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Houstonian Corner (V9-I5)

January 25, 2007 by  


Indian Muslims Of U.P. Need To Make Big Strides

The American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI) has adopted more than 50 schools in India, 22 of them around the Faizabad Uttar Pardesh (U.P.) area and one major one for girls in the Dilpur Etharas District Lucknow to enhance the education of underprivileged Indians, especially Muslims.

This was announced at the AFMI Houston Chapter Annual Dinner & Fundraiser at the Taj Hall in Houston. Newly Re-Elected Congressman Nick Lampson (D), City of Houston Councilman M.J. Khan, and the Indian Consul General in Houston Gavai were all in attendance.

Congressman Lampson (D) referred to his immigrant roots and appealed to all those who have achieved the American dream that it is time to give back to the world especially back home. He awarded a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to AFMI for their outstanding philanthropic record in the field of education.

Councilman M.J. Khan emphasized the need to take care of those less fortunate across the globe, and in this case the educational needs of the downtrodden in India. Education enlightens the mind and heart and eventually will lead to peace, harmony and the progress of humanity.

The Indian Consul General in Houston Gavai thanked AFMI for inviting him to the auspicious occasion and recognized the fact that the different Governments and people of India back home have appreciated the efforts of Non-Indian-Residents in bringing advancement to India–and AFMI has a special recognized place among them.

Syed Quadri and Maaz Hilali of AFMI by a PowerPoint presentation explained about the various educational projects of AFMI. Recently various conferences were organized by AFMI in India.

Also, people affiliated with AFMI were part of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Sachar Commission report about the living conditions of Indians. The conferences and this commission have concluded that Indian Muslims are in very bad shape in most fields, especially education, as compared to other communities like Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, etc.

The best education for Muslims is in Andomar & Carnicobar Islands (90%) followed by Kerala (89%) and Tamil Nadu (83%).

The worst situation is in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), where Muslims constitute about 20% of the overall population, but their literacy rate is only 46%, followed by Bengal (47%). Only 5% of Muslims are in the Government Service, while only 2.70% are District Judges. Only 2.50% of Muslim Farmers have the latest technology for cultivation. Muslim Parliamentarians have gone down to 6% from 9%. As such the overall situation is not encouraging.

Contact information on participating as volunteers and monetarily contributing towards the projects of AFMI is: 9410 Highway 6 South – Suite “A” – Houston – Texas 77083 – Phone: 832-541-5678 – E-Mail: AFMIHoustonChapter@HotMail.Com.

Local Lawmaker Launches Second Bid For President (AP)

Iconoclastic nine-term Rep. Ron Paul of Lake Jackson filed incorporation papers in Texas to create a presidential exploratory committee–which act allows him and his supporters to collect money on behalf of his presidential bid. This will be Paul’s second try for the White House; he was the Libertarian nominee for president in 1988.

Kent Snyder, chairman of Paul’s exploratory committee and a former staffer on Paul’s Libertarian campaign, said the congressman knows he’s a long shot.

“There’s no question that it’s an uphill battle, and that Dr. Paul is an underdog,” Snyder said. “But we think its well worth doing and we’ll let the voters decide.”

Paul acknowledges that the national GOP has never fully embraced him despite his nine terms in office under its banner. He gets little money from the GOP’s large traditional donors, but benefits from individual conservative and Libertarian donors outside Texas. He bills himself as “The Taxpayers’ Best Friend,” and is routinely ranked either first or second in the House of Representatives by the National Taxpayers Union, a national group advocating low taxes and limited government.

He describes himself as a lifelong Libertarian running as a Republican.

Paul was not available for comment Thursday, Snyder said.

But he said the campaign will test its ability to attract financial and political support before deciding whether to launch a full-fledged campaign. Snyder said Paul is not running just to make a point or to try to ensure that his issues are addressed, but to win.

Paul is expected to formally announce his bid in the next week or two, Snyder said.

Snyder said Paul and his supporters are not intimidated by the presence of nationally-known and better-financed candidates such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona or Governor Mitt Romney from Massachusetts.

“This is going to be a grassroots American campaign,” he said. “For us, it’s either going to happen at the grassroots level or it’s not.”

Paul limits his view of the role of the federal government to those duties laid out in the U.S. Constitution. As a result, he sometimes casts votes that appear to be at odds with his constituents and with other Republicans. He was the only Republican congressman to vote against Department of Defense appropriations for fiscal year 2007.

The vote against the defense appropriations bill, he said, was because of his opposition to the war in Iraq, which he said was “not necessary for our actual security.”

9-5

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