Watch the incredible Stig Severinsen, nicknamed “The Man Who Doesn’t Breathe,” swim underwater amongst icebergs.
A Ph.D. in medicine, Severinsen is currently the world’s record holder for the longest time holding a breath at 22 minutes.
Watch the incredible Stig Severinsen, nicknamed “The Man Who Doesn’t Breathe,” swim underwater amongst icebergs.
A Ph.D. in medicine, Severinsen is currently the world’s record holder for the longest time holding a breath at 22 minutes.
New Delhi: While demanding the probe into the role of former BJP MLA Sunil Kumar Vaidya in the Trilokpuri riots, the Aam Aadmi Party has alleged on Sunday that the communal violence in Trilokpuri area of East Delhi was a pre-planned act in order to polarize the society on communal lines for political ends. The party said it is an unpardonable act which has been committed in a pre-planned manner to polarize the society on religious lines. It appealed to the people of the area to maintain peace and clam, and no attention should be given to rumours being spread by vested interests to create discord between communities.
The AAP had sought a report from its MLAs – Raju Dhingan and Manoj Kumar, representing Trilokpuri and Kondli assembly constituencies about the reasons behind the communal flare-up and the prevailing situation. It said that both of them have been spending their nights in the affected area to prevent any further disturbance. The first-hand account narrated by them has brought out very disturbing developments, which makes it clear that there is a political design behind this communal tension in Trilokpuri and its adjoining areas.
AAP demanded that Delhi Police should probe the role of former BJP MLA Sunil Kumar Vaidya in the entire incident, since there are credible reports that he had convened a meeting on Diwali night and trouble started only after that. It needs to be investigated what was the purpose of inflammatory meetings on Diwali night and where did the group led by this BJP leader go after their controversial meeting.
The attempts to create communal discord need to be nipped in the bud and the Delhi administration needs to fully wake up before it is too late.
The party said it has been reported in the media that the union home ministry had alerted the Delhi Police about the possibility of communal tension around Diwali in some parts of the capital, since neither the home ministry nor the Delhi Police have denied the existence of such an advisory, the people of Delhi have a right to know what preventive steps were taken.
Slamming the Center, AAP said that exchange of information is meaningless if there is no political will to take action and when precedents of Uttar Pradesh are already there, the central government which is controlling Delhi by proxy has a lot to explain.
Kolkata: A 17-year-old school girl was allegedly gang raped by unidentified youths in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, police said Friday.
The incident occurred Thursday evening when the class XI student was celebrating Diwali at her home in the district’s Dhalipara area, some 40 km from here.
According to the police complaint filed by the girl’s family Friday, the accused used chloroform to make her unconscious and dragged her to a desolate spot and gang raped her.
“We have registered a case of gang rape. No arrest has been made so far,” said an officer of the Deganga police station.
The girl, recuperating at Barasat State General Hospital, underwent medical examination to confirm rape.
As the world bemoans the hanging of 26 year old Iranian woman Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was convicted of murdering physician and former Iranian intelligence officer Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, who she accused of allegedly attempting to rape her, the question of what exactly transpired on the day of the crime and the court’s reason to sentence Jabbari to death has come to surface. To give every Rashomon’s character a chance, we publish an interview of Justice Hassan Tardast, the former judge of this case who was interviewed by Iran’s Entekhab before the hanging.
Note: We are publishing this interview to only understand the case from the less discussed side, and not in support of the hanging.
This interview is long and we have extracted parts of it here:
Mr. Tardast, you have been the judge for the case of Reyhaneh Jabbari, after seven years, do you still believe that she is a murderer?
What can change my mind after close and profound inspection of the case which as specified by the law, was examined and handled by five judges.… Anybody who reads the 24 page report of the case will vote for its truth…. It was examined on top of all that by thirteen Supreme Court judges and not a single one voted against the verdict.
There is now the “campaign of supporting Reyhaneh,” have you seen their contents?
I have seen the articles and views and I am sorry for Iran’s weakness in responding to centers for spreading lies. I have personally done my best in every case to convince victims’ families to forgive the murderer and not demand execution; I have thanked God every time I have been successful in that in similar cases. But with the invasion of agenda-driven groups on this case and spreading lies and accusations against the victim, the victim’s family are now holding a grudge and won’t consent to forgiving the murderer.
Where does the family of the murdered stand on consenting to let off the death penalty?
Once in court, I told them that even if the defendant has chosen a poor way for defense and have upset and disturbed you this way, consider that your father has made a sin having an affair, so please forgive this poor girl. But they told me: “First of all, this lady is not regretful at all. Secondly, instead of the truth, they now call my father a rapist.”
Honesty and regret would have helped the family forgive and relieve her of death sentence?
Yes, if instead of lies to get foreign citizenship, Ms. Jabbari had shown honesty and regret, she would have a good chance like many other cases.
How was the state of mind of Reyhaneh Jabbari?
It was in a way that in an SMS to one of her boyfriends, she said she intended to murder her father. In court she said that she was a victim of her father’s violence when he drank.
Has the confessions of Reyhaneh been given under duress?
Almost none of the key evidences come from her statements during the first interrogation, rather from her statements in court at the side of her lawyers. She so easily and relaxed talked about her deeds.
In social media, her ex-lawyer Mr. Mostafayi has claimed that the door was locked, because the door is so filled with strikes of knife that it shows she couldn’t open the door. Is that true?
It is an absolute lie. This ‘Mr. I-am-human-rights’ acts like a corrupt politician. The accused has repeatedly stated in the court that the door was not locked. After plunging a 10-inch long blade that she bought two days prior to the murder, she left the scene pretty easily. The crime scene also shows that the door is not “filled with strikes of knife.” There is the evidence for one strike of a sharp object. When asked “why did you strike the door?” She said: “’cause I was excited and in a hurry.” When asked “was the door locked?” She replied: “No it wasn’t… After I plunged the knife, he threw a chair at me, I exited using the elevator and he used the stairs.” He died after climbing down two stories.
What did Reyhaneh do after she exited?
She says: “I hid in the street, and waited. When I saw the ambulance and the Police, I took a taxi home.”
Did the neighbors hear Reyhaneh cry for help or anything?
The crime scene is a five-story building such that the least bit of cry would be heard easily. In the questionings, the neighbors said that they only heard an object strike the wall which was the chair thrown by the victim.
Was the relationship of Reyhaneh with the murdered only concerning her job?
Ms. Jabbari said at least three times in the court that “I used to give him services in return for benefits.” It had nothing to do with interior decorations. In their slang, what they mean by “giving services” is to have sex. In addition to having a fiancé and a boyfriend, she also had affairs with multiple people simultaneously including the manager where she worked, which resulted to having disputes with her fiancé.… This is an SMS from her fiancé to her: “You said goodbye to me when you started sleeping with…, dirt. This was my last SMS to you.”
Given the age difference between them, why did they have a relationship?
As stated and recorded in the case, she says regarding her relation with an older man (the murdered): “I wanted to give some controlled services and get some benefits. I wanted to prove that I can be independent without my family’s help.” Regarding how they met, she says: “On the street, he had a Toyota Camry [Cars are four times more expensive in Iran than anywhere else.—AM]. He stopped for me and I got in.… We exchanged numbers.” They had an affair weeks before the murder, they went to restaurants, were in touch constantly as their symcard messages show. On the day of the crime, the murdered came to her work to pick her up as planned. Her colleagues testified that when a Toyota Camry came to pick her up, she told them that he is her father’s friend, and that they want to buy the car. They even brought eggs for good luck.
Considering your thirty years of experience what do you think her motivation was?
For a solid investigation of the case, I appointed a female psychologist to the case to closely examine and interview the murderess and comment. The psychologist believed that the murderess suffered from an extreme case of narcissism. Her mindset contributed to her murder, but she had not suffered from any form of insanity to be absolved. Plus, since the murdered travelled a lot for trading medical equipment, he had promised her with trips to Europe which he didn’t keep and resulted in her anger. He also had promised to give her the Toyota for a Thursday out-of-town picnic with her friends at work which he didn’t do; this also raged her a great deal. She said she was embarrassed in front of her friends.
Did Reihaneh plan for the murder?
Reihaneh is not in the habit of being manipulated and never tolerates “not receiving benefits in return for her services.” That day when the murdered asked: “Take off your scarf,” she refused. When asked if he did any act of coercion and if he turned and moved away from her, she replies: “He went to say his prayers.” The blood spatter analysis on the Sajaddeh and the chair also confirms that he was saying the prayer at the time of murder and had his back to her.
Was the plunging of the knife lethal?
The knife went into his lungs. Forensic results contradict Mr. Mostafayi’s claim that “she just had a simple strike to the shoulder.”… The murdered had bought condoms on the way there, which he had put on the table right in front of her.
It is claimed that Reyhaneh’s drink was spiked. Did you send the glasses to the lab?
There were two glasses, both of which were tested. The reports show that one of the glasses contained Difnoxilat which is a laxative.
Do you concur with efforts to make the blood owner’s consent for lifting the death penalty?
Although I have retired and although it is their right to have the execution according to Islamic laws, I am ready to do everything within my means to get the blood owner’s consent.
UPDATE: The execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari has been postponed for another 10 days to give her a chance to get the consent of the victim’s family to let off the death penalty. The family have formally stated for quite a while that they are willing to forgive Rayhaneh Jabbari, provided that she comes out with the truth. Two nights ago, BBC Farsi brought a women’s activist to discuss the case. When asked “What does the son of Mr. Sarbandi mean by truth?” she replied:”What truth? Who knows what they mean?” Despite women’s groups lying through their teeth, the family has stated that they will ask for the death penalty to be rescinded if she comes out with the truth regarding the two following questions:
When she committed the murder, a male accomplice was waiting for her and entered the room, this is why the victim followed them. Reyhaneh has referred to this accomplice as “Sh.” The family demands his identity.
Secondly, the family demands the real reason for the murder as opposed to the false accusation of rape.
Why aren’t these “women’s groups” in support of getting these questions answered?
Reyhaneh Jabbari, the Iranian woman who was hanged today by Iran after 7 years imprisonment had released her will in a voice message.
In a heart-rending message to her family in April, beginning with her mother Sholeh, 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari tells how she trusted the law, but has faced death for the crime of defending herself against an agent of Iran’s intelligence who tried to abuse her.
English translation of Reyhaneh Jabbari’s will (translated by National Council of Resistance of Iran – NCRI).
Dear Sholeh, today I learned that it is now my turn to face Qisas (the Iranian regime’s law of retribution). I am hurt as to why you did not let me know yourself that I have reached the last page of the book of my life. Don’t you think that I should know? You know how ashamed I am that you are sad. Why did you not take the chance for me to kiss your hand and that of dad?
The world allowed me to live for 19 years. That ominous night it was I that should have been killed. My body would have been thrown in some corner of the city, and after a few days, the police would have taken you to the coroner’s office to identify my body and there you would also learn that I had been raped as well. The murderer would have never been found since we don’t have their wealth and their power. Then you would have continued your life suffering and ashamed, and a few years later you would have died of this suffering and that would have been that.
However, with that cursed blow the story changed. My body was not thrown aside, but into the grave of Evin Prison and its solitary wards, and now the grave-like prison of Shahr-e Ray. But give in to the fate and don’t complain. You know better that death is not the end of life.
You taught me that one comes to this world to gain an experience and learn a lesson and with each birth a responsibility is put on one’s shoulder. I learned that sometimes one has to fight. I do remember when you told me that the carriage man protested the man who was flogging me, but the flogger hit the lash on his head and face that ultimately led to his death. You told me that for creating a value one should persevere even if one dies.
You taught us that as we go to school one should be a lady in face of the quarrels and complaints. Do you remember how much you underlined the way we behave? Your experience was incorrect. When this incident happened, my teachings did not help me. Being presented in court made me appear as a cold-blooded murderer and a ruthless criminal. I shed no tears. I did not beg. I did not cry my head off since I trusted the law.
But I was charged with being indifferent in face of a crime. You see, I didn’t even kill the mosquitoes and I threw away the cockroaches by taking them by their antennas. Now I have become a premeditated murderer. My treatment of the animals was interpreted as being inclined to be a boy and the judge didn’t even trouble himself to look at the fact that at the time of the incident I had long and polished nails.
How optimistic was he who expected justice from the judges! He never questioned the fact that my hands are not coarse like those of a sportswoman, especially a boxer. And this country that you planted its love in me never wanted me and no one supported me when under the blows of the interrogator I was crying out and I was hearing the most vulgar terms. When I shed the last sign of beauty from myself by shaving my hair I was rewarded: 11 days in solitary.
Dear Sholeh, don’t cry for what you are hearing. On the first day that in the police office an old unmarried agent hurt me for my nails I understood that beauty is not looked for in this era. The beauty of looks, beauty of thoughts and wishes, a beautiful handwriting, beauty of the eyes and vision, and even beauty of a nice voice. My dear mother, my ideology has changed and you are not responsible for it. My words are unending and I gave it all to someone so that when I am executed without your presence and knowledge, it would be given to you. I left you much handwritten material as my heritage.
However, before my death I want something from you, that you have to provide for me with all your might and in any way that you can. In fact this is the only thing I want from this world, this country and you. I know you need time for this. Therefore, I am telling you part of my will sooner. Please don’t cry and listen. I want you to go to the court and tell them my request. I cannot write such a letter from inside the prison that would be approved by the head of prison; so once again you have to suffer because of me. It is the only thing that if even you beg for it I would not become upset although I have told you many times not to beg to save me from being executed.
My kind mother, dear Sholeh, the one more dear to me than my life, I don’t want to rot under the soil. I don’t want my eye or my young heart to turn into dust. Beg so that it is arranged that as soon as I am hanged my heart, kidney, eye, bones and anything that can be transplanted be taken away from my body and given to someone who needs them as a gift. I don’t want the recipient know my name, buy me a bouquet, or even pray for me. I am telling you from the bottom of my heart that I don’t want to have a grave for you to come and mourn there and suffer. I don’t want you to wear black clothing for me. Do your best to forget my difficult days. Give me to the wind to take away.
The world did not love us. It did not want my fate. And now I am giving in to it and embrace the death. Because in the court of God I will charge the inspectors, I will charge inspector Shamlou, I will charge judge, and the judges of country’s Supreme Court that beat me up when I was awake and did not refrain from harassing me. In the court of the creator I will charge Dr. Farvandi, I will charge Qassem Shabani and all those that out of ignorance or with their lies wronged me and trampled on my rights and didn’t pay heed to the fact that sometimes what appears as reality is different from it.
Dear soft-hearted Sholeh, in the other world it is you and me who are the accusers and others who are the accused. Let’s see what God wants. I wanted to embrace you until I die. I love you.
April 1, 2014
New Delhi: The Union government has named three persons who are black money account holders in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, TV reports said.
According to television reports on Monday, the three persons named are Pradip Burman, director of the Burman Group, Pankaj Chimanlal Lodya, a Rajkot-based bullion trader and Radha S Timblo, a Goa-based miner and owner of Timblo Pvt Ltd.
The television reports also indicated that four members of the Congress party, including a former minister of the previous UPA regime, are under investigation, and added that their names may be revealed after the probe is completed. Among the four Congress party members are two belonging to powerful political families in the state of Maharashtra, the television reports further stated.
Last week, it was revealed that the Centre was likely to tell the apex court the names of the people against whom strong evidence exists of stashing away black money in Swiss banks in a major step in its crackdown on India’s parallel economy.
On Monday, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is reported to have submitted a supplementary affidavit in the apex court detailing plans to submit the list of names in a sealed envelope.
The court is due to continue hearings on a petition on black money the following day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is moving fast to repatriate hundreds of billions of dollars in slush funds or black money stashed abroad, as part of a wider clampdown on corruption that he promised during his election campaign.
The government is building pressure particularly on Switzerland, seeking details of Indians who have parked unaccounted for money in Switzerland’s highly secretive banks. It has quickly implemented a Supreme Court directive to set up a high-powered special investigation team, headed by retired judge M B Shah, to look into the issue.
While there are no official estimates, Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based think-tank, has estimated that Indians had parked USD 462 billion in overseas tax havens between 1948 and 2008.
Black money arises mainly from incomes not disclosed to the government usually to avoid taxation, and, sometimes, because of its criminal links. About a third of India’s black money transactions are believed to be in real estate, followed by manufacturing and shopping for gold and consumer goods.
Earlier, the BJP government had told the apex court that it could not disclose the names of those who have deposited money in banks abroad as it this would jeopardize tax agreements with nations providing those names to India.
There were murmurs of protest within the ruling BJP that not disclosing names would hurt the party’s image after it had made bringing back black money, a key issue in a general election that it won by a landslide. The Centre’s stand also drew a strong response from the Congress, which accused it of hypocrisy.
Turning the tables on the Congress, finance minister Arun Jaitley had recently said the disclosing of names of people holding black money accounts will embarrass the opposition party.
The Congress had hit back, daring the government to come out with complete information without indulging in “selective leaks” and pointing out that “the Congress is not going to be blackmailed under any such threat”.
How has the Dalit movement fared in Marathwada till now?
Marathwada was a part of Nizam-ruled Hyderabad state, which resulted in feudalism, backwardness and more atrocities on the Dalits. Lack of employement, fuelled by chronic casteism gave strength to the Dalit movement here. There have been several separate movements by the Dalit Panthers, Republican Party of India, Manviya Haq Abhiyan and Ukraant. The more you suppress, the stronger the movement grows.
How has Manviya Haq Abhiyan succeeded so far?
The main aim of Manviya Haq Abhiyan, which started in 1990, was to put a halt to the caste-based occupations in the villages, stop caste atrocities and secure as much as possible fallow government grazing land for the Dalits. A lot of Dalits have got grazing land to toil. Earlier, people did not file cases of atrocities. Things have changed. Dalits have gathered more courage and voice, which has led to more action.
Despite economic empowerment, has social equality come?
It is very hard to bring social equality in our country, even if economic equality has been achieved. After struggling for so many years, I am being looked down upon as a Dalit, but not on the face. Everything is behind my back. Social equality is very hard to achieve…our countrymen are mad people. Humanity has no value. Stones have value, animals have value, but humans don’t. Even cats and dogs are treated better than Dalits in our society. Humans are not treated like humans, rest all are gods. Lord Buddha spread the message of equality but the people of our country did not like that. Hence, this situation.
Why do you think Babasaheb Ambedkar’s ideology did not make much impact on many Dalit communities throughout India on the level it could have?
In south, Baba’s ideology has made a great impact. In U.P., Baba’s thoughts were taken forward by Kanshi Ram ji. However, all over India it might not have made a great impact partly because the one’s who should have taken the ideas to other states — The Marathi Dalit — is largely rural and does not have that level of exposure to the other states.
Where do you see the Dalit movement in Maharashtra post-BJP government both at Centre and state?
The Congress-NCP rule ignored the Dalit issues like anything. The earlier Chief Ministers and the home ministers would visit the Dalit villages after an atrocity or massacre. However, the recent governments even stopped that formality. The Dalits were angry with the government, so they wanted a change and voted for BJP en masse, which is also a reason for BJP’s accession to power in Maharashtra.
What are the differences between the Dalit movements in Vidarbha and Marathwada?
The Dalit movements of Marathwada, Vidarbha and western Maharashtra are different from one another. The Marathwada movement has been aggressive as caste-oppression has been the most violent here. The Dalit movement in Vidarbha is not united. However, after a caste atrocity or violence, the Mahars and the Maangs (major Dalit communities) come under the same roof. Organisations join hands to put up a collective fight. Within 15 days of an atrocity, the victim Dalit takes his “revenge” in Marathwada. Such is not the case in Vidarbha. The casteism in western Maharashtra is very subtle and non-violent in nature.
Despite such a strong social movement in Maharashtra, why did not the Dalits get much political power?
It is because of the divide among the Dalits. The shaane (clever) Dalits have outnumbered the deewane (passionate) Dalits in Maharashtra.
What is your stand on Arundhati Roy’s “version” of Annhilation of caste?
I haven’t read it yet. So, can’t comment on that.
Your organisation has Ambedkariite ideology but has supported NCP, Congress and BJP. Does that not clash with your political ideology?
No, it doesn’t. The Congress-NCP rule has been more cruel on Dalits than the BJP-SS rule.
So, you can go with any ideology for the betterment of the Dalits?
It is not like that. The Congress has used the Dalits and the Muslims by using the fear of BJP. So, our stand has become “dekh lenge” (We’ll see). Hence, the Dalits have supported the BJP this time.
Can Dalits and Muslims ever come together politically?
They can but they won’t. Dalits and Muslims have separate agendas. The Muslims have never been politically organised. They have just organised themselves on religious grounds. Dalits till get politically organised. Muslims have voted en masse to BJP here in Majalgaon in Beed district.
Why did it take so long for convicting the perpetrators of Khairlanji incident?
It has been majorly due to state government’s negligence. They were never beside the Dalits of Khairlanji. They instead honoured Kahirlanji with a “Tanta Mukti Puraskar” (an award given for solving their problems). In that very village, such a gruesome massacre and rapes took place. The attitude of the government is best seen the way it had changed non-bailable offences to bailable ones.
Where do you see media’s role in bringing out atrocities to the “mainstream”.
Only Dalit media reports such cases regularly. Big medias have become corporatised. The philanthrophy in journalism has become very weak. The media won’t earn much if they publish or report more of atrocities on Dalits, who are not “news”.
Where do you see role of Dalit literature as a medium of Dalit voice?
It is very very important. In Mahrashtra, a lot has been done through Dalit literature. Maharashtra has now all types of Dalit literature.
What is the reason that the Dalits in Maharashtra are the most organised?
It is the result of the movements by Mahatma Phule and Babasaheb. A lot has changed here.
Why do you think the BSP did not make much inroads into Maharashtra?
I have fought on a BSP ticket in Lok Sabha elections once. I believe in the ideology. But, with the death of Kanshi Ram ji, his dream too died. Mayawati is busy in petty party politics. Kanshi Ram ji’s work was missionary. His mission was to make Dalits wake up. During his lifetime, BSP became a national party. After his death, the downfall of the party started, its area of influence got reduced and limited to in and around U.P.
Do you think there is any chance of Dalit panthers to regain strength in Maharashtra?
No, its not possible. People have changed a lot. A Dalit organisation grows when Dalits are insecure. Now, the situation of Dalits in Maharashtra has improved manifolds. Atrocities have reduced. The “dushman” (enemy) has also become conscious. They now fear the Dalits. They are not in a position to be aggressive against Dalits, as was the situation during Dalit Panthers’ time. Also, the commitment among Dalit children towards the movement has reduced. Not many Dalit kids will go on a padayatra (foot march) today. During the heyday of 70s, we used to walk for 40 km a day to reach villages and sensitise people. In this new position, rebuilding and resurecting Dalit Panthers is very very difficult.
Do you support OBC reservations for Marathas?
Not at all!!! They are the exploiters. They have factories, dairies, farms. They are the sarpanch, MLA, MP, ministers, CM. They are everywhere. Why do they need reservation? According to the constitution, reservation if for the traditionally powerless communities. Marathas are in power since ages.
Bengal is second in the country both in terms of Dalit population and percentage. Still its has seen no major Dalit movement post-independence. Is it due to suppression of caste and more importance to class?
Yes. CPI and CPM have done this grave mistake and hence have failed. They believe that social mobility will follow economic mobility. But that has not happened. Babasaheb had told that caste and class issues should go hand-in-hand. So, Dalit issues in Bengal were suppressed by class struggle. Bengal needs a strong Dalit leader now.
The writer is pursuing M.A. Dalit and Tribal Studies and Action at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He was a working journalist at The New Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle in Hyderabad. He is currently an independent journalist.
by Cii News
A region of the world laden with a rich Islamic legacy and that gave rise to giants of Islamic scholarship appears to be on a witch-hunt to censor works of Islamic thought and reading material.
In a supreme irony, the Sahih al Bukhari compilation of Ahadeeth, considered the most authentic book in Islam after the Qur’aan, which was curated by Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari RA, one of the wider ‘Russian’ Empire’s greatest sons, has now been earmarked by some within the country for banning due to its apparent “extremist” nature.
Russian Muslims are incensed by the development and have now reportedly formed a commission against the proposed ban.
“It is nonsensical to ban the books of hadith, Sahih Al-Bukhari, which is particularly important for the Muslims,” Russia Ulyanovsk Region’s Mufti Muhammed Baibikov commented.
The proposed measure is the latest manifestation of a censorship trend spearheaded by the Russian authorities which began almost 7 years ago.
Since Russia’s Federal List of Extremist Materials came into effect, a number of both contemporary and classic Islamic religious texts have been tentatively outlawed.
The list was enacted in July 2007 and as of December 2011 contained 1,058 items.
As per law, producing, storing or distributing any of the materials on the list within Russia shall be considered a criminal offense when the law is enacted next year.
Reports say the Islamic books that have been banned include the works of popular 20th century Turkish scholar Said Nursi, the famous “Fortress of the Muslim” book of Duas, parts of the Fadhaail e A’maal and certain biographies of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
The list considers the Islamic works to equally problematic as books such as Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and certain Jehovah’s Witness publications.
Particularly affected are Muslims in Russia’s recently annexed Crimea region who have been asked to destroy Islamic books and materials included on the blacklist, including copies of the Noble Qur’an and volumes of Sirah.
“The Religious Administration of Muslims of Crimea informs Muslim religious organizations, and society that Russia’s federal list of banned extremist materials extends over Crimea,” the Religious Administration of Muslims of Crimea said in a statement cited by the Qirim News Agency in August.
“Therefore distribution, production or storage of materials mentioned in the list is forbidden and will entail responsibility,” said a statement released on the Religious Administration’s website.
“Please study the list and take measures to eliminate prohibited materials if they exist,” the statement advised.
Among the literary items deemed extremist by the list are:
“The Book of Tawheed”, the author – Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Tamimi
“Through the prism of Islam,” the author – ‘Abd al-Hadi ibn Ali
Book of collected works of Said Nursi “Risale-i Nur” “Faith and man,”
“Fundamentals of Islam (Usul al-Aqeedah)”
“The Islamic Aqeedah (creed, belief, outlook) in the Holy Quran and the authentic sayings of the Prophet Muhammad”
“The Life of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam”
“The establishment of the laws of Allah”
“Personality of a Muslim”
“The Book of Monotheism”
The Life of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab”
“The need to comply” Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah “(sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
“Recreating the Caliphate – the responsibility of the Muslims”
A number of publications by Hizb ut Tahrir
“Muhammad Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam” by Saifur Rahmaan Mubarakpuri
“Snapshots from the life of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)
The Book of Al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salah Ibn Uthaymeen “The Explanation of the Fundamentals of faith”
Collection of the Works of Ahmed Deedat
Biggest sins in Islam by Muhammad Salih Al Munajjid
“Zakat. His place in Islam. Fasting in Ramadan, its importance for Muslims”
“Economic System in Islam”
“Fadhail A’maal” Shaykh al Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakaria Kandehlevi
Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi “Personality of a Muslim”
“Democracy. The system of disbelief” by Abdul Kadim Zallum
Sheikh Ali Al-Tantawi “Understanding Islam”
“Tafseer of Surah Al-Ahzab, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah”
“The Miracles of the Qur’an”
“The Life of the Prophet PBUH” by al-Mubarakpuri Safi al-Rahman
“Light of the Holy Quran (explanations and interpretations)” Volume 4
Popular science magazine “Caliphate”
“100 Tips for Islamic youth”
“On the question of clothing” (by Maulana Abul Ala Maududi)
Osman Nuri Topbas book series “In the light of the Holy Qur’an,” “The History of the Prophets”
“The Best of Women Khadija RA”
Ibn Hisham’s “Life of the Prophet Muhammad”
“40 Hadith of Imam al-Nawawi”
“Stories biographies of the Messenger of Allah”
“Fortress of the Muslim.“
Sayyid Qutb’s book “The future belongs to Islam”
“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”
“Muhammad (peace be upon him) the natural successor to Christ“
by Manisha Sethi
Once I had to drive a Mumbai ATS inspector across the city. He chatted about his B.A. degree (he too had studied Sociology), took an interest in my Ph.D. dissertation (“poor young girls were initiated into nunhood”), recommended the SUV that zipped past us (“value for money”). But we were not out sight seeing. In the rear seat was sitting a young man whose brother had been literally plucked by the ATS from the Delhi Police Special Cell which he was helping track down some suspects. He was then charged with conspiring the July 2011 Zaveri bazar blast in Mumbai. The ATS had now come calling on this young man, to take him to Mumbai, ostensibly to ‘question’ him. But questioning often means warrantless arrests, illegal detention and torture leading to leaked stories in the media and charges of terrorism.
The ATS team had arrived in the middle of a press conference. This effectively frustrated their simple enough plan to carry away Nadeem (name changed) for uninterrupted interrogation in the comforts of their police station. Slightly irritated at our presence, and shivering from the assault of the Delhi December cold, the ACP who headed the team began to enquire from this young man. The gist of his inquisition was this:
“What did your brother tell the Special Cell?”
“Wouldn’t it be simpler to pose this question to the Special Cell?”, we asked.
Apparently, the protocol is to whisk away suspects, or even their brothers.
So, now, here we were discussing sociology, Jain nuns and large cars, headed to the Nadeem’s house for a search at the other end of the city. “Why do you illegally detain suspects?”, I turned to a less pleasanter topic. “How would it hurt to send summons to those you wish to interrogate?”
The Inspector looked genuinely hurt. “Illegal detention? Never. We always take the person out for a walk after 23 hours.”
It was one of those tragi-comic moments when one isn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Here was an officer of law telling us that the legal requirement of producing an arrestee before a magistrate within 24 hours could be circumvented ‘legally’.
This brief encounter was but a glimpse into the ease with which norms are institutionally subverted. It also gave us a first hand experience of the dread of being pursued. When every knock on the door, every ring of the phone makes your stomach churn; when the grey of the evening appears full of foreboding. But worst of all, the knowledge that no one may be able to help you from being taken away. The stories in Section I bear the imprint of this terror, felt as a visceral force. Some months after the above incident, I chanced upon a letter sent out by an accused in the Mumbai train bombings of 2006. The address was marked Anda Cell, Arthur Road prison. It was a grim chronicle of Ehtesham Qutub’s 75-day-long custody in the ATS. One name leapt out of this letter of horror. It was the name of the Inspector.
He, who had amiably offered expert comments to me on my Ph.D. thesis, sympathizing with girls “who were tortured into becoming nuns,” played a starring role in the letter as the master of ceremonies, conducting and executing a regimen of excruciating pain on the man under his power. This letter appears in “Dr. Narco and other Stories”, which recounts the centrality of torture and cavalier prejudice to the Mumbai train blasts investigations. But this affliction is not unique to the Mumbai ATS; Section I shows these to be fundamental to all terror investigations: the Uttar Pradesh STF working on the Katcheri blasts of 2006, the Special Cell of Delhi Police which abducted the IB’s informers and produced them in a dramatic press conference as Al Badr operatives; the Hyderabad Crime Branch – acting sometimes in collusion, at other times in competition, all tied tenuously by the shadowy Intelligence Bureau.
Nothing compares to the fear of the early days. With time however, the long arm of law manages to transform this palpable terror into a dull, unending ache.
Manisha Sethi is currently Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. She teaches at the Centre for Comparative Religions and Civilizations, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She is also Associate Editor at Biblio: A Review of Books. Her book Escaping the World: Women Renouncers among Jains was published in 2012. Sethi is an activist with Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA).
New Delhi: Concerned members of the civil society have petitioned to the Lieutenant Governor, Delhi Police over communal riots in Trilokpuri and expressed deep concerns about the “role and steps taken by the police” in the process of restoring communal peace and harmony, and ensuring legal justice.
They wrote that they are worried by reports that many young men are being illegally detained for long periods, and political representatives of one segment of the young men are being permitted to enter the police stations, whereas other lawyers and senior activists are not being permitted to enter the police stations.
“Rightly or wrongly, this has created an impression of communal and political bias and a lack of fairness. This is not conducive to restoring peace in the area,” the petitioned.
They demanded that the local police are firmly instructed to function in ways that are transparent, bipartisan and fair. “We further demand that all persons who are detained in connection with the violence are presented before a magistrate, and due and fair process of law not only followed but seen to be followed by all affected people,” the petition read.
The following petition signed by activists, academicians and citizens have been sent by email and fax to the Lieutenant Governor and the police commissioner today over communal violence:
Lieutenant Governor of Delhi
Police Commissioner, Delhi
October 26, 2014
We the undersigned and many other citizens of Delhi are deeply concerned about the role and steps taken by the police in the process of restoring communal peace and harmony, and ensuring legal justice, following the recent communal tensions in Trilokpuri, Delhi.
We are worried by reports that many young men are being illegally detained for long periods, and political representatives of one segment of the young men are being permitted to enter the police stations, whereas other lawyers and senior activists are not being permitted to enter the police stations. Rightly or wrongly, this has created an impression of communal and political bias and a lack of fairness. This is not conducive to restoring peace in the area.
We therefore demand that the local police are firmly instructed to function in ways that are transparent, bipartisan and fair. We further demand that all persons who are detained in connection with the violence are presented before a magistrate, and due and fair process of law not only followed but seen to be followed by all affected people. We further demand that medical tests are done of all injured persons, and that family members and lawyers are permitted to meet the detained persons.
Signed on behalf of
Anam Khan, Advocate, Human Rights law Network
Asad Ashraf, Aman Biradari
Ashok Kumar Boudh
Asrarul haque Jeelani
Dvijendra Nath Kalia
Harsh Mander, writer, social activist, Centre for Equity Studies
Jaya Sharma, NoMore campaign
Manisha Sethi, JTSA
Mohd Zakir Riyaz
ND Pancholi, advocate
Poorva Bhardwaj, social activist
Santosh Kumar- sanhati
Satya Sidhartha Pawar
Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, ANHAD
Shefali & Sanjeev
Syed Mujtaba Athar
Tariq Adeeb, Advocate, Human Rights law Network
Zulekha jabin, Social activist