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Posted Online on Tuesday 17, January 2006 00:55 IST

Muslim Islamic NewsAn Appeal to Save AMU for our community


The Milli Gazette Online

17 January 2006

An appeal to organizations of AM U Alumnus and Indian Muslims

The Association of Indian Muslims of America, Washington DC, is very concerned at the recent judgment of the U.P. High Court stating that the 130 year old venerable Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) - an icon of India's 150 million Muslim community - does not qualify as a minority institution under Article 30 of the Indian constitution. If this change is implemented it will cause a tremendous setback to India's educationally very backward Muslim community, by very substantially reducing the Muslim student population in professional courses at AMU. That will create a big 
socio-economic setback to the impoverished Muslim community in India.

Some of us who are on secular non-Muslim Indian e-mail lists have received lots of enquiries from secular Hindus requesting information on this issue as most of them do not know AMU's background or the background of Article 30 of the Indian constitution. Once facts are brought to their attention they may be willing to support keeping AMU a minority institution, in view of the tremendous educational backwardness of Indian Muslims.

The Indian media reports that the above development is causing much anguish to the Muslim community in India. An overwhelming majority of Muslim organizations in India, the authorities/ student body/ faculty at AMU, and many secular Hindus have made appeals to the global Indian Muslim community to launch a peaceful movement to educate fellow non-Muslim Indians and the Indian nation on the facts of AMU, and appeal to the Indian government to thoroughly overhaul the 1981 AMU Parliamentary Act to make it fool proof in making AMU a minority institution.

In the last couple of weeks our Association has responded to the 
above situation by distributing position papers, historical information, signature petitions on a variety of Muslim and non-Muslim e-mail lists and Indian community newspapers. However this movement is a big task. It requires the collective effort of all Indian Muslim organizations and Associations of AMU Old boys in North America, UK, Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia, in addition to India, to make efforts individually and jointly.

One immediate item where everyone can help with minimum effort is adding signatures on a petition initiated by Milli Gazette newspaper of New Delhi, about a week and half ago. The petition was moving a bit slow. But in the last few days our Association mobilized people in Europe and America. That resulted in adding over 100 signatures from Europe and America.

We appeal to all Indian Muslims, especially Associations of AMU 
alumnus all over the globe to please utilize their networks to mobilize people to sign this petition ASAP. The petition can be accessed on: Time is of the essence. Please respond promptly.

:: Sign petition on AMU's Minority Character

We also appeal to the above organizations to develop articles and 
distribute those utilizing media outlets, websites and e-mail lists.

In doing the above we will only be doing what Sir Syed Ahmad Khan began 130 years ago and what the Aligarh Movement is all about.

Kaleem Kawaja
Association of Indian Muslims of America
P O Box 10654, Silver Spring, MD 20914, USA



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