Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dom gets a gallery, his painting a home

Alexandre Moniz Barbosa,TNN | Mar 7, 2014, 03.35 AM IST

Note: This report was published in the Times of India and the picture in Raj Bhavan Goa web page. They reproduced here by courtesy of both.

Hon'ble Governor Mr. Bharat Vir Wanchoo at the Opening of the Dom Martin Art Gallery and the Exhibition of Paintings on March 08, 2014.

PANAJI: Another Goan artist will receive his due recognition in his homeland this weekend. The art panels that adorned the casket holding the scared relics of St Francis Xavier at the 1974 exposition are back in Goa, and on Saturday they will be on exhibition at the new Dom Martin Art Gallery, named after the artist himself, at the Goa Chitra Museum, Benaulim.

Artist Dom Martin, a brilliant artist who has always avoided publicity, sees this as a blessing. "Artists have the historical misfortune of being overlooked in their homeland, and the homeland awakens only after their artist is finally illuminated through the auspicious of a foreign sky, and the art buying then takes on a ravenous spin. In my instance, I feel blessed and gratified that my homeland has and continues to acknowledge my art even though I haven't sold a single painting since 1978," Martin told TOI in an email interview from California, USA, where he is based.

The gallery was conceived by Goa Chitra curator Victor Hugo Gomes as a gesture of gratitude to Martin when the artist donated to the museum 71 of his works, which had been locked up for years in his Porvorim flat and some of whose frames had been attacked by white ants. "When he bequeathed me these works I got a shock and I didn't know how to thank him. I was building an art gallery at that time and so I decided to name it after Dom," Gomes said.

In the coming months, the gallery will host art classes in Dom's name. While the 1974 exposition panels will be on view this Saturday, the other works of art donated by Dom to Goa Chitra will be exhibited later this year in three phases.

The eight 1974 exposition panels were not part of the bequest and were with Martin in California, until he dispatched these to Goa too. "The panels were priceless to me from a sentimental standpoint, being that they were symbolically embodied to the saint's sacred body during the 1974 exposition. From that perspective it was difficult (parting with them). However, they will be presently showcased in a much more prestigious place at Goa Chitra. They would otherwise be stashed in my desk drawer," Martin said.

Recalling how he worked on the panels 40 years back, Martin said that three days before the exposition he received a postcard from the then Rector of the Basilica of Bom Jesus asking him to come to the basilica. There he was asked to "come forth with something more powerful to showcase" the 1974 exposition.

"Overwhelmed with the prospect of producing something of this importance at such short notice, I left the basilica but not before striking a deal with the Saint: 'Provide me with the inspiration and I'll come through'," Martin said. What emerged were the panels depicting the life of the Saint.

Martin's art is not new to Goa. Since 1972, some of his works have been on permanent display at the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the art gallery in the same church. "Having my works now on display at the Dom Martin Art Galley at Goa Chakra, gives it a broader scope and a new impetus," Martin said.

Martin is known more in Goa for his philanthropy. The Vincent Xavier Verodiano Award he instituted in memory of his father has been recognizing the achievements of Goans since the year 1991. "The award originated upon my father's demise from a modest sum of money he bequeathed me. The corpus fund has since been supplemented from my personal contributions," Martin said.

Explaining the objective of the award Martin said, "The criteria of most awards is to scramble around, striving to crown the already renowned with further glory. The Verodiano Award differs in that its objective is not to further affirm those individuals (or societies, institutions or organizations), who have already found recognition in the field of art, music, literature, science, medicine, or humanities, but to recognize the potential of those who have not, and these who, for want of recognition might not otherwise be able to develop their talents and abilities for the benefit of posterity, or for the wellbeing of mankind," Martin said.

The inaugural exhibition at the Dom Martin Art Gallery, to be inaugurated by governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo, will be of paintings created last month during the International Art Residency, 2014, held at Goa Chitra.

    About the author:

     Dom Martin is a renowned artist whose paintings adorn the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, a poet     who has penned gut-wrenching poetry, and a visionary who has created prophetic images. His books     include CoEexistence: Humanity's Wailing Wall (2006) and Genocide: The New Order of Imperialism     (2008) and his latest, a volume of poetry, NAKBLINKA: The Cleansing of Co-Existence. It deals with     the brutal attack on Gaza by Israel and is a step beyond other books on the subject.
     Some opinions on him:
     Mairead McGuire, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1976 : The poetry of Dom Martin cries out for an end to     the infliction of cruelty and death upon the oppressed peoples of the world…… his metaphors call us       to a deeper awareness, as Beings, of the tragedy and suffering that is the result of our unwillingness       to coexist peacefully with one another. His truth-telling and honesty heralds new hope of peaceful           coexistence for all inhabitants of our undivided planet.
    Dr. Luis Gaspar da Silva, Poet, Statesman:His seriousness is undoubtedly, one of the greatest -- if         not the greatest -- ethos of his art. The man lives and reacts through what is true, or to whatever           appears to him to be true, and what he executes is his truth. Hence, the intense reality of an                     expression of art which it appears to me is not very common ….Dom Martin has a special technique       of expressing whatever lies deepest in the human soul, and what is more important, of the terrible           and eternal problem of our presence as humanbeings in this vale of tears.

    Dr. James J. Zogby, President, Arab American Institute: I am struck by (his)words and                         illustrations. I appreciate (his) focus on the human element, beyond the game of finger-pointing and       blame that so often takes precedent. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How Clean Is the “Clean Chit” to Modi

Note; This article is published here courtesy of Bhindy Bazaar. For original article go to: 

By Kenan Malik

To pave the way for BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani’s national prime ministerial ambitions, the trail of blood which followed his Rath Yatra in 1989 and his signal contribution to the movement to violently pull down the Babri Masjid in 1992 were sought to be substantially erased from public memory by a systematic campaign of his re-invention as a moderate statesman. A similar exercise is feverishly under way to whitewash the hawkish and violent past of the BJP’s new prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi. Except for his core Hindu nationalist constituency, he is being reinvented as the messiah of market growth.

But the erasure of Mr Modi’s role in the brutal communal massacre of 2002 in Gujarat is even harder to accomplish. This is partly because until his meteoric rise on the national stage, he was proud rather than apologetic about the carnage which was accomplished during his stewardship. He led a ‘gaurav yatra’ or ‘procession of pride’ in the aftermath of the carnage which swept him to power. In his speeches then and over many years, he often taunted the Muslim people for their large families, and alleged their role in violence, terror and sympathy in Pakistan. He alluded to his own ‘chhapan chhaati’ or chest of 58 inches, suggesting his exceptional manly courage in taming the ‘enemy within’. He resolutely refused to express regret for the carnage, until again when propelled on the national stage, when he awkwardly said that if the car he was riding in (but not driving) ran over even a puppy, he would feel anguished.

Given his own discourse until recently of barely suppressed triumphalism surrounding the carnage of 2002, his transition to secular statesmanship required an exceptionally wilful flight of fancy among those who support him. Leaders of industry like Ratan Tata, the Ambani brothers and Sunil Mittal applaud his leadership for market growth, rejecting the idea that his national ambitions are disqualified by his alleged role in one of the most brutal communal massacres after Independence. They counsel that we should focus on the ‘big picture’ of growth, as though the violent suppression of minorities is a minor blemish. Many European ambassadors are lining up at his door in the hope of participating in Gujarat’s growth story. All of them need a fig-leaf to cover the nakedness of their choices.

This fig-leaf came with the closure report filed by the Supreme Court appointed SIT (Special Investigation Team) which absolved Narendra Modi of any role in the carnage, concluding there was no ‘prosecutable evidence’ against the Chief Minister. These findings were endorsed by the ‘clean-chit’ given the lower court which heard Zakia Jafri’s petition of April 15, 2013 alleging a high-level conspiracy to manipulate the Godhra tragedy to organise and fuel the carnage which followed. The first name among the 59 accused in Zakia Jafri’s petition was of Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Zakia’s lawyer Mihir Desai argued in the court that the political head of the State, the Home Ministry and the administration were in full knowledge of and allowed the ‘build-up of aggressive and communal sentiments, violent mobilisation, including carrying of arms, and a general outpouring against the minority community…’ Relying on documents collected by the SIT itself, Zakia’s petition attempted to establish that there was a conspiracy at the senior-most levels of the state administration not just to generate hatred against Muslims, but also to target Muslim people and their property and religious places and ‘aid and abet this process by acts and omissions of persons liable under law to act otherwise.’

How much does the SIT’s closure report and the lower court’s ‘clean chit’ for Mr Modi really free him from any taint of the Gujarat carnage? At best, these suggest that there is not irrefutable evidence that the Chief Minister actually directed the slaughter of Muslims be allowed to continue, giving free rein to enraged ‘Hindus’ to violently vent their rage. The SIT chose not to give credence to the statements of one serving and one retired police officer. But Manoj Mitta in his carefully researched new book ‘The Fiction of Fact-Finding: Modi and Godhra’, demonstrates that the SIT treated its influential first accused with kid gloves, never registering an FIR against him, nor pinning him down on a number of questions such as his public statement on 27 Feb 2012 that the train burning in Godhra was a pre-planned inhuman collective violent act of terrorism’, a claim which has not been borne out in the courts, and which fuelled public anger in the acts of mass revenge against Muslims which followed. It likewise did not question him about his claim that he first heard about the Gulbarg apartments massacre in which Ehsan Jafri lost his life at 8 in the evening of 28 Feb 2002, many hours after the slaughter, even though he was closely monitoring the events at the Circuit House Annexe just a few kilometres away from the Gulbarg apartments.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, amicus curie appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate allegations of Narendra Modi’s complicity in the Gujarat riots, also disagreed with the conclusions of the SIT. His opinion reported to the Supreme Court is that ‘the offences which can be made out against Shri Modi, at this prima facie stage’ include ‘promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and acts prejudicial to (the) maintenance of harmony.’ He believes also that there were grounds not to dismiss the version of suspended police officer Sanjiv Bhatt out of hand by the SIT, that on February 27, 2002, hours after 58 passengers were set on fire in a train near the Godhra station, Mr Modi held a meeting at his residence with senior police officers and told them that Hindus should be allowed to ‘vent their anger.’ He states: ‘I disagree with the conclusion of the SIT that Shri Bhatt should be disbelieved at this stage itself. On the other hand, I am of the view that Shri Bhatt needs to be put through the test of cross-examination, as do the others who deny his presence’.

Mr Ramachandran also points to evidence that two senior ministers were placed in police control rooms on February 28, as the riots raged in Ahmedabad and across the state. The SIT did not find evidence that they interfered with the police’s independent functioning, but ‘There is the possibility that the very presence of these two ministers had a dampening effect on the senior police officials.’ He concludes, ‘While there is no direct material to show how and when the message of the Chief Minister was conveyed to the two ministers, the very presence of political personalities unconnected with the Home Portfolio at the Police Control Rooms is circumstantial evidence of the Chief Minister directing, requesting or allowing them to be present.’

Chief Minister Modi’s appointment of MLA Maya Kodnani as his Minister for Women and Child Welfare after she was charged with leading the mob which brutally killed more than a 100 people, including women and children, in Naroda Patiya, further suggests his active complicity and endorsement of the carnage. Maya Kodnani was subsequently convicted and punished with imprisonment for life for the mass hate crimes.

However, the guilt of Mr Modi in the carnage of 2002 should not hinge in the end on proving beyond doubt that he directed police officers to allow Hindus to ‘vent their anger’, or that his Ministers were obeying his commands by interfering in independent police functioning or leading murderous mobs. The fact that the carnage continued for not just days but weeks should be evidence of the criminal complicity of senior state authorities in the carnage, coupled with his intemperate statements and the parading of bodies of people killed in the train which further inflamed public anger. Similar guilt should be attached to those who allowed other communal carnages to continue, whether on the streets of Delhi in 1984 and Mumbai in 1992-93 or the killing fields of Nellie in 1983 and Bhagalpur in 1989.

The ‘clean chit’ given to Mr Modi is at best a technical clearance in the absence of cast-iron evidence that he actively and explicitly directed the carnage, although even this absolving of his direct guilt is disputed by experts. But there can be no doubt of his grave culpability for inflaming sectarian passions by holding Muslims guilty for an offence without evidence, and for the openly partisan actions of his government which facilitated the continuance of the murderous carnage for many dark days in 2002.

Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and the author of “From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Aftermath.”

Monday, August 5, 2013

HAPPY MEN'S DAY -- which will never come!

You will love this specially the part in Urdu written in Roam script.
Worth sending to every man to make him smile & every woman to make her realize his worth!!

Who is a MAN?

A man is the most beautiful part of God's creation who starts compromising at a very tender age.

He sacrifices his chocolates for his sister.

He sacrifices his dreams for just a smile on his parents’ face.

He spends his entire pocket money on buying gifts for the girl he loves just to see her smiling

He sacrifices his full youth for his wife & children by working late at night without any complain.

He builds their future by taking loans from banks & repaying them for lifetime.

He struggles a lot & still has to bear scolding from his mother, wife & boss.

His mother, wife & boss all try to control him.

His life finally ends up only by compromising for others' happiness


Agar aurat par hath uthaye to BESHARAM;

Aurat se maar khae to BUZDIL;

Aurat ko kisi ke saat dekh ker ladai kare to JEALOUS;

Chup rahe to DARPOK;

Ghar se bahar rahe to AAWARA;

Ghar me rahe to NAAKARA;

Bachhon ko dante to ZALIM;

Na dante to LAPARWAH;

Aurat ko naukari karne se roke to SHAK KARNE WALA;

Aurat ko naukari karane se na roke to BIWI KI KAMAI KHANE WALA;

Maa ki mane to CHAMCHA;

Biwi ki sune to JORU KA GULAM...

Na Jane Kab Aayega,


Respect every male in your life.

U will never know what he has sacrificed 4U.

Note: This is a reformatted version of a post put on Face Book by Salim Sarang
on July 31, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013


By Gulamhusein A. Abba

The wide media coverage of death and destruction, accompanied by some truly gruesome horrors being perpetrated by a large number of Muslims in many Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Mali and others, has understandably changed the perception of non-Muslims towards Muslims and Islam itself. This is causing a rift between Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world, even though the majority of Muslims do not embrace the cult of death and violence.

In the city in which I live, Danbury itself, I have noticed, on many occasions, non-Muslims distancing themselves from Muslims in buses, the library, Senior Center and other public places. Indeed Muslims themselves are wary of befriending another Muslim, afraid that he might be a sympathizer of the extremists and may be under surveillance by the authorities. They do not want to get involved through associating with such a person. This growing schism between Mulims and non-Muslim is not good either for the Muslims, non-Muslims or the country as a whole.

Also, the extremists are using the media to win recruits from moderate Muslims by brainwashing them with their extremist version of Islam. In this context, it is imperative to reassure non-Muslims and educate Muslims as to what Islam really has to say in this matter, and this can be done only through direct quotations from the holy book of the Muslims, the Quran itself.

The current situation clearly requires this.

To begin with, it needs to be emphasized that, in the matter of co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims and between one sect of Muslims and another sect, there is no problem in Islam. The problem is with those Muslims who, though large in number are nevertheless in a minority compared to the total Muslim population.

These terrorist Muslims have forgotten three important and fundamental considerations. Firstly, they have forgotten that the Quran acknowledges that there are different tribes and nations (and sects). According to the Quran, God himself created this diversity, and for a purpose: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). Surah 49 Verse 13

Secondly, they have forgotten that the Quran makes it clear that each person is accountable for his choice and that the accounting will be between the person concerned and God. There is no compulsion in religion in Islam. "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error" Al-Qur’ an 2:256

The Qur'an anticipates the fact that there will be a plurality of religious communities on the earth, a fact which does not threaten it. Numerous verses speak about this. In addition to what is stated in Surah 49 Verse 13 cited above, are the following: "Do not the Believers know, that had God (so) willed, He could have guided all mankind (to the Right)?" Qur'an 13:31 "If it had been thy Lord's Will, they would all have believed; -- all who are on earth.! Will thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?" Qur'an 10:99

Islam never declared the concept of converting others into the faith as part of the Muslims’ duties. On the contrary, Islam limited the Muslims’ duties in this respect to merely conveying the message of God to the people. But, if they paid no heed and turned away, the Quran says: “If then they turn away, We have not sent thee as a guard over them. Thy duty is but to convey (the Message). …” Surah 42 Verse 48

From a religious point of view, there is no need for Muslims to force others to embrace Islam or force one sect of Islam to embrace another sect, much less kill them if they refuse. The Sunnis and the Shias who are killing each other and the Muslims who are killing Christians need to remember these verses from the Quran.

As for the Sunnis in Pakistan, they will do well to also remember that among those who served Pakistan well in the early days of Pakistan were non-Sunni Muslims.

To mention just two. Prince Aly Khan was appointed Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations by President Iskander Mirza of Pakistan on February 6, 1958. He was a member of the United Nations Political and Security Committee, was elected a vice president of the United Nations General Assembly on 17 September 1958 and also served as chairman of the U.N.'s Peace Observation Committee. He was not a Sunni but an Agakhani Muslim, more widely known as Ismaili Muslims

Then there was Muhammad Zafrulla Khan who in 1961 succeeded Aly Khan as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN. He is known for drafting the Pakistan Resolution, and was the first foreign minister of Pakistan. He also served as a judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He too was not a Sunni but belonged to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Lastly, the extremist Muslims have forgotten that religion cannot be forced down people’s throats through threats of death. Such “conversions” have no meaning and add no glory to Islam. Like in any other belief system, the only way to get people to accept Islam is through example, through behavior and actions of Muslims.

The world needs to understand that those perpetrating violence and horrors in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world, though presenting themselves as revolutionaries for democracy and defenders of Islam are, in reality, no lovers of democracy and are acting against the teachings of Islam, fighting merely for power and position.

I think it is necessary to let the readers of this piece know that I am a Sunni Muslim.

Gulamhusein A. Abba Danbury The writer can be contacted on

Friday, May 17, 2013

GOODBYE (sort of, for now)

For well over half a century I have thrown myself, body and soul, into social and political work, including the struggle for my country’s independence, creation of Pakistan, organizing and unionizing workers and prostitutes, seeking justice for the exploited, the voiceless, the tyrannized, exposing government ministers, international smugglers, slum landlords, corrupt judges and police officers, and, preaching non-violence and the rule of law.

In the process I have completely neglected my personal affairs and not paid much attention to building up and maintaining family relationships. The result is that I now find myself rather alone and my personal affairs in shambles! Much work has to be done to tie up loose ends, bring some sort of order in my life and try to reconnect with family.

I came face to face with death at an early age when my mother passed away with me barley ten years old. Since then I lost my father two years later and, later my first born, my brother and recently my elder sister.

I have always known that our life in this world is fleeting and death can come quite unexpectedly at any moment. My mortality has stared at me for years.  So far I have ignored it. The recent death of my elder sister has brought home to me forcefully that my own death is not far away.

The need to tie up all loose ends and reconnect with family is pressing. Besides, I am really tired and need to rejuvenate myself.

 And so, most reluctantly and with a heavy heart, I am suspending indefinitely my participation in activism of any sort as also in any dialogue on Face Book.

I am indebted to my family, my real life friends, my Face Book and internet friends and all my activist friends and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for all the support, help and friendship extended by them to me.

If and when all that has to be attended to is done, God willing, I will return.

Till then, to all of you, a heangrtfelt GOODBYE (sort of, for now)

Note: Please note that starting May 27, I will NOT be visiting Face Book. I request my family and friends to e-mail me if there is anything I need to know or if there is any message they want to convey to me.







Wednesday, April 17, 2013

By Gulamhusein Abba.

As I write this (morning of Tuesday, April 16) my thoughts, my heart, my sympathies, my condolences, my everything is with the people of Boston, especially those families who have lost a loved one and those who lie injured.

What a terrible tragedy. A day of rejoicing was reduced to a day of death and mourning. What could be more despicable than to launch an attack on such a day, a day designated as Patriots Day, and target those who were running to raise thousands if not millions of dollars for worthy causes, including those related to the recent Sandy Hook tragedy?

The noise of the explosions; the smoke billowing upwards; nails, pellets and shrapnel flying all over; those who had come to cheer others running, themselves running as they had never run in their lives before; dismembered limbs littering Boylston Street; blood all over; frightened people running helter-skelter trying to find escape routes, entering stores and exiting from backdoors into an adjoining street.

Family members attempting to contact those who had gone to the Marathon, to ascertain if they were safe, only to find that cell phones were dead.

First responders rushing in to tend to the injured. Medical workers treating patients with severed limbs and children with severe burns in a temporary medical tent at the road race.
Mayhem. Complete chaos. A bustling scene of cheers, hope, joyous victory, rejoicing suddenly turned into a war zone.

Imagine the fear of those on the scene. The anxiety of their loved ones. The desperation of those trying to contact them.

Two people, one of hem an eight year old boy, dead; 160 injured, 16 critically; several with a limb missing, at least 4 with their legs amputated in the hospital; nails sticking out of a girl’s body.
There was no need to imagine all this. Videos being projected round the clock on TV screens showed the unimaginable horror and tragedy in stark detail. Watching, I felt I was there. Having suffered tragedy and fear myself, the whole scene became very personal and palpable.

I was glued to the TV till well past midnight. Had a very disturbed sleep and was back watching TV as soon as I woke up the next morning.

A myriad thoughts and emotions ran through me.

One of the things I greatly appreciated was that President Barack Obama lost no time in going on the air and telling the nation that the authorities did not yet know who is behind the Boston Marathon bombing and urging caution in assigning blame. "We still do not know who did this, or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts," he said.

Another fact  that struck me was the contrast between what was happening here and what was happening in other parts of the world.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere around the world, such horror and tragedy did not occur once in a blue moon. They were a daily occurrence, routine. Drones buzzed  overhead in the skies 24 hours a day. The people  huddled in fear, not knowing when a bomb or a missile would swoop down on them, obliterating their home and killing or paralyzing them or their loved ones. When it did and all hell broke loose, no first responders rushed to tend to them.

 And not just two or twenty six died but hundreds did.

In fact, just a few days before the Boston bombing, a NATO air attack in the Shigal district of restive Kunar province, Afghanistan , killed at least 18 people, including as many as 11 innocent children. There was no ambiguity as to who had killed them and how. They were killed by a NATO air-strike.

Yet, though these tragic occurrences are far worse than what happened at Boston or Sandy hook, they receive hardly any coverage, if at all, unlike the round the clock coverage given by the media in the US to Sandy Hook shooting and Boston bombing. Consequently, neither those who suffer so grievously nor those who die so ingloriously receive any sympathy or condolences or support from any American. No American tears are shed for them.

Can compassion be selective? Should it be?

Very disturbing was that, ignoring the appeal made by none other than the President himself, the anti-Islamists in this great country immediately started trying to implicate Muslims!

For example, one of Fox News contributors, Eric Rush, in response to the Boston attack tweeted -- then deleted -- what he claimed was a joke about rounding up Saudis and killing them.

When one Bill Schmalfldt tweeted back, “Sweet God. Are you ALREADY BLAMING MUSLIMS??”, Eric replied “Yes they’re evil. Let’s kill them all”.

Though Eric deleted his original tweets, in later messages he called his critics "Islamic apologist worms" and "vermin."

The New York Post published a report, under a screaming headline “FBI grills Saudi man in Boston bombings”, claiming that a "Saudi National" had been taken "into custody" by police at a local Boston hospital. In Its initial stories the paper said that the person taken into custody was "identified as a suspect." In fact, nobody had been taken into custody and nobody had been identified as a suspect. 

Anti-Islamic blogger Pamela Geller was quick to jump on the New York Post's report, labeling the tragedy “jihad” on her blog, Atlas Shrugged.

Others, while not directly accusing Muslims of being somehow responsible for the bombing, asked the question that regularly pops up in such situations: Where is the Muslim condemnation? Implying that the silence of the Muslims itself proves that the Muslims in America are salivating at the massacre!

So where WAS, where IS the Muslim indignation, outrage, condemnation, expressions of sorrow, grief and sympathy in the Boston bombing?

 According to  Sound Vision, “There were many Muslims in the Marathon, both as victims, as well as doctors trying to save lives…..…. condemnation by Muslims was not reported by the national media … Radio Islam was on air reaching 60,000 plus listeners sympathizing with the victims within hours of this tragedy.
“The Muslim community in the United States and abroad began issuing their condolences and condemnations of the Boston incident within hours of receiving news reports about the attack. However, these statements of sincerity and sadness receive little to no attention in the majority of media outlets, specially the Radio and the TV.”

This is sad -- and dangerous. As pointed out in the said report: “Omitting Muslim statements of condemnation directly leads to Islamophobia, translating into deadly hate – attacks on Masjids and Islamic centers, Islamic schools, and anyone who ‘looks Muslim’.

As I was about to close this writing, the reassuring words of Obama were ringing in my ears: "We still do not know who did this, or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts," Obama said. "But make no mistake: we will get to the bottom of this, we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice."
This triggered a faint echo from the past. Bush, responding to the 9/11 attacks, speaking about flushing out the perpetrators, tracking them down, holding them accountable, bringing them to justice or taking justice to them.

Suddenly, out of nowhere frightening questions formed.

Did families and friends of innocent men, women, children and babies killed in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine ever say to themselves that they would track down the perpetrators, hold them accountable and bring them to justice or take justice to them?

Did any of their governments ever vow to do this?

What if all of them start doing it?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Late Saturday evening I got a phone call informing me that my 92 years old sister, who lives in California, had passed away about two hours back.

This loss has been difficult for me to bear.

I lost my mother when I was 10 and my father when I was 12. After the death of my mother, my sister became my mother too and looked after me till my adulthood. She then turned into my friend in whom I could confide. This continued till she left to live in her husband’s house.

I have so many endearing memories of her. Now she is gone. So have my father, mother and elder brother.

The pain in losing my sister is specially sharp because, though we spoke on the phone, we did not spend any time with each other for the last 6 years or more. Worse, I was not able to fly out to California to see her one last time, pay my respects and take part in the burial rituals.

For the last few days I have been going about with a mask so as to spare my family and friends, already coping with their own burdens, having to put up with my pain too. But I hurt inside. 

Each message of sympathy or condolence received by me during this period, slight in itself, contributed towards lessening the burden of grief and pain crushing me, and, collectively they make the unbearable bearable.

Each and every message that I received has been a great help and is precious to me.

I take this opportunity to offer my sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to all those who sent them.

I also beg to be forgiven by those whom I may have missed thanking individually.

Gulamhusein Abba