21 May, 2019

MODERNIZING MUSLIM CHARITY Institutionalizing #Zakawt

Empowerment of Muslins can unarguably emerge from Muslim advances in Science and technology.

This, in turn requires generous and regular investments in institution building

Zakawt is a powerful Muslim religious tool for income redistribution. 

In the month of Ramadan most Muslims offer a fraction of their wealth towards charitable purposes. While this has undoubtedly fed the hungry and treated the sick for centuries, it has also unfortunately now produced a cadre of professional beggars

You thus have the horrible situation where several Muslims working as house maids, hawkers, peons etc throughout the 11 months suddenly quit in #Ramadan to seek alms distributed under the aegis of Zakawt. Obviously this receipt outweighs their regular professional income 

Come to think: institutions that seek to serve the cause of #Muslim empowerment rarely receive significant Zakawt contribution because of this orthodox emphasis on giving the dolls to the individuals.

What if all this charity could be channelized systematically towards institution building?

What if Muslim Zakawt could be invested carefully and farsightedly in producing Muslim administrators, journalists, cops, soldiers and above all scientists for the welfare of all humanity - with their Muslim identity intact and honorable?

17 May, 2019


Although I grew up in a theologically trained Muslim environment, I had taken to Rationalism and given up practicing Islam soon after my high school. For long thereafter I used to spell my name as M H Jowher for I generally disapproved of flaunting religious affiliations in the public space. 

I used to live for the most part of my professional life in the so-called 'mainstream' society. I had, of course, witnessed some communalism of both Muslims and Hindus from childhood.

While in Gujarat in 2002, however, I learnt bitterly that sounding Muslim was sufficient to attract discrimination and punishment. That a number of vulnerable Muslims became Samirs, Rajus, Babus, to stay safe, pained me. The mayhem and the desire to assert my identity, and to belong to the oppressed, engulfed me.

So I discarded my stationary, expanded my name and became once again Mohammed Hasan Jowher. MHJ ever since signs as Hasan Jowher. 

A small urban bank's CEO, I had quit in my prime, to set up a management and IT consulting company. One of its divisions called SPRAT offered social services now and then, to help promote rationality. Irrationality, I always held was the bane of all our ills. 

As communal disturbances grew and the company's work expanded we sought and earned the PR of a western country. We were scheduled to leave for our Eldorado any time around when the genocide happened. 

And then everything changed for me. 

In the relief camps I met promising, ‘normal’ kids that yearned for security so as to fulfill their regular, innocent and constructive dreams. Their insecurity compelled me not only not to leave India but to plunge into work for justice and harmony. I wound up my material pursuits and plunged into social work full time. My decision contributed to my family's break-up and I became ‘single’ again. 

SPRAT was formally registered and has become my life since. Various divisions it launched were named in Urdu: TALEEM, MUSKAAN, AZMAT, MAJLIS, JAREEDA [which also patronizes our FB Groups like TAHZEEB, SAWAAL, ILAJ].... 

If Urdu means denial of funds, so be it. If being Muslim meant discrimination, I would rather belong and suffer than unbelong and betray my roots. Resistance. Assertion. Standing Up mattered more than security - and certainly a lot more than prosperity. Once during those days when the VHP goons attacked me, I narrowly escaped being murdered. 

I used to be fairly popular in Gujarat’s corporate management and IT circles, held several honorary positions, and was hailed a champion of secularism and nationalism. Ever particular to follow the law, and with friends in the right places – industrialists, editors, IAS/IPS officers - life was okay despite Gujarat’s pronounced anti-Muslim biases. 

I have long been a fierce critic of Muslim inertia, fundamentalism, anti-science attitude, supremacist Islamism etc. I never accepted the idea of Pakistan ideologically. And I used to genuinely adore Hindu flexibility and adaptability. 

But the rising Hindu intolerance and unabashedly anti-Muslim stance started shaking me. My Hindu ‘friends’, it appeared later, used to relish my 'Muslim bashing'. The moment I challenged Hindutva excesses, some suddenly found me communal, thus exposing their own hypocrisy. 

My conscientious work that now led me to expose Hindu communalists was just the same as had earlier led me to chastise Muslims. But this was sufficient for a number of my Hindu 'friends' to distance from me. I have no regret recalling that I chose to boycott all of those that did not stand by the oppressed people at the time their humanism and decency were tested. 

Gujarat let me down in 2002, 2007 and 2012. It chose to side with injustice and untruth. India chose to ignore Muslim pain in 1992 and in 2014 but I gave it the benefit of doubt. Today as the nation faces a serious challenge - and has an opportunity to right a long wrong - it is India - and not the Muslims - that are on test. 

Either truth, justice, love, harmony and scientific temper win, or hate, bigotry, prejudice and superstition do. 

However, so long as the #Muslims are denied justice and fair play I affirm that I shall stand with them - regardless of the consequences - even while I continue my quarrels with them on the dire need for introspection and reform. 

[I am a rather private person and usually avoid discussing personal life in public space such as this. The current angst, the political developments and the demand of some friends, have compelled me to open up for once. Apologies.]

11 May, 2019


Hello Sinners

(If you are enraged, cool down and ask what else?

If you are a Hindu, the Christian and Islamic scriptures label you so.

If you are a Christian, Hindu and Muslim scriptures - for different reasons - regard you as such

If you are a Muslim, or Christian, Hindus consider you mallecch.

.. and so on 

And if you are an atheist or unbeliever you don't mind - and you don't care!)

What has become of our beloved country?

Our politicians label each other anti-national

Our clergymen exclude each other from humanity

Whether or not we are sinners, we are all going to hell, Here and Now, anyway

28 April, 2019


Found it somewhere, posted by a perceived knowledgeable person on Islam
 I have posted some uncomfortable queries there. 
//In this message I will try and help those who are unable to reconcile their belief in Islam with the carnage they see carried out in the name of Islam (the most recent one being the murder of innocent worshippers by satans in Sri Lanka):
There is a prediction made in the Qurán from the Day Of Judgement. Here it is:
"And [on that Day] the Messenger <Rasul> will say: O my Sustainer <Rabb>! Behold, MY PEOPLE have come to regard this Qur’an as something [that ought to be] ignored!'" (Qur'an 25:30)
Today, those who CLAIM to be real Muslims (i.e. those who claim to be following the Prophet and Islam) - i.e. the people of the Rasul - are focusing on things (as religion) that are ALIEN to the Qur'an. Here is a list of thing that you will see many Muslim preachers (and their followers) focusing on:
1. Muslim Focus: Hijab. 
Qur'an: The concept of Hijab/Naqab/Parda that Muslims follow and focus on is NOWHERE to be found in the Qur'an.
2. Muslim Focus: Beard (especially beard without moustache)
Qurán: This concept is completely absent from the Qur'an.
3. Muslim Focus: Islamic State (Islami Riasat).
Qur'an: No such concept in the Qur'an.
4. Muslim Focus: Muslim state should be under Khilafat.
Qur'an: No such concept in the Qur'an.
5. Muslim Focus: We must fight the non-believers till the end of time; it is WAR between Islam and Kufur that we must fight.
Quran: There is no such concept in the Qur'an:
"And if your Sustainer had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force people till they become believers?" (Qur'an 10:99)
"And if God had pleased, they would not have set up others (with Him) and We have NOT appointed you a keeper over them, and you are NOT placed in charge of them." (Qurán 6:107)
6. Muslim Focus: It is our duty to make sure that others see the truth of Islam by any means necessary:
Qur'an: There is no such concept in the Qur'an.
"[Say] Indeed there have come to you clear proofs from your Sustainer; whoever will therefore see, it is for his own soul and whoever will be blind, it shall be against himself and I AM NOT A KEEPER OVER YOU" (Qur'an 6:104)
"And say: The truth is from your Sustainer, so let him WHO WILLS, believe, and let him WHO WILLS disbelieve.." (Qur'an 18:29)
"Surely We have revealed to you the Book with the truth for all mankind; so whoever follows the right way, it is for his own soul and whoever errs, he errs only to its detriment; and YOU ARE NOT A CUSTODIAN OVER THEM." (Qur'an 39:41)
7. Muslim Focus: Apostasy is forbidden in Islam and it is our duty to kill all those who leave Islam (or our interpretation of Islam). 
Qur'an: No such concept in the Qur'an. 
And there are many many more....but those who have some insight, will see how the Muslims have deviated AWAY from the Qur'an and those who claim to be following Islam very closely actually are following things that have NO basis in the Qur'an. They have simply ignored this Qur'an as the Rasul will testify on the Day Of Judgement (Surah Furqan verse 30). 
Once you see this as a whole, you will realize that atrocities such as the one that occurred in Sri Lanka this Easter Sunday are a logical consequence of following fairy tales that are far far removed from the Qur'an.

26 April, 2019


As a nation we are failing on the ladder of secularism and scientific spirit. This primarily has to do with us, the people. We do not regard science sufficiently important. Neither our political leaders, nor even our progressive clergymen do so. And our professionals and academicians are too busy with trivia, or have become ‘practical’ enough to get drenched in material pursuits with no time left for ‘abstractions’ such as these.

1. Superstition and bigotry reflect in virtually every sphere of our life - from bedrooms two boardrooms. Nothing proves this better than the campaigning in the on-going parliamentary elections. I deeply and truly fear that by May 2019 India would have slid many notches in scientific pursuits, and regressed at least two decades in its intellectual progress.

2. Our politicians are primarily concerned with the statecraft and not with nation-building 

3. The ruling party is consistently, aggressively side-lining its progressive and secular people within, as the party feels the pinch of economic challenges. Its developmental plank, a new India-vision, has given way to strident Hindu extremism. The party is increasingly dependent on the likes of Yogi, and now on Pragya Thakore. 

4. The traction ‘Sadhvi’ Pragya is gaining – virtually becoming the star campaigner of the BJP – should scare those who care for secularism. In the process a good man like Digvijaya Singh may perish. And the party’s almost totally bigoted and pronouncedly anti-Muslim campaign is paying off as the only plank for its battle-cry.

5. Rahul Gandhi has impressed many with progressive and statesmanlike moves. However, the failure of the opposition to forge unity, nay, the fractured and ego-ridden self-proclaimed secular political parties have ensured self-destruction and facilitated the return of communal and anti-science forces. 

6. The North is where the BJP commands relatively greater strength and here it is that the contest is even more multi-angular. For instance, if active collaboration were achieved in Delhi, it may have been a clean sweep for the secular forces. Now, as a resurgent Congress eats into AAP vote, BJP may well end up doing better than expected, despite the magnificent work AAP did here, specially in education and health, the two vital sectors India needs to pay attention to.

7. I am personally very, very dismayed and worried for my country and for the fate of its hapless poor. Worse, its confused, superstitious and belligerently ignorant youth scares me for the future of the nation.

8. What India needs, therefore, is a mass movement of people for rationality, for secularism. And it is only when a catalytic, critical mass responds that leaders will begin to emerge, and then alone will the political parties find it worth their while to back this move. Lets work for this: long haul, but the only rational course available for progressive forces of the country.

9. Sadly, Muslims had offered invaluable gift to the communal forces, first with the horrific attack in Pulwama and now with the genocide in Sri Lanka.

10. Now one very serious, and completely unexpected, threat to possible check against communalism and bigotry has emerged suddenly from the serious sexual harassment allegations levied against the CJI, Gogoi Ranjan. 

11. The process that began with the murders of Karkare, Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Lankesh… is culminating successfully in the desired direction: fanaticism, bigotry, irrationality. 

Cry my beloved country: pause, rethink and act wisely for your multitudes