Saturday, August 2, 2008





We sell lands, houses or any other property or approach the rich who may or may not be relatives to conduct marriages of our children ostentatiously in an un-islamic way. It is a hard fact known to everyone. Many families are ruined in doing so. It can easily be prevented if just 10 Ulema and 10 Umara come forward on a single platform in every village, town and city to reform the society by creating an example for themselves. Let our brethren ponder over it and do the needful to save the community from further deterioration or collapse. It is what the Islamic principles pronounce, which everyone says, are important to him.

Another important thing to be kept in mind is that there is no need to copy the rich. Politicians spend many crores of Rupees which we have seen and are seeing. It is the case with film stars. Is there any meaning in imitating them? Let us be careful and cautious.

There is no need to think that our status will be higher in conducting posh marriages. We should act understanding to our limitations. All should not try to follow the rich in conducting posh marriages.

It has been mentioned in a recent issue of a magazine that there is no need for the Muslim women to be financially empowered. We would like to know from enlightened people what should Muslim female doctors do, whether there should be nurses or not, female teachers should receive their salary or not etc. It is not known where we are heading.

Will it be all right if we keep 50% of our population (female) idle producing more and more children without giving female children better education and empowering them? Let our leaders including Ulema throw light on this question and show the way in the present highly materialistic world.

But we cannot forget that it is the people who serve the community are remembered and adored in every religion, every faith and unfaith. Who can forget Mother Theresa? The world salutes her and feels small before her.

In our own North Arcot district it is the likes of Nawab C. Abdul Hakeem sahib who still dominate the social and educational arena of the Muslim community because of their extra-ordinary philanthropic dispositions. On all India level it is still that bold giant revolutionary reformer Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who comes to our mind in the field of education and reformation.

In the present age it is the President of India His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam of whom we should be proud as Indians and as Muslims the like of whom the community has not produced during the past perhaps 500 years. Every Indian, whatever may be his faith, must learn religion and patriotism from him.

One wonders why the enthusiasm parents show to the marriages is not shown to the education. Although, thank God, there is some improvement in our educational thinking, we have to go a long way to reach the level of other communities. The leaders who manage educational institutions should take necessary steps to awaken the community from its slumber and work for its better educational performance. A community-guidance is a must. It is also the duty of the religious scholars to make the community realise the importance of modern education for both boys and girls. The Imams of mosques can select important subjects like education for their Friday sermons instead of routinely dealing on irrelevant topics.

Mr. H. Abdur Raqeeb sahib handed over an article (titled “Why are Jews so powerful and Muslims so powerless?”) to me written by somebody whose name is not mentioned there. We are publishing the same in this issue for a serious reading and preservation.

We have received a good suggestion from another of our well-wishers Mr. N. Shafeeque Ahmed sahib for making our monthly newsletter “Al-Ameen” available to a wide circle of people. He praises the work the writers have put in their articles (November 2006 issue of “Al-Ameen”)

At present we are sending our newsletter “AL-AMEEN ”to about 250 people. Insha-Allah we will increase this list. We request our readers to forward “Al-Ameen” to as many friends and relatives as possible if they find it interesting, useful and worth doing so.

Yet another well wisher Mr. K. Mohamed Nasarullah sahib appreciates our efforts.

Mr. T. Rafeeq Ahmed sahib appreciates our publishing AMES Centenary Celebration report in the last two issues of Al-Ameen and wishes us all the best.

We thank all of them for sharing their views with us. We are for open discussion of any and every issue concerning the community without any inhibition. Let us be honest in our approach.

We are happy to inform you again that Mr. T. Rafeeq Ahmed sahib’s ambition for establishing a women’s college in Ambur will come true Insha-Allah as soon as possible as he is very particular about it and working on it seriously. We hope that the community, particularly philanthropists and industrialists of Ambur, will definitely extend their best co-operation to him.


Maqbool Ahmed Siraj, Executive Editor, Islamic voice, Bangalore presented this paper in the Educational Conference of the AMES Centenary Celebration
on 4th September 2006

The past 16 years have been momentous for the Indian Economy. India has emerged as a vibrant economy during the period. Despite coalition governments at the Centre and disparate groups ruling in the States, economy grew by 8.1 per cent last year and we are aspiring for the 10 per cent growth in years ahead. Country’s foreign exchange coffers are overflowing with nearly RS. 160 billion. Foreign direct investments has been steady, though much poor in comparison to China. Stock markets have consistently been upswing despite some setbacks due to scandals. Exports have risen phenomenally. Agriculture, which used to be the main contributor to the economy has been relegated to the third position. Service sector has taken the prime position with as much as 52 per cent share in the growth. Some sectors like Information Technology, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, automobile, construction etc are doing exceptionally well in terms of growth. Nearly two crore of Indians either settled or working abroad are feeling encouraged to keep the funds in India or invest in stocks or land.

Mood in India is upbeat. For the first time after Independence, the Indians feel like having arrived on the world scene. India has risen in the estimation of the world nations. Though education and health are a major concern for the majority of the citizens, Indian colleges and hospitals are now rated as one of the best in the world. India is able to export its educational and medical expertise in substantial measure to several nations. In fact, majority of technically trained Indians who work abroad, are employed in the sectors of education, health and engineering. Almost three lakh engineers are being produced annually within the country. Salaries in some sectors have risen to such heights that some NRIs find it much remunerative to return and work in the native soil.

Economy has received sustained support from the political dispensation. All parties that have ruled have followed the same line. Stability of the political institutions and conventions have been a source of strength. Goldman Sachs study says that economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China are likely to surpass the American economy by 2050 together clubbed as BRIC.

Rosy scenario is painted in some sectors like IT, BT, pharmaceuticals, construction, aviation, housing, consumer durables etc. Indian middle class with disposable income is today estimated to consist of 30 crore people. These are positive highlights of the economy.

There are some negative factors too. Infrastructure in India is very poor. Judicial set up is hopeless and legal delays mar the efficiency of the system. Poor educational attainments and health status of nearly 80 per cent people does not inspire hope. Housing scenario is grim. Due to this our urban areas are a picture of chaos. Left parties which have a solid support base in some states and a few regional parties do not support the liberalization policies dictated by the IMF and the World Bank. Income disparities are rising and this has led to social and economic iniquity. It has given impetus to ideologies like naxalism. Even crime rate is likely to go up due to this factor. Arrival of Western cultural mores is likely to impact on family structure and social ethos. HIV/Aids is one fallout of the situation.

I have given a bird’s eye view of the economic situation. What has caused all this? Primarily, India was heralded into the liberalization era due to the pathetic situation during 1990-91 when the forex reserves had touched the bottom. The IMF and the World Bank began to dictate Structural Adjustment Programme. A few factors that have shaped the success of the liberalized economy in India are the following:

1-Liberal transfer of technology and arrival of Internet.
2-Presence of vast English-knowing and using class
3-Telecom revolution which was initiated during the Rajiv Gandhi period.
4-Automation in industry.
5-Presence of a vast pool of engineering talent.
6-Enhanced importance of English

Today knowledge knows no barriers, neither geographical nor national. People of even enemy nations are free to contact each other without the interference of their governments. Knowledge flows over the physical borders. Knowledge and human resources have become more important than material resources. Those who have knowledge can control the resources. Due to Information Technology, the workers need not move. The work can move. That’s how hundreds of thousands of Indian engineers can do the back office work of banks and insurance companies of the United States without leaving the shores of India. IT has enabled millions of people to learn, work and be taught and even diagnosed for ailments at their homes. Video courts, video clinics and e-tuitions are eliminating the barriers of distances. Multimedia has made the transfer of written text, voice, photographs, colour, messages, etc possible. Work is on to even transfer smell and touch in the near future. Those who jump onto the bandwagon of knowledge would control the world in future. In fact they are already doing so. IT is also changing the pattern of economy. It is consolidating various skills and concentrating the centres of production. It is reducing the use of hands and assigning the task to machines. Look at ATMs, ECS, credit cards, e-commerce, platform ticket vending machines et al. Movie reels now need not be hand delivered. They are digitally delivered. Flights are booked online. So you need not go to a travel agent. Even boarding cards could be printed at home and you can rush for the security check before flights. It is also eliminating wait and delays. Devotees at the Tirupati Devasthanam need not wait in the queue for darshan. They can buy coupons with time indicated on it. Railway reservations are available for anywhere in India just with a click of the mouse. Much of these have become part of our daily lives during the last 15 years. It is making the delivery schedules surer. It is facilitating the movement of capital through electronic banking, ATMs, credit cards, speedy money transfers et al. It is widening the access of knowledge. It is where we need to think about our priorities in education.

Let me present a few facets of how this new economy has affected Muslims:

· The silk industry of Muslims in Karnataka is in shambles. Chinese silk has invaded Indian market. It is cheaper by Rs. 150 a kilogram. Muslims who ran silk reeling units in Ramanagram, Sidlghatta, Channapatna, Kolar etc have to now work as masons in construction sites.
(Ref. M. A. Siraj, Deccan Herald, Bangalore, Nov. 30, 2004)

· Muslim male tailors in cities and towns are generally without work as people prefer buying branded quality garments in fashion stores. They come quite cheap, have excellent stitch, perfect fit.
· Muslim hoarding painters are now without work. Digital printing has rendered them useless. Digital printing produces neat designs in splendid colours and can advertise better. This kind of printing is all digitized and computerized.
· Muslim auto garage owners of traditional type are out of work. They can only repair or service old Ambasadors, Fiats and Heralds. Nearly 50 brands of cars have entered the Indian market. These companies provide their own service centres and employ trained and skilled automobile mechanics who are diploma holders.

I am sure many such changes must have occurred in Tamil Nadu and in the leather industry too. This ingress of new technology has affected all communities and all sectors of economy as science and technology do not discriminate. I know as to how newspaper offices have been affected. Now they do not have proof readers. Sub editors do both subbing and the proofing. Photographers need not go to a laboratory. They directly download their visuals onto computer screens and the photo editor selects and forwards the selected picture to the relevant page-makers. Journalists directly type their script from news happening sites and send them by e-mail to the news editor. But I have only presented a few facets of how it is affecting a community like Muslim in order to say how we need to change too.

Failure to recognize these new elements of scientific and technological changes would render us backward and uncompetitive. It will be uneconomical for us to work with traditional mode and tools. You may be knowing better than me as to how a finished leather merchant or a leather goods manufacturer can benefit by opening his website where consumers in Chicago or Brussels can shop for his choicest goods by visiting the website and looking at every footwear on the website alone and even buy items by paying through credit cards.

It was only modern education that enabled the Muslim leather merchants of North Arcot to proceed from half-tanned skins to finished leather and to leather goods and shoes. They kept pace with policies of the Commerce Ministry and owe their position to mechanization, automation and new financial practices their fathers inducted. I also remember the controversy about E.I. versus Finished leather export raging during early 80s. But those controversies are no longer talked about. Had they not modernized, perhaps the bigger houses would have entered the sector and captured whatever has remained with North Arcot Muslims.

(Ref. M. A. Siraj, Muslim Artisans, Craftsmen and Traders, Issues in Entrepreneurship, Edited by Dr. Abdul Waheed, Director, CEPECAMI, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh Muslim University, published by Icon Publications, New Delhi article titled “Rich dividends through Modernisation” )

But at the same time I must point out certain other sectors that are deficient in modernization.

As a staff reporter in Indian Express in Chennai in early 80s I had written a piece about the outmoded bullock carts of Vaniyambadi which were the only mode of in-city transport for all. There were 500 of them, and perhaps all of them were Muslims. I had pleaded for phasing them out as they were inconvenient for pregnant ladies, old people and school-going girls. I advocated introduction of auto-rickshaws through a cooperative and training of the offspring of the bullock cart pliers as automen and even setting up repair garages, petrol bunks and spares shops through the same cooperative. People in Vaniyambadi accused me of attacking their culture. 25 years later the scene has changed. Bullock carts are out. Their owners and their families may be starving or would be unskilled workers. Autos have come into the town. They do not have any special arrangement for purdah- observing ladies. They are not plied by the men of our community.

This happens with any community which does not want to change. Technology has its own pace. It enters out life subtly, swiftly, smoothly. It challenges the traditions and changes our lifestyles, our ways to earn livelihood and learn and behave. If these changes are not regulated, they even begin to impact on our culture, religion and faith. Others who catch up with technology, they steal a lead and grow powerful. Thus weak are suppressed culturally, economically and politically.

In view of these changes, it would be imperative for Muslims to make certain changes in their educational curriculum.

· It is better that we arrive at a clear understanding for medium of instructions. Urdu could be a language, but it would be less than wise to have it as the medium of instructions in a state (like Tamil Nadu) where only one-fourth of Muslims speak that language. It is true that the Constitution does grant you a right to be taught through your mother tongue. But it is a bigger reality that a minority has to learn a language of the majority in order to learn about the mainstream happenings and fit into the life and development of the region.

· English must be given a prime of place in Muslim educational institutions. It should not only be compulsory, but the Muslim students should be taught to develop high communicative skills in it. Unesco projections say that in the future world, one would have to use one of the following languages to communicate internationally and carry out trade and commerce: English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French and Hindi. Looking at this I find Muslims totally deficient in communication due to improper stress over languages. Muslim schools only enable students to understand English. They should employ special teachers to impart communicative English. High proficiency should be achieved in reading, writing and speaking this language.

· Precision is emerging as the hallmark of all professions. Professionals are selected on the basis of public school background. With computers entering every field of activity, it is necessary that precision becomes integral to our education. Look for example: an e-mail message bounces if there is difference of a dot, a dash or a hyphen. An ATM machine does not work if codes are not properly fed. A courier might land in Austria instead of Aurstalia if the clerk is poorly trained in Geography or spellings. A call could be misdirected if telecom codes are not observed or a letter could go haywire if postal zone code is not carefully filled. It could affect our business in myriad ways. Legal hassles will be inevitable if letters are not drafted properly. Unfortunately, education in Muslim schools is callous and careless in all these aspects.

· Curriculum changes are becoming necessary every two and three years. Even if universities do not affect them, good colleges add portions that could be useful. Computer courses offered in Universities do not have many takers as they take long time to affect changes. Syllabus committees take years to select and meet and bring out books. New Softwares come in a deluge and change the complexion of the computing every two months. Therefore the students keen to excel go to Aptech and NIIT in order to keep pace with new courses brought by these private institutes. They import software in quick time. No wonder these institutes have become popular world over.

· Muslim education system places emphasis on rituals, not values. Rituals bind an individual to God but values constitute the bonds of society. Namaz, fasting, Hajj ensure fulfilling commitment to God. But values such as honesty, integrity, truthfulness, punctuality, efficiency, promptness, hardwork etc are necessary for survival of a society and interpersonal relations. There should be stressed on all these through anecdotes, parables, fables of the Prophets, sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them) and great men of our religion and nation. It appears Muslim businesses do not progress due to this deficient aspect.

· Considerable talent among Muslims is going towards medicine and engineering while sectors like law, journalism, fine arts, economics, agriculture and its allied disciplines, competitive exam for Govt. jobs are not receiving attention. This lopsided development of the community needs to be corrected. Career counseling and planning is the need of the hour.

· Tamil Nadu Muslims have perhaps raised disproportionately large number of colleges. The stress on quality school education is deficient. This has led to under-utilization of their own colleges by the community. Secondly, the Self-Financed professional education is expensive. They require social infrastructure like scholarship endowments, hostels (there are no free hostels for girls in Chennai), special coaching institutes, book banks etc. Haj Committee is Chennai an annexe to its existing facility. It is good. But Haj involves only two months of utility. Why not think of students’ and working women’s hostels and even hospitals.

· Muslim girls’ education too needs to take cognizance of a few factors of the changed circumstances. Families have become nuclear (man, wife and kids). Smaller families are the norm. Arrival of mixers, washing machines, heaters, instant mixes and ovens have made the housewife’s task easier. She has lot of disposable hours and incomes too. Girls therefore need to be trained with useful skills for their hours of inaction. A recent study says arrival of every household appliance adds eight pound of weight to the housewives’ physique. Girls’ education should provide hands-on training in banking transactions, insurance, saving schemes, stock trading, basic health issues, fitness and immunisation, nutrition, dealing with post and railway affairs (reservation, registry, MO, bookings), etc. Our women know next to nothing about these affairs. Perhaps services of educated Muslim girls could be directed towards improving child care in Muslim orphanages, setting up vocational centres for destitute Muslim girls, rehabilitation centres for disabled people, setting up hostels for working Muslim women etc. There are virtually no avenues for productive utilization of the talents and energies of educated Muslim women in Tamil Nadu even though Muslim women colleges are mushrooming everywhere.

· Localised research should get priority in our colleges. By Allah’s grace, Tamil Nadu has 19 degree colleges, 11 engineering colleges, 20 polytechnics being run by the Muslim community. But no significant surveys, studies, research on local and Muslim issues are forthcoming from these institutions. Several social and economic issues beg for detailed studies. A study on income, investment, saving and consumption pattern of Muslim families in leather business would have been in order. Traditional Muslim businesses, their modernization process, etc need to be studied. No study has been done on how Muslim students cope with high cost of professional education. Why people from North Arcot are marrying girls in Kerala? How Muslim charities are utilized? How relevant is the curriculum of madrassas to the present day needs? How relevant is the content of Friday sermons to the present day? Welfare measures for the beedi workers in North Arcot District? What is the impact of Gulf earners in Tamil Nadu? Could be a few issues for research. A few years ago when some political activists raised the issue of water and environment pollution in Palar basin, Muslim leather industry found itself totally at the sea. Why not take up the issue and suggest ways to improve the environment? Why not take up water harvesting on the Yellagiri and Javadi Hills in order to recharge the land aquifers for perennial supply of water? Why not replicate Anna Hazare’e Ahmednagar model here. Perhaps Muslim colleges need to take many such issues to make themselves relevant to the needs of the people they are supposed to serve. Perhaps a consortium of Muslim colleges could come up with an Institute for Regional Studies in Tamil Nadu. The community is currently intellectually sterile.

These are a few recommendations for upgrading the Muslim education in Tamil Nadu in order to fulfil the urges of economic liberalization. In the past the Tamil Nadu Muslims have set very bright precedents due to their activism. It is expected that they will rise to the occasion and bring about reform that are the need of the hour.


In spite of the fact that Muslim Ummah is passing through a critical period in the present day world, there is a clear trend that Islam has become important and is playing a very important role in shaping the future of humanity. The anti-Islam propaganda has, in a way, helped people in seeking more knowledge about Islam. From the East to the West in every city and country, in every newspaper and TV programme Islam is the big question. More and more people are seeking solace in the shade of this Divine religion of peace, prosperity and salvation.

Unfortunately, by and large, the West’s attitude towards Islam is negative. It appears that it has found, after the downfall of Communism, a new opponent to fight with. Islamophobia is ever increasing: controversies are being created, deliberate provocations are being made, insults on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are being hurled and Muslims are being presented as the greatest danger to world peace and future of civilization.

Another aspect of this precarious situation is the imposition of obedient kings, obliging presidents and subservient rulers on the Muslim countries by the West. They are suppressing both democracy and Islamic yearning of their people to please their Western mentors. The West swears by human rights and democracy but promotes dictators and tyrants like Saddam Hussein to serve its interests. Take the case of Saddam: when he was no longer needed, the story of weapons of mass destruction was invented and Iraq was destroyed beyond recognition. So much so that up to now, according to recent revelations of British magazine Lancet, not less than 655,000 civilians have lost their lives there. This massacre of the innocents would put even Hitler and Stalin to shame.

Ever increasing attacks on Islam and Muslims have led some people to frustration while some are leaning towards extremist thinking. But Islam’s chequered history gives no room for frustration or any extremist reaction. The Ummah has successfully weathered many storms both physical and ideological.

The year 1099 witnessed the capture of Jerusalem and massacre of Muslims, and Jews as well in the hands of Crusaders. But within hundred years, Salahuddin re-conquered Jerusalem and restored its dignity and re-established peace. Greater was the scale of widespread destruction wrought by Mongol hordes in the fist half of 13th century throughout Muslim world, which culminated in the destruction of Baghdad in 1258. It did not take long for the Ummah to regain its lost glory and the Mongols who so badly devastated Muslim lands were themselves conquered by the lofty principles of Islam. So would the Ummah withstand the present onslaughts, rediscover its ideological strength and spring back to a new vitality.

Portents indicate that Islam, in spite of all negative propaganda is catching the imagination of large sections of humanity.

Our agenda should be rejuvenation of Ummah and reconstruction of humanity on the basis of divine guidance contained in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of His Last Prophet. We reject the theory of clash of civilizations and endorse the confluence of civilizations, spirit of cooperation and unity of mankind. We are friends of all and enemies of none. We support good wherever it may be and reject evil with whomsoever it may be. Let us at the end of this holy month of Ramadhan resolve to work for this holy cause. No allegation of Islamofascism would weaken our resolve and no amount of intimidation would shake the Ummah. Firm faith and utmost struggle is the key to achieving this goal for the Ummah and the entire humanity. So Allah, help us.

(Courtesy: Radiance, Editorial)


There are only 14 million Jews in the world; seven million in America, five million in Asia, two million in Europe and 100,000 in Africa. For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims. Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together. Ever wondered why?

Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish. Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine’s Person of the Century, Sigmund Freud –id, ego, superego – the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew. So were Karl Max, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.

Here are the few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole humanity: Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine. Alert Sabin developed the improved live polio vaccine. Gertrude Elion gave us a leukaemia-fighting drug. Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B. Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease). Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.

Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuro-muscular transmission. Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology (disorders of the endocrine system; diabetes, hyper-thyroidism). Aaron Beck founded cognitive therapy (psychotherapy to treat mental disorders, depression and phobias). Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill. George Wald won a Nobel for furthering our understanding of the human eye. Stanley Cohen won a Nobel in embryology (study of embryos and their development). Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine.

Over the past 105 years, 14 million Jews have won 15 dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion Muslims (other than Peace Prizes)

Why are Jews so powerful?

Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip. Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor. Peter Schultz: optical fibre cable, Charles Adler: traffic lights, Benno Strauss: stainless steel, Isador Kisee: sound movies, Emile Berliner: telephone microphone and Charles Ginsburg: videotape recorder.

Famous financiers in the business world who belong to Jewish faith include Ralph Lauren (Polo), Levis Strauss (Levi’s Jeans), Howard Schultz (Starbuck’s), Sergey Brin (Google), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Donna Karan (DKNY), Irv Robbins (Baskins & Robbins) and Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts), Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American Secretary of State), Alan Greenspan (fed Chairman under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Liebermn, Madeleine Albright (American Secretary of State), Casper Weinberger (American Secretary of Defence), Maxim Litvinov (USSR foreign Minister), David Marshal (Singapore’s first chief minister), Issac Isaacs (governor general of Australia), Benjamin Disraeli ( British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM), Barry Goldwater, Jorge Sampaio ( President of Portugal), John Deutsch (CIA director),
Herb Gray (Canadian Deputy PM), Pierre Mendes (French PM), Michael Howard (British Home Secretary), Bruno Kreisky (Chancellor of Austria) and Robert Rubin (American Secretary of Treasury)

In the media, famous Jews include Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer (Washington Post), Henry Grunwald (editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), Joseph Lelyyeld (Executive editor, The New York Times) and Max Frankel (New York Times).

Can you name the most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world? The name is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a colossal $4 billion most of which has gone as aid to scientists and universities around the world. Second to George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who has built a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2 billion.

At the Olympics, Mark Spitz set a record of sorts by winning seven gold medals. Lenny Krayzelburg is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Spitz, Kryzelburg and Boris Beeker are all Jewish.

Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Goldie Hawn, Cary Grant, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and Peter Falk are all Jewish? As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew. Among directors and producers, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky and Hutsch), Milos Forman (One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The theif of Baghdad) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.

To be certain, Washington is the capital that matters and in Washington the lobby that matters is The American Israel Public Affairs Committee or IPAC. Washington knows that if PM Ehud Olmert were to discover that the earth is flat, AIPAC will make the 109th Congress pass a resolution congratulating Olmert on his discovery. William James Sidis, with an IQ of 250-300, is the brightest human who ever existed Guess what faith did he belong to?

Question: So, why are Jews so powerful?

Answer: Education

There are an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and 6 million in the Americas. Every fifth human being is a Muslim; for every single Hindu there are two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there are one hundred Muslims. Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless?

Here is why. There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) nd all of them put together have around 500 universities; one university for every three million Muslims. The United States has 5,758 universities and India has 8407. In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an “Academic Ranking of World Universities” and intriguinly, not one university from Muslim-majority states was in the top-500.

As per date collected by the UNDP, literary in the Christian world stands at nearly 90 per cent and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100 per cent. A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy rate of around 40 per cent and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100 per cent. Some 98 per cent of the literate in the Christian world had completed primary school while less than 50 per cent of the literate in the Muslim world did the same. Around 40 per cent of the literate in the Christian world attended university while no more than two per cent of the literate in the Muslim world did the same.

Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The US has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million. In the entire Arab world, the total number of full –time researchers is 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians per one million Arabs (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one million). Furthermore the Muslim world spends 0.2 per cent of its GDP on research and development while the Christian world spends around five per cent of its GDP.

Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge.

Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society. In Pakistan there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ration in Singapore is 360. In the UK, the number of book titles per million stands at 2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20.

Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge.

Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan’s exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports stand at one per cent. The same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3 per cent; Kuwait, Morocco and Algeria are all at 0.3 per cent while Singapore is at 8 per cent.

Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge.

Why are Muslims powerless? Because we aren’t producing knowledge.
Why are Muslims powerless? Because we aren’t diffusing knowledge.
Why are Muslims powerless? Because we aren’t applying knowledge.
And the future belongs to knowledge-based societies.

Interestingly the combined annual GDP of 57 OIC countries is under $2 trillion. America, just by herself, produces foods and services worth $12 trillion; China $8 trillion, Japan $3.8 trillion; Japan $3.8 trillion and Germany $2.4 trillion (purchasing lower parity basis)

Oil rich Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $500 billion; Spain alone produces goods and services worth over $1 trillion, Catholic Poland $489 billion and Buddhist Thailand $545 billion (Muslim GDP as a percentage of world GDP is fast declining)

So, why are Muslims so powerless?

Answer: Lack of education.

Dear VMK,

This has reference to the excellent article "Minority rights -- and wrongs" by Mr. V.R. Krishna Iyer published in The Hindu dated 14th October 2006. He has explained well the definition of minority institutions and their duties. He is right in saying that an educational institution should not be considered a minority one merely because its founder belongs to a certain sect or faith if it does not work for the uplift of the minority communities.

Mr. Iyer is also right in demanding that minority teachers should be paid reasonable salaries and bribes should not be collected for their appointment. He understands their issues more than anybody else and demands solution for them. We thank him for the interest he always shows to the minorities.

Mr. P.K. Shabbir Ahmed, an educationist and social activist has mentioned as follows in his recent article:

“Education has become so costly that the poor cannot afford it. Only two percent of the Muslim community in Tamil Nadu can possibly join professional colleges and reputed matriculation schools. It is a misfortune that even in many Muslim schools and colleges there is no provision to help the poorer students.

Now the Muslim community has opened a couple of B.Ed. colleges but the big question is how many of such Muslim youth - willing to work as teachers - can afford the high fees demanded by the Managements.

We should never forget that the teaching profession appeals only to the poorer or lower middle classes among Muslims”.

It is very unfortunate that even the minority institutions are not protecting the interest of the minorities who are passing through a difficult period now. Let the people at the helm of affairs look into these problems and do the needful.

N. Shameel Ahmed,


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