Author: Zahid Jamil

Complications in Australia-India bilateral relations

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid a four day visit to India, meeting his counterpart Narendra Modi and senior business leaders in the month of April in an attempt to enhance business relationship between the two countries. India, in its attempt to achieve economic transformation, needs further developments in infrastructure, education and sources of energy and the talks mainly concentrated on these sectors. Malcolm Turnbull, however sought extension of trade links to other sectors as well. Unfortunately, prospects of free trade deal between the two countries stalled as according to Australian PM, the tradition of protectionism runs very deep in...

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UP elections: India’s secularism under threat

The recent election results in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in India have alarmed Muslims around the country. Strategists in Hindu Nationalist political party viz Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) have successfully calculated various parameters and took advantage of division of non-BJP votes among two main opposition parties led by Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav. The biggest political party of the Indian nation, who claim to represent all Indians, was so bold and blunt in sticking to its Hindutava agenda that it denied any representation to more than 40 million Muslims of the state, 20% of the population. In recent UP election BJP got 39.7% of the votes, while Samajwadi party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) , combined polled in total 44% of the votes. As more than 60% of the population did not vote for BJP, if there was a single second party, that party would have won the elections. Australia and a few other nations follow preferential voting system which tends to overcome the above deficiencies. Here, the voter is allowed to rank all candidates according to their preference.  If no candidate secures an absolute majority of primary votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is then eliminated from the count. The votes for this eliminated candidate are then redistributed among the remaining candidates according to the number two preference indicated on the original ballot. This...

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Samaa’s Qawwali magical night a huge success

South Asian Muslim Association of Australia (SAMAA) staged a magical Mehfil-e-Qawwali on Sunday 19 March at Bankstown Sports Club theatre attended by more than 300 people. The ensemble of Tahir Faridi Qawwal gave an outstanding performance in singing very popular numbers of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Sabri brothers. With their rich rhythmic grooves, soaring vocal melodies and the classical performance, the performers were able to spell bound the audience for almost three hours. It was an exceptional exhibition of the ancient tradition of Sufi music. The lead singer Canadian born Muslim revert Tahir Hasssan Faridi showed total...

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SAMAA harbour cruise and upcoming Mehfil-e-Qawwali

The South Asian Muslim Association of Australia (SAMAA) organised a four hour Sydney Harbour cruise on Sunday 12 Feb 2017 for community elders and their families. The cruise was a uniquely popular event and the chartered boat was full to its capacity. The guests were entertained with South Asian music and songs while cruising the beautiful Sydney Harbour. Singers at the cruise included Riyaz Shah, Priya Das, Malik Diwana while some elders joined the thrilling performances. Intercontinental menu for lunch was to much liking of the guests on the cruise. Mr Zahid Jamil requested elders to come forward in...

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Fall of Muslims from a knowledge nation

“Read! In the Name of your Lord who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that he knew not”. (Quran, 96: 1-5). “Elevated status is accorded to those who seek, possess, teach and act upon knowledge. Dismiss any thought of equality between those who know and those who do not” (Quran, 39:9) There are numerous Quranic verses which reveal Allah’s instruction to man about the attainment of knowledge. In fact one-eighth of the Qur’an is a call for Muslims to seek Allah’s signs in the universe and hence that science is a spiritual as well as a temporal duty for Muslims. Perhaps the most widely used argument one hears is that the Prophet Muhammad (s) had exhorted his followers to “seek knowledge even if it is in China,” which implies that a Muslim is duty-bound to travel in search for knowledge, far and wide. With the advent of Islam in the 6th century, its followers, as instructed by Quran, placed huge emphasis on the attainment of all forms of knowledge, including the undertaking of scientific research. The great institutions of just political and civil administration initiated and established, soon after Prophet’s (s) passing away, by Caliph Omar (r)...

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