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Islam and Pluralism (13 Feb 2009 NewAgeIslam.Com)

India’s Muslim Taliban join Hindu Taliban to oppose Valentine’s Day

By Manoj C G

Feb 10, 2009


New Delhi: Bajrang Dal and the Sri Ram Sene will not be alone in opposing Valentine’s Day this year. The Hindu groups have got company from the other end of the spectrum - the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, an outfit which regards Islam as the authentic way of life for all human beings.


Jamaat’s student wing SIO will organise anti-Valentine’s Day in college campuses and other places in several states on February 14. Given the backlash against vigilante groups, leaders of the Students Islamic Organisation say their activities would be peaceful and they have no intention of moral policing.


SIO, which labels itself an ideological organisation working to prepare students and youth for reconstruction of the society under “divine guidance”, will also be organising brotherhood day and solidarity day in states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu to raise awareness against Valentine’s Day.


“Valentine’s Day promotes unethical male-female relations. The celebration of Valentine’s Day is nothing, but giving open license to the youth to indulge in immoral acts. We oppose it strongly. We believe that such activities will erode moral and family values,” SIO chief K K Suhail told The Indian Express.

He said that market forces were promoting Valentine’s Day to reap benefits. “Some state units will be organising solidarity and brotherhood days, wherein they will be raising issues like the Israel’s oppression of Palestinians in Gaza and strive to spread the message of universal brotherhood. We will basically try to raise awareness,” Suhail adds. In cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, the SIO plans to observe February 14 as anti-Valentine’s day.


Jamaat leaders said its opposition to the Valentine’s Day celebrations would be put in action by the SIO as such celebrations were prevalent among youngsters. “We are against such western invasion of our society as it affects family bonds and undermines India’s culture,” the outfit’s political secretary Mujtaba Farooq said.


Islamic clerics in countries like Malaysia and Brunei, which have a sizeable Muslim population, have gone a step ahead and declared that Valentine’s Day is forbidden (haram) in Islam.


Dukhtaran-e-Millat (daughters of faith), the Kashmiri women’s separatist group, has already asked shopkeepers in the valley not to sell gifts or cards for V Day and appealed to restaurant and hotel owners to desist from organising parties.




Muslims forbidden from participating in Valentine’s Day celebration


SOME people celebrate Yawm al-Hubb – Valentine’s Day – on February 14 [the second month of the Christian Gregorian calendar] every year by exchanging red roses as gifts. They also dress up in red clothing, and congratulate one another (on this occasion). Some sweet shops produce special sweets – red in colour – and draw hearts upon them. Some shops advertise their goods which are specially related to this day.

What is the Islamic view [concerning the following]:


1. Celebrating this day?

2. Buying from these shops on this day?

3. Selling – by shop-owners who are not celebrating – the things which are used as gifts, to those who are celebrating?

May Allah reward you with all good!


The ruling

The clear evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah – and this is agreed upon by consensus (Ijmaa’) of the early generations of the Muslim Ummah – indicates that there are only two Eids in Islam (days of celebration): Eid al-Fitr (after the fast of Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (after the standing at Arafah for pilgrimage).


Every other Eid – whether it is connected to a person, group, incident or any other occasion – is an innovated Eid. It is not permissible for the Muslim people to participate in it, approve of it, make any show of happiness on its occasion, or assist in it in any way – since this will be transgressing the bounds of Allah ... and whoever transgresses the bounds of Allah, he has wronged his own self. [At-Talaaq 65:1]


If we add to this fabricated Eid the fact that it is one of the Eids of the disbelievers, it is sin upon sin. This is because it is Tashabbuh (imitation) of the disbelievers, and a type of Muwaalaat (loyalty) to them. And Allah has prohibited the believers from imitation of them and having loved or loyalty for them in His Mighty Book (Al-Qur’an). It is also confirmed from the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) that he said: Whoever imitates a people is one of them.


Eid al-Hubb (Valentine’s Day) comes under the category of what has been mentioned here, since it is one of the pagan Christian holidays. Hence it is not permissible for any Muslim, who believes in Allah and the Last Day, to participate in it, approve of it, or congratulate (anyone on that occasion). On the contrary, it is obligatory to abandon it and stay far away from it – in response to Allah and His Messenger, and to distance oneself from the anger of Allah and His punishment.


Additionally, it is forbidden for a Muslim to assist or help in this Eid, or any other of the forbidden/illegal celebrations in any way whatsoever – whether by food or drink, selling or buying, production, gift-giving, correspondence, announcements, etc. All of these things are considered as co-operating in sin and transgression and disobedience of Allah and His Messenger. Allah, the Glorious and Most High, says: ... and co-operate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not co-operate in sin and transgression. And fear Allah! Verily Allah is severe in punishment. [Al-Maa’idah 5:2]


Likewise, it is obligatory for every Muslim to adhere strictly to the Qur’an and Sunnah in every situation – especially in times of temptations and corruption. It is incumbent that he/she understands, be aware and be cautioned from falling into the deviations of those whom Allah is angry with (Jews) and those who are astray (Christians) and the immoral people who have no fear of punishment – nor hope of reward – from Allah, and who give no attention at all to Islam.


It is necessary for the Muslim to flee to Allah, the Most High, seeking His Hidaayah (Guidance) and Thabaat (Firmness) upon the Path. Verily, there is no Guide except Allah, and no One who Grant Firmness can accept Him. And the success is from Allah! May the praise of Allah – among the assembly of angels – and security from all harm and evil be granted to our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Source: http://www.gulftimes.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=272719&version=1&template_id=47&parent_id=27


No love lost: Religious police see red _ or not _ as Valentine's ban takes over Saudi Arabia

By DONNA ABU- February 12, 2009


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Just days before Valentine's Day, a young Saudi woman desperately searched for a red teddy bear to buy for her boyfriend. But all Nof Faisal could find were blue and white ones, minus the "I love you" she wanted hers to declare.


It's not because the store couldn't keep up with demand. It is because fear of the religious police forced the store's owner to strip the shelves of all red items, including the hottest-selling item: heart-festooned red plastic handcuffs inscribed, "Take me, I'm yours."


As Feb. 14 approaches, the police begin inspecting gift shops for items that are red or are intended as gifts to mark the holiday — a celebration of St. Valentine, a 3rd century Christian martyr — which is banned in Saudi Arabia. Such items are legal at other times of the year, but as Valentine's Day nears they become contraband.


At best, shops caught selling Valentine's gifts are ordered to get rid of them. Some salesmen have been detained for days.

The Valentine's Day prohibition is in line with the ascetic Wahhabi school of Islam that the kingdom follows. Marking Christian holidays is banned in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and a country where non-Muslims are banned from openly practicing their religion.


Celebrating any holidays but the two most important for Muslims — Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr— is taboo because they are considered "religious innovations" that Islam does not sanction. Even birthdays and Mother's Day are frowned on by the religious establishment.


As Feb. 14 approaches, newspapers reprint a fatwa or religious edict issued by scholars a few years ago, declaring "eid al-hob," Arabic for the feast of love, a "Christian, pagan feast" that Muslims should not celebrate. Teachers remind students they must not mark the festival, and girls are warned against wearing anything red.


Nevertheless, Valentine's Day quietly creeps into the capital, Riyadh: While gift stores don't trumpet their Valentine's wares, they acquire a deep red hue as shelves are stocked with artificial flowers, heart-shaped frames and other knickknacks.


Lingerie stores display red lacy underwear and sheer short nighties. Boxes packed with teddy bears, some inscribed with "I love you," appear on supermarket shelves. Newspapers advertise diamond and ruby heart-shaped pendants.


And salesmen urge shoppers to snap up their gifts early because no one knows when the religious police will begin their rounds.

"My colleague spent a night in jail last year because of the colour red," said one salesman, who insisted on anonymity, fearing his colleague's fate.


It is a challenge for courting Saudi couples to be together at any time of the year because of strict gender segregation. Unmarried men and women cannot take a drive together, have a meal or even talk on the street unless they are close relatives. Dating consists of long phone conversations and the rare tryst. Infractions are punished by detention.


"I wish things were different," said Faisal, a 20-year-old student, who said she would like to be wined and dined by her boyfriend. She has arranged to have red roses, a red box containing perfume, chocolate and a CD of love songs delivered to him.

Abdul-Aziz al-Shammari bought his girlfriend 10 red roses — one for each month he's known her — five days before Valentine's Day and stored the bouquet in his refrigerator to keep it fresh.


"I don't consider it a day venerating (St.) Valentine," said al-Shammari, a 24-year-old student. "I see it as an international day of love."

For at least businessmen, the commercial draw of the holiday was too strong.

Waleed al-Khuleiwi's store was perhaps the only one in Riyadh still brimming with Valentine's goods with just days to go.

His cheeky defense: "I'm not selling the items with the intention of celebrating Valentine's."

Soure: http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-ml-saudi-secret-valentine,0,5291717.story


On Valentine’s Day

By Fouzia Khan


SOME Muslims, out of ignorance, have fallen into the evil of celebrating Valentine’s Day. Shopkeepers have jumped into preparing gifts for this day in the hope of earning some extra bucks. It’s sad that a pagan festival that promotes immorality is being observed by Muslims undermining their faith and Islamic values.

The Permanent Committee for Islamic research and verdicts of Saudi Arabia declared it impermissible for Muslims to celebrate non-Muslim occasions like the Valentine’s day, which is also known as the ‘festival of love.’

“(This) is one of the festivals of the pagan Romans, when paganism was the prevalent religion of Romans, more than 17 centuries ago,” said Dr. Su’ad Ibrahim Saleh, professor of Fiqh at Al-Azhar University, Cairo in one of his articles.

Several customs connected with the Valentine’s Day originate from the beliefs held in England and France during the middle ages. One such example is that birds begin to pair on February 14. According to research, the Romans introduced this pagan festival into the Christian world. In Saudi Arabia, however, it’s not permitted to celebrate this festival and the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice strictly banned the sale of any red roses, hearts or even wrapping paper on this day.

In Islam, expressing love is fine as long as it doesn’t fall into what is Haraam. Among the greatest of all types of love is the love for Allah and His Messenger, and the love for Islam. Loving our parents, family and relatives is very much encouraged. Love of courtship is allowed only between married spouses. Islam highly recommends that spouses show affection and mercy towards each other. Islamic requirements are only in the best interest of the society, to protect morality and nourish familial values. Immorality and Haraam relationships lead to disintegration of families and ultimately to the degradation and destruction of a society. Islam is the best model to follow. All praise and thanks be to Allah for giving us this blessing. We, who have the divine guidance, are not in need of imitating the West.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us that Muslims would eventually fall into this error. Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, span by span, cubit by cubit, until even if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would follow them.” We said, “O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else? !” (Al-Bukhari, 8/151, and Muslim, 4/ 2054)

This Hadith should serve as a stark reminder for all of us. We, instead of influencing others to enter the fold of Islam, are following them at the expense of our religion. May Allah protect all Muslims and guide them to the straight path. Aameen. – SG


URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-pluralism/india’s-muslim-taliban-join-hindu-taliban-to-oppose-valentine’s-day--/d/1192



  • Muslims of the Indo-Pak [now Hindus as well] were sleeping during all this rather promoting the vices mentioned below. All they can do is protest on minor vices like New Year Party, Music, Dancing and Valentine's Day??? Least bothered about...

    Caste System, Prejudice and Racism in Mullahs - 1

    Caste System, Prejudice and Racism in Mullahs - 2

    Caste System, Prejudice and Racism in Mullahs - 3

    Caste System, Prejudice and Racism in Mullahs - 4

    Caste System, Prejudice and Racism in Mullahs - 5

    Caste System, Prejudice and Racism in Mullahs - 6

    By Aamir Mughal -

  • India’s Muslim Taliban join Hindu Taliban to oppose Valentine’s Day


    Dear Sultan Sahab,

    Same Muslims never protest against Celebrating Eid Milad un Nabi [Birthday of Prophet Mohammad - PBUH] which is basically 9 Rabiul Awwal not 12 Rabiul Awwal but his [PBUH] death is confirmed on 12 Rabiul Awwal [Muqqaddama and History by Ibn-e-Khaldun]. Leave the date of birth or death aside because there is no permission to celebrate birthday of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] therefore it is Bida'at [Innovation] and so are the Mourning Processions of Moharram. 

    Opposing Valentine's Day & Celebrating Milad - 1


    Opposing Valentine's Day & Celebrating Milad - 2


    Opposing Valentine's Day & Celebrating Milad - 3


    By Aamir Mughal -

  • Isn't it embarrassing?

    More incidents of violence against India's Christian community were recorded during the past two years than in all the years since independence. Attacks occurred primarily in the tribal regions of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Orissa, as well as the state of Maharashtra. Activists belonging to militant Hindu extremist groups, including the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP) were often blamed for the violence. While the central government officially condemned the attacks, spokespersons for the BJP characterized the surge in violence as a reaction to a conversion campaign by Christian missionaries in the country.

    Anti-Christian violence in the state of Gujarat reached its peak during Christmas week 1998 when a local extremist Hindu group obtained permission to hold a rally on December 25 in Ahwa town in the state's southeastern Dangs district. Over four thousand people participated in the rally, shouting anti-Christian slogans while the police stood by and watched. After the rally, Hindu groups began to attack Christianplaces of worship, schools run by missionaries, and shops owned by Christians and Muslims. Between December 25, 1998, and January 3, 1999, churches and prayer halls were damaged, attacked, or burned down in at least twenty-five different villages in the state. Scores of individuals were physically assaulted, and in some cases tied up, beaten and robbed of their belongings while angry mobs invaded and damaged their homes. Thousands of Christian tribals in the region were also forced to undergo conversions to Hinduism.

    On August 26 Staines' killer Dara Singh struck again, when he led an angry mob to attack the garment shop of Sheikh Rehman, a Muslim trader in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district. In the presence of four hundred eyewitnesses and in broad daylight, Rehman's arms were chopped and his body was set on fire. Singh continued to evade arrest despite his numerous television appearances in the months following the Staines murder. One week later, on September 2, the Rev. Arul Doss was killed by a gang of fifteen unidentified assailants. Voting in Orissa for the staggered general elections was scheduled for September 25. On September 20, a Catholic nun in Bihar was abducted by two men, stripped, and forced to drink their urine. The nun was
    reportedly interrogated about her proselytizing activities.


    The Indian government has failed to prevent increasing violence against Christians and is exploiting communal tensions for political ends, Human Rights Watch charged in a report released today. This 37-page report details violence against Christians in the months ahead of the country's national parliamentary elections in September and October 1999, and in the months following electoral victory by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party, known as the BJP) in the state of Gujarat. Attacks against Christians throughout the country have increased significantly since the BJP began its rule at the center in March 1998. They include the killings of priests, the raping of nuns, and the physical destruction of Christian institutions, schools, churches, colleges, and cemeteries. Thousands of Christians have also been forced to convert to Hinduism. The report concludes that as with attacks against Muslims in 1992 and 1993, attacks against Christians are part of a concerted campaign of right-wing Hindu organizations, collectively called the sangh parivar, to promote and exploit communal clashes to increase their political power-base. The movement is supported at the local level by militant groups who operate with impunity. October 1, 1999



    India’s Hindu Taliban By Kuldip Nayar

    The writer is a leading journalist based in New Delhi.

    January 25, 2008 Friday Muharram 15, 1429


    “WILL you arrest anybody and identify him by any name that suits your case?” a judge asked the police while setting Aftab Alam Ansari free. He was imprisoned on suspicion that he was involved in the serial blasts at the courts in Lucknow some two years ago.

    He is an electrician working at Kolkata in the government’s power corporation. He was picked up from there. The UP police chief described him as ‘a hard core’ belonging to the Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami. Sheepishly, the police have admitted that it was a case of ‘mistaken identity’.

    What Aftab went through in jail is something too familiar in the subcontinent to be repeated. I do not know whether he is suing the authorities for his illegal detention. But this is a case which some NGO should take up to demand not only compensation for him but also punishment for those who misused the law. It has become a practice with the police to arrest anyone without even a semblance of evidence to allay the people’s fear in the wake of a blast.

    One more example of the police getting away with ‘false testimony’ has come to the fore. This is the Bilkis Bano case in Gujarat. Eleven people who raped her and killed 14 of her relatives, including her three-year-old daughter, have been sentenced to life imprisonment. At last some persons have been punished, thanks to the persistence of Bilkis and Teesta Setalvad, a human rights activist, supported by the media. Yet, five policemen have been acquitted. Bilkis wants to pursue their case of ‘false testimony’.

    The case had to be heard outside Gujarat because of pressures within the state. Yet the main culprit, state chief minister Narendra Modi, who had planned the ethnic cleansing and had it carried out, moves around freely because there is no ‘legal proof’” against him. The Nanavati Commission appointed to find out those responsible for the carnage has been sitting for the last five years; it is still examining witnesses.

    Modi, without any qualms of conscience, had the audacity to talk about the centre’s failure to curb terrorism when he was touring Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. What happened in Gujarat was something more terrible than terrorism. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced financial help and his government’s support for concerted action against terrorism. He wants Pakistan to be part of the drive.

    But he should know that terrorism is only a symptom, not the disease. Fundamentalism has very much to do with it. The terrorism witnessed in Gujarat was the work of Hindu fundamentalists. Without curbing them or their counterparts among Muslims, there can be little progress on this front.

    Gujarat continues to be in the grip of Hindu Taliban. Sainiks destroyed the NDTV office at Ahmedabad a few days ago because the channel reported M.F. Hussain, a world famous painter, as one among the people’s choice for the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award. The land of Modi has such a pathological hatred for Muslims that there is no question of taking action against the culprits because they are the warp and woof of the state’s Hindutva apparatus.

    There has been no word of explanation, much less condemnation, from the BJP spokesman, Ravi Shankar Prasad, otherwise an urbane person. When the entire structure of his party, the BJP, has been built upon anti-Muslim sentiments, its youth followers, the sainiks, are only instruments of terror and tyranny, at the beck and call of the party.

    The same sainiks or their type broke glass at the NDTV office in Bhopal. This is the capital of the BJP-run Madhya Pradesh. It is assumed that no action will be taken against them. True, it is a minor incident compared to the Ahmedabad one. What the nation must realise is that Germany was not taken over by the Nazis in one day. They nibbled at the country ideologically and socially.

    People would shrug their shoulders saying that the NDTV incident did not hurt them. The Nazis too did not take on all the people at one go. Only one set of them was attacked first. Left aside, the other sections asked themselves why they should raise their voice when they had not been touched. Ultimately, when the Nazis came for the last set of people, there was nobody left to speak out.

    The Muslims accused in the Godhra train arson case have been denied even a fair hearing and have been deprived of basic freedoms. In all there were 135 accused in the incident. The last bail order was granted by the Gujarat high court on October 30, 2004. The court has not heard any bail application since. Many serious discrepancies in the arrests, including some glaring inconsistencies, have been pointed out to the state which simply refuses to address the concerns.

    Compared to the Hindu Taliban, the Muslim Taliban may be less active. But they are very much there. They demonstrated against the Godrejs, a house of industrialists, recently because they had hosted Salman Rushdie, the author of Satanic Verses. The demonstrators demanded a boycott of the goods produced by them.

    Not many Muslims were associated with the hooligans. But then nobody in the community dared to speak against them. People were simply afraid of what the fundamentalists might do to them. In fact, the fear they instill in the general public is their weapon. They have already silenced the government of India in the case of Taslima Nasreen, the Bangladeshi author who has been installed in a house in Delhi, isolating her from the outside world. She has protested against the ‘house arrest’ but neither the government nor the Muslim community is sensitive to her freedom.

    I do not know why New Delhi is soft on fundamentalists. The example of Pakistan is before us. There was a time when the madressahs and maulvis did not pose any danger. Religious parties would never cross double digits in elections to the provincial and national assemblies. The madressahs went on brainwashing the youth studying there. Thousands of them are now an integral part of Pakistani society. The government did not lift a finger against them.

    Now that they have begun to challenge the state, the army has been deployed to curb them. Several suicide attacks on the military have demoralised the army as have beheadings of security officials.

    Still, the terrorists have come to occupy a large bit of Pakistan’s territory. Waziristan is under their command. President Pervez Musharraf has tried to convince Europe that the terrorists have been nearly ousted from the country. Very few believe him. That is his and Pakistan’s tragedy. His credibility is zero.

    Thackeray hurls threats at Amitabh

    MUMBAI, Feb 4: Amitabh Bachchan’s home here was under guard on Monday after a key right-wing politician criticised him at an anti-migrant rally for funding a college in another state, sparking violence in India’s financial capital, police said.

    Raj Thackeray, leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena or Maharashtra Reconstruction Party, told supporters at a rally on Friday that actor Amitabh Bachchan, 65, should have built the women’s college in Mumbai, the city where he lives and works, rather than in his home state of Uttar Pradesh.

    Thackeray also called for action to prevent Indians from other states from taking jobs in Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, blaming the migrants for increasing unemployment in the state.

    Thackeray’s comments spark-ed clashes in the streets of Mumbai late on Sunday between supporters of his party and the Socialist Party, which Bachchan’s wife Jaya represents in India’s parliament.

    Four people were injured in the violence and police arrested 25 more, police commissioner K.L. Prasad said.

    Security has been tightened around Bachchan’s house following reports that vandals threw glass bottles at it during the clashes, Prasad said, adding that the actor and his family were not home at the time.

    “The situation is under control. We have taken precautions such as increasing security,” he said.

    Police were investigating who was behind the attack on Amitabh’s house, he said.

    Thackeray told reporters in the western city of Pune that he knew nothing about the vandalism at the actor’s house.

    Amitabh was not immediately available for comment.

    Some 37 per cent of the population of Mumbai, a bustling city of more than 18 million people, are migrants from across the country, according to the government. The various groups mostly coexist peacefully in Mumbai, despite differences in language and culture.However, some complain that the migrants usurp their job opportunities.

    The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, a splinter group of the powerful Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena, last year attacked malls and shops claiming they employed migrants from northern India instead of local people.—AP


    North Indians face attacks for second day

    The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) continued its assault on north Indians for the second day on Monday, damaging taxis in Dadar, vandalising a theatre showing a Bhojpuri movie in Thane and even allegedly "I request you not to resort to violence and keep your cool. I assure you that we will retaliate if provoked," Raj Thackeray, MNS chief. lobbing a bottle at superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s bungalow.

    This, while the nation debated if this could be Mumbai’s path to being a global city.

    Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh asked state police chief PS Pasricha to conduct a high-level probe into Sunday’s clashes between MNS and Samajwadi Party (SP) workers. He warned both parties against politicising the issue.“We have information about speeches made by politicians accused of inciting their party workers,” Vilasrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra chief minister.

    Trouble on Monday started at 1.30 am when two unidentified motorcycle-borne people threw a bottle inside Bachchan house Prateeksha. No complaint was lodged with the police. “Our leader shared a personal friendship with the Bachchan family and our activists are not involved. We condemn the incident,” said MNS spokesman Shirish Prakar. “Imagine what will happen to Mumbai if all the taxi operators from Bihar and UP withdraw their services for a day,” Nitish Kumar, Bihar chief minister In the evening, addressing the MNS womens’ wing, Raj said: “I request you not to resort to violence and keep your cool. I assure you that we will retaliate if provoked.” In Mantralaya, Deshmukh told state SP chief Abu Azmi that guilty from both parties would be brought to book. “We have information about speeches made by politicians inciting party workers,” he told Azmi.

    Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil said 40 people had been arrested for rioting.

    Raj Thackeray admires Hitler June 14, 2005 21:33 IST

    Like uncle, like nephew. This seems to be the case with Shiv Sena leader Raj Thackeray, when it comes to his fascination for German dictator Adolf Hitler.

    While Bal Thackeray is on record saying that he is a fan of Hitler, Raj, who celebrated his 37th birthday on Monday, said that when it comes to organisational skills, there are a few who can rival the Nazi dictator's abilities. "Leave aside his negative aspects like the barbaric annihilation of millions of Jews. There are several other things about Hitler, which any leader would envy," Raj told reporters at his Dadar residence when asked if he too was a fan of Hitler like his uncle. "Hitler had everything. The one thing he did not have was the ambition to conquer the world," Raj said, adding, "you can draw whatever conclusions you want from my remarks."


    A Thackeray act LYLA BAVADAM

    The violence in Mumbai by supporters of Raj Thackeray exposes his real agenda as opposed to the promises he had made.


    The importance of being Amitabh Bachchan By Rahul Singh

    February 09, 2008 Saturday Safar 01, 1429


    WHO is the most recognisable living person in India — perhaps the most recognisable Indian internationally as well? The answer has to be Amitabh Bachchan, the Bollywood icon. He is presently in the eye of a storm, which could soon become a hurricane. But he is used to it, having been the centre of controversy many times in his chequered career. It all began with a stray remark, made a few days ago, by Raj Thackeray, a name Dawn readers may not be familiar with. However, many of them are likely to have heard of his uncle, Bal Thackeray, the founder of the Hindu chauvinist and Muslim-baiting political party, the Shiv Sena.

    The Shiv Sena has dug up cricket pitches, thereby halting matches between India and Pakistan, defaced paintings done by India’s most famous artist, M.F. Husain, and, what is much worse, instigated communal riots between Hindus and Muslims in their stronghold, Bombay, the country’s financial capital. Thackeray has often boasted that he can paralyse Bombay. And the frightening thing is that he actually can, such is his muscle-power. For some years, a tussle had been going on between the ageing Bal Thackeray’s son, Udhav, and Thackeray’s nephew, Raj, for succession to the eventual leadership of the Shiv Sena. Then, a few months ago, Thackeray decided to put the mantle on his son, though most people felt the nephew was the smarter of the two. Anyway, this was the signal for Raj to angrily break away from the Shiv Sena and form his own party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

    Unfortunately for him, in recent local elections the MNS made little impact. So, Raj Thackeray was on the lookout for greater political mileage. He thought he had found it, by attacking Bachchan, somebody who had helped him in the past, when he was embroiled in a messy extortion-cum-murder case. Raj questioned Bachchan’s loyalty to Maharashtra, accusing him of becoming famous in Bombay, the capital of Bollywood, but being a brand ambassador for the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The hit was below the belt, harking back to his uncle’s original 40-year-old chauvinistic political platform of railing against ‘outsiders’ coming into Bombay and taking up jobs that should have gone to Maharashtrians. That cry might have resonated in the 1960s and made Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena popular among the local Maharashtrians, especially the lumpen elements. But today, with fewer ‘outsiders’ in Bombay and local employment up, it leaves even Maharashtrians cold. Bachchan is of course from UP (though his mother was Sikh) but he has lived much of his life outside UP, mostly in Kolkata (working for a multinational, ‘Bird and Company’) and in Bombay, where he went to college and made his career as India’s leading male filmstar.

    Raj Thackeray’s attack on Bachchan prompted some MNS loyalists to attack Bachchan’s house and rough up ‘northerners’, while damaging some shops and taxis, since the taxi trade is dominated by non-Maharashtrians. Till the time of writing, the state government has hesitated to arrest Raj, despite pressure from the centre to do so. Putting him in jail, goes the argument, would provoke the goonda elements of the MNS even further — and there are plenty of them — to increase the mayhem in Bombay, while making something of a martyr of their leader. However, Bachchan’s wife, Jaya, also a highly acclaimed actress in her younger days and presently a member of parliament from the largely UP-based Samajwadi Party, had the perfect response to tormentor Raj Thackeray, who had tauntingly asked her which state she belonged to.

    “I am a Bengali, born in Madhya Pradesh, married to a north Indian and have worked in Bombay,” she replied. “My mother-in-law was from Punjab and my daughter-in-law is from Karnataka — so how should I say which state I belong to?”

    Jaya’s daughter-in-law is, needless to say, Aishwarya Rai, the former Miss World and a leading Bollywood actress who recently married Abhishek Bachchan. The Bachchans are a truly national family, a matter of pride and a symbol of unity for India. Raj Thackeray’s attack on them is bigotry at its worst.

    On a somewhat personal note, I have a soft corner for Amitabh Bachchan. I first spotted him when he was in college, as he frequented the same restaurant in Bombay as me. He was strikingly handsome even then and when he went into films I was not surprised. Apart from his looks, he was bright and articulate. It was a rare combination and, again not surprisingly, the Bachchans and the Gandhis became close family friends. Rajiv Gandhi persuaded him to enter politics. He was duly elected to parliament from UP with a huge majority. But as Rajiv got embroiled in the Swedish Bofors gun kickbacks scandal, things began to unravel for Amitabh, when his name was dragged into it. Labelling Indian politics a ‘cesspool’, Amitabh drew away from Rajiv. Another blow came when a commercial venture by Amitabh went kaput, bankrupting him. Amar Singh, a dubious politician from the Samajwadi Party, with even more dubious funds, bailed Amitabh out. The two have been inseparable since then, an association that has certainly benefited Amar Singh, though not I fear Amitabh. Many admirers of the Bachchans find it difficult to stomach the constant presence of Amar Singh at Amitabh’s side. About three years ago, at the launch of a book I had written, my publisher requested Amitabh to be the guest of honour. Normally, he charges several million rupees for his presence on similar occasions. He asked for nothing, except a request that he be allowed to bring his wife and Amar Singh along!

    He has encountered many storms and even if the present one that Raj Thackeray has engineered turns into a hurricane, he will surely weather it as well, with his usual dignity and grace. But it has brought to the forefront a question that agonises all Indians: are we Indians first and then Maharashtrians (or Punjabis, Tamils, Bengalis, etc)? Or is it the other way round?


    By Aamir Mughal -


    It is alright that Valentine Day is not permitted in Islam. But then how far these Muslims are free from the blame of getting their wards educated in high fly English and Convent medium schools. Why haven't they sent their children to Islamic schools and taught them Quran and Hadith instead of giving modern education. Urdu language is dying in the country, especially in south, how many of us have sent our children to study in Urdu medium schools? Even in their own homes, Muslim parents are happy to talk to their children in English in the name of improving their luency in the English language. This is the kind of education being imparted to our children. Then why blame them, if they go out with their friends to celebrate V-Day. When they have no objection to the celebration of New Year Day on 1st january, why should they be so oversensitive to such celebrations? How many of us are celebrating our new year in the month Moharram? How many of us are not cutting cakes and inviting people for candle light dinner to celebrate their birth days of the children? Must first peep into our heart and then oppose such celebrations.  If children are given good and moral education and uprbinging is good at home in an Islamic atmosphere, then the children would not indulge in such activities outside. First we should keep their house in order. Nothing seems or appears Islamic in each and every Muslim house hold in the country. Mere hanging of Toghras in their household does not make them Islamic. They have to practice in letter and spirit. "Khirad Ne Keh Bi Diya 'La Ilaha' to kya hasi; Dilo Nigaha Musalman Nahi to kuch bhi nahi'.

    I fully agree that such celebrations are alien to Islam and Muslim children should not be encourged to do it. But then it should start from the cradle which lives with them till the graves. It is therefore essential that Muslim parents impart good Islamic education to heir wards and they must imbibe good qualities of their parents. It may be remembered that the children carry efficient tape recorder in their brain. Whatever parents do at home is automatically recorded in their brain and at a later stage it is replayed to them, then only parents realised their folly. It then becomes too late for them to redress the wrongs. Atleast now onwards, lets learn a lesson or two from the past mistakes and see that our children and grand children are given good moral education besides imparting Islamic traditions and training in them without any room for extremists views of relgion. In the bargain let us not throw our children into the lap of the extremist jammats like Tableeqi Jamaat and Jamaate Islami. Lets give them liberal views of the religion and teach them the rationale behind the advent of Islamic religion.

     We need to be more proactive and must love our country. All Muslim children must be taught to be more patriotic to our country and should not harbour any extra-territorial loyalty. We need to love our own brethren and nothing wrong in expressing sympathy with those suffering in Palestine or elsewhere but not at the cost of our own country, India. India is our country and our loyalty to it should be pure and unimpeachable. We need to identify ourself with the problems of the country as our own and express our solidarity like we did following 26/11 with the rest of the country. We must live as good neightbours with the people of other faiths and beliefs, participating in each others' festivals and celebrations which would not affect our identity as Muslims. We need to assimilate ourselves with the rest of the population. We our views and practices should be in sync with the rest of the population. This is not Islamic country and it is a secular country. We need to give modern educaion to our children so that they could compete with other religious groups candidates on equal footings. We need to open more and more educational insitutions to arrest drop out from the schools and colleges. We need to provide necessary help to those Muslim parents and children who could not afford higher education. There is therefore an urgent need to preserve unity among ourselves. We are seen fighting among ourselves and trying to replicate and live a life of the seventh century AD. We should come out of the life of yester years and let us live a life that is demanding from us in the 21st centufy. A Muslim is known from his deeds and not from his appearance. Even Christians, Hindus, Jews and others sport beards. Beard and specific dress  does maketh a Muslim. His deeds alone would make him acceptable in the society. People should be in awe of one's character and they should be such that all the misgivings associated with this community is removed through their behaviour. Even today, people of the area acknowledge the character of some of the Muslims living as pious Muslims, helping their neighbours in their hour of needs. This is what distinguishes Muslims as a separate community full of character.

    Let us not waste time debating over V-Day which would soon be forgotten as public memory is short. If some one in the name of moral policing is indulging in committing atrocities against boys and girls, there is a rule of law to take care of such elements. Why should we sit in judgement over such celebrations which has become part and parcel of socialites of this country. Let them sovle this problem. But as true citizens of this great country, it is our duty to condemn any organisation that takes law into its hand in the name of moral policing and indulge in wholesome condemnation of such celebrations by indulging in violent activities to curb those practices. India is a free country and every one here enjoys certain liberty and freedom as guarateed in the Constitution of India. There is a rule of law in this country, and anyone taking law in his own hand would pay a heavy price, as law enforcing agency would not let them harm the peace and create law and order problem in the country. The likes of Muthalik of Ram Sena has been taken into preventive custody in Karnataka along with others so that V-Day is celebrated without any untoward incident or law and order problem.

    The election to the next Lok Sabha is round the corner and it would give an opportunity for the people to exihibit their anger through the ballot. They would now vote for a party which gives them full freedom to practice and preach as per their own faith and belief. There is no place for extremists in this country.


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