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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Human rights campaign women's initiative at Aligarh

By Soghra Haq

In continuation of the nationwide Human Rights campaign launched by the Jamat-e-Islami Hind, a public meeting for Women was convened at Iqra Colony, Aligarh on 12th December 2004, by the Women’s wing of JIH and Girls Islamic Organization. The chief guest at the meeting was Prof. Shaista Bano, former Principal of Women’s College, AMU, Aligarh. Around 150 women and girls from the city, hostels and adjoining residential areas attended the public meeting. Prof. Amina Kishore, present Principal of the Women’s College was also present. 

The meeting began with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by the inaugural address by Ms. Hina Bari (Jt. Secretary, GIO) on Human Rights-an introduction. What are human rights and why have they become significant were some of the issues addressed by her. A brief history of human rights violation and efforts to preserve them over the centuries were discussed. Women are still persecuted in the name of emancipation and innocent lives are destroyed in wars carried out in the name of restoring peace, she added. The other highlight of the meeting was a speech by Dr. Bazigha Tabassum (member, JIH) on Women’s persecution. She pointed out that in a cast –ridden society like India, with innumerable dowry deaths and female foeticides, there is an urgent need to call upon people to speak up against injustice meted out to the weak and to the poor. Quoting incidents from prophet Muhammad’s life, she emphasized the role of Islam in pursuing women’s right to sustenance, inheritance and freedom of expression.

Prof. Shaista Bano spoke briefly on the on going war crimes in Iraq (Fallujah) where innocent people and prisoners of war are killed and tortured brutally. Despite confirmed reports on such violation of Human Rights by U. S. armed forces, no remedial step has been taken thus far. Mrs. Arifa Masood read out Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon, which is actually a human rights charter, wherein he declares that: All men are born equal. No man is superior to the other by virtue of caste, colour or creed/ race except by righteousness. Human life is sacred. Women are to be treated justly and kindly and justice should be upheld.

The meeting was concluded by reading out a set of resolutions to preserve and protect women’s and children’s rights.

Ms. Nikhat Sheikh (Research Scholar, Deptt. of Islamic Studies) delivered a brief vote of thanks. A request was made to carry foreward the message to other people and to speak up against violence and discrimination at home as well as in the society.

The members of Girls Islamic Organisation were felicitated by Mrs. Qaneta Safdar (Member, JIH) on the occasion.

Besides the speeches, another major highlight of the meeting was a display of charts, posters and models depicting various aspects of human rights violation and its preservation within Islam.

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