Indian Muslims urged to make use of govt schemes worth Rs37 billion

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Updated 28 April 2014
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Indian Muslims urged to make use of govt schemes worth Rs37 billion

Although the Indian government allocates about Rs35 billion in financial assistance to Muslims and other minorities every year through various development schemes, less than half of the amount is actually utilized, said a prominent community leader.
“Most people do not know about such educational and welfare schemes and how to apply for them,” said Hussain Madavoor, Kerala state coordinator of the Minority Affairs Ministry in New Delhi and a former member of the Kerala Waqaf Board.
This year the government has allocated more than Rs37 billion for minority development schemes across the country, he said. “We should also make sure the amount is properly utilized and distributed among the deserving people,” he said while addressing community leaders and media persons from Kerala.
According to Abusaleh Shariff, economist and chief scholar at the US-India Policy Institute, only Rs 8.56 billion or 22.8 percent of the Rs 378 billion reached Minority Concentration Districts until 2011, from the total allocations made by the ministry for their welfare.
“The Prime Minister’s 15-Point Program and Moulana Azad Education Foundation offer a lot of scholarships and educational grants for minorities but they are underutilized,” Madavoor said, stressing the need to create awareness about such programs.
Madavoor, an educationist and graduate of Makkah’s Umm Al-Qura University, was named the ministry’s state-coordinator two weeks ago. He highlighted the role of community organizations and NGOs in enlightening Muslims and other minorities about the various schemes and services.
He said he would coordinate with ministers and district collectors in the state to implement and monitor minority welfare schemes and report to the ministry in New Delhi.
During the brainstorming session in Jeddah, the community leaders congratulated Madavoor on his new appointment and pledged their support to carry out his mission effectively. They asked him to make use of the Mohalla system in the country to enlighten Muslims about government schemes and implement various community development programs.
The participants called for a coordination committee of different Muslim organizations, the setting up of a help desk in New Delhi, appointment of district and punchayat level coordinators, distribution of bulletins on government schemes and removal obstacles facing Muslim organizations to get various financial support and minority status.
They emphasized the need to develop waqaf (endowment) properties across India estimated at nearly 600,000, adding that it would contribute to solving many financial problems of Indian Muslims.


US charges Chicago man with online recruiting for Daesh

Updated 32 min 26 sec ago
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US charges Chicago man with online recruiting for Daesh

  • The 34-year-old made an initial court appearance Friday and was ordered held in federal custody
  • The naturalized US citizen is allegedly a member of Khattab Media Foundation, an online group aligned with Daesh

CHICAGO: A US citizen of Iraqi descent has been charged in Chicago with online coordination with Daesh to recruit and encourage attacks, federal authorities said Friday.
Ashraf Al-Safoo was arrested Wednesday in the Midwestern city and charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
The 34-year-old made an initial court appearance Friday and was ordered held in federal custody.
Safoo is accused of disseminating “online propaganda promoting violence in support of (Daesh),” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement.
The naturalized US citizen is allegedly a member of Khattab Media Foundation, an online group aligned with Daesh, authorities said.
He is accused of posting pro-Daesh “videos, articles, essays and infographics across multiple social media platforms, at the direction and in coordination with” the extremist group, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Much of the propaganda allegedly promoted violent jihad.
The government’s complaint made public Friday included posts Safoo is alleged to have written online calling on others to “roll up your sleeves” to create online content in support of Daesh.
“Participate in the war, and spread fear,” Safoo is accused of writing.