Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Voice of India Features Newsletter - 06 December 2009

dec 9th, 2009

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From: VOI Features
Date: Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 1:19 PM
Subject: Voice of India Features Newsletter - 06 December 2009
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Editorial: Swiss Referendum Bans Minarets
The Editorial Team
In an unexpected development Swiss people imposed a national ban on the construction of minarets, the prayer towers of mosques, voting overwhelmingly in a referendum.
The referendum was passed with a clear majority of 57.5 percent of the voters in 22 of Switzerland's 26 cantons. Out of a population of 7.5 million there are about 4, 00,000 Muslims in Switzerland who have some 150 mosques or prayer rooms.
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Mosques as Barracks, Minarets as Bayonets
kanchan.jpgKanchan Gupta
Turkey's Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was being faithful to his creed when he declared, "Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers." Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, a fascist Sunni imam with a huge following among those who subscribe to the Muslim Brotherhood's antediluvian worldview, was more to the point when he thundered at an event organised by London's then Labour mayor Ken Livingstone, "The West may have the atom bomb, we have the human bomb." Sheikh Qaradawi, who is of Egyptian origin, frequently exhorts Muslims not to rest till they have "conquered Christian Rome" and believes "throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler".

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INACS to Integrate Past and Present Knowledge
From VOIF Correspondent
Seeking to formalize studies in Civilizational Knowledge System with the aim of constituting "Integral Knowledge" by redefining contemporary studies, the Indian National Academy of Civilizational Studies (INACS) held its annual conference on November 27 at Tagore Hall, Delhi University Campus, New Delhi. It was attended by many intellectuals, researchers, educationists and students in the background of civilisational studies in India, its historical evolution, an assessment of previous and current efforts while charting course for future. The conference commenced at 10 in the morning concluding at late 8 in the evening. Its focus was to re-re-discover the entire knowledge from the past where it lies locked in time, study the contemporary disciplines with the aim of enunciating "Integral Knowledge" combining the best strands of intellectual outputs through re-establishment of Sanskrit as a medium of intellectual discourse in India.

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Bin Laden Butchering to Educating Muslim Clerics
mahendra_mathur.jpgLt. Col. (Retd.) Mahendra Mathur
Osama Bin Laden is both - one of the CIA's most wanted men and a hero to many young people in the Muslim world. An immensely wealthy and private man, Bin Laden` was granted a safe haven by the then Afghanistan's ruling Taliban Movement in the nineties. During his time in hiding, he called for a holy war against the US, and for the killing of Americans and Jews. He also set up Islamic training centres to prepare Taliban soldiers to fight.His power is founded on a personal fortune earned by his family's construction business in Saudi Arabia. Born in Saudi Arabia to a Yemeni family, Bin Laden left Saudi Arabia in 1979 to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Afghan jihad was backed with American dollars and had the blessing of the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. He received security training from the CIA itself. While in Afghanistan, he founded the Maktab al-Khidimat (MAK), which recruited fighters from around the world and imported equipment to aid the Afghan resistance against the Soviet army.

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Everybody Loves a Good Riot
Vinay Sitapati
If the Liberhan Commission's recommendations on religion and politics read like a Miss World speech, so does the hurriedly prepared Action Taken Report. The ATR, tabled in Parliament by the Central government on Tuesday, is couched in general terms. The one concrete proposal refers to the "Communal Violence Bill," languishing in Parliament since 2005. The reference is meant to reassure. For, when confronted with the complex web of systems that failed on December 6, 1992, surely the first step is to enact a preventive law.The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill beefs up powers of preventive detention, punishment and rehabilitation in case of a riot. But its key feature is to strengthen the hands of the central government. In India, "law and order" is a "state subject", and communal violence, like other acts of arson, are the exclusive responsibility of the state. Section 55 of the Communal Violence Bill seeks to change this. It empowers the Centre to unilaterally declare an area as "communally disturbed", and arguably take over civil administration. Currently, the only way the Centre can do this is by declaring a state "emergency" under article 356 of the Constitution. In the era of coalition politics this is difficult.

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