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Compassion in Islam

I like to read your online magazine very much - as it is the only English publication in India about Indian Muslims. I have two suggestions: a) please focus more on Indian Muslims, not world Muslims as it is available in regular media. In particular I would like to read more about Muslims in South India. b) Irfan Khan's Punchline cartoons are becoming boring because of too much focus on BJP, RSS, Advani, MM Joshi etc. Can he not find better topics for a change?
Rajesh R, Bangalore 

Your tabloid has come a long way, since its inception. This issue's change cannot go unnoticed, the cover with its new Masthead is wonderful. I hope you all will keep improving day by day. The magazine can be wonderful if it can accommodate some more change. If you don't mind I can suggest some: there should be more photos, cartoons and highlights, a better proof reading, especially on the Internet edition. All these changes would give some relief to our eyes. I also want to write for your magazine, I would like to know the topic. God bless you all.
Sumitra Rajlakshmi Singh

We appreciate MG
Readers appreciate MG's netnews of Zionist/US lobby to strike terror and blame Islam.
Next target of Zionist/US may be our holy Ka'aba during this hajj season. The blame will fall on "Islamic terrorists", since bin Laden is still at large and the US lobby wants to strengthen the presence of its soldiers in Saudi Arabia as "protectors of the Holy land". Yes, we, Muslims all over the globe, are against all sorts of terrorist acts. Almighty Allah may guard the pilgrims and the holy lands from the conspiracies being hatched by the enemies of Islam. The MG is the only Muslim media that brings out all sorts of Zionist/US conspiracies against the Third World, particularly Muslim countries. Be bold in bringing to light the facts which the other media hides , hates or hesitate to focus.
Hamza Kallada, Calicut

I think that you should consider the American perspective. You are obviously biased against "the West", especially America. Don't you care about the fact that there are a FEW terrorists that are completely willing and able to do a lot of damage to the U.S.A.? If something is wrong with the economic situation with the Muslim world, why can't the Muslim world find a solution to an economic problem? For all the people that think the U.S. war in Afghanistan is a war on Islam, can you answer this question: If the U.S. was a majority muslim country, how would it act in this situation. I think it would act the same. In conclusion, I think we all need to realize that there is no morality in politics, it all depends on who has the best military technology, just study history to find if this is true.
Anonymous (by email on 28 Dec.)

Mr Zeyaul Haque is sharp as a needle and can only be for the good . One suggestion, if it isn't amiss. I think the stories are too closely packed. How about spreading them out (larger size typefaces?). Also photos, maps and graphs can bring relief.
Muhammad Yusuf, Gulf Today, Sharjah

This time you have done it. Content-wise your magazine was good, but this time when I saw the cover, I could not believe such a refreshing change, the masthead was wonderful. Initially, the masthead of your tabloid was good, but in between it was pale, now its wonderful. I congratulate you and your staff, on this refreshing change and a very happy new year. I would also request you to make your tabloid more representative, it still seem to be of a certain section of the Muslim community. It should be of all the minorities, including us Christians. I hope it will be in due course of time. Amin
Johnny Mathews, Goa

Your magazine seems to be influenced by the Deoband affliction. You never give things which seems to be anti-Taliban and Osama. But can you give reason for Saudi disinheriting the child called Taliban. Just because Saudi's godfather US had told it to do so. Other than prince Abdullah, not a single voice was raised against America's barbarity in Afghanistan, why? You are makeing the same mistake as the world is doing, equating Taliban with Afghanistan, you all seems to be more defending the former.
Come out of your schools, boys. If Muslims could not unite, they would never be able to do anything. See how Israel and US have been doing to Palestine and Palestinian people. What you think your work is done, if you just write some columns in their favour. We have to change world opinion and for that we have to take the American line, "who is not with us, is against us". If anybody is not showing interest in Palestine and Baitul Maquaddas, despite being near to it, that country had no right to call itself a Muslim State and we should treat that State as the enemy of Islam. 
Abu Bakr Azami

I find the contents of your journal thought provoking and very useful. We publish a quarterly journal by the name THE CHOICE. This is the only International Journal on Missionary Activities in Muslim and non - Muslim countries and how to counter them. This Journal has a world circulation. Some of the articles in your journal are very useful info to others. Please give us permission to reproduce articles of our choice. Due recognition will be given to the source. 
MCM Zarook, Muslim Students Assoc, Colombo

Constructive suggestion!
Here is a constructive suggestion: Have a forum of Muslims and Non-Muslims discuss world events and events in India. Do it monthly or whatever. Your newspaper is full of erroneous propaganda and your readers need to have the chance to form their own opinions about the rest of the world, and not be forced to read the skewed biased reports of your writing staff.
Greg Leber, U.S.A.

You ----sub-human!
One of your articles claims that India should not go to war against Pakistan because it has taken "action" against the people involved in the attack on parliament and that even if we go to war with pakistan...India winning the conflict is "not likely"...well since we enjoy a 3 : 1 conventional superiority over pakistan i think the result of the war...or for that matter any war between India and Pakistan is a foregone conclusion...what your stand shows that you bastards dont want your "fellow Muslim brothers" in Pakistan to be killed and it goes on to show your treachery and your sick sub-human anti -India mentality...I think the Musalmans in India have been appeased to such an extent that they can openly support an enemy country while being "citizens" of India and participating in the democratic process (most Muslim countries aren’t democracies for your information)...and the only solution is to treat you how Muslims treat minorities in their own countries...As for the will happen ..India will butcher a few thousand Musalmans and Vajpayee will win the UP what you can!
Drupad Kanakia

US games: whose gain, whose pain
This refers to ‘Intervention: Whose Gain - Whose Pain, page 15 by Michael Parenti, MG 1-15 November 2001.There is no UNO with its original spirit of aims and objectives. Now the III world war is being fought against one country in the name of Terrorism. It is certainly guided by the aim of domination over the entire global society in pursuit of economic supremacy and to establish an upper hand for the western culture. If Taliban had no appreciation for its alleged terror, USA has earned more infamy for its terrorism. Afghanistan has lost nothing in comparison to USA. The US has lost trust of the entire global human society. The media is biased.
S Shafiq Ahmad, Meerut, Advocate

Terrorists all
‘Terrorist’ ‘Terrorist’
Cry the wolves
11th September
Every one will remember
‘Terrorist’ ‘Terrorist’
Should the communalist
It’s absolutely materialist
Worshippers of the rising sun
Forgetful of the Almighty One
When shown gold
They a coward American nod
They cunningly forget Omnipotent God
Every religion demands justice
Calls upon followers to fight against injustice
This is what ‘Al-Jehad’ means
Not that which is sung by devil’s deans
Ishwar-Allah-God’s command
Never submit to any Satan’s demand
Why beat every bush? 
Why not push out Bush?!!
Sultan A Patel, Khanpur Deh-392150

Expel Muslims? 
Jack Kelley of USA Today wrote a cover story called "Vigilantes take up arms, vow to expel 'Muslim filth'" In it, he describes Israeli extremists and terrorists and their hatred of Muslims. It was one of the best and objective major cover stories exposing the Israeli terrorism against Palestinians. 
Unfortunately, Mr. Kelley received over 300 emails from Zionists all around the world condemning his story. He only received 5 positive emails. Mr. Kelley is very upset because he is under tremendous and overwhelming pressure from the criticism pouring down on him from Zionists worldwide due to his truthful article. 
Mike Ghouse, North Texas

Pakistan-India conflict 
War between the two nuclear countries India and Pakistan would be disastrous and any conventional war could spill over into a nuclear war. Let there be peace for all living on the globe.
Mohammad Ali Khalid [journalist] Pakistan

I am astonished and happy to note that issues, so far discussed privately, are now headlines. I feel MG is probably the first Indian English language magazine to openly raise urgent and real Muslim issues, and dare to criticise and even condemn some. I hope it will become the 'rehbar' for the People. 
As of now in Maharashtra, the Congress and NCP, both Maratha dominated, appear to be losing support in the Community. Whatever leaders the Parties have are scarecrows with neither mass support nor 'jazbaat'. Few others, who have joined belong to the same category. The Community here realises that these leaders are taking it nowhere. 
A senior Congress leader, (Adv. Dilawarkhan Pathan) who has defected to the SP now claims that the Congress and NCP engineered the Malegaon communal riots. Why did he keep mum during that period. Because he enjoyed the perks. Now possibly after being denied a ticket for the ensuing municipal polls, the Party has become communal. These Parties have scarecrows, whose sole duty is to berate, defame, malign and portray the Community in bad light. The other leaders then pick up the issue saying your own person has claimed... 
You may not be aware that the intensity of the riots in Nashik (Jan. 31, 2001) and in Malegaon two months back increased after deliberate, planned and concocted statements made by senior Muslim Congress leaders. When the Nashik riots appeared to be abating, senior leader and corporator, Rais Shaikh held a press briefing and called upon Muslims to apologise to the Hindus for the riots(the Community suffered). The riots began when a Masjid wall was broken by the municipality. As expected the riots increased as the other communities said "...your own person is saying that you started the riots..." Who caused the riots has not been proved yet. 
During the Malegaon riots, senior NCP leader, Sohail Lokhandwala berated the Community by saying " must realise that nothing is gained by throwing stones..." It was headlined in the Press. 
The Minorities Commission, Congress fact finding mission, scores of human rights activists and experts have exonerated the Community and called the police trigger happy. The police too have no clues as to 'who cast the first stone'. 
I have newspaper cuttings of these persons' statements. Meanwhile I feel the Community too with its shortcomings can be held responsible for its ills. 
From a reader in Nashik via email

Use POTO for corruption
Former Prime Minister, V.P. Singh's reported choice of `corruption, specially in defence affairs, now that India is embroilled in a `war-like' situation, and use of POTO to put corruption-accused behind bars, is a very cleverly crafted triple headed trishul against BJP in the coming UP assembly elections. It is widely believed, not only in opposition circles, that be that Kargil or terrorist attack on Parliament, BJP does not shirk from making it a political plank to gain sympathy to win public support.
GM Siddiqui, Mumbai

Compassion in Islam

Asghar Ali Engineer in his article: The concept of compassion in Islam, quotes Quranic verse:` And what reason you have not to fight in the way of Allah, and of the weak among men and women and the children, who say: Our Lord, take us out of this town, whose people are oppressors, and grant us from Thee a friend, and grant us from Thee a helper'(4:75) and follows up with the commentary from Maulana Mohammad Ali: The verse explains what is meant by fighting in the way of Allah. While
most of the [early] believers who had the means had escaped from Makkah, which is here spoken of as the city whose people are oppressors, there remained those who are weak and unable to undertake a journey. These were still persecuted and oppressed by theMakkans, as clearly shown by the words of the verse, and not only men but even women and young children, were persecuted. Fighting to deliver them from persecution of the oppressors was really fighting in the way of Allah...'
In the context of India-Pakistan conflict, the jehadis justify their acts as coming to the help of their oppressed Muslim brothers, men, women and children in Kashmir and in India. At the time of partition, only weak remained back and those elite with means to set up themselves in the new land, migrated. Thesesame remaining people like the people of Makkah are now being oppressed. And according to the explanations of the verse, jehadi's fight is in the way of Allah to deliver their Muslim brothers and sisters form the oppressions of the oppressor.
It is not for no reason, that those who had migrated to Pakistan in the aftermath of the partition, are still referred to in Islamic terminology as `muhajirs'.
According to their interpretation, it is in the nature of supreme compassion, that they are constrained to bear arms to protect the weak and deliver them from the oppressors.
The trouble with Islam's image as aggressor, is the sustained propaganda against Islam to keep it on the defensive. It is no secret that the majority of billion Muslims are citizens of the countries which are ruled even though by their own fellow Muslims, are, in effect, ruled by the dictat of western interests of forced exploitation of their land and resources. West comes as trader and investor, but its exploitative terms of trade and investments is imposed by the might of its tremendous arsenal.
The struggle to resist this ongoing relentless exploitation, invariably takes the form of physical resistance of the weakest kind, and still even that is being projected as militancy of Islam.
In our call for Islam, we can still appeal to the sense of justice from among the same Western countries, where the rampant exploitation of the rest of the world, is being looked upon as unjustified and immoral. The changeover to more just and equitable interaction between the Muslims and the West, will come only through internal introspection within the western societies themselves and here the occasional `evil' brings in the required stimulus to change. One hopes that even ifthe Jehadis are contained, their essential message goes through to achieve a lasting realignment of terms of interaction, delivering all oppressed from oppression of the strong and
Ghulam Muhammad, Mumbai


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