Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Islamic Radicals woo Ahmedabad’s Muslim ghettoes

Posted by jagoindia on September 13, 2008


Radicals woo Ahmedabad’s invisible people
Jumana Shah
Wednesday, September 10, 2008  04:11 IST

AHMEDABAD:As one enters Ahmedabad’s ‘Bombay Hotel’ ghetto in the Dani Limda area in the east of the city, the stench from the gutters hits you first and then come the flies.

You wonder how people survive among the mounds of refuse and dirt. Welcome to the sub-human world of Ahmedabad’s Muslim ghettoes — home to six lakh of the nine lakh-odd members of the community living in the city.

Religious groups called firqa, like Ahle-Hadees, Tablighi Jamaat, Sunni Jamaat; Jamiat-e-ulema and Jamaat-e-Islami, have replaced the government in these ghettos – buying loyalty by providing basic services such as water, food, sanitation, and health. They also provide a measure of governance to an area where anarchy reigns.

“They have elections and ration cards, but no ration shop in the area. These handsomely funded religious groups have constructed houses, provided medical services, borewells in each house, arranged for employment etc. In return people have to attend religious discourses regularly”, says a local Muslim leader Ibrahim Sheikh.

According to sources, 200 madrassas have cropped up in Shah-e-alam area alone in the past six years.

In Ahmedabad, the Ahle-Hadees is the most popular firqa. The first arrest after the blasts was that of Abdul Halim who heads Hadees, which provides free drinking water to Dani Limda, Shah-e-alam and Bombay Hotel areas. It was founded after the 1992 riots to rehabilitate victims.

The entire Dani Limda area has been a part of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for the past three decades. The residents here who are given no facilities whatsoever are, however, compelled to pay tax.

Shamsuddin Qureshi, 48, a rickshaw driver from Dani Limda, says, “We have been paying the tax regularly for seven years, but our area does not get even a drop of drinking water, no drainage leads to extreme dirt … I must have personally made at least 20 written complaints, participated in countless rallies to the Kotha. We continue to pay the taxes in the hope that AMC will take action some day.”

Municipal schools exist on the ‘border’ — the area that separate ghettoes from other areas. But they are insufficient. Leading human rights activist Haneef Lakdawala says, “Unemployment is a big problem with the youth here. The crime rate is very high, mostly attributed to the land mafia. Police intervene after the crime is committed. For those who do not want to get involved, there is no option but to turn their face, as living in such ghettos or leaving them are both unsafe. The religious influence of radical maulvis is dominating their sphere. It’s a catch-22 situation.”

It has also been reported that saffron organisations urge companies not to hire Muslims. Muzaffar Hashim,28, from Juhapura, who was working with a stock broking firm, was fired last Monday. A first-class graduate from a reputed college in the city, this man is now jobless, thanks to his address. It is a known fact that banks do not give loans and credit cards to residents of these areas.

“I finally accepted a job arranged at an industrial unit by a member of Ahle-Hadees. In turn, they request me to attend all prayer calls and visit the mosque at least on Fridays. I am not a religious person and was avoiding their attention for the past four years, but after the blasts, I had no option. I have a family to feed,” said Hashim, who has recently started sporting a beard.

Former Congress councillor of Dani Limda Badruddin Sheikh admits that the civic situation in lower-middle class minority ghettos all over the city are pathetic. “There is no shortage of funds for the AMC now if it wants to develop these areas, but the political will is clearly missing,” he says.

The Gujarat police were not wrong to insist none of those arrested were ‘victims’ of 2002 riots. They are the victims of the government’s apathy.

One Response to “Islamic Radicals woo Ahmedabad’s Muslim ghettoes”

  1. hindu militant said

    Yeah right. First do dadagiri, antagonise the hindus, kill them, start communal riots, and then cry when hindus retaliate. Now they complain that they are discriminated in jobs. Tell me, which hindu of sane mind will employ a muslim? Or give loans, or credit cards? Why should they, when they have plenty qualified hindus to do the same job?

    Paani me rehke magarmach se bair lete hain, fir magarmach katne ko aata hai to rote kyu ho? Absolutely NO sympathy for these idiots, they deserve it.

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