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, and a renowned scientist said that Muslims fight is not against anyone. According to him their fight is only against illiteracy and their backwardness and if they do not control their backwardness in education they will not be able to survive in the world of competition. Dr Farooqi said this while talking to the media on the eve of one-day conference organized by Maulana Azad National Open University. He felt sorry for Muslims' backwardness in education in the state. Muslims make 18 percent of the total population of the state but only 4.9 percent of the students appear for the higher Secondary examination in the state, whereas only 2.9 percent students make it to graduation and merely 1.2 percent to engineering.
    Dr Farooqi said that from seventh to sixteenth century around 92 percent scientists from all over the world belonged to the Muslim countries and the rest eight percent belonged to other countries. He informed that in cities like Baghdad in 10th and 11th century there was 100 percent literacy whereas the wives of English lords did not know to sign their names. 
    The vice chancellor of the University Prof. Muhammad Shamim Jairajpuri informed that it is the only university after Usmania University to offer education in Urdu medium. He said that the University is running 32 centres in different states and the University plans to open regional centres in Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar. He further said that initially the university aims to pay attention to the need of the lower strata of the nation and fulfill their educational needs. 

Heinous campaign decried
Lucknow: Jamiatul Ulema has taken strong note of the campaign to malign Muslim's name in the country being waged by a certain organization. In a programme organized by Jamiatul Ulama, on 3 September, the organization severely criticized the move to defame Islam and Muslims in the country. 
    The Jamiat has asked the government to arrest those people who are involved in publishing and compiling of the Islamic Terrorism Number in the magazine, Vishwa Sanwad Kendra Patrika, being published by the state government. This issue of the magazine has a number of derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and has projected the prophet of Islam as a terrorist.
    The Jamiat has said that Muslims cannot tolerate this sort of heinous campaign and they are prepared to come face to face with anybody on this issue.

Maulana Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi scholarship
Lucknow: The Lucknow Muslim Association distributed Maulana Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi scholarship to meritorious students of different colleges who fared well in their higher Secondary and Senior Higher Secondary Examination in a function organized on 6 September. The Lucknow Muslim Association had earlier announced 10 scholarship of Rs. 1000 for the year 2000. The scholarships were distributed among the students by Samiullah Ansari, the joint director of Minority Welfare and registrar Arabic Persian Board, Allahabad. 

Muslims in the police force 
New Delhi: National Minority Commission has advised the central government to increase Muslims ratio in the police force and has also recommended sending minority police officers to control riots in areas where minorities are in majority. It has also recommended the increase in minorities’ representation in the state police of Gujarat to eliminate minorities misconceptions regarding the existing police force in the state.
    The commission has also said that for making the country more stable and powerful the government should include names of more minority leaders who worked for the protection and stability of the country.

U.P. BJP woos Muslims
Lucknow: the Bharatiya Janata Party has accelerated its efforts to attract Muslims towards it. In an attempt to attract more and more Muslims the party has deputed Qari Muhammad Mian Mazhari, chairman of National Minority Finance Corporation, and Irshad Mirza, chairman of Minority Commission Uttar Pradesh. The duo have stepped up their activities in order to attract disgruntled Muslims to the party.
    Mazhari who is known for his proximity to the prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee wants to show results to the top brass of the party. He has started working on an important project for the welfare of Muslims in the state.

Estate sharks after Maharaja’s mosque 
Kapoorthala: The city once known as the Paris of Punjab had several feathers in its cap to show off. But the jewel of its feather was a mosque built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the pattern of main mosque in Morocco. The mosque is on the brink of extinction as real estate sharks are eyeing the 50 plus acre mosque complex.
    The mosque built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh took four years to complete in 1930 was the second largest mosque in the world at the time. The Maharaja asked the Nawab of Bhawalpur to inaugurate the mosque. 100,000 Muslims offered namaz in the mosque on the inaugural day.
    But the picturesque mosque is a sad reminder of past glory. More than hundred labourers have erected their jhuggis in the premises of the mosque, tempos are every where on the land of mosque as tempo union has its office on this land. 254 commercial booths have also diluted the colour of the past glory of the mosque. 
    The excellent golden calligraphy that had added to the beauty is also losing its sheen, and now red and blue colour that was used to colour the mosque has left it totally unrecognizable. The steps leading to the minarets and domes are collapsing, the plaster is falling off the roof of the mosque. There were 36 bathrooms, but now three or four are left in recognizable condition. Rs 1.8 million that was given by the archeological Survey was also not used properly. Now the mosque lies in a dilapidated condition begging for attention of anyone and everyone. 

Calcutta: Midnapur, the area that has seen unprecedented tension during the recent times due to the mounting tension between Trinamul Congress and communist parties particularly the CPI(M). The tension between the two parties has caused unprecedented human and financial losses. More than hundred people have been killed and properties to the tune of crores of rupees has been destroyed.
    The main loser during this battle of the two parties have been Muslims. Muslims account for eighty percent of the people killed during this inter party conflicts. They have also lost properties in Midnapur, the hotbed of such animosity.
    The West Bengal Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat has accused that it is a conspiracy to destabilize Muslims in this area. In a 2-day meeting of the state Mushawarat, the state leaders that included its state general secretary Abdul Azeez and a member of Markazi Majlis-e-Mushawarat Muhammad Suleman tried to attract the attention of the media. They met several leaders of Trinamul Congress and CPI(M) including Muhammad Saleem (MP), Muhammad Sultan (MLA) and Mohan Mishra. They tried to attract their attention towards the plight of Muslims in the area and convince them that they should end their conflicts. Another meeting is slated on 22 October titled 'Shanti Conference'. Several leaders including its president have agreed to attend the Shanti conference.

Daltonganj (Bihar): The Supreme Court has directed the State Director General of Police (DGP) to take action on the complaint of Layeeq Khan, alleging police brutality against his son. 
    The SC Assistant Registrar (PIL-Cell), Mr. Inderpal, has written to the DGP, in this regard. The complainant, in his petition, alleged that his son, Jaffer Khan, has been tortured by the Lesligunj police and was also in police detention from June 30 to July 6, without being produced in court. The complainant, in his petition to SC said that since his son belonged to the minority community, the Lesligunj police inflicted more humiliation on him. The complainant had singled out a police officer of the Lesligunj police station in his petition. Apart from this, the complainant also accused senior police officer of the district of being a party to the police brutality inflicted on his son. The SC, it is learnt, took cognizance of the complaint, filed by Layeek Khan of Hurlong village, under Panki police station, on 7 July. The complainant Layeek Khan had threatened to immolate himself, along with other members of his family, in the premises of Ranchi bench of the Patna High Court, if justice was not meted to him (Afsar Ali, Jamshedpur).

Bohra’s build magnificent mosque
Hyderabad: The spiritual leader of the Bohras, Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin, the 52nd religious leader of the sect inaugurated the biggest and the most magnificent mosque of the community at Hashmatpet in Secundarabad.
    Built at a cost of Rs 20 million, the mosque with a minaret and three domes is a part of Bohra township of 60 buildings which has come up on the banks of the famous lake at Hashmetpet in the outskirts of hyderabad.
    The mosque whose first story is meant for women only, also has a community hall and dining hall for the community functions. The structure with a built up area of more than three thousand square yards has been modelled after several other mosques in India and abroad including a mosque in Cairo.
    The Bohras have kept themselves secluded from the mainstream Muslims and have maintained their separate identity. They have concentrated on business and has produced several successful businessmen in the country. Wockhardt and Wipro are success stories of some entrepreneurs that the community has produced.

International seminar In Jamia
New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia's history department organized an international seminar on 'Development of Persian historiography in India from the second half of the 17th century to the first half of 18th century' with the collaboration of Iran Culture House and Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). 
    The inaugural function was presided by the Jamia VC Shahid Mahdi on 29 September evening in the Ansari Auditorium of the university. Cultural counsellor of Iran Culture House here, Issa Rezazadeh, in his inaugural address, appreciated the research works done in the history in India and said that there is room for further research. He promised all possible cooperation and assistance for such literary works in future.
    Irfan Habib, noted historian, in his keynote address, drew the attention of the scholars towards the historiographical works done during the period of the Mughal emperor Akbar. He said there is need for more work on Abul Fazal's famous book, Akbarnama. Besides, he presented a critical paper on the historical sources that were written during the period of the said seminar topic. 
    Scholarly sessions of the seminar continued to 1 October with the participation of 29 historians and Persian scholars from India and abroad. Scholars presenting papers including Iran's Raza Shabani and Prof. Sadiqui. Indian participants included Zahiruddin, Iqtidar Hussain, Mansoorah Haider, S.M. Azizuddin, Inayat Ali, Jigar Muhammad, Sunita Zaidi, Muhammad Tazim and Faizan Ahmad (Tanveer Saiyed).

Muhammad Sabke Liye 
Lucknow: The preparations are in full swing for the proposed week-long campaign on the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), titled, Muhammad Sabke Liye (Muhammad For All), by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, UP zone, between 12-19 November. The campaign aims to introduce the teachings and sirah of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) to five million non-Muslim brethren in the state. It also aims to provide a set of books on the sirah of the Prophet (pbuh) to around 10000 people that could give complete information on his life so they could understand why the Prophet was sent to humanity by Almighty Allah. The Jamaat aims to use all the sources of mass media including handbills, posters, stickers, video and audio cassettes and Internet. 


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