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Published in the 16-29 Feb 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


Your Milli Gazette is a very good endeavor. Your editors and journalists are making very good efforts.
Jaffar Shaikh, Nepean, Ont. Canada

Ignorant soldiers
Several of the soldiers of the Sambhaji Brigade who ransacked the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute have been arrested. That is certainly a good thing. We must remember, though, that none of them is likely to have even seen the book by James Laine which triggered the attack. They were no more than weapons employed for two excellent reasons: one, to show their power to the world; and two, to keep them occupied. Their generals, who too will probably have not seen the book, are safely above the law.
Mukul Dube, Delhi 

Babri mediator

I am glad that The Milli Gazette has given front-page publicity to the continued occupation and misuse of the Masjid McLeodganj in Dharamshala, HP by the Tibetan Government-in-exile as its Welfare Office which also deals with the issue of passport to Tibetans. On 8 October, 2002, I had raised the question with the then Administrator, Punjab Wakf Board, Ambala but, as usual, I received no reply to my letter.

I am raising the matter now with the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh as well as with the Minister of External Affairs so that the Masjid may be vacated and restored to the Muslim community.
Syed Shahabuddin, President, AIMMM, New Delhi

There is no need to pay any attention to HH the Dalai lama's offer to mediate. Please do not forget that he himself is a refugee and hence his opinion is not welcome. Only the JUDICIAL VERDICT is accceptable to the Muslims, in the interest of the nation.
Afzal Syedali Shah, Ajmer

Your story on mosque usurper is very good. Congrats.
Andalib Akhter, New Delhi

Gujarat nu gaurav 
After exhibiting the biggest cowardice of all time, under the sun, of torturing minorities with police help, the saffronised Gujarat has now also exploded the biggest corruption bomb of court summons. Does this not entitle and qualify Gujarat for getting an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records and also, in our clever poet PM's poetry?!
S Akhtar, Khanpur Deh-392150

Should BJP hate Sonia Gandhi?
Sharad Pawar has agreed to join hands with Sonia Gandhi to combat communal and corrupt BJP. Sonia has left the decision of Prime Ministerial candidate for the secular alliance. BJP is hell bent on making Sonia’s foreign origin an election issue which smacks of apartheid. Mahatma Gandhi was condemned for the same in South Africa. If people of Indian origin like Mahendra Chaudhri can become Prime Minister of Fiji, Devan Nair can become President of Singapore, Raja Ratnam can become foreign minister of Malaysia, then why Italian origin Sonia Gandhi cannot become Prime Minister of plural India?

Supreme Court has declared Sonia Gandhi an Indian national. She was elected to Parliament from north and south India with huge majority. Thus apex court and people’s court both have given verdict in her favour. Sangh Parivar is showing disrespect to judiciary, democracy and Constitution.
Western concept of nationalism has now become a curse for humanity. It is the greatest hindrance in the way of unity of mankind. To love ones motherland is natural but to hate others is inhuman and irreligious. It was Vinoba Bhave who gave the slogan "Jai Jagat" instead of "Jai Hind".
G Hasnain Kaif, Azad Ward, Bhandara 

Imam Awn
I am very happy to get this magazine and thanks to Almighty to read the iterview with respected Imam Khaleel Awn. It was a marvellous and wonderful interview. Respected Imam rightly explained tawheed. My friends belonging to other religions asked about "Islam was spread by the sword". I was searching the right answer for long time. After reading this interview, now I can reply to everybody. We pray to Almighty for your magazine' success and please publish more such articles.
N A Basheer Ahamed, Cochin, Kerala

Rubber-stamp Musharraf
The way Pakistani President Parvez Musharraf is rubber stamping US dictates and placing the whole Pak army and security agencies publicly at the whims of the US and the Jewish neo-con cabal’s relentless pursuit of enslavement of the Muslim world, the future can hardly be peaceful for the people of Pakistan. In the guise of fighting terrorism, the US agenda is to strip the nations of their entire claim to nationhood and make them mere bureaucratic skeletons carrying out commands of the superpower. India should not be complacent as it will be as vulnerable tomorrow as Pakistan is exposed today. History has shown how outsiders come and rule the Subcontinent, when there are egoist divisions among leaders of our lands. Yesterday, the Taliban and Al Qaeda were the terrorists, today the whole Pak army is on the verge of being declared terrorists, tomorrow, whole Subcontinent will be ordered to disband its forces and defense establishments on the pretext of the ‘feel good’ factor no longer justifying the large armies and defense preparedness. The contract will be tendered out to the Israelis and the people of Subcontinent will be reduced to enjoying the fruits of democracy by en masse voting in favour of ‘selected’ caucus representatives. Once a slave country always a slave country. Our so-called ‘freedom’ unfortunately comes with an expiry date. Isn’t it time we wake up?
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

A Unique and ideal mosque
In Patna, a highway—Exhibition Road, passes through a commercial area along the historic Gandhi Maidan. Though non-Muslims are in majority here, Muslims too live in large number in this area. There was no mosque here because of which Muslims had great difficulty in offering daily prayers. They had to go to other places for offering their daily namaz and also for Friday prayers.
In September 1989, a modern 11-storey grand building known as Dr Abdul Hai Commercial Complex was built here. Half portion on the 3rd floor of this building was devoted to serve as a mosque and a ‘fatwa’ was also obtained from Emarat-e-Shariah, Phulwari Sharif, in this connection.
The inauguration of the mosque coincided with Friday namaz in which I also participated. Since this is the mosque of Ahl-e Hadith, separate arrangements were made on one side in this mosque for women. Outwardly it does not appear to be a mosque because the pulpit, arches etc., are made of wood. However when the mosque was full to capacity, arrangements were made in the park adjacent to this building where 4-5 hundred people also participated in the prayers. In a way this is a unique and modern-style mosque.
What I mean to say is that wherever Muslims in sizable number live or work in non-Muslim areas, flat-type mosques like this should be built wherein people could conveniently offer prayers. May Allah enable us to understand the importance of namaz and to offer it on daily basis.
Mohammad Humayun Azad, Madhubani (Bihar)

Western veil-haters
Sister Moonisaa Bushraa Aabidi has, in her solid reply to the shameless opponents of veil, in her exhaustive Urdu articles in SARWAR TIMES (Malegaon-Maharashtra) inter alia, stated that "The world does know that when objection is raised against the nudity which is being spread for heinous trade and business interests they shouted the slogan of liberty to wear a desired dress. Consequently, in the matter of women, it was deemed okay to be free of wearing dress altogether. Even those who do not want to look at this filth are being forced to do so by various conspiracies. When walls, trains, buses too are plastered with this dirt, how can one protect the piety of one's eyes? When a woman who is fed up with the shameless, passionate atmosphere of nakedness wants to protect herself by means of Hijab (veil) the same torch-bearers of liberty jump up to snatch her liberty to wear clothes...!!!
S Akhtar, Khanpur Deh-39250

Education vs Modernity
In the past 10 or 15 years, there has been a paradigm shift in the pattern of studies. The focus has shifted from pure science, research, and humanities towards technology business studies and medical sciences. In other words towards courses that have a pay cheque waiting at the end of the course. The demand for subjects and courses, which can start giving immediate monetary returns has been consistently growing so much so that a plethora of private institutes, universities and colleges have come up to meet this upsurge.
Globalisation is the decisive factor responsible for this shift. It has worked on two levels — one by creating a global consumerists culture through mass-media, and two by weaning away talented minds from such streams that could have acted as a check on its spread.

Most economists today draw their sustainability from international trade. Consequently governments cannot afford to overlook the concerns of multinational corporations and find themselves forced to tacitly promote market culture. 

On the other hand the same consumerist culture has led to a loss of social responsibility, at least in comparison to individual interests. The system makes the individual solely responsible for his or hers success or failure. Naturally this leads a person to subvert the ethos of the system to achieve his or her objectives by hook or crook. The steeply rising crime graph is merely the outward manifestation of this sensibility. The breakdown of support systems, which has resulted in rising suicide rates and the bringing of additional pressures on the system of marriage, has given rise to rising divorce cases. These are also the effects of the same culture.

There exists a tenacious link between the decline in education and the rising incidents of crime. The Muslim society has a stake in understanding the internal machinations of this culture. For the widespread cynicism that we see directed towards Islam is mainly due to this culture. Insidiously and yet continually preached through the mass media.
Md Shafey Danish
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Blaming others for our ills
This refers to the write-up of Inam Ahmed (The Milli Gazette, 1-15 January 2004). These days most people are given to finding faults with others whosoever they may be. It is indeed simple to do so nowadays. At least Muslims should know that on the day of Judgement each one will be held responsible and answerable to Allah for the way he/she lived the life on earth. Why blame others for our own follies or good? If religious leaders are not good, one should study the Qur'an, its Tarjuma (translation) and Tafseers (interpretations), books of Hadith and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) etc. He/She will definitely find a way. Besides one should not forget that it is made compulsory by Allah on every Muslim to acquire at least Farz (compulsory) and Wajib (mandatory) knowledge of religion so that it is practised properly. By blaming the blameworthy you surely do not escape your duty of acquitting Ilm (knowledge). Even the useful and halal knowledge of worldly sciences is Farz-Kifaya on Muslim Ummah. If many or all do not acquire it, you can't put forward that excuse for your personal failure to acquire it.

Mr Ahmed forgets that faith or beliefs are nothing but Akayads of Islam without which none can be a Muslim in the sight of Allah. Munafiqoons during Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) time practised Islam and its principles overtly as much close to the Shahabas that it was next to impossible to identify them yet they never believed in the set of beliefs or principles enshrined in the Qur'an. The Qur'an calls them Munafiqoon (hypocrites) because they professed beliefs /principles but in the heart of their heart do not believe in them and instead like to follow their own desires. The Qur'an declares that all such people are not loyal to Allah and they will be thrown in Hell on a permanent basis.

If you do not like political leaders, you develop your own acumen through study of politics. Your harming others will not get you out of your miseries. Mr Ahmed says that Muslims have media of their own and so they are left behind and misguided. Again this is not complete truth. Media is a recent phenomenon. Ever since 1920 when RSS was established, it was never left behind and misguided so far as its own beliefs, aims and objectives are concerned. As ever before, even today they have door to door manual service which they render to their own people most dedicatedly. This despite today's most modern media which takes news in a jiffy across the whole world.

Muslims are lagging behind because they have deserted the Qur'an except for lip service to it. As such many do not even read it or even if they do so they do not try to understand it. Muslims are behind and misguided because they neither have religious knowledge nor the knowledge of essential worldly science nor the burning desire to struggle to the extent possible as per their resources to achieve it. "Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdir se pahale, Khuda bande se khud pucche, bata teri raza kya hai" (Carve out yourself in such a manner that before shaping your destiny God Himself asks you to express your desire and goal).
Md Iqbal S Sheikh, Solapur (Maharashtra)

Cow ban
Darul Uloom School of Islamic theology (Deoband) should be congratulated for asking Muslims not to sacrifice cows on holy Eid. Such a gesture coming from the influential Islamic body to respect Hindu sentiment and country’s law is indeed welcome for national integration. On the same day, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) presented a nice drama on communal harmony written and directed by DP Sinha who is convenor (Cultural Cell) of BJP. This drama should be televised by Doordarshan.
Subhash Chandra Agarwal, Delhi

Lucknow heritage
I would also like to thank you and the editorial staff for publishing the article (MG, 1-15 Dec 2003) to raise awareness about the neglected conditions of historic and irreplaceable cultural heritage in Lucknow. I was very happy it received a prominent place on the full back page.
Mary Kay Judy, Walter BM Architects, NY

Saeed Suhrawardy's idea about Qila Rai Pithora and the pre-Islamic period is an absolutely frantic move to establsih BJP as an anti-Muslim party. There is very little substance in this idea to validate all these politically and fanatically motivated thoughts. Some intellectuals desperately want this type of thoughts survive because it serves their purpose in two ways. One, to create a uneasiness in the existing calm and peace, for which efforts are being made by both the leaders of India and Pakistan. Two, create a misconception in the half-literate portion of the Muslim crowd and motivating their fanatic minds. I have only cited Qila Rai Pithora example and trying to explain how a group of people create unnecessary disturbances in the society through media. We all know Anang Pal II of Tomar Dynasty built a formidable fort to ward off the growing fear of invasions, Delhi got Lal Kot, the first fort strengthened with magnificent ramparts and numerous gates. The Chauhan Rajputs defeated the Tomar and occupied Lal Kot. Lal Kot was later renamed as Qila Rai Pithora. It was Prithvi Raj III who enlarged the Lal Kot area by extending it on the eastern, western and the southern sides and named it after himself. Later Rai Pithora fell in the year 1205 in the hands of Qutb-ud-din Aibak. 
Manssor Ali Asgar Ali, Akola, Gujarat

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