All Current Affairs

Humans have divided large segments of time into aeons, eras, epochs and ages, millennia and centuries, and attributed those times with dominant features with appropriate age names, like stone age, bronze ages, iron age, ancient prehistory...

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From the account the Prime Minister gave of his first 100 days in office in his second term (in Rohtak on September 8), it seemed this government has been particularly kind to Muslims and their interests...

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New Delhi, June 28: The IOS Chairman, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, has written a letter to President of Turkey, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan, congratulating him on the impressive electoral victory of his party and his own victory in the presidential election.

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All the orchestrated brouhaha over loudly proclaimed Development Saga of Gujarat often fails to have the desired effect on Muslims who, over the last one decade of Narendra Modi’s rule, have undergone relentless persecution and discrimination. Despite tall claims of the government regarding employment, the work participation of Muslims has been lagging.

Work participation is a common measure of employment. In Gujarat, it is 10 percent lower for Muslims at 61 percent compared to Hindus, who have 71 percent. Gujarat has a higher unemployment rate for Muslims compared to even West Bengal. Muslims, being traditionally artisans and skilled workers, have a relative advantage in tool handling and mechanical work. This advantage has led to their employment in substantial numbers as industrial labour and in organised industry.

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On Sunday, 7/11/2012, Onislam.net held in the Sixth of October City an in-depth press interview with Professor Abdul-Hamid Abu Sulayman, Director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, on the following topic: "Limits to the relationship between the freedom of faith and freedom of expression from an Islamic perspective", on behalf of the Onislam.net gate, for both its versions, Arabic and English.

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DR MOHAMMAD MANZOOR ALAM explains how the quest for "economic growth with a humane face" is just the contemporary articulation of an old ideal that seeks to balance the creation and accumulation of wealth with fair-play and concern for the underprivileged. The desire for attaining such a balance goes back a couple of millennia.

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The cyber space is flush with anti-Arab, anti-Muslim balderdash. ABID SHAH takes a look at some of this growing body of vicious propaganda

VILIFICATION OF A FOE IN THE WAKE OF A WAR IS indeed not unheard of. Denigrating his faith too must have been resorted to at some point, or points, of history. A psychological warfare needs its tools. Using them has not to be far from fair until the journey from war to peace is over. Afghanistan today is only limping through this tortuous course.

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This is like stating the obvious, but it needs reiteration here. There are two types of BJPwallahs: those who have come straight to the party, and those who have come via the RSS. As the RSS is the holding company of BJP, it naturally controls this party. A BJPwallah from the RSS is thus far more well-entrenched in the power structure of the party than his non-RSS counterpart. Quite obviously, the person with RSS background is more vicious and anti-Muslim. Narendra Modi is RSS man in BJP. That explains his enduring animosity against Muslims as evident in the anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002.

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Gujarat is developed substantially in terms of Net State Domestic Product (NSDP), yet remains in the same position compared to five states leading it. It only means that Gujarat had to run to stand where it has been because the five states ahead of it have been running faster.

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Over the last ten years, Gujarat’s Narendra Modi government has been thumping its chest, making loud claims about the state’s spectacular development under him, even hinting that it is the most developed state in India.

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EDITOR's NOTE: The following is a sample of how India's anit-Muslim groups are trying to convince Israeli extremists that Muslims and Islam are to be shunned and vilified. The title of this piece is "Learn from our mistakes, Brother Israel…" Forget for a while the uncomfortable truth that these groups have always applauded Hitler's persecution of Jews. This is a good example of running with the hare and hunting with the hound. Here the Israelis are advised that they should be listeing to men like Rabbi Kahane, the Jewish equivalent of Praveen Togadia.

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It is a privilege to be able to speak to you on this historic occasion to commemorate the centenary of Dr Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s association with this prestigious institution, London School of Economics. As you know after finishing his masters at Columbia University in the United States, Dr Ambedkar came here for his Masters in Geography in 1916 as he wanted to complete his research here but was not allowed to do so. Finally, he registered as Ph.D student in 1920 and finished his doctoral thesis on ‘The problem of the rupee’ in March 1923 which was not accepted of reasons unknown though several experts feel that it was too revolutionary and anti ‘Empire’ that time to get accepted but finally it was resubmitted in August 1923 and accepted in November 1923.

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Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam expresses concern over anti-Muslim elements trying to drum up mass hysteria under cover of the recent judicial scrapping of the Illegal Migrants [Detection by Tribunals] Act.

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Rivers are crucial for human life. Their water is used in irrigation and for drinking, and they maintain the moisture of the earth. Rivers have been contributing a lot to transportation as well. Even till mid-19th century, people would take a ship or boat if they were to go to Kolkata from Kanpur, Banaras or Patna. Perhaps this is one of the reasons big cities are situated on the banks of rivers.

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Is Taslima treading a dangerous path in India by courting the Hindu fundamentalists? Vidya Bhushan Rawat

In an interview to the Indian Express, Delhi on November 24th, noted Bengali author Taslima Nasreen said, "Nothing happens to MF Hussain, who has done so many things, while everybody is after my life'. It is ironical that the statement comes from a person who has been 'wronged' by the Muslim clergy in Bangladesh and whose issue rocked Indian parliament as well as has exposed the hypocrisy of our society and so-called 'liberal' values.

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The unfortunate events of Islamabad’s Lal Masjid have revived the clamour in India for change in madrasa curricula and a comprehensive reorientation of madrasa education as a whole. Such demands are not new and many of the people and groups making such demands and suggestions are not well-wishers of Muslims. The Sangh as a whole, and BJP in particular, have been at the forefront of such campaigns. The Sangh, inspired by malevolence, has also been consistently trying to give madrasas a bad name and get them shut down for ever.

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Parliament in India is one of the most important pillars standing with an aim to achieve the goals of national reconstruction and nurturing the values of freedom , secularism and democracy. As a microcosm of the nation it has consistently reflected the feeling, hopes and aspiration and even weakness and frustrations of the people. It has been considered as the most vital political institution on whose working depends nation’s success. But all this is possible only if its members devote themselves whole-heartedly to meet the rising expectations of the teaming millions. A proper exercise of their duties and responsibility want certain liberties and immunities on their part so as to enable them to carry out their obligations unhindered by external force and internal pressure what we call them parliamentary privileges.

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Dear Brother,
 
Good one, this should work as an inspiration for north korea...

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Dear Brother Asif,
 
Thank you for a very interesting Article on "HINDU PATRON OF MUSLIM HERITAGE SITE", which reached us through Dr Manzoor Alam from New Delhi.
It is a fact, indeed that Islam did not spread through the Sword.

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 Who is a woman and what is her role as a mother to her children?

Very often the topic claims priority. Though it is a rather hackneyed subject, it requires a fresh look at a time when women from the gentry are embracing Islam in the West.

When Allah the Almighty describes humans and human soul in the Qur’an, He does not make any difference on the basis of gender.

 

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WASHINGTON - February 1 - Today European, international and United States legal and human rights groups issued an open letter warning of the illegality of any offensive military action by the United States against Iran. Signatories include the American Association of Jurists, Center for Constitutional Rights (U.S.), Droite Solidarite (France), European Association of Lawyers for Human Rights and Democracy, Italian Association of Democratic Lawyers, Haldane Society (United Kingdom), International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Indian Association of Lawyers, (India), Japanese Association of Lawyers for International Solidarity, (Japan), Lawyers Against War (Canada), National Lawyers Guild (U.S.), Progress Lawyers Network (Belgium).

Open Letter to All Members of Congress, the Bush Administration And the U.S. Armed Forces From Legal and Human Rights Groups

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His Highness King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, KSA

Your Highness,

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah!

Hope this finds you well and in good Islamic spirits.

This is to share our deep concern with you over the growing impression in Arab and Muslim world that Islam’s internal differences are more important than its problems with the aggressors occupying Arab land from Iraq to Golan in Syria, Sheba Farms in Lebanon and West Bank-Ghaza in Palestine.

 

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January 15, 2007

 Dr Manmohan Singh

The Prime Minister of India

NEW DELHI


Sir,

 This is to communicate some of our concerns to you as our beloved leader. Over the last few years we have been seeing a concerted Anglo-Saxon military and diplomatic campaign against the Muslim world, which forms a sizeable chunk of the Afro-Asian, post-colonial world.

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January 15, 2007

President George W. Bush

White House

Washington, DC

The United States of America

 

Sir,

Hope this finds you well.

 
This is to share our misgivings with you on the continuing US policy of targetting the Muslim world for attacks without justification.

 

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January 15, 2007

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The President of Iran

TEHRAN

Your Excellency,

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah!

Hope this finds you well and in good Islamic spirits.

 
This is about the slowly, but steadily growing divide between Muslims on sectarian lines. This is a divide, as we know (and you know better) that is ominous for the future of Islam.

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 Harish Salve

WHEN WE SPEAK of International Bills of Rights, it has to be in a context.  These bills of rights are a solemn expression of hope by a group of wise people. These bills were born in were signed in 1948; the timing is significant. The United Nations itself is a product of a battle-weary, tired and wizened Europe. Bloodshed that began in the Ottoman Empire with the use of first generation weaponry ended with a nuclear bomb exploded by our friendly United States. It was that bomb that made men sit up, stop fighting and take stock of what we have been doing with each other in the last 50 years. That led to the formulation of the first, the parent, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but this declaration had a host of signatories and had different significance in different countries. 

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PROF. FAIZAN MUSTAFA

What are minority’s rights? What is the origin of these rights? What is the jurisprudence of the philosophy of minority’s rights? What deliberations took place in the Constituent Assembly?  What constitutional provisions have been appearing on minority rights in India? Why special rights are needed in spite of right to equality under the Indian Constitution? How has judiciary over the years interpreted minority’s rights?

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Please click read more to see the enclosed pdf file.

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How shoddy probe derailed Hashimpura case
The judgment says Uttar Pradesh agencies did not even adhere to the basic tenets of investigation

Iftikhar Gilani @dna

New Delhi: The recent acquittal of 16 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel accused in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre in which 40 Muslims were killed not only highlights an unprecedented delay and denial of justice, but also brings to the fore how a shabby and an indifferent investigation can derail even an open-and-shut case.


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Please click read more to see the enclosed pdf file.

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(The following is the Preface of the 3-volume book with the above title. The Preface is written by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman of IOS)

The contribution of Muslims to the freedom struggle is second to none. As a matter of fact, in some respects and at various places, it was brightest and highest but a particular school of historians in India is leaving no stone unturned to minimize their role in the freedom struggle. Concerted attempts are being made to identify the entire community with Muslim League of pre-partition days and to brand them as communalist and separatists. The positive role of Muslims in all major events in all regions of India where they were in majority or in minority is either being ignored or diluted.

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The world belongs to youth, for it is they who are going to inherit it soon from the present generation. If the present crop of government, bureaucracy, corporate, academia and other fields have experience on their side, youth have energy and time as their precious assets.

Permanent availability of youth in adequate members in a society depends on its birth rate. Today counties like Russia, France and Japan are in the midst of a serious lack of young persons to run their economy and sustain the payment of old age pensions. It takes the earning of several young persons to sustain one ld pensioner’s expenses and upkeep.

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Karnataka State Chapter
Doddagubbi Post, via Bagalur, Bengaluru 562149

PRESS STATEMENT

Christian Council denounces Subramaniam Swamy’s effort to target minorities and to sabotage Communal Violence Prevention Bill

BENGALURU, NOVEMBER 1, 2011 The All India Christian Council [aicc], an apex Human Rights and Freedom of Faith forum, has taken strong exception to Janata Party president Advocate Subramaniam Swamy’s slander campaign against the Christian and Muslim communities in general, and against the aicc in particular, in his so called complaint to the police against the Communal Violence Prevention Bill drafted by the National Advisory Council.

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I would like to briefly recall the moment in India’s and world’s history when our community elders of the time launched the All India Milli Council to spearhead our struggle for empowerment...

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Several failures in main canal and branch canals in last four years and poor performance on the side of construction of the distribution canal network and water distribution to farmers in the existing canal network have caused urgent need of loud thinking by eminent and intelligent leaders of the society and to share their views with the public at large, so as to enable the society to be enlightened with the real issues of the Sardar Sarovar Project, which has been claimed as the most prestigious project of the Gujarat state by all political parties. Following organisations, active in society for last several years, are constrained to constitute an independent non-political People’s Investigation Committee on Narmada Project:

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(Editor's Note: The following is a copy of the letter sent to President Barak Hussein Obama from the Secretary General of Minority Council [India]. The author's is a highly respected voice on human rights and civil liberties.)

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Colleagues from the All India Milli Council; fellow workers from other Muslim, Dalit, Christian, Sikh and other religion-based organisations; friends from human rights and civil liberties groups, colleagues from other liberal and left groups and NGOs, friends who are here as individuals, and ladies and gentlemen from the media.

We are here together at a crucial moment in our history. As far-reacting changes are taking place in a globalsing world we, too, as citizens of a great nation, are at the cusp of massive technological, economic, political and social transformation. After traversing this vast land for close to five months (August through December), from shore to shore, we have come to realise that a substantial proportion of India’s population is not prepared, has not been prepared, for such monumental changes.

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Julie Ahmed

It has been said that one of the tests of a society is its attitude toward animals. This paper will explore the rights that animals are given in Muslim societies based on Islamic Law[i] (Sharia). Specifically, the way animals can be used for food and clothing from an Islamic perspective will be addressed.

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IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT at the advent of Islam there were three Jewish tribes who lived in Yathrib (later Medina), as well as other Jewish settlements further to the north, the most important of which were Khaybar and Fadak. It is also generally accepted that at first the Prophet Muhammad hoped that the Jews of Yathrib, as followers of a divine religion, would show understanding of the new monotheistic religion, Islam. However, as soon as these tribes realized that Islam was being firmly established and gaining power, they adopted an actively hostile attitude, and the final result of the struggle was the disappearance of these Jewish communities from Arabia proper.

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The Indian constitution and the policy making bodies at the national and state levels have provided a number of opportunities through regular policies and programs; as well as though Minority / Muslim specific policies and programs which promotes inclusive development in India. As is expected such policies and programs are made available to the people at large and the target groups through a number of institutional provisions encompassing, bureaucratic, administrative and legal procedures. While such provisioning are far too many and large in numbers and evolved over a period of the independent history of India, they are not comprehensible by the common citizens of India.  Besides, one needs to prioritize such opportunities depending upon the extent and quantum of benefits they offer in a cost effective manner.

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SINCE the mid-1980s the pace of economic growth has improved for the better from 4% or lower in the previous period to above 6% during the 1990s and slightly higher in ’00s. Much of the expanded growth during the past one and half decade has arisen from a robust performance in the services sector, followed to a limited extent in industry and manufacturing, and lastly in agriculture. Thus, the relative ‘balance of power’ has tilted in favour of the labour force employed in the services sector. This sector employs about 28% of the labour force and contributes about 55% to total GDP, the average per capita value added in some services have been recorded at higher than Rs 600,000 per annum. The service sector broadly constitutes (a) traditional services like trade and artisanships; and (b) modern technology-aided services such as information technology, education and health, hotel, restaurants and tourism, banking, finance and so on. While the labour force employed in the former is mostly illiterate and belongs to marginalised communities such as the dalits, OBCs and Muslims; practically the entire labour force employed in the modern sector is educated, urban-oriented and with a substantial share of upper caste Hindus (UCH).

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I have convened the diplomatic corps in Lebanon today to launch an urgent appeal to the international community for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and assistance to my war ravaged country.  You are all aware that seven continuous days of an escalating Israeli onslaught on Lebanon have resulted in immeasurable loss: the toll in terms of human life has reached tragic proportions: over 1000 injured and 300 killed so far; over half a million people have been displaced; in some areas, the hospitals have been crippled and are unable to cope with the casualties; there are shortages of food and medical supplies; homes, factories and warehouses have been completely destroyed; UN facilities in Maroun El Ras and Naqoura have just been shelled, so have been army barracks and posts of Joint Security Forces; a civil defense unit has been wiped out and foreigners are being evacuated.. As I speak, the trauma, the esperation, the grief and the daily massacres and destruction go on and on. The country has been torn to shreds.

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[Here are excerpts from an article by Advocate Shanti Bhushan, who rightly exposes the mindset of some judges of the apex court which is insensitive to human rights norms. The judgment is based on a political ideology, which is spreading xenophobia and wants to develop a sense of siege among Indians not only of increasing Muslim demographic pressure but of ‘external aggression’ and secessionism – Ed.]  

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[We give below excerpts from the judgment delivered by Hon’ble Justice Arun Tandon of the Allahabad High Court on October 4, 2005 which distorts the reality of the Aligarh Muslim University. His lordship was so preoccupied with “reading down” the meaning of an unambiguous declaration by Parliament about the fact of the establishment of the University by the Muslims of India that he ignored the University’s Social Mission of “especially promoting the educational and cultural advancement of Muslims of India” declared by the sovereign Parliament in 1981. The Hon’ble judge also did not at all look into the reasons for the University’s change of policy for managing its Muslim majority of students by indirect “secular” methods to front door admission of Muslim and non-Muslim students on their all India merit, so as to improve its standards by reducing inbreeding and widening its present narrow regional base. The mode and style of the argument on which the judgment is based is exactly like fatwas on women wherein the basic concern for justice is totally ignored. The decision of the High Court needs to be overruled by the Supreme Court—Ed]

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New Delhi: The global human rights watch  body Amnesty International has expressed concern over continued rights violation in India.

In its latest report covering events from January to December 2002  Amnesty took note of the discriminatory application of law against weaker groups, arbitrary use of force and violence by both state agencies and private citizens, and serious undermining of justice delivery system by state agencies.

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How do you look at the Union Budget 2007-2008?

Before I attempt an answer to your question, let me re-phrase it in a more general way. How do we look at any budget? A budget, in the ultimate analysis, is a statement of income and expenditure. In short, how to generate income and where to spend it. A budget may belong to a family, to a firm, to an institution or to a government. Our immediate point of reference is the Union budget, that is, the statement of income and expenditure of the Government of India. A government raises its income from taxes and spends it on certain items of social welfare and development. Hence, the annual budget of the government gives the programme of the government for the next fiscal year. That is the significance of the Union budget in any given year.

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Honestly, figuring out the budget is not everybody’s cup of tea. Different people look at the same budget differently. Alternatively, the same people look at it in different ways at different occasions.
 

Naturally, the budget is primarily looked at from class angle. That is, everyone first thinks of how it is going to affect his or her class of people, those in the same income bracket, business, profession, even caste and community.

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This study has attempted to present an outline of stock market on the basis of Islamic standards in the following five sections. The paper has confined specially to equity market. 

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AT a time when Islamic financial products are gaining wide acceptance, an advocate of interest-free banking has come up with a new Islamic banking model.

"Economists have only made recommendations about interest-free banking, but no one has come up with a working model," claims Abdul Wadood Khan, who has been campaigning for Islamic banking based on the Time Multiple Counter Loan (TMCL) concept conceived by Professor Mahmud Ahmed, a renowned Pakistani economist.

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An article published in Washington Times, a right-wing conservative daily founded and supported by a christian religious group, informed its readers about islamic banking in Turkey. The article is written by its correspondent Nicholas Birch.

Full content of the article is as follows:
‘Turkey is missing out on an opportunity to profit from Arab oil wealth as tensions between its secular government and religious authorities prevent it from issuing interest-free Islamic bonds that have become popular throughout the Muslim world.

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Islamic Finance has come of age. Presently hundreds of Islamic financial institutions are working around the globe. Presence of a Shari’ah Board within each Islamic financial institution is required to establish a credible presence. However, is a Shariah board required in every institution? Does it add to the efficiency of Islamic financial institution? Has it helped to achieve the objectives of the institution? What is the role of these Shariah boards in achieving the objectives of Islamic economic system. Noted scholars of Islamic finance Prof. M. Nehatullah Siddiqi has raised these and similar issues in this paper which is being published on this web site to encourage thinking and discussion on this issue. However, The Institute of Objective Studies does not necessarily subscribe to all the views of the author expressed in this paper. In order to stimulate discussion, the readers are invited to send their views to ios@vsnl.com 

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Slowly, but steadily, the world is sliding back into the 19th-century mould of Great Game, when the major European powers were locked in a struggle to grab most of Asia and Africa. This scramble for empire-building at the cost of Asian and African peoples generated great wars and destruction on unprecedented scale. The Americas and Australia were already captured by white settlers from Europe, the local population decimated or driven out to remote areas.

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As a student of economics I have always been troubled by the concerns of most economists. Even while doing my Ph.D. I had always the question at the back of my mind as to why can’t we be a little more humane, a little more equitable, a little more concerned about human wellbeing rather than about GNP and GDP, standard of living and growth rate.

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New Delhi: Fears of joblessness in the US have forced several states to introduce legislation seeking to prevent BPO (business processes outsourcing) jobs being farmed out to companies in other countries. India being a major beneficiary of this system has reasons to worry.

 Opposition to BPO has grown over the last few months as the slowdown in US economy has turned out to be more enduring than was expected. American jobs sourced out to India means fewer jobs for American citizens.

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The designing, packaging and marketing of Asia uses the standard recipe of advertising –– a little bit of truth, a lot of hype, dollops of dreams: stir and put on a slow boil.

The recently concluded ASEAN summit in Indonesia was a grand spectacle. The 36 year-old organisation of ten South East Asian nations has of late been trying to woo Japan, China and India in a bid to emerge as some kind of a European Union of the area. The ambition is quite understandable. The only problem is that inordinate media hype makes it look as if the ambition has already been fulfilled. The fact remains that it cannot be achieved by 2020, not even in terms of similarity, let alone parity.

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In his analysis of the predicament of the contemporary non-religious man, Albert Einstein says: “The crux of the crisis relates to the relationship between the individual and the community. The attitude of the individual toward the group makes him blow up his individual motivations while his communal motivations — which are weaker — gradually deteriorate. People, who are prisoners of their selfishness, feel that they are living in anxiety and seclusion and that they are deprived of enjoying the social life. In fact man cannot find a meaning to his short life if he did not give from himself to the society.” When Victor Frankl built the third school for psychological treatment in Vienna, following the two previous schools set up by Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler, he established the school on his own theory about the primary motivation behind the human conduct. Frankl’s motivation is different from that of Freud (desire for pleasure) and of Adler (desire for power). The motivation for Frankl is to find a meaning of life. He does not believe that “pleasure” can be the motivation for the human behavior but a result of it. He does not also believe that “power” is the ultimate end for the human behavior but a means to it. He believes that the society will turn into a sick case when pleasure and power become the dominant forces.

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Over the last few years we have been witnessing a dangerous drift that seems to widen the chasm between civilisations. The process of meaningful bilateral and multilateral dialogue has virtually ceased. In the void thus created have grown mutual suspicions, hatred and hostility.

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Last week the media (national and international) carried a scary message supposedly released by Osama bin Laden. Mr bin Laden was reported to have threatened reprisals against some European countries for their sustained slander campaign against Islam and Muslims.

At the outset let it be clear that Islam, as understood by most Muslims worldwide, is not about reprisals. Another clarification is in order here: We don't endorse Mr bin Laden's prescription for setting things right, nor do we share his worldview.
 

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Every year finance ministers and commerce ministers of scores of countries gather under the auspices of World Economic Forum (WEF) to discuss commerce and trade issues that affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. National contingents include bureaucrats, activists and endless number of national and international NGOs.

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Within a week's time we have heard the same words from the US President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Iran. First Mr. Bush declared grandly that regarding Iran's nuclear ambition, "all options is on the table". And within the next few days Mr. Olmert told a high-level committee of Israeli officials the same thing in the same words.

The International Herald Tribune reported that the committee meeting was not open to the media, but one of the participants told the Tribune reporter on condition of anonymity what Mr. Olmert had communicated to them. By "all options on the table" Mr. Bush and Mr. Olmert mean they would launch a military attack on Iran together or singly if it refuses to follow their orders.

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America's handling of the Middle East situation is fraught with risks for it, Israel, the Middle East and the rest of the world, observes DR M MANZOOR ALAM
 

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The declaration of Emergency in Pakistan could be an indicator of more difficult days to come. The extreme measure restored to by President Pervez Musharraf makes democracy – popular rule, functioning of independent legislature, judiciary and media – a distant prospect as all of them are in suspended animation now.

As usual the United States and its Western allies are firmly behind the person who has done this, that is, President Pervez Musharraf. The US loves to claim that it stands for democracy (that is how it justifies its occupation, and destruction, of Afghanistan and Iraq), but on the ground it does the exact opposite by backing dictators and justifying occupation.

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One of the welcome trends in international affairs in 2006-2007 has been the gradual inching of Kosovo towards independence from Serbia and (in the mid-term) statehood. However, the process seemed extremely complicated, much of the complication having been created by Serbia, which though guilty of massive ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars, still tried desperately to cling to the territory.

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President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan filed his nomination papers on September 27 amid protests from the Opposition and a wave of arrests. Faisal Hashmi looks at the Pakistan scenario over the last several months, from mid-2006 onwards.

Through much of the year 2006 till the writing of this piece Pakistan, a significant Muslim country in terms of its high quality human resource and technological development, had been passing through a bad patch.

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BAGHDAD: Reports of the poor health among high-ranking Iraqi politicians are being seen as symbolic of the popular mood here about the U.S.-backed government.
 

In late February, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was flown to neighbouring Jordan for medical treatment amid conflicting reports about his health. Sources in Amman and from Talabani's office in Baghdad told reporters that the 73-year-old had suffered a stroke, but in a televised interview his son said that Talabani was suffering from fatigue or exhaustion.

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 The vast majority of Iraqis live by the Euphrates river, and the Tigris with its many tributaries. The two rivers join near Basra city in the south to form the Shat al-Arab river basin. Iraq is also gifted with high quality ground water resources; about a fifth of the territory is farmland.

"The water we have in Iraq is more than enough for our living needs," chief engineer Adil Mahmood of the Irrigation Authority in Baghdad told IPS. "In fact we can export water to neighbouring countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan -- who manage shortages in water resources with good planning."
 

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In the face of a critical Senate debate on future U.S. strategy in Iraq, neo-conservatives and other hawks are trying to rally increasingly sceptical -- and worried -- Republicans behind continued support for President George W. Bush's five-month-old "surge" strategy, writes Jim Lobe from Washington.


They are arguing that the surge -- the deployment of an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to try to pacify Baghdad to encourage political compromise among the major groups in Iraq -- has not been given sufficient time to work and that abandoning it now would amount to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

 

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Over the last few years the Islamic obligation of jehad has been erroneously turned into a cottage industry. Individual Muslims and the tiniest of "organisations" (often containing no more than the family members of the  "founder") have taken upon themselves the duty of waging jehad most likely against the Muslim state itself in which such persons and groups are based.

There are quite a few things to be understood here. First, mostly these are individual efforts of freelance warriors, or those of ragtag bands with nothing substantial to glue them together. They cannot stand before the sustained assault of an organised national army, navy, air force, paramilitary units and special forces. They don’t have the advantage of eye-in-the sky cameras orbiting in space and feeding military intelligence to the armed forces headquarters of a country round the clock as well as unmanned aircraft flying over rebel formations and transmitting crucial data to the command headquarters. All that makes launching and sustaining an effective attack against rebels more viable.

 

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George W. Bush is undoubtedly the most genuine representative of a system of terror forced on the world by the technological, economic and political superiority of the most powerful country known to this planet.  For this reason, we share the tragedy of the American people and their ethical values.

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"Zaytoun" is the name of a plant in Arabic. In English it is known as olive. Its significance can be imagined from the fact that it has been mentioned in the Holy Quran. Allah Ta’la in a verse swears by it and calls Makkah "Baladil Amin" (City of Peace). That’s why the branch of Zaytoun has become a symbol of peace. Interestingly, this olive branch seems to be common to both Fatah and Hamas. Fatah leader and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat had in his historic speech at the United Nations General Assembly delivered on November 13, 1974 said: "Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun.

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 FAISAL HASHMI discusses a subtle change in Islamic theological stance that has the potential to unite the Muslim world by minimising sectarian squabbles.

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The Muslim world heaved a sigh of relief when Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement last week in Makkah to form a national unity government. The agreement signed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Chief Khalid Mashaal sent home signals to the fighters of the two sides to stop killing each other.

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DR MOHAMMAD MANZOOR ALAM agonises over growing division between Muslims, and pleads for unity in the larger interests of the Ummah

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There is a marked increase in the opposition to the Iraq war from US Congress, American citizens and sensible persons from across the world, but President George Bush is still adamant to “stay the course”. Instead of bringing coalition forces back from Iraq, President Bush has recently announced to send more troops there. This is why people are calling him a “dictator” – one who does not care for public opinion.

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In the first week of November 2006 the science journal Nature published a special issue on science in the Muslim world. It was a collection of several reports by specialists that took stock of scientific and technological education in the Muslim world as well as research laboratories and other intellectual and artistic activity.

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North Korea’s nuclear weapon is horribly immoral, India-Pakistan’s are barely acceptable, Israel’s are very very reasonable, France’s, UK’s, Russia’s and China’s are harmless, and US weapons are holy, beyond reproach. “This is terrible duplicity”, argues MOHAMMED ATAUR RAHMAN

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ON OCTOBER 6 the Danish state TV showed video clips of fresh cartoons of the holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The cartoons were drawn by members of the youth wing of Danish People’s Party that tried (foolishly enough) to "humiliate" the prophet.

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Since September 11 attacks, Muslims living in America and Western countries have become the subject of constant discussion and a cause of worry for others. They have been living in fear, which has been compounded by massive bomb blasts in Madrid and London.

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The unfortunate controversy raised by Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks in Germany last week has brought to fore the long and intricate relationship between Islam and Christianity. Muslims worldwide heaved a sigh of relief when the dust of the storm kicked by the remark began to settle down with the official declaration of regret by the Vatican on September 16, and a personal apology a day later from the pope himself.

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Lebanon war revives Arab nationalist feelings, not of a socialist-secular Nasserite vintage, but of a universal Islamic kind.

Some observers see the post-war surge in Arab national pride as rebirth of Arab nationalism that had begun to fade after the 1967 Arab-Israel war. By the time Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser died (September 28, 1970), the idea of Arab nationalism had receded considerably.

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TODAY, GEORGE W. BUSH said, "Islamo-facists are trying to use any means to kill us because they hate the freedom we all love."

Yes, Islamic terrorists are trying to kill us. But why? Islamic terrorists are trying to kill us because our government has been funding and arming Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine for decades now.

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Israel, which had never really left occupied Palestinian territory, is back in Gaza. A just solution is

still very far from sight, writes DR. MOHAMMAD MANZOOR ALAM

The Palestinian-Israeli situation is typical of all occupations. The occupier creates the impression that it is doing a great service to the people under occupation and that the freedom fighters are a set of rascals who have to be put in their place.

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I am amazed at Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori of the US Episcopal’s Church’s remark that "homosexualism is no sin". A recent Reuters report from Washington said she had observed that "homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender".

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At the turn of the century, we are living in a moment of “virtual reality” an interface between reality and its image. They are so close and so much alike outwardly (yet so unlike in their innate nature) that any moment the image can become the substance. In fact, elbow the substance out. The image has already done so: it has become the substance. The media has become the message.

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Multiculturalism, as a distinctive model for the management of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity, emerged in the West in the wake of the great migrations of the post-War period. Canada and Sweden were the first nations to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy in the 1970s. Subsequently, many European countries followed suit. The process of globalization brought about a good deal of exposure to ethnic and religious diversities as well as inter-cultural sensitivity, thanks to large-scale international migrations, modern information and communication technologies, and the intermingling of people from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

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The resounding victory of Palestinian freedom fighters’ group, Hamas, in parliamentary elections marks a turning point in Middle East history. As usual it has raised eyebrows from Tel Aviv to London, Rome to Washington.

Once again the West is over-reacting to a rather understandable phenomenon. Before reacting in their set, habitual ways, they should take into account the fact that Hamas has been voted by a people under occupation, a people who despite the severity of their situation, have preponderantly favoured peace.

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US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in his typical self-glorifying manner, proclaimed at the outset of this month that newspapers and other media had burgeoned in Iraq after the removal of Saddam Hussein. It, according to him, proved that democracy was flourishing there.

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Over the last few months we have seen too much of ill-will over Iran’s perfectly legitimate bid to develop an indigenous nuclear fuel cycle technology for peaceful purposes.

This, as I have asserted already, is a perfectly legitimate activity that is in consonance with the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of which Iran is a signatory. This fact was also presented before the UN General Assembly last month by the Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinijad at the Millennium Development Goals summit.

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The recent three-day world summit at the UN could barely agree on “modest reforms”, but major issues of poverty, development and security remained largely unaddressed, writes Mohd. Zeyaul Haque

At the largest-ever gathering of world leaders (more than 150) at the UN last week that coincided with the 60th anniversary of the world body a 35-page document was endorsed that left crucial issues of poverty and security largely unaddressed. However, the leaders agreed on a peace commission to help countries emerge from war and facilitate transition to peace and reconstruction.

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Before the Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana the world did not know that such pockets of poverty and hopelessness as Louisiana existed in a flashy, post-modern America. The world was also not aware of the Bush Administration’s monumental capacity for callousness.

Five days after the hurricane hit Louisiana, IPS correspondent Jim Lobe reported the survivors had not got food or water, and the federal government had yet to intervene meaningfully. For the first time the world also realised that the massive civil rights movement (led by Martin Luther King) of the 60s had not really improved the quality of life of American Blacks beyond a point.

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Within the next few hours the world will be observing the anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre (WTC) and the US Defence Department headquarters, Pentagon, in Washington. Newspapers and magazines worldwide would be featuring analyses of the event and discussing what possibly could be done to ensure that it did not happen again. As usual, most of it would be wrong, either by design or because of a genuine mistake of diagnosis.

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The question “Why was Sheehan killed?” is getting too tough for President George W. Bush to answer. Even though Mr Bush was never very good at academics, he should have been able to answer this simple question. So far he has avoided a straight answer.

Casey Sheehan was a young US army officer who was killed in the totally unjustified campaign against the supporters of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr. Casey Sheehan’s mother, the 48-year-old redoubtable activist Cindy Sheehan has since been asking President Bush and his administration as to why was her son killed in a war which has nothing to do with justice, or with America’s interests.

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Things rarely happen in isolation. Every headline-grabbing event is part of a long sequence of similar events spread across decades and centuries and diverse territories across continents. The roots of the blasts in London may lie in Abu Gharib in Iraq, Guantnamo Bay in Cuba, Jenin in Palestine or somewhere on Pak-Afghan border. Likewise, the sequence of events, as rightly pointed out by Arundhati Roy in an earlier article, could lie in the racial memories of sustained Western high-handedness.

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President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan is a living oxymoron of sorts: he is a hardened Islam-baiter. This former communist ruler of Afghanistan is known to have resisted even normal, peaceful expressions of Islam, like growing a beard, or regularly visiting a mosque.

Karimov’s antics have often drawn flak from human rights groups. The world showed great outrage when his troops shot dead 700 protestors in the eastern Uzbekistan town of Andijan on May 13. A large gathering of civilians was protesting against the arbitrary arrest of 23 local businessmen. Earlier a mob had broken the local jail and freed the 23 businessmen, besides 1200 other inmates.

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The latest meeting between Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf took place on April 22 in Jakarta at a dinner hosted by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia in the honour of visiting Afro-Asian leaders on the occasion of a summit.

The ever-courteous Dr Singh is reported to have walked, along with his wife Ms Grusharan Kaur, up to Gen. Musharraf and his wife Sheba. Earlier Dr Singh had said that establishing good relations with Pakistan was the uppermost in his mind, a desire that was reciprocated by Gen. Musharraf.

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When the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected the successor of Pope John Paul II on April 19, he inherited the goodwill of a large number of people. Many of those people are not Roman Catholic, some not even Christian. That is a plus point for the church that John Paul II had led for close to three decades with great distinction.

That could also be the problem of the 77-old new pontiff, who has assumed the papal name Benedict-XVI. His predecessor was one of those giants of history before whom even great men are likely to look small, a risk that Pope Benedict XVI will inevitably run. His predecessor had other, quite obvious advantages. To begin with, he was a highly athletic, fit person when he became the pope, and a full two decades younger than his successor was at the time of ascension.

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The second term of George W. Bush has potentials of immense harm to America, the world, as well as the Muslim world. It could also be a time of undoing most of the harm inflicted in the first term, writes DR MANZOOR Alam.

Now that President George W. Bush is firmly settled in his office in the second term as president of the United States, it is time for both the US and the rest of the world to take stock and figure out where we (the whole world) is headed.

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A historic vote in Israel's parliament to withdraw from Gaza has  been overshadowed by serious concern over the health of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

Just days after the Israeli press unanimously described the  highly contested vote in parliament in favour of a withdrawal from Gaza as ''historic'', the event has been eclipsed by a sharp deterioration in Arafat's health.

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So wrote Rudyard Kipling, the great champion of colonialism, nearly a century ago (The White Man's Burden by Rudyard Kipling, McClure's Magazine 12, Feb. 1899).

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One, and perhaps the only, message that the illegal American invasion and occupation of Iraq has sent to the people across the globe is that you must be strong or must have a genuine deterrence in order to survive in this maddening world. This is specially true if you happen to be richly endowed with natural resources or your geographical location is one of strategic importance. Being weak or deprived of deterring weapons is an open invitation to invasion and subsequent disaster. The bleeding Iraq is an eye-opening example.

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The dramatic Federal Court  decision to free jailed ex-Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim after six years of  incarceration will have far-reaching implications for Malaysia.

 There is more than one winner arising from the decision. Apart from giving Anwar a new lease of life, the court ruling will also provide a boost for the reformist credentials of Malaysia's new Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

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At best we can expect certain changes in the nuances of US foreign policy under John Kerry, but even those nuances can be vital for America's, and the world's, wellbeing , writes Dr. Manzoor Alam

The US presidential election of 1961 was a historic event in many ways. Democrat John F. Kennedy won the election trouncing his rival Republican Richard M. Nixon. Kennedy did not seem to be the public choice in the early phases. His chronic illness, his elitist background and, above all, his being a Roman Catholic were great problems holding him back. In a Protestant America his opposition made it a point that he would be taking orders from Vatican instead of keeping his own counsel. (A Roman Catholic US president was virtually  unthinkable then.)

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The Israeli government has thought of a novel way to compensate for Palestinian deprivation. For over two millennia, the Jews have been gathering at the last remaining wall of Solomon’s (PBUH) Temple to cling to it and wail over the destruction wrought by Romans. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (or war criminal Sharon, as his victims would describe him) has magnanimously decided that the Palestinians too must have their Wailing Wall, much before they are allowed to have a “state” of their own.

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Finally, we are face to face with the reality that we have dreaded the most. It is official now. Media experts at the latest World Social Forum meet in Mumbai conceded that the access to media for underprivileged classes and groups has become even more difficult now than, say, 20 years ago.

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Last week’s summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Islamabad showed once again that relations between the two regional powers -- India and Pakistan -- was crucial to the grouping's survival and growth. The gradual thaw in Indo-Pak ties thus bodes well for the region’s peace and prosperity.

Pakistan had set the ball rolling in December by suggesting that it was prepared to jettison the long-standing demand for a plebiscite in Indian Kashmir to determine whether the people in this Muslim-majority valley would like to stay with India or go to Pakistan.

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After Saddam Hussein’s Capture
 

After President Saddam Hussein’s capture two questions are being asked frequently: What will be the future course of resistance to American occupation, and what will be the future of Mr Hussein.

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June began with some hope for the long-suffering Palestinian people as the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas began to engage with Israel, the US and other Mid-Eastern regimes to stabilise the Palestinian Authority and move towards the ultimate goal of creating a Palestinian state. 

Although people like Abbas are looked at with some suspicion as the quintessential quislings — like the present leadership in Afghanistan and Yugoslavia — hopes for some improvement in the Palestinian situation had begun to grow

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The closing decades of the 20th century witnessed the dawn of the multicultural era, characterised by the salience of cultural diversity and plurality, the coexistence of multiple ethnic and religious groups in most nation-states, and the universal acceptance of the principles of tolerance, peaceful coexistence in a democratic framework, and respect for human rights, including group rights.  Multiculturalism has been closely intertwined with the process of globalisation.  The great migrations of the post-War period, especially from Asia, Africa and Latin America to Europe and North America, brought about a significant alteration in the demographic and social composition of many Western countries.

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MALAYSIA AFTER MAHATHIR

After 22 years of stewardship of UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) as its president and that of Malaysia as its prime minister, Mahathir Mohammad steps down to enter history as one of the tallest Muslim leaders of the world and the builder of a new Malaysia.

 

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The chorus of condemnation targetting Dr Mahathir Mohammad’s alleged racial slur in his address at last month’s OIC meet at Putrajaya against Jews still continues. Among several other things, he had remarked that Jews make others fight proxy wars on their behalf. Quite a few people are feigning injured innocence. The US Department of State took no time to denounce Mahathir, as did the Italian foreign minister by condemning the speech in his capacity as foreign minister of Italy as well as by raising the issue at a European Union ministerial. The largely Jewish-controlled US media raised a storm over Mahathir’s remarks that is yet to die down.

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In mid-June a young Indian student of University of Massachussets Dartmouth was severely beaten up by four white racists. The attackers were shouting, “Go back to Iraq.”

The victim, Saurabh Bhalerao, pleaded he was not a Muslim from Iraq but a Hindu from India. His pleas fell on deaf ears. Bhalerao was hospitalised for days after the attack.

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The World Social Forum meet in Mumbai changes the emphasis of international political discourse from terrorism to human freedom and welfare...

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By now it is quite clear that things are not going smoothly for the US and allies in Iraq. Nearly 250 occupation soldiers have been killed by Iraqi resistance fighters since President George W. Bush declared the war over on May 1. According to western estimates, 10,000-15,000 Iraqis have died in the unjust, uncalled for, and absolutely unjustifiable war...

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To achieve any targeted goal, there is a need to develop infrastructure accordingly. This is with all aspects of life whether it is agriculture, industry, education, religion etc. Educational institutions are meant to shape and reshape the ideology among the educated class while remaining lot gets influenced by them in one way or the other. If these institutions fail to develop scientific knowledge to deal with the social, cultural and environmental issues related to wellbeing of human society, the very purpose of the educational institution seems to have failed. Such institutions remain as information and data collection centres and depend on interpretative centres in which analytical researches are not much encouraged. These weaknesses may be removed with scientific temper and an open mind having a suitable ambience as well as sufficient infrastructural facilities. In the absence of the above-mentioned conditions, the targeted goal will be a dream only. While changing educational institutions into true centres of scientific learning, some of the following important issues have to be considered seriously in order to improve the quality of education and scientific temper among both students and teachers.

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Tawhid is the central organising principle of Islam. In its primary meaning, it is about the absolute Oneness of God. In its extended meaning, it is about the oneness of the entire humanity, as the Quran beautifully expresses it: all humans being the children of a single set of parents - Adam and Eve - are essentially one. Further all knowledge, coming from God alone as it does, has a unity (wahdat) at its core. Thus, there is no reason why Muslims should not try to bring their main organising principle - Tawhid - to bear down on the entire body of human knowledge.

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Over the last several months we have been hearing claims about the economy going great guns. Government leaders tell us that we are growing at 7 per cent a year while the US economy...

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Research has shown that sharia councils are approached voluntarily and are often progressive

Written by Faizan Mustafa | Updated: August 10, 2018 12:05:13 am

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A few weeks ago I had written a piece, “Let’s give peace a chance.” In it I had argued for co-operating with the Supreme Court-ordered Ayodhya mediation committee that seeks to find an amicable...

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A few days ago, in this column I had discussed how the Muslim representation in parliament had been brought down to a level at which this faith community of 17 crore people has been made...

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One of the less examined and analysed aspects of the recent Lok Sabha elections is the stark fact that the old dream of the Sangh to do politics without Indian Muslims has been fully realised. BJP has won...

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As I write this, the most precious moments of our lives are quickly passing by. The blessed days and nights of the holy month of Ramadhan that bring Muslims bounties of Allah, for our lives...

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Around the time President Barack H. Obama came to the White House in his first term a rather intriguing piece by a famous columnist appeared in several newspapers. In it he wrote something to the effect that Obama’s middle name was Hussein, and he would tilt towards Iran, the country which lives for the Love of Hussein, the martyred grandson of the Prophet (PBUH).

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Peace (salaam) is an absolute value in Islam. Everyday we wish peace to each other, pray for peace through our greetings (Assalamu alaikum, peace be upon you), send salaam to our Prophet...

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The Muslim world’s educational status has been declining for centuries in relation to the others. Muslim minorities in India, China, Russia, European Union, the US, Canada or South America...

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The visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to India at the head of a large business and official delegation this week is being looked up to with expectations of further deepening...

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I, along with many other Indian Muslims, take you as a holy person, and have the best wishes for you and your mission of mental and physical health, tranquility, spiritual enlightment and peace for hundreds...

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The rise of Anwar Ibrahim, leader of Malaysia’s ruling PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) after years of imprisonment brings to mind the mythical Sphynx, the bird that was burnt to ashes and later...

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The Narendra Modi government has railroaded the Triple Talaq Bill through Lok Sabha on sheer strength of a brute majority, contemptuously overlooking the Opposition protests and Muslim minority’s...

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The Supreme Court verdict on the Rafale deal that supports government’s decision to clinch it and discourages any questioning of it has turned out to be based on a wrong and misleading account...

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The extraordinary performance of Congress Party in major states of north Indian Hindi belt has proved that we are not living in Congress–mukt (Congress-free) Bharat as BJP would have us believe, but...

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And with that I am going to make a paradoxical statement: whoever wins the Lok Sabha election in 2019 will be an unhappy person. The next prime minister from the party winning the majority seats would be...

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On November 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a dramatic announcement. He has been making such announcements over the last four years, but this seemed magical. In a way...

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Only last month RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat had, in a series of lectures, given a clear indication that the Sangh was moving away from its aggressive and highly divisive Hindutva stance. He...

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What you don't seem to realise is that Mohan Bhagwat the head of the RSS in 2018, in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, has tried to put a pro constitution and pro Islam gloss on Hinduism...

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When RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat made certain observations during a three-day lecture series at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan, a lot of people sat up and watched in sheer amazement. It seemed as if the traditionally...

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Unity of the Ummah is a precious value in Islam. The reason is quite clear: people believing in a single, Almighty God (Allah) and his last Prophet (PBUH) and the Book of Allah revealed on the Prophet, the Quran...

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Trust an ill-mannered buffoon to turn the sacred into the profane, or, at least try to. Cartooning, like journalism, art and poetry can come to the rescue when freedom, justice and human rights are threatened...

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When Imran Ahmed Khan Niyazi’s Pakistani cricket team won the World Cup in 1992, the whole subcontinent, not just Pakistan, rejoiced in the victory. For the first time (and possibly for the last) cricket was a sport in India...

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The Quranic revelation began with Iqra, or Read. By the way, I have a clear preference for Read as the meaning of Iqra over Recite and Proclaim. I have a simple reason for believing that, because when the Archangel...

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On July 30, the final draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) was completed in Assam that listed 2.89 crore citizens, out of 3.29 crore applications for citizenship. As many as 40 lakh people were excluded...

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The release of former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim from prison following a royal pardon from Sultan Muhammad V on May 16, 2018 is a milestone in the country’s politics. That democratic...

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As of writing these lines the second ashra (ten days) is coming to a close. The moment we get down to taking our iftaar of the 20th Ramadhan, the night of the 21st Ramadhan begins, as in the Islamic calendar...

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By the time you get to read this, it will be the anniversary of a great turning point in Islam’s history: the 17th of the holy month when the crucial battle of Badr was fought between Muslims (who came from Madina)...

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As I write this, it is the second day of the blessed month of Ramadhan in a large part of the world. The Ramadhan moon was sighted last evening in an unusually large swath of the globe. Thus a preponderant...

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The count-down to the general elections - 2019 has begun. Prior to this, polls to several assemblies have become a focal point for the ruling party at the Centre, BJP, and opposition parties. After elections...

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Justice Rajinder Sachar, who passed away on April 20, at 94, after a long life of fighting for public causes, was truly what we call salt of the earth. A judge in the illustrious tradition of VR Krishna Iyer and...

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The NDA’s last budget is a sleight of hand to impress the rural voter in 2019. Urban voters, especially the youth, impressed by BJP’s promise of the moon, had voted wholeheartedly the Narendra Modi-led coalition...

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The intractable Ayodhya dispute defies resolution. Not that men of faith and goodwill on both sides have not tried, or not tried hard enough to resolve it. Among the tallest spiritual figures who tried to untangle...

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I am returning to this column, addressed particularly to the Muslim youth, after a while. The issue I want to talk about is the ubiquitous violence, sense of dissatisfaction and disappointment, rage and resentment that seem...

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If anything, 2017 was marked by an all-pervasive sense of fear and loathing. Virtually everyday people were beaten up or killed for allegedly eating beef, conducting love Jihad, resisting ghar wapsi...

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The US move to shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has reset the Mid-East political and diplomatic chessboard. Since President Trump’s announcement of the decision on December 6 it has become...

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A summit is the top of a mountain. In diplomacy, a summit is a meeting of the top persons of countries–presidents, kings or, at the minimum, prime ministers. At the extraordinary session of Organisations of Islamic Conference...

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US President Donald Trump in his familiar cavalier way has announced that the US embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem despite warnings from European and Muslim states that such a move would....

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This is an SOS to halt the unprecedented escalation in the persecution of Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar. Over the last ten days alone, nearly 125,000 of them have fled over the border to Bangladesh to avoid...

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Large crowds are a powerful symbol. Often they are an indication of something being wrong, something needed to be rectified by people in power. If the rulers fail to take note, a crowd has a way of turning...

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The Prime Minister’s speech on Independence Day was, as usual, full of rhetoric and flourishes, but short on specifics. Some of his assertions were too good to be believed. Hence, it is of interest to look at the speech...

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After decades of politics under the British Raj the Indian National Congress decided finally on August 8, 1942 that enough was enough and every mission, commission, petition and submission had become irrelevant. The people...

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In the last piece we discussed how, with the Prime Minister’s public disapproval of goonda attacks on Muslims by cow vigilantes, we hope this mode of anti-Muslim violence will cease for a while for other modes...

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After a relentless bout of persecution of Muslims over the last three years under well-orchestrated programmes like ghar wapsi, love jihad, and cow protection the Sangh seems to be preparing for a gear shift...

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When you get to read these lines only a day or, at best, two, of the holy month would be left before Eid celebrations. That is, only a small window of opportunity is left for believers to take advantage of to please Allah...

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Like note ban, nobody knows whom the current meat ban is going to benefit. All that we know is that it has created extraordinary problems for the livelihood of two crore people, aggravated goonda...

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On June 6 five farmers were killed in police firing in two separate incidents in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh. The police fired on large crowds of farmers demanding remunerative prices for...

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Ashrah in Arabic means ten days. And, we are already well into the first ashrah of the holy month of Ramadhan. Though the whole month of Ramadhan is full of Allah’s Grace and Mercy, these particular days are known...

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By the time you get to read this, only two days of Sha’abaan will be left. That is, only two days before the holy month of Ramadhan dawns upon us, bringing with it all the bounties and favours from...

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aking note of Unique Identity Project’s limitations the Supreme Court of India first observed that Aadhaar card should not be mandatory. Over a period of time it seems to have come to the conclusion that Aadhaar...

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The continuous engagement between the Supreme Court, the Union government and civil society for quite a while has obfuscated issues relating to the Aadhaar card. Despite such engagement since...

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A recent expose by Rajasthan Patrika that had the potential to create a storm in the media and society has been quietly allowed to die down and buried in deafening silence by the same corporate...

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Now that we are in the fourth week of the first month of January 2017, we look back at the last century (1917-2017) as lost years for the Ummah, for which it has truly been a century of setbacks. Rarely any...

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The unity, prosperity and wellbeing of Muslims as individuals, groups and countries is so important that by the time we come to the end of an article we realise that far more has remained unsaid than what...

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Over the last couple of days I have frequently been returning to the content of the Prime Minister’s much-awaited address to the nation within hours of the beginning of the New Year. We had been hoping for some respite...

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I am returning to this column within a week. The usual periodicity of this is once every month or so. The reason for this is the wide response to the last column under this title. The enthusiastic response to the article...

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I am returning to this column after a long while, in circumstances that are far from pleasant. Today, the Islamic world is a sad picture of disarray, anarchy and violence–internal as well as with others. From Afghanistan...

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At the outset, it must be asserted that monetary and financial policies are made for the people, and people are not made for such policies. This basic principle seems to have been stood on its head in the present conundrum...

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At an international seminar on Islamic higher education last month in the idyllic Maldives I made certain observations that were received with acclaim. The organisers asked me to chair the next session where...

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Human sacrifice has been a part of history. The evil practice still continues in parts of the world, including India. We read reports of such sacrifices in India once in a while made to propitiate some goddess to ask...

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For nearly two months now the Kashmir valley has been on fire. A continuous curfew of 50 days or so was lifted earlier this week, but certain areas are still under curfew....

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As of writing this (afternoon of 24th Ramadhan in the subcontinent) much of the holy month is already gone. The first ashra (ten days) of rahmat (God’s mercy) has gone by ; the second of maghfirat (God’s pardon) too gone...

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The evil mind that planned and executed Gujarat’s anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002 and Muzaffarnagar killings of 2013 is back plotting a similar carnage before UP election next year. They claimed that Gujarat...

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Killing somebody without justification is a great crime. It is a greater crime if the state is the killer, because the state is there to protect citizens, not to kill them wantonly. Also, destroying the evidence of the murder...

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From today, June 7, the holy month of Ramdhan begins in most of South Asia. In many parts of the world it began yesterday. The variation of a few hours is because of Islam’s lunar calendar which...

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In the last article in this series we talked about how the ruling class seems to have taken the Rand Corporation report (to the US administration) suggesting that the poor of the Third World should be allowed...

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Two years are now solidly behind Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India. It is a moment of reckoning, time to question what he has delivered over these two years, how his team has functioned as cabinet...

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After a couple of recent visits to Turkey, I have come to the firm conclusion that the country is reliving its grand Ottoman legacy under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan with its economic growth, conservative...

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Sometimes towards the end of cold war, Rand Corporation, which conducts researches and writes reports for US government, its foreign policy and military establishments, prepared a report that had...

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When King Salman bin Abdul Aziz ascended to the Saudi throne on the death of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz the kingdom was at the cusp of great wave of far-reaching changes. A constant fall in oil revenues, expanding population, slow-down in the expansion and renovation of infrastructure and need for a fast pace of job creation had to be quickly looked into. The new administration took due note of it. The monarchy already had a blueprint for addressing some of these issues. The new order had just to improve it and quicken its implementation, besides creating newer plans and projects for an all-round security and growth and for the country to keep on playing its role on the international stage as the undisputed leader of the Muslim world.

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In the early years of his rule, sometime in 1930s, King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud confided in a Western writer that he was fed up with rampant tribal raids on each other and on pilgrim caravans. He said he had been praying to Allah to send some rain so that the raiders could get busy with some form of agriculture and stay away from raids, which were desperate acts to find a living in brigandage, stealing neighbouring tribes’ cattle, looting pilgrims and trading caravans. The raids would often cause injury to both raiders and defenders, if not always death, in which a blood feud would ensue, just as it did before the advent of Islam, in the Jahiliyah, the age of ignorance.

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Think of Saudi Arabia, and you think of the holiest of holy, the land most blessed by God, the land about which the Poet of East, Allama Mohammad Iqbal, wrote:

Among all the places of worship
Stands tall the first House of God
We (the Ummah) are its watchful sentries
As it (silently) guards over all of us

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At a first glance, today’s theme is self evident and in no need of commentary. Women constitute about half of humankind and should therefore share the same responsibilities as men.

The term ‘humane’ according to the dictionary is compassion or benevolence; a humane society is therefore one that avoids pain or suffering to fellow humans. Sociologists consider a society humane if it is motivated by the most desirable of human values. It implies a society dedicated to the principles of justice, equality and fraternity and one in which its members are recognized and respected as human beings without differentiations of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

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The following are some of my thoughts regarding women’s role in the construction of a humane society.

Besides the ascriptive roles assigned to them by society which, in any case, better-educated women resent, all other roles that women seek to play will have to be chosen by them only. Issues like what will be the size of the family that she (with her husband, of course) wants to raise is to be decided by the woman alone. After all, it is her body that will carry the baby for nine months and, after birth, it is she who will suckle the baby, look after it closely for a year or two, sleep and rise with her infant, and suffer severe sleep deprivation.

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Recently we talked about how people have been killed in fake encounters. The police have claimed that the victims were terrorists, but courts found no proof of terror against them. Yet they got no...

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The guilt of fiendish murder of Junaid can not be sidelined by Hindu Majority under the slogan of “Not in my Name”. In fact Hindu majority will continue to be held guilty so long such devilish acts continue. These acts are a shame on our constitution and this challenge has to be met frontally.

The recital in the preamble to the Constitution that India is a secular state means that no religious group (including Hindus) can claim any special dominant position or status in the country.

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Of late we have been witnessing a gruesome drama played by the UPA and NDA on the extrajudicial killing of Ishrat Jahan and some others in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004 by Gujarat Police. The...

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Over the last few years we have been seeing a cynical game being played with increasing enthusiasm by all kinds of politicians and organisations. People who were never the admirers of Babasaheb...

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First of all, my apologies for returning to you a little late with this column. I had been travelling much of the time. This column, for a change, talks less about our religious, social and cultural like as Muslims...

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There is general feeling in India that if the government at the Centre, or in some state, wants to distract public attention from an issue, it forms an enquiry commission, which sees to it that justice is delayed...

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For all its appearances, the country is slowly, but steadily, being pushed towards an undeclared civil war. However, I must qualify my statement at the outset: because civil war is a precise term denoting an internal...

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We are passing through a strange moment in our life where we are confronted with the evil described neatly by Macbeth’s witches: “Fair is foul, foul is fair.” In a moral reversal, language, too, has been turned upside...

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Over the last few months it has become quite evident that the NDA government at the Centre is hostile to the life of the mind that universities signify. The government’s thinking on the subject is an extension of the Sangh’s thinking...

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I am returning to this column a little earlier than usual. I must reiterate before proceeding further that this column is meant particularly for Muslim youth. The idea is that youth have vitality and extraordinary physical energy...

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Over the last few weeks there has been a growing sense of uncertainty among Muslims when they read about attacks on their co-religionists, their religious symbols, and malicious statements against celebrities...

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Over the last few years an impression has gained ground that Islam is violent and vengeful. This impression has been deepened and confirmed by violent events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Yemen, all “Muslim” lands...

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The last few weeks have been as disturbing as the preceding weeks. The slander campaign against Muslims accompanied by organised violence against them in different areas of the country and the...

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There is a parliamentary ritual, a customary courtesy of the government represented by the parliamentary affairs minister made right before beginning of each session of this august body. Under this custom the parliamentary...

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The Bihar elections have delivered a staggering blow to the NDA. They may not be a game-changer, but they certainly point to possibilities of a better performance by a secular front in the future...

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With their political maturity and fresh thinking the people of Bihar have set a trend which is likely to be followed in other state assembly elections in near future...

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As a roaring chorus of condemnation of the Sangh-inspired storm of intolerance rises to high heavens, the perpetrators of crimes against humanity are busy defending the indefensible. Sangh stalwarts, with...

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The Dussehra address of the RSS chief is by now an established ritual to which Hindutva votaries look forward with great excitement and expectation. Even common Indians, not affiliated to the Sangh, are interested...

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On October 12, Sudhendra Kulkarni, journalist and aide to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, was forcibly painted black by Shiv Sena goons for attending the release ceremony of Pakistani politician...

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Our food largely decides what kind of a body and mind we are going to get finally. If you eat carbohydrates (carbon + hydrogen) exclusively and shun proteins (nitrogen) you are certainly going to have more...

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There is an Urdu couplet that can be loosely translated as: “When the gardener set my nest on fire, the leaves that I relied upon began to fan it.” Now that Muslims have been forced into a corner by communal organisations...

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I am returning to this column after a long while. But, better late than never. The occasion for writing this piece is the coming Eid al-Azha within the next few hours in our part of the world. This is the time to renew our commitment...

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The circular issued by Maharashtra’s BJP government late last month has raised concern in liberal, informed sections all over India regarding its potential misuse by the police and administration to crush...

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In Bihar, the BJP-RSS propaganda machinery has got a windfall in the form of religion-wise census. The foot soldiers of the Sangh are warning Hindus that the Hindu population growth has been slower than that of Muslims...

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Over the last few weeks, things have not been going well for the country. A rash of anti-Muslim riots in Bihar, higher incidence of communal violence in the country compared to last year as per Home Ministry statistics...

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Politicians everywhere are notorious for looking at political advantage through populist actions first and looking at its economic costs later. The PM’s announcement of Rs 1.25 lakh crore Bihar package before...

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Of late the honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendrabhai Damoderbhai Modi, seems to be undergoing a profound change of heart. Shri Modi, who never tired of finding fault with Muslims–from their alleged...

 

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We are meeting at a highly auspicious moment, blessed by God – the night of 29th Ramdhan in much of the Subcontinent and the night of 30th in many parts of the Muslim world. These are the most precious moments...

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The fast unfolding Vyapam scandal is viewed by a substantial number of political commentators as an albatross around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s neck that will certainly restrict his maneuverability and reduce him...

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After a whole year of anti-Muslim slander campaign and sporadic violence against Muslims (to a lesser degree, against Christians as well), we had been hoping that the excitement of Sangh enthusiasts will wear...

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The epidemic called the Islamic State (IS) has quickly spread from Iraq and Syria to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and, according to some reports, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a dangerous trend that spells...

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A democracy is known by its fair play to all its citizens and equality before law. Sadly, it has become a pattern in India that some go scot free and others are heavily punished for committing the same crime. The judiciary, helped...

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On its own, yoga is like other systems of exercise that promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Despite its origins in a Hindu religio-cultural milieu, its widely acknowledged “founder”, Patanjli, was said to be an agnostic...

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ssalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah, everybody. We are meeting in the first ashra (ten days) of the holy month of Ramdhan. This part of the month is rightly called Ashrah rahmat (Ten days of Allah’s Grace) Like any good thing in life...

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Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that achche din aa gaye (good days are here). The PM, in his own opinion and judgment, was sure that he had delivered on his electoral promise of achche din aaenge...

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How many of us can afford a Rs 10 lakh suit? I think no Indian can do it, except the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, who claims to be the son of a chai wallah?...

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Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahamtullah everybody. I am back to you with this column a little earlier than I usually do. The previous piece, “Know thy World” is being completed with this piece. The earlier piece said we have to practise...

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I am returning to this column after a long time. I was kept busy by myriad other pressing engagements. As I had said at the time of the beginning of this column, I intend to reach out to the youth with it, particularly Muslim youth...

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Narendra Modi government has come to power on a plank of “development”, a thriving economy and people’s economic wellbeing. In practice, it has ended up doing just the opposite...

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The recent remark of the Prime Minister at the conference of chief justices and chief ministers of Indian states that “five star activists” are driving the judiciary was a clear attack on civil society, putting a question mark on the legitimacy...

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How do we judge the justice delivery system in India? Is it good, shoddy, or great? In fact, it is all the three at different times and levels. To be fair to it, its shoddiness does not always come from within it, but mostly from outside: the political...

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It is time now for the Union government to have a fresh look at its decision to defer a Shariah-compliant mutual fund by the State Bank of India...

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It was Mahatma Gandhi’s advocacy of ahimsa (non-violence) in general and his concern for cow protection in particular that is reflected in the Directive Principles of the Constitution making it incumbent on the state to work...

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Subramanian Swamy takes the prize for being the most irresponsible political leader hands down. However, his latest provocation is a little too brazen and malignant even from his own standards...

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The reverberations on Modi government’s first general budgets are still being heard, more clearly with the passage of time. In hindsight it looks like a feeble attempt to please everybody, but has ended up pleasing nobody...

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Nobody sympathises with a rapist. All of us wish the worst to befall him: let him come under the wheels of a big truck. Or, even worse: let him be run over by a huge goods train and die a horrible death. Or, if we can be patient and wait for a...

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Now that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal is the Chief Minister of Delhi, the people, including Muslims, are naturally looking forward to action from him to redress their long-standing problems...

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As Indians, let us sit back and think for a while about what we got from the high-profile visit of President Barack Obama. Two tangible and one intangible outcomes are visible at this moment, about 72 hours after the visit ended...

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King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, who died at 90 on January 22 after ruling Saudi Arabia since 2005, leaves a rich legacy of development, social and educational reforms and regional stability...

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In a burst of anti-Muslim violence in a village of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, hundreds of homes have been torched and the occupants made to flee for safety in the biting January cold...

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Whom would you prefer to be with, if given a chance: Sarpnath, or Nagnath? Will you prefer one over the other, or would you avoid their company in any case? After all, both are cobras, unfriendly creatures...

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The gruesome murder of 142 students in a school of Peshawar by Pakistani militants, reportedly Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, is a reprehensible act of barbarity. Those innocent children were nobody’s enemies. The indiscriminate...

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After years of effort the struggle for having a full-fledged Islamic banking system in India met with a moderate measure of success when the State Bank of India announced last week that it would launch a Shariah-complian...

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Thanks to India’s strong democratic tradition, even Narendra Modi came to power after a regular vote. This tradition requires that new legislators and governments are allowed a fairly long grace period before their performance...

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Recently, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an ASEAN summit that terrorism had no religion, Indian Muslims heaved a sigh of relief. This line, that “terror has no religion”, is a relatively new Sangh refrain, being mouthed...

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The get together of Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Deve Gowda and Sharad Yadav over lunch at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence in New Delhi has set off talks about revival of parts of the old Janata Party in coming days. The...

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Three events in the recent past are enough to suggest that the process of saffronisation of democratic institutions has begun. Some two months ago, slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” were chanted by BJP workers who were present...

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With the convincing win of the BJP in Haryana and Maharashtra earlier this week the Congress Party’s steady decline has despened. There is a clear ominous signal in Maharashtra that forebodes a UP-Bihar...

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On the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, on October 2, 2019, nobody will defecate in the open anywhere in India. By then everyone of us will have a toilet to go to. This is the target of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan...

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Now it is official. Extremist Buddhists and Hindus are forming a grand alliance against Muslims in South Asia. What damage they can cause Muslims is not really known, beyond a cowardly attack on Muslims...

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Love jehad is like a magical trick in the hands of the Sangh: now you see it , now you don’t. This has been going on since 1920s, and it is as old as RSS...

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Islam stands for a complete surrender to God’s Will. The shahadah (There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is His Prophet) is a pledge to live by this covenant. The pledge to honour God’s will includes giving up...

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After five days of continuous media hype and hoopla about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States we have got a pause to catch our breath and consider what we got from the visit...

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It has been a long open session on Muslims. For weeks together we have heard and read a concentrated demonising propaganda against Muslims. According to it, the Muslims are running a well-funded “love jihad” campaign...

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The Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi has said recently on the 13th anniversary of 9/11 that if the United States had heeded Swami Vivekananda’s call for universal brotherhood, America would not have to see that day. We have...

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It is reassuring to know that a five-member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court of India, headed by the Chief Justice R M Lodha, has ruled that states have the right to extend second official language to a language other...

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Of late we have been reading reports in a section of the press about al-Qaeda’s plans to enter countries of our region where Muslims are persecuted. Three such names have appeared: Myanmar, India and Kashmir. The...

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The NDA has crossed the 100-day mark in office and it is rightly in for evaluation. So, let us see what we (or the government) has got to show for it. In short, nothing much...

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Recent media reports about Muzaffarnagar are disturbing, to say the least. Stray information about last year’s anti-Muslim violence’s victims making distress sale of their lands have been coming in regularly...

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The tiger can’t change its stripes, the leopard its spots. BJP cannot shed its anti-Muslim obsession. This is the lesson learnt at the UP BJP’s executive meet at Mathura last week...

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Over the last several days I was so deeply pre-occupied with other concerns that I could not find time to write this column. Now that I am visiting this space, I have to refer to pronouncements by the President of India...

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The first casualty that was hardly noticed after the new government took over in Delhi was the deletion of important documents of the home ministry. It was taken rather casually and the voices who expressed their concern...

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The recent weeks have been trying for Uttar Pradesh, which has witnessed a staggering 600 “communal incidents”, since the Lok Sabha polls. “Communal incidents” is an official euphemism for low-intensity communal violence...

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Within the next few hours Parliament will be debating one of the most burning issues the country faces: recurrent communal violence. Let us hope that the debate does not end up in a brawl like in recent past. Parliamentary...

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One often wonders why it takes so much time for the state to notice what is common knowledge among Muslims. An example is the Sachar Committee Report, which finally, formally and officially established the fact...

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I am visiting you with this column for the third time in a month, instead of the usual once-a-month periodicity. As I stated earlier, this departure from routine is because of the significance of the holy month of Ramdhan...

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The august Parliament’s dignity and honour have recently been brought to a new, record low by its own members. The decline in it has been steady for years. The present Lok Sabha has members with a criminal...

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The world is so cruel and callous to the sorrows of the oppressed. Remember only seven decades ago, when Hitler was exterminating Jews all over Europe in their millions, the world was acting as a hapless, clueless spectator...

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The violent energies unleashed by communal politics before, during and after the elections have led to social tension that might erupt into great violence any moment. These violent energies have not yet spent themselves...

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I am writing this column for the second time in a month, although usually it comes only once in a month. The departure from routine is because of the significance of the holy month of Ramadhan...

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We are moving quickly towards the end of the first ashrah (ten days) of the holy month of Ramadan. See, how quickly time passes. It passes more quickly if you are busy praying and reading from the Quran...

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The NDA government under Narendra Modi completed a month in office a couple of days ago. For some this was a moment to sit back and reckon what the government had been able to achieve in that small...

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair richly deserves all the epithets showered on him. He has often been called, with ample justification, an inveterate liar and a poodle of George Bush Junior...

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The last few weeks have witnessed a steady rise in different kinds of violence, rape and murder of women (Dalit, Muslim, OBC), attack on and murder of Muslim youth and others suspected to be Muslims, sundry violence in...

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It is a great tribute to the country’s democratic institutions that despite a charged atmosphere the Lok Sabha elections have been conducted peacefully and a peaceful transfer of power has been effected. Most Afro-Asian...

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This has been the most polarising election fought around a controversial figure with a highly divisive track record. To turn two faith communities against each other no stone was left unturned. Uttar Pradesh witnessed...

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Quite often an occasion arises in public life when even good leaders lose contact with public mood and do things that drive them further away from the people. At the time of partition of India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was...

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In India, anti-Muslim pogroms have become part of normal election process. The best way to ensure a BJP victory is to increase communal animosity with hate speech for a few weeks, followed by an inevitable anti-Muslim...

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At this point of time it is quite clear that the great hope and promise that the Arab Spring generated across the Arab world have been frittered away recklessly...

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As we have explained earlier, this monthly column is in the nature of an intimate family discussion within the Muslim community, especially with youth...

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The Great Vinashpurush, Shri Narendrabhai Modi, has famously said that he has already been chosen by God to take the country to its destination. Now all that he wants from the people of India is an endorsement of...

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Whatever the result of this Lok Sabha election, this much is sure that the country has finally reached a watershed where established democratic procedures are openly being rejected in favour of a business administration...

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As media reaches the conclusion about the outcome of the general elections the Sangh Parivar and its excited ‘chhutbhaiyyas’ are competing each other in speak loud and threatening the opponents. One important...

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Campaign 2014 was like no other in India’s election history in its scale, intensity, deployment of technology, human resource and staggering amount of money. This is particularly true of BJP, as no other party came...

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Finally, the much-awaited BJP manifesto has been released, even though elections have already begun. Manifestos come weeks before the election, not on the day people start going to the poll booth. This is a great discourtesy...

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Of late the BJP has suddenly created another, more powerful hate wave. Vasundhraraje Scindia has announced menacingly that there will be a lot of “cutting people to pieces” after the election. Last week she was supposed...

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The famous Narendra Modi said in Nanded on March 29 that “netas would be brought to justice” within one year of his taking charge of office of prime minister. By netas he meant tainted netas of non-BJP parties...

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By now we had almost started half-believing in BJP’s new-found love for Muslims. The party had almost convinced some Muslims (including the Akbar-e-Azam of Indian journalism) that Gujarat 2002 was a fiction written by a secularist...

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The shabby way in which LK Advani has been regularly treated by the BJP and its mentor RSS over the last few years is pitiable. It shows that hate, vandalism and mass murder finally come back to visit upon the perpetrator...

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At the beginning of the third millennium the international media was flush with articles comparing the global situation at the beginning of the second millennium with that at the third. US News and World Report said in its cover story...

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Kerala government’s move to corner the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (Jamaat-e-Islami of India) and force it to the wall is unfortunate and misguided. Jamaat sources have said that keeping in view their electoral support...

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The Aap and its chief Arvind Kejriwal continue to be an enigma wrapped in mystery. Nobody can really know what are the implications of his announcing a list of corrupt politicians. On one hand his crusade against official corruption...

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Last week the national capital witnessed certain sights that it had never imagined it would ever do. For instance, who could imagine that the Delhi chief minister will leave his office at the secretariat and sit on a dharna in...

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Earlier this week Maulana Arshad Madni of Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind said in Lucknow that the UP government was not responsible for the anti-Muslim riots last September. He said the local administration was responsible...

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Aam Admi Party leaders, in an interaction with Muslim representatives at Patna on January 14, have asserted that their party is above the considerations of religion and caste. They fought elections and did their politics...

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Aap’s coming into power in Delhi has unnerved and frustrated the BJP and Sangh’s other outfits. They are so frustrated that they have started resorting to goonda tactics...

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North India is in the grip of a cold wave. Chilly winds are blowing across the vast plains of the region. At the height of the season’s bitter cold the Akhilesh Yadav government has ruthlessly dismantled refugee camps...

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Recently we organised a three-day international conference on Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, an all-time great physician, surgeon and scientist of Andalusia (Arab Spain) who died in 1013, exactly a thousand years ago...

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Samajwadji Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has been contradicted by his own government. A report of the UP administration has confirmed the death of 34 children in the refugee camps of Muzaffarnagar riots victims...

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The release of Lalu Prasad Yadav from prison on bail has introduced a powerful element in Bihar politics as well as national politics...

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India’s withdrawal of some of the diplomatic previleges of the US embassy in India is only fair and reciprocal. So far India has been treating US officials and diplomats with honour and dignity in face of the worst provocations...

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The Delhi Assembly elections results have brought total rout to Congress Party and near-victory to BJP. However, the heavy backing to Aam Aadmi Party has surprised us all, including psephologists, “scientists” of election...

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We express deep sorrow and solidarity with the people of South Africa over the death of Nelson Mandela.

Like India, South Africa is emerging as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country that Mr. Mandela proudly called a “rainbow nation”.

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he BJP crossed all limits of public decency when it honoured its MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana at Narendra Modi’s rally in Agra on November 21. These two men have been charged with using hate speech against...

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There is a theory in criminology that says out of several suspects in a murder the most likely criminal is the person who benefits from the murder. From this perspective, the natural question that arises from the Patna blasts is, “who...

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Muslims and Christians are not the only enemies that the Sangh and its offshoots like BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal want to destroy. The Constitution of India and the History of India are two equally valid targets for destruction...

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The single specialisation of RSS since 1920s has been sowing hatred and hostility in the Hindu mind against religious minorities, particularly Muslims and, to a lesser degree, Christians...

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It seems BJP cannot survive even a day without mass violence and communal riot. All the time it is itching for such a conflict...

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We are told Narendrabhai Modi, who is a 4-in-One product, would be best suited for India’s prime ministership.

The first quality that he has is that he is a liar. He, and people like him, think that lying...

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As the general elections draw close one comes across a substantial degree of confusion in some sections of Muslim society. Strange logic is forwarded for voting BJP. We need some clarity on that. The logic goes...

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As the elections in five states draw close, the Internet has come alive with a colorful debate on the virtues and vices of Congress and BJP vis-à-vis each other...

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The worst threat to our wellbeing is not from the straight harm anti-Muslim groups are inflicting on us in the form of communal riots, but the confusion they are sowing among us. Confusion can be more dangerous...

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Over the last few years Narendrabhai Modi has been thumping his chest about his economic growth model, creating the impression that Gujarat is the number-one state in terms of GDP per capita and level of...

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All over the country Muslim youth have been languishing in jails for years without rhyme or reason. Most of them have been falsely implicated in terror cases...

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Of late Narendra Modi has intensified his Muslim identity politics by making hundreds of burqa-clad Muslim women and kurta-pyjama-topi-clad Muslim men to attend his rallies...

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The anti-Muslim riots in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas are already being compared to Gujarat 2002. As many as 50,000 people have been officially reckoned to have become internal refugees...

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When small things start casting long shadows, it is time for the sun to set. Small time goondas in UP have started casting giant shadows and announcing the beginning of the end of Samajwadi rule in the next assembly...

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In a way, the disclosures made in policeman DG Vanzara’s letter of resignation are no disclosures really, as all along Muslims of Gujarat and India knew that the most heinous breaches of human rights in that...

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One of the favourite dialogues of LK Advani, on whose hand lies the blood of thousands of Muslims, is that December 6, 1992 was the “saddest day” of his life. He does not say why, and stops short of uttering any word of regret...

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Statistics is of immense help in quantifying economic gains, but sometimes relying upon statistics alone can be misleading. One example is the latest National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) data that presen...

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Over the last few decades, it seems, severed heads of cows and its different body parts scattered in temples have gradually lost their riot value. In the last couple of elections in Delhi, this old tactic failed to mobilise Hindu...

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Remember the Mahatmaji’s three moral monkeys, who were taught “not to see evil, not to hear evil, not to speak evil”. That, in fact, is a high standard of personal morality...

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Every few days we learn about some anti-Muslim riot staged somewhere in India. The most unfortunate part is that these riots generally occur in non-BJP states, run by “secular” parties whose credentials are not generally...

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Narendrabhai P. Modi has a strange sense of humour that involves cutting cruel jokes at the cost of victims of crimes against humanity...

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In one of her famous pieces of writing Arundhati Roy has this interesting headline: “Democracy–Where is She When She is not At Home?” She then proceeds to answer the question in her own characteristic way...

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Uncertainties abound in the wake of creation of states (provincial units). The creation of new nation states is even more seriously fraught with risks of violence and awakening of old historical animosities...

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The court verdict on July 25 and sentencing of Shahzad Ahmad on July 30 in the infamous Batla House encounter case has too many gaping holes in it. As some of the crucial issues involved were overlooked by the judge...

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Over the years Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen has emerged as India’s conscience keeper. Earlier this week he declared that as an Indian he would not want Narendra Modi as prime minister of the country. The...

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Earlier this month the Union cabinet approved the National Food Security Ordinance. It was a bold and timely decision as proper legislation is time-consuming and hunger cannot wait...

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Language, the choice of words, can be a great give away. It may bring out the innermost thoughts and prejudices without even the speaker’s intention. That is exactly what happened when Gujarat CM Narendra Modi tried to express...

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On July 7 a series of low-intensity bomb explosions in the Mahabodhi Budhist temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar killed two persons and injured several others...

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Military rule is the least desirable government anywhere in the world. There is no reason why it should be different in Egypt. With the death of at least 51 Morsi supporters on July 8 in firing by security forces military rule has...

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Within the next few hours the Subcontinent will enter the holy month of Ramadan. A sizeable part of the world has already entered it...

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As I said in my last article the BJP has started what we can term a “full-blown love offensive” to win Muslim hearts. Recently 30 Muslims with a public profile attended a conclave organized by Citizens for Accountable Governance...

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The BJP has issued a Vision Document regarding its policy on Indian Muslims. On the face of it the document looks like a radical reversal of the Sangh’s hostile policy of decades overnight. It is too good to believe. And it is...

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Of late we have seen media leaders concerned over the state’s alleged bid to curb media freedom. Overt and covert attempts by the state to control media amounts to the negation of right to free speech and expression...

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An editorial in The Times of India of June 13 carried a beautiful illustration. The face was shaven and bald on one side of the nose, on the other side it was bearded and with a receding hair line. Clearly, it was a composite...

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Today widespread planned violence against Muslims in Uttar Pradesh has become a norm. As many as 35 anti-Muslim riots, mostly in eastern UP, have been recorded...

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Lawyers provide an important service alongside judges. The former try to bring some clarity to the issues through argument, exhibit of relevant items and presenting witnesses in an organised manner which makes...

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In this beleaguered country not a day passes without the news of gruesome murder of innocent people in the name of counter-terrorism, or the attack on security personnel by real terrorists resulting in death and destruction...

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Mohammad Khalid Mujahid, an accused in a blast case of 2007, died mysteriously on May 18 while being taken to Lucknow jail from Faizabad court. The man had no history of heart disease or any symptom related...

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Over the last few weeks South Asia has been in a flux. We have been witness to public anger in India over the assault on Sarbjeet Singh, an Indian prisoner in a Pakistani jail, with death sentence for having caused blasts in Pakistan...

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True to an established pattern, the false story of Delhi Police (Special Cell) about a massive terrorist plan to trigger powerful blasts in Delhi was exposed on April 28 when the NIA (National Investigation Agency) found...

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In my foreign travels as well as in my interactions with foreign dignitaries visiting IOS we have often discussed the Muslim situation all over the world. We have often agreed that Muslims have been living in difficult times...

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For reasons best known to them only, a sizeable section of the national media has worked itself into a frenzy discussing Narendra Modi-as-PM. Panting and frothing at the mouth with self-induced excitement, some...

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Old habits of thought are difficult to shed. Narendrabhai Modi’s by now well-known habit of subverting law and dynamiting constitutional values was once again on display recently when under his leadership the Gujarat...

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Recently we read the following piece of wisdom from Mr Narendra Modi in a newspaper: “’Indian Talent’ plus ‘Information Technology’ is equal to ‘India Tomorrow’.” What a pearl of wisdom! This amar vani (deathless speech) was...

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Youth is the prime human resource on which any country thrives. It is mostly the youth who earn the money that goes to support pensioners. It is they who provide the manpower that drives an economy and runs the...

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A happy trend that has held steady for years, including 2012, is the steady growth of Islamic banking and finance. By 2011, it had financial assets around the world worth $ 1.3 brillion, which was a 150 percent increase over five years...

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One of the themes that dominated news and analysis worldwide for the whole of 2012 was the Arab Spring – uprisings, mostly successful, in the Arabic-speaking world against the corrupt and oppressive rule of despots across...

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The election results in Gujarat are out now and Narendra Damodar Bhai Modi has comfortably returned to power in the state for the third consecutive times though he could not increase the number of seats held by him last...

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People of dubious character are said to hide their innate evil behind tall claims of patriotism. Of late, we have seen quite a few of them brandishing their alleged patriotism by arguing vehemently and vociferously for an end...

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The mammoth rally at India Gate on Sunday, December 23, was a dramatic expression of mass anger at the utter failure of the state of Delhi and the government at the Centre to protect people’s life, honour, limb and liberty. The latest...

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December 6 is a particularly dreaded day in the life of many sensible Indians, a day of painful memories of mindless anti-Muslim violence and a point in time marked by great emotional division between members of the two...

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The shoddy 2G affair has harmed the country beyond ordinary calculation. It has hurt public faith in the state and investor confidence in the economy. It has created extraordinary sense of uncertainty and frustration in the country. The...

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In the fresh round of violence and counter violence in Gaza, the first blood was drawn by Israel, not Hamas. However, as usual, the rationale for savage bombing of Gaza by Israel being put forward is that this is in “self defence” against...

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For years America has been in denial on global warming. Earlier this month, a Republican luminary said something to the effect that global warming was some kind of a delusion, without any basis in reality. He was only one of several...

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At this point in time one has only sympathy for poor BJP. Not that it has done anything to earn it: it gets our sympathy by default. For years it has profitably sold terrorism for electoral gains and for keeping itself ahead...

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The Reserve Bank Governor Mr D. Subba Rao’s recent announcement constitutes a significant advance in the field of Islamic banking and finance in India, which has been a cherished goal for all of us, and for the attainment...

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Narendra Modi loves to attack two people—Sonia Gandhi and General Pervez Musharraf, his favourite term for the general being “Mian Musharraf”...

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Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam on a recent Supreme Court judgment cautioning police against tagging terror label on an entire community...

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Recently, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav talked to one of the English dailies published from the national capital. It was generally about party issues and a little about governance. Akhilesh talked at length about these things...

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By now it is an established pattern of US-EU-Israeli war against Islam, ill-concealed as “war on terror.” Before every physical attack on a Muslim country, during invasion, and after the war, they keep up a constant...

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As I mentioned in the first part of this series, Assam (as well as the entire northeastern region) is a boiling cauldron of ethnic suspicions and mutual hatred between over 400 tribal groups...

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The amount of money spent on a single day of Parliament is so huge that it boggles the mind of an average Indian. The BJP has been holding Parliament to ransom for a better part of the session, flushing the country’s huge...

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The conviction of Babu Bajrangi, who openly boasted about the Naroda Patiya murders on TV and that of Dr Maya Kodnani, a gynaecolost and minister of state in Modi government for sometime, is the highlight of the special court’s...

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After a whole month of intermittent killings, curfew and purposeful, determined ethnic cleansing, the violence in Assam is yet to cease. On August 25, when I was still in Assam, meeting victims, relief workers and government...

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Like always, our Independence Day comes loaded with memory and desire–the collective memory of decades of struggle since 1840s and 1850s till the D-Day, August 15, 1947, and the personal memory of life in an independent...

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So far Delhi has been described by different epithets at different times: “rape capital of India,” “diabetese capital of the world” etc. Now the way children are disappearing from the city, it can also be called “child abduction...

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To many Muslims in Uttar Pradesh the return of Samajwadi Party to power earlier this year was like return of hope in a dismal situation. Within the span of a few months that hope has turned out to be an illusion. After a...

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As I am writing this piece, I get the news through the morning papers that violence has erupted once again in Assam after a lull of a few days. Four more people have been killed, still more have been driven out of their homes...

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Over the last several weeks we are once again subjected to a painful spectacle that is staged regularly, with almost predictable certainty every few months in different parts of the country. I am referring to mass violence...

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“Encounter killing is plain murder”, says Justice AM Ahmadi, former Chief Justice of India. If anybody in India is capable of deciding on the legal and constitutional validity of police encounters, Justice Ahmadi is certainly one of them...

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Over the last few weeks dramatic events have occurred in Egypt with rapid succession that give them the same breathless, highly excited quality in some measure evident at Tehrir Square at the height of the anti-Mubarak regime...

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We are passing through interesting times. Interesting and intriguing. The best show going on is the newly found love for secularism in the NDA, announced from the rooftops by the illustrious Mr Nitish Kumar himself...

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We are passing through interesting times. Interesting and intriguing. The best show going on is the newly found love for secularism in the NDA, announced from the rooftops by the illustrious Mr Nitish Kumar himself...

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UPA-II's anniversary celebrations seem to have come at an inopportune time. Caught up in a media blizzard, seemingly orchestrated to facilitate a transition in 2014, the Congress Party led UPA has few options...

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US officials, from President Obama and Secretary Mrs Clinton down to ambassadors and junior diplomats, never tire of proclaiming that the United States is not at war with Islam, but “Islamic” extremism...

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Violent politics: Terrorism and Guerilla War is a significant book to read for people who want to understand Naxalism and have some idea of how to address the issue. Military action is certainly not an option for coping with militancy...

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The Congress-led UPA-II government at the Centre is completing three years in office next month. That is the time for review of its performance by its leadership as well as for an appraisal by the people at large...

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The other day one of our prominent English dailies carried a news item that said UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had announced his government would release from jail Muslim youth falsely implicated in terror cases...

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After the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, in 2008 India-Pakistan relations had frozen. The ice began to thaw with Pakistan conferring the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status on India, which means substantial increase in...

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A strange situation is developing in the country following the army chief’s uncalled for remarks and unprecedented moves that one of India’s leading publications has rightly called “Gen. Singh’s war on India...

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Over the last couple of weeks the country seems to have gradually slipped into a deeper and deeper political inertia. This is far more evident in the corridors of power in New Delhi than anywhere else...

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It is not always easy to make sense of the Budget. This is particularly so as every interest group looks at it in the narrow perspective of its own gains and losses. A vast section of our people, including farmers and agricultural...

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The country is remembering the shame and sorrow of Gujarat 2002 when hundreds of Muslims were massacred, maimed and raped in a state-sponsored orgy of violence. A colossal damage to property and ethnic cleansing...

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Justice, more often than not, is a process, a work in progress, rather than a one-time, final and fixed category. To people like me, brought up in the Islamic tradition, the final and absolute, irrevocable justice will be delivered on the...

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Dictators are pigheaded megalomaniacs who think with their muscles rather than with their minds. For these power-drunk guys people don’t matter. What matters is their own power...

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The holy Quran asks Muslims to hold on to “God’s rope”, together. Islam’s call to Muslims is to stay united and not sow the seeds of division and mutual conflict. Over the centuries, we have violated these injunctions repeatedly...

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The slow build-up to coming stae assembly elections and, beyond that, parliamentary elections, has begun with BJP’s chameleon-like fast change of colours...

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A second marriage, it is wisely said, is the victory of hope over experience. The thaw in India-Pakistan’s icy relations is like a second marriage, which is always contracted in the hope that it would be a better union than the...

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Imagine for a while, that Hitler won World War II, the Vichy regime in France remained unchallenged by the Free French of de Gaulle, that Chekoslovakia remained German territory, that V2 rockets flattened London, that there was...

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The fall of old regimes in the West Asia and North Africa region, like the proverbial nine pins cannot be understood without putting everything in the colonial context...

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Are the French returning to stake their claim to their former North African Empire? And, are the wily British at their old game once again? The way they have behaved in Libya is a grim reminder of their visciousness and...

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In the twilight hours before Dussehra, one of our national festivals celebrated as an occasion for togetherness and goodwill as well as victory of good over evil, I shudder to think of Mr L K Advani’s proposed...

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Former deputy prime minister, Union home minister and senior BJP leader L. K. Advani is a true RSS man: he never cared a hoot for law, or rule of law, and has consistently been a law-breaker...

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Section 20 of the Bill sets the rules to set up and constitute a National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation so as to exercise the powers and perform the functions assigned to it under...

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The unearthing of over 2,156 unidentified bodies from mass graves in Jammu and Kashmir’s four districts is a confirmation of the worst fears regarding atrocities by security forces and local police...

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Revolutions begin with great promise as they articulate people’s frustrations and fears and seek to address them, using people’s power. However, most of them end up in chaos, mindless violence, blood on the streets, reign...

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When Anna Hazare stood up against official corruption, I was there, along with other Indians, including Muslims, supporting him and his cause...

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As a person who grew up in a Muslim environment sustained by the noble Islamic tradition, I have always seen people praying: “God, give us useful knowledge.” This, in fact, is a standard prayer said, often in Arabic, from...

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The terror attack in Norway has blasted quite a few myths about terrorism and its perpetrators. It has also distinguished the attitude of media and world leaders to acts of terror perpetrated by different groups...

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Justice Anand Narain Mulla famously called the UP police “goondas in uniform.” That the honourable judge’s remarks are not too much off the mark even today is borne out by facts...

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In this age of falling heroes and failing institutions when one comes across ministers behind the bars (after being properly stripped of their portfolios, of course), senior bureaucrats and police officers serve Jail terms for...

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In recent weeks a feeling of exclusion of Indian Muslims from the consideration of power elites has been haunting me. Our own role in most things has been that of self-abdication and self-disempowerment...

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Over the last several days of the Baba Ramdev drama, one got the impression that the 5-star yogi is a puppet whose strings are deftly pulled by the ventriloquist, the RSS. The baba is not an agent of his own free will, and his show...

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The BJP is extremely upset about the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation) Bill. Why it is so perturbed is not very difficult to know. In fact, it is rather simple: the Bill, if enacted into law, is likely to take away...

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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has published its results for 2010. A Chennai-based law graduate S Divyadharshini has topped the prestigious Civil Services Examination. A total of 920 candidates, including...

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The way the farmers’ unrest has spread quickly from Greater Noida near Delhi to Aligarh, Mathura and Agra districts is alarming. For all this, no one but Uttar Pradesh government of the day is responsible...

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A good grasp of language is supposed to be a core asset in the legal profession. The ability to see, discern and articulate nuances makes fine judges and lawyers who serve the purposes of justice with finesse, accuracy and laudable...

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The first few days of the new year have brought quite a few coincidences. Late last week, the venerable Time of India carried a news story saying there would be stricter security checks on airports from this year...

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If one looks loosely at the pattern of events of last few years, up to the last few days of 2010, one could make a fairly reliable guess about the events and trends ahead of us. So, less us guestimate...

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In the final hours of the year, when the fog deepens and the cold begins biting hard, the mood gets grim and it is easier for dark thoughts to assail the mind. In these last hours of 2010, it’s easy to get despondent about our situation...

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In politics, it is not important to work, but to be seen working. Over the last five years Nitish Kumar had not only been working for the “development” of Bihar, but had been seen working all these years. He has been richly rewarded for...

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I dread the sight of the morning newspaper. It makes one’s cup of tea taste like rat poison. Every morning, morning after morning, we are treated to some cheeky chicanery of our political class that disgusts and nauseates...

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We witnessed a strange euphoria in certain sections of our society over President Barack Obama’s three-day visit to this country. It was strange because the expectations underlying it were far from realistic...

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