Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


November 2014

The Iqbal Memorial Lecture: The long-planned Iqbal Memorial Lecture and Dinner on November 22 had to be postponed because of the cancellation by the Keynote speaker, Shibley Telhami, two weeks before the event, citing unforeseen circumstances and health problems. It proved impossible to find a creditable substitute speaker at short notice. The Memorial Lecture will be rescheduled sometime in the coming spring.
A Painless Way to Donate to AAA Funds: Dr. Aftab Ansari, chairman of the scholarship committee, in a letter addressed to members and friends of the AAA requested that they use the following link when placing any shopping orders with Amazon. When using the link, the company will donate 0.5 percent of the price of goods ordered to the AAA without costing the customer anything. It is a win-win situation!
AAA Mushaira Report: The report of the Annual Mushaira held on September 27, 2014, published in Pakistan Link, November 21, is now accessible on line:
Women Undergraduate Students Allowed Access to the Main Library: Deferring to a decision of the Allahabad High Court, the AMU has allowed the female undergraduate students from Abdullah College free access to the Moulana Abul Kalam Azad library at all times. Previously, the University had denied use of the facilities, citing lack of adequate space, or because the safety of the female students could not be assured at night. The High Court rejected these arguments. The University has now requested a Rs. 20 crores (200 million) grant to expand the library facilities. (Source: The Times of India; Courtesy, Dr. Raziuddin)
Controversy about Anniversary Celebrations:

The AMU Vice Chancellor has expressed some concern about the BJP’s plans to celebrate the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh (1886-1979) at the campus on December 1. Lt. Gen. Shah feared that this may cause some unrest and misunderstanding, as the event is being sponsored by outsiders. The new generation has little knowledge of Raja Pratap Singh and his role in the freedom struggle. He was in fact a fierce nationalist, a Marxist, besides being an illustrious alumnus of AMU. The BJP would not be so enthusiastic about celebrating his birthday, had it been aware of his background. (Source: The Hindu; Courtesy Dr. Raziuddin)
Glimpses into the Past History of Aligarh

Opposition to Sir Syed’s Writings:  As Sir Syed started to express his criticism in his monthly publication, Tehzeb ul Akhlaq, of the religious and cultural practices prevalent among Indian Muslims, it ignited a firestorm in the conservative religious circles.  Some invoked the time-honored slogan that his views had put Islam in peril in India.  Sir Syed became the target of scurrilous attacks from a variety of opponents and sources. Some propagated the canard that he was an apostate, had become a “Cristan” or “naturary”, and was an infidel. Therefore, to support his college (MAO) or send children to be educated there were in violation of the religious edicts. Others preached his social boycott and urged Muslim not to greet him or share a meal with him.

Some posters and newspapers were specifically taken out to oppose his mission and malign Sir Syed. The antagonism was not confined within India. A certain Moulvi Ali Buksh Khan took upon himself to travel to Hijaz, under Ottoman rule at the time, and obtained fatwas from Muftis of four established Sunni schools of thought, validating and reinforcing those already issued by the Indian Muftis. These fatwas enjoined that Sir Syed be subjected to corporal punishment and a period of imprisonment for his sins. The Grand Mufti of Madina, Shaikh Mohammed Amin, went even further and prescribed capital punishment for him. (Adapted from: Naveed-e-Fikr, By Syed Sibtay Hasan, 2008, Pakistan)

Syed Amir (Editor)                                                               Khurshid Usmani (Web)

Fazal Khan (President)                                                        Tariq Farooqi (Chairman)

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