Indian Muslims feel insecure under Modi

Updated 11 June 2014
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Indian Muslims feel insecure under Modi

A visiting youth activist from the Indian subcontinent said here on Tuesday that there is a strong feeling of insecurity among the Muslim community in India under the premiership of Narendra Modi.
Aloor Shanavas from Tamil Nadu, a well-known script writer and prominent activist in India, expressed these sentiments to Arab News during his visit to Riyadh.
Shanavas has written six books and directed three film documentaries to highlight the social problems in the country.
The events of 1990s — anti-Muslim violence such as the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the Mumbai riots, the anti-dalit violence mainly in Kodiyankulam and Thinniyam, and atrocities like burning alive of a Christian priest and his young children — greatly affected Shanavas. He realized the importance of fighting for the cause of minority communities and the oppressed and marginalized people. He became the voice of the voiceless through his writings, speeches and the visual media.
His compilation of poems entitled ‘Thottaakkal,’ dealing with the Gujarat genocide 2002, spread huge shockwaves in the Tamil milieu. Shanawaz has participated in a lot of programs in several TV channels from 2003 to 2006.
After the reports of committees headed by Justice Sachar and Justice Ranganath Misra, whose findings showed that Indian Muslims lagged behind even the Dalits in the fields of employment and power — were released, Shanavas directed and released a full-length documentary ‘Pirappurimi’ (birth right) highlighting the need for special reservation for Muslims. At a function held in Chennai on May 27, 2006 Parithi Ilamvazhudhi, the then Minister for Information released the documentary.
“Our Muslims have still not forgotten the massacre of their brethren in Gujarat for which Modi was largely responsible. Nearly 2,000 Muslims were killed in this genocide,” he said, adding that is the reason they are in a dilemma as to what will become of the community following Modi’s premiership.
However, he added that there can be a change in Modi’s attitude after the premiership. “It is yet to be seen,” he added.
He lamented as to why the voice of this massacre of Muslims in Gujarat was not heard. He stressed that the Muslim lobbying was not as strong as the propaganda for the killers. He said the Indian Muslims youths have a greater role to voice their opinion on matters affecting their community.
Although Modi won the majority of electoral seats in the last elections, only 30 percent of the voters were for him while the remaining 70 percent was against him.
He propagated the idea of Muslims co-existing peacefully with other communities in India. But he insisted that Muslims should be given their share in the government’s allocation of jobs and other facilities entitled for the minority community.
Shanavas has traveled to Sri Lanka, Qatar, Malaysia, Kuwait and Penang and addressed literary and social seminars. On Friday, he is slated to address his community members in a city hotel in the capital.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 43 min 21 sec ago
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.