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    By IANS,

    Hyderabad : After a gap of four years, Andhra Pradesh has reconstituted the state's minority commission, officials said here Thursday.

    Ruling Congress party leader Abdi Rasool Khan will be the new chairman of the commission which was reconstituted by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Thursday following the recent orders of the state high court. Subhash Chandra Bose will be the vice-chairman of the panel, officials said.

    Rasool Khan, who is the general secretary of the state unit of Congress party, said he would try to fulfill the new responsibility entrusted to him by taking all necessary steps for the development of minorities in the state.

    The chief minister also named five others as the members of the commission. The high court in January had directed the state government to reconstitute the commission and report the progress to the court in six months.

    The court had passed the orders while dealing with a public interest litigation filed by a lawyer who had termed as illegal and unconstitutional, the delay in reconstituting the panel.

    The petitioner had told the court that the previous commission was formed in 2006 but after the lapse of its three year tenure in 2009, the government made no effort for its reconstitution.

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    By IANS,

    Dubai : Passport authorities in Saudi Arabia will start stamping the exit papers of stranded expatriate workers from May 18 to help them leave that country.

    Indian Consul General in Jeddah, Faiz Ahmed Kidwai said in a community meeting that Saudi authorities will also start stamping papers issued by the consulate to expatriates who don't have original passports and want to leave the country, local media reported Thursday.

    The process does not apply to Indians and is applicable to all expatriates in distress in that Gulf nation.

    Expatriate Indian workers have been thronging the Indian embassy in Saudi capital Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah seeking emergency exit certificates after the implementation of the Nitaqat or Saudisation policy by the Saudi government.

    The new policy makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies to reserve 10 percent of jobs for Saudi nationals.

    Faiz also said that presenting an air ticket while submitting exit papers is not necessary.

    "Any individual who wants to benefit from this drive should approach the deportation centre with their passports or the emergency exit passes," he was quoted saying.

    "They need not produce an air ticket at the time to get the exit stamp."

    Saudi rulers had announced an amnesty period for stranded expatriate workers to either rectify their residency status or leave the country. The period ends July 3.

    There are around two million expatriate Indians in Saudi Arabia, many of them blue collar workers.

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    They have also demanded restoration of minority status to AMU.

    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: Opposing the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to appoint a committee under chairmanship of Prof. AM Pathan to draft a bill for the uniform administration of all central Universities, Prof. Razaullah Khan pointed out that the move of the government will adversely affect the autonomy of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

    He was addressing a meeting of the Forum for Muslim Studies & Analysis (FMSA), Aligarh at Media Centre Aligarh. He said that AMU has a distinct character and the uniform administration will negatively affect it.

    National President of Central University Research Scholar Association (CURSA) Jasim Mohammad said that the AMU has been entrusted with the responsibility to promote the educational and cultural advancement of Muslims of India under section 5(2) (c) of the AMU Act 1980. The uniform administration will undermine that power of AMU. He declared that such a move of the government will be opposed.

    At the end of the meeting a resolution was passed demanding that either Prof. Pathan Committee should be dissolved or the AMU must be kept out of its purview. In another resolution FMSA demanded that the minority status of AMU should be restored at the earliest.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Rajasthan government to submit a report within four weeks on the series of communal violence in the state. NHRC was action on an appeal from Ravi Nitesh of Mission Bhartiyam, who had sought intervention from the NHRC on the issue.

    In the last week of April, communal violence had occurred in Nimaj town of Jaipur and after that curfew was imposed. It was reported that jeeps and bikes were damaged and set on fire, and several houses and shops were also get damaged.

    "Though I do not have any doubt over the administration, but I also want to appeal to NHRC to look in the 'series of communal violence' taking place in Rajasthan. As per reports, case in Nimaj is the sixth such incident in April alone. Similar cases have been reported over the last three weeks from Sanganer, Makrana, Sarwar, Udaipur and Baran,” appealed Ravi Nitesh of Mission Bhartiyam.

    Mission Bhartiyam demanded a fair investigation and reasons behind the series of communal violence and also regarding the compensations to victims.

    He pointed out that these incidents on one side is responsible to loss of lives and materials, injuries and deforming social harmony, and automatically becomes the matter of human rights violations.

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    By TCN News,

    Mumbai: The Maharashtra unit of Jamaat – e - Islami Hind observed the ‘Boycott Israel Day’ on May 15, regarded by many in the Muslim world as the Yaum-al-nakabah or the ‘The Day of Catastrophe.’

    In a press conference, Mohammad Aslam Ghazi, secretary of the state unit of JIH, also appreciated “the bold step taken by the world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who refused to attend and boycotted a seminar arranged by Israel.”

    It also “lauded the truthful statement of Ron Paul, the former presidential candidate of USA, who had pointed out that Israel and Mossad are the ‘real criminals’ of the 9/11 air attack on the twin towers of the World trade center in America.

    They also welcomed the step of “Google” for recognizing and including Palestine as an independent country in its world map.

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    By Staff Reporter,,

    Ajmer: Dewan and Sajjada Nashin custodian of the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, prayed for world peace and urged the countries of the world to stand united against terrorism.

    Khan, who is descendant of the great Sufi saint, was leading a prayer at the same Khankha from where Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti used to give his sermons, on the eve of 801st death anniversary (urs) of the Sufi saint.

    Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan (second from right) presiding over the 801st urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

    Devotes of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti from all over India and across the world have assembled at the shrine of Ajmer on the occasion.

    Khan added that economic inequality, unemployment, population explosion, sectarian violence and oppression based on religion, caste, ethnicities, etc also need to be fought for a better peaceful world, for they are often the root causes behind most violent movements.

    He, however, condemned the terror in the name of religion and was critical of both Islamic jihad and Hindutva extremism.

    While addressing the Sufi gathering, Ali Khan said that Hindus and Muslims have to work together to get country rid of this disease. “I will reach out to religious heads of other religions to ensure that no innocent should die and no culprit should be left,” Dewan sahib said.

    Sajjada Nasheen said that teachings of Khawaja Sahib which says ‘Love towards all and malice towards none’ should be followed by the followers in its true spirit. Dewan sahib asked religious heads of other religions to unite together to fight against terrorism.

    The world famous 801st annual Urs at the Ajmer shrine is on since the first week of May. Sufi heads of Barailly Sharief, Gulbarga Sharief in Karnataka, Halkatta Sharief in Andhra Pradesh, Ametha Sharief in Gujarat, Chattgoan dargah in Bangladesh, Bhagalpur in Bihar, Phulwari Sharief in Bihar, Gango Sharif in Uttaranchal, Nizamuddin Aulia were present in the meeting.

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    By TCN News

    New Delhi: Shukhoranjan Bali, a defense witness in the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh is found to be an Indian jail according to Bangladeshi news paper “New Age.” This has been independently confirmed by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

    Shukhorajna Bali, a Bangladeshi national, claims he was abducted by the Bangladeshi police from the entrance to the ICT courthouse, detained in Bangladesh, then forced by Bangladeshi security forces across the border into India, where he claims he was detained and tortured by the notorious Border Security Force (BSF) before being held in Kolkata’s Dum Dum jail.

    “The apparent abduction of a witness in a trial at the ICT is a cause for serious concern about the conduct of the prosecution, judges and government,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Among many questions is who ordered the abduction, and how senior the officials involved were.”

    Bali was due to appear to give evidence as a defense witness before the ICT, a court expressly set up to try people suspected of war crimes during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence. He had previously been listed as a prosecution witness. Bali claims that on November 5, 2012, he was abducted by people in plainclothes at the gates of the ICT, put into a police van, and then taken away to the offices of the police.

    Witnesses present at the courthouse claimed to have seen the abduction.

    Defense complaints to the ICT led to the judges asking for the prosecution, rather than an independent body, to investigate the allegations. The prosecution returned to the court and denied the defense allegations entirely, saying that there had been no abduction, despite eyewitnesses. The judges ordered no further investigation into Bali’s disappearance. No information about his whereabouts was made public and the government ignored calls to set up an investigation. The attorney general, testifying on a habeas corpus petition filed on Bali’s behalf, stated that the abduction claim had been made to bring the court into disrepute – but offered no evidence for this assertion.

    Bali had been expected to counter prosecution allegations about the involvement of Delwar Hossain Sayedee in the 1971 murder of Bali’s brother. Saydeee has since been sentenced to hang, in part for the murder of Bali’s brother.

    Bali claims that he was abducted at the courthouse by police, held in government custody for several weeks, and then pushed across the border to India. Human Rights Watch has documented how the BSF routinely kills Bangladeshis who cross the border illegally. In April, Bali was sentenced by an Indian court to 110 days in jail for entering the country illegally. He has already completed his term but is still in jail.

    Human Rights Watch learned in March that Bali was in Dum Dum jail in Kolkata, but did not make the information public pending meeting Bali to ensure that he thought this would not jeopardize his safety. Human Rights Watch is releasing this background after the Bangladesh newspaper, New Age, made this information public on May 15.

    Human Rights Watch said that India should not return Bali to Bangladesh until he is interviewed by the Indian office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which can determine if he wishes to claim asylum and whether he is a refugee. If he does not wish to claim asylum, or his asylum claim is rejected, India should still not return him to Bangladesh when there is a real risk to his life or of his suffering ill-treatment if he returns there.

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    By TCN News,

    Lucknow: Samajwadi Party government, led by CM Akhilesh Yadav has announced a public holiday on the occasion of annual Urs ceremony at the dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri Garib Nawaz on the occasion of 6 Rajab which is on 17 May.

    This is 801st Urs of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti, popular amongst masses as Khwaja Garib Nawaz.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Lucknow: In the triple murder case including martyred DSP Zia-ul-Haq at Ballipur village of Kunda (Pratapgarh), former minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh 'Raja Bhaiyya' was again interrogated by the CBI officials on Thursday.

    Raja Bhaiyya had faced CBI interrogation yesterday also for nearly 11 hours. Yesterday he was summoned by CBI at their camp office in Kunda. Thereafter the interrogation continued for over 11 hours. Coming out from the interrogation, Raja Bhaiyya refused to comment.

    He was again summoned for interrogation on Thursday. He arrived at 11 am and the interrogation was going on.

    On the first day, CBI reportedly presented the call details of Raja Bhaiyya and asked about them. He was also confronted with his cousin and MLC Akshya Pratap Singh alias Gopalji and close aides Gulshan Yadav, Chavinath Yadav and Rohit Singh. Later, Hariom Srivastava, Nanhe Singh, Lalji Nigam and eye witnesses Arjun Patel, Nanhey Patel, Nanhey Gautam and half a dozen villagers were also brought to CBI camp office.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Welcoming the announcement of centre, favoring setting up of fast track courts to cases of Muslim youths held on terror charges Jamiat Ulama-i- Hind (JUH) urged the government to implement the move in spirit and letter too.

    The central government has sought from all states the number of Muslim youths involved in terror cases lodge in jails, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said on Wednesday while favoring fast track courts to deal with such cases.

    In a press statement today, JUH general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani, former Rajya Sabha MP, said if the centre takes it seriously, this move can pave the way for justice and release of innocent persons.

    He was, however, cautious. Citing past experiences and long pending promises made earlier by the government, Maulana Madani warned that it should not end up as mere election stunt which is just six months away. “Our suspicion on the government is not without reason, our experiences in past are very sour. Although the announcement of the government is a silver lining in a dark, mere announcement does not serve any purpose unless it is translated into action,” said Maulana Mahmood Madani.

    Maulana Mahmood Madani also demanded mechanism for rehabilitation of those acquitted and officers involved in false prosecution should be duly punished.

    Invoking the compensation to Dr. Hanif by Australian government, he pushed for the centre to emulate the same for the acquitted who lost his best part of his life in jail We should only ape west in bad things but in good things also. “Various courts including supreme courts have also directed the government to compensate them,” added Maulana Madani.

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  • 05/16/13--21:34: BTAD: The democratic dragon
  • By Abdul Kalam Azad for,

    During early 1990s thousands of Nepali speaking Bhutanese was forcefully evacuated from the country owing to the government endorsed ‘one nation; one people’ campaign which started in the late 1980s. Bill Frelick, Director of Human Right Watch wrote in his article about the inhuman atrocities on the Nepali speaking minority Bhutanese. The Bhutanese Royal authority forced them to sign a so called Voluntary Immigration Form, the government photographers asked the victims to 'show their teeth' to give a look that they had renounced their citizenship willingly and happily. Later part of the story is known to the world. Thousands of Nepali speaking minority Bhutanese have been languishing in the refugee camps in Nepal for almost two decades, out of which almost 80000 refugees have been resettled in the third countries USA, Australia, Canada, UK etc under the resettlement programme of UNHCR so far. Though the victims want to go back to their homeland, but the Bhutanese government is not allowing any repatriate process claiming that those Nepali speaking minorities had voluntarily left the country.

    This was the story of Bhutanese monarchy; but can you imagine that same story is going to be repeated in world's largest democratic country ‘India'? Yes, it is alleged that the Group of Ministers of government of Assam and BTAD administration have been preparing a blueprint in the name of rehabilitation of internally displaced persons of recent ethnic riot of the BTAD area.. The riot victims who couldn’t provide land documents are not rehabilitated so far by the authority. As per the alleged rehabilitation policy these IDPs are going to be offered a mere amount of Rs. 50000/- as compensation with a pre-condition that the victims will have to give an affidavit swearing that they will not rebuild their houses in the earlier government land (Khas land), where they were residing more that 50 years or so before the ethnic violence. This is gross violation of United Nation's Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

    Hafiz Ahmed, President of Char Chapori Sahitya Parishad, Asom observed that this is the second episode of ethnic cleansing by the BTAD administration and supported by Tarun Gogoi government. He fears that if these people are deprived to go back to their home, will literally mean their expulsion from the BTAD as well. Being Non-Bodo they will not be able to purchase any land inside the BTAD area and with mere fifty thousand rupees they will not be able to purchase any land outside BTAD also. Ultimately they will be the soft target of so called nationalist organization in the name of illegal Bangladeshi immigrant.

    In the meantime, as many as 19 non-political organizations within BTAD have convened an emergency meeting on 7th of this month and formed a coordination committee to address the issue. Mokhlesur Rahman, chairman of the coordination committee says that this is a part of greater conspiracy. The BTAD authority wants to drive out the Muslims from the area by any means. After the honorable Gauhati High Court's instruction of exclusion of non-Bodo majority villages from the BTAD administration, the authority is ready to do everything on war footing to establish Bodo majority and also to strengthen their demand of a separate Bodoland. He also informed that the coordination committee will make aware the people about the consequences of this conditional rehabilitation policy and they will demonstrate public protest as well as will take up the matter legally.

    When lakhs of peasants of the state protesting against the allotment of thousand bighas of land to capitalists like Prithani, Lohia and Bhurakia and demanding allotment of patta of khas land to landless people of the state. At the same time Group of Ministers and BTAD administration’s alleged conspiracy to drive out the landless people from the BTAD area in the name of rehabilitation will definitely create a huge socio political debate in the coming days.

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    By Zaidul Haque,,

    Kolkata: About 15 ‘Muslim & Civic Rights Organizations’ organized a protest convention against Bangladesh Government on 16 May, 2013 at Qader Nawaz Hall of Muslim Institute in Kolkata.

    “In the name of secularism and democracy the so called `Shahbagh’ movement is threatening the religious people of Bangladesh. And when there was protest against the persecution of Muslim leaders, over 3500 innocent protesters were killed. The government of Sheikh Hasina Wazed is destroying Peace, democracy and human rights,” remarked a speaker at the conference.

    Speaker Md Nuruddin, State President of Jamat E Islami in a protest convention against Bangladesh Government’s Anti-Muslim activities on 16th May, 2013 at Qader Nawaz Hall of Muslim Institute in Kolkata called by an umbrella organization of 15 Muslim deferent organization `Muslim & Civic Rights Organization’.

    Imam of Nakhoda Mosque of Kolkata, Qari Md. Shafique said, “With an anti Islamic conspiracy Bangladesh Government tried targeting 9-10 Islamic clerics. Bangladesh forces killed more than 3500 people in day. And no action is being taken against anti-Islam bloggers.”

    He said that if the government in Bangladesh does not stop the brutality against religious people, they would gherao the Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner office at Park Circus, Kolkata. They also demanded that the Indian government should stop all diplomatic relations if the neighboring country does not refrain from human rights violations.

    Muslim disguised persons of West Bengal in a protest convention against Bangladesh Government’s Anti-Muslim activities on 16th May, 2013 at Qader Nawaz Hall of Muslim Institute in Kolkata called by an umbrella organization of 15 Muslim deferent organization `Muslim & Civic Rights Organization’.

    Convener of the `Muslim & Civic Rights Organizations’ and State Secretary of All India Minority Youth Federation Md Kamruzzaman said, that all the Tamil parties have united against the atrocities of Tamil minorities in Srilanka, similarly we all need to stand united against atrocities in Bangladesh.

    Jamiat Ulama e Hind West Bengal State Secretary Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury said that it is part of the larger conspiracy of the Bangladesh government to torture and suppress religious people. He also urged the leading political parties’ to take clear stand on the issue. He criticized WB CM Mamata Banerjee for maintain silence on the issue.

    Muslims from different places of West Bengal gathered in a protest convention against Bangladesh Government’s Anti-Muslim activities on 16th May, 2013 at Qader Nawaz Hall of Muslim Institute in Kolkata called by an umbrella organization of 15 Muslim deferent organization `Muslim & Civic Rights Organization’.

    He said that Muslim organizations will give a memorandum in this regard to the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission office and simultaneously to the Governor of West Bengal.

    State President of Jamat e Islami Hind, Md Nuruddin said, that when there were violence at Shabagh Sqaure, so many people had raised voice, but now when 3000 religious people have been killed, no one raised voice. Do religious people have no rights he wondered!

    Muslims from different places of West Bengal gathered in a protest convention against Bangladesh Government’s Anti-Muslim activities on 16th May, 2013 at Qader Nawaz Hall of Muslim Institute in Kolkata called by an umbrella organization of 15 Muslim deferent organization `Muslim & Civic Rights Organization’.

    Md Nuruddin said that large number of people against the Bangladesh Government’s anti Islamic mentality.

    All India Mulsim Personal Law Board Member Maulana Ishaque Madani said, Bangladesh is a fragile country and such situations are not good for it. He too warned against anti-Islamic activities.

    Speaker Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury, State Secretary of Jamiat E Ulama, in a protest convention against Bangladesh Government’s Anti-Muslim activities on 16th May, 2013 at Qader Nawaz Hall of Muslim Institute in Kolkata called by an umbrella organization of 15 Muslim deferent organization `Muslim & Civic Rights Organization’.

    Shia Leader Athar Abbas Rizvi said that a religious Muslim cannot tolerate any kind of anti Islamic propaganda, especially against our holy prophet. All Muslims should join hands to protest against the Bangladesh Government’s activities, he added.

    Secretary of Milli Ittehad Parishad Abdul Aziz, Secretary of All Bengal Muslim Think Tank, Md Shahalam, Ahle Hadith leader Maulana Ainul Bari, Police Officer Masiur Rahman and many other Muslim personalities of West Bengal also participated.

    Speaker Qari Md Shafique, Imam of Nakhoda Mosque, in a protest
    convention against Bangladesh Government’s Anti-Muslim activities on 16th May,
    2013 at Qader Nawaz Hall of Muslim Institute in Kolkata called by an
    umbrella organization of 15 Muslim deferent organization `Muslim & Civic
    Rights Organization’.

    `Muslim & Civic Rights Organization’ has taken a declaration and proposal in this civic convention. The main demand is to immediately stop atrocities on the religious people by the Bangladesh Government and maintaining peace, or they will gherao the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission and urge stopping all diplomatic relations.

    More than 300 supporter of Jamiat e Ulama Hind West Bengal Unit, Jamat e Islami Hind, West Bengal Sunnatul Jamayat Committee, All Bengal Minority Youth Federation, All Bengal Minority Council, All India Milli Council, West Bengal Madrasa Students Union, Ulama Parishad, Jamiatul Ayemma Al Ulama, Bangiya Imam Parishad, All Bengal Muslim Think tank, Ashikan E Rasul Conference, All Bengal Imam and Muazzin Samity, Milli Ittehad Parishad and All Bengal Minority Association were present in the civic convention.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : A Delhi court Friday granted bail to suspected Hizbul Mujahideen militant Sayyed Liyaqat Shah, arrested for allegedly conspiring to carry out terror attacks in the national capital.

    Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Judge I.S. Mehta granted bail to Shah on a personal bond of Rs.20,000 with a surety of the like amount.

    The court also directed Shah not to leave the country without its prior permission.

    Shah, 45, had moved a bail application stating he had been in custody since March 20 and no concrete evidence had yet been found against him by probe agencies.

    The resident of Dardpora village in Kashmir's Kupwara district was arrested from Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur district when he entered India through the Sunauli checkpost on the India-Nepal border. He had flown to the Nepal capital Kathmandu from the port city of Karachi.

    There are two conflicting versions on Shah's arrest.

    While Delhi Police claim he was part of a terrorist plot attempting to launch a fidayeen (suicide) attack in the capital, Jammu and Kashmir Police say he was on his way back home from Pakistan to surrender under the rehabilitation policy of the government.

    The home ministry March 28 asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the case.

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    By Shaik Zakeer Hussain,,

    Bengaluru: One of the main disadvantages of being on sites like Facebook is the amount of unproductive time spent on it and the annoying ads that one is forced to look at, says Ummaland’s Denmark based co-founder Maruf Yusupov.

    Launched on 1st of February 2013 by friends Maruf Yusupov (Design and Strategy) and Jamolidding Daliyev (Backend Programmer) and Mahmudjan Memethaji (Frontend Developer), is a social network for Muslims, trying to enable the community to become more united and productive. In an Interview to TCN’S Shaik Zakeer Hussain, Maruf explains the need for an online platform exclusively for Muslims and more.

    Can you elaborate to us what Ummaland is and how it works?

    Before explaining what and how, I would like to focus on why first. As you know we have many Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others, so why do we need yet another one in our daily busy life, correct? To cut it short, the main reason is ‘time’ and how we use it.

    Time is the most precious asset we have and most of us don't pay attention to it. Allah (SWT) swears by time, that humanity is in loss, except those who have Iman and do good deeds and call each other to truth and patience.

    You see every Muslim can have Iman and do good deeds on his own; however, it is not enough for success, we should also call each other to truth and patience, which is Dawah. We can call each other to the truth as Muslims, or we can call non-Muslims to the truth. So it is all encompassing.

    So with Ummaland, you are trying to fit in these ‘all-encompassing’ components at one place?

    We will do our best, Insha’Allah. Let me elaborate this for you, on other social networks people use tons of time by checking trivial posts; someone is boasting, someone is gossiping etc. We are creating Ummaland on Islamic values, no small talk, no boasting, no gossiping and backbiting but focusing on the message that really matters. We encourage every user to ponder upon if the message they share will benefit Ummah or not, if not, it is better to be silent.

    And how would you do that, I mean it's a social network with tons of people on it, how do you ensure that no one is using it for any other purpose?

    Good question! We believe if you really want to change the behaviour, you should change the environment too, which is a key component, for example, on Facebook, you think twice before you publish anything related to Islam, you may be worried what others think about you, this is how many of us act, since everybody is talking on other subjects, you think it is ok to do so, but on Ummaland, we can see another trend, Alhamdulillah, most of the posts are actually about learning the true message of Islam. And don't just take our word for it; have a look on your own.

    Right, so you created an environment which is Islamic, and by doing this, you made sure only interested ones sign up, and this takes care of pretty much everything?

    Insha’Allah! Of course, at times there will be some posts related to spam, or some extremist points of view, Alhamdulillah, most of the time our users report us and we will remove it immediately. We also decided we will focus on Islamic Education, Productivity, Charity and Dawah; we don't focus on Politics, Violence, War, Hatred, etc.

    And how do you do that?

    By offering courses, by enabling individuals to share their stories, actually, next week, we are launching something called Global Dawah Mission, which will change Dawah for ever, Insha’Allah, if you want, we can make another interview on that.

    Great, but could you tell us something about it in brief?

    Sure, today Dawah is done only by a handful of brothers and sisters, May Allah reward them, but their manpower is limited to location and time, besides they try to get some attention from people on the go. Most of the time people say no or don't pay attention, in our case, it is different. We have 10,000 passionate Muslims in one place socializing; there is a great synergy, if we can guide our efforts correctly, we can change things.

    For example, the image of Islam in the mainstream media, it used to be that, a couple of TV stations dictated what you should see and hear and "believe". Unfortunately, many people believe whatever they see online, Alhamdulillah, this centralized power is declining with the rise of Social Media and other platforms. I don't want to go into detail, but the point is we will inspire our members to write their stories, if they are converts, how they come to Islam, if they are born Muslims, what their daily challenges are and how Islam helps them.

    You may ask how it is going to help.


    You see, there is a group of people who are searching and seeking solutions to their problems, they are not necessarily searching for another religion to follow, especially Islam with our current coverage on media, but they have some issues in their lives and looking for solutions, for some, it is the purpose of life for some it is depression, etc. On the other side, we have brothers and sisters who were in the same condition before, by sharing their stories and challenges and they found a solution in Islam, Insha’Allah, we can change the image of Islam, one voice at a time.

    Our goal is, whatever these people are writing as their challenges, we want to present Islam and its solution, on the first page of Google or any other search engine Insha’Allah. We will give the message and leave the rest to Allah (SWT). It is all about connecting the dots. That is briefly about Global Dawah Mission.

    How do you monetize the site?

    Our revenue model has two parts: 1. Ads as you can see on the right and 2. Courses - mainly Islamic ones. We have one course available now; soon we will launch more courses in cooperation with Islamic Online University (IOU) Insha’Allah and hope other Islamic Institutions will join us.

    Islamic courses for website monetization? Could you shed some more light on how exactly this works?

    It depends on the courses; our interest is not only to make money, but to educate Ummah anywhere, anytime, at any cost. We believe in changing the Ummah with proper Islamic education and we believe in productivity in our daily lives. That is why we are working with IOU which offers free courses, so that anyone who wants to learn, they will have a chance, Insha’Allah. Then it is up to them, if they want to donate for the course or not.

    Ok, so a person takes up the course free of charge, and then if interested donates the money, correct?

    Yes, Insha’Allah! This offer applies mainly for IOU Free Diploma courses, if the publisher offers courses for money, then we can't offer it for free.

    Right, so how do market your site and how big is Ummaland?

    A good thing about social networks is that, our marketers are our customers, if they believe in what we believe they will call their friends and family, so our strategy is not to spend any money on marketing; at least not for now. If we are doing the right things, listening to our customers and adjusting to their needs Insha’Allah, they will love this platform. This is our marketing strategy.

    How big is Ummaland? Alhamdulillah, we are growing. Every day the number of people who join to Ummaland is increasing.

    Any figures that you can share?

    We have at least 1000 new members on the site every day; the interesting point is that, a week ago this number was about 100 new members a day.

    That's a huge transition.

    We have tripled our number of members in the last 7 days, Alhamdulillah. Numbers are increasing; however, we put more focus on quality over quantity. So the real question is how many of these new members keep using Ummaland.

    Right, especially when they have so many other social accounts to manage.


    Though I didn't find it mentioned anywhere, but is Ummaland only for Muslims?

    We got asked this question a lot. Insha’Allah, we are working on a special feature which would help non-Muslims to get started. Our vision is that Ummaland is not only for Muslims, but also for those who want to learn more about Islam.

    We are open to any nation, race or culture, as long as there is no hatred, condemning for Muslims. We as Muslims are open to dialogue for anyone who wants to learn about Islam, having said that we would avoid debates if possible, they are good to make your point, but most of the time both parties leave the debate, being sure they are more right than they were at the beginning. Instead, we would like to share our stories and how Islam gives a solution.

    It's good to see sites like Ummaland trying to make a difference, and we see a lot of Muslims taking to internet to bring about change, but do you feel this is enough and if no how can Muslims change this situation?

    Good question! I believe we have a long road ahead of us however, that should not discourage us. You see everyone wants to change the world, but very few of us really realize the real change begins within ourselves.

    The change is not easy, especially to the right direction, if we try our best relentlessly, one thing at a time, if each of us tries to be a better Muslim today than we were yesterday, yes, we can make a big difference. The key point here is to keep trying, consistently by not losing hope and holding fast to the rope of Allah (SWT).

    0 0

    By IANS,

    Dubai : The Indian consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has appealed to members of the Indian community to volunteer for its campaign to help those Indian expatriate workers who have been affected by the new labour policy in that country.

    “It is a unique opportunity for those Indian nationals who have been affected by the Nitaqat programme to benefit from the current correctional campaign of the government,” the Arab News quoted a consulate statement as saying.

    “It is also an opportunity for those Indian volunteers and philanthropists who are driven by a sense of community service to help their brethren to correct their residency status as per relevant laws and regulations.”

    Indian workers have been thronging the consulate and the Indian embassy in Riyadh ever since Saudi Arabia implemented the new Nitaqat or Saudiasation policy to take advantage of a grace period the Saudi authorities announced that ends July 3.

    The new policy makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies to reserve 10 percent of jobs for Saudi nationals.

    Earlier, responding to another appeal from the embassy in Riyadh, around 400 members of the Indian community had registered to work as volunteers.

    There are around two million expatriate Indians in that Gulf nation, many of them blue collar workers.

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    By staff writer,

    Lucknow: Of late the Samajwadi Party has consolidated its position in the Brahmin community of Uttar Pradesh. This reality was evident in the last Assembly polls when SP candidates trounced Congress rivals in all the five Assembly seats.

    This was not always so. This area happens to be the Lok Sabha constituency of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, a seat nurtured by Mrs Indira Gandhi.

    Rajesh Dixit, General Secretary, SP

    In adjacent Amethi, the parliamentary constituency of Rahul Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi, Congress could win only two Assembly seats, while in neighbouring Sultanpur, Congress lost all five seats.

    The media attributed the Congress rout to the silent electioneering campaign of a five feet seven inch, 73 kg man in his early-40s, Rajesh Dixit. The taciturn, well-built man of wheatish complexion is the Brahmin face of Samajwadi Party, who has drawn a sizeable part of the community away from its long time favourite Congress into SP.

    Over the months and years, Dixit has not been sitting on his laurels. The latest round of heavy mobilisation of Brahmins in favour of SP has been conducted by Dixit. Congregations of the community in Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Agra in recent days were largely his doing.

    On Parshuram Jayanti (May 12), UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav assured a congregation of Brahmins of fair play and SP support.

    The man behind this programme, too, was Rajesh Dixit, who enjoys the support of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and prominent leader Ram Gopal Yadav.

    This self-effacing soft spoken National Secretary of SP credits his success to party leaders and functionaries in the field. Dixit, who also works among Muslims, says, “I am only a loyal soldier of my party.”

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Jammu and Kashmir's ruling National Conference (NC) Friday welcomed the Delhi High Court decision to grant bail to militant Liyaqat Shah, saying it proved Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's stand that he was returning for rehabiliation, not a terror strike.

    "Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has all along been saying that Liyaqat had no intention to carry out any attack as he was returning along with his family members and not carrying any weapons," NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said.

    "Today's development will repose faith of all the people who intend to take advantage of the government's surrender and rehabilitation policy," he said, thanking Abdullah for his "relentless effort" in ensuring that Liyaqat or any such person who shuns the path of violence is not unnecessarily harassed.

    "Ultimately justice prevailed and the credit goes to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on whose instance the case was handed over to NIA (national Investigation Agency (NIA)," said Wani.

    A controversy had erupted between the Delhi Police and the Jammu and Kashmir Police after Liyaqat's arrest in UP by the former who claimed he was part of a terror plan to strike in the country's capital.

    The Jammu and Kashmir Police however maintained that Liyaqat was returning to Kashmir under the state government's rehabilitation policy for surrendered militants living across the line of control (LOC) who wanted to abjure violence and live a peaceful life in their homes.

    0 0

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Friday issued notice to the city police on a plea of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against him for writing an inflammatory article in a Mumbai daily in 2011.

    Justice Kailash Gambhir sought the police response by Aug 26.

    Swamy, in his plea, said: "Whatever investigation has been done by the police in the past 21 months, no material has been found which would cause communal disharmony in society."

    Delhi Police had on Oct 3, 2011 registered a case of spreading enmity between communities against Swamy for his remarks suggesting revoking the voting rights of Muslims.

    A case was registered against him on a complaint from the National Commission for Minorities, for writing, in July 2011, the alleged inflammatory article intended to spread communal enmity, as per the complaint.

    "In 2005, Swamy had written a book on terrorism in India and the content of the book did not cause any sort of communal disturbance but writing an article, which is based on the book, became offensive," contended senior advocate K.T.S. Tulsi, who appeared for Swamy.

    He added that the investigation is going on from past 21 months and no case has been made out so far.

    The Delhi High Court had in January 2012 granted Swamy anticipatory bail after he had given an undertaking in the court that he would refrain from writing such articles in future.

    Police had registered a case under Section 153A (spreading enmity between communities) of Indian Penal Code for his newspaper article in July this year.

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    By TCN News,

    Guwahati: Umme Fardina Adil, a resident of Hatigaon, Guwahati, Assam, was felicitated by ERD Foundation and other organizations for her success in the IAS examination the results of which was announced recently.

    Speaking at the function organized at Regional College of Higher Education (RCHE) in the city on Sunday, Mahbubul Hoque, Chairman ERD Foundation said, “Assam gave the only President of India from the North East – Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. Assam also gave the first and only Muslim woman Chief Minister of the country – Anwara Timur. But it took 66 years after independence for Assam to produce the first Muslim woman IAS officer – Umme Fardina Adil.”

    Umme Fardina Adil, successful IAS candidate, is seen with Mahbubul Hoque, Chairman ERDF; HN Das, former Chief Secretary of Assam; and Prof PK Abdul Azis, VC, University of Science & Technology Meghalaya at a function in Guwahati on Sunday.

    Hoque also informed the audience that the entrance test and interview of minority candidates for IAS coaching for the IAS exam of 2014 was conducted at the same venue in the morning. It was organised by Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) and coordinated by ERDF.

    The felicitation for Fardina was arranged in the afternoon to facilitate an interaction of her with all the aspiring IAS candidates of 2014 who were also present at the venue.

    Speaking on the occasion, Shri H N Das, former Chief Secretary of Assam & Director, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Centre for Coaching & Guidance under the foundation said, “Financial hardship should not be a reason for not being able to sit for IAS examination. Now there are many organisations to support meritorious students to prepare for competitive examinations.”

    Prof PK Abdul Azis, Vice Chancellor, University of Science & Technology Meghalaya, who was also a member of the IAS interview board for several years congratulated Fardina and offered her flowers and gifts on behalf of the University. Sabur Tapader and Ahmad Hussain offered gifts to Fardina on behalf of Unity Education Foundation and Pragjyotish Group of Institutions respectively.

    Fardina, a former student of Disneyland School and Cotton College of Guwahati, informed the audience that she cleared the IAS in her first attempt and with about 8 months of preparation putting in about six hours every day. She said, she depended on newspapers and Wikipedia for gathering knowledge about new topics and never referred to any guide books.

    She encouraged the aspiring candidates for developing a politically neutral view and showing an aptitude for analytical dissection of the subject in question. She also asked the young generation to be socially committed, stressing that this attitude would see them through in any interview.

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    By TCN News,

    Guwahati: A meeting of the faculty, staff, officers, students and PhD scholars of the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) and Regional Institute of Science &Technology (RIST) under ERD Foundation, Guwahati was convened on Wednesday afternoon to condole the sad and sudden demise of Dr Asghar Ali Engineer, a noted and world renowned Islamic scholar, humanist and social activist who had breathed his last on May 14, 2013.

    Dr Asghar Ali Engineer was known for his active academic role and promoting spirit of democracy and secularism. His demise caused a big vacuum in the intellectual world of the country. On a invitation given by Mahbubul Hoque, Chairman of ERD Foundation, Guwahati who is also a member of NCMEI, Dr Engineer had visited USTM & RIST campuses on November 14 and 15, 2012 to flag off the educational rehabilitation scheme for strife affected students of BTAD.

    He had also contributed a good amount for few girl students for their education. His loss is heavily felt amongst the students, teachers and management here.

    The condolence meeting adopted resolutions paying profound respect to Dr Engineer and seeking eternal peace of the departed soul by observing one minute silence. The meeting also conveyed its heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family at this juncture of sorrow. This was conveyed in a press release issued by Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor and Dr RK Sharma, Pro Vice Chancellor, USTM.

    Meanwhile, several like-minded NGOs and organisations convened another civic condolence meeting at 4.30 pm on Thursday at Haji Musafirkhana (behind Nehru Stadium) in Guwahati to mourn the death of late Dr Engineer who was intimately associated with a number of NGOs and institutions engaged in civil liberties and human rights activism operating in the North East.

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