Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor


Obama awarded Nobel in haste
On October 9 2009, US president Barack Obama was awarded Nobel Peace Prize for astounding services in the name of world peace. Usually awards are conferred upon people when they have accomplished something tangible and not for mere pledges to achieve meaningful results. In Obama's case, he has neither achieved peace nor has he undertaken efforts to establish the foundations for world peace. No sooner had Obama received the prize for peace he convened his war council to discuss how best to wage war in Afghanistan. Obama's war council is also deliberating options to expand America's war in Pakistan. American officials are openly debating whether to launch missile attacks on Quetta- Baluchistan's largest city. In Iraq, Obama's so called draw down policy masks a similar sinister plan that relies heavily on private security contractors to strengthen America's military presence in the country and to compensate for the withdrawal of US troops. Under Obama's watch the civil war in Somalia is mushrooming at an alarming rate. The war is fuelled by Washington through the supply of US arms and weapons to the beleaguered US puppet government. Against Iran, Obama is not advocating peace, but urging crippling sanctions that will surely hurt ordinary Iranians and incubate resentment against America for decades to come. Likewise Obama's continued support for autocratic rulers of the Muslim world has convinced many Muslims that Obama is no different to his predecessor George Bush. But, nowhere is Obama's failure to deliver peace more pronounced than Palestine. As a prelude to his inauguration, Obama displayed resolute determination not to condemn Israeli savagery in Gaza. Clearly then, Obama's peace endeavors equate to making pieces of Muslim countries through war and bloodshed. The political climate Obama has presided over is one of intimidation and tyranny. The values Obama espouses are based on deceit and injustice. By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama, the Nobel committee has avowed that waging war against Muslims and Islam under the guise of peace is a noble action. Obama may have captured the hearts of the Nobel committee, but amongst Muslims and much of the world, Obama epitomizes an imperialistic empire that is an enemy of humanity and world peace. Safiya Sameena, Vijayawada (AP) II I am really suprised and amazed to see the Nobel Peace price for Obama. I was just wondering as to what was his contribution for this award. Mere few speeches made by him on nuclear disarmament or address to the Muslim world is enough to certify this award. The Nobel committee by giving Obama the award have denigrated the image of the prize and reduced its sanctity. Heads of several states, including India, have expressed their desire for world peace. Why none of them have ever been given the Nobel peace prize? It seems the Nobel committee is blissfully unaware of the biggest apostle of peace - Mahatma Gandhi. Barak Obama has himself said "If there had been no Gandhi, there would be no Obama". Even mother Teresa was given the award not for her work but because she was from Europe. Md Ziyaullah Khan, New Delhi   Not Iran, Israel is a big threat in the Middle East Iran should learn hard lessons from Iraq's sad story. Disarmament and compliance should never be an option when your obnoxious, unprincipled and roguish adversary has far more powerful weapons. Saddam Hussein allowed the vultures of IAE to turn his pockets out, he ended up in prison and eventually into his grave and his country was ruined, undermined, destroyed and was pushed back into the Stone Age for decades. Ahmedinejad should not make the same mistake. Iranians should have their freedom of choice and restore some balance to the region where Israel remains the sold rogue state. There are other countries which are real threats, and they have not signed the NPT but Iran has and abides by the international law. So why talk about sanctions."Iranian Threat" is designed for the ignorant. It is a deceitful pretext as Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction was a pretext to destroy Iraq. Iran has never ever has attacked a European nation since the wars for Anatolia in the 5th Century BC, whereas European imperialists have repeatedly occupied and controlled Iran, once in 1942 and again in 1953, when they shamelessly disposed the democratically elected Mosaddeq (the Prime Minister) and placed their stooge in his place as they have done in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan. Israel and the US are covertly pushing for sanctions on Iran.On the question of sanctions on Iran, of the great powers the UK jumps to orders from Washington, Germany wilts before world Jewry, France has now the most pro-Israel President in its history, China fears to confront the US and will co-operate as long as sanctions do not refer to oil and gas and Russia is wavering and we are waiting to see what sort of foul game is being hatched but the God of Justice is on the side of Iranians.              Palkodimir (via email)   Us Sends British Canary To Afghanistan Mine(Field) There is no doubt, Obama is in a dilemma over his army head's demand for more troops, while there is a world-wide outrage at the wanton bloodbath that is taking toll of both Afghans 'insurgents' as well as Afghan civilians and US/NATO intruders. More so after receiving a Noble peace prize, directly signaling that the world peace is not through armed invasions. The way British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has to defy his own nation's vocal opposition to pursue the hopeless war option in Afghanistan, in the face of heavy casualties, especially in Helmund region which is the British area of operation, show how helpless this old world has become. Young British soldiers are seen on world TV crying to be called back home. British Mothers who lost their own sons, are haranguing the government to bring the boys home. However, the British government, deeply hampered by Jewish lobby holding it to ransom, has to give in to line up with the US neo-con scripted war aims in Afghanistan. Five hundred extra British troops, months down the line, merely is meant to make it easier for Obama to face his own enraged people, who too are questioning the real motive of waging a war, when its objectives had been so blatantly belied and distorted. US is abusing British soldiers like canary in Afghan mine. US should stop its imperialist forays into other countries boundaries. The UN secretary general should start questioning the legality of foreign forces on a UN member country. Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai   Jihad misunderstood It is a fact that any one who understands the deep philosophy of Jihad it become easier for him/her to sacrifice the life for the noble cause of formation of the Islamic government or propgation of Islamic message in the world. How a famous journalist Ivon Ridley who studied Islam in detention period of Taliban in Afghanistan, converted to Islam after she was released. Most the young girls and youths whose sexual and religious emotion is high and they acquaint themselves by studying the books the philosopy of Jihad. The girls nurture the temprament of paraya dhan they proceed to some safe abode. There they can satisfy their sexual and mental desire. It is no doubt a daring step take to come out from a boring and routine life style. They get marry in accordance with Islamic laws and register their marriage as per the law of the land. They decline to go back along with their parents. Here in Gulbarga number of Muslim girls married Hindu boys and leading a married life. In Muslim society, due to undue demands of the dowry the parents cannot fulfil and resulting in late marriages. Those girls who cannot tolerate the passion quit from their houses and get married with the substandard boys. The parents to safegaurd the family respect do not file the complaints in police stations. It is first time that Deccan Herald has given a detailed report. The college girls are given full freedom and there is no constant watch on the boys and girls. Kausar Fatima, Gulbarga   Palestinian rights denied Anyone watching the Middle East and the occupied Palestinian territories recently can tell you that anger and rage is bubbling just below the surface. What may not seem apparent is that a new intifada, or uprising, may be right around the corner. When this happens, western media outlets will scramble to explain how and why we have come to this state. They will likely place the blame on the Palestinians, the victims of Israeli oppression, once again ignoring any and all history or context of the illegal Israeli occupation and its daily horrors. If some might find this farfetched, we have only to look back at the recent war on Gaza when the western media blamed the victims and realized much later that they had ignored the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip and Israel's violation of the ceasefire.The last intifada was sparked when Ariel Sharon and an entourage of countless armed soldiers violated the sanctity of the Noble sanctuary.Today, tensions in Jerusalem are rising again as demonstrations against home demolitions continue, and Israel continues to prevent the freedom of movement for worshipers into the holy sites. So now what? That is the question Palestinians are asking. Their leaders have failed them. The US and Obama, supposedly an honest broker, have failed them. The international community and the system which is supposed to protect the basic human rights of all people have failed them. To whom shall they turn? What is certain is that Palestinians will never concede their legitimate rights. But now that every avenue for achieving those goals has been closed off to them, it seems almost inevitable that another uprising is upon us. We would be naïve, even culpable, if we dared to ask why. Mohd. Salahuddin, Mulund(W), Mumbai   Iraqi Turmoil The gradual destruction and killings of innocent civilians need to be stopped. It is sad to see the current state in which a country like Iraq is placed today. To solve the problem an integrated approach is required from all sides. The main responsiblity lies with the coalition forces, they should share the main burden of restoration of peace and a permanent solution in Iraq. They should also see to it that all other major parties to the conflict are involved in the acceptable solution. Mohammed Sadullah Khan, Riyadh, KSA   Prof. Iqbal Ansari: A tireless human rights' defender
Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) mourns the sudden demise of Prof. Iqbal Ansari, who left this world today following heart attack. Prof. Ansari was a tireless defender of citizens' rights and one of the most firm defenders of civil liberties in India. Throughout his life, he remained deeply committed to the cause of civil liberties and fearlessly took stands on various issues especially communalism and religious freedom. Prof. Ansari was a guiding spirit for APCR and our movement for the establishment of rule of law, civil rights' protection and advancement of human rights in India. His untimely death is an irreparable loss for civil and human rights' movements in India. Today, he is no more with us but his memory and legacy in terms of work done by him will continue to inspire us in the struggle for the establishment of a just and equitable world. Prof. K A Siddique Hassan, Secretary, (APCR), New Delhi     II Dr. Iqbal Ansari, a Human Rights activist of great stature and ex-professor of English at the Aligarh Muslim University passed away recently. In an article in a national daily on 6th of January 2006, he expressed great apprehension about likely communal mobilization in the wake of court verdict in the Babri Masjid case. It is most surprising that the Muslim leaders handling the Babri dispute on behalf of the Muslim community are not harboring such apprehensions. What are the Muslim leaders expecting from a judicial process where one of the disputants have not once agreed to abide by the court's decision? Isn't the communal mobilization against Muslim community, which Prof. Ansari feared, a very certain possibility? And in the face of such a mobilization, is it possible for any government, however mighty and however willing, to enforce the implementation of court's verdict? Let them not forget that a state government did not prevent the demolition of the mosque after giving an assurance that no harm will come to it. A central government did not rebuild it after committing itself to do so. Muslim leaders should ask themselves the question which Professor Iqbal Ansari, asked in the same article, "Are we prepared to save innocent lives?" Dr Mookhi Amir Ali, Santacruz West, Mumbai
  Plural society and tolerance
There is a worldwide discussion on the concept of plural society and tolerance in Islam. I am of the view that the principle of tolerance formulated by Islam be best described not as a religious harmony, but harmony among religious communities.
One extremely revolutionary example of this principle can be found in the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It is reported in a Hadith that Prophet (SAW) invited scholars of Judaism and Christianity to mosque for religious discussions, and if it was time for their prayer letting them feel free to perform their worship according to their own ways inside the mosque itself. Tolerance has been the main underlying causes of islam's successful dissemination. The Encyclopaedia Brittanica describes it in these words: "Despite (Islam's) astonishing achievements other religious groups enjoyed religious autonomy." (9/912)
Unfortunately, some of the so-called Muslim intellectuals have interpreted the Quranic verse (2:256) of Surah Albaqrah in a different manner to suit their purpose by truncating a portion and reading it alone instead of reading the whole provision of the verse. It is the cardinal principle of interpretation that the provision should be read as a whole and not in pieces and also not in isolation of the context in which it existed. On a balanced reading of the whole verse (2:256), the sentence "let there be no compulsion in religion" would only mean that there is no compulsion in Islam as Islam is open to everyone and whoever believes in Allah would be for his own and who does not, would be for his own. This freedom is not to be used to deviate from the Islamic mandate or to change the Shariah. This only suggests openness of Islam to welcome others who by their wise decision would believe in Allah. The verse elaborates: “Truth stands out clear from error" [Al-Qur'an 2:256] The Quranic verse 85 of Surah-AlImran very clearly distinguishes/clarifies it in these words: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never be it accepted of Him."
Similarly, verse 90 of the same surah says that those who reject faith in Islam and go on adding to their defiance of faith, never will their repentance be accepted for they have gone astray. (Al-Qur'an, 3:90). Thus, there is no question of freedom of conscience or discretion on any score to deviate from the Islamic faith, its' fundamentals and Shariah after embracing Islam. M Naushad Ansari, Bangalore

Who was responsible for Partition?
Please refer to the note in your latest issue “Partition: Eight Muslim Parties Were Against Partition”. The parties you have mentioned represented very small sections of Muslim public opinion in the Subcontinent during the period 1942-1947. Collectively, they failed to secure a single Muslim seat in the 1946 elections to the Central Assembly. In fact the Congress did not even put up candidates against those reserved seats. In my view the Congress itself prepared the ground for the partition of the subcontinent by adopting a resolution for the partition of Punjab on religious line in March 1947. At the session of the All India Congress Committee held on 14 June, 1947 to discuss the partition plan. Only the Pathan leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan spoke out against Partition, Maulana Azad according to records remained silent or spoke briefly though he opposed the concept of Partition through his public statements in 1946 and cautioned Muslims against its adverse impact on the overall welfare of the Muslims of the Sub-continental. Syed Shahabuddin, New Delhi