Condition of Muslims in India

29 Sep 2013 logo 1 comments


The bias against Muslims, which dates back to the pre-Independence era, continues its ugly growth in the post-Independence period. The very integrity, honesty and loyalty of Muslims have always been in question. Muslims have been considered second grade citizens. The blame of Partition has been dumped on them. Lakhs of Muslims have been massacred during diabolic communal riots across the country. Muslims have been pushed down in all spheres of life – political, educational, social and economic. To console them in their sorrowful moments, to guide them in times of trouble, to build confidence in them, to foster unity and to motivate them to assemble on a single platform and more importantly to become efficient in discharging their duties as Khair-e-Ummah, many journals, magazines, dailies, weeklies and monthlies in Urdu and some other regional languages unfailingly continued their endeavours. Still a guiding star in English was as necessary as an Oasis in a desert. Radiance has done this job in the post-Independence period in India. Here are some of the yeoman services Radiance has done during these 50 years in the context of condition of Muslims.

In the early 1960s Indian Muslims had to face an allegation from almost all the groups belonging to the majority community that Muslims were manifesting “separatism”. In its issue dated, 6 September 1964 Radiance argued that it is natural that in the post-Independence era Indian Muslims, utterly upset by the unprecedented ugly communal riots, chalk out a strategy to relocate themselves in the new scenario.  In a multi-cultural society, be it the USA or the USSR, the existence of distinctly separate minority groups is inevitable. Such an existence need not evoke horror in the majority community.

Radiance, while defining what “separatism” must mean to Muslims in India, writes: “As for the Muslims, their separatism – if it must be called by that name – is based on the feeling that they have to fulfil a divine mission. Their duty is to project before the whole of mankind their exemplary conduct and to preach the divine message rather than merely to follow the footsteps of their forefathers and their countrymen. But this does not mean that the Muslims are ordained to remain aloft from the mainstream of life in their country. They must give their fullest co-operation in all the nation building and defence activities. For them it is a sin to harm their country or its people merely on account of religious differences.”

Thus Radiance reminds Muslims of their obligation to represent Islam by words and acts, and motivates the community to be ready to face all sorts of challenges that may arise while discharging the duty of ‘Daee Ummah’.

Time and again the irresponsible leaders and less responsible Indian media level charges against Muslims in India that they are not synchronising with the mainstream of Indian national life. Since Independence, the R.S.S., and the then Jana Sangh and the saffron brigade have been coming out openly that there is a need to adopt ‘special measures’ to merge Indian Muslims into mainstream of Indian socio-cultural and political life. Whenever there is such a hue and cry, Radiance has timely responded and always made it clear that Muslims are already in the mainstream.

Radiance has taken strong objection and refuted the viewpoint that “Hinduism constitutes the Singular Strand of Indian life and the essential characteristic of an Indian is that he should be a Hindu. If a person is non-Hindu, he can live in India but cannot be treated as a faithful and loyal citizen of the country” (Radiance, 11 Oct. 1970).  It has been explained that the concept of Indianness must not be taken in a narrow sense. It has also been explained that the basic question is whether there is really a mainstream in India at all? If there is one, what is it?

Since time immemorial India has been a land of pluralism and multiculturalism. Great thinkers and writers from India like Shri Aurobindo contended that India has always assimilated cultures into it even if they are alien. Aurobindo elaborated this concept in his prose work titled Renaissance of India. India has a beauty of a garden in which flowers with various colours and fragrances blossom. To destroy the variety of flowers and colours in a garden and to forcefully club them into one in the name of ‘mainstream’ would be unreasonable and unnatural.

Expanding this idea, Dr. M. Nejatullah Siddiqi writes in issue dated 1 April 1973: “Indian Pluralism is the Indian style of building a prosperous, peaceful, strong and good society, while injuring none, neither spiritually nor in the material sense and tapping all the energy potentials to various religious, cultural and linguistic traditions in India.” He further explains that as Muslims we share the major objectives of Indian pluralism. Islam hails the values like freedom, equality and justice; especially social justice; therefore there is no point in questioning the patriotism of Muslims.

The so-called ‘loyalists’ presume that the hard won Independence for India is without the participation of Muslims. Radiance very elaborately brought out historical facts and showed that it is the Muslims in the pre-Independent era, who led the freedom struggle. Radiance has boldly put forward that it is a well-known historical fact that Muslims of India suffered more than their Hindu counterparts in the unforgettable struggle for India’s freedom. The blood of Muslims drenched this land from north to south and west to east while fighting the onslaught of European Colonialism.

The greatest heroes of this historical freedom movement were Maulana Muhammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali. Prior to them, Muslim Ulema have led the freedom struggle. In its issue dated 14 January 1968, Radiance published a brilliant write-up by Pt. Sunder Lal. He has discussed the role of Muslims in Indian Freedom Movement unambiguously. Lal says that the blueprint of the 1857 Mutiny was actually the brainchild of Azimullah Khan. He along with Rango Bapu ji hatched and prepared the said plan. He widely travelled from England to France, Italy, Turkey and many other countries to tilt the balance of opinion of the public and the government in favour of Indian Independence.

Mr. Lal mentions names of Nawab Bahadur Khan of Bareilly and the great martyr Maulvi Ahmed Shah from Faizabad. He placed on record the cruelty with which the Muslims were meted out by the British forces as punitive measures. The massacre of Muslims continued from 1857 to 1859 and beyond. The British came down upon Muslims very heavily. They ordered that no young and able bodied Muslim should be spared. The British opined that Muslims were their real enemies. The brave mother of Ali brothers Bee Amma, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Dr. Ansari and Maulana Abdul Bari stood up and supported Gandhiji in the freedom movement.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind sent all its members in jails during the freedom movement. In Jaliyanwala Baugh Muslims were also massacred. Likewise hundreds of Muslim women, men and children braved British bullets in Quissa Kahani Bazar near Peshawar. In Delhi, at Chandni Chowk many Muslims achieved martyrdom. The Sarhad Gandhi, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, is well-known as a staunch supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. Muslims actually considered it their responsibility to fight for the motherland.

In his article entitled “Forgotten Heroes of Freedom Struggle” Bilal Ahmed from Delhi (Radiance 6 December 1985) mentions the figures of Syed Ahmed Shaheed, Shah Ismail Shaheed, Siraj-ud-Daula and Tipu Sultan who fought tooth and nail and laid down their lives to preserve the purity and sanctity of the Indian freedom. Even after that Muslims’ resistance continued unabated. Maulana Sha Abdul Quadri Ludhianavi, Maulan Fazal-e-Haq Khairabadi, Nawab Mahmood Khan, Commander Nabi Baqsh, Ashfaqullaha Khan, Munshi Ahmed, Mir Abdul Sattar, Mir Mushtaq Ahmed, and Abdul Rasheed are a few names worth mentioning in this regard.

Bilal Ahmed puts on: “No truthful account of Freedom movement can be complete without the names of Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi, Maulana Ahmed Shah Kashmiri, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, Shaikh-ul-Islam Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni, Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan, Mir Usman Ali Khan (The Nizam of Hyderabad) and Nawab Viqarul-Mulk (AMU), who were heart and soul of the freedom movement.” The movement started by Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan was called ‘Reshmi Roomal Tehrik’.

Manifesting how Muslims proved their loyalty in post-Independent India and how Muslims supported International Peace and sided with their motherland against Pakistan, Radiance quotes Prof. Hiren Mukherji’s (Leader of Communist Party of India) declaration in parliament. “The Muslims in Kashmir and other parts of India showed that they belonged to this country in life as well as in death. When Pakistan committed aggression against India in 1947 the first Indian martyr to get the “Param Vir Chakra” was Brigadier Usman. In the present action (1965) the honour went to Havaldar Abdul Hameed.”

Targeting Muslims has been an unending agenda of communal forces since pre-Independence period. The R.S.S, Jan Sangh and Shiv Sena have assumed antagonistic position against Muslims. They do not leave any stone unturned to harass and intimidate Muslims to gain cheap popularity and political advantage. Since its very first issue, Radiance has been giving antidote to the venom scattered by these anti-national agencies. Through its logic and reason as well as historical facts, Radiance came out with befitting replies to the irresponsible statements and fiery hate speeches made by the communalists. On one hand, these attempts provide the people who are carried away by the emotional blackmailing with the truth and on the other these endeavours act as confidence building measures among the Muslims. We find a number of such instances during these 50 years.

In 1969 the Shiv Sena chief Late Mr. Bal Thackeray came down heavily upon the then Government of Maharashtra, alleging the Government that it is bowing down to the unreasonable demands of Muslims. The Kalyan Muslims took objection to the permission given by the police for the Shiv Jayanti procession which was to pass through densely populated Muslim areas. Such processions always have possibility of assuming ugly shapes. Mr. Thackeray was reported as saying, “We wonder whether we live in India or Pakistan” – (The Indian Express, 30 April 1969).

Once, the Jan Sangh leaders took strong objection to the draft statement of Standing Committee of National Integration Council. The committee’s statement condemned the idea that a minority community need to be Indianised and it refused to accept that any minority community be unpatriotic or an agency of any foreign nation. Dr. Bhai Mahavir, the leader of Jan Sangh walked out of the committee to register his dissent and anger over this stand of the committee. The Jan Sangh alleges that Muslims are not prepared to merge into the national mainstream. The then Prime Minister, Late Ms. Indira Gandhi inquired the Janasanghis ‘where the national mainstream was’. Radiance has taken stock of the situation in the issue 26 October 1969. Radiance took Dr. Mahavir to task and brought out the shallowness of his theory by reiterating that Muslims serve the nation as well as any other community does.

In modern India the political outfit of RSS – the BJP – has tried to exploit the machinery of the government to trouble Muslims wherever possible. The party has made Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid controversy an election issue. The BJP has led the march by 2000 dharmacharyas through the colonies of Delhi to campaign for the construction of Ram temple on the site of Babri Masjid. Such uncalled for actions on the part of BJP and its leaders like Madan Lal Khurana, L. K. Advani and Narendra Modi in the present era are questioned by Radiance. It has, at the same time, urged the Muslims to remain unprovoked. Sometimes Muslims even do not know what kinds of conspiracies are being hatched against them. Once Late Bal Thackeray opined that Muslims should be stripped off their right to vote. Radiance has given a tough time to supporters of such undemocratic slogan.        

Dr. S. Ausaf Saied Vasfi destroys the RSS theory of Hinduisation of Islam in India. The then RSS chief Mr. Sudarshan suggested a process of de-Islamisation or de-Muslimisation which would result in Indianistion or Hinduisation of Islam. One Swami Shraddhanand offered to put idols of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) in all temples. The RSS Sarsangh Chalak went to the extent of proposing names like “Muhammad Prasad” or “Muhammad Das.” Vasfi in the issue dated 11-17 March 2001 suggests to these leaders to concentrate on burning social issues like dowry deaths, discrimination on the basis of caste, and the like. “The way in which the leader of the RSS deals with this issue creates an impression that he has either not read history, sociology and psychology or he is incapable of drawing conclusions from the past.” (Radiance 11-17 March 2001)

In the aftermath of 9/11 attack, the U.S. has launched anti-terrorism campaign which is nothing but targeting Islam and Muslims. Many nations including the right wing in India followed suit. The saffron brigade targeted madrasas (Islamic schools) in India by accusing that madrasas are breeding grounds of terrorists. They branded Madrasa-education as anti-national and madrasas as agencies promoting ISI agenda in India. Radiance (3-9 March 2009 and in many other issues) explained that madrasas are source of moral education. If we closely look at the role of madrasas, we find that they impart strong moral values, ethics and sound code of conduct to their students. They are agencies that strive for reconstruction and reformation of society. They played significant role in motivating youths to participate in Indian freedom movement.

Coming to the arrests of innocent Muslims, police atrocities, in the aftermath of the 1965 war with Pakistan, many Muslims were put under detention on the accusation that they were anti-India and pro-Pakistan. Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat in its meeting held on 17 November 1965 urged the Government of India to release the innocent Muslims. Taking cue from this, Organiser, the mouthpiece of Jan Sangh came out with a bitter criticism of Majlis’ demand. In its issue dated 19 December 1965, Radiance gave apt reply to the questions raised by Organiser in its editorial. Radiance quotes the Ex-Mayor of Lucknow, Captain V.R. Mohan, who says, “If somebody has saved the borders of India… it was 235-man platoon led by Param Vir Chakra winner Havildar Abdul Hameed.” (Radiance, 19 Decemer 1965). Here it was also mentioned that in Bikaner area Muslims valiantly resisted the inroads made by the Pakistani Jawans.

During the last two decades, arrests of innocent Muslims as a punitive action have become everyday phenomenon in India. Each and every incident like 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, Malegaon bomb blasts in 2006, Mecca Masjid bomb blast in A.P, German Bakery explosion Pune, attack on Parliament 2001, Coimbatore bomb blast in 1998 and many other such incidents pointed out needle of suspicion towards Muslims alone. The draconian laws like TADA, MISA, MCOCOA and many other similar provisions have equipped the police with powers to harass, intimidate and torture Muslims time and again. Radiance represented the case of the innocent and brought the facts to the fore.

In its issue dated 30 September 2007, Radiance wonders why Muslims are arrested in a selective manner whenever a terror attack occurs, while there is ample proof of involvement of Bajrang Dal and other Sangh Parivar activists in such attacks.  Radiance also took the Maharashtra Government to task for not having political will to implement Shrikrishna Commission report. Radiance brought to light the atrocities of police against Muslims. The inhuman treatments meted out to Hafiz Muhammad Bilal Muftahi (he was severely, kicked, beaten with sticks) and Abdul Kareem (he was given electric shocks even in his private parts. He was kicked by boots on face. The police threatened to make his mother and sister naked). Ibrahim Ali Junaid, a final year medical student, was picked up in connection with Mecca Masjid and Gokol Chat blasts (at night they took off his clothes and beat him with belt) are just some instances.

Radiance has always stood with innocent victims and continued its journalistic support through its plea to report the London based minority rights group, which was released in New-Delhi. Radiance has repeatedly been saying that Muslims are arrested and forced to confess crimes they have not committed. It has commented upon the double standards of the government and on the callous attitude of the ministers and the indifference of major political parties on this issue.      

Commenting on the poor representation of Muslims in public services, Radiance has served two purposes. On one hand, it pointed out the biased and prejudiced attitude of recruiting agencies and on the other it informed the Muslims of their place and position in this context, and urged them to awaken from deep slumber. Radiance motivates Indian Muslims to improve to vie, to compete and to make room for themselves to get a fair share of the national cake.

In its issue dated 3 October 1965, Radiance wrote that the suspicion about the bona fides of the Indian Muslims is the reason for their dismal recruitment in the armed forces. In 19 August 1993 issue, Radiance published a statement showing the number of Muslims employed in Class I and Class II (Ministry-wise) posts as on 31-03-1971. The percentage was merely 1.7%. This is not at all in proportion with Muslim population in India. Radiance has warned that the tall claims of our leaders to achieve social equality and economic justice in India will be meaningless until the minorities are given fair representation in services especially in Police, Judiciary and Armed Forces. In 2 April 1978 issue, Radiance published the veteran communist leader E.M.S Nambudripad’s statement that it is deliberate policy against Muslims’ representation in services. In order to bring the facts to the fore a table has been published in 11-17 July 1999 issue showing that, in the year 1981, in IAS cadre, there were 3883 officers; out of them Muslims were only 116. In IPS rank total officers were 1753 and out of them Muslims were only 50. In banks the total number of employees were 1,13,77,275, out of which Muslims were only 2,479.

Radiance has taken a leading role in safeguarding life, property, culture, language, traditions, religious credentials, properties of Awqaf, provisions for Haj and Muslim Personal Law. In May 6-12, 1984 issue Radiance came out with concrete measures to be adopted by Muslims in India to maintain optimum literacy rate. Radiance highlighted the Sachar Committee Report 2006. It has been a comprehensive report on economic, social, educational and political backwardness of Muslims in India. It is based on the facts and figures provided by various government agencies only. The report, according to Radiance, is a proof in itself, that even after six decades of independence Muslims could not get the fair share in the developmental schemes. This large chunk of population got reduced to the level of STs and SCs.

In its issue dated 25 November 2007, Radiance informed its readers about the formation of Joint Committee of Muslim Organisations for Empowerment (JCMOE). The Joint Committee has prepared a charter of demands for Muslims’ welfare; Radiance states that Sachar Committee is a wake-up call to the Muslim leadership in India. Thus a lot has been done through the medium of Radiance in bringing the efforts of Muslim organisations to the notice of Muslims who are ignorant of Urdu (at least who cannot read Urdu).

In identifying, analysing and suggesting solutions to various problems of Muslims, the issues of Radiance dated 23 June 1985, 2 September 1990, 14 August 1994 and 29 October 1995 are worth reading. Renowned scholars like Dr. Abdul Moghni have contributed to these issues.

Radiance also played a vital role in motivating Muslims to stand up to the situation and in promoting confidence building measures. In an article entitled ‘Muslims Must Rise from the Ashes’ in December 1992, Sayyid Hamid, former Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, puts in, “Indian Muslims should help build a country where justice would prevail. The venom that this century inherited and to which it made immense additions should be washed out before the 21st Century opens its account.” The write-up underpins a piece of advice that appears sound, “Muslims do not seem to realise that the fight is unequal and that in it they would be the ultimate losers. It is therefore, high time that the Muslim leaders rose above petty squabbles and cheap sentimentalism. They should continue to counsel restraint, heal wounds, organise relief, put up defences and simultaneously start thinking about a re-orientation that should be imaginative as it would be realistic.”

One response to “Condition of Muslims in India”

  1. Abdulrehman Kunil says:

    Religious organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees Hind, Sunni Dawat-e-Islami, and others, which have the potential of leading the much-needed reform from within the community are apparently shackled with centuries-old faith issues. Perhaps the only matter that concerns them is the way Islam should be practised by the community.

    The second major area where there must be a balanced representation from every community is public administration, and here, too, Muslims perform miserably. The top bureaucratic positions in the country namely the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) are alarmingly under-represented by Muslims. The approximate figure of Muslims in these services stands shockingly low at two-three per cent. Another area like Indian military force, out of 11+ lakh forces there are only around 29,000 Muslims even though their track records are at par with others.

    It should be noted that the majority of Muslims are not even eligible for these posts as very few of them are university graduates. Surveys suggest that roughly five per cent of Muslims in the country have successfully completed university education.

    In the field of journalism as well, Muslims are hardly anywhere to be seen. There are very few Muslim journalists of national prominence, let alone the existence of an influential media outlet owned by them. Even if there are some TV channels and newspapers run by Muslims in the country, their reach is not beyond the Muslim community for two specific reasons.

    First, because they mainly cover issues of the Muslim community only and largely ignore matters concerning other communities. And second, because the majority of these outlets are in Urdu which is not a very common language in present-day India. According to some data, hardly five per cent of the Indian population can read and write in this language.

    Consequently, these media groups lack readership/viewership and thus a very important source for Muslims to reach the wider society is limited. Their voices remain unheard by the public in general, and they become a soft target for stereotyping by right-wing media houses.

    Finally, the Muslim community unfortunately also largely remains the job-seeker rather than also producing some job-givers. Except businessmen like Azim Premji of Wipro, Yusuf Hamied of Cipla, Shahid Balwa of DB Reality and a few others, there are few prominent Muslim names in the corporate world.

    According to a report, among the top 500 companies which are listed either on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) or the National Stock Exchange (NSE), not even one per cent are owned by Muslims. It is worth reiterating that Muslims constitute over 14 per cent of the Indian population and counts about 133,295,077 people, if not more.

    The road ahead

    In this situation, great responsibilities lie with the institutions associated with the community, religious leaders and its well-off members.

    Universities like Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, which are some of the top priorities for Muslim students in the country, must be able to produce some of the finest professionals in different fields who would not only care for their individual well-being but would also show concern for the community at large.

    These universities must hold themselves to high academic and social standards. Besides craving for excellence in education and learning, they must also promote democratic, liberal and secular values, and inculcate understanding of moral responsibilities among the students. The Muslim community desperately needs politicians with these values and these universities can greatly contribute to this cause.

    The religious leaders must heed the need of the hour to reform the various education, social, and cultural institutions they run. The importance and need of education, not just religious, but also modern and secular, must be stressed.

    It should be noted that such reforms can only come from within the community and outside intervention, whether state or non-state, is not only unjustifiable but is also bound to fail. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the well-educated and influential members of the community to push for these reforms.

    These people should also make collective efforts to ensure a fall in dropout rates at all academic levels. The well-off members of the community should institute scholarships and other aides to ensure that deserving and talented young students do not drop out from school or university owing to financial problems.

    The selfless services of a few have contributed significantly towards the betterment of the community, but much is to be done still. It is time for the community members to show extraordinary solidarity with each other for their own prosperity and welfare..

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Arshad Shaikh


Muslims must Focus on Business, Entrepreneurship for Nation Building

30 Jun 2019 logo 0 comments

By Arshad Shaikh

According to an Economic Times Intelligence Group survey in 2015, Muslims made up a mere 2.62% of the Directors and Senior Executives among the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) 500 companies. These top executives received 3.14% of the total remuneration drawn by these elite group of finance professionals.

Amitabh Kundu, who steered the Post-Sachar Evaluation Committee in 2014, says: “Muslims are the most deprived in the jobs market, their condition is worse than even the Scheduled Tribes (STs) in urban areas.” Muslims make up almost 15% of India’s population but there is a broad estimation that they hold less than 7.5% of all jobs available. This dismal scenario has been analysed in great detail by the Sachar Committee in 2006.

Summing up the Economy and Employment situation of Muslims in India (page 106) the Report says: “Overall, one finds that as compared to others, Muslim workers are engaged more in self-employed manufacturing and trade activities. Their participation in regular salaried jobs (especially in the government or large public and private sector enterprises) is much less than workers of other (Socio-Religious Categories) SRCs. They tend to be relatively more vulnerable in terms of conditions of work as their concentration in informal sector employment is higher and their job conditions (contract length, social-security, etc.) even among regular workers are less than those of other SRCs.”

This being the condition of Muslims and gazing at a possible prolonged political climate in which reservations or affirmative action for Muslims to enable their economic and employment would remain a pipedream, there is no other choice before the community but to focus on business and entrepreneurship.


No industry is the sole preserve of a specific religious community. However, there are many factors that lead to certain trades, skills, crafts and professions being dominated or associated with a particular SRC. A large section of Indian Muslims has historically been artisans and accomplished labours under the Mughal rule in India with skills that translated into different industries, some of which have survived till date. For example, brass industry, leather industry, meat and beef industry, handloom industry, hand-embroidery industry, lock industry and bakery and confectioneries industry are to a large extent dominated by the Muslim community.

Muslims are very good in troubleshooting and servicing electro-mechanical devices and automobiles as well as highly proficient in skills that require a fair dose of creativity like designing clothes, jewellery, hair-styling and even film making. They are good in civil engineering and architecture and hence are fairly independent when it comes to building their own housing societies and townships. Muslims have also made their mark in food and hotel industry with some achieving cult status in their respective towns and cities.


There are many must dos for Muslim businesses if they wish to improve and grow in the increasing competitive business world. Some of them are: One – they must have a broad understanding of what business they are in. They have to develop strategic insight and check where the industry is moving so that they can take the long-term decisions in advance and ensure that their business is transformed according to the fast-changing external environment and needs of the market.

Two – they must focus on leveraging the latest management techniques and / or cutting-edge technology for their business so that they are at par or ahead of the competition. Three – they must try to be extremely professional in their business approach. According to management experts, professionalism means: “Follow guileless like the dress code, office hours, doing the given job in a timely manner, to be consistently good at what you do, staying true to your words, meeting deadlines, being dependable, to approach people with respect, be proactive in upgrading your skills, being positive, focused, not letting your personal life dominate the workspace, listening to what is being said, supporting others and making informed decisions.” Normally if it is a small family owned business, there is a tendency to be casual and do things in an ad-hoc manner even in some very basic things as turning up punctually to the office or workplace.

Four – Muslims businesses must understand and focus on quality management and acquire quality certifications for their products and services. This will ensure the highest application of the latest management tools and rigorous adherence to the ‘de facto’ and ‘dejure’ standards as mandated by the certifying bodies like ISO, six sigma, etc.

Five – Muslims must believe in scaling up and growth. Yes, we should be content and accept as part of our (iman) faith that one’s (rizq) provision is fixed and stipulated by Allah but that does not mean that we should close our doors to the growth and expansion opportunities that are extended and visible on the business horizon. Most of the times growth is the key for survival and it might offer employment and sustenance to others, helping you to gain more (ajar) virtue.


Entrepreneurship is the art of starting a new business. An entrepreneur is usually a small businessman offering an innovative product, process or service with the entrepreneur aiming to expand the business by hiring, improving sales and financing the enterprise through venture capital and angel investments. Thus, the term entrepreneur is more closely related with the term start-up.

Entrepreneurship development is a process in which individuals or groups are encouraged, motivated and supported by both government and non-government organisations to launch their own business ventures – with these external actors committed to provide incubation facilities, education programmes and business networks in the form of memberships to trade associations, chambers of commerce and other facilities that will help settle and grow the entrepreneur’s business.

There are many Muslim organisations that have taken a lead in this important process of nurturing and encouraging Muslim youth and professionals to start and build their businesses. Prominent among them being Rifah Chamber of Commerce (rifah.org) and Islamic Chamber of Commerce.


Muslims are questioned by some pseudo-nationalists regarding their loyalty to the nation and asked to prove their patriotism and love for the country. It goes without saying that Muslims have played and will play a great role in nation building. In the domain of business and entrepreneurship their work is cut out. Besides the above stated efforts, Muslims must not forget their core job and responsibility as ambassadors of Islam. Thus, their first aim as businessmen should not be profit at all costs, rather it must be to seek the pleasure of Allah and a “halal” way of earning. Implementing honest dealings and respecting customers is bound to improve business.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) said that the honest and truthful trader / businessman shall be in the Paradise with prophets and martyrs. It is a well-known fact that Islam spread in the coastal areas of India and the various countries of the Far East and Africa because of the honest way of transacting trade and mercantile activities by the Arab and Muslim traders and businessmen. Today the world of business is besieged with scams, scandals and fraudulent practices. Our greatest contribution towards nation building would be to set the standard for the uncompromising practice of ethics in business. Our nation would then realise and accept the contribution of our community towards nation building and lead to our overall prosperity both in this world and the hereafter.

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Genesis of Islamic Finance in India

30 Jun 2019 logo 0 comments

Book Name:   Hindustan mai Islami mai’shyat aur maliyat- mawaneh aur mawaqeh
Author:            H.Abdur Raqeeb (Gen.Sec. ICIF).
Publisher:        Indian Centre for Islamic finance ICIF.
Pages:               296
Price:                300.00


The Interest-free Banking and Finance system based on Shari’ah debars its financial practices and procedures from the involvement of riba (interest) and replaces it with PLS (profit-loss sharing) mechanism, thus emphasising the juristic maxim of al-ghurm bi al-ghunm that is, profits are gained by sharing risks. With this basic requirement, the products, instruments and procedures having gharar (uncertainty) and maiser (gambling) should also be avoided. In the Geo-Economic scenario, designated primarily as Islamic economics/banking or finance, this PLS based interest-free economic system, though in its evolutionary phase, acclaimed as the genuine alternative to the conventional counterpart, has become part of the financial regulatory structure of at least 75 nations around the globe.

India, a country with a huge Muslim population, has also displayed some positive gestures of interest-free banking and financial mechanisms through the establishment of some institutions. At the academic level, various scholars have made significant attempts to discuss the emergence and highlight the prospects of interest-free banking and finance industry in India while focusing on its possible assimilation in the wider economic framework of India.

In this context, H.Abdur Raqeeb highlights the efforts of Indian Centre for Islamic Finance (ICIF) New Delhi established in 2008, dedicated towards the implementation of Alternative Banking system in India. In addition to ICIF, the approaches of the institutions like Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), Islamic Fiqh Academy India (IFA), Indian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI), Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) also find place in discussion to assess the present position of Islamic economics and finance in the economic paradigm of India.

The book is divided in five chapters in which the third, fourth and fifth are completely dedicated to the issue of Islamic Banking and Finance in India. The first and second chapters are about the issue of Zakat and the general framework of Islamic economics. The importance of Zakat, its strategic role in the alleviation of poverty, and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nations Organisation, UNO (2016-2025) focused to reduce the poverty, save the planet and enhance prosperity globally is also comprehensively discussed. The Islamic Economics and its different facets with reference to economic sustenance, women’s role in the economic prosperity is also discussed and light is thrown on the concept of presenting the mosque in Islam as an institution for settling the problems in the socio-economic and political paradigm.

Stressing the importance of Zakat and the Institution of Bait ul Mal, the Malaysian and South African models of Zakat as modalities in the contemporary times are given as examples (pp.31,32). To encourage the Muslim community for dynamic economic viability, the reference of Medina Market established by the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him), in the city state of Medina is projected; the said market provided alternative trading platform where Muslims excelled without the interference and monopoly of Jews and other non-Muslim communities during the Prophetic times (pp 107,108).

Moreover, in a country like India where Muslims though constitute 14.5% of total population yet living in underdeveloped financial condition (by Sachar Committee analysis and post-Sachar analysis), the institution of Zakat if acknowledged and observed could provide remedy for the upliftment of this marginalised community, in this context the Bait- u-Zakahin Kerala has been committed to the cause for the last 70 years. The Awqaf, Micro Finance and self-help groups are also important for the financial stability of the Muslim community in India, the author suggests.

The developments at the regulatory level had a strong relevance for the possibility of Islamic banking and finance in India, like the Apex finance regulatory Authority RBI, in 2005 had constituted a committee under Anand Sinha, for the study of   Islamic financial instruments of Islamic banking, the said committee recommends that necessary changes in the Banking Regulation Act of 1949 and in Taxation Laws are incumbent for allowing Islamic banking in India. In 2008, the former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan in his report on “Financial Sector Reforms” opined the importance of Islamic banking in the financial inclusion concept.

Further, the Insurance Amendment Bill 2008 presented in the Rajya Sabah on 10th December 2014 which highlights the Islamic insurance takaful concept has been discussed with a brief summary.  In 2013 by the order of Ministry of Finance, RBI constituted an inter-departmental group headed by Rajesh Verma, to provide the detailed report on the efficacy of Islamic finance products, the report clearly highlighted the nature of Banking Regulation Act 1949 and its various sections and subsections which ruled out the possibility of Islamic banking in India. However, the committee suggested that the separate legislation must be passed by the Parliament for the establishment of Islamic banking in India. Further, under the present regulatory environment the Islamic window could be a viable option, the committee suggested.

It is important to note here that the Banking Regulation Act 1949, RBI Act 1934, Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 and Cooperative Societies Act 1961 govern the financial intermediaries in India. The related Indian Banking Laws do not explicitly reject Islamic Banking but some provisions of above mentioned Acts, particularly of Banking Regulation Act 1949, directly confront with the foundational philosophy of Islamic Banking and Finance.

The regulatory issues of RBI regarding Islamic Banking remained the main hindrance in the establishment of Islamic Banks in India, but Non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) adhered to Shari’ah Guidelines since Independence like, the Patni Co-Operative Credit Society Ltd. in Surat and Muslim Fund established in the first half of the 20th century, particularly in 30s and 40s running on Islamic Investment principles in India. The NBFIs are not interest-free banks, but are Islamic Financial institutions registered under Reserve Bank Directives for NBFIs (RBI) Amendment Act 1997.

[ATHAR SHAHBAZ WANI is a research scholar, Dept. of Islamic Studies, IUST Awantipora; afshan28@gmail.com]

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INSIDE INDIA 23-jun-2019

23 Jun 2019 logo 0 comments


The Trump administration wants the Indian government to swiftly condemn the acts of violence based on religion and hold the perpetrators accountable, a top official told lawmakers in Washington, underlining that this will help boost India’s security and economic interests and strengthen India-US ties, a report said on June 12. In its engagements with India, the Trump administration will continue to highlight the importance of preserving a diverse and inclusive society, Alice G Wells, Senior Bureau Official for South and Central Asian Affairs told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation.

In her prepared statement submitted to the Congressional sub-committee, Wells told the lawmakers that India’s Constitution provides strong protections for fundamental freedoms, including religious freedom. “We look to India’s democratically elected leaders and institutions to swiftly condemn acts of violence on the basis of religion and hold perpetrators accountable. This will help further India’s security and economic interests and strengthen our bilateral relationship,” Wells said.



The Union Cabinet on June 12 cleared a fresh bill to ban the practice of instant triple talaq, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar reportedly said. The bill will replace an ordinance issued in February by the previous BJP-led NDA government. The fresh will be introduced in the budget session of Parliament, beginning Monday, Javadekar said.

With the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month, the contentious bill had lapsed as it could not be passed by Parliament and was pending in Rajya Sabha. Bills that are introduced in Rajya Sabha and are pending there do not lapse with the dissolution of Lok Sabha. Bills passed by Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha, however, lapse. The opposition had been opposing provisions of the bill in Rajya Sabha where the government lacked numbers to ensure its passage.


Permission Granted to Perform Namaz in Alamgir Masjid

In a historic development, the Maharashtra state government gave permission to Maharashtra Waqf Liberation Task Force president to hold prayers for five times and special Eid al-Fitr prayers at Alamgir Masjid, Pune in Survey No. 55 wherein 44.06 acres of land belongs to Maharashtra Waqf Board, a report said on June 9.

Prayers were held after a time gap of forty years after they were allegedly stopped by the corrupt trustees to facilitate landgrab and cheat the Muslim community as a part of the anti-Muslim conspiracy, devotees attending the prayer reportedly said. They have sought help from all corners of the country to keep namaz permanent in the mosque till eternity. The historic prayers were held at the historic masjid on 5 June by prominent Maulana Mufti Shakir. A number of leading Muslims led by Waqf Task Force president Saleem Mulla,  Concern for People Trust Director Sohail Shaikh, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Retired) AJ Khan, Sayed Saeed Ahmed of Raabta Foundation were present.


Holding that the liberty of a citizen is non-negotiable and sacrosanct which cannot be allowed to be infringed, the Supreme Court on June 11 directed immediate release of journalist Prashant Kanojia who was arrested for sharing objectionable post against Chief Minister of UP Yogi Adityanath. A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi said that statements put by the journalist on social media were objectionable and such kind of comments should not have been made but held that arrest cannot be justified. “We do not appreciate the tweet of the journalist but how can he be put behind the bars,” the bench said. “We disapprove deprivation of liberty of the journalist by state action,” it said.

SC also deprecated the journalist for posting and sharing objectionable statements and posts on social media and said that state can go ahead with a probe against him and conduct a trial.


India plans to have its own space station, and modalities for it will be worked out after the first manned mission, Gaganyaan, scheduled for August 2022, K. Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said on June 13. “We want to have a separate space station. We will launch a small module for microgravity experiments… that is our ambition,” he said, addressing the media. A detailed report would be submitted to the government after the Gaganyaan mission.

Dr. Sivan said the proposed space station is envisaged to weigh 20 tonnes and serve as a facility where astronauts can stay for 15-20 days, and it would be placed in an orbit 400 km above earth. The time frame for launch is 5-7 years after Gaganyaan, he added. The ISRO would also join the international space community for a manned mission to moon and beyond, Dr. Sivan said.


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that a majority of EVMs were pre-programmed by the BJP during the recent Lok Sabha polls, and urged all opposition parties to form a fact-finding team to unearth the truth, a report said on June 14. “We have already discussed this with the Congress. If required, we shall move court challenging this electoral malpractice,” Banerjee said.

She wondered how BJP leaders could predict the near- exact figures of the poll results before they were announced. “How the BJP leaders came to know beforehand that it will win in over 300 seats in the country and 23 in Bengal? The final tally was close to what they had predicted. The EVMs were all pre-programmed by the BJP,” she reportedly claimed during an interview to a Bengali news channel. The chief minister alleged that the programming was done keeping in mind the possible transfer of votes among parties. She accused the BJP of spending huge amount of money to influence the voters, and said the Trinamool Congress had lodged several complaints to the Election Commission in this regard, which “fell on deaf ears”.


Uttar Pradesh Bar Council president Darvesh Yadav was shot dead allegedly by a fellow-advocate while she was attending an event on the Agra district court premises on June 12, two days after she was elected to the position. The attacker, identified as Manish Sharma, then reportedly shot himself with his licensed pistol. Citing Police sources, a report said that although both were taken to the Pushpanjali Multispeciality Hospital in the city, Ms Yadav died soon afterwards. Manish Sharma has been hospitalised in a critical condition.

According to the report, Manish Sharma allegedly shot Ms Yadav three times while she was attending her welcome ceremony in the Bar Council chambers around 2:30 pm. Police are trying to ascertain the motive behind his action. Tensions rose in the region after the incident occurred, with advocate groups threatening to launch protests.

US universities visit and appreciate cultural heritage of AMU

A delegation of 12 students from leading US universities on June 8 appreciated the rich cultural heritage of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Students from several institutions, including University of Yale, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine, spent a day interacting with students and faculty members of AMU, to get an insight into the present status of academics and the interplay of various stake-holders.

Responding to queries from visiting students at an interactive session Prof Shafey Kidwai, Chairman, Department of Mass Communication, highlighted the educational opportunities and infrastructural facilities offered by AMU. Prof Rizwan Khan, Chairman, Department of English and Director, Internal Quality Assurance Committee underlined the significance of personality development and character building while attaining quality education, which makes AMU a unique centre of knowledge. He urged the visiting guests to make a linger stay at AMU campus to get acquainted with its rich cultural ethos and distinct character.

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The Task of Making India a Democratic Society has never been Undertaken Seriously

16 Jun 2019 logo 0 comments


People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism on June 5 issued the following statement on the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi in a Mumbai hospital.

Dr Payal Tadvi, an Adivasi Muslim from one of the most backward tribes of India, committed suicide on 22 May in her hostel room in a Mumbai hospital. She was a post-graduate resident doctor in the hospital. Many times before her suicide her mother and husband had given written representations to the hospital authorities about the harassment she had been facing from three of her seniors. According to these complaints, her harassers were using casteist abuses and publicly humiliating her. However, the hospital took no administrative actions. After her death the hospital’s anti-ragging committee has reportedly found evidence of harassment, and according to some newspaper reports the police have found evidence of derogatory casteist remarks.

Dr Payal Tadvi’s suicide immediately brings to mind the suicide by Rohith Vemula in 2015, a PhD scholar at the Hyderabad Central University. Rohith was a student activist. His organisation had been protesting against the HCU administration for months before his suicide. Even ministers of the BJP central government had enquired if his organisation had been adequately punished by the university administration after it was involved in a physical brawl with activists of the ABVP, the student organisation allied with the ruling party. If the context of Rohith’s suicide was institutional victimisation of radical Dalit youth, Payal’s suicide throws open a window to the intimate cruelties suffered by the people of deprived backgrounds every day.

According to her mother, when Payal moved in the hospital hostel, the only cot in the room was already taken by one of her alleged harassers. Her room-mate, also a doctor, would wipe her feet on the mattress on which Payal slept. Payal was a trained doctor. She had worked in a primary health centre for a year. Yet her modern professional status could not shield her from what she had to go through. She narrated incidences of her humiliation only to her immediate family members. They complained to authorities when they felt she was under serious stress. She died alone, without leaving any suicide note.

Even seventy years after independence, and a constitution that promises a life of dignity to every citizen, Dalits, Adivasis, and minorities in India continue to suffer multiple humiliations in their everyday lives. Appropriate legal provisions are in place. Institutional motivation to implement these provisions is woefully lacking, as shown in Payal’s case. However, even if institutional mechanisms were in place, these can play a role only after a Dalit or an Adivasi has been humiliated, or suffered an assault. Indians need to identify and root out the conditions which make many of them abusers and haters of people from deprived backgrounds.

Indian society remains a deeply hierarchical and divided society. Its public sphere, in which people are supposed to be able to interact with each other without distinctions, is also stamped with hierarchy, so that there is little respect for a human being for just being a person. The normalcy of this public is dominated by people from privileged backgrounds. People from deprived backgrounds always feel marked in this sphere. Numerous writings by Dalit and Adivasi authors bring it out in painful detail.  In educational institutions and work environments they are permanently stamped with the ‘reservation’ category tag. Most of them are first generation learners from poor families. They get to join these institutions and places of work after numerous hurdles, but their individual talents are little recognised. Increasingly, Muslims of our country are also being made to feel the same way.

Institutions of higher learning and government offices reek of a nefarious discourse on ‘merit’ of the ‘general’ category. This ‘merit’ is supposed to be measured by marks in entrance exams. But how does one compare the abilities of a Dalit young woman from a rural landless family, who spent half her time on family chores, went to a dilapidated village school, and still got admission to an institution of higher learning, with another person whose upper middle class urban parents gave him/her education in expensive private schools, provided comfortable learning environment at home, and paid for extra tuitions and coaching? Why should only one of them be considered ‘meritorious’? Why cannot they interact freely in an environment of mutual respect?

The policy of reservation in jobs and educational institutions is often cited as the chief culprit, as if without this policy these places will be republics of merit. The drafting committee of India’s Constitution under the leadership of Dr Ambedkar adopted reservations as a policy of affirmative action after serious debate. Reservations have been continued and extended by democratically elected governments. Citizens have a right to criticise any government policy, or law. However, no one has a right to humiliate and abuse anyone, and any effort to show these as ‘reactions’ to a state policy is pure hypocrisy. These are acts of aggression and violence against people who are vulnerable due to their deprived backgrounds.

PADS calls upon the people of India to seriously question why so many of them are haters and abusers of people from deprived backgrounds. Why do people who abuse and commit hate crimes think they can get away with it? It is evident that the anti-caste movements have only partially succeeded in democratising India. The main reason is that the task of making India a democratic society has never been undertaken by the overwhelming majority of Indians. Until this happens, India will continue to humiliate and harass people from deprived backgrounds, and destroy bright and sensitive men and women like Rohith and Payal.

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Arshad Shaikh


How should Indian Muslims Respond to Verdict 2019

9 Jun 2019 logo 0 comments

By Arshad Shaikh

The dramatic return of Narendra Damodardas Modi (the media is terming it as Modi 2.0) as Prime Minister of India after winning the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 by a huge margin and completely decimating the Opposition (mainly the Indian National Congress) is an event that is bound to have a profound impact on the direction India will take as a secular democratic republic and more importantly how the nearly 200 million strong Indian Muslims will be treated by the new government.

The BJP has won 303 seats, enough to form a government on their own. However along with their electoral alliance (NDA) partners they have 358 lawmakers in the Lower House of India’s Parliament. It is being predicted that by the end of 2021 the NDA government led by Modi will gain a majority in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) too which will allow it to push many important (and in the case of Muslims some very controversial and detrimental) legislations (like the Triple Talaq Bill, Citizenship Amendment Bill, etc.) that was hitherto blocked by the Opposition.


The BJP juggernaut of 303 lawmakers in the Lok Sabha does not have a single Muslim MP. They fielded 7 candidates, none of whom could make it to Parliament. Espousing causes dear to their ideological mentors – the RSS (Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh), the BJP does not shy from playing the politics of majoritarianism and keeps exerting its utmost to erode the democratic ethos of India by subverting our constitutional democracy to a majoritarian democracy. Their strategy is to operate at 3 levels. The first level of operation involves those in the highest echelons of power who draft policies and implement administrative actions that promote their agenda of exclusion, cultural imperialism and religious discrimination.

The second level is to work at the social level with the help of hundreds of loosely affiliated organisations and individuals who spread the elaborately crafted propaganda aimed at creating misunderstanding and hatred about the minorities of India and how they are a dangerous burden to the nation.

The third level of operation is to physically engage and hire lumpen, rogue and anti-social elements of society to take the law into their own hands and commit acts of violence against minorities in the form of lynching, hate-crimes and verbal abuse. This well-oiled and extremely efficient system is bound to make the next 5 years extremely trying and testing for all those who wish to preserve the secular and democratic soul of our nation.

How did Muslims respond to Modi 1.0

The media has examined in great detail as to how this colossal landslide victory was crafted and steered by Modi and Amit Shah (the BJP President) and what mistakes were made by the Opposition (especially Rahul Gandhi of the Congress) and how the adversaries of Modi failed to unite and check his meteoric return. Let us examine how the Muslim community (or Muslim leadership) responded to the first term of Modi as Prime Minister.

The response can be categorised into three approaches. Non-engagement, passivity and political non-alignment. First approach by mainstream Muslim organisations like All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat, AIMPLB, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jamiat Ahle Hadith and renowned Islamic scholars was of non-engagement and keeping a safe distance from the government (essentially Modi). There were a few attempts by some to bring the top Muslim leadership to the negotiating table with the Prime Minister and some Muslim delegations meeting Modi but these contacts were largely ceremonial and non-serious in nature.

The second approach by the entire Muslim community especially the youth (for which they really deserve to be applauded) is to be completely passive and not fall prey to provocation and incitement to violence and taking law in their hands as a response to unilateral and unprovoked hate crimes that Muslims were subjected to in the form of mob-lynching and mob-violence.

The third approach was the manner in which Muslims engaged politically and participated in the democratic process of exercising their franchise. They continued to vote for secular / regional party candidates (without any fixed affinity) who they felt could defeat the BJP. They continued to prefer these secular parties over Muslim parties as the criterion remained winnability (against BJP) and not candidates of their own caste and creed.

This political approach (not necessarily as a consequence) has prevented Muslim parties to command complete allegiance from the community and they have a comparatively low vote-share than what they aspire and expect. Secondly, this Muslim approach of selective and shifting support to mainstream political parties and the complete polarisation of the electorate along religious lines by the BJP has forced the secular / regional parties to maintain a safe distance from Muslims and avoid being labelled as “Muslim friendly”.

Crystal gazing

It is not easy to guess how the new government will deal with its minorities. The Prime Minister in his first major speech after winning the elections – told his lawmakers to gain the confidence (“vishwas’’) of minorities. This statement is being lauded by many as a positive signal of assurance from the government that the safety and security of minorities along with their legitimate aspirations will be taken care of. There are various shades of opinion on what to expect.

NALSAR Vice Chancellor Faizan Mustafa writes in the Indian Express: “Muslims are not headed for a bleak future. They should welcome PM’s resolve of winning over their trust.” Others are not as positive and fear an increase in violence, discrimination and legislation that will interfere in their Personal Law and challenge their religious practices and identity as Muslims. Judging by past experience, there is every possibility that the government will continue using emotive issues and create situations (involving minorities) that would divert the minds of people from its failure to keep up its promises and not delivering on the agenda of development and growth.

Muslims need Pragmatism 2.0

The Muslim response to NDA -1 was characterised by negative engagement, passive response to hate crimes and aligning politically with secular / national parties. We need to have a slightly different approach this time around (with NDA -2). Continued policy of non-engagement with the government may turn counter-productive and will deprive Muslim leadership of any positive leverage with the centers of power who control the policies and administrative decisions pertaining to the socio-economic development of the Muslim community.

Engagement should be based on a consensual approach by all Muslim organizations and leadership. Although, the practice of being passive and not reacting to hate crimes is admirable, there is a possibility that this may be taken as indifference and lethargy and embolden the perpetrators of anti-Muslim violence to commit more offences. Hence it is important to develop an “activist’’ response to such violent acts by deploying all democratic means to counter this hate by organizing protests, processions, press-meets and confronting the culprits legally by ensuring they are awarded exemplary punishment through the due process of law and at the same time provide all relief and rehabilitation to the victims. The political strategy that Muslims must adopt is a subject of much larger debate and requires deeper study and analysis.

In conclusion, Indian Muslims will have to be pragmatic rather than pessimistic and be engaged and active rather than indifferent and passive.

Our real responsibility

Muslims are reposed with the onerous responsibility of being the ambassadors of Islam and propagating the faith by both word and deed. Allah gives and takes power and this process serves as a trial for the Ummah. Being focused towards being good Muslims and displaying exemplary character and a pious and pleasant disposition will go a long way in bridging the chasm between religious communities and this improvement in ties will definitely help in dispelling myths and misunderstanding between various groups and followers of different faiths. Islam is a complete way of life and offers solutions to the myriad problems that confront humanity. Muslims must showcase these alternative Islamic approaches to the complex issues and challenges that mankind is grappling and struggling with. There is nothing much to gain by blaming others for our predicament. We must take a cue from the Quranic verse (13:11) – “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”

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Abdus Sattar Ghazali


Islamophobia in India Highlights Plight of Muslims

2 Jun 2019 logo 0 comments

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

The last decade has witnessed intensified attacks on Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and ‘lower castes’ in India, according to a study released recently by the University of California, Berkeley. This first of its kind report on the status of Islamophobia in India is meant to provide a groundbreaking collection of evidence and provide a reference point for all future work on the subject.

“Within the past decade, the level of targeted violence against Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and ‘lower castes’ has intensified in India with the arrival of the BJP into national office facilitating its deployment through all structures of the state against demonised and vulnerable groups,” the report said adding:

“This strategy is familiar to observers of the political dynamics in the U.S. and Europe against the backdrop of the rising tide of Islamophobia that has been stoked and deployed by extreme right-wing groups to gain legitimacy and it has been monetised into votes at the ballot box.”

According to Dr. Hatem Bazian, a co-author of the report with Paula Thompson and Rhonda Itaoui, till now there has been no reliable evidence, academic engagements or scholarly reports that document this rising tide of Islamophobia in the Indian context. “This lack of documentation both complicates and hinders the ability of those advocating against and countering Islamophobia.”

Dr. Bazian was keynote speaker at the Annual Iftar dinner 2019, on Saturday (May 12, 2019) where he spoke about the salient features of the study.

The report, titled Islamophobia in India: Stoking Bigotry, was published through the Center for Race and Gender’s Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley.

Here are Key Findings of the study:

Leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been implicated in “communal violence” and hate. Further, the BJP has the greatest number of lawmakers in the country with declared cases of hate speech against them. The provision of tickets to those charged with hate speech has been associated with driving the conditions that lead to Islamophobia and politically-stoked violence.

Polarising politics is lucrative at the ballot box where individuals affiliated with stoking ‘communal’ hate and violence are actually four times more likely to win than others. This report has documented several Islamophobic statements from leading BJP members from across the political spectrum beginning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself who says:  “Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in a democracy…This is insulting. This is nothing but a mindset of the Mughals.”

BJP Legislator Subramanian Swamy says: “Muslims should take an oath declaring that their ancestors were Hindu if they want to prove their citizenship.”

BJP Baiiria MLA Surendra Singh says: “There are a very few Muslims who are patriotic. Once India becomes a Hindu rashtra, Muslims who assimilate into our culture will stay in India. Those who will not are free to take asylum in any other country.”

BJP Union Minister Giriraj Singh says: “The growing population of the country, especially Muslims, is a threat to the social fabric, social harmony, and development of the country.”

BJP Lawmaker Sanjay Patil says: “This election is not about roads, water or other issues. This election is about Hindus vs. Muslims, Ram Mandir vs. Babri Masjid.”

BJP leader, Yogi Adityanath, has praised U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ and stated that “similar action is needed to contain terror activities in this country (India).”

These statements by officials demonstrate, in part, systematic otherisation and Islamophobia. The statements clear the way for discriminatory legislation, policies and actions toward this vulnerable population. As a result, people may face discrimination, harassment, acts of physical violence, criminalisation, imprisonment, deportation, and death.

It has been reported that India is experiencing an aggressive form of McCarthyism to silent dissent against the BJP. Media personnel and reporters are being tracked by BJP headed ‘war rooms’ that gather data on both traditional and new media, rating and categorising it in relation to its position on the ruling BJP government, which has caused concern for many.

Some journalists have claimed that they face intimidation if they are critical of Modi or his administration. It was reported that “three senior editors have left their jobs at various influential media outlets in the past six months after publishing reports that angered the government or supporters of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).” Reporters and others also face the threat of prosecution for ‘sedition’ which is punishable by life imprisonment if they are “overly critical.”

Female journalists report being threatened with gangrape against themselves and family members.


In 2017 four reporters were murdered and in 2018, four journalists were murdered at the time of report compilation.

A recent India Today article stated that the 2017 murder of female reporter Gauri Lankesh was planned a year in advance. Her murderer Parashuram Waghmare was affiliated with members of a “nameless underground organisation that has members from Sanathan Sanstha, Hindu Janjagruthi Samithi, and many other right-wing organisations, according to the Special Investigation Team (SIT).” The article also reports that Waghmore was ordered to execute her “for the sake of saving Hindu dharam.” Additionally, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), report that three journalists were murdered in India in 2017 and four in 2018. Since 2014, when Modi took office 12 reporters have been killed.

In an effort to promote a Hindutva agenda and “polarise voters in the run-up to the 2019 election,” a recent media exposé entitled Operation 136 (named after the ranking India received from the World Press Freedom Index of 2017) was undertaken by Cobrapost.” The exposé revealed that payments were offered to over two dozen various media companies to promote a Hindutva agenda in order to “polarise voters in the run-up to the 2019 election.” All but two media outlets reportedly accepted, including major media houses. A series of undercover exposes revealed that “news organisations were willing to not only cause communal disharmony among the citizens but also tilt the electoral outcome in favour of a particular party.” This included “newspapers, radio stations, TV channels and websites” as well as “advertorials and events.”

India’s powerful corporate media houses were set to “mobilise the electorate on communal lines” by promoting the hate speech of Hindu extremists such as “Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti and Mohan Bhagwat,” while targeting certain opposition leaders. The exposé also revealed that “the arrangement included running the campaign on all platforms – print, electronic, radio or digital including, e-news portals, websites and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.” Operation 136 uncovered that several media houses are actually owned or patronised by politicians, especially regional media, and that “it was natural for them to become their master’s voice.” RSS and Hindutva ideology have become embedded within the “newsrooms and boardrooms of Indian media houses.”


This report contextualises and documents politically-stoked violence against Muslim communities in India. In doing so, the negative impact of such attacks on the general security of Muslims in every day, as well as Muslim spaces is exposed. Documenting various cases of spatialised Islamophobia in 2017 onwards exposes the impacts of politically-stoked mass violence on Muslim residential patterns, internal displacement, and subsequent patterns of ghettoisation and segregation. Such negative spatial outcomes are situated as a byproduct of experiences of Islamophobia, which are and sustained through discriminatory policies that further restrict the social and spatial mobility of Muslims in India.

Statistics reveals that Muslims suffer disproportionately from communal violence given the outcomes in comparison to the population overall and in each area, further diminishing the likelihood that Muslims are enacting violence against Hindus, as some have claimed.

Islamophobia was spatialised from 2017 onwards in a variety of ways. These included incidents of politically-stoked communal violence, the vandalism of Muslim sites, disputes and contentions over land, and the symbolic infiltration of Muslim sites, such as spying on Muslim communities, or the distributing anti-Muslim propaganda in Muslim spaces or neighbourhoods to invoke fear and exclusion.

In documenting cases from 2017 onwards, it is exemplified that the BJP victory and subsequent implementation of ultra-right-wing nationalist discourse and policies have intensified such attacks against Muslim sites, neighbourhoods and places of worship.

Most concerning is the direct impact of such violence on patterns of segregation and the ghettoisation of Muslims. This decreased social and spatial mobility further limits the ability for Muslims to access the socio-economic opportunities required to participate in national economic growth. This also causes increased housing insecurity and an intensified geographical division of Muslims from the Hindu majority in an increasingly Islamophobic national space.

The spatial impacts of Islamophobia inflicted against Muslim sites, spaces and communities have restricted the residential options, choices and preferences of Muslims in India. The actual and perceived threat of violence has resulted in the exclusion of Muslim communities from the national space. This has resulted in the increased ghettoisation of Muslims to limited places of security and belonging that enables the survival of these communities an increasingly hostile socio-political environment of Islamophobia.

Politically-stoked violence has negative impacts on the spatial and social mobility of Muslims in India. Such reduced mobility results in limited socio-economic opportunities to participate in national economic growth, housing insecurity, and an intensified geographical division of Muslims from the Hindu majority in an increasingly Islamophobic national space.


The report demonstrates an annual increase in beef-related attacks since Prime Minister Modi took office in 2014.

The passage of restrictive beef legislation in various states are associated with driving the attacks upon Muslims and Dalits by emboldening people to take the law into their own hands enacting violence and death extra-judiciously upon innocent Muslims.

Often the beef-related attacks upon Muslims are premeditated and led by ultra-national Hindu groups wielding weapons such as knives, sticks and belts who act as judge and jury.

Amnesty International India has drawn a link between increasing cow legislation that predominantly targets Muslims and the growing trend of Islamophobia that must be stopped.

Reports and narratives indicate that many Muslims live in fear due to the increasing, volatile and unpredictable nature of beef lynching across various regions in India.

Officials and police are often implicated in beef related attacks, and impunity around attacks lends a sense of permissibility to an ‘open hunting season’ upon Muslims. Not only do attackers including those who murder, go uncharged for their crimes, in some cases they have been honoured and rewarded for their crime by politicians from the BJP.

Gau rakshaks seize wealth in the form of cows from Muslims and give them to gaushalas (cow shelters) that have been found to pass them onto Hindus, thus redistributing the wealth of Muslims to Hindus in some cases.

More than half of beef related attacks were reportedly spread by rumours.


Hindu nationalist groups have been able to operate such assertive Ghar Vapasi campaigns targeting minorities for conversion with apparent impunity. These so-called ‘homecomings’ are justified by the RSS as ‘reconversions’ on the basis that their predecessors were themselves supposedly converted from Hinduism through proselytisation or force by other ‘foreign’ religions, including Islam.

“Ghar vapasi has been touted as the return to authentic origins, the starting point, the abode of birth. It produces and enforces notions of a primordial religious identity, whereby all and everyone are declared Hindus. Thus states Praveen Togadia of the VHP: “At one point of time, the entire world was Hindu. There were seven billion Hindus, and now there are just one billion.” The shift from the whole world to the Hindu nation is swift, as ghar vapasi denationalises Islam and Christianity, facilitating their “othering.”

There have been ongoing reports of Ghar Vapasi ceremonies in 2017, although their number and nature were impossible to confirm. In 2014, following the BJP national victory, the RSS announced plans to “reconvert” thousands of Christian and Muslims families to Hinduism as part of a so-called Ghar Vapasi (returning home) programme, and began raising money to do so.

The Dharm Jagran Samiti (Religious Awakening Council) is an RSS-VHP affiliate dedicated to converting Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. According to a report by India Today, this organisation said it would expedite its Ghar Vapasi campaign: “Muslims and Christians don’t have any right to stay here [in India],” one of its leaders said in December 2014. “Our target is to make India a Hindu nation by 2021… Muslims and Christians must convert to Hinduism “if they want to stay in this country”.

This statement is connected to the organisation’s claims that they converted 57 Muslim families to Hinduism in Uttar Pradesh. Such conversion ceremonies have led to panic among Muslims and the displacement of Muslim communities from their homes. However, after domestic and international outcry, the RSS postponed its plans. Nevertheless, in its annual report of 2015, the VHP claimed to have converted nearly 34,000 people to Hinduism over a year and “prevented” nearly 49,000 Hindus from converting to other religions.

These conversions and “preventions” were carried out in the states of Odisha, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam. The Dharm Jagran Samiti also distributed pamphlets for its fundraising drive where the cost of converting a Muslim was fixed at Rs. 500,000 ($7,500) and of converting a Christian at Rs. 200,000 ($3,000). BJP MP Satish Gautam welcomed the announcement. Smaller-scale forced conversions of religious minorities were also reported in 2016. In addition, in February 2016 the RSS reportedly placed signs in train stations throughout India that said Christians had to leave India or convert to Hinduism or they will be killed by 2021.


In September 2014, in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, members of the Bajrang Dal and VHP put pressure on district officials to reject nine Hindu Dalits’ petitions to convert to Islam.

In December 2014, in Madhunagar, Uttar Pradesh, RSS-related groups, the Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhag and Bajrang Dal, converted 200 Muslim persons to Hinduism. The new converts later stated they had been misled, told that they were receiving help to get ID cards.

In February 2016, across India the RSS allegedly put up threatening signs across India in train stations stating Christians need to convert to Hinduism or leave the country by 2021, or risk death.

In April 2017, in Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh, members of the group Hindu Yuva Vahini called police to a Christian church by alleging forced conversions, causing disruption to a prayer service involving Ukrainian and U.S tourists. While Hindu Yuva Vahini members surrounded the church during the disruption, the police visit found no evidence of forced conversions.

JUNAID KHAN: Muslim teen lynched by mob in Ramadan 2017 on train ride home:

One significant case in 2017 was that of sixteen-year-old Junaid Khan. Khan was a young student going home from school for the Muslim religious holiday Eid. On June 23, Khan and his brother left their Khandawali village, district of Palwal, Haryana headed for Delhi by train to shop for the Eid holiday. As he was returning home with his brother and two friends, he was lynched to death by a mob of young men on a public train.

The police arrested six men shortly after the lynching who admitted to participating in the beating, but not the stabbing of Junaid. Yet the end of March 2018, less than a year after Junaid’s murder all of the accused have been released from prison except for the main person Naresh Kumar. The Indian Express reports that Junaid’s father has claimed that Haryana police helped Rameshwar Dass, one of the two key perpetrators accused in the murder of Junaid, obtain bail by subverting the investigation.

Junaid’s murder resonated beyond spectacular or isolated incidents, it solidified a sense of ongoing vulnerability for Muslims engaging in everyday activities. The Quint collected tweets by young Muslims in India that reflect the fears and anxieties that they experience in the increasing climate of Islamophobia, and the tweets were read off one by one in a video.

Places of public transport such as the train in Junaid’s case and the highway in Pehlu Khan’s case indicate serious mobility issues for Muslims as they attempt to move from one space to another and engage in everyday activities such as school and work.


In April 2017 Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old, impoverished, Muslim dairy farmer who cared for his blind mother, wife and sons, was lynched in Alwar by a group of gau rakshaks (ultra-nationalist cow protectors) as he transported some cattle in the back of his truck. Alwar is located in the state of Rajasthan and has a predominantly Hindu population at 82.72 per cent and is 14.90 per cent Muslim, according to India’s 2011 census data. The attack was recorded via cell phone video and it captured the confiscation of his cows. They were seized and taken to a Hindu run gaushala (cow shelter). While in the hospital Khan was able to name his attackers in an FIR before succumbing to his injuries two days later.

Criminalisation of the victims of cow vigilantism through labels such as ‘beef eaters’ and ‘cow smugglers’ is common in the otherisation utilised by police officials and vigilantes in such cases. Criminal charges are often filed against victims of lynchings either exclusively or in tandem with their attackers. Cow legislation that targets Muslims facilitates this injustice. The Indian Express reported in a recent article that criminalisation of the victims of cow lynching occurred in states across the country. Commenting on the Alwar lynching, BJP leader and Islamophobe Vinay Katiyar seemed to criminalise Muslims in general and placed responsibility for lynching at their feet when he said, “The incident of mob lynching in Alwar is highly condemnable but people from the Muslim community should abstain from touching cows and provoke aggressive Hindus. There are a lot of Muslims who are sheltering cows but are also killing them. Cow meat is also being consumed by them.” This statement encourages perpetrators and can be understood as government support for lynching.

A year after Pehlu Khan’s violent lynching by Hindutva vigilantes, the community reportedly remains under siege and justice has not been served. The six men identified by Khan before he succumbed to his injuries “all been absolved by the police of any guilt.” In fact their names have reportedly been removed from the case entirely. Khan’s case is a textbook example of the culture of impunity that exists regarding lynchings under the guise of cow protection.

[ABDUS SATTAR GHAZALI is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America (www.journalofamerica.net) email: asghazali2011@gmail.com]

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Dr. Javed Jamil


Muslims Need to Pose Counterquestions

2 Jun 2019 logo 2 comments

By Dr. Javed Jamil

While the whole world is being recurrently and relentlessly bombarded with Islamophobia, the Indian variety of Islamophobia needs to be understood separately. Muslims in India are at the receiving end because:

(1) The International media including the so-called big bosses of media like BBC, CNN, etc. are only promoting the interests of the forces of globalisation and tend to present a negative view of Islam and Muslims. They promote the concepts of “freedom of choice” and “human rights” that are not in line with the three-dimensional Islamic system of Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Prohibitions. The situation since 9/11 has become dangerous, and the international media is engaged in spreading the worst kinds of Islamophobia.

(2) Living in India, they have to face the wrath of media that hardly understand their issues and have little, if any, interest in portraying their genuine concerns. They too are largely under control of the Indian part of the forces of globalisation and are promoting the same kind of value system as the international media does. In addition, a significant part of media openly promotes misconceptions about Muslims. This becomes particularly severe during turbulent times like terrorist attacks in India.

(3) With no media of their own, except a few religion-based or Urdu language channels, Muslims are unable to present their viewpoint in the mainstream media.

Muslims in India face security issues at all levels – ideological, physical and social.  These issues have been responsible for their continued fear psychosis which is proving in a big hindrance in their living in respectable, hygienic and well-developed conditions.  At the ideological level, they have been routinely branded as “ghaddar” (often accused of being pro-Pakistan), “terrorist”, in consonance with the West-led propaganda after 9/11 and some local acts of terrorism, and “obscurantist”. When a few years back, an intelligence officer approached me in connection with the inquiry on my application for registration of a magazine, I was amazed at the type of talk he indulged in. He wanted to ask me “why Muslims are so much prone to violence and why the violence is more in areas where Muslims live in significant numbers.” A similar question was asked by a Hindu American on Internet. I gave this reply to him:

“You are either a victim of the incessant propaganda against Islam and Muslims or a party to it. It is high time biased non-Muslims like you stopped their malicious, irresponsible and baseless propaganda against Islam and Muslims. If this propaganda has been gaining strength during last hundred years or so, it is perhaps because during this period, Muslims have been socio-politically least potent and powerful to combat the designs of enemies. It is common practice for the bad to call others bad, especially if the others happen to be weaker.

“As far as India is concerned, though you accept the fact that Muslims are the second largest majority in the country, unfortunately people like you are trying to use this very fact to unite the rest against Muslims by propagating untruths.

“You say, “But why Muslims attack in India, a docile community with no imperialist aspirations and home to the second largest population of Muslims? Can Muslims explain this?”

“The history tells the facts otherwise. Since Independence, which resulted in Hindus having gained dominance in Indian polity, it is Muslims who have suffered worst kinds of violence at the hands of Hindus. More than 75 % of the victims in riots have been Muslims.”


After the change in Government in 2014 with Modi-led NDA government coming to power, a chain of anti-Muslim campaigns hit the country. A number of allegations based on half or distorted facts were levelled against Indian Muslim community. Here are some of them and the analysis of the issues involved:

(i) Love Jihad

Long back, when I had just finished my MBBS, one of my closest friends, a Brahmin, who used to be my school fellow also in Saharanpur, fell in love with a Muslim nurse. They are now married for more than two decades. My friend is perhaps the most popular Neurosurgeon of Varanasi. Another friend of mine, also a doctor, was on the brink of marrying a Christian girl when his family intervened and prevented it. A Muslim lawyer of the Muhalla I lived in Saharanpur, known for its deeply religious denizens, married a Hindu lawyer. There are many other examples that have come across me where Hindu boys entered into love with Muslim girls.

Of course we have many among the celebrities – Mahesh Bhatt’s mother Shirin, Yuvraj’s mother Shabnam, Shahid Kapoor’s mother Neelima, to name a few. But no Muslim organisation ever propounded the theory of “Love Dharamyudh”. But true to its ideology of spreading hatred for Muslims more than love for Hindus, the BJP and its sister Hindutva organisations are busy throwing “Love Jihad” as its latest weapon of hatred. They are presenting it as a planned conspiracy by Muslims against Hindus. The truth on the contrary remains that Islamic organisations and scholars have never supported the idea of Muslims marrying non-Muslims, even if the girl not the boy happens to be a Hindu.

If the examples of Muslim boys marrying Hindu girls outnumber the Muslim girls marrying Hindu boys to any appreciable degree, this is simply because lesser number of Muslim girls are going to higher institutions and jobs. Muslim boys studying in colleges or doing jobs find much greater number of Hindu girls around the Muslims. Mixing and close contacts soon develop into relationships. Most of these boys have relatively lesser religious leanings than the ordinary Muslim boys who prefer to marry Muslim girls. Inter-caste marriages, after all, whatever their composition, are not easy to manage, with most fearing the long term effects. In India, marriages are not just a relationship between the couple but involve families, and the religion almost always plays an important role in families.

It is also surprising that Hindutva organisations are opposing “love Jihad” despite the fact that Muslims marrying Hindu girls tend to be closer to Hindus than the ordinary Muslims. Many of them find it hard to face the Muslim hostility towards their marriages and join Hindu dominant organisations and parties. Both of the two most known Muslim faces in the BJP are having Hindu wives, and the couples are proud of each other. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shanawaz Hussain have proved to be more loyal to BJP than many other leaders. If despite the massive hate-Muslim campaign by the BJP and other Hindutva organisations, they can maintain unadulterated loyalty to their party, it should in fact encourage Hindu organisations to accept the marriages of Muslim boys with Hindu girls. This can prove to be a boon for them in the future. And if “Love Jihad” is such a big threat, the Naqvis and Shanawazes should be thrown out without delay.

Rather than fearing Muslim boys, BJP would better run a campaign on war footing against female infanticide being increasingly rampant in the Hindu society. If at all, the demography in India will have any shift, even if marginal, it will neither be due to Muslim boys marrying Hindu girls nor due to Muslims having a slightly higher growth rate. With lesser girls being born, it can become difficult for Hindus to cope with a situation where marriage-seeking boys will substantially outnumber marriage-seeking Hindu girls.

(ii) Muslim majority areas are prone to violence

Few years back, Yogi Adityanath, then a BJP MP and presently Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, said, “If Muslims are 10 per cent of the population at any place, it is normally peaceful, if they are around 20 per cent, there are communal incidents/minor clashes; if they are up to 30 per cent, there are riots and if they reach 40 per cent, others are forced to leave the place.” Not only, these figures may be challenged on the basis of hard facts, they may be interpreted in a different way as follows: Where Hindus are already dominant with over 90 pc population, they allow Muslims to remain in peace, where they see Muslims growing to about 20 pc, they try to instil fear in them through repeated communal incidents; when they cross more than 30 pc, they engineer riots to force them into submission; and once they cross 40 per cent, Hindus start feeling that now it is not possible to dominate and hence they believe in moving to places where they can have dominance. This interpretation is more valid because the major sufferers in almost all the communal riots in India have been Muslims, not Hindus. The bigger truth however is that the statement by Yogi is factually wrong, and is only aimed at uniting the majority community against the minority community.

The trend all over the world is that the clashes normally take place only when the minority is significant because it is only then that the majority starts getting anxious about its long term interests. This applies to all communities. If Yogi wants to prove that Muslims tend to be more violent, counter arguments can be stronger. The only non-Hindu country, for example, where Hindus form a notable minority is Sri Lanka, and the long history of violence there is still fresh in most minds. The over-all population of Hindu Tamils in Sri Lanka is around 12 pc with more than 20 per cent in two provinces.

I do not want to go into the details of the break-up of casualties, but it shows that where Hindus are in significant numbers the probability of violence increases. Another interesting aspect of the violence in Sri Lanka is what has been pointed out in the following:

“One of the few hopeful elements of the current situation is that Sri Lanka’s Muslims, comprising about 8 per cent of the country’s population, have not picked up arms, even though they have had plenty of reasons for doing so. Muslims have been caught in the middle, suffering ethnic cleansing at the hands of the LTTE, but had no meaningful representation during the 2002 ceasefire negotiations. A May 2007 ICG report notes that Muslims – one-third of the community lives in the northeastern conflict areas – are again being oppressed by the LTTE and its split-off, the Karuna faction. To the credit of Muslim political leaders (who themselves are divided), they remain committed to political as opposed to violent action. But the ICG warns that “there is no guarantee that this commitment to non-violence will continue.”


Adityanath’s theory fails at several other fronts. Kerala is a state where Muslims form around 25 pc of population, and remain one of the most peaceful states with just one incident of communal riot in recent memory.  The two Muslim majority cities in the Hindi belt – Kishanganj and Rampur, also remain largely peaceful.

In contrast, the biggest genocide of Muslims in India occurred in Gujarat where Muslims are less than 10 per cent. And 2002 riots were not the only riots that occurred in Gujarat. This becomes even more important considering the fact that Gujarat has been an experimental lab for the forces of Hindutva. As the report quoted above suggests, deaths in violence have also been on higher side in Madhya Pradesh, another Hindutva dominated state.

Adityanath has also repeated another old propaganda item of Hindutva, namely the decline and treatment of Hindu community in Muslim countries. The truth however is that there have never been an anti-Hindu communal riot in Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, with the sole exception of a few in Bangladesh.  If the population of Hindus has gone done in these countries, for which various factors including voluntary conversion and migration are responsible, the populations of minority communities like Parsis and Buddhists have also substantially decreased. A report describing the problems of Parsis says:

“According to 2001 Census of India report, the population of Parsis in India was just 69600. It was about 112000 in 1951, the first Census after independence of India.”


How the Buddhists became a beleaguered community in the country after becoming its virtual masters remains an important chapter of the rise and fall of religions in the history.

Romila Thapar has said: “In an often horrible way, religious forms of expression like Buddhism and Jainism have been persecuted and even exterminated [by Hindus].”

Why did Buddhism disappear from South Asia? Brahmin atrocities that destroyed Buddhism in the Subcontinent

To me it appears that Adityanath’s lament reflects the social and political insecurity of the forces of Hindutva led by RSS on the social front and BJP on the political front. The social insecurity emanates from the fact that owing to various factors, including slightly greater adoption of family planning methods by Hindus, largescale female infanticide, and greater vulnerability of Hindus in the face of other religions, the percentage of Hindus relative to Muslims is slightly shifting. This is another matter that this shift is so marginal that even if the current trends continue, which though are changing fast, the population of Muslims in the country will increase only by a maximum of 4 per cent by the end of the 21st century. The truth however is that even this is not going to happen because the fertility gap between Hindu and Muslim women is closing fast.

The bigger concern, which in my view is responsible for the latest surge of communal campaigns, is the sharp internal division in the community caused by Sai Baba controversy. As RSS and its sister organisations are primarily not groups concerned with the preservation of Hindu Dharma in all its pristine form but are groups more committed to the domination of Hindus in India, they are alarmed over the rise of tensions within the Hindu community in the wake of the anti-Sai campaign by the Shankarachya of Dwarka. Faced with a situation, which may cause a vertical divide, and the dilemma of entering into confrontation with Dharmacharyas, they want to solidify the Hindu community on the plea of “Muslim Threat”. Political reasons of course remain the other major motive. With BJP in power, the Hindutva lobby seems to be committed to making every possible attempt to play the communal game in a way that it ensures a long-term power.

The insistence on the use of “Hindus” for all the Indians also emanates from the same concerns. They forget that the term “Hindu” was actually given by Muslims of Arabia and Persia. Describing the etymology of the term, Wikipedia says:

Interestingly, while on one hand, they argue that all Indians are Hindus, when it comes to terrorist attacks by Maoists, Ulfa and Bodos, which have killed more than 30000 people in last 30 years, they do not use “Hindu” despite the fact that most of them are “Hindu” in census.


If the media reports and the statements emanating from the Hindutva brigade are believed, it would appear that conversion in India is a one way affair, with Hindus converting to Islam. Whatever the reasons of the conversion, the picture which is presented for public consumption is of a largescale conspiracy, most likely a part of the global effort, aimed at converting Hindus to Islam so that the demography of the country tilts in favour of Muslims.

What however is not being debated at all in the mainstream media is that if any forced conversion is taking place in India, it is the conversion of Muslims to Hinduism. In most cases, such conversions take place under compulsion or as a result of lucrative offers. To make it look technically correct, considering the fact that Hinduism does not permit conversion, the term “Re-conversion” (ghar waapasi) is used. If one surfs the Internet, one will easily find such news items on the websites dedicated to Hinduism.

There is another report which tells how Hindutva activists created horrible conditions for a family that converted to Islam, resulting in the “Ghar waapasi”:

“Four men of a family who were arrested on Wednesday in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri for converting to Islam have done a U-turn. On Thursday, hours after being released by the police, they embraced Hinduism at a local temple in presence of Bajrang Dal activists.

“Religious conversions are allowed in the state only if they are not forced. The people converting have to declare that it is voluntary and seek the state’s permission. This was what the men – Tularam Jatav, his son Keshav and relatives Maniram and Makhubhai Jatav – had apparently failed to do when they converted to Islam nine months ago.

“So on Tuesday, these four men accompanied seven of their family members who wanted to convert to Islam to the district magistrate to seek his approval, but activists from Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad protested and tried to convince the family to give up the idea. A day later, they again took their relatives to the magistrate but were arrested and booked under Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 1968.

“Seven other family members, including three women, were detained for questioning. If found guilty, the men would have been sent to jail for two years.

“On Thursday, the police, without disclosing any information, let off the four arrested men on bail and the seven detained. The Jatavs reached their village in Thaniyadana area, offered their prayers at a local temple and after a “shuddhikaran” or purification ceremony, again adopted Hinduism.

“I feel I am happy to return back to my religion. We had converted earlier to Islam as we were being discriminated, whereas in Islam, everyone is treated equally. But now that the family and relatives convinced me, I have re-converted,” said Maniram.

“Local Bajrang Dal leader Manoj Kumar said, “These people were misled and now they have come back to their own religion. We are happy to welcome them back.”

“The VHP and Bajrang Dal are both part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-led pro-Hindu conglomerate that includes the state’s ruling BJP.”


Certain communities like Rajputs and Jats, particularly in Rajasthan and Haryana, are vulnerable to the efforts of the Hindutva organisations. These communities living in the midst of a dominant and aggressive Hindu majority find hard to resist the pressures built on them by Hindutva forces. Once back in the Hindu fold, they are offered lucrative jobs and other supports.

The conversion for the sake of allurements like money and under compulsion has no place in Islam. Such “Muslims” are no Muslims in the sight of God. But it appears that conversions from Islam to Hinduism for similar reasons are openly relished by the Hindutva lobbies. The campaigns against “Love Jihad” and “forced conversion to Islam” are only aimed at justifying their own sinister plans for the future. They have no love for their religious principles; they are only interested in dominating the country through consolidation of Hindus on the plank of hatred. Mercifully for the country, the true Hindus who love their religion are too many to let these forces prosper for long. But the dangers loom large on the solidarity of the nation.


The Forces of Falsehood keep questioning Islam and Muslims, and poor Muslims, naive as they are and not understanding the strategies of the global and national forces of hegemony, just keep answering their questions. There are innumerable questions and counter questions that need to be thrown at those forces. Though it is true that in absence of a Muslim or a neutral media, this is not an easy task to engage in, still, they do not do even the minimums they can. The truth is that they are not equipped with the science and art of that strategy.

This is why in my just published book, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination and Roadmap”, I have listed “Ideological Empowerment” as the first of the four necessary dimensions of “Empowerment”, social, economic and political being the other three. This does not apply to Indian Muslims alone; this is equally important for the rest of the Muslim World.

Ideological Empowerment is the key to confidence, proper planning and ultimate success. It involves proper knowledge and understanding of Islam, its application in all the spheres of life, individual, family, social and systematic, proper understanding of the major ideologies governing the world and their impact, an insight into the global and national policies and the ability to counter the propaganda unleashed by vested interests against Islam and Muslims.

Islamic/Muslim scholars tend not to be aggressive in their approach, and often exhibit sectarian bias. Instead of focusing on the faults and discrepancies of the new dispensations that are numerous, they continue to dissipate their energies in erecting defences around their faith. By the time, they defeat the mischievous propaganda unleashed against one principle or practice, the opponents, supported by the economic fundamentalists, open another front. The ideological war goes on unabated; but, this is still being fought in the domains of Islam. Islamic scholars have forgotten that, for ultimate triumph, the battle-line is to be pushed into the domain of the enemies.

They have to question the World, especially the West:

(1) Why is there no focus on the rising crime rates in the world especially in Western countries despite their huge law enforcing machinery and generally good economic conditions? Does it not point to the inefficiency of their law system and the prevalence of social conditions leading to crimes?

(2) Why is there focus only on certain kinds of violence and not on others, which are much more lethal in effect?

(3) Why focus only on violence caused by honour killing and not on violence caused by sexual partners, despite huge difference between the two?

(4) When talking of women, why focus on polygamy and not on promiscuity which causes huge medical and social problems? Why no big plans to uproot prostitution which has engulfed more than 100 million women by forcing or luring them?

(5) How can commercialisation and globalisation of practices that kill millions be allowed?

(6) In  a world where human rights is such a big issue, how come induced abortions leading to more than 50 million loss of human embryos does not become a major cause of concern?

(7) How come suicides taking hundreds of thousands of lives do not attract the attention of the protectors of life?

(8) How come, the powerful nations of the world keep invading countries and sponsoring civil wars leading to millions of deaths and not attracting any punishment?

(9) Why is there no debate on Western role in the genesis of Terrorism and the focus remains on Islam’s or Muslims’ role? Terrorism is an illegitimate response to illegitimate wars and the machinations of West in the Muslim World. For one illegitimate response to end, the other illegitimate is to be put to an end. This is true for India as well where much larger terrorism caused by Rightist and Leftist Hindus is ignored and Muslim Terrorism is discussed day and night?

(10) Why is there always a debate on Jihad in Islam and not on military ideologies and methods of Western countries? The military ideologies of other religions too including Christianity and Hinduism advocate much greater militarisation than Islam.

(11) If democracy is important, how come this is not applicable to the United Nations where 5 Big Powers have the right to veto any resolution even if it has the support of an overwhelming majority of nations?

Muslims have continuously been at the receiving end. When terrorism attacks occur anywhere in the world, including on Indian soil, Muslims are declared culprits till proved otherwise. The programmes are presented in a way as if Islam especially Ulema, promotes violence and Muslims, and they have no option but to “reform” Islam for the cause of peace. It is conveniently forgotten that the other communities throughout the world have much bigger share in all kinds of violence than Muslims.

The violence heaped against Muslims such as the one unleashed by Western forces in Muslim countries killing millions of innocent Muslims is ignored, and the “terrorist” activities, which to them almost always means violence caused by “Muslims”, are highlighted beyond their impact.

The media regularly ignores major social issues of the world or the country and keeps on attacking Muslims on much smaller issues. The time has come when Muslims need to question the world or a country like India on the larger issues:

We have to ask global/Indian opinion makers why there is a continuous debate on the “plight” of Muslim women on the issues of polygamy and Triple Divorce when the issues are statistically of hardly any significance and no debate on the issues of prostitution and promiscuity which are destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of women. There are hundreds of millions of prostitutes worldwide and more than ten million in India who have been either forced or lured into prostitution.

Whether by choice or by force, these women are the ultimate sufferers with threats of diseases like AIDS, repeated pregnancies and abortions and absence of a good family life. The truth is that nothing can be a bigger crime against womanhood than their sexual services being commercialised for the sake of lascivious men. While polygamy is questioned, promiscuity is never an issue. This is despite the fact that while polygamy is a self-limiting aberration, promiscuity is an all-enveloping monster posing huge threats to life and family and social peace.

Never in the history have women been subjected to such security risks as have been in the so-called modern world. Apart from being exploited in the name of freedom through promiscuity, prostitution, pornography and abortions, they are raped with 20 to 50 per cent of all women having been raped in most of the Western countries. More than 250000 women are reportedly raped every year, and yet there are hardly any debates on the issue. And when sometimes debates occur, as happened in India in last few years, the real factors and solutions are deliberately ignored or suppressed.

The debates will never allow anyone to question the provocation in the form of nude images, provoking dresses and mixing of men and women in solitude or provocative gatherings, and will always blame men for violence against men. The system commercialised to the hilt by merchants including merchants of sex will never be put under scanner. They have the right to provoke men but men do not have the right to be provoked beyond what the Industries want. Men should either control their hormones or should better make use of them in places created by the market.

The media will likewise never discuss the frenzy alcohol and gambling cause except when forced by political circumstances. And of course the problems related to economic disparity and the role of corporates in accentuating and perpetuating this disparity will never ever be discussed. Instead “reforms” will be promoted, which almost always mean such changes in economic policies as help the market forces, mostly if not always, at the cost of the masses.

Most of these are the results of the concepts of “freedom” promoted by West and political ideologies aimed at hegemonisation of the world by West, which they have pursued throughout the modern history.

Muslims must make sure that they are not apologetic or defensive in their discussions on the question of terrorism or riots in India. They must make sure that not only the dimensions and implications of terrorism are analysed but the genesis of terrorism is also debated in its all minute details. Without discussing the genesis, solution cannot be found out. Muslims must take the stance that all forms of violence are equally condemnable and the solution to the violence lies in punishing the culprits plus root out the cause of the violence.

The Muslim organisations and NGOs of Muslims all over the world must form an umbrella organisation and engage in a global campaign against violence, vices, hegemony and economic disparity. They must announce and organise special annual days like anti-prostitution day, anti-alcohol day, anti-gambling day, anti-crime day, anti-rape day, anti-disparity day, family peace day, moral values day, etc., and on each of these days must organise seminars, workshops and protests within the laws of the lands.

By just continuing to defend their positions, Muslims cannot hope to challenge the current international ideologies. Counter-attack, ideological onslaught and social movements through peaceful means are the need of the time. Muslims must realise that the challenge to the Truth of Islam does not come from other religions but the global forces of economics and politics, and they must make every possible effort to take all other religions in their fight for Comprehensive Peace in the world. This will also ultimately lead to the demise of Islamophobia.

2 responses to “Muslims Need to Pose Counterquestions”

  1. Ibnsuleman says:

    Very true. Please offer it to Times of India, Indian Express,The Hindu etc news papers for wider publication.

  2. Parvez Mir says:

    good article by javed jamil, we need to go for self introspection to safe guard humanity

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Republic TV Issues Unconditional Apology for Hurting Muslims’ Sentiments

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Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV on March 3 issued a rare apology after being accused of hurting the sentiments of Muslims with a piece of fake news, which was hugely provocative in nature. The extraordinary apology by Goswami’s channel came amidst Muslim groups also accusing Mukesh Ambani-owned CNN-News18 of committing blasphemy by casting aspersion on the three of the holiest sites for Muslims in the world.

Republic TV’s apology came after the All India Muslim Personal Board issued a scathing letter accusing the channel of falsely accusing the Jamaat-e-Islami India chief Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari of being a terrorist. Taking exception to the channel’s ‘mischief,’ several Muslim groups including All India Muslim Personal Law Board wrote a letter to the channel condemning its act and demanding an immediate apology. The letter by the AIMPLB also condemned CNN-News18 for committing ‘blasphemy’ by linking three of the holiest sites for Muslims to Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s ‘terror factory.’

While posting its letter, the AIMPLB wrote, “We strongly condemn @republic channel for falsely accusing Ml Jalaluddin Umari, the vice president of @AIMPLB_Official, of being a terrorist. We also condemn @CNNnews18. It has committed blasphemy against Masjids in Makkah, Madinah and Quds. Both channels must apologise.”

Realising the potential consequences of its fake reporting, Republic moved in with lightning speed and issued a rare apology for hurting the sentiments of Muslims. Its tweet read, “CORRIGENDUM & APOLOGY for taking a wrong image of Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri carried on Republic TV at 4:03 PM. It was an inadvertent error, the video editor concerned carried the wrong image which was wrongly broadcast once & immediately corrected.”

In its subsequent tweet, the channel wrote, “Republic TV unconditionally apologises to Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri for the same.”

Republic TV appears to have removed the controversial video from its website and has also updated its report on the government’s crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami in Kashmir by clearly stating that the outfit in the valley had no relation with Jamaat-e-Islami India.

The letter by the AIMPLB termed the news flash by CNN-News18 as mischievous, deliberately designed to defame Islam and provoke Muslims.

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INSIDE INDIA 17-03-2019

17 Mar 2019 logo 0 comments

‘Dalit, minority voters missing from electoral rolls’

Members of various opposition parties in a joint press conference held on March 3, alleged that names of people belonging to downtrodden sections of society, like Dalits and other minorities, were missing from electoral rolls in Uttarakhand. The leaders claimed that the data emerged after an internal voter survey was conducted ahead of Lok Sabha polls. Former state Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay, along with leaders of other parties like CPI, CPI(M) and Samajwadi Party, demanded that Election Commission must conduct extensive survey and include all missing names in the voting list, or else “democracy would be in danger.”

“We conducted a poll survey in January last week in which voters were surveyed in Dharampur, Raipur and Mussoorie assembly constituencies. Out of 298 voters who had voter IDs, it was found that around 12.5% were not present in the voter list. Of these, 90% were Dalits or minorities. If the same proportion applies across the state, among Dalits alone, more than 1,36,000 people will not be able to vote in the upcoming elections,” said Shankar Gopalakrishnan, joint convenor, Chetna Andolan, the organisation that had conducted the survey.

Srujan Poojary Arrested For Making Hoax Bomb Threat

A day after a bomb threat video went viral on social media, the Udupi police have arrested an 18-year-old youth, identified as Srujan Poojary, a report said on March 3. In the video, which had led to a wave of anti-Muslim rantings on WhatsApp and Facebook, Poojary, who had covered his face with a cloth is seen raising Pro-Pakistan slogans and threatening to conduct bomb blasts on Malpe beach on the Karnataka coast.

The video surfaced on Saturday morning, March 2, and the police immediately swung into action. The police first arrested a Nepali man, who had circulated the video, who then revealed that the incendiary video was shot by Srujan, a resident of Thottam near Malpe. The 1-minute video is laced with obscene language with threats against women, and to burn down all shops in the area.

Sedition Charge Dropped Against Bulandshahr Violence Accused

A court in Bulandshahr has dropped the sedition charge against 38 people accused of violence in Bulandshahr in which a police inspector and a civilian were killed, their lawyer reportedly claimed on March 5. A total of 38 people, including local BJP and Bajrang Dal leaders, were arrested for the violence that broke out in Siyana tehsil of Bulandshahr on December 3, leading to the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and villager Sumit Singh.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to probe the case and it filed a charge sheet in the court of the chief judicial magistrate on March 2, almost three months after the incident. The court took cognisance of the report on Tuesday. “During the argument, the court pointed out that the police does not have a requisite permission for pressing IPC section 124A (sedition) against the accused,” defence lawyer Bruno Bhushan said. “The police needs to have permission from the Centre or the state government if charging anyone with sedition, the lawyer claimed.

50% political ad spent on Facebook came from BJP backers

Advertisers in India spent over Rs 4 crore for political ads on Facebook last month and more than half of the amount came from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its backers, according to data from Facebook’s Ad Archive report. A pro-BJP page, Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat, alone spent over Rs 1 crore for political ads on the social networking platform last month.

While regional parties spent just around Rs 20 lakh on Facebook, the Congress Party and its backers spent just around Rs 10 lakh for political ads on Facebook during the same period. As part of its transparency efforts in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, Facebook has made it mandatory for anyone who wants to run an ad in India related to politics to first confirm their identity and location, and add a disclaimer, giving more details about who placed the ad.

Dalit man allegedly burnt alive in Rajasthan

The burnt body of a Dalit man found outside the office of a mining company in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan last week has rights activists and the authorities at odds. The body of 60-year-old Gangaram, a gardener at the company, was found on Friday in Bjiolia. The company is owned by a leader of the ruling Congress. Wires were used to tie up Gangaram to rubber tires.

A suicide letter, reportedly found near Gangaram’s body, has complicated things further. In the note, Gangaram allegedly wrote the cause of his suicide was related to trouble in his daughter’s marriage. The gardener’s family claims he could not have written it. “He was not literate. There is a mention of trouble regarding the daughter’s marriage in the letter because Gangaram did not even marry. What did he do to be burnt to death with such brutality?” questioned Madan, Gangaram’s nephew.

HC restores Guttala Begumpet land to Masjid Alamgiri

Telangana Waqf Board achieved major success as the Telangana High Court on March 1 restored the gazette notification pertaining to a parcel of prime land in Guttala Begumpet, Madhapur, as belonging to Masjid Alamgiri. The land admeasuring 90 acres and 18 guntas will now be restored to Masjid Alamgiri.

The notification which had been suspended by a single judge was restored by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radha Krishnan and Justice A. Rajasheker Reddy.

As reported by Deccan Chronicle, on a writ petition filed by the Addagutta Cooperative Housing Society represented by one B. Damodar, Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao had on February 2 issued orders for the interim suspension of the Waqf Board gazette notifications 6 (File No. 21/LA (a)/RR/2015 dated February 8, 2018) and 25 (File No. 21/LA (a) /RR /2016 dated February 22, 2018) which had declared that the land in Survey Nos 1 to 9 of Guttala Begumpet, Serilingampally Mandal, to be attached to the Waqf Alamgiri mosque.

Saniya Firdaus: Rifle Shooter Girl in Hijab

Ansari Saniya Fidaus has been participating at district and state level rifle shooting competitions since 2018 consecutively. She was selected in women under 19 categories after her excellent performance in a trail. She is studying in class 12 in science stream at ATT High School Malegaon and taking air rifle shooting training by creators’ sports academy.

She secured first position at state level in 10-meter air rifle shooting matches conducted by sports department Maharashtra government in Kolhapur city. She qualified for the district level match organized by District Shooting Sports Association of Nashik (DSSAN). Saniya said that she has taken her training wearing Hijab as well as she participated in competition with Hijab. She said that there are no restriction about any gender, cast and religion although there is a certain dress code for rifle shooters. When I was playing under Hijab most of the authorities appreciated me and permitted me to play comfortable.

Abdur Rahman named Special IG, Human Rights for M’rashtra

Maharashtra’s senior most and well-respected Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Abdur Rahman has been appointed Special Inspector General (State Human Rights Commission), Mumbai. Abdur Rahman has also authored two well-known books which highlight the current conditions of Indian Muslims and also a highly decorated officer of the police department. 

Abdur Rahman is an IIT graduate and an (IPS) officer with over 21 years of senior leadership experience who is providing strategic, administrative and operational leadership in uniquely challenging security situations. He has been recognized as an innovative leader, inspirational and outcome focused, who delivers value by connecting the dots, he has demonstrated extensive line leadership at the cusp of security, HR and financial management.

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