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Kerala MLA getting regular threats from Islamic Fundamentalist

KM Shaji said he has reported 10 cases of threats that were made to him for the strongly progressive stand he has been taking against the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Kerala.

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Kerala MLA KM Shaji Image Source: YouTube.com
  • KM Shaji suggested the Islamic fundamentalists command “money power”, which they have been using to publish and circulate a huge amount of objectionable literature in Kerala
  • The IUML has long been a constituent of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), which lost power in the state to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) earlier this year
  • He said he organised a similar exercise about a decade ago when he was the president of the Muslim Youth League, a wing of the IUML

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) legislator KM Shaji said he has reported 10 cases of threats that were made to him for the strongly progressive stand he has been taking against the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Kerala.

“There are 10 cases that I myself have given on the threats that I have received. I have even given the telephone numbers from which the calls have come, but surprisingly no action has been forthcoming. Does this not show that they do have influence?” Shaji told IANS.

He suggested the Islamic fundamentalists command “money power”, which they have been using to publish and circulate a huge amount of objectionable literature in Kerala.

 

“You would not believe the amount of literature that is being circulated in the state, and the police should conduct a raid,” said Shaji, who is one of the 18 IUML legislators in the Kerala assembly.

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The IUML has long been a constituent of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), which lost power in the state to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) earlier this year.

Shaji said “a strong intervention” of the state government and the Centre is required if there is any truth in media reports that 21 people from Kerala have joined the Islamic State (IS), a UN-designated terrorist group headquartered in Syria.

“The first move to tackle this has to come from the Kerala government, but it remains to be seen if they will do it in the way it should be done, as to some extent there is a vote bank politics in it and they are taking on a section that has the money power with them,” he said.

Shaji’s colleague in the IUML and the assembly, C Mammootty, told IANS that it is for the people who have reportedly joined the IS to explain what they are up to.

“The creed of Islam is spread through the mind and not through the tongue. We can discuss on why they left, but the answer has to be given by them,” said Mammootty, who identifies himself as a devout Muslim.

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He said a “true Muslim” will never indulge in terrorist or extremist activities and will never join the IS.

“What is probably happening is vested interests are behind this and religion is being used as a tool,” said Mammootty, adding that the message of Prophet Mohammed has to be spread and never forced upon.

“What the IS is doing is anti-Islam and forced conversion will never help,” said Mammootty.

Shaji also said the IUML is bringing together a number of organisations to discuss the issue of radicalisation of Muslim youths in Kerala and the appeal that the IS holds for them.

“This is being done to first form a common platform to find out views of all and then to discuss on why these things are happening here,” he said.

He said he organised a similar exercise about a decade ago when he was the president of the Muslim Youth League, a wing of the IUML.

A number of organisations dominated by Muslims have been invited by the IUML for the proposed meeting, which is expected to take place as soon as the ongoing Kerala assembly session ends.

They include the Indian National League, People’s Democratic Party (led by Abdul Nasser Madani), Welfare Party of India, National Secular Conference, Social Democratic Party of India (led by A Saeed), and the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the assembly on July 11 that 21 Muslim youths from the state had gone missing “over the last one month” and that “the state government is committed to take stern action against any kind of terror activities”.

Muslims account for 26.56% of Kerala’s population and are perceived to be well-placed both economically and politically. (IANS)

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India Assists Syria By Rebuilding Brain Power

India silently extends support to Syria by rebuilding brain power

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India helps Syria
India is helping Syria by providing them medicinal and educational support. Wikimedia Commons

BY RANJANA NARAYAN

In the midst of the global focus on Syria with Turkeys latest offensive putting a big question mark on when the war will end, India has been quietly doing its bit to help the Syrian people cope, and also laying the foundation for its bright future.

It’s not just with medicines and food supplies that India has been helping the war-wracked country, but now with education too.

India is providing scholarships to 1,000 Syrian students to study in Indian universities, in undergraduate, post-graduate courses and even PhD.

Behind the move to provide scholarships to students from Syria is a hope that it would in the near future replicate the success stories from the African continent — where several current or former Presidents, Prime Ministers and Vice Presidents have attended educational or training institutions in India.

Syrian Ambassador to India Riad Abbas thinks so too, and is happy at the move by India.

“India supports Syria in many ways. They support Syrian people with medicine, with food, and this initiative has come from Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) for our students,” Abbas told IANS in an interview.

“Around 1,000 students have come to India to study in different universities and different courses – from Bachelors to Masters to PhD”

“Through this means India is assisting Syria by rebuilding the brain” – here he taps his head with a meaningful smile, “the brain of our people to plant education, science, and peace”.

According to Abbas, it is “the best thing to rebuild humanity and the people”.

Could these students one day become leaders in Syria too?

“Definitely they could become… They will come back to our homeland to rebuild Syria. And maybe they will be in the government in future. They will be like ambassadors of India to Syria and Arab countries,” he said.

Abbas said that all the Syrian students currently studying in India as part of the initiative “are satisfied by the nature of Indian people and the hospitality. They are happy in their universities, and are fully supported by the universities”.

India-Syria
India is providing scholarships to 1,000 Syrian students to study in Indian universities. Wikimedia Commons

The students are in 11 government and private universities across the country.

Abbas hopes the initiative will become a yearly feature. “I hope we make it every year, if it is possible.

“Because we look forward to enhancing our relationship with India, and we want all our students to get their certificates from India, because Indian education is of a higher level, compared to other countries — similar to the UK and US,” he added.

Another important factor is the students “feel at home” in India due to the cultural affinities.

“There are similar traditions between the two countries and because of this they feel at home.

“Most of our students will come back to our homeland to help their families, their people and to rebuild Syria,” he said.

Though the Western world sees Syria as badly battered and bruised, India sees Damascus as a strong country with a powerful military that has been able to determinedly push back the Islamic State militia, which a few years ago had threatened to overrun the country.

While a few years ago the West was loudly calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, today those voices have accepted his rule.

The Syrian envoy agrees. “Since a long time we have been fighting terrorism on behalf of the world. All terror groups came to Syria by Turkey’s support, they (Ankara) opened the border and facilitated their smuggling into Syria to kill our people and destroy our country.

“But now the last bit is left. We will defeat the terror groups on the ground, which get support from America. It is America which leads the army of mercenaries to fight against our army, and our army has defeated them. So now we are faced with the American army on the ground of Syria. This means that America’s project in the Middle East has failed, because of Syria,” the envoy told IANS.

India
Syria has cordial relations with India, since the independence of both countries. Both have similar views in many cases in the international arena. Pixabay

“They (the West and the US in particular) declared in the past, ‘We will change the government of Syria, we will change the president, we will do like this and that’… It was only talking for talking’s sake. Only they destroyed the country, but they couldn’t achieve their aims to change the Syrian government, and Syrian policy.

“And we are proud of our relation with BRICS countries, and especially with India. We highly appreciate India’s position and the Indian people, and we pray for God to save this country and its people.”

On Syria-India relations, he said: “We have cordial relations with India, since the independence of both countries. Both have similar views in many cases in the international arena.”

He praised India’s stand on the Syrian issue – on support for a political solution in Syria put forward by the people themselves, help realise the aspirations of the Syrian people and stand against any external intervention in Syria.

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“Because India has a strong voice in the international arena and many countries follow India’s position. And if all countries are like India, there would be no problem,” he added. (IANS)