Solidarity with Palestine through a Kashmiri Prism

As we are in the last 10 days of holy month of Ramazan, this month reminded of 2010 protests in Kashmir by seeing and hearing the disgusting war upon Palestine people by Israel. Even the Pre Ramazan days were also having a somber political air, firstly because of the ISIS conquests if Iraqi Territory and the killings of three Israel and one Palestine youth which were covered widely by the media around the globe. Belonging and brought up in a place of conflict has some effect on how you think and what makes you interested so being interested in the Iraq issue and also Palestinian cause was natural to most of my fellow people. Just like you have a thousand and one views on Kashmir issue, same thing happened over Iraq. Well Palestine was an exception, as any Human in his senses cannot tolerate the Israel aggression currently so we had a rare opportunity especially on social media where voices were united against Israel for Palestine. Of course there were Israel supporters too from the Indian heartland. In the Pre Ramazan days when majority of Muslims were vocally against what ISIS was doing in Iraq, and also knowing that the Iraq Government is also responsible for the macabre condition prevailing there, there was a minority sitting on the couches like us all supporting the ISIS and when ISIS declared self-proclaimed Caliphate on 1st Ramazan, the joys of supporters of self-proclaimed Caliphate hit the roof top. And when asked why your joy has hit the roof top, their views were disgusting like they would abolish other sects who will not comply with what ISIS says, they will destroy Shia Masjids and Sunni Shrines, etc. and all this was propped by the so-called educated class. Also interesting to know was that the school of thought considered closest to them (the followers of official Saudi school) were also hand in hand with other Muslims in ignoring the self-proclaimed Caliphate. Anyhow this issue got overshadowed by the Israel aggression on Gaza. Gaza has been bombarded three times over last decade with huge casualties and yet Israel continues to get support of nations without an outcry. This Ramazan has all been about getting numbers of killed in Gaza during ‘Sehari’ and ‘Iftar’ time. A global outcry by the people all over the world irrespective of religion even Jews included who are against the blatant racist Zionism. How can Kashmir remain far behind ? Kashmiris always felt for Palestine whether Pre Militancy or Post Militancy. The elder ones still remember Yasser Arafat. Some people say that we have nothing to do with the Gaza issue are speaking a white lie straight on your face. If that would have been not the case, there would not have been a death of a 15-year-old boy at the hands of security forces in Kulgam, Kashmir who was protesting against Israel aggression on Gaza. Every where protests happened but no deaths were reported but continuing the tradition in Kashmir, the trigger happy forces killed this young boy. To top it all, this twitter savvy chief minister who probably has no understanding of grass root level politics and psyche of Kashmiris took a dig on those ‘organizing and orchestrating these protests’. This man should look at his own party, National Conference, who themselves were also protesting in front of the UNMOGIP office, thankfully with no candles in this summer day. The chief minister has left no stone un-turned in shaming Kashmiris on social media platform and has also not taken any lessons from 2010 protests where over 120 young ones died under his vigil. His only dictum seems, ‘Damned be Me, Damned be the people’. I see no difference in being apologetic & giving idiotic reasons for the death of the 15-year-old boy and those who are supporting Israel in India. Strange that a country who was once a supporter of Palestine nationhood has now become the closest nation of Zionists, after all now Israel is the largest weapon supplier to India. Also we would see the experts on News TV Channels openly supporting Israel aggression under the garb of decimating HAMAS. Well most of these experts out of straight hatred for Muslims have come out of cupboard with the Hindu Right wing party in power. These so-called experts act as blind when told about History of Palestine. Not only these experts but also a part of Indian intelligentsia parrot the same narrative of Israel. Well it is not surprising for me, if Indians have elected a right-wing party this year, that wave is continued by organizing social media campaigns by being in favor of Israel. I would like to emphasize whether there be HAMAS or no HAMAS, Israel aggression against Palestinians would continue as it was in past and those who are giving this self defense of Israel theory should read History of Palestine but alas! They even don’t know the History of Kashmir so i don’t expect much from the Indian trumpeters of Israel. The solidarity for Palestine cause by a common Kashmiri was there, is there and will be there even if India supports or not supports Israel.

If the establishment is expecting the anger against Israel to tone down which in turn is also a manifestation of anger against the Forces in Kashmir then they are wrong. Take for example the summer vacations in Kashmir schools were ordered a bit earlier from 15th July so as to thwart the protests but the protests still happened and till date it has resulted in one death. With Quds Day (on Last Friday of Ramazan or Jummatulvida) round the corner which actually was started decades earlier by Iran and is now commemorated all over the Muslim world including Kashmir, the protests are not going to tone down till then at least. With the world getting closer and closer and everyday the civilian death toll in Gaza getting higher and higher which include children and women, all we can do is hope against hope that it would end soon. I would like to end it with Faiz Ahmed Faiz lines,

Duur pardes kee be-meher guzargaahoon main
Ajnabi shahr kee be-naam-o-nishaan raahoon main
Yeh zameen par bhi khulaa merai lahuu ka parcham
Lahlahaata hai wahan Arze-e-Filistin ka Aalam
Terai aaqa ne kiyaa ek Filistin barbaad
Merai zakhmoon ne kiyai kitnai Filistin aabaad

On the unmarked roads of foreign lands,
In the unknown streets of foreign streets 
wherever my blood-stained flag was unfurled
there flourished the flag of Palestine. 
Your enemies destroyed one Palestine 
my wounds populated many a Palestine.

 

World’s 500 most Influential Muslims in 2012 (particularly from India and Pakistan)

Well this years worlds 500 most influential Muslims list is out which is done by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center of Jordan. The report is issued in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at George Town University in the United States. The list was first published in 2009 and since then it is published annually. The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center is an independent research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought which is headquartered in Amman. The books chief editor, Abdallah Schleifer, who is a professor emeritus at the American University in Cairo in the book’s Introduction talks about the euphoric romance of the Tahrir Square, the Syrian uprising & the insurgency, the intervention in Libya, the Arab-Iranian cold war undergoing currently, the rise of Turkey, Muslim Brotherhood & Salafis and also about the Facebook generation, as how they have influenced the Muslim world. The editor tells us that more western Muslims have made into the list than expected but explains that the book is not about the Most Influential Muslims in the Muslim world only but Most Influential in the whole World so the Muslims residing in west have greater role in allaying the fears of any proverbial Clash of Civilizations for a peaceful Common World. It needs to be mentioned that American Muslims have dominated the list for the first time in four years since it began its publication. The book points out that it is to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on this community, or on behalf of the community. Further the book says that, ‘The influence can be of a religious scholar directly addressing Muslims and influencing their beliefs, ideas and behavior or it can be of a ruler shaping the socio-economic factors within which people live their lives, or of artists forming popular culture.’

       The publication has selected Muslims from a range of categories of influence which are 13 in number. These are :-

  1. Scholarly
  2. Political
  3. Administration of Religious Affairs
  4. Preachers and Spiritual Guides
  5. Philanthropy/Charity and Development
  6. Social Issues
  7. Business
  8. Science and Technology
  9. Arts and Culture
  10. Qur’an Reciters
  11. Media, Celebrities
  12. Sports
  13. Radicals                                                                                                                        

              Most of the top 50 slots are dominated by Political & Religious figures with all of top 10 being Political and Religious figures. The top position was maintained by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud who is holding this spot continuously for last 4 years due to the vast influence as proclaiming himself the Custodian of Holy cities of Mecca & Medina, being the controller of globes largest oil reserves & heading the worlds largest Daawa network promoting the Salafism. He is followed by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is numbered as second due to his charisma in driving his country to success. At 3rd position is Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, a descendant of Holy Prophet (SAW) and has been talked as someone who successfully blended reforms & evolution not a revolution for his country. Fourth place went to Dr Mohammed Badie, a veterinary pathologist, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood at present. At 5th place is Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani who is more known for the establishment of Al Jazeera Network. At 6th position is Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei & at 7th is King Of Jordan who is the custodian of Holy Sites in Jerasulem also. Sheikh Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb is numbered at 8. Indonesian president who is also a pop singer is numbered at 9 & Turkish spiritual preacher & thinker, Fatehullah Gullen, a follower of Said Nursi is listed at number 10. His Gullen Network has considerable influence in Turkish society which also run the Turkish newspapers, ‘Zaman’ & ‘Todays Zaman’ besides a bank & a TV & Radio Channel. Others in Top 50 include :

  • Muhammad Morsi Isa Al-Ayyat
    Egypt
  • Sultan Qaboos bin Sa’id Aal Sa’id
    Oman
  • Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani
    Iraq
  • Sheikh Dr Ali Goma’a
    Egypt
  • General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
    United Arab Emirates
  • Sheikh Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi
    Qatar
  • Amir Hajji Muhammad Abd Al Wahhab
    Pakistan
  • H.E. Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah Aal Al Sheikh
    Saudi Arabia
  • Dr K.H. Said Aqil Siradj
    Indonesia
  • Sheikh Salman Al Ouda
    Saudi Arabia
  • H.E. Sheikha Munira Qubeysi
    Syria
  • Sheikh as Sultan Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III
    Nigeria
  • Sheikh Ahmad Tijani bin Ali Cisse
    Senegal
  • President Abdullah Gül
    Turkey
  • Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah
    Brunei
  • Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qaadiri Al Azhari
    India
  • Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan Al-Bouti
    Syria
  • Seyyed Hasan Nasrallah
    Lebanon
  • H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah
    Mauritania
  • Mohammad bin Mohammad Al-Mansour
    Yemen
  • Shah Karim Al Hussayni
    France
  • Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani
    Pakistan
  • Sheikh Mohammad Ali Al Sabouni
    Syria
  • Dr Amr Khaled
    Egypt
  • President Mahmoud Abbas
    Palestinian Territories
  • Habib Umar bin Hafiz
    Yemen
  • Queen Rania Al Abdullah
    Jordan
  • Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missned
    Qatar
  • Professor Dr M Din Syamsuddin
    Indonesia
  • Maulana Mahmood Madani
    India
  • Habib Ali Zain Al Abideen Al Jifri
    United Arab Emirates
  • Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson
    United States of America
  • Professor Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
    Turkey
  • Professor Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr
    United States of America
  • Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al-Qubrusi Al-Haqqani
    Cyprus
  • Sheikh Professor Dr Mustafa Ceric
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri
    Saudi Arabia
  • Khaled Mashaal
    Palestinian Territories
  • Dr Aref Ali Nayed
    Libya
  • Timothy Winter (Sheikh Abdal-Hakim Murad)
    United Kingdom
          From the subcontinent, at 17th position is the 89-year-old Amir (leader) of Pakistan’s Tablighi Jamaat, Hajji Abd Al Wahhab.
           At 26th position is Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qaadiri Al Azhari, a Barelwi Leader and Spiritual Guide from India having given over 5000 rulings till date.
           At 32nd position is Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a leading scholar of Islamic jurisprudence of Deoband school of thought from Pakistan.
           At 40th position is Maulana Mahmood Madani, Leader and Executive Member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, India.
           Also American Muslim Scholar, Shaikh Humza Yusuf is ranked at 42nd, the leading American Muslim in the list.
           Among the Honorable mentions, Dr Tahir ul Qadri, Dr Zakir Naik, Tariq Ramadan & Sheikh Al Sudais are there in the list.
           In the Scholarly list include – Allama Zia al-Mustafa Sahib who has been nominated as successor of Mufti Akhar Raza Khan, Asghar Ali Engineer, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Bahauddeen Muhammed Jamaluddeen Nadwi & Maulana Kalbe Saqiq, all from India. From Pakistan, Dr Tahir ul Qadri, Dr Akbar Ahmed, Dr Farhat Hashmi & Grand Ayutullah Muhammad Hussain Najafi are included. Besides them, Shaykh Ninowy, Tariq Ramadan, Shaykh Muhammad Al Yaqoubi, Shaykh Imdad Hussain & Ingrid Mattson are also included.
         Among the Politicos, Ahmedinejad, Khatami, Larijani, Major Jaffri, Mir Hossein Mossavi, Jalili Saeed, Dr Masoumeh & Dr Zahra are from Iran. Sirajjudin Haqqani, Hekmatyar, Hamid Karzai & Mullah Omar are from Afghanistan. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani & Imran Khan are from Pakistan. From UK, its Lord Nazir & Lady Sayeeda Warsi
          In the list of Administration & Religious Affairs, Shaykh Aboobackar Ahmed, VC of Sunni Cultural Center in Kerala & Sayeed Ibrahimul Khaleel Al-Bukhari, patron Ma’din Academy, are from India. From Pakistan it is Ameer Jamaateislami Pakistan, Syed Munawar Hassan & Dr Anwar Hussain Siddiqui.
           In the List of Preachers & Spiritual Guides, from India they are Allama Qammaruzamman Azmi of Barelvi school of thought, Syeddna Burrhanudin of Bohra faith, Dr Zakir Naik & Professor Syed Ameen Miyan Qadri of Barkatiya Silsila. From Pakistan, Dr Ahmed Rafique Akhtar, Maulana Shah Hakeem Akhtar, a sufi scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas Qadri, patron of Dawateislami, Maulana Tariq Jameel of Tablighi Jamaat & Shaikh Muhammad of IIPC. From UK, it is Pir Allauddin Siddiqui (actually from Mirpur, Kashmir), Shaykh Abd alQadir As Sufi & Abd al Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq. Others include Yusuf Estes, Imam Suhail Webb, Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani & Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.
           In the Field of Philanthropy, Charity & Development : Azim Premji & Maulana Badruddin Ajmal from India and Abdul Sattar Edhi & Professor Dr Adib Rizvi from Pakistan.
           Under Social Issues list, Nobel Prize winners Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Tawakul Karman (Yemen), , Yunus Muhammad (Bangladesh) are included. Also Malalai Jolla from Afghanistan, Salman Khan of famed Khan Academy from USA & Dalia Mogahed, a senior analyst at Gallup Center for Muslim Studies in USA are in the list.
            In the Business List, Bakr Bin-Laden of famed Bin Laden Constructions of Saudi, Iranian Business-Woman Anousheh Ansari, Prince Abdul Waleed Bin Talaal, Sri Indrwati of Indonesia & Dr M El Erian, CEO of PIMCO from USA are included.
            In Science & Technology list, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam from India, Dr Ali Akbar Salehi from Iran & Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan from Pakistan who are all nuclear scientists are in it. Also from Pakistan is co-ordinator general of OIC’S COMSTECH, Ata ur Rehman. Turkey’s Adnan Akhtar, more famously known as Harun Yahya is also in the list.
             In Arts & Culture List, from India are Music Composer AR Rehman, Actors Shahrukh Khan & Irrfan Khan. From Pakistan former Pop Singer Junaid Jamshed, Qawalli singer Abida Parveen, & famous reciter of naats, Owais Raza Qadri are found. Also Zain Bhika, Maher Zain, Sami Yusuf & Yusuf Islam are the popular singers in the list.
             In the Quran Reciters, none from subcontinent has made it into the list.
             In the Media List, Wadda Khanfar ex DG of Al Jazeera, Red Capped self-styled Defense Analyst, Zaid Hamid from Pakistan, & Mir Shakil ur Rehman, owner of Pakistan’s biggest media network, the Geo/Jang Group, Asif Maandvi, Saad Mohseni, Riz Khan, Fareed Zakariya & Rageh Omaar are in the list.
              In the Celebrity & Sports list, Hashim Aamla, Zinedine Zidane, Fredric Kanoute, Mohammad Ali, Mo Farah and Cardio-thoracic sugeon Dr Mehmet Oz are included.
              In the Radicals list, Ayman Al Zawahairi & Hafiz Saeed are included.
   The Book concludes with talking of issues which have engulfed the Muslim World right now which are :

1. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Muslim World

2. Islamophobia

3. Circumcision Controversy – In Germany

4. Interfaith

5. Jerusalem

6. Palestinian Statehood

7. Gaza

8. Massacre of the Rohingya Muslims

9. Destruction of  Sufi Shrines – In Libya, Mali & Egypt

10. The Fight for Al-Azhar – Between Traditionalists & Muslim Brotherhood

11. The Integral Chairs – The International Initiative for the Islamic Integral Professorial Chairs.

You Can Download the 2012 Book of Worlds 500 most Influential Muslims  here below :

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