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COMMUNITY NEWS: 16-30 September 2001

Chairman of the Federation of United Economic Forums of India, Bashiruddin Babukhan, presenting Maharashtra chief minister Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh a copy of a resolution adopted at the Delhi conference on saffronisation of education. He asked the chief minister to take up special schemes for the welfare of minorities, especially Muslims, in Maharashtra and thanked him for the action taken against the accused named in the Srikrishna commission report which enquired into the communal riots of 1992-93.

BMAC: ‘Not an inch’
New Delhi: Babri Masjid Action Committee said while expressing its reaction to the statement of Prime Minister Vajpayee that there is no hope of solving the Ayodhya issue by talks. MA Siddiqui, vice president of the committee, told mediapersons that the VHP wants Muslims to give Babri mosque to them, but Muslims will not give them even one inch of the disputed land. Zafaryab Jeelani, convenor of the committee, said that only courts of law can solve the problem now.

Conspiracy to defame madrasas
Dhampur: The conspiracies to defame Darul Uloom Deoband were strongly condemned in a meeting held by Nahtor branch of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind. While addressing the meeting held in Nahtor the speakers said that government and RSS are trying to defame madrasas and specially Darul Uloom Deoband. They have forgotten that the country was freed as a result of the unequalled sacrifices of Darul Uloom's products.

Madrasas worry central govt.
New Delhi: Home Minister LK Advani said that mushrooming of madrasas in the border areas worries the government and it is keeping a close watch over them. He, however, said that madrasas spread over the country could not be blamed for fundamentalist activities. He was expressing his views in a consultative committee meeting of Parliamentary affairs.
During the meeting he repeatedly said that there is no doubt that the network of madrasas has spread in border areas and they are mushrooming day by day. He further said that the government cannot be a mere spectator and it will look into all these matters.
He agreed with the views of some members that these madrasas should be modernized. He said his government would consult W Bengal government in this regard. Some members expressed concern over the increase of madrasas on Indo-Nepal border and suggested the government to take suitable steps.
They also drew his attention towards Students Islamic Movement of India's (SIMI) growing activities. They demanded the government to prepare detailed survey report on the activities of border madrasas. Speaking about implementation of Group of Ministers' (GoM) report the Home Minister said that it could be implemented with the cooperation of State governments only.

Saffronization worries BJP allies
New Delhi: Not only the opposition parties, but NDA allies also in Lok Sabha have expressed concern while accusing the government for saffronizing the education. They demanded a detailed discussion in the House on this subject. Though the issue was raised by Vijay Goyal of BJP during zero hour, but opposition members hijacked it. Goyal said that it was wrong to say that the course books of NCERT are being saffronized. His contention was that teachings of patriotism and ethics are not saffronization.
On Goyal's raising the issue, Hannan Mulla of CPM, Jogir Francis of Kerala Congress and BJP's important ally Telugu Desham leader Yerren Naidu and Sudeep Bandopadhyay of Trinamul Congress accused the government of saffronizing education in the name of moral education. Their contention was that education should be a mean to increase the knowledge of a man and not to inculcate some particular views and theories in the minds of children. They further said that as a rule Center should not make changes in the matters of text books without states’' consent. They called it a serious issue and demanded a detailed discussion on educational policy.

VHP, Bajrang Dal beat up nuns
Ahmedabad: Three Christian nuns from an orphanage in Jabot village of Jhabua district, Madhya Pradesh, were allegedly beaten up by Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal activists in Dahod town of Gujarat and were later subjected to harassment at the police station there when they went to lodge a complaint.
According to reports the nuns were accompanying the children of the orphanage run by IP Mission at Jabat village on a picnic to Kali Dam near Dahod where the incident occurred. The vehicles carrying the picnic party had stopped near a shop in Dahod on the way to Kali Dam for refreshments when some children felt like vomiting. Ms Anju Ashwin, a nun, had taken the children for a wash to a nearby petrol pump, which happened to be owned by a local VHP leader. The petrol pump owner got engaged in heated discussion with the nun, later joined by other picnickers. About 30 VHP and Bajrang Dal workers gathered there and started beating them with sticks and lathis. They were asked 'to clear out of Dahod immediately.'
As nuns spotted a senior police officer and requested to come to their rescue, on seeing the VHP leader he refused to intervene. Later when they tried to lodge complain at the police station, the police personnel not only beat them, but the drivers also.

Contest for the two Darul Ulooms
Deoband: A large scale competitive programme was held in the patio of Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan Hall by a monthly published from Deoband to know the written and oral faculties of the students of Darul Uloom Deoband and Darul Uloom Waqf. More than 40 students of both the institutions took part in the contest. The students were given 10 verses of the Qur'an related to sirat. Everyone was given five minutes to speak. Marks were given on matter, words, tone and style of presentation. The participants demonstrated their full talents. It was difficult for the judges to decide the deserving candidates.
The judges were Maulana Salman Bijnori, teacher Darul Uloom Deoband and Maulana Ghulam Nabi Kashmiri, teacher Darul Uloom Waqf.
Maulana Mujibullah Gondwi and Maulana Nasim Akhtar Shah Qaisar participated as chief guests. Recipients of prizes were: As'adullah Gondwi, 1st, Abdul Halim Bastawi, 2nd and Rifaqat Hussain Amrohi, 3rd. The three received special prizes of books also by the monthly 'Tarjaman-e-Deoband.'
Maulana Nadimul Wajidi, editor monthly Tarjaman-e-Deoband and convenor of the contest said that the series of the contests have been started by the monthly to encourage and develop writing and speaking faculties of the students.

Threat to blow off mosque
Saharanpur: After Deoband the mischievous elements have sent a threatening letter to Muhammad Tariq, trustee of Masjid Waliwalan, that four mosques would be blown up. They have also threatened to kill Qari Ahmad Gora, imam of Jama Masjid. Security arrangements have been made outside the mosques as precautionary measure.
Some mischief-monger in this threatening letter to the trustee of Masjid Waliwalan has threatened that Masjid Waliwalan, Masjid Husnawali, Masjid Shor Mian (Shishonwali) and Masjid Bans Krashwali would be blasted and that the imam of Jama Masjid Kalan Qari Ahmad Gora would be killed. Namazis and the responsible persons of the mohalla called a meeting after receipt of the letter and decided to hand over the paper to related police station. District authorities and police, after receiving the slip deployed police personnel near the mosque as a precautionary measure. The handbill also said that Friday prayers would not be allowed. But Juma prayers were offered as usual and no untoward incident took place.
City SP Agarwal said that the slip only said that prayers would not be allowed and that the mosque would be blown up. Local branch of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind called a meeting after Juma prayers at Jama Masjid Kalan. Mufti Tayyib and other responsible persons while shedding light on current situations asked people not to pay heed to rumours.
It should be noted that some alleged Hindu fundamentalist organizations had thrown such threatening and provocative handbills and pamphlets inside several mosques in Deoband and Muzaffarnagar on the eve of Independence Day.

PM remarks on Christians
New Delhi: Prime Minister Atal Bihari’s remarks on Christian missionaries have evoked strong protests in Parliament and the PM has been asked to clarify. The PM had said that though Christian missionaries are doing laudable services in remote areas but the ‘conversion motive’ behind is objectionable.
Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi (Cong) said that the PM in a function in New Delhi had made remarksabout Christian missionaries. He further said that the remark was not made from party’s stage but as the Prime Minister. BJP members strongly objected to it. Vijay Kumar Malhotra of BJP was heard welcoming the remarks of the PM. Munshi said that the issue is serious because it is directly related to secularism and it creates an environment of mistrust among minorities.
Moreover, Catholic leaders have also criticized the Prime Minister for his remarks on Christian missionaries, saying this would only encourage extremist elements. The All India Christian Council secretary, John Dayal, said Christians could approach the President KR Narayanan, to discuss the matter threadbare. ‘We can go to the President as time and again, he has ventilated his anguish and concern on violence perpetrated on Christians in almost all BJP-ruled States.’ In a statement the Christian Council said that, ‘such remarks from none less than the Prime Minister will be seen as condoning the hate campaign and canards, lies and half-truths being spread by the RSS and other units of Sangh Parivar.’
BJP members while opposing it said that Munshi’s arguments are based on the news published in newspapers. Munshi further said that along with verification he accepts complete responsibility of the news. He accused that such remarks bring the ‘hidden agenda’ of government into open. CPIM leader Somnath Chatterjee said that the PM had said that the government is running according to NDA agenda and not the RSS agenda. The PM should clarify it, he added. Madhav Rao Sindhia of Congress said that the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs should at least assure that he would bring the matter to PM’s notice. Pramod Mahajan said that the PM is informed of all the issues raised in the House.

Bengal students emerge victorious
Saharanpur: Students from West Bengal at Madrasa Mazahir Uloom won ‘Maulana As’adullah Mazahiri Memorial Football’ tournament after defeating Jharkhand team played in the vast ground of Islamia Inter College, Saharanpur. Fourteen teams took part in the tournament. W Bengal defeated Jharkhand by one goal.
It should be noted that the tournament is being organized by HN Titan Club for the last five years in the memory of Maulana As’adullah Mazahiri, former rector of Mazahir Uloom. Students of Darul Uloom Deoband and Mazahir Uloom particularly take part and exhibit great performance.
Chief guest City SP Govind Agarwal appreciated the game. He said it seemed as if an international tournament was being played in a big stadium. He also distributed prizes among players.
Abdus Samad won the title of man of the series. Muhammad Ahmad and Abdul Qadeer jointly received man of the match award. Besides, both teams which reached final were given uniforms.
The commentary was given by Murtaza Ahmad and the tournament even this time, was patronized by BJP’s minority group. People expressed surprise in the sensitive Muslim circles that BJP people for the last few years are showing more interest in the affairs of Mazahir Uloom and they do not lose any chance of participating in its activities.

Personal Law Board releases book
New Delhi: A grand book release function was held by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board at India International Centre, New Delhi, under the chairmanship of Maulana Syed Rabey Hasani Nadwi, wherein a book on Islamic law, Majmua Qawanin-e-Islami (Urdu) and its English translation Compendium of Islamic Laws was released.
Releasing the Urdu version of the book, Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi, President Muslim Personal Law Board, said that a long-cherished desire has been fulfilled. While shedding light on the background of its compilation, he said that our predecessors on the occasion of Shah Bano case in 1986 had felt that a comprehensive book should be prepared on Islamic laws which could serve as a reference book for courts from the Board.
The English translation of the book has been done by law expert and former chairman of the National Minority Commission, Dr Tahir Mahmood. The English version was released by former chief justice of Supreme Court, Justice AM Ahmadi. He said that the book would serve as a reference work for judges and lawyers and it would also help our non-Muslim brethren to understand Shari’ah laws.
Maulana Syed Nizamuddin, secretary general of the Board, said that the Muslim Personal Law is a basic component of Shari’ah laws. Its basic quality is that creeds, prayers, rights and obligations are all part of Shari’ah laws. According to Shariah Application Act (1937) there are 14 family issues which fall under Muslim Personal Law. This collection has been compiled keeping these in view, he added.

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