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 Can this rent be increased?

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PostSubject: Can this rent be increased?   Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:00 am

Can this rent be increased?

The Five-star Windsor Manor Hotel pays a paltry rent of Rs. 5500 to the Waqf Estate for a 4.5 acre leased land area in the prime locality.

By A Staff Writer

Bangalore: Will the five-star Windsor Manor Hotel sprawling over a 4.5 waqf estate in Bangalore's prime area be compelled to pay the market rate towards lease, now that the 30-year lease period is coming to an end? The ITC group hotel is currently paying the paltry Rs. 5,500 per month for a land which should ideally fetch Rs. 32 lakh.

Karnataka Minister for Minority Welfare, M. L. Ustad had assured that the Waqf Board would urge amendment in the Waqf Act in order that the long leases on waqf properties could be terminated and Boards are empowered to renew the rents or lease amounts every three years.

Ustad told a press conference on October 8, that the Waqf Board would be pursuing the Supreme Court case in the matter of lease of the Windsor Manor Hotel, whereby the Hotel ould be asked to vacate the land or raise the rent as per market rates. It may be recalled that the 4.5 acre land of the Khaleel Shirazi Estate in the heart of Bangalore is a Shia waqf property dedicated by the family of Mirza Ismail, the late dewan of the Mysore Maharaja. It was leased out to Ms. Shivaram Hotels by the then mutawallis (custodians) of the Estate for just Rs. 5500, a pittance even by standards those days. It later changed hands to the Indian Tobacco Company's welcome group of hotel and currently has the five-star Windsor Manor Hotel. Litigation has since then been on between the Waqf Board and the ITC Group to vacate the land as according to the original lease deed, the possession could not be passed on to those other than the lessees, i.e., Ms. Shivaram Hotels. The Windsor Manor Hotel came up on the land which lies close to the Bangalore Golf Course and other important landmarks of the city in the early 80s. It may be mentioned here that the hotel's room tariff a day exceeds Rs. 10,000 even while the original Waqf estate is paid merely Rs. 5,500 per month towards rent. Ustad assured that the lease period for the Group will not be extended beyond 30 years which is ending on October 23.

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The Muslim World has No Voice!

Putrajaya, Malaysia: The Organization of the Islamic Countries (OIC) Conference in Malaysia took off with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer calling for changes in the OIC and also criticised the organization for defining the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as ‘congregation’. Given observer status in the 1970s and expecting full OIC membership since then, Sezer said of the TRNC: “Muslim Turkish Cypriots should be given the position it deserves.” Calling on Islamic countries to reform and step up their level of development, Sezer said: “We are at the crossroads. We can change the destiny of the Islamic World by taking courageous decisions.” In bilateral talks with President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, Sezer invited Muslim countries to play an active role in Iraq. Discussing the situation in Iraq, Sezer stressed the importance of territorial integrity and political unity in Iraq, saying that a democratic Iraq would contribute to regional and international stability. Sezer also touched on Afghanistan, Montenegro, Kashmir and Palestine, as well as terrorism. The opening of the conference was marked with a reading from the Holy Quran and a speech on “The reasons of the Islamic World’s decline,” by host leader Malaysia Prime Minister Mahattir Muhammed. Muslims were criticised for fighting amongst themselves, under the names, ‘Sunni, Shiite, Alawi, and Durzi’. The Malaysian leader said that despite a Muslim population of 1. 3 billion and 50 Muslim countries, the Muslim world had no voice adding that, “Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) took up arms, as was required in that day and age. Now we need weapons, rockets, war planes, tanks and warships. “We have read the Quran, but have not understood it.”

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Al Azhar University- Winner of Islamic
Personality Award

Dubai: The world’s oldest university, Al Azhar University in Cairo, was declared the winner of the Islamic Personality of the Year for 2003, which is awarded on an annual basis by the Dubai International Holy Quran Awards (DIHQA) to prominent Islamic

personalities or organisations who rendered distinguished services to Muslims all over the world. Al Azhar university is the first establishment to win the award which had been bestowed on renowned Islamic personalities since the institution of DIHQA seven years ago by General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence. The University which is over 1,020 years old has attracted Muslim students from all over the world and brought them under the umbrella of Islam.

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Islamic Bonds from Turkey

Kuala Lumpur: Turkey plans to sell $400 million to $500 million of Islamic five-year bonds by the end of the year, joining a growing trend among Muslim nations to seek finance in ways that conform with religious beliefs. Turkey had mandated HSBC and top Malaysian merchant bank CIMB Bhd to arrange the offering.”At the moment, Islamic bonds are still more attractive to the bankers who market them than to investors,” said a senior dealer at a large foreign bank. Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, do not formally pay interest, considered usury by many Muslims. Instead, the investor gets regular payments based on some other asset, such as rent on property. Malaysia pioneered the dollar-denominated Islamic bond with a $600 million issue in the international markets in 2002, and was followed by the Islamic Development Bank, which sold paper worth $400 million. Turkey’s roadshow is expected to cover Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

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50,000 French Accepted Islam In 50 Years

Paris: Some 50,000 French have accepted Islam since the 1950s, a French intelligence report revealed, saying that most of those who converted were heathens “who embraced Islam to fill their spiritual vacuum.” The report, parts of which published by the daily Le Figaro said converting to Islam “has become a phenomenon (in France) that needs to be followed up closely.” It is said that L’Essonne, 17 miles southeast of Paris, has the largest number of those who accepted Islam, with 1000 to 2000 out of a total of 50,000 converted in 50 years’ time. On the future of Islam in France, despite the problems facing Muslims in France, they are integrating with the French society.

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Beware of "Charity Boxes"

Jeddah: The Ministry of Education has ordered all schools under its jurisdiction to stop collecting charitable donations from students. According to the Eastern Province Director of Education, Saleh Al-Dossary, collections for charity will not be allowed in schools. Those who want to donate must deal directly with the charities. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance has also banned Islamic centers from using media outlets for soliciting donations. Both fund-raising bans are part of a series of measures aimed at “monitoring the flow of money and preventing funds from reaching activities described as terrorist”. Interior Minister Prince Naif warned people to be wary of putting money in collection boxes at the entrance of mosques. He urged Saudi citizens not to contribute unknowingly to the killing of people by paying money into suspicious boxes or charities.

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Battle against Satan

New York: Jihad isn’t just for Muslims anymore, according to Lieutenant-General William “Jerry” Boykin, the man tasked with hunting down Osama bin Laden. Boykin phrased the war on terror as a battle against “Satan,” who he said was represented by Muslims who worshipped “idols.” “The battle that we’re in is a spiritual battle,” said Boykin. “Satan wants to destroy us as a Christian army.” Caught between Iraq and a hard place, Rumsfeld downplayed the outburst (much like he does protests in Iraq) as an example of free speech. “We’re a free people,” shrugged Rumsfeld. The general had other interesting first-hand knowledge of God’s thoughts to pass along to mere mortals. “Why is Bush in the White House?” said Boykin. “The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He’s in the White House because God put him there.”

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Ramadan Food Hampers

Singapore: Some 700 Muslim families will receive food hampers and financial aid in the holy month of Ramadan from an $80,000 donation from HSBC Insurance.

The donation, made in conjunction with the Hari Raya Light-up ceremony this year, was presented by Community Development Minister Yaacob Ibrahim to 8 Muslim charitable organisations recently.”We are pleased to be able to make this contribution to help those who are most in need, especially in the current economic climate,” said Jason Sadler, CEO, HSBC Insurance.”We are grateful for this opportunity to further demonstrate our long standing commitment to share our success with the community,” he added.

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Nigerian Muslims resist Polio Vaccine

Lagos: Wielding droppers over mouths of teary toddlers, Nigerian and U.N. health workers launched an emergency drive to vaccinate millions against polio as a spreading outbreak put an estimated 15 million children at risk and threatened worldwide efforts to eradicate the crippling disease. But pervasive rumors among Muslim fundamentalists that the vaccine was part of a U.S. plot to spread AIDS and render Muslims infertile has impeded the efforts. Three predominantly Muslim states in northern Nigeria - Kano, Kaduna and Zamfara have either delayed or refused permission for the vaccination drive, with one demanding proof that the vaccine is safe. Zamfara health commissioner Mohammed Tukur said the polio vaccination efforts were being halted by his state to protect children until it could be proved that the medicines do not contain “poisonous substances.”

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Rise in Divorce rate in Saudi

Jeddah: Given the enormous rise in the divorce rate in the Saudi Kingdom, the second-highest in the world, the head of Jeddah’s marriage court, Sheikh Saleh Ahmad Habad, has called for urgent steps to address the issue. The court registers 40 marriages and 20 divorces a day. Sheikh Saleh stressed the high price children pay when their parents divorce, including behavioural disorders, depression, addiction and low school performance. A study conducted by Dr. Ebtisam Halawani at King Abdul Aziz University revealed that the main reason most women left their spouses was ill-treatment and violence. Most divorces occur during the first three years of marriage, the study said. Polygamy, according to Abdullah Al-Fawzan, a professor and sociologist at King Saud University in Riyadh, is responsible for up to 55 percent of divorces. He added that the loss of trust, sincerity, compassion and cooperation were also factors in the failure of marriages. According to the Ministry of Planning, 70,000 marriages and 13, 000 divorces were recorded last year. In Riyadh, there were 3, 000 divorces out of 8,500 marriages that took place in 2002. Makkah had the largest number of divorcees (3,96, 248), followed by Riyadh (3,27, 427), the Eastern Province (2,28, 093), and Asir (130, 812).

If the trend continues, there will be eight million single women in the Kingdom by the end of the decade, according to Dr. Ebtisam Halawani’s study.

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Islamic Channel in English

Jeddah: Iqraa Channel is planning to launch an Islamic channel in English in the next few months to spread the message of Islam. Nabeel Al-Hammad, director general of the channel, told Arab News that the new channel would be directed at Europe and America and some Asian and African countries in the first phase. "The decision to launch the new channel was adopted in order to take the message of Islam to all English-speaking people. We found that such a channel has become necessary to counter the smear campaign against Islam and Muslims after the Sept. 11, 2001 events," he said.Al-Hammad said the new channel would try to correct misconceptions about Islam. "Iqraa has been instrumental in introducing the moderate teachings of Islam to people in various parts of the world," he said. Addressing a press conference on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Iqraa's launch, the director general said the channel already presented some programs in English, French and Urdu. "Iqraa has been successful as an Islamic satellite channel," Al-Hammad said adding that the number of its viewers was growing day by day."He said Iqraa appealed to all sections of society with its moderate and intellectual Islamic programs.

For Ramadan, Al-Hammad said, the channel had "prepared a number of religious, social and recreational programs." Special programs of prominent preachers like Amr Khaled, Yousuf Al-Qaradawi and Muhammad Abdu Yamani as well as recordings of Sheikh Muhammad Al-Shaarawi will be aired during the month.

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Iranians Rejoice over Ebadi's Peace Prize

Iranians celebrated with shock and disbelief on the news that activist Shirin Ebadi had received the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. Not only had the first Iranian won the world’s highest honour for promoting peace and human rights, but an Iranian woman had won — and the first Muslim woman.

Many found it incredible that a woman could win the prize in a country where women’s rights have been decimated over the last two and a half decades, and they rejoiced at what they saw as recognition of human rights struggles throughout the Middle East.

In Los Angeles, where a third of the nation’s 277,000 Iranian immigrants live, news of the award spread rapidly. Writer and artist Kikhosor Behrozi, 58, let out a whoop at the breakfast table when he heard Ebadi had been selected. His wife began to cry. “I’m sorry. I’m too emotional,” said Farideh Behrozi, 55, who runs an Italian Restaurant. “I hope this will help the women in Iran and throughout the region,” she said. “I hope they recognise that if you fight, someone will listen. If you scream and holler and speak your piece, someone will hear.” Ebadi was Iran’s woman judge before the 1979 Islamic revolution and later became an activist for democracy and the rights of refugees, women and children. The 56-year-old lawyer defended students and other activists demanding government reforms and was jailed in 2000 on charges of slandering government officials. She was banned for working as a lawyer for five years.

The selection of Ebadi will improve the image of Iran around the world, believes Haleh Esfandiari, of the Middle East Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. “Iran has been seen as this rogue state, a hostage taker,” she said. “Now people will see the other side, that people are working for human rights, struggling and living their lives for a better society.” Esfandiari also sees the award as overdue recognition for all Iranian women who have long fought against the country’s repressive regime. “Women were among the only groups that stood up to the regime from the beginning because they immediately saw what was lost in terms of work and family law,” she said.
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