‘Masjid One Movement’ Launched for Elimination of Backwardness Among Muslims

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former Union Minister for Minority Affairs K Rehman Khan said said if the Movement implemented properly; it will go a long way in eradicating the backwardness of the community. — Photo: Caravan Daily

Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI – All India Muslim Development Council (AIMDC) on Thursday launched ‘Masjid One Movement’ with an aim to eradicate educational, economic and social backwardness of the Muslim community at the grassroots level. The council has developed software to collect the necessary data on each of the Muslim localities under a mosque for emancipation of the members of the community.

Speaking at the launch of the movement at India Islamic Cultural Centre, former Union Minister for Minority Affairs K Rehman Khan called it an innovative approach and said if implemented properly; it will go a long way in eradicating the backwardness of the community.

Referring to the well-known Sachar Committee report, which assessed the overall condition of the Muslim community, the former minister said the 80 per cent recommendations of the report is to be carried out by the community itself. “Backwardness cannot be removed by only relying on the government, the community needs to take major initiatives for this,” he stressed.

Quoting India’s first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who said Muslims are not minority, but the second largest religious community, he said such positive thinking would boost the morale and confidence of the community.

Hailing the efforts of Mohammed Imthiyaz who developed the software, Khan said he worked three years for realisation of the ‘Masjid One Movement’ concept.  Underlining the importance of data, he said educational, political and social empowerment of any community is not possible without the help of data and technology.

To buttress his point, he recalled the minority household survey done by the Karnataka State Minority Commission in 1993 during his tenure and the then government of Karnataka accepted its report for granting Muslims reservation in government jobs and education.

He expressed concern over the state of Muslim youth saying despondency and helplessness are creeping in their minds.

In the form of Masjid (mosque), Muslims possess a huge infrastructure for development as on an average 100 to 200 families reside around one mosque which can be a nerve center for development activities, Rehman Khan, who is also a former deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, observed.

Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant General (Retd) Syed Zameerudddin Shah said the community has come down to the lowest rung of the social ladder in terms of socio-economic condition. He highlighted the pathetic condition and plight of the artisans due to exploitation by middlemen as they do not get due reward for their skills and hard work. He said the backwardness can be tackled by unity in the community and through education.

Jamiat-e- Ahle Hadees president Maulana Asghar Imam Salafi also called it a good idea for the emancipation of the backwardness of the community. He said there was a need to train imams for this cause as they would be effective agents of change.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (M) leader Maulana Mahmood Madani also lauded the idea and added that the Jamait will extend all support for its success.

Earlier, Mangalore-based Mohammed Imthiyaz, general secretary, AIMDC, introduced the ‘Masjid One Movement’ concept and soft ware. He said Mashed can be made the nerve center of developmental activities which will be a unit in this programme.  Residents around the mosque can be broadly divided into four categories:  affluent, middle level, needy, and badly needy, he said. The data of all these families will be helpful in charting the development programme.

He pointed out that 75 percent Muslims reside in the northern Inda but they lag behind their southern counterparts in terms of education and economic status. To take the community out of the morass of this abject backwardness, he suggested many things including 2.27 lakh schools, 22 lakh teaching and non-teaching staff, 240 NGOs, 10 million pucca houses, four lakh family trust, 36,000  scientists and researchers, 1.72 lakh doctors  and paramedics etc.

For realising this ambitious project, Imthiyaz said Rs 21 lakh crore is needed. He flagged the charity model, which he said cannot work in the implementation of the project but the commercial model can.

Former chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission Kamal Farooqui gave a brief introduction of the AIMDC while Dr Javid Jamil, industrialist P Mohammad Ali and others also spoke on the occasion.

A presidium of the AIMDC was formed in which all schools of thought were given representation.

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