Intolerant Christians of Rome

Intolerant Christians of Rome

The Municipal Police authorities of Rome have today withdrawn permission, granted three weeks ago, to celebrate Durga Puja in Rome. The cancellation came a few hours before the Ambassador of India was scheduled to inaugurate the Puja at 8 pm local time. No acceptable explanation has been given. This has caused the local Indian community the loss of thousands of Euros spent in preparatory arrangements. The same thing was done in the same manner in 2008 also. Please monitor developments.”

Indian Ambassador, Mr Arif Shahid Khan, who has in the past taken up the issue of Sikhs being forced to take off their turbans at Italian airports, campaigned throughout the day, calling up officials, including the Mayor of Rome, and contacting members of the Friends of India group in the Italian Parliament, arguing with them why permission for the Puja should be restored. By evening, the authorities had reversed their order and permission was granted to celebrate Durga Puja, which will now begin on Saturday, Ashtami, a full 48 hours behind schedule. Provided, of course, there is no last minute cancellation, as it happened on Thursday. Mr Khan will inaugurate the Puja, an honour he richly deserves.

After last year’s experience, when permission for celebrating Durga Puja in Rome was abruptly withdrawn by officials who cited specious reasons to justify their grossly unfair decision, the organisers, led by Mr Rajesh Sahani, a Sindhi from Kolkata who speaks flawless Bengali, took ample precautions this year. They were given permission to organise the Puja at Parko Centocelle, a public park on Via Cailina, Torpignattara. Three weeks ago, permission was granted for the Puja at the park and necessary formalities were completed.

Some officials are believed to have told the organisers that the cancellation of permission at the eleventh hour, both last year and this year, was meant to be retaliatory action against the persecution of Christians in India. It may be recalled that the President of Italy, Mr Giorgio Napoletano, has been vociferous in demanding that Europe should do more in support of Christians in India and to help them affirm their right to religious freedom. The Government of Italy has in the past summoned the Ambassador of India to convey to him that it has deep concern and sensitivity for the ongoing inter-religious violence… that has caused the death of many Christians. The Pope has been no less harsh in denouncing India.

There could be another reason, apart from its deep concern about the welfare of Christians in India, for Italys callous disregard of the sentiments of Hindus in that country. Although the Italian Constitution guarantees religious freedom, under the Lateran Treaty with the Vatican, Italy recognises only the three religions of Semitic origin – Christianity, Judaism and Islam. All other religions are no more than paganism and are to be shamed and shunned. The Vatican would not countenance any open breach of the Lateran Treaty; Italy would not want to be seen as recognising Hinduism.

Christian countries in the West, whose Governments criticise the lack of religious freedom in India, have no compunctions about trampling on Hindu sentiments at home. West’s criticism of lack of religious freedom in India is bogus. If Christians can celebrate Christmas in New Delhi, Hindus have the right to celebrate Durga Puja in Rome. This is non-negotiable.

This is Jihad – head preacher of Alhuda Jamia Masjid

This is Jihad – head preacher of Alhuda Jamia Masjid

Displaying rare courage, a 20-year-old Kashmiri woman axed to death an armed Lashkar-e-Toiba commander and then, along with her 18-year-old brother, snatched guns and opened fire on two other militants, wounding one and forcing them to flee. The incident took place at Shahdra Sharief in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir late Sunday night (27th Sept 2009).

Three militants came to the Bhatti Mohalla in Upper Shahdra Sharief around 9.30 pm Sunday and went to the house of one Waqalat Hussain. They asked him to accompany them to the adjoining house of his elder brother, Noor Hussain. When Noor Hussain did not open the door, the militants broke open a window and entered the house. By then, Noor Hussain and his wife Rashida Begum had hidden daughter Rukhsana Kausar beneath a cot. On not finding Rukhsana, the militants started beating Rashida. Son Aijaz Ahmed tried to pick up a lathi but one of the militants hit him.

It was at this point that Rukhsana emerged from her hiding place with an axe and hit the Lashkar commander on his head. One of the militants opened fire, the bullet striking Waqalat Hussain in the arm. Other family members jumped in, joining Rukhsana who was battling the militants. Rukhsana picked up the Lashkar commander’s gun, snatched another from one of the militants and tossed it to her brother. Both then opened fire, wounding one of the militants and forcing them to flee. Rukhsana and Aijaz then led the family to the police post at Shahdra Sharief. To ensure that the militants stayed away, Aijaz fired in the air from the two AK rifles at regular intervals till they reached the police post where they handed over the weapons.

Local residents told police that Abu Osama alias Uzafa wanted to marry Ms Kauser – and was prepared to do so forcibly. The family retaliated when the militants made an attempt to molest the 20-year-old. Police identified the dead militant as Uzafa Shah, a Pakistani national who had been operating in the Rajouri-Poonch area for the last four years. He was said to be the only Lashkar commander in the area who had survived. Police found a blood trail, suggesting that one of the militants who fled was wounded. One even left behind his weapon. The family handed over an AK-56 and an AK-47 to the police.
Though there have been incidents of civilians resisting militants who forced entry into their houses, it is the first case of a top militant being felled by a young woman. And this happened in an area where militants killed three policemen in an ambush a fortnight ago. The killing of the Lashkar commander by Rukhsana was the talk of town today.

“Mubarak ho, yahi jehad hai (Congratulations, this is jehad),” said Maulana Amir Mohammad Shamsi, head preacher of Alhuda Jamia Masjid, Rajouri. Shahdra Sharief shrine administrator Inayat Hussain Baba said Rukhsana had sent an example for others to emulate. “I fired endlessly. The militant commander got 12 shots on his body. I had never touched a rifle before this, let alone fired one. But I had seen heroes firing in films on TV and I tried the same way. Somehow I gathered courage – I fired and fought till dead tired.” said brave Rukhsana.

Successful Chandrayana -I

Successful Chandrayana -I

India’s Chandrayaan Mission has become a complete success with the completion of its primary objective of detection of water on the moon. The discovery of the water on the moon by NASAs (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Moon Mineralogy Mapper, a small instrument aboard the Chandrayaan.

During Chandrayaan’s almost year-long rendezvous with the moon, it has been able to collect lots of data, which run into a few thousand Gigabytes, all of which are still in the process of being decoded. In fact, the data is so huge that scientists expect six months to three years before all of them are decoded.

The finding of water on the moon doesn’t imply that the moon is filled with lakes and ponds or there is water in the form of a drop. The detection of water is in fact in the form of embedded molecules on the surface and in the lunar rocks. Researchers estimated that 32 ounces of water can be found for every ton of the moon’s top layer. While there are positive signs about the presence of water on the moon, scientists are still perplexed as to how it got there in the first place. A plausible explanation is the effect of asteroids and meteors that might have crashed onto the moon – all of which had some water content in them.

Two other spacecrafts NASA’s Cassini and Deep Impact have confirmed that the moon’s surface holds water molecules, a discovery that will likely encourage exploration of the moon and beyond.