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Shock over arrest of Riyadh-based Indian muezzin in Hyderabad
By Shahid Ali Khan
RIYADH – News of the arrest of a Riyadh-based Indian muezzin on his arrival in the Indian city of Hyderabad, Saturday, has raised many eyebrows here.
Many regular worshippers at a mosque in Al-Wazarat district here where muezzin Shaukatullah Ghouri used to call the faithful to prayer five times a day, and sometimes lead obligatory prayers, were shocked by Indian news reports of Ghouri’s arrest.
Ghouri was arrested at Rajiv Gandhi International (RGI) airport at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad upon his arrival from Jeddah. He is said to have left for Hyderabad for his wife’s medical treatment.
Personnel of the Organization for Counter-Terrorist Operations (OCTOPUS) reportedly arrested Ghouri, his wife and their four children soon after they landed at RGI airport.
The muezzin is accused of involvement in a terror attack in Gujarat on Sept. 24, 2002 which left 30 dead and over a 100 injured.
“Shaukatullah and his brother, Farhatullah, are both involved in the Akshardham temple attack,” DNA newspaper quoted a senior Intelligence officer as saying. “Both the brothers were initially trained by Jaish-e-Mohammad after which they worked in Ahmedabad. When their names figured in the list of suspects in the Akshardham attack case in 2002, both fled to Saudi Arabia.” Farhatullah Ghouri is still absconding, the paper said.
However, few among the worshippers at Hai Al-Wazarat Mosque in Riyadh believe the allegations against Ghouri, a Hafizul Qur’an (memorizer of Qur’an), who has been serving at the mosque for the past two decades.
Hussain Al-Wadani, the Saudi imam of Masjid Al-Salwa, where Ghouri worked, felt that Ghouri would be absolved of the charges.
“God willing, Ghouri will come clean because he is an innocent man,” the imam told a group of Indian Muslims at the mosque, trying to ally their concerns over news of the arrest.
Ghouri is a professional muezzin and well known for his good character, voice and skills of recitation of the Qur’an and for the azan (prayer call), one of the Indians in the group told Saudi Gazette, asking not to be identified.
“It seems Ghouri is being framed,” he said. “We have been reading media reports and watching news channels on how the police have been victimizing innocent people, and strangely enough some were even killed in fake encounters.”
The Imam said he would do his best to support Ghouri in whatever paperwork he might require from Riyadh.
Others who frequent the mosque said they would sign a petition for submission to Indian Ambassador M.O.H. Farooq seeking his intervention for the safe release of Ghouri.
Rashid Abdul Qayoom, a regular worshipper at the mosque, said he has know Ghouri since he arrived in Saudi Arabia. “Ghouri is a legal resident of Saudi Arabia. He arrived in Riyadh on a “free visa” sometime in 1989, and since 1991 he has been working as a muezzin at Masjid Al-Salwa, Qayoom said.
Many students of the Qur’an memorization madrasa that Ghouri ran at his house were also shocked by news of the arrest. All of Ghouri’s children are Hafiz (who have memorized the Holy Qur’an).
Ghouri’s neighbor told Saudi Gazette that Ghouri was drawing a monthly salary package of around SR2,100 which was hardly enough for his six-member family’s monthly expenses. “The muezzin sahib very often spoke about financial hardship, particularly when it came to payment of annual housing rent,” the neighbor said. Ghouri managed by running the Qur’an memorization school which has an enrolment of around 20 students, he said.
To travel to India, Ghouri chose to fly Oman Air for its comparatively cheaper fares, the neighbor added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
According to Indian news reports, Ghouri was taken to an undisclosed location where he was interrogated by officials of OCTOPUS and the local police. His wife and children were taken to a farmhouse where their baggage was searched and their passports and some educational certificates were seized. His wife and children were later released.
Ghouri was handed over to the Gujarat police on Sunday morning as a non-bailable arrest warrant is pending against him in the Akshardham case, reports said. – SG
2. Stop The War
STOP THE WAR!..
ΝΑ ΣΤΑΜΑΤΗΣΕΙ Ο ΠΟΛΕΜΟΣ!..
LIGHT HUMANITY TOGETHER
ΦΩΤΙΣΜΕΝΗ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΤΗΤΑ ΜΑΖΙ!
"ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΜΙΑ ΦΥΛΗ
THERE IS ONLY ONE RACE
Η ΦΥΛΗ ΤΩΝ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΩΝ!
THE RACE OF MEN!
ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΕΝΑΣ ΘΕΟΣ
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD
Ο ΘΕΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΑΠΗΣ!
THE GOD OF LOVE!
ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙ ΜΟΝΟ ΜΙΑ ΓΛΩΣΣΑ
THERE IS ONLY ONE LANGUAGE
Η ΓΛΩΣΣΑ ΤΗΣ ΚΑΡΔΙΑΣ!"
THE LANGUAGE OF HEART!
STOP THE WAR NOW!..
May 20, 2006
For the pass two years, services at the Good Neighbor Settlement House have greatly deteriorated due to the poor management of employees, facilities and donations.
Programs for children, breakfast for the homeless and other services have declined or ceased to exist for the intended eleigible target population.
Failure to help serve the needs of the poor through lack of disemination and denial of informataion on programs available, such as Counseling, Emergency shelter,rental and deposit Assistance, Moderate Home Rehab and distribution of free house hold needs, such as food, furniture and clothing.
Negligence in the distribution of Postal mail to the homeless.
Abuse of Authority by the Director. Mistreaatment and firing of employees without due process. Overwhelming complaints have caused Public Agencies to cease referrals of clients to serve community service hours. This has caused a reduction of manpower to continue some services.
Using intimidation tactics to ban countless of persons from attendance and participation without due process or cause. Makes threats to close down the services and calls the police to file unjust reports causing reduction of participation for the intended target population.
March 26, 2006
A petition to The Walt Disney Company/Buena Vista Home Entertainment to return the original English voice actors to the DVD version.
In 1994, the Buena Vista Home Entertainment (a sub-division of The Walt Disney Company) released an English dubbed version of the highly popular 1988, "My Neighbor Totoro" from Studio Ghibli.
This movie has not been available for DVD until this year (2006). This DVD version has been highly anticipated by many families, japanese anime fans, and general public. However, it was never made known to the public that Disney changed the entire voice acting cast to instead cast bankable well-known names to the characters (i.e. Tim Daly, Dakota Fanning and her sister, Lea Salonga).
In fact, the even changed the voice to Totoro! The original voice acting was very well received (what IMDB calls the 'Troma' version, but the 'Troma' version was released through Buena Vista Home Entertainment) and many loved the dubbed version.
Why Disney presumed that they needed to change the actors is unclear as well as why the original voice actors have not voiced a complaint.
So this petition is to voice that complaint against Disney and to urge Disney to re-release the DVD with the original voice acting cast.
Santa Barbara has initiated strict set-back requirements for home owners. Requirements that restrict the use of sometimes up to 25% of one's property; for the sake of a obsure definition of 'Quality of Life'. Yet these requirements are only applied in the horizontal plane and not also in the vertical plane and over all building zones. For example, a home owner and developer can build vertically, next to single story building, which cut off all 'rights of privacy', 'light' and even 'air' from their neighbors.
If restrict vertical development if two or more story structure (house, condo or office building) affects their neighbors 'right of privacy', 'air' and 'light'. Right of privacy is defined as 'can the neighbor see right into the back yard of their neighbor'.
We the family, friend and neighbor plead and respectfully ask that Terry Black be granted parole from Missouri State Correctional Center. Terry,is very much cared for,missed,relied on and indeed loved by all of us. We apologize on his behalf for all that has happened and ask that you take us and him for our words -that he is indeed sorry!
Him being home with us is in your hands so please allow this for we miss Terry very much.