A prominent Indian intellectual ,Muslim author and journalist based in New Delhi Zafarul Islam Khan is a personality of dynamic caliber . He is currently editor and publisher of The Milli Gazette fortnightly focusing on issues concerning the Muslim community, which is a minority in India. He is also the founder and chairman of Charity Alliance, an organisation involved in relief and welfare work in India. He is author and translator of over 40 books in Arabic, English and Urdu including Hijrah in Islam (Delhi, 1996) and Palestine Documents (New Delhi 1998). He has contributed eight articles to the Encyclopaedia of Islam (Leiden) on Indo-Muslim themes. He is a regular commentator on Islamic and South Asian issues on radio and TV channels, including Al Jazeera and BBC Arabic and his writings appear in Arabic newspapers and magazines.
In an Exclusive interview with The News Kashmir, Zafarul Islam Khan talks to Rameez Makhdoomi
What is your take on the present condition of Indian Muslims?
This reality should be envisaged from two basic paradigms- What Indian Muslims are doing themselves for their own betterment and secondly what the government is doing for them. Over the years Muslims of India have awakened a lot and have started to invest a lot out of their own resources in education and healthcare sector. Now a lot of Universities have been set up by Indian Muslims and the awareness and thirst for knowledge is ever growing.
But as far as the Government is concerned not much is being done despite the Sachar Committee report and successive governments admitting from time to time backwardness of Muslims in terms of development. The present Government is totally indifferent to Muslims and even the old schemes are limited to paper only.
Critics say that Muslim parties in India especially the new entrants are more of an emotional rhetoric than substance. Your take?
We need to bear in mind that Muslims strong pockets are few but parties are many. To add to chaos about 35 parliamentary constituencies of Muslims have been reserved for Schedule Castes which is grave injustice. The major parties play ugly politics as all of them come with mostly incompetent candidates in Muslim dominated constituencies as a result the deserving candidate does not win.
Only in places like Malabar Kerala were Muslim League has established stronghold, Assam were UDF has strongholds and MIM in old Hyderabad to some extent Muslim vote-bank has been consolidated otherwise Muslim parties unknowingly and knowingly add in polarization politics due to lack of wisdom.
Sectarian Wars in Middle East does they possess any threat on Sunni-Shia unity of India?
It is true that due to larger conspiracy many countries in Middle East are falling to sectarian wars but let me thrust with full surety that in India Sunni and Shia Muslims have the desired wisdom and are clever enough to thwart designs of enemy. Be it Sunni dominated or shia dominated pockets Muslims of India are living in complete harmony and situation of Middle East won’t have any adverse impact on Indian Muslims.
Why have Muslims especially Shia and Sunni in many countries become suddenly enemies of one another and lost tolerance for one another and are engaging in bloodshed ?
All this has not happened suddenly. This is the result of years of game-plan of USA and its intelligence agencies. When Sunnis and Shias jointly resisted the USA occupation of Iraq it via its dirty game-plan bombed Shia and Sunni places of Worship and especially after 2006 it accelerated such tactics. As a result of this wicked tricks the Sunnis and Shias fell prey and sectarian warfare started.
Your take on rise of ISIS?
ISIS Changed its name thrice- First it was named just Islamic State of Iraq than the name changed to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and now it is just Islamic State. We have in our series of stories in Milli Gazette proven that ISIS is an American creation as proven by the documents of CIA too that we published. Even via Sykes–Picot 1916 agreement the middle east was divided . Basically USA for its own interests wants again to divide bigger countries like Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and is thus indulging in such dirty tactics.
All these tactics will only have short term impacts and in long term such dirty policies are bound to fail and USA is beginning to understand it and Iran nuclear agreement was forced upon USA by time.
So you think Iran Nuclear deal is good for global peace?
The question of good and bad does not exist. Iran despite decades of sanctions has thrived in all fields and even built rockets. The nuclear deal is forced by facts upon those who tried to suppress Iran.