It was a pleasant evening with Dr Mohsen Mohammed Saleh, an authority on Palestinian issue on March 14, 2007 at Markaz Jamaat, headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami Hnd.. Associated with Hamas, he presently heads a think-tank dealing with the West Asian affairs at Beirut (Lebanon). Earlier, he has taught Palestinian history at the International Islamic University of Malaysia for ten years. The evening was joined among others by Jamaat’s stalwarts Maulana Shafi Moonis, Maulana Jalaluddin Anser Umri, Maulana Mohammed Jafar, Maulana Rafique Qasmi, Dr N K Afandi, Dr SQR Ilyas and All India Milli Council leader Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji. The programme was presided over by Jamaat chief Dr Abdul Haque Ansari and conducted by Arabic and English journalist and scholar Dr Zafarul Islam Khan.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mohsen Saleh dwelt in detail the background to and the issue of Palestine. He said this had remained the land of 15 out of 25 Prophets mentioned in the holy Quran and most of them were buried here. Besides, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) had ascended to heaven from here. According to him, the holy Quran has called Makkah as the “City of Peace” but Prophet Mohammed who never visited Palestine described it as the “Place of Revolution”. It is to point out that Indian leader Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar was too buried here in January 1931 on the wish of the then ‘Mufti-e-Falastin’ Aminul Hussaini.
Dr Saleh said it was the growing corruption in the last PLO government that led it to ouster and brought Hamas to the centre-stage. The people voted them to power by 70 per cent votes but keeping the cause and unity in view, they decided to share power with Fatah and other groups, he added.
According to him, they were a principled and disciplined group and, therefore, no question arose for any compromise to the main issues. In his view, Israel’s creation on the land of Palestine was unjust and would remain unjust always, so, how was it possible to recognise it. The then super powers had done this injustice. As a result of which, lakhs of people had to take refuge elsewhere and about 70 thousands were languishing in the Israeli prisons, he pointed out. He said it was surprising how those advocating democracy for them tried to deny it to the Palestinians. “The standard of taking and giving should be the same. What you like for yourself, let others too avail it,” he opined.
Dr Abdul Haque Ansari, in his presidential address, said the problem of Palestine was a creation of the then super powers upon the land of Palestine. Besides, there were added other issues to it, he added. He said Palestine had always remained in the centre-stage due to these problems. The speech by Dr Mohsen Saleh was followed by a question and answer session.
Dr Saleh who had visited India along with his wife to participate in an international conference on West Asia held on March 12-14, 2007, left for Beirut on March 15. Besides Dr Saleh, about a dozen experts on Palestinian issue from West Asia, Pakistan and Bangladesh had also come to participate in the conference.
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