Let me first congratulate you for bringing out a real 'me'yaari'
risala for minorities in general and muslims in particular.
Haider Abbas Rizvi, Lucknow
A galaxy of Red/liberal fringe Muslims gathered in
Delhi last week trying to hijack `Muslim leadership' from Shahi Imam by
exhorting the media to give them the legitimacy denied to them by Muslim
masses themselves. One is surprised how those who are against the very
concept of organised religion per se should be posing as more `loyal than
the King' in their efforts to pass themselves as the true torch-bearers of
`Islam in danger'. Shabana Azmi took inherited poetic licence to suggest
Shahi Imam should be dropped on Kandahar, to help solve his problem as
well as India's. If Mullah Omer can get into the argument, it will not be
uncharacteristic of him to suggest hanging Shabana from Qutub Minar, the
way Taliban hanged Najibullah in Kabul. All these catchy sloganeering will
get everybody media coverage, but will not solve the problem facing
Muslims of India. While Muslims in India, by and large, together with
majority of their compatriots lament that innocent civilians are dying in
Afghanistan in US bombing and leftists are rejoicing in India, with the
thought that those who have routed Soviet Russia out of Afghanistan,
should be now getting their just desserts at the hands of their former
allies, for whom they had sacrificed the cream of their full generation.
This is the true face of their professed humanism.
Ghulam Muhammad, Mumbai
Sorry Plight of Muslims
As an elderly Muslim and a humble student of Islam in
general, and Qur'aniyat and history in particular, I feel extremely sorry
for the mess in which the Ummah finds itself today. In view of the grave
dereliction of divine duty bestowed upon the Ummah, we should be the last
to even utter a word of protest against USA and its allies. How can we?
We had over a thousand year of total sway over the most populated and
culturally established parts of the world with the richest human and
natural resources. Allah (SWT) desired that at least one hundred Muslims
should be able to take on two hundred when occasion demanded to fight. It
started in right direction. But after a thousand years we find ourselves
in exactly the opposite condition - even worse.
Even now we are divided in over 50 different countries politically.
Freedom of movement of Muslims - let alone non-Muslims - is barred till
all the western style formalities are completed. Arab countries have gone
a step ahead. They simply confiscate the travel document from the visitor
even on pilgrimage. Is this the same Ummatul Muslimeen which was founded
in Medinah Munawwara over 1400 years ago? Do we really have a right to
protest - protest to the non-Muslims!! We must be crazy. Delivering
emotional and provocative speeches with no means to canalize the roused
feelings into a positive action, with no control over the people who
indulge in what can best be called 'self inflicted injury'. Muslims create
inconvenience to the common people by blocking road, indulge in
brickbating when told to clear the public place, raise slogans and move in
processions causing great nuisance to the people. Is this permitted in
Islam. Our beloved Prophet (SAWS) who said that the least one can do to
prove his Eimaan is to remove a harmful thing lying on the public passage
or the words to that effect. Then we have the audacity to bring in burqa
clad ladies on the streets with placards. Is it Islamic. If we have so
many grievances against our own government then the best option is to
exercise the right to migration to any Islamic country. Is there any one
who will allow.
Islam lays great stress on fulfilling the covenants. Being lawful and law
abiding citizens we must not do or say anything which causes inconvenience
to the common people and embarrass the government which is duly
constituted. None of the Muslim countries can claim to being ruled by
people who command the confidence of their own people. If so why are they
divided? Why cant they become one? UK proved how far flung lands can be
ruled from a single place. How the Muslims living is Islamic countries are
tolerating such a thing. Division is the worst weakness. And we are
divided horizontally, vertically, ideologically and what not.
All these organizations, which themselves create divisions, and the
worthies are shedding crocodile's tears to-day just because USA is
bombarding Afghanistan. What were they doing when M/s Hikmatyar, Ahmad
Shad, Dostam and Co. were slaughtering each other - something prohibited
in Islam? Where were they when the so called 'Taliban' let loose terror
and massacred people in Mazar-e-Sharif?
Let us be honest. We are NOT the Ummah as depicted in Qur'an and Hadith
and exemplified during the Holy Prophet's (pbuh) time. We are pseudo
Muslims masquerading as more Muslims than the real ones. I condemn
strongly all such people who are publicly airing their voices against USA
and delivering fiery speeches. They are committing un-Islamic act and
should seek pardon from Allah (SWT) and refrain from doing more damage to
the peace loving Muslims of this country. We are fully independent in
professing and practicing our religious tenets like no where else in this
world including over 50 Islamic countries.
I request you to publish this in your esteemed journal if you believe in
freedom of expression and alternate opinion. After all you have named it 'MILLI'
As members of Indian nation every Muslim is bound by the Constitution of
India. We are duty bound to support the duly constituted by government in
its foreign policy.
Mohammed Shabbir Hussain
The Israeli government has had an illegal settlement policy
in the Occupied Palestinian Territories ever since they were siezed in
1967. The expansion of settlements greatly increased since the 1993 Oslo
peace accords were signed, to such an extent that more settlements have
been built in the last 8 years than in the preceding 26.
Try to be good human being first
Are you not sick of the violence being perpetrated in
the world by your fellow Muslims that you want to further polarise the
world? grow up! get a life!! Try to be a good human being first!
Anil John email@example.com
Unite as one Ummah
Muslims of the world must give up their grouping under
various banners and must unite as one umma immediately or else West will
weaken muslims like little ants and finish them up in next century. God is
Salim, USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer in purdah demands space
Many facts in several of your articles are incorrect. My
suggestion is to create a forum on your website for people to express
their opinions on these articles.
anonymous email recieved on 25 Oct.
Editor: Readers are always welcome to email
us their comments. We are most liberal about publishing even offending
feedback. The only ones excluded are the abusive letters which we receive
Non-Muslim entry into Baitul Haram
When the law was passed that no non-Muslim could enter the
Bait-ul Haram. Was it during the Prophet's times, or was it later? Liberal
Muslims these days talk so much about how we should open up and let
non-believers into our mosques and sacred spaces to promote better
understanding etc. So this issue about the Bait-ul haram came up and some
people claim that this was a much later law.
Aisha Khan, New York email@example.com
were prohibited from entering the Sacred Mosque [The Haram at Makkah] at
the time of the Conquest of Makkah some two years before the Prophet died.
This was because the non-believers, the polytheists of Arabia, used to
perform Haj and tawaf etc naked [like you see some Hindu sadhus]. They
believed that performing those rites naked was a great act of worship.
However, non-Muslims were not prohibited from living in Makkah or visiting
it. It was during the second caliph Umar's time that non-Muslims were
prohibited from living in the Haramain, i.e., Makkah and Madinah but they
were allowed to visit it as traders etc for two days at a stretch, but
there are instances as Dr Hamidullah has shown, that this rule was not
effectively implemented. The current practice of not allowing non-Muslims
from entering the Haramain at all is a later innovation and I am not aware
since when it is in practice. However, there is no prohibition on
non-Muslims entry into mosques although some mosques do not allow
non-Muslims during times of prayers but I do not think that there is any
fiqhi basis for this practice.
MUSLIM PRESS SHOULD BE MORE BALANCED
I am writing to support the view expressed by Sreekanth
(MG, Oct 16), asking that the newspapers of the Muslim community in India
should expand their coverage to include the many well-meaning non-Muslims.
Since in the last couple of decades Muslims in India have continued to
suffer injustices, one after another, many community activists have a
propensity to talk about those injustices only, dwell at length on the
activities of the anti-Muslim forces/parties, and shut themselves off from
the non-Muslims around them. More than anything the issues oriented Muslim
press is becoming a victim of this single-track mindset. Aside from the
Urdu press, even the English language newspapers/magazines are also
falling into this rut. The end result is that these otherwise excellent
newspapers/magazines, contain mostly endless tales of woes, with hardly
anything to offset the dirge. While Muslim readers of such
newspapers/magazines somehow plod through them, the well meaning
non-Muslim readers find them very difficult to read. The end result is
that a very large majority of Hindus do not have adequate knowledge of the
issues of the Muslims. That leads to many well meaning Hindus remaining
silent on issues of Muslims. Instead, the defamatory propaganda of the
anti-Muslim forces sinks in their minds as the only truth.No wonder that
many more unbiased middleclass Hindus are starting to believe the hogwash
about the Muslims.
Sreekanth is right on the mark when he says that the untimely death of
Madhav Rao Scindia, one of the greatest Hindu friends of Muslims and a
gutsy fighter for the equal rights of minorities in India, should have
received wide coverage in the Muslim press. His death was a very major
loss for the entire Indian Muslim community. However, recent issues of the
English language Muslim press had neither any commentaries on his death,
nor detailed reporting of that tragedy. Another glaring drawback of the
Muslim press is to totally ignore Muslim individuals & organizations
in India who are successful in various fields. That results in an overall
mood of despair in the community where many, especially the youth, do not
see successfull role model Muslims.
The English language Muslim press has a responsibility to make efforts to
improve communication and dialogue between Muslims and Hindus. That will
be possible only when the substantial well meaning Hindus find the Muslim
press broad-based and readable, not myopic. While Muslim press must cover
all issues of Muslims, it is not necessary to give saturation coverage to
such issues, while totally ignoring the many friendly Hindus and
mainstream Indian issues.
In my opinion, giving some space to non-Muslim issues and covering the
total spectrum of the Muslim community will significantly improve the
readability of Muslim newspapers, for all, Muslims and Hindus alike.
Furthermore, it will serve a very important cause of the Muslim community
- making Hindus aware of their issues. Even from their very weak position
in India today, the Muslim media can demonstrate true leadership.
Kaleem Kawaja , Washington DC. firstname.lastname@example.org
US attacks on afghanistan
I read the American attacks Special issue of the
Gazette. It was the first time that I read this Gazette. In it I have
found the hope for the numerous Muslim voices and many true aspects of a
situation that fail to reach the people owing to the bias of the
mainstream media. We hope that this endeavour of yours has a long life and
comes out with the intended results. I think that you should undertake
some exercise for promotion of the paper, so that the impact is greater.
We would like to promote the readership in our University. In this regard
your suggestions will be helpful in furthering the cause.
M.Tauheed Ahmad, HH Hall, AMU
US, Oil and Afghanistan
US oil major, UNOCAL, is once again in the news
in the neighbourhood. It seems wherever it wishes to do business, its
presence is so jinxed that it invites trouble. This time in the
neighboring Bangladesh, the defeated Awami League leader Hasina Wajed,
with all her anti-mulla credentials intact, though ironically following
the lead of another Mullah, the Taliban's own Mulla Omar, but having
opposed UNOCAL's proposed $1.2 billion gas pipeline from Bangladesh to New
Delhi, claims to have invited UNOCAL/US wrath that resulted in the
conspiracy to rig the recent Bangladesh national elections and thus paved
the way for a more pliable Khalida Zia's overwhelming majority wins to
form the government in Bangladesh who is merrily signing the deal to
export the gas to India. So it will appear, it is the same East India
Company syndrome, that is keeping south east Asia, in the troubled state
of conspiracies, wars, and death and destruction unleashed by the US in
defence of its oil companies. In the midst of all this havoc, Indian
leaderships is fuming that US neglect of their presence in the
subcontinent is the biggest blunder US is committing. It is not clear if
India's own claim to a super-power status is to follow the same US formula
of unleashing death and destruction on the neighbours, to promote its own
economic interests, in direct contrast to the pious commitment to free
trade and globalisation charade.
A question remains unanswered. Why Mulla Omar and Hasina Wajed, both on
the two extreme ends of cultural/ideological divide, have simultaneously
come out with identical responses to UNOCAL's proposals.
Is it that the UNOCAL not offering attractive and competitive terms and
railroading the proposal under threat of reprisals, like toppling the
governments, through ballot box manipulation in Bangladesh and through
bombing civilians in Afghanistan to force Taliban to `surrender power'.
Indian political parties should rise above partisan rivalries to unite and
evaluate the full consequences of participating in the `Great Game', now
proposed to be played in the area that in hindsight appears to have been
blessed with the famous `benign neglect' for last half a century. This is
no time for cross-border tit for tat slogan-mongering in the best
traditions of subcontinents' womenfolk gathered around the village wells
or mohalla's water taps. The time is to unite and seriously plan for the
future in a world full of dangers and uncertainties.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai