US protesters rally against Zionist lobby, AIPAC

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Hindu India: a complexed polity in the making

By Mohammad Adeeb, The Milli Gazette

Published Online: Mar 31, 2017

The unprecedented BJP victory and Adityanath becoming CM has triggered different reactions in different sections. Staunch Hindus feel that they are going to see the fulfilment of the Hindu-Rashtra dream; for the secular Hindu it’s a worry that the constitution are secularism are in danger. A third concern is for Muslims: whether their choice for opting for secular India was correct.

In 1947, the Muslims who opted for India because of their respect for the “ganga jamuni” tehzeeb they had nurtured on this land for the past 1000 years or so. The “Hindustan” they had dreamt of is very different from what is the present day Hindu-Stan! [Advertisement link for Books from India Visit https://pharosmedia.com/books/ }

Today’s RSS-ideology following Hindutva is different from those who follow the Nehru and Gandhi Hindu philosophy.

I feel the RSS’s Hindutva concept is filled with a complex and it’s very hard to fight it. An example being when in 1960s, when I had gone to Australia as the all India students union head, it was too difficult to find any Indian anywhere. When my trip was advertised then people started to come from different areas because it was a big deal that some Indian had come there to visit.

Today after 50 years if you go in any country, you will find Indians working in top positions everywhere and in every stream. Indians have proved their mettle repeatedly in these past decades.

While we should feel proud that we have carved a niche for our country all over, our PM is of the opinion that before 2014 we didn’t know anyone and didn’t do anything.

The IITs, AIIMS, Atomic energy centres and agricultural institutes were all established before 2014.

They reject this development but at the same time try to date back rockets/”udhan khatolas” thousands of back in the distant past. They also claim that Lord Ganesha was a result of plastic surgery invention.

We are now changing history books for our kids: the lie that Akbar lost to Maharana Pratap at Haldighati is to be the main event in history textbooks with, I guess, the aim to show that basically the latter was far greater a ruler than the Great Mughal. In Rajasthan, girls are being taught about ladies to get inspired from and barring one Kalpana Chawla, they’re all mythological characters. How will we fight this inferiority complex?

The Hindu religion, which I had understood all these years, was one that had a lot of adjustability and universal approach. It was not how it’s being preached today.

This is a new type of religion being spread today on feelings of hatred based on concocted history. It takes refuge in its majority and todays Sanghi Hindu is trying to make himself look superior by running down others.

If Salman Rushdie writes against Muslims, he is applauded because it hurts the sentiments of Muslims. One Pakistani-origin crazy man Tarek Fateh is called daily on TV shows to abuse the Indian Muslim for cheap thrills.

Every religion has evolved and has its own controversial views and issues. After all Hindu women have faced Sati to dowry to agni pariksha. They’ve even been put as bets in the past. This is never mentioned but months of discussion on triple talaq gives them pleasure.

Best is that Arnab Goswami launches a new channel and calls me for his first-ever debate (which I obviously denied since his shows are his own interpretation of the news) and no prizes for guessing the topic: Triple Talaq! That’s the only topic that deserves attention not the absurdities that we are facing daily. May be because these days media doesn’t have the spine to stand up to injustice.

This is a new Hindu mazhab. This was not our history! Till date I haven’t been able to realize why this hatred for us, the minorities!

We didn’t take your jobs. We didn’t take your fields. We are not ahead in any stream! Then why this bitterness? Is it because Muslims take part in the electoral process? If so, in in this new “Hindusthan” they should be told to refrain from exercising their right to vote. After all BJP has not been fielding any Muslim candidate and yet gets such remarkable results which has already made it amply clear where we stand as a country. It’s definitely a sad day for the Muslims but I think it is even more stressful for my secular Hindus who don’t know what path to tread in the future.

One more issues against us can be that Muslims are increasing in numbers. If so, it’s not our fault alone. Lack of education and more hands to do menial labour does lead to more numbers in families. But frankly another reason is that if Dalit is not given equality then he can adopt Chritainity, Buddhism or Islam. So reform should be started within all religious communities as well rather than only pointing fingers.

I can say that the RSS is a Brahmanical organisation but it has tried making reforms. Sadly they’re simply taking refuge in hatred and the future of the whole country is in danger. If the reforms extend beyond minority bashing then there is hope and scope for improvement!

Lastly, I would like to reiterate that we should be proud that when others did lot of development, Indians were nowhere but in the last 70-80 years we have made our mark. This is a moment of pride, not complex.

The author is a former Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15493-hindu-india-a-complexed-polity-in-the-making

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The Wilpattu Controversy: Open Letter To The President

By Prof. Shahul Hasbullah

Appeal to withhold the Gazette notification (Friday, 24th March 2017) declaring as forest area vast tracks of traditional lands owned by the people of Musali in Mannar District

Hon. President Maithripala Sirisena Presidential Secretariat,
Colombo.
31/03/2017

Your Excellency,

Appeal to withhold the Gazette notification (Friday, 24th March 2017) declaring as forest area vast tracks of traditional lands owned by the people of Musali in Mannar District

I write this appeal to you to revoke the gazette notification which declares as forest area the vast tracks of traditional lands owned by the people of Musali in Mannar District, knowing that you will protect the rights of the displaced people. You have already proven this by similar actions, giving relief to thousands of war affected people, elsewhere in the conflict affected areas of the country.

I support my appeal based on my intimate knowledge and personal experience about the people and the land of Musali. As an academic, I have written a document titled Denying the Right to Return: Resettlement in Musali South and the Wilpattu Controversy, which was based on intensive research and observation, and providing factual information about the claims made in this appeal.

1.The people of Musali (Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese) have been living in this area for more than 500 years as historical evidences indicate, except for a 30 year absence when they were living elsewhere, because of forcible expulsion by the LTTE in 1990.
2.The people are peasant farmers and fully dependent on a land based economy that includes paddy, chena and cattle farming.
3.Recently declared forest boundary denies the access and use of their paddy lands, chena lands and areas of cattle farming located in “declared forest area”.
4.Recent forest demarcation is done in a manner that is disconnected from the historical continuity of the communities of North and South Musali, of both Tamils and Muslims. It artificially creates enclaves which would restrict mobility and social interactions of the people of the region.
5.With the forest demarcation, returnees are living in fear as to what would be their future in a place where watchful forest guards and other security activities may take place.
6.The forest boundary goes along the fences of the houses of the people and make them feel like living in a cadged situation.
7.A forest reserve going along the settlement invites human-elephant conflicts closer to home. Settlers would be affected by the treats of other types of wildlife.
8.The action by the state has already caused a negative impact on the returnees and displacement from their homes again.
9.Future IDPs returning to this and other areas will be hampered by the declaration and implementation of the newly declared forest reserve.

I would be grateful if you would kindly consider the above appeal and take a wise decision that will give justice and durable solution to the people of Musali, who have been affected by the three decade long war.

Thank you, Yours faithfully,

Professor Shahul H. Hasbullah

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-wilpattu-controversy-open-letter-to-the-president/

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The Political Hypocrisy Of President Maithripala Sirisena – Muslim IDPs Tossed Out

By Hilmy Ahamed –

A Tamil saying goes thus “Stealing the neighbour’s chicken for the mother’s almsgiving“.

President Sirisena in his total betrayal of the Muslims did just that with one stroke of his pen from Moscow on 24th March, 2017, when he signed the gazette notification declaring Mavillu, Weppal, Karadikkuli, Marichchikadi and Vilaththikulam forests as Mawillu Forest Reserve under 3A of the Forest Conservation Ordinance. He satisfies his ego and is pampering to extremist Buddhists by taking over Muslim agricultural lands, which have belonged to them for generations.

Rishard Bathiudeen, the current Minster of Industry and Commerce and leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress crossed over with his party members in November 2014 to the Opposition and supported Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate of the Opposition at the Presidential Elections in January 2015. His crossover was with two Parliamentarians, 4 Provincial Council Members, 63 Pradeshiya Sabha members, totaling 69 elected representatives. No other member crossing over brought in so many elected representatives to the common opposition against Mahinda Rajapaksa. Its time for Rishard Bathiudeen and other Muslim political leaders to rethink their support for Yahapalanaya, without sticking to their selfish motives of perks and privileges. They should reconsider their support for Yahapalanaya, not because the IDPs who are being discriminated against are Muslim, but the injustice meted out to a group of innocent Sri Lankan citizens. I also remind here that these people were ousted from their homes as they refused to join the LTTE in their cause, and stood for one Sri Lanka. No other community who was not part of the warring factions had to pay such a heavy price.

1901 Old-deed
Rishard had one simple request- that a Government elected under Maithripala Sirisena would ensure the right of his people to return to their former lands and to treat the Northern Muslims as equal citizens in the Northern resettlement process.

The brutal terrorist force of Velupillai Prabhaharan, the fascist leader of the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam (LTTE), forcibly evicted the entire Muslim population of the North in 1990 in the biggest ethnic cleansing exercise in Sri Lanka. Some were given 24 hours to leave while the others had just two hours. They left minus all their assets, cash, and wealth as they were allowed to take with them just Rs. 500.

They trekked through jungle, took risks with tiny boats in the mighty ocean, and walked hundreds of kilometers to reach safety in Puttlam and other parts of Southern Sri Lanka. They have been languishing in refugee camps for over 25 years with dreams of returning to their former homes and lands. To this day, the Government has treated them as a “FORGOTTEN PEOPLE”.

The Muslims were forced to abandon their lands with their eviction in 1990 and there was obvious jungle growth in the 25 years of their displacement. The LTTE and the Army which occupied thousands of acres of farm land did not allow the Muslims to go to their lands until the end of the war in 2009. With the resettlement of the entire 300,000 Tamil Internally Displaced Population by 2013, the Government under Basil Rajapaksa’s Presidential Task force for Northern Development started allocating 1/2 acre of land to the Muslim IDPs. The local government officials in the districts undertook this task, fulfilling all necessary Government criteria for resettlement, but no infrastructure or other support was provided to them. Some benevolent Sri Lankan Muslims and a foundation from Qatar build some houses, but there were no schools, health facilities, or transport provided by the State.

Extremist Buddhists, with the jubilation of winning the war in 2009 started targeting the Muslims. They started with Halal food, attacking their businesses and the resettlement of the Muslim IDPs. They found a willing ally in Mahinda Rajapaksa with his deep-rooted racism and hatred of the Muslims when he lost the Presidential elections.

The Buddhist extremists led by some monks started a campaign along with some Environmentalists to halt the resettlement or allocating the former Muslim lands back to them. Now, they have found a new ally in Maithripala Sirisena.

The forest reserve controversy started with the prospect of a humiliating defeat at the 2012 Provincial Council Elections, upsetting the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his fascist regime. They foresaw the damning defeat of the Sinhala backed politics in the North to the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) led Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Due to this, with a single stroke of Anura Priyadhashana Yapa’s pen, thousands of acres of Northern arable lands were declared as forest reserves or watershed areas. This included thousands of Muslim lands in the Mannar District in the Musali South. This was mainly done to prevent the Northern Provincial council having jurisdiction over vast tracks of arable land.

While the President has declared Muslim lands as a forest reserve with the stroke of his pen, there has been organized colonization along the Wilpattu Reserve on the Welioya road by Sinhalese from Hambantota and families of armed forces personnel. The following are the available statistics for the Sinhala settlements:

1 Veratenna – 520 families

2. Bogaswewa 1- 500 families

3. Bogaswewa 2 -560 families

4. Namalgama – 470 families

5. Senaleenigama – 450 families

6. Nandamitragama -360 families

There are no protests or challenges by the Environmentalists or the President for clearing thousands of acres of virgin forestland for the resettlement of the above. None of these settlers are from the area. These 2860 families who have been settled in these new townships have been provided with three acres of land each compared to the half an acre for the Muslims. From where did the land for these settlers come? Large extents of jungle and forest reservations have been cleared and handed over for their resettlement, grants and allowances disbursed, and all other facilities including schooling have been provided by the State. Neither land kacheries were held nor deforestation undertaken with proper approvals. It is also alleged that the Army built the houses for these alien settlers from Hambantota, Suriyawewa and elsewhere. Further, over 500 acres of these lands has been taken over by the Navy and are planting cashew nuts. Derana TV’s Health camp of 25th March 2017 (Manushath Derena) showed visuals of a large road built across this virgin forest territory. The highly developed infrastructure including schools, hospitals etc., in the once virgin forest is evidence of the destruction that was caused to this land by Sinhala settlers from the southern most part of the country. Our Environmentalist President, the racist Buddhist monks and the terror Environmental organizations are blind to these developments.

There are 21 Muslims in the current Parliament. The Muslim community expects them to act without compromising the land rights of these Forgotten people.

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-political-hypocrisy-of-president-maithripala-sirisena-muslim-idps-tossed-out/

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The Islamic Hijab & Veil

By Prof. Charles Sarvan

A Quiet Revolution (Yale University Press, 2011) is by Leila Ahmed, an Egyptian-American; Professor of Divinity at Harvard University. Unless otherwise made explicit, what follows is from this study. The work’s focus is mainly from the 20th century onwards, with much of the reference being related to Egypt (to a lesser degree to Saudi Arabia) and the USA. The hijab and veil are emblems of Islam (p. 132) though, of course, there are pious Muslim women who don’t wear the hijab. Equally, to be a Muslim is not necessarily to be an Islamist: ‘Islamism’ is a very political form of Islam (ibid).

Women’s rights have been used as a cloak to attack Islam and the Muslim world in general; to denigrate and dominate (pp. 223-4). For example, the British Occupation of Egypt began in 1882, and Lord Cromer was appointed consul-general, a post he held for twenty-four years. Cromer who repeatedly decried the position of women in Islam was a fierce opponent of women’s rights in England. Indeed, he was for a time president of the ‘Society Opposed to Women’s Suffrage’ (p. 31). The presence of the veil was taken to be an indicator of the level of the backwardness of a society (p. 20) – isn’t it still? The Oxford historian Albert Hourani in The Vanishing Veil (1956) predicted that it would soon be a thing of the past (p. 19) but the veil reappeared in the 1970s (p. 8), and today we live in a world where veiling steadily gains ground across the globe (p. 305).

The Caliphate which had existed under the Ottoman Empire was abolished in 1924 by Kemal Ataturk. In 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hasan al-Banna whose ideal was to work for humanity, particularly for the poor and oppressed. Their clinics, health-care centers and hospitals were open also to the needy who didn’t belong to the Brotherhood (p. 51). A Muslim Sisterhood was established in 1937 (p. 136). The Brotherhood was dissolved in 1948 and al-Banna murdered. Fleeing persecution in Egypt, members of the Brotherhood found refuge in Saudi Arabia which from the 1950s saw a massive increase in its oil-based wealth. The Kingdom, established in 1932, followed the teaching of Abd al-Wahhab (1709-92), and sought to Wahhabize Islam (p. 97). Members of the Brotherhood offered their experience and expertise, and it is they who ran Saudi projects, including publications and missions. (In the past, wealthy Egyptians had taken to wearing European-style dress. Now women returning from Saudi Arabia with money to buy houses, property or businesses imitated the Saudi dress-code: Saudi chic, p. 101. Besides, wearing the hijab a woman could leave the home, go out to work and yet signal that she was a good wife and mother: p. 122. This is particularly relevant in the context of over-crowding in buses, trains and offices.) A university was set up in Medina in 1961 to train Muslim missionaries (p. 61). The word jahiliyya (jahl = ignorance) referred to the pre-Islamic era in Arabia but Egyptian Sayyid Qutb (leading intellectual of the Brotherhood, hanged in 1966) asserted that most so-called Muslim countries were in fact not Islamic but rather were jahiliyya societies (p. 69). To Qutb, the Islamic confession of faith, “La illaha illa Allah”, was revolutionary: sovereignty lay not in governments but in Islam (p. 71), and the true path was through dedicated and selfless labour and struggle. Of the four types of jihad (jahada = to strive): the first and the greatest is the struggle with oneself. I am reminded of one of the sayings attributed to the Buddha, very much in line with Stoic philosophy: Greater than conquering others is the winning of control over oneself.

continue reading at https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-islamic-hijab-veil/

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Contempt action on Ven. Gnanasara: Charge sheet read in Open Court

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Court of Appeal yesterday (28) overruled the preliminary objection by the Respondent Ven. Gnanasara Thero with the contempt matter against him and charge sheet was read in the open Court.

The Bench comprising Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda and Justice P. Padman Surasena fixed the matter for argument on 16 May.

Court of Appeal on 27 September directed the Attorney General to consider to amend the summons if necessary against the Ven. Gnanasara Thera with particulars of his alleged offensive conduct with regard to the language and his gestures in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court.

Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake filed a Contempt of Court action in the Court of Appeal against Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera seeking the Appeal Court’s constitutional jurisdiction against Ven. Gnasara Thera’s alleged offensive behaviour in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court amounting to Contempt of Court on 25 January last year.

On 25 January, Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera began to address Open Court after the court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was over. Later on, Ven. Gnanasara Thera was arrested by Police on the charges of contempt of courts, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant.

Through this contempt of Court action, the Homagama Magistrate has sought the Appeal Court’s jurisdiction to consider whether the alleged offensive behaviour of Ven. Gnanasara Thera inside the Court amounts to Contempt of Court.

He further sought Court’s jurisdiction to take necessary legal action against Ven. Gnanasara Thera if the charges levelled against him amount to Contempt of Court.

Manohara de Silva PC appeared for the Accused Thero. Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appeared for the Attorney General as Amicus Curiae (friend of the court; the one who assists the court by furnishing information or advice regarding questions of law or fact).

– See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/600531/Contempt-action-on-Ven–Gnanasara–Charge-sheet-read-in%C2%A0Open-Court#sthash.KG2tiC0Y.dpuf

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Rather than Triple Talaq being a “Human Rights issue”, “Human Rights” itself needs to be debated

By Dr. Javed Jamil, The Milli Gazette Online

Published Online: Feb 24, 2017

Recently the Supreme Court of India argued that the Triple Talaq has to be treated as a human rights issue. While I am no supporter of Triple Talaq and regard it un-Islamic, the intervention by Supreme Court or the Government in this regard will not solve the problem. On the other hand it would complicate matters. Even if it is legally banned, those following their own fiqhs would not start thinking that a woman divorced by this methods would become Halal. Those who do not stick to the fiqhs have the option available to them even now, the option of taking fatwas from the Muftis belonging to Fiqhs like Ahl-e Hadith and Fiqh-e Jafari that consider Triple Talaq as invalid. But what I want to highlight here is that the issue of “human rights” which had been and is being presented as one of the shining starts of the New World Order has only proved to be a black hole.

The modern concept of human rights originated from the West. Superficially, it looks a very attractive slogan. But the ulterior motives are not as attractive. West feared that the kind of economic fundamentalism it had decided to aggressively (including a new legal system banning capital punishment) pursue had same very serious adverse effects. It would engender barbarism in society in the form of steep rise in all forms of crimes including mur­der, rape, robbery and bribe. It would also enhance societal tensions as well as psychiatric illnesses. If these really happened, it would give a bad name to their ideology. To counter this, the economic fundamentalists sought to impart a new meaning to ‘human rights’ so that the darker face of their civilization could not come to the fore; and they could use the brighter side to attack the systems that were unwilling to accept the West’s economic hegemony. The result of such re-orientation has been that the human rights situation in a country is not assessed on the basis of crimes in that area but on how the accused in various crimes are being treated by the governmental institutions and agencies. Apparently, the human rights organisations argue that they safeguard the people against excesses. But in reality, they only serve the criminals and saboteurs of social peace. What happens to the victims of a crime and their relatives does not bother them; their function is only to follow the trial of the accused. The economic fundamentalists have vested interests in the paralysed legal system because the criminals and crimes form an indispensable part of their operations. The criminals are supported in more than one way. If they or their crimes have any political dimensions the champions of human rights are quick to label their trial as ‘political vendetta’. While it is true that the governments tend to be less kind towards their opponents and often use the stick of law to punish them, it is equally true that all political forces have some nexus with the criminals who are used to creating ugly situa­tions for the ruling party or coalition. This side of the coin is however intentionally ignored. The human rights organisa­tions never publish reports on the crime-situation in different countries and never pressurise the governments to drastically reduce them so that the common people can pass their lives with­out fears. Such reports would unveil their own faces and fingers will be at against Western ideologies. Instead they highlight the data related to death sentences and the deaths caused by the agencies or certain elements.

“Women’s Rights” is yet another extremely favourite subject with the Amnesties and the Human Rights Watchers. And it is needless to repeat that the major aim behind all the raucous is to assist the merchants of sex and barons of consumer industry. Why is it that “purdah” annoys them but prostitution does not? Why has the Amnesty, the self-proclaimed champion of human rights, never bothered to tell the world that there cannot be a bigger crime against womanhood than its sordid commercialisa­tion and a civilization cannot claim to be a true human civilization if it creates a social environment, in which women have to sell, by choice or by force, their bodies? It takes extraordinary pains to highlight the cases of rapes in police custody or in prisons but its eyes do not bleed at the thousands of rapes the innocent women have to suffer daily all over the world. If it begins to describe the strategies of the commercial exploitation of women nothing else would be required to prove its credentials. But the truth is that the Amnesty is damnesty, which is only a mouthpiece of the economic fundamentalists; its aim is limited to glorify Western­ism and degrade every other system .One of the issues

“Human Rights” in the modern world have virtually been reduced to the rights of the murderers and rapists against being executed, the rights of gays against being targeted for their highly dangerous habits and the rights of women for aborting their children in order to make things easy for the male-dominated socio-economic system. Even violence has been categorised to suit their own plans so that the powerful appear to be peace-loving and those who refuse to toe them appear to be dangerous. They will condemn “terrorism” and will ignore war; and if their own people indulge in “terrorism” they will call it “war of liberation” from the rulers. They have no concern for the lives lost in crimes and suicides within their own countries, the lives lost in wars against other countries and the rebellions masterminded by them. They are also not concerned about the tens of millions of lives lost annually due to social vices like alcohol, smoking and unhealthy and immoral sexual practices. They will talk for days about beheadings but will not talk of bombs that kill thousands of times the beheadings kill. Bombs become dangerous for them only if they are used by their enemies.

It is now high time the concept of Human rights was re-examined. Human rights are nothing if they do not guarantee the security of the common people, including men, women and children, old, young and yet-to-be born. Islam has a larger plan, which aims at Human Security, “human rights” being only one of the means to achieve that aims. To ensure human security, emphasis on prohibitions is equally essential. Human Security demands that lives of all human beings must be safeguarded against all kinds of external threats. None — individual, society, corporate sector or government, can be allowed to offer the choice of death to the people; freedom of choice must be limited to choice among the good. A choice between life and death cannot simply be given to the people. A child cannot be left on a highway hoping that it will take all the necessary precautions to save it from being crushed by fast moving vehicles. People are like children who more often than not are guided by baser instincts that suck them into all forms of life-threatening and peace-threatening habits. Addiction has hardly any regard or fondness for knowledge and sanity. Who knows better, about the effects of alcohol, smoking and sexual perversions, than do doctors? Still they often succumb to the temptations. A smoker, a drinker, a drug addict and a promiscuous person understand that they face huge risks on account of their habits; but such is the effect of these on baser instincts that they find it hard to be governed by their knowledge.

The propaganda against Triple Talaq in India is also directly or indirectly supported by the organisations having liberal inclinations. They want Muslim women to feel that Islam does not provide adequate cover to them. They want to use it as a ploy to turn them into rebels. Once they have their doubts about religion, they will become easy preys to the market-sponsored feminism, which is nothing but a part of the larger plan that sees humans not as human beings but as commercial beings.

The Ulama of course are not helping the cause. Instead of taking advantage of the position of so many fuqaha who opposed Triple Talaq, they have made it an issue of ego. What to speak of declaring Triple Talaq as invalid, they have not even spread mass awareness about the true Quranic method of divorce. Today, hardly a few know about a method of divorce other than pronouncing the word Talaq three times. Even where speeches are made on the issue, they often tend to tell about the various methods of Talaq rather than sticking only to the best one, which involves pronouncement of Talaq for a period od Iddah, which is at least three months, and revoking or finalising Talq through liberation at the time of the completion of the period.

The Supreme Court would better debate the concept and dimension of “Human Rights” and ask why the market forces are using it for their own ends. It must ask why highly undignified and unhealthy practices like prostitution and abortions are being allowed in the name of “Freedom of Choice”. It must seek answers to whether the current position of “Human Rights” organisations helps or endangers the cause of the security of the larger people, especially women, children and weaker sections of society.

Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. He can be contacted at doctorforu123@yahoo.com

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15414-rather-than-triple-talaq-being-a-human-rights-issue-human-rights-itself-needs-to-be-debated

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The Widely Debated Land Grabbing At Wilpattu

by Ifham Nizam

Renowned ecologist cum ornithologist Prof. Sarath Kotagama, stressed that if anybody tells him that there is a problem within the Wilpattu National Park, he is willing to take the challenge and fight for it and do something. However, if this is happening outside, it is a different story.

Expressing his candid views to The Sunday Leader about the widely discussed/ debated land grabbing at the one of the country’s leading national parks, he added: “ My first issue is what is the Wilpattu issue? Because this issue is outside the Wilpattu National Park, when we use a common word which covers a specific area and use that for an area outside the Wilpattu National Park I have a problem.

“The overall issue should be divided into sectors and then should be clarified,” he said. Expressing his point of view, he said fundamentally there are two parts of the issue, one part is that people have been displaced from the area and they have come back to resettle.

“Therefore, we have to recognise the certain areas in which the problem hasn’t been solved and work on those areas or else the problem will be there forever, that means under this sector if a person is displaced from a particular area, we should find an alternative for this issue somehow.”

Different issue

The other part is a completely different issue, there again we have to have a collective agreement anywhere in the country, when the population grows, what do we do? For this, sadly there is no plan in our country, so I can say that if the population is going to be static it’s fine, but if it grows? What do we do?

The unfortunate issue is that, from the day that this problem prevailed, individuals have found opportunities which aren’t helping any plans except the fact that they find alternate settlement areas, The second issue that we know officially there had been sanctions and resettlement granted, he added.

The major issue isn’t any of these, it came to light a couple of weeks ago after the end of the argument, somebody very clearly showed in the places where people have settled legally or illegally, let’s take the legal side first, they have done more than what they have been permitted to do.

Why should that not be penalised?

That is the issue. Secondly, if there are illegal settlements other than those that have been permitted, that also should also not be permitted, he stressed.

“So our battle shouldn’t be with what is known but with the ‘unknown,’ which has been clouded by using the term Wilpattu. Everybody is talking about Wilpattu National Park, saying that someone is encroaching Wilpattu National Park but that person comes and says, ‘show me any evidence that I have done this, I have not done anything.”
He added: “So in the process of using the wrong words in the wrong places, we have allowed something to happen which we could have been solved, in some way or the other, if not for the politics contained, why I said if not for politics is that, this is to me, is a 99.9 per cent political scenario. In that situation officers or even the public are finding themselves in a very difficult situation.

How do we resolve this?

“This is a very critical thing, I can see there may not be a solution but, politics is needed to definitely build a solution, but I don’t see that. I see a problem. Of course we don’t have a really good plan for the expanding population of this country and in a country in which we have 26 per cent of land collected, and we don’t want an inch of it to be reduced.”

Accommodating increasing population

How do we accommodate the increasing population in this static framework because the land doesn’t multiply, this is to me, a very good stimulus, for the people , the planning sessions, at the political level, at the administrative level to recognise that this is not going to be the only place this is going to happen.

This is going to multiply itself and vigorously, as we go into the future because I can see these strategic planning processes that some of the institutions are bringing out are talking bringing 1000 acres for an industrial state, 7000 acres for a city development.

“I think this is high time we use this as a good example to ensure nothing like this will ever happen again and for that purpose we need to sit down to plan precisely how villages will expand. To me, this isn’t a new phenomenon in the sense of not the way it has happened.

http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2017/02/26/the-widely-debated-land-grabbing-at-wilpattu/

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PressTV – Islam and Life: Against Racism | Tariq Ramadan

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US report exposes India’s mistreatment of minorities

The report of the US Commission on Religious Freedom elaborates on how laws discriminate against Christians and Muslims.

The Milli Gazette Online

Published Online: Feb 19, 2017

New Delhi: India fails to comply with international standards on freedom of religion leading to the discrimination and persecution of religious minorities, said a new report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The report, “Constitutional and Legal Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities in India” said that, although the country’s Constitution guarantees equal rights to religious minorities, the government fails to comply with international standards.

It also enumerates India’s failure to ensure the rights of Dalit people, those from socially and economically poor castes, once considered untouchables.

“Religious minority communities and Dalits, both have faced discrimination and persecution due to a combination of overly broad or ill-defined laws, an inefficient criminal justice system, and a lack of jurisprudential consistency,” the report said.

Hindus form the majority 80 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people while Muslims form some 15 percent. Christians, the second largest religious minority, form just 2.3 percent. Dalits and tribal people make up 70 percent of India’s 27 million Christians.

In 2016, at least 10 Christians were killed and over 500 members of the community were attacked for their faith or for allegedly converting people to Christianity, said a report by the Catholic Secular Forum in January 2017.

“Symbolic and structural violence has increased in the country since 2014. The government needs to respond to such violence in a much more sensible way rather than denying it,” said Samuel Jaikumar of the National Council of Churches in India, a union of all Protestant and Orthodox Churches.

Laws help discrimination continue

The U.S. report said that seven of the 29 states have adopted laws banning religious conversions, which has resulted in inequitable practices.

The report said that state governments have described church humanitarian aid and development “as a cause of improper and unethical conversions.”

The report also said that India’s law to regulate foreign funding has consistently been used against civil society organizations, charities and other non-governmental organizations that question government policies.

In June 2015, India put the leading Christian charity, Caritas International, on its watch list. The charity, which is the social arm of the Vatican, was scrutinized for alleged “anti-India activities,” the report said.

Referring to the Indian Divorce Act 2001 that restricts inheritance, alimony payments, and property ownership of people from interfaith marriages, the report said the law is “problematic.”

“The act also interferes in the personal lives of Christians by not allowing marriage ceremonies to be conducted in a church if one of the partners is non-Christian,” it added.

The cow protection laws in India which restrict or ban cow slaughter are “often mixed with anti-Muslim sentiment,” the report said. Cow slaughter “has remained a perpetual source of tension between Hindu, Muslim and Dalit communities.”

In recommendation, it said that India should stop harassing groups, reform anti-conversion laws, and establish “a test of reasonableness” surrounding prohibitions on cow slaughter. It also asked India to adopt the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. (ucanindia.in)

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15401-us-report-exposes-india-s-mistreatment-of-minorities

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