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Letters

MG: High Quality newspaper
I have been reading MG for the last few months. My heartiest congratulations for bringing out such a high quality newspaper and give a voice to the Muslim community in India. May Allah bless you with courage, perseverance and success.
M Ghazali Khan, London Khan10510@aol.com 

MG is an excellent and unique publication and you are doing a great service to Muslim community in India. May Allah bless you and your staff.
Dr Mohammed Fasihuddin, Herndon, VA 20171-3074 USA

We would like to congratulate you first for bringing out such a bold Newspaper which is becoming the real voice of Indian Muslims. Kudos for publishing interview with Maulana Khilji.
Principal, M.E.S.School,
Stewart Gunj, South Andaman, 744 107, mes_sg@yahoo.com 

Thanking you and praying for MG's success with wide readership and support from all sections of the Ummah. My humble opinion is that MG may invite suggestions and opinion on various disputable issues prevalent in different sections of the Ummah under Madhabs and non-Madhabs so that common people may have an idea of the disputes in the light of modern technological advancement. Many matters of old fiqh are not applicable now.For example. take Talibans activities.
Kallada Hamza, Calicut hamzk@usa.net

Publish it not
Well done by starting ‘Publish it not’ (Aug.1-15). A column titled like ‘The suppressed voice’ should be started by all newspapers having any sympathy for the problems of minorities. It has, since long, become a must for every minority organ.
S.Akhtar Khanpur Deh 392 150

Attack on Amar Nath yatris
I am deeply grieved to read about the bomb blast which resulted in the death of 15 pilgrims to Amarnath. I condemn this act totally and completely and would like to state below proofs from the Qur'an and Hadith (Traditions of the Prophet) which also condemn such acts. I think it is important for all of us to speak up for the truth and against oppression, no matter who the oppressor may be. It is only then that justice and freedom for all people, which is the core of Islam, will be established on the earth.
The Qur'an states in Sura Al Ma'aidah: Ayah 32: (Translation) Whoever kills another one without justifiable cause, surely he is killing all of humanity. And whoever saves the life of another one, surely he saves the lives of all of humanity.
The pilgrims going to Amarnath were surely killed without cause and so this act is against the word and spirit of the Qur'an.
The Prophet (Peace be on Him) said; "Help your brother whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed." His Companions asked, "How can we help one who is the oppressor?" He said, "By preventing his oppression."
He also said, "Allah listens to the prayers of the oppressed whoever they may be and these prayers go directly to the Throne of Allah without any hindrance."
He also said, " On the day of judgment, the first one to be tried will be the murderer about whom the victim will ask for what crime he had been murdered."
Killing the pilgrims was an act of murder, cowardice and totally against the values of Islam. The responsibility for it lies squarely at the door of those who break the laws of Islam to suit their own personal goals. Their actions are totally un-islamic, without any justification and in an Islamic state they would face the punishment for murder under the Shariah.
Mirza Yawar Baig leadtrain@yahoo.com

Jamia Urdu et al.
This refer to the Jamia Urdu case (MG 1-15 August 2001 P3) the report is more serious than a similar deception like Al-Flah Group of New Delhi which robbed money and faith of Muslims, but this case is more serious as it concerns an institution with great cultural resource for Muslim. It has been stabbed by Muslims. Its seriously could be understood in the background of the present government’s policies against Muslim institutions. Al-Falah robbed us of our hard earned money in the guise of Islamic faith, but this case of Jamia Urdu goes much beyond as it harms our culture and language.
S. Shafiq Ahmad Plot 3, Shyam Nagar, Meerut-2

Burial preferred
Gujarati monthly Swasth Maanav (Ahmadabad) is campaigning in favour of the burial of human dead bodies so as to save trees. It is publishing wills of some Hindus to do so. In the July issue of SM it is reported that one Shri BV Chheda of village Kachh Bidadna had published a booklet favouring burial. The booklet was collected and burnt down by VHP workers.
S.Akhtar Khanpur Deh 392 150

No narrow-mindedness, please!
in your 1-15 June 2001 issue there was a report titled 'SIMI again in the dock' in which you mentioned the Kanpur riots culminating in the murder of 30 Muslims, but you did not mention the killing of the [A]DM of Kanpur. Why? Just because the DM was not a Muslim! In all your reports & articles I have noted that the word 'Muslim' has been mentioned innumerable times. Can't you see anything beyond the ‘world Muslims'? When being a leading English newspaper you yourself are blatantly practising such narrow-mindedness and shallowness then on what basis can you accuse others of being biased and prejudiced? With due respect I would like to say that MG should report the pain, sorrow, trauma and joy of the inhabitants of this beautiful earth regardless of religious, cultural & continental barrier.
Abhijit, Kolkata  amit_asthana310@yahoo.com
Editor: The Kanpur riots were covered in detail in our 16-30 April 2001 issue where the ADM’s sad death was reported.
As regards MG’s focus on ‘Muslims,’ it is not a general publication. Instead it is a Muslim newspaper which was brought out precisely because the so-called ‘national’ media does not cover Muslim news and issues and even when it does, the reporting is mostly distorted.

"Jehadi organizations in Pakistan"
Thank you very much for bringing up the news concerning ummah. I recently got to know about Milli Gazette and have enjoyed each and every article in a couple of issues which I saw on the web. I will insha Allah start my subscription soon after returning home.
It is very important that we maintain our religious identity when it is attacked from so many quarters.
I was concerned after reading one article on "jehadi organizations in Pakistan". The content may be very much right but the title was very provocative and western media-oriented which has been very well picked up by Indian "national" press. Jehad being one important part of Islam should not be used in notorious way and I certainly hope that Muslim press will not follow the western and our "national" press. Of course killing of innocent people can never be justified in the name of jehad as we have numerous examples from Prophet (PBUH) and his companions. How careful they were in following the ayah of Holy Qur'an 'Fight those who fight you in the path of Allah but transgress not for Allah does not like transgressors.' So muslims killing innocent people can not justify it as jehad.
Nonetheless we have to be careful before attributing these blames to muslims since Mossad has bombed places and they framed Muslims in that. Another example was the massacre of women and children in Algeria right at start of Ramadan and islamists were blamed for that. It was only later exposed by a british journalist that government forces killed people to give a bad name to mujahideen. Terrorist attacks in many part of the world could very well be carried out by non-Muslims to defame Islam.
Jazak Allah Khair for bringing up such a nice piece of work. This is certainly not my negative criticism but a suggestion.
Ishtiyaque Ahmad, Ph.D., Berkeley, CA, USA IAhmad@lbl.gov

Shiv Sena shenanigans
Shiv Sena’s campaign against UTI scandal, is solely motivated by its own gripe about not getting full participation in the power game, that usually translates into huge money being shuffled around. Shiv Sena has been very consistent on its old oft tried and trusted modus operandi. Be that Enron, Maruti, Balco, it will make big public noise, as if it is fighting solely for the public good and highest standards of public morality. The moment, it is satisfied with the ‘explanations’, the matter is quickly shelved.
This is the face of a party that loses no opportunity to project itself as super-patriots. The public however are not taken in by its pious protestations. Neither are its own partners in the NDA. Earlier it was either Advani, Shourie. This time it is the turn of the George Fernandes, the ace wheeler dealer, that is flying to Mumbai to offer ‘explanations’ of Government’s positions to get Bala Saheb to come back to the fold, which he has never abandoned, nor will ever do.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai-400050.
ghulam_muhammed@hotmail.com
 

WHAT THE JAMAAT IS DOING?
The views expressed by Br. Shamsul Arifin in his letter to the MG of July 16-31 are true and almost equally matching my own experience with the Jamaat in Kerala for the last three decades. When we go back to the life time of the founder of Jamaat, Marhoom Maulana Maudoodi, we will find his perceptions as mentioned in his various books and periodicals are contradictory to the present day policies and activities of this organization.
In the early period, Maulana’s famous book, Khutbat, a compilation of his Jum’ah sermons, had been a source of inspiration to the Jamaat activists. In the olden days, membership of the Jamaat was given only to the select Muslims on the basis of their commitment to the ideology accentuated in its constitution. Membership was not given to persons who were in the government service, and even to school teachers, because a person serving any authority which is not based on Shari'at is viewed as a servant of Taaghoot (rebel to the Divine Law).
After a few years, Jamaat softened this rigid policy of membership. Membership was given to the genuine activists of the Jamaat, but only after scrutinisation of the perspective members’ educational, professional, financial and family backgrounds. Now priority is given to those who are financially sound and willing to spend in the cause of the Jamaat. On the recommendation of the local unit (halqa) ameer and Shoora members, the Ameer of the All-India unit will approve the application for membership. Since most of the present-day members of the Jamaat are selected from the upper stratum of society, the organization is deemed elitist. The bulk of Jamaat activists are categorized as Muttafiq’ (sympathizers and supporters).
Further,somewhat to our surprise, certain paragraphs and even a chapter have been omitted from the original text of Khutbaat‘s latest editions (also in the translations to other languages). This is because Maulana’s perception of Iqamatuddin is based on a Khilafa model State, the ruler has to be the most pious and God-fearing and there is no distinction between the State and Religion. Such a view is not acceptable to the ruling elites of the Muslim countries today. Ostensibly, the Jamaat has succumbed to the pressure from the Arab regimes whose system is based on dynasty.
In the early 1970s and 1980s, the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) had been under the patronage of the Jamaat. It was SIMI which had been boosting the image of the Jamaat as a vibrant Islamic movement in India. In 1979, the Islamic Revolution in Iran created a new euphoria and bonhomie all over the Muslim countries. SIMI’s ‘aggressive’ protest marches and ‘provocative’ slogans against Arab regimes, which had been supporting Saddam Hussain of Iraq against Iran during the Gulf war, forced the Jamaat to re-consider its relations with SIMI. The Jamaat thought about it seriously and finally decided to organize its own students wing. As a result, the Students Islamic Organization (SIO) was formed. The Islamic Revolution in Iran had caused deep apprehension among the Arab regimes and dictators in other Muslim countries. They were scared of the Islamic revolutionary tide that might shake their citadels.
The Jamaat had also become restive due to SIMI’s hostile stand against Arab regimes whose rulers had opened a flood-gate of largesse to the infrastructure projects of the Jamaat and other organizations in Muslim countries, in a bid to contain all Islamic revolutionary organizations. .The Jamaat and its students wing, SIO, have been forced to adopt a ‘soft and moderate’ course of action, alienating the revolutionary zeal. You will never see the Jamaat and the SIO raising their voice against the corrupt Muslim rulers. They are tied to the apron-string of the petro-dollars (sorry, Dinars and Dirhams). Most of the Islamic organizations in the world are dependent on the largesse of the petro-dollars. With this petrodollar largesse, these Islamic organizations have become silent, and very cautious not to provoke these ‘philanthropists’.. True, most of the graduates from the Jamaat’s colleges are employed in the Gulf region since they are well-versed in Arabic and they are also contributing to the funds of the Jamaat. But the donations collected are labeled as ‘zakat’, which would be distributed only among the Jamaat’s activists and sympathizers. It appears that now the Jamaat has been hijacked by some ‘pseudo-Jamaat’ infiltrators. The indications are that the Jamaat had the right vision of an Islamic government, but when the same happened in the Shiite Iran, it became restive and its news reports and editorials highlighted the weak points of the Islamic Revolution. Some books on the Shia sect were published and on every occasion they used to malign the revolutionary zeal of Shias.
In recent years, the Jamaat has gone through a series of incessant policy reversals. Participation in electoral process under ‘democratic’ system had been taboo to the Jamaat. But now it has lifted the ban on taking part in elections. Its activists and members are allowed to cast votes for any candidate regardless of his political hue and religion, but strictly on consideration of the contesting candidate’s secular and democratic credentials.. Such a policy would have been simply unthinkable 30 years ago. Earlier, the Jamaat’s view was that electing a candidate in a democratic system was shirk since the existing political system is not based on the Divine Law (Shari'at). Electing political candidates to form a government based on human-made laws is equal to serving the Taaghoot.
Earlier, the Jamaat had been advocating that it was obligatory on the rulers of the Muslim masses to follow Shariat out of the conviction that it had been ordained by God, and there was no distinction between religion and State.
The Shoora, a council of higher echelons of the Jamaat (no woman member, please), reviews its policies and makes amendments occasionally to suit the prevailing trends.
The Jamaat has lost its credibility as a vibrant Islamic organization, because of its time-to-time changes of policies. Now it has been reduced to a mere Islamic organization, running some educational institutes, cultural centers, publishing books and periodicals. Yet the Jamaat claims to be the champion of the Islamic movement bent upon propagating the Divine order: Kuntum khaira Ummatin ukharijat linnasi, ta’muroona bil ma’roofi wa tanhauna 'anil munkar. And Maulana Maudood’s concept of Iqamatuddin remains a printed word in his books.
K Hamza, Calicut kalladamzakka@rediffmail.com

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