Have we given them proper sanctity or not ?


As a student of social sciences I can easily discriminate between a sympathetic comment and a snobbish, supercilious attitude that explains the motivational dynamics which underlie RWA. Please don’t confuse this RWA with ‘Resident’s Welfare Associations’ or the body of parvenu fortresses of new Indian culture. I’m talking about ‘Right Wing Authoritarianism’ that is trampling underfoot the secular democratic traditions of Mother India.

Minorities are disrespected in any country whenever they are treated merely as the addressees of the majority rules constraining the formulation and pursuit of their life-plans. An impression is created that being minority, the treatment meted out to them in politics and society is legitimately influenced by the majority judgment. A sense of helplessness prevails among them. It is understood that there is a group in the country that is superior and merciful and the other inferior groups – the receptor of mercies.

The message that the RSS wants to send to Minorities is that you are at the mercy of majority. And since the coming to power of the Modi-BJP government in May 2014 this RWA has emboldened its ambit which is a part of the RSS strategy to convert Secular India into a Hindu Rashtra.

The latest salvo is fired by fired by no other but the Union Minister Union Ravi Shankar Prasad who was responding to a question related to development having an impact on culture and diversity. The honorable minister enlightened the country with the following stately message at the annual ‘Mind Mine Summit’ organized by the ‘Hero Group’ in New Delhi:

“We salute diversity and culture of India. There are two ways of looking at it. Let me be very frank today. There has been campaign against us for a very long time, but today we are here because of the blessings of people of India. We have got 13 Chief Ministers of our own. We are ruling the country. Have we victimized any Muslim gentleman working in industry or service? Have we dismissed them? We don’t get Muslim votes.

I acknowledge very clearly, but have we given them proper sanctity or not? We have a problem with some of our friends. Mostly, the Leftist friends and journalists who entertain a pathological hatred against Narendra Modi. Good luck to them.””
It’s not that Indian Muslims are unfamiliar with such benign blathering at their expense but earlier such efforts were being pushed through at medium pace and into a limited space.

Now the magnitude and speed of such favors have stepped up exponentially. That RSS does not believe in diversity outside the majority compass and their underlying theme is that India belongs to the Hindus alone and so they dub Christianity and Islam as ‘foreign’ religions is now open in Indian skies.

This attitude and the supportive propaganda has relentlessly fueled violence, from the brutal burning of Pastor Graham Stewart Stains on January 23, 1999 in Manoharapur, Orissa, the honorific Kandhmal violence in Orissa 2008 to the introduction of the ‘Freedom of Religion’ Acts in states like Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh to the recent Gau Raksha victims at Muzaffarnagar and Alwar.

Responding to the minister’s remarks, the AIMIM chief and Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday hit back at Union Minister for Information Technology and Law Ravi Shankar Prasad for his comments that the BJP has given Muslims ‘sanctity’ despite not receiving votes from the community.

“We (BJP) gave them sanctity? Who are ‘we’? It is the constitution that has given rights, our rights are protected under that,” Owaisi was quoted as saying by ANI. Also, the senior Congress leader and former union minister Salman Khurshid said: “I see no reason why someone should feel that a particular segment of society is unable to vote for them.

We should see who does not vote for us & find why and see if it can be addressed. Don’t know from where has ‘sanctity’ come in.”

I think the political patients of ‘foot n mouth disease’ and loose cannons of Indian RWA are hell bent to undo what PM Narendra Modi has been trying to do since he came to power!

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Hijab -A matter of discussion

Let us try to understand the word Hijab (veil) before going in to further details. Many people like to refer to Hijab as a “personal choice”. Yes. It is a personal choice. It is a personal choice to submit to God rather than the fashion of society. It is a choice to be beautiful to God, rather than to people.Hijab However, Hijab should not just be seen as a cloth one puts on the head. Rather Hijab is a symbol of our worship and servitude to God. It is a symbol of modesty, that is not just about our attire; it extends to our whole demeanor. Let us turn our attention to The Holy Qur’an.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or dress like veil, gloves, head cover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful”

[Al-Noor 24:31] 


My personal experience

I am a girl who born and bought up in Delhi, still putting my Hijab on wasn’t actually a hard decision for me.
For some Muslim women, it is a real jihad as they can’t imagine themselves wearing a Hijab and covering their hair. I met many Muslim women who were praying, fasting, going to religious meetings, seeking Islamic knowledge, yet they always found excuses why not to wear their Hijab.

Few couplets on Hijab by my father “Sikandar Amrohvi”:

Daur-e-hazir mein taraqqi kar rahi hain aurtein,
Dekho parde mein bhi rehkar har amal mein saath hain

Ye kaun keh raha hai rukawat Hijab hai,
Parde mein bhi jahaz udati hain aurtein

During my school days, I just felt it is impossible to walk in with Hijab in hot summer days, at that time I used to wear Hijab just in winters to protect myself from cold wind. I used to wear my Hijab only during our visit to my Hometown, Amroha but I was always thinking of wearing it outside as well.
After high school Allah responded to my supplications and helped me to finally accept the Hijab completely. When I joined Delhi University, apart from choosing so called happening life style of DU campus I choose to wear Hijab to retain my dignity and to protect myself from shaitan. Most of the friends accepted me with Hijab in fact some of them support and appreciate me while some of them demoralized me with some hurtful comments. I would like to tell my sisters that it’s not as hard to wear Hijab as it seems, it’s just to take a challenge, and accept the reality, try to live a life the way we have learnt from Qura’n.

I do wear trendy clothes and a scarf/Hijab. My clothing is modest. Allah makes Islam easy and tells us to do everything in moderation. Looking presentable and neat is also important especially if you are a Muslim because you are representing Islam.

When we are discussing Hijab, it might come to one’s mind that it’s a kind of marginalization of women, who have to preserve their beauty away from the eyes of all the people except the woman’s husband or some of her relatives. But is it really true that Hijab causes women to be suppressed or marginalized? To be able to answer this question we may look at the advantages of its wearing.

Benefits of Wearing Hijab

Wearing Hijab has being observing a modest Muslim style of dressing offers these benefits:

Represent Purity
Hijab is an indication of dignity and purity. It highlights women as chaste and pure women. I think, the Hijab acts like a shield between chaste Muslim women and the World’s evil.

Protect from male harassment
Research shows that one of Hijab’s most important advantages is the security of the society that clears it from crimes, rape, incest, harassment in daily life, etc. looking at this advantage affirms the idea that by taking off their Hijab social crimes are increasing. I personally feel that if Hijab is observed in true sense by all of us, half of the problems existing in our society related to women will be solved. Maybe we can create a better society for coming generations by opting for Hijab.

Scientific Benefits Of Wearing Hijab:
Protecting the head is very important from a health perspective. Results Of medical tests show that 40-60% of body heat is lost through the head during winters and in summer hijab protects our head from direct sunlight and heatwave, so persons wearing head coverings are protected from cold and heat about fifty-percent more than those who do not.

All these are my personal opinions and feelings about Hijab. Please leave your feedback/comments.

Nuzha Fatima

She was born and bought up in Delhi. Graduated from Jamia Millia Islamia Sr. Sec. School in 2011 and received an undergraduate degree in 2014 in Botany from Delhi University. She earned a degree Bachelor of Education in 2015 from Indraprastha University. She started writing diary at very early age.

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“Shia-Sunni Unity” – a must for survival

This author belongs to a Floral SuShi Family, a very common old tradition among Muslim society all over the world. Our family life is a glittering example of Shia-Sunni Co-existence and Cooperation. In my childhood, the differences between the two major Muslim sects were more dealt in theological gatherings and masses were not deeply involved. With the advent of ‘Petro Dollar’ and boost of New Ideologies more than seventy sects of Islam began to assert their separate doctrines and got actively engaged in the deadly internecine fight that is forcing the tears of our existence at the seams. Now every sect calls the other sects as INFIDEL with a difference of degree and intensity. I worked through my life to understand this cleavage and discover the reason but miserably failed to decide the side which is RIGHT in absolute terms. My feeling of being torn between the Doctrines of Shia Islam and Sunni Islam has often driven me to despair and nervous breakdown. And every new quest for truth leads me sadder, to an even worse condition. Ironically, several individual leaders, form both the major Muslim sects sincerely seek to please God at the expense of other sect with expedition.

Since the inception of Islam, the history of Muslim rulers is drenched in the blood of its followers, leaders and friends – both political and spiritual as well. How agonizing that the second, third and fourth Caliph of Sunni Islam were massacred while many Imams and scholars of Shia Islam were mercilessly killed by the followers of Islam. They  were all martyrs. Violence ran deeper in its anatomy of our progress and the tradition is still adhered in terms of words and spirit as blood spills in mosques and Imambargahs. However there is one incontrovertible truth that stands out in the sorry tale – the Shias, the minority if Islam had always been at the receiving end of violence.
Is it not the time ripe for the silent majority of both the communities to come together through dialog to defeat the terrorists who have been responsible for these madness and heinous killings?

Friday is the auspicious day for all Muslims – Sunnis and Shias both. On this day of the last week around 150 Shias were killed, 360 injured in Sanna, Yemen and 2 Shias were done to death and several others injured in Karachi, Pakistan. For the Muslim Ummah it’s a Black Day.
According to press resources, in the mosques of Sanna, suicide bombers entered pretending to be disabled and hiding explosives under casts. Pictures of people removing bodies from one of the mosques where a carpeted floor was littered with debris were seen all over. In the assaults at Al Badr mosque and Al Hashoosh mosque in Sanaa, the first blasts happened inside the buildings, followed two minutes later by explosions outside. At Al Badr mosque, the outdoor explosion was another suicide bombing; at Al Hashoosh mosque, the exterior blast was a car bomb. The mosques serve members of the Zaidi sect of Shiite Islam, the sect to which the rebel Houthi militants belong.
The blood of tourists killed at the museum in Tunisia by ISIS on Wednesday was not yet dried. The recent suicidal attack at Sanna illustrates the expanding focus for ISIS, which controls parts of Syria and Iraq. It proves the solid support they are getting from their backers. A written statement, purportedly from ISIS, claimed that ISIS executed Friday’s attacks, calling them “a tip of an iceberg.” The statement, posted on a site that previously carried ISIS proclamations, said five suicide bombers targeted Houthis in Sanaa. A separate audio message, also posted on ISIS-affiliated websites, claimed five ISIS suicide bombers killed dozens of “Houthi infidels.”
Among those killed in Sanaa was prominent Houthi religious leader Murtatha Al Mahathwari.

The Al Houti Tribe had long felt marginalized by the majority Sunnis in Yemen and have battled the central government for more than a decade. They finally decided to take up the matter to decisive end and gradually took control of the presidential palace in January and forcing President Hadi to resign.The mosque attacks came six months after the Houthis had entered Sanaa. Hadi was initially put under house arrest but escaped and flew to Aden declaring himself still President.
Just to carry forward my argument I’m quoting a portion of famous Islamic Scholar Sheikh Ahmed Deedat’s speech:

“I say why can’t you accept the Shia brothers as a fifth Fiqh. And the astonishing thing is that he (Ayatullah Khomeni) is telling you that he wants to be one with you. He is not talking about being Shia. He is shouting “there is no Sunni nor Shia there is one thing, Islam.” But we say to them “no you are different you are Shia.” This attitude is a sickness of the devil. He wants to divide us.
Can you imagine we Sunnis are 90% of the Muslim world and the ten percent who are Shias want to be partners and brothers with you in faith and the 90% are terrified. I can’t understand why should you the 90% be so terrified. They should be the ones terrified. And if you just knew the feelings that they have for you. During Jummah prayers in Iran, there are a million people. And you should see the way they look at you when you pass by, they recognize that you are a foreigner and not one of them and tears start rolling down their cheeks. This is the feeling that they have for you, but you say no, you want to keep they out, afraid that they will absolve you. You can only be absolved if there is something better than what you have. I don’t know, maybe some of you think I am a Shia, but I’m still with you all here.
What is all this Shia-Sunni tensions? It is all politics. These antagonisms we have are all politics now. If a Sunni brother somewhere does something wrong you say oh the individual is not being very Islamic, he is a kaffir, But if a Shia does something wrong you want to condemn the whole Shia community, the whole nation of millions, and say they are all rubbish just because one Shias actions are not very Islamic. At the same time where we look the other way if one of your relatives does something serious because he is your father or your uncle. One group of Sunnis says to another “you are not a Muslim” another group of Sunnis says “you are not a Muslim you are a kaffir” look that’s among us, and we fight among ourselves. And some of us do funny things.” End of the portion of Ahmed Deedat’s speech.

It is so heartrending to observe that Shia-Sunni violence has been on the rise in the last few years in Middle East and Pakistan.

Can’t we say – Now enough is enough? There is a silver-lining to these darker clouds. In Iraq, it is estimated that up to 30 percent of marriages are between Shias and Sunnis; victims of violence between the two groups frequently attend each other’s funeral prayers; one group often helps the other’s victims after an incident.

Even a green horn of Islamic Theology knows that the differences between Shia and Sunni are more political in nature while basic tenets of both are identical. Can’t we just leave them, forget them and wait for the Day of Judgment; these are better left for God to judge, as He knows best and has said in the Quran that ‘He is the final judge of religious disagreements.’

The killing of Shias or Sunnis will not resolve these disputes. The principle of “no compulsion in matters of faith” (Quran 2:256) is not just limited to Muslim-non-Muslim relations. It applies to Muslim interpretations of Islam as well. This instruction of God serves as a guideline for the Muslim community to not impose one’s interpretation on others. That is why throughout history, not only have Hanafis and Shafis worked with each other despite differences, but Shias and Sunnis have lived and worked side by side with each other as well.
Can’t we come closer and be decent and respectful to the thinking of each other? When human beings sit down and talk to each other, they learn to respect each other. Dialog allows parties to understand each other better by allowing participants to acquire direct knowledge about beliefs instead of relying on propaganda and stereotypical images. (Quran 49:6-12)
Serious and sincere exchange of thought, dialogues would isolate the extremist fringe. By talking to each other, Shias and Sunnis will be able to save lives, which is like saving the whole of humanity.
Even if some Shias and Sunnis consider each other enemies, the Quran asks us to be just even toward one’s enemy “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [Quran 5:8]
It is hard reality that the Shia community like Sunnis is also diverse. There are many differences between one Shia group and another. This is why it is important that dialog between Sunnis and Shias becomes a movement and a process throughout society instead of everyone waiting for one high powered dialog to yield some results at the leadership level.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Burning holy books is akin to religious madness

‘The American people do not want the mosque there and, of course, Muslims do not want us to burn the Quran,’ said Terry Jones. The imam has agreed to move the mosque. We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday.

SOMETIMES BACK this author had written about the insensitive, irrational and idiotic idea of putting a mosque near Ground Zero. “Unnecessary Provocation” is not the way of Islam. The irony is that the followers of all religions, when they delve into the faith of their interpretation and imbibe, the more fanatic and unreasonable they become.

Jews believe themselves to be the most religious and today they are committing the most inhuman heinous crimes against Palestinians. The fanatical Muslims around the globe are leaving no stone unturned to make the world believe that Muslims can’t live in peace and harmony with others.

Christians have done no better in Bosnia and elsewhere.

Buddhists hang their heads in shame when they talk about the Pre-Second World War atrocities of Imperial Japan in China and other parts of East Asia. Pol-Pots are not the old story.

Back home, we have our own Gujarats and Orissas. Recently, the world was about to witness the most inglorious and maddening spectacle – a drama that was pregnant with the possibilities of centuries of new fights between Crusaders and Ghazis.

The Christian minister of a small church in Florida had announced to burn The Holy Koran to protest against the building of mosque near Ground Zero. He has now canceled on Thursday his plan to burn copies of the Quran that had been scheduled for Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The planned protest had sparked angry demonstrations by Muslims around the world. The Reverend Terry Jones announced his change of heart at a news conference late Thursday in front of his church in Gainesville, Florida.

And here is what Sarah Palin the Republican contender of Vice Presidential post of U.S. last election said: “Book burning is bad. But the Muslim cleric who is running for parliament in Afghanistan is calling for the murder of American children in response to scorched Korans, which is worse. Where is the media’s focus?

Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero. I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance.

Don’t feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.

Our nation was founded in part by those fleeing religious persecution. Freedom of religion is integral to our charters of liberty. We don’t need to agree with each other on theological matters, but tolerating each other without unnecessarily provoking strife is how we ensure a civil society. In this as in all things, we should remember the Golden Rule. Isn’t that what the Ground Zero mosque debate has been about?

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and numerous religious leaders around the country spoke out against the planned protest and urged the previously obscure Florida minister to abandon the idea. Jones also poke to Defense Secretary Robert Gates shortly before his news conference. Pentagon officials say Gates urged the minister not to go ahead with his protest on Saturday, arguing that it would put the lives of U.S. soldiers serving abroad at risk.

Pastor Terry Jones said he called off the Quran burning protest because he had secured an agreement with Muslim leaders in New York City to move the location of a controversial planned Islamic center and mosque away from the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks known as Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

“The American people do not want the mosque there and, of course, Muslims do not want us to burn the Quran,” said Terry Jones. The imam has agreed to move the mosque. We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday. And on Saturday, I will be flying up there to meet with him. I get a little bit emotional,” he said. “This has been, of course, for us a very, very difficult, trying time. We have been in very much thought and prayer over this whole period. A lot of times we were asked, what would it take to call this thing off.”

Jones said an idea came to him while praying that he would call off the planned burning of the Quran, if Muslim leaders in New York City would agree to move the site of Islamic center away from site of the 2001 terrorist attacks in lower Manhattan.

“The American people, as a whole, do not want the mosque at the Ground Zero location,” said Jones. “That if they were willing to either cancel the mosque at the Ground Zero location or if they were willing to move that location, willing to move it away from that location, we would consider that a sign from God. I will be flying up there on Saturday to meet with the imam at the Ground Zero mosque. He has agreed to move the location.”

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Ayodhya Judgement: A victory of faith over reason

Ayodhya

Ayodhya

This judgment must be challenged in the Supreme Court and we hope that the august body would give a second thought to its legal, social, ethical and political repercussions.

THAT THE Ayodhya verdict was hailed with euphoric exultation by the Ram Janam Bhumi lawyers, who were showing the victory signs soon after the announcement, despite the restrictions on any such show by court in advance, simply reflects the respect of law they have.

That this verdict is victory of forces, who had pulled down the historic mosque does need any proof for the readers and viewers. Sangh Parivar rightly felt that it would pave the way for the grand Ram temple and they lost no time in indirectly advising Muslims to give up the one third of the area the verdict has given to them.

Should there be any need in future to cite an example where faith and belief prevailed so powerfully over the law and reason, this judgment would be available for easy reference. It would beckon form the ramparts of temples of Justice. Ironically, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat talked about the need to see the verdict “not as a victory of one group or defeat of another, but an opportunity to forget ill-will, hard feelings that were the results of the past conflicts.” I don’t know if he could have uttered the same dialogues if the verdict was gone against their designs.

Many Muslims are sulking and they have no choice but to knock the doors of Supreme Court against the verdict. For RSS and its cronies, this judgment has given a boost to their sagging morale. Their political movement got legitimacy and they can boast of victory. This judgment has opened the new avenues for their future adventures – Kashi, Mathura.

The judgment had nothing to say, as it was not asked to say though it delved in to different domains which had little relevance to the legal aspects of the case, about the criminal razing of a historical structure. It is strange that the court accepted that no mosque was pulled down to build Babri Masjid and Ram Lalla was never there before 1949. Still, to maintain the law and order it thought it appropriate to give precedence to Astha and belief over the concrete history, evidence and reason.

There are thousands of monuments, Buddhist temples, Jain temples, churches, mosques and synagogues which are built at places which have outlived their original utility. What is the difference between pulling down Babri Mosque and razing the Statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. Both the acts are akin and reprehensible in nature. In a majority dominated country if a ground fact that was created by the honchos of majority in 1949 with the connivance of State administration could become an integral part of faith in a judgment in 2010, we have little light to see at the end of the tunnel.

This judgment must be challenged in the Supreme Court and we hope that the august body would give a second thought to its legal, social, ethical and political repercussions.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Mosque near Ground Zero – To be or not to be!

The whole idea to build an Islamic cultural center, which includes a mosque, two blocks away from the gaping Ground Zero hole where the Twin Towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001 was pregnant with controversies.

There was the comedy of errors and there is a comedy of speeches.

Paradoxes make life confusing, interesting and challenging. The whole idea to build an Islamic cultural center, which includes a mosque, two blocks away from the gaping Ground Zero hole where the Twin Towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001 was pregnant with controversies.

The planners of the anticipated edifice were not naïve to know that. They have put a President whose popularity is fast plummeting into a quagmire from which it is becoming difficult for him to extricate himself.

His equivocation to form a firm opinion is putting him in an unenviable situation. The land might have legally belonged to the Islamic Society but there were plenty of other places where they could have put up their place of worship. However, allowing to build an Islamic centre at the place of the Twin Towers is politically correct as the following argument reveals:

President Obama said at an Iftar party: “Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”

For many Americans a mosque at ground zero is adding insult to injury for the victims of 9/11 and their thousands of loved ones. No amount of placating the Muslim community will ever change their Jihadi attitude, they believe.

The proposed mosque and Islamic centre at the ground zero (sorrow for thousands) can only symbolize victory for terrorism which America is supposed to be fighting at the cost of billions of dollars belonging to its tax payers.

The writer feels some meat in this argument. However, Senator Jack Reed said on a news channel said : “Troops in Afghanistan are being asked to find common ground with Muslims. If you can’t do that here in United States, we’re going to have a very difficult time over there.” There is no reason to accept that this is also a reasonable argument.

But, here again, we have Senator Peter King speaking on another channel: “The issue is not that there is a legal right to build the mosque but that those involved should listen to public opinion, which he said is strongly opposed to the project.” Of course he has a valid point also.

To conclude the debate Senator Jerold Nadler whose district includes Ground Zero, made a mince meat of all that talks of public opinion. According to him : “There is a fundamental mistake behind the thinking of those opposed to the project. The fallacy is that Al-Qaida attacked us. Islam did not attack us.”

Lesser mortal like this scribe should be forgiven for failing to form any opinion as the poor President of United States failed and made a U turn following public outrage, especially from families of 9/11 victims.

Obama changed the gear and clarified that he was not addressing the appropriateness of the mosque’s particular location. “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about.”

But after a New York city commission on August 3 unanimously approved the plans, the President came out to support the right to build the mosque.

“This is America,” Obama had said, “and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are.”

We’re living in very interesting times. We have comic situations in politics and in real life all over the world. India is no exception. Politicians have to engage in a perennial struggle to balance the political correctness against public demand.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Rebellion brewing in BJP over Women’s Reservation Bill

Sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing ; sometimes the government doesn’t know what the public is thinking; some times leaders do not know what the party men are thinking.

THE WOMEN’S Reservation Bill has exposed once again what a hollow pantomime this talk of ‘inner party democracy’ is all about. We did hear brilliant speeches of Arun Jaitly in Rajya Sabha and Swashma Swaraj in Lok Sabha. We were enlightened about the genuine hear felt concerns of BJP for the fair sex which is deprived of their due rights by the crooked creatures of earth the vile man ! These leaders were basking in the borrowed glory of Sonia Gandhi.

Sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing ; sometimes the government doesn’t know what the public is thinking; some times leaders do not know what the party men are thinking.

Today a very awkward and funny situation is developing in BJP as so many of its MPs are demonstrating open rebellion against the party’s plank. BJP never stops trumpeting the virtue of inner party democracy. What has happened in reality in this party was a blatant run of bleak dictatorship. The bosses of BJP thought that their dictats would be accepted by the party members with absolute submission.

Now listen what our dear Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, senior leader and MP from Madhubani: “History will not spare the BJP. The BJP was like Bhishmapitamah and Dronacharya in Mahabharata who remained mute spectators to the disrobing of Draupadi. If they issue a whip (to vote in favor of the Bill), I will break it and vote against it. Let them end my membership, I am not bothered. I am a socialist and I cannot compromise on issues of social justice.”
He warned his party that BJP would “decline further” if it ignored the backward classes. and supported the bill.

Singing in the same tune the a senior leader in Lok Sabha today claimed “at least 70 per cent of MPs” were against the Bill while a senior BJP MP said he would defy any whip to vote in its favor even though his party had offered it “unequivocal support” in the Rajya Sabha.

Caught in Catch-22 situation top leaders of the party are assuring that grievances of the MPs will be taken into account,” Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav, senior leader and BJP MP from Madhubani in Bihar, declared he would defy any party whip in Lok Sabha and vote against the Bill.

The fiery Yogi Adityanath, MP from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh is also airing his protest, wondering why the party had shown such eagerness to back the women’s reservation Bill when there were more pressing matters on hand.

As far as I am concerned, I don’t doubt the pious intentions of Sonia Ji who has pushed hard this bill. However, Women-Bill is not an innocent bill as it appears to a casual observer. Are we inviting a situation where in addition to 33% reservation, women will get some more seats from the general category and OBC/SC/ST category also with an extra of 20-30%.

The gross total would soar as high as nearly 60% or above. I wonder how Rajya Sabha accepted such important Bill without knowing any details. Congress has created the same brouhaha about different Commissions recommending the reservations of Muslims. Congress did never do anything except lip sympathy and garnering Muslim vote and support.

I accept that Indian women have traveled a long way from kitchen and fields to President House and Parliament; I agree that they must get their fair share. However, sometimes you suffocate or choke a cat with butter. Are we not going too fast ???

This best solution could have been a situation where there is no whip from any party. In all the august houses – Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and State Assemblies the members are allowed to vote according to their conscience. That will be the real representation of the will of the people.

Last but not the least, I would request Mamta Banerji and Yadav Trinity to stop playing the DIRGE of Muslim community. We are quite capable to take care of ourselves. We don’t need enemies if we have friends like you. Jai Ho !

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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