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Monday, May 3, 2010
Shunning of Muslims, Becoming Widespread
I am glad to read the following introspection by Dr. Mookhi Ali and the quotes from Dr. Zakaria. This trend is gaining momentum. There was fine book published by Dr. ____ (who teaches at University of Michigan now) that explores the goodwill factor where Muslims are part of the society and where they aren’t. Where ever there is a higher degree of integration between the two communities, there are lesser issues of conflict and prejudices.
I have written a piece appealing to Muslims to be a part of the society, and appealing to the population at large to drop the bias. It is in the best interests of every one to bring harmony in the community and live with freedom. This was published in Dr. Javed Jamil’s magazine in India in the Indian context and has been published in several magazines in the United States.
Are Muslims a part of the American Story?
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, India and Civil Societies. He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. http://www.mikeghouse.net/
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Dr A R Mookhi Amir Ali
Two news items, one in Today’s Mumbai Mirror of The Times of India and another in Free Press Journal of yesterday, 1st of May 2010 are greatly disturbing to the Muslim community.
A couple had rented a flat on the first floor of Chembur's Venkatesh Sadan from May 1. They had signed the agreement, gone through police verification, and had even shifted their belongings. But on Saturday morning, just minutes before guests were to arrive for a house-warming party starting at 10 am, the flat owner Jyoti Rege called the man to say that he would have to move out.The reason? His name was Khan. Majid Khan. The housing society and locals disapproved of Muslims. The silver lining of the unpleasant episode was that the owner of the flat and the broker involved apologized, paid back the deposit and advance paid and compensated Majid Khan for the hardship of moving in and out.
The second news item comes from Australia. A firebrand retired politician Pauline Hanson with an intention to move to England listed her house for sale with an estate agent with a stipulation that no Muslim buyer should be entertained. Apparently this slight to the Muslim community was her parting patriotic gesture for Australia because she believed that Muslims are not compatible with “our life and culture” and she believed Muslims will cause problems for the country further down the track.
The episodes of Shabana Azmi and Emraan Hashmi, both film actors, not being allowed to buy houses of their choice are not forgotten. I was heartbroken when I went looking for a flat to buy, as my own building was being redeveloped. Emraan Hashmi was not given the NOC to buy the flat he wanted, but he was not told on his face that the reason for refusal was his faith. I was told so on my face. I saw to my dismay that there are many buildings in the suburbs of Mumbai that do not want a Muslim inmate. There are vast areas where groups of Housing Societies have jointly decided not to let a Muslim live in their locality. Local estate agents have been instructed not to bring in Muslim buyers. In one suburb an estate agent rattled to me the names of the buildings which were out of bound for Muslims. All this is extremely hurtful. One hates to admit and express that the community is being disliked to this extent. But unless the community continuously wants to wallow in the quagmire it is in, it must rise and face the facts, do some soul-searching, go into the reasons of their malady and do some course-correction.Muslims must strive to be more acceptable, more liked by other communities. In 2009 August when I wrote on Emraan Hashmi’s plight I pasted a few lines from Dr Rafiq Zakaria’s book “Communal Rage In Secular India.” I have seen lot of wisdom in the book and can not help pasting the same words again.
Dr. Rafiq Zakaria in his book “Communal Rage in Secular India”:
“They should do some introspection and ask whether they have genuinely tried to contribute to the strengthening of Hindu-Muslim relations since Partition. The answer will be no. (Page 191)
“Indian Muslims must open their eyes to the ground reality that an increasing number of Hindus have begun to hate them.” (Page 193). “This is not confined to a small section; it has infected the rich as much as the poor; men as much as women; the young as much as the old; even children are no longer free from it.” (Page 201)
“This is the ugly reality that Muslims have to face in today’s India. They have to do their best to bring about a change in the hostile attitude of the communal Hindus towards them. This is as much in their interest as that of the nation. Muslims continue to live in a make-believe world of their own. [Page 202]
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