Thursday, July 28, 2016

Netanyahu ADMITS ISIS are Israel soldiers

Netanyahu ADMITS ISIS are Israel soldiers

Posted on November 21, 2015 by BIOMORPHIC

Netanyahu to ‘punish’ Syrians who attacked ISIL terrorists

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to punish a group of Syrian Druze individuals in the occupied Golan Heights who attacked injured ISIL Takfiri militants en route to a hospital in Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (© AP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (© AP)
“We will not allow anyone to take the law into their own hands. We will not allow anyone to disrupt Israeli soldiers in their missions,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
He called the incident “very serious” and said those behind it would be located and held to account.
Meanwhile, Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Moshe Yaalon has also pledged to track down the Druze individuals. “We won’t be able to ignore it, and law enforcement authorities will deal with it heavy-handedly,” he said in a statement.
Reports say Israeli police made several arrest from the Druze community on Wednesday.
Around 200 people from the Druze community in the town of Majdal Shams, which lies in the southern foothills of Mount Hermon and north of the Golan Heights, pelted an Israeli military ambulance with stones on Monday night, forcing it to stop.
The Druze individuals then dragged two wounded ISIL extremists out of the vehicle and beat them up. One of the injured militants died afterwards, while the second is in a serious condition. An Israeli soldier and an officer onboard the vehicle also sustained slight wounds as a result of the assault.
The photo shows the Israeli military ambulance that was carrying ISIL Takfiri terrorists, which came under attack in the occupied Golan Heights on June 22, 2015.
On May 23, a Takfiri terrorist wounded during fierce clashes with Syrian government forces was transferred to the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in the northern Israeli settlement of Poriya, located approximately 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) south of the coastal Israeli city of Tiberias, and received medical treatment there.
According to the documents from Israeli hospitals, until last September, Israel’s military had spent USD 10 million for the treatment of the terrorists injured in fighting with Syrian government forces.
The documents further revealed that a total of 398 injured militants had also been treated at Galil Hospital in Israel’s northern coastal city of Nahariya in the past couple of years. Another hospital in the city of Safed had provided treatment for hundreds of other Takfiri terrorists.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits a militant wounded in Syria at a field hospital in northern Israel, February 18, 2014.
Damascus says Tel Aviv and its Western and regional allies are aiding the Takfiri militant groups operating inside Syria.
The Syrian army has seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from the foreign-backed militants inside Syria on numerous occasions.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of more than 230,000 people, including almost 11,500 children, according to reports.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2 Weeks, 8 Terror Attacks, 247 Victims: How We Learned Their Stories - By Jodi Rudoren - The New York Times

My comments on New York Times article: 

2 Weeks, 8 Terror Attacks, 247 Victims: How We Learned Their Stories

Ghulam Muhammed

 Mumbai, India 3 hours ago

Thanks for informing your readers about the length you go deep behind the headlines of terror attacks to get the picture of the human tragedy involved. However, as a reader I find that you lack in one aspect. You are not covering the mastermind behind this wave of terror attacks. It is assumed by one and all, especially in Western media, that ISIS or Alquida or one of the extremist cultists are behind these worldwide carnival of blood-shedding. But there is strong possibility that agencies in the West themselves are behind such terror attacks. You may treat it as conspiracy theory. But there is no harm in putting the other side under your lens. Your readers are aware of the constraints that you work within. But to that much, then leaves your efforts lacking in full justice to know and spread the truth in whatever packages it is given to you. You may leave the final judgement to your readers. This is in no way dimishes the value of your journalistic excellence in bringing facts as far as possible to the general public at large. Especially as it is the hallmark of New York Times since its inception.
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2 Weeks, 8 Terror Attacks, 247 Victims: How We Learned Their Stories

The Times’s international desk found information about the lives of 222 people who were victims of terrorist attacks during a two-week period — 90 percent of the 247 total victims.
Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how news, features and opinion come together at The New York Times. In this piece, Jodi Rudoren, deputy international editor of The Times, explains what was involved in deploying dozens of people around the world to develop fuller portraits of “these lives that were cut short.”
There is something of a journalistic routine each time terror erupts. Cover the news, of course, and put it into geopolitical context. Capture the drama of the scene. Pursue every tidbit about the attackers. And, perhaps most wrenchingly, try to showcase the human suffering.
Those tasked with profiling the victims typically scour social-media profiles and interview stricken relatives and friends, then cobble together anecdotes into an article that highlights a few individuals and summarizes whatever is known about the rest. Sometimes there are fuller stories about a single victim of particular note, a family or a group.
After the Bastille Day massacre in Nice, France, for example, The Times produced a heart-wrenching look at the father and son from Texas mowed down among the masses, followed by a broader take on the children among the 84 killed — and the ones who survived.
It never feels like enough.
During what seemed like a particularly intense spate of attacks back in March, we decided it was not enough. We were still collecting tidbits about the victims of the Islamic State’s suicide bombings at the Brussels airport and subway station on March 22 when the same extremist group hit a soccer stadium in Iraq on March 25, killing 36. Two days later the Talibanstruck a park in Lahore, Pakistan, murdering 76 people at play on a Sunday afternoon.
We decided not to move on but to look back. To find out as much as we could about every single human being slain in a mass killing anywhere, to trace the ripple effects of the violence, to identify the things that connected people across places or distinguished one from the other. Simply put: to show terrorism’s human toll.
At first we set out to cover the month of March. But the attacks kept coming, so we scaled back to two weeks, for fear of being overwhelmed. Those two weeks included eight attacks in six countries; 247 men, women and children taken forever.
We didn’t know it was 247 when we started. In several cases, our reporters on the ground found victims that local officials had failed to count. We deployed 29 people around the world to collect their names, their photographs and the details of these lives that were cut short.
In partnership with The Times’s data visualists, editors on the international desk created interactive interview forms to collate parallel information about each individual. We needed the basics: name, age, hometown, nationality, religion, job. We also asked if the victim knew anyone else killed in the same attack. How many immediate relatives did he leave behind? How many years of education had she completed? We left space for narrative details and asked contributors to provide any snapshots they could find.
It was arduous and intense. Chris Stein, a journalist in Nigeria, was prevented by a military checkpoint from getting to Ummarari, the village where Boko Haram blew apart a mosque on March 13, killing 30 people at prayer. Instead, working with a local fixer, he managed to cajole a steady stream of villagers to come to his hotel in Maiduguri.


The Human Toll of Terror

A look at the lives of 247 men, women and children who were cut down in mass killings in six countries.
But electricity is spotty there, so they had to either search for a shady spot outside in the 100-degree heat or talk in Chris’s stuffy, lightless hotel room. People in Ummarari are known by an assortment of nicknames, so just figuring out who was who was a challenge. None of the 30 victims had a social-media profile or even a mobile phone; the only photos Chris could find were three identity cards.
In Iraq, several of the names on the government’s official list of victims did not match the names relatives gave to our stringer, Omar Al-Jawoshy, requiring painstaking crosschecking with people who were in mourning. In Pakistan, many of the 76 victims of the Taliban attack had been visiting Lahore from remote areas up to two days’ travel away, but Daniyal Hassan, the stringer there, still managed to gather details on 59 of them.
In all, we compiled information about 222 of the victims — 90 percent of the total. A fifth of them, 44, were under 18. More than 60 percent were Muslim. More than half were killed alongside spouses, relatives, friends or acquaintances. They had 26 different nationalities.
Beyond any statistical analysis, though, the power of this project was in looking at the mass of individual humanity. At the photographs that showed them living. At the little things survivors shared about those they had lost.
Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how daily news, features and opinion pieces come to life at The New York Times. Visit us at Times Insiderand follow us on Twitter. Questions or feedback?Email us.
    Ghaith Ahmed Abdullah Dewan, 10, was wearing a new outfit when he headed out to the soccer game in Iraq.
    Jean-Pierre Arnaud, 75, killed after a bike ride to the beach in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast, was a “radical Cartesian” who liked to ask questions and would call at 1 a.m. just to make a point, according to his friend Jorge Martinez.
    Falmata Ba, 4, always carried around a baby doll. Sabrina Esmael Fazal, 24, liked to cook Congolese dishes for friends. Oguzhan Dura, 43, was a photographer, stamp collector and old camera aficionado.
    Henrike Grohs, 51, loved reggae music. Yakura Gambo, 6, drew birds and other animals in the sand. Berkay Bas, 21, bought his brother clothes with his school money.
    Javeria Shahid, 2, wouldn’t bother anyone as long as she could watch her cartoons.
    Muhammed Hauwa, 70, took in the 16-year-old son of a friend who had died in Nigeria. Mustapha Mohammad, 61, who was killed in the same attack, was an elder expected to settle disputes between neighbors.
    Johan Van Steen, 58, was an amateur photographer who told his subjects not to force laughter or other expressions, because, as his partner, Kristin Verellen, put it, “he really wanted to go to the naked essence of people.”
    Patricia Rizzo, 48, loved to dance; her favorite band was Coldplay. Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz, 36, wanted to open a Peruvian restaurant in Brussels. Shahroon Pitras, 15, was called “King” by his friends.
    Mustapha Maina, a firecutter and farmer in Ummarari who was about 40, listened to BBC broadcasts about Boko Haram and “always prayed that God should crush them,” said Tijjani Abacha, a family friend. They got him instead.
    Follow Jodi Rudoren on Twitter @rudoren.

    Monday, July 25, 2016

    A Brahmin's Cow Tales - Written by Sheela Reddy on D.N. Jha --- Outlook

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    A Brahmin's Cow Tales

    Beef—it's the oldest shibboleth in the Indian mind. It is with textual evidence from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain canons that historian D.N. Jha takes on the sacred cow.

    For over a month, the mild, balding professor of history, Dwijendra Narayan Jha, has been shuffling to his classroom in Delhi University escorted by a police constable. Teaching ancient history does not usually endanger one's health, but ever since Jha went public with the best-kept secret in Indian history—the beef-eating habits of ancient Hindus, Buddhists and even early Jains in a book titled Holy Cow—Beef in Indian Dietary Conditions—his phone hasn't stopped ringing. "The calls are usually abusive," says Jha, "but sometimes they demand to know what evidence I have, and one day late in July it was an anonymous caller threatening dire consequences if I ever brought out my book."

    The calls had two effects on the 61-year-old historian: he called the police and braced himself for battle. "There is a cultural war going on and academics have a role to play," Jha says calmly. But it's not the kind of war that he had anticipated. Even before his book could hit the stands, the vhp exhorted its cadre to confiscate and burn copies. The bjp followed suit: one of its MPs, R.S. Rawat, wrote to the Union home minister demanding not only a ban on the book but also the arrest and prosecution of its author and CB Publishers. But before the book could be burnt or banned, the Jain Seva Sangh stepped in. Outraged by Jha's reported assertion that their founder Mahavira ate meat, the Hyderabad-based organisation sought a court injunction against the book, leaving the nonplussed historian without the words to fight his war. Anticipating controversy and debate, Jha meticulously scoured ancient texts, culling material from original sources for over two years. "If they want to ban my book, then they will have to ban the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Sutras and the epics. Where will they stop? I have given evidence, if they have counter-evidence, why don't they come forward with it? But they are so illiterate, they haven't even heard of those texts, let alone read them. I have texts and they go by blind faith," he says. "That is what a historian can and should do: counter faith with facts," he adds.

    Jha's interest in dietary history began a few years ago after reading French historian Fernand Braudel's history of early modern European diet. But he soon became intrigued by the beef-eating habits of Indians which existed in Rig Vedic times and continued till the 19th century and after, despite repeated Brahminical injunctions against cow-killing. That ancient Hindus, including Brahmins, were beef-eaters, willing to incur the minor penalty that an agrarian society began imposing on cow-killers, and that this fondness for cattle meat had nothing to do with Islam or Christianity came neither as a shock nor surprise to this unconventional Brahmin, whose first name Dwijendra means "the holiest of Brahmins". "No serious historian, not even 'Hindu' ones like R.C. Majumdar or K.M. Munshi, has ever disputed that ancient Hindus ate beef," says Jha. However, convinced that repeated Brahminical injunctions not to kill cows reflected a popular proclivity for beef, Jha went further and unearthed irrefutable evidence of cow slaughter and consumption by Hindus of all classes, including Brahmins, until as late as the 19th century. "I was expecting this," says Jha, who tasted beef for the first time nearly 30 years ago at Cambridge. "It was difficult to believe Brahmins were laying down norms without a reason. I think there is much more evidence than I got."

    The cow as a sacred animal, Jha believes, did not really gain currency until Dayanand Saraswati's cow protection movement in the 19th century". The cow became a tool of mass political mobilisation with the organised cow-protection movement," the historian points out. "The killing of cows stopped gradually with the agrarian society and caste rigidity. The Brahmins found it convenient to say that those who ate beef were untouchable. But they themselves continued to consume it, recommending it for occasions such as shraadh. Simultaneously, they trivialised the beef taboo by saying that eating beef is like cleaning your teeth with your fingers. It was never a sin to eat it, merely an indecorum. There was never a taboo, only discouragement."

    With this discovery, culled from ancient scriptures, medical texts, the Manusmriti and religious commentaries, Jha impishly "decided to take the bull by its horns" and publish a book on his findings. "There is a saying in Hindi: Laaton ke bhoot, baaton se nahin maante (Those used to force are not persuaded by words). So I had to give them the shock treatment," he explains.

    Only, Jha's "shock treatment" did not stop with Hindus. Buddhists, he claims, citing canonical texts like Mahaparinibbana Sutta and Anguttara Nikaya, also ate beef and other meat. "In fact, the Buddha died after eating a meal of pork," he says. "Vegetarianism was not a viable option for Buddhist monks in a society that loved meat of all kinds—pig, rhinoceros, cow, buffalo, fish, snake, birds, including crows and peacocks. Only camel and dog meat was taboo in India."

    Similarly with the early Jains. Citing the Bhagavatisutra, Jha points out that Mahavira once ate a chicken meal to gain strength for a yogic battle with an adversary. "His only condition was to ask the woman who cooked the meal to find a chicken already killed by a cat instead of slaughtering a fresh one," says Jha. "This has upset the Jains, but why are they not upset with the texts that carry these stories? I found these in bookstores run by devout Jain booksellers like Motilal Banarsidass and Sohanlal Jain Dharam Pracharak Samiti."

    Despite Jha's avowed dislike of "being conspicuous", the man whose family consists of "a wife and three servants" has never shied away from controversy. His family is accustomed to his "mad ways" and his upbringing has been unorthodox enough to allow him to experiment even with beef. But his community of orthodox Maithili Brahmins in Bihar has not taken kindly to his book either. "They didn't like me citing sources from Mithila to prove my point," says Jha nonchalantly.

    "Indian society has come to such a juncture," says Jha, "that historians have to play an active role in countering superstitions and unreason." He took up cudgels during the Ayodhya dispute and even objected to the TV serialisation of epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. "It politicised the myths and propagated a value system and religiosity not in keeping with a state-run broadcaster," he says. "Ramanand Sagar's version of the epics is not real history."

    "Old and tired out" Jha may call himself, but there's something irrepressible about him. Bans and fatwas haven't stopped him from beginning work on his next book. "It will be called," says Jha with deadpan face, "Adulterous Gods and their Inebriated Women".

    Sunday, July 24, 2016

    The world of Zakir Naik - Written by Kavitha Iyer , Rashmi Rajput - The Indian Express

    The Indian Express

    The world of Zakir Naik

    His sermons are said to have inspired everyone from the Dhaka attackers to the alleged Islamic State sympathisers. What is it about this televangelist that makes it hard for investigators to pin him down?

    Written by Kavitha Iyer , Rashmi Rajput | Published:July 25, 2016 3:47 am
    zakir naik, zakir naik speech, islamic preacher zakir naik, zakir naik dhaka attack, zakir naik is, zakir naik islamic state, mumbai, zakir naik, zakir naik speeches, peace tv, zakir naik preacher, islamic preacher naik, mumbai police, nashik, bangladesh attack, dhaka attack , india news, latest newsAt the press conference Zakir Naik had over Skype on July 15. Naik resorted to his usual style, weaving around his statements qualifications, stipulations. (Expres Photo: Prashant Nadkar)
    AFTER three days of repeatedly rescheduling a press conference, Dr Zakir Naik couldn’t have stumbled on a worse moment to finally have a heart-to-heart, via Skype, with journalists. On July 15, a Friday morning, as a small hall in south-central Mumbai packed to the rafters waited for a technical glitch to be ironed out before Naik, who spoke from Medina in Saudi Arabia, finally appeared on screen, the Bastille Day attack in Nice was only a few hours old. Its lone wolf attacker had picked a method with eerie similarities to the Glasgow attack of 2007 by Kafeel Ahmed of Bangalore, driving an explosives-laden vehicle into his target. The irony was lost on nobody. Kafeel Ahmed was found to have been inspired by, among others, Zakir Naik.
    Then, at Friday’s press conference, the televangelist in the eye of a storm returned to a style his detractors have long taken issue with, weaving around his statements clever qualifications and stipulations, nuances of interpretation peppered with ifs and buts. Suicide attacks are condemnable, he declared, the subordinate clause glued on, “where innocents are targeted”. As a war tactic, well, that’s a different story, he said.
    It is pointless arguing that the two Dhaka attackers who were reportedly inspired by him believed they were waging war for their Caliphate. Speaking to The Indian Express when that news broke, the 50-year-old medical doctor-turned-preacher said he would not refer to the Islamic State (IS) as Islamic, for that itself would be a condemnation of Islam. “I call them the anti-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” he said, adding that the name IS had been coined by the “enemies of Islam” though he wouldn’t name these enemy countries. After the Dhaka attack, Maharashtra ordered a probe into Naik’s speeches.

    A handful of previous terror detainees have reportedly claimed to be inspired by the English-speaking Naik, who has 14 million followers on Facebook, the large majority of them youngsters. Afghan-American Najibulla Zazi (New York subway bombing plot, 2009), Dr Kafeel Ahmed (Glasgow 2007), Rahil Sheikh (Mumbai serial train blasts, 2006), Feroz Deshmukh (Aurangabad arms haul case, 2006), alleged IS sympathisers (Kalyan, 2016) were all found to have listened to Naik’s sermons. Besides, at least some among the 21 people from Kerala who are missing and who are rumoured to have joined the IS are said to have been inspired by Naik. On January 20, an alleged member of Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was arrested on charges of “radicalising” one of the 21.
    zakir naik, zakir naik speech, islamic preacher zakir naik, zakir naik dhaka attack, zakir naik is, zakir naik islamic state, mumbai, zakir naik, zakir naik speeches, peace tv, zakir naik preacher, islamic preacher naik, mumbai police, nashik, bangladesh attack, dhaka attack , india news, latest newsThe one probe the police imagine could be productive is the Centre’s proposed investigation into finances of the IRF and Peace TV. Previous probes into Peace TV activities include one in the UK.
    But try to pin down the founder of Peace TV and his now stock replies flood the conversation. Saying he has been quoted “out of context”, that it is utter “misinformation” to suggest that he supported terror attacks of any kind, that he was being “branded” without evidence — all now appear to be verbal tics for the Islamic scholar.
    “He’s just confusing people, especially impressionable young Muslims, with this sort of rhetoric,” says Syed Noorie of Mumbai’s Raza Academy. “What is the need to say some kind of suicide bombing is acceptable? For youngsters who believe they are right, this serves as encouragement. Islam prohibits suicide, simple.”
    It’s increasingly clear that for all the self-professed width of his reach and expanse of his Peace TV empire, which is said to have nearly 200 million viewers worldwide, Naik has strong detractors among conservative Muslims too. Muslim scholars and elected representatives speak warily about Naik’s run-in with a large section of imams in 2008 over his comments on Imam Hussain, a key figure in Islam. The battle of Karbala was fought for political reasons, he contended in a two-minute video clip that was widely shared and condemned by Sunni and Shia scholars. “He hasn’t spared Muslim icons, so it’s only to be expected that he will speak against gods of other religions,” Noorie says, demanding a probe into the alleged “Wahabi” funding for Naik’s Peace TV and other ventures.
    When he is not travelling the world on lecture tours, Naik mostly spends his time in Dubai, but his Mumbai roots remain firm.
    Naik was schooled in Mazgaon’s St Peter’s High School, not far from the hall where journalists crammed in on Friday to attend his Skype address. In a previous interview to this newspaper, Naik had said he was an average student despite his ability to memorise huge amounts of text. A shy teenager, he also had a stammer, something, he says, he overcame when he began “speaking about the Trust”. In the late 1980s, he obtained his medical degree from Topical College that’s attached to BYL Nair Hospital, and appeared set to join his family’s busy medical practice. His father Abdul Karim Naik was a respected psychiatrist and also an active member of the community. In 1987, Naik attended a sermon in Mumbai by the late South Africa-based preacher Ahmed Deedat and that changed the course of his life. Like Deedat, Naik then memorised the Quran, dived into other religions’ scriptures and began sermonising on comparative religion, using Deedat’s style of reaching out to young Muslims with English and technology.
    In 2006, he burst on to the radar of terror investigators when one of those arrested in connection with the Aurangabad arms haul case turned out to be an employee of the Islamic Research Foundation, a trust Naik established in 1991 and which has its headquarters in a nondescript building in Dongri, south Mumbai.
    By 2012-13, his sermons began to get noticed and the Hindu right-wing organisations sought a “ban” on him.
    Every year, Naik would organise public meetings at the KG Somaiya Ground in Central Mumbai. The setting was always opulent, with a replica of the Taj Mahal at one such rally. “He put up these extravagant sets to attract the commoner,” explained a senior police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
    It was after one such meeting in 2012, where he spoke about Hindu god Ganesha, that a series of cases began to be registered against him. In the video, Naik is purportedly heard saying, “If your god is unable to recognise his own son, how will he know that I am in danger?” On Naik’s plea, all the cases were clubbed and he was granted anticipatory bail by the Bombay High Court. The case is still being probed.
    “The 2012 incident also pushed the Mumbai Police to deny permission for Naik’s annual gatherings,” said the officer.
    Women’s rights activists too have been railed against him for long, terming him a regressive chauvinist in the garb of an educated theologist.
    In one YouTube video they cite, Naik is seen clarifying whether he really ever advised men to not leave a mark on their wives after a beating. “That’s a portion of my answer,” he is seen saying, a phrase he now uses repeatedly. “What I really said”, he says, falling back upon another phrase he uses over and over, is that a wife who is disloyal may be beaten “symbolically”, “with a toothbrush”.
    These multiple demands for a probe have flummoxed law enforcement agencies, who acknowledge that previous efforts to pin Naik down yielded little.
    In the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, where 40 kg of RDX, 17 AK-47 assault rifles and 50 hand grenades were seized, the arrests made by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad led them to Zakir Naik. Rahil Ahmed Sheikh, an alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative and one of the main conspirators in the case, had worked as a volunteer with the IRF. Feroz Deshmukh, another person the ATS held in the case, was allegedly a librarian with Naik’s IRF. According to a retired officer who was part of the team that probed the case, the ATS questioned Naik but there wasn’t much to ‘link’ him to the case.
    While the Mumbai Police is investigating his speeches, with many of the arrested IS sympathisers from India claiming to have been inspired by Naik, the televangelist has never been too far from the NIA radar.
    “These young men who are taken in by this idea of fighting for the Caliphate get indoctrinated online and Naik’s videos are a key resource material. We suspect his videos are deliberately shared by handlers so that the potential recruits connect to him as one of their own — an Indian Muslim,” said a source in the police.
    So far, the investigations into the videos have yielded little. But the one probe the police imagine could be productive is the Centre’s proposed probe into the finances of IRF and Peace TV. While the IRF was registered in 1991 in Mumbai, beginning its operations by producing video tapes of Naik’s sermons to be aired by local cablewallahs, it now runs various charitable initiatives, a women’s wing as well as a school and junior college. Peace TV, set up in 2005-06, gathered steam almost immediately. Previous investigations into its activities include one in the UK over allegations of extremist messages.
    Former Mumbai Police chief Satyapal Singh, who is now BJP MP from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, has claimed that during his stint in the Mumbai Police, he had sought a ban on the IRF for contravening the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. Singh alleges that his report against the IRF’s funding was ignored by the then UPA government.
    Peace TV, which operates from Dubai, used to have a small studio set-up in Mumbai for recordings, but this is now reportedly not in use. Among the allegations against Peace TV is one regarding its funding, with charity funds raised by the IRF allegedly backing the channel. While Peace TV remains available in some parts of Mumbai, the big operators have discontinued it in recent years. Those who continue to view the channel on demand in Mumbai would rather not talk about it.
    With the government refusing to grant a downlinking licence to Peace TV, its transmission by cable operators becomes illegal. In his Friday briefing, Naik had blamed the Centre for not allowing this “messenger of peace” to carry out his duties. Following the Dhaka blast, the Bangladesh government recently banned Peace TV in that country.
    Speaking to The Indian Express, an IRF spokesperson said they were ready to face any probe. “Questions are being raised on how the charitable institute is being funded but we have nothing to hide. In 2014, there was a probe by the Enforcement Directorate into the financial dealings of the IRF. We later learnt that they found nothing,” he said.

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Uniform Civil Code -- It isn't about women - By Nivedita Menon - The Hindu

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    July 15, 2016
    Updated: July 15, 2016 01:11 IST

    It isn’t about women

    COMMENT (177)   ·   PRINT   ·   T  T  

    The talk of a Uniform Civil Code has nothing to do with gender justice. It has entirely to do with a Hindu nationalist agenda to ‘discipline’ Muslims

    For nearly eight decades, the women’s movement has discussed and debated the desirability and feasibility of a Uniform Civil Code, and has ended up posing a simple question — what is the value of uniformity? Is it for the “integrity of the nation” that uniformity in laws is required, as some judicial pronouncements have suggested? If so, who exactly is the beneficiary? Which sections of people benefit from “integrity of the nation”, that abstract entity which is not exactly at the top of your mind as your husband throws you out on the street?
    Or are uniform laws meant to ensure justice for women in marriage and inheritance? In that case, a Uniform Civil Code would simply put together the best gender-just practices from all Personal Laws. So yes, polygamy and arbitrary divorce would be outlawed (a feature derived from Hindu Personal Law). But conversely, as feminist legal activist Flavia Agnes has often pointed out, a Uniform Civil Code would require the abolition of the Hindu Undivided Family, a legal institution that gives tax benefits only to Hindus, and all citizens of India would have to be governed by the largely gender-just Indian Succession Act, 1925, currently applicable only to Christians and Parsis.
    A stick to beat Muslims with

    Muslim Personal Law is already modern in this sense, since it has since the 1930s enshrined individual rights to property, unlike Hindu law, in which the family’s natural condition is assumed to be “joint”. In the decades of the 1930s and 1940s, contrary to later discourses about Muslim law being backward, it was Hindu laws that were considered “backward” and needing to be brought into the modern world of individual property rights.
    Again, since the Muslim marriage as contract protects women better in case of divorce than the Hindu marriage as sacrament, all marriages would have to be civil contracts. Mehr, in Muslim Personal Law, paid by the husband’s family to the wife upon marriage, is the exclusive property of the wife and it is hers upon divorce, offering her a protection Hindu women do not have. So, the Uniform Civil Code would make the practice of mehr compulsory for all while abolishing dowry.
    The patent absurdity of these suggestions arises not from the ideas themselves, but from the fact, recognised by everybody, that the talk of a “Uniform Civil Code” has nothing to do at all with gender justice. It has entirely to do with a Hindu nationalist agenda, and is right up there with the beef ban and the temple in Ayodhya. A Uniform Civil Code is meant to discipline Muslims, teach them (if they didn’t know it already) that they are second-class citizens, and that they live at the mercy of “the national race” (the Hindus), as M.S. Golwalkar decreed.
    The real issue of gender justice

    So let us pose the question differently — who suffers in the absence of a Uniform Civil Code? Is it Muslim women, victims of polygamy and triple talaq, as Hindutvavadi wisdom has it? But for decades, feminist legal practice has successfully used both the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 — that is available to all Indian citizens regardless of religious identity — as well as the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, to deal with polygamy and triple talaq, and to obtain maintenance, child custody and rights to matrimonial home for countless Muslim women. In addition, feminist legal activists have used the landmark Shamim Ara v. State of U.P. (2002) ruling to buttress their claim that arbitrary triple talaq is invalid.
    Moreover, polygamy is not exclusive to Muslims. Hindu men are polygamous too, except that because polygamy is legally banned in Hindu law, subsequent wives have no legal standing and no protection under the law. Under Sharia law, on the contrary, subsequent wives have rights and husbands have obligations towards them. If gender justice is the value we espouse, rather than monogamy per se, we would be thinking about how to protect “wives” in the patriarchal institution of marriage. “Wives” are produced through the institution of compulsory heterosexual marriage, the basis of which is the sexual division of labour. This institution is sustained by the productive and reproductive labour of women, and almost all women are exclusively trained to be wives alone.
    Thus, when a marriage fails to fulfil its patriarchal promise of security in return for that labour, all that most women are left with is the capacity for unskilled labour. Or they remain trapped in marriage with children to provide for, while men marry again, legally or otherwise, producing still more dependent, exploited wives and children for whom they take no responsibility. If gender justice is the point of legal reforms, the centrality and power of the compulsory heterosexual, patriarchal marriage, and the damage it can do to women, is what must be mitigated. This would mean recognising the reality of multiple “wives” as a common practice across communities, and the protection of the rights of all women in such relationships.
    In this sense, recent Supreme Court rulings that have granted rights to second wives in Hindu marriages dilute the legal standing of monogamy for Hindus but empower women.
    A survey conducted by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, a significant voice in the debate, found that more than 90 per cent of Muslim women in India want a ban on “triple talaq” and polygamy in Muslim Personal Law. That is, the demand is made within the framework of codifying Muslim Personal Law, not in favour of a Uniform Civil Code, partly because there is no clarity on what a uniform code would look like, but also because the demand comes from clearly Hindutvavadi quarters which have shown that both women and minorities are expendable for them.
    Lessons from the Goa experience

    The only example of a uniform code in India is the Portuguese Civil Procedure Code (1939) of Goa, which is neither ‘uniform’ nor gender-just. Marriage laws differ for Catholics and people of other faiths, and if a marriage is solemnised in church, then Church law applies, permitting, for example, arbitrary annulment at the behest of one of the parties. The “customs and usages” of the Hindus of Goa are recognised, including “limited” polygamy for Hindus.
    The positive aspect of Goa’s Civil Code is the Community Property Law, which guarantees each spouse 50 per cent of all assets owned and due to be inherited at the time of marriage. However, this provision can be sidestepped in practice, given the power relations in a marriage, and studies show that it has not made any impact on the incidence of domestic violence.
    Clearly, if gender justice is not prioritised, both uniformity as well as its dilution can reinforce patriarchy and majoritarianism.
    The woman at the centre of this recent round of debate on the Uniform Civil Code is Shayara Bano, who received talaq by post. Her lawyer, instead of using any of the three recourses available discussed above — the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, or the citation of the Shamim Ara v. State of U.P. (2002) judgment — decided to file a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court challenging triple talaq on the grounds of violation of Fundamental Rights. Ms. Bano is now in the media spotlight, spiritedly criticising patriarchy in the Muslim community.
    Revealingly, a recent interview with her in a national newspaper concluded with a startling question — “What about the ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogan controversy?” Ms. Bano replies, “I feel all Muslims should say Bharat Maa ki Jai.”
    Does the question seem irrelevant in the context of Ms. Bano’s fight for personal justice? What does compulsory chanting of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” have to do with a woman fighting patriarchy?
    But the question does not seem irrelevant at all; it seems to be at the heart of the interview. This alone should alert us to what the demand for a Uniform Civil Code is actually about.
    Nivedita Menon, a feminist scholar, is a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
    • AAmardeep  
      The problem with the opponents of UCC has always been an inability to accept a discussion on the merits of UCC. More than 65 years after it was put onto our constitution, not by Hindutava proponents, but by people who hated Hindu majoritism to their core, we are still not ready to discuss it. It is almost as if certain sections do not want to see themselves as Indians under the law but as various religious identities, Hindu, Muslim, Christians, etc under the law. It is not a question of questioning their patriotism but is a question of what is seen more effective, a law drafted by Manu in ancient India or in Arabia centuries ago or a law drafted in Europe in the dark ages or a law drafted in contemporary India for our contemporary problems irrespective of the religious faith of the person on whom it is applicable? I would choose the later. Moreover having different civil laws violates the principle of secularism of our constitution as it brings religion into public space.
      about 22 hours ago
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      • AAmardeep  
        The author says this,
        "Mehr, in Muslim Personal Law, paid by the husband’s family to the wife upon marriage, is the exclusive property of the wife and it is hers upon divorce, offering her a protection Hindu women do not have. So, the Uniform Civil Code would make the practice of mehr compulsory for all while abolishing dowry."

        Why would Meher be made a part of the UCC? Just as triple talaq would be abolished the failure of payment of maintenance would also be abolished. Moreover does the author want regressive practices like Meher to be followed? Yes unlike Hindu Dowry it is paid to the bride family, but it is not a ridiculous amount of Rs 25. So whether it is better than dowry or more is moot. That is the problem with the various civil code of India. They are not fair. But just because one existing civil code is not good in one aspect does not make UCC should not be discussed or implemented. UCC can overcome most of the drawbacks of various civil codes of India.
        about 22 hours ago
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        • OIOpinionated Indian  
          The tone of this article is shocking. A Uniform Civil Code is just that, a Uniform Civil Code, not a Hindu Civil Code applied to all communities. I am ashamed that my country has different rules for different people. Believe it or not, there are many people like me with no Hindutva agenda who think like this.Ms. Menon seems to suggest that it doesn't matter that Shayaro Bano was humiliated. It is the soft bigotry of lowered expectations to think that there are no people within the community who also want the removal of triple Talaq."Feminists" who put ideology and Regressive Leftism above all else, and throw women under the bus because they are inconvenient to their narrative are not feminists at all.
          2 days ago
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          Annoyed · Ashish · Govind Up Voted
          kinky Down Voted
          • SSunil  
            The writer seems to have ridiculous arguments and laughable opinions. UCC is much needed to give more rights and for protection of women. All are citizens of this country and have equal rights and duties. Parallel laws and government is not acceptable. The people support the present government with absolute majority, thanks to such non-sense opinions. Pls ask the writer not to misguide the nation in the name of liberalism..
            2 days ago
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            kinky Down Voted
            • SPSajeev P  
              Ms Menon's opinion is one sided. It is loaded with the stigma usually associated with the social science department of the JNU. UCC is not a question of Hindus or Muslims. Our country is a democratic republic. so, as we adhere to common criminal procedure coded, it is customary to follow civil laws. Personal laws hasn't any relevance. what if the citizen of India behave as his own, according to certain personal laws of his choice?
              so that is not the case. We should adhere to our constitution. Women are discriminated under various personal laws. the most obvious case is Muslim personal law. Through Hindu code bill Hindu personal laws are codified. Undivided Hindu family is another case. whenever the case of UCC arises, it is divided on Hindu-Muslim lines. It is pertaining to all religion. Indian citizens should follow once set of rules in matters of marriage, inheritance, maintenance and other similar issues. The archaic laws of the middle ages haven't any say in the modern times.
              2 days ago
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              kinky Down Voted
              • VVenkatamv  
                Selective interpretation of rights and equality is the norm of some. No wonder these so-called activists and liberals write so...Uniform civil code is needed and it has nothing to do with a Hindu and Muslim. Of Course, it can and has to debated before implementation. When in a democracy everyone has equal rights., why not this?
                2 days ago
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                kinky Down Voted
                • AMAshish Mattoo  
                  i would like to make it clear to Miss Nivedita Menon that the Uniform civil code is not the invention of BJP but honorable Supreme court of India in October 2015 said there was total confusion due to various Personal Laws and sought to know if the government was willing to implement a Uniform Civil Code. It observed: “What happened to it? Why don’t you (the government) frame and implement it?” However, the apex court later declined to direct Parliament to bring in a Uniform Civil Code while allowing a PIL filed in this regard to be withdrawn.
                  Supreme court of India has, on number of occasions directed the central govt. to implement uniform civil code and adhere to Article 44 of our constitution.
                  So referring this decision, as communal doesnt make sense.
                  2 days ago
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                  • Rrohin  
                    what about shahbano case ?? do you think muslim personal law acted with a liberal approach . please for god sake use your pen for fighting for right issues .
                    2 days ago
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                    kinky Down Voted
                    • Ssam  
                      Author seems quite biased here... Indeed hindutava forces have been demanding it for UCC for a while. But it is not for appeasing the hindu brigade. this code would be the betterment of muslim community. laws,written 1400 years ago, do not fit in to modern world. Author like menon gives rise to hindutava forces. They usually forget people of this nation have become smarter than before and i see people commenting here , mostly disagree with the views of author. We dont need a pseudo intellectual who could speak on the behalf of Indian youth. today we have social media sites and comment sections on every news paper site on which we express our views and the views of intellectual common people are always against the pseudo intellectuals like menon. So u just keep ur views confined to urself .. Youth of india has been risen from the ashes. it is the first step in the advancement of the nation. Knowledge of all kind has been divided among the youth and this trend is on rise. We dont need u
                      2 days ago
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                      kinky Down Voted
                      • Suchindranath Aiyer Protean, polyglot, polymath, healer, global human, Brahmin. 
                        True to PANGOLIN* type:

                        *Note: PANGOLIN: An enemy of India who believes in inequality under law, exceptions to the rule of law and persecution of some for the benefit of others. At present, the sole purpose of the Indian Republic, Constitutional or otherwise, is to pamper and provide for certain constitutionally preferred sections of society who the British found useful to hold and exploit India at the cost of those who the British hated and persecuted. The Pangolin is a creature that is unique to India and feeds on ants that are known in nature to be industrious and hard working if not quite as fruitful as bees who flee to better climes. (PANGOLIN is an acronym for the Periyar-Ambedkar-Nehru-Gandhi-Other (alien) Religions-Communist Consensus that usurped the British Mantle and has worn it with elan to loot, plunder, and rape India since 1921 and re write History and laws to their exclusive benefit since 1947)
                        2 days ago
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                        kinky Down Voted
                        • VVaibhav  
                          people talk about gender equality , independent women etc,. and there are people who talk about obtaining their share of property after divorce...hypocricy all over..
                          And about polygamy today with the rising divorce cases specially in the so called educated class represents that none of the gender is ready to accept the imperfections in the other. so its really about understanding the sanctity of marriage and not just playing with by just making laws then and now. polygamy should not be apart of any law. you can be attached to a single woman emotionally not plenty in todays times its challenging to save the institution of marriage... UCC should be debated to its fullest before coming in shape by all religious scholars (scholars and not frauds please.)
                          And please dont take the issue of feminism and women empowerment in wrong direction.. like deepika s my choice etc....
                          2 days ago
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                          Rahul · TSK · Anirudh Up Voted
                          kinky Down Voted
                          • SSundar  
                            That's like saying 'the issue must be discussed to the fullest, but please don't say what I don't want to listen to.'
                            2 days ago
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                          • RLRoshan Lal  
                            There couldn't be more atrocious or ridiculous statement than what M/S Menon , Professor of JNU made that BJP is using Common Civil Code as stick to beat Muslims ! All,of us swear by Our Costitution & our Secularism day &! day out hence it passes over my head as why so far Common Civil Code was not implemented! To my mind not having Common Civil Code is against basic tenets of ou Constitution Human Rights ! In the name of personal civil code , untold cruelty has been & is still inflicted by Muslims on women that one shiver at the thought of it ! Besides making numerous other follies by Mr.Nehru & congress not having Common Civil Code for our country too is one of them ! There can't be any compromise on not having Common Civil Code at the earliest ! Further no compromises should be allowed to come in the way to adopt modern & humane Civil Code keeping in view our basic tenets of Secularism as enriched in our country's constitution!
                            2 days ago
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                            kuldeep · HARESH · Subrahmanyam · CSampath · TSK · prakash Up Voted
                            Kamill · kinky Down Voted