Nazia fights and wins a battle for Muslim women rights
Posted January 27th, 2008 by kashif
A struggle for equal rights in Ranchi
By Kashif-ul-Huda, TwoCircles.net
A 19 year old Muslim girl has successfully changed a 50 year old tradition. Nazia Tabassum, a student of History is making history of her own.
It all started when breaking stereotypes, the girl in hijab won the election for the post of Joint Secretary at the Ranchi University Student's Union. Soon after, she turned to Anjuman Islamia to become a member to participate in their upcoming election process that was scheduled for January 27th, 2008. Her application for membership was denied because Anjuman never had a female member in its 50 year history. It was time to change history, and that's what Nazia Tabassum did courageously.
Anjman Islamia is an organization of Muslims of Ranchi in Jharkhand that runs a number of educational institutions and a hospital. It has more than 1200 members, none of which are female. When Nazia Tabassum applied to become a member of Anjuman in December 2007, her application was denied. She was told that it was because the organization's by-laws did not allow women to become members.
Undeterred, Nazia went to the State Commission for Women. A constitutional body which among other things take steps against cases of gender discrimination. The lawyer representing Anjuman argued that the by-laws as written in Urdu stipulates that only a male adult Muslim can become a member.
On Thursday 24 Jan 2008, Jharkhand's State Commission for Women (SCW) ruled that nothing in the by-laws of the organization prevented women from becoming members. The rules clearly state that any Muslim over the age of 18 can become its member.
Lakshmi Singh, chairperson of SCW observed that it seems to be an unwritten rule that kept Muslim women away from becoming members of Anjuman. Arguing that rules of Anjuman do not discriminate against women, she said "The rules no where say that women are prohibited. It is altogether adifferent case that in the last 50 years no woman has become a member or contested election. I have suggested the Anjuman Islamia committee to encourage women's participation and ensure that women too participate in elections."
SCW referred the matter to Bihar Wakf Board, which governs all waqf properties of Jharkhand since the state does not have a waqf board. On Friday, Capt (Retd) M Anwar, administrator of the Bihar Wakf Board, stayed the election scheduled for Sunday, promising to send a team to supervise the future election.
Nazia Tabassum when contacted by TwoCircles.net was happy with the development. She termed it as a fight for justice and rights of Muslim women. She wants to make the Anjuman Islamia organization more responsive to the needs of poor Muslims and having women as members or in leadership roles will help achieve that. Being a student leader, she had the support of both male and female students and Muslim women.
Nazia can not contest elections for Anjuman's office since its by-laws require all contesting members to be at least 30 years of age. But her legal victory has opened the doors for Muslim women who now can become members and contest elections. Her struggle has raised interest for young Muslim students and fresh young blood will only make Anjuman Islamia a stronger and more effective organization that is more responsive to the needs of the Muslims of the area.
Old guards that have been controlling various Muslim and waqf organizations should take notice and change themselves before they are forced to change.
SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
45 PICTURES AT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157641382648224/
August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
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Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.
Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.
We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.
Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.
As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.
We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.
We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.
We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.
Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.
Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.
We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.
The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.