Vol. 13    Issue 6   01 - 30 September 2018
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V. S. Naipaul

Passing of an Islamophobic Native Colonial

Professor A. R. MOMIN

Vidiadhar Surajpersad Naipaul, or V. S. Naipaul or Sir Vidia, as he was generally known among literary writers, was born in a poor family in Chaguanas, south of Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain, on 17 August 1932. Trinidad, the southern-most country in the West Indies in the Caribbean, was then a British colony with a multi-ethnic population. Naipaul was the second of seven children of Seepersad and his wife Droapatie. Naipaul’s grandfather, along with hundreds of others, had been shipped from north India to Trinidad as indentured labourers in the late 19th century in the wake of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. His father attended school during the day and worked at night to earn his livelihood. He learned English and became a journalist and a short story writer and worked as a correspondent of a local newspaper, the Trinidad Guardian. After a while he shifted to Port of Spain, where Naipaul completed his school education. He was a precocious student with a flair for language and writing. In 1950 he went on a scholarship to University College, Oxford to study English literature. He shifted to London in 1958 where he worked as a radio presenter on the BBC’s Caribbean Voices for a brief period. Within a few years he became a professional writer.   Read more


Professor A. R. MOMIN

Worsening Plight of China’s Uighur Muslims

Ten of China’s 55 national minorities follow Islam. These include Hui, Uighur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Salar, Bao’an (Bonan), Dongxiang, Uzbek, Tajik and Tatar. The numerically large Muslim minority groups are Hui (10.5 million), Uighur (10 million), Kazakh (1.2 million) and Kirghiz (0.2 million).

Xinjiang, which was known as Chinese Turkestan in earlier times, is the westernmost Chinese city, bordered by Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The region accounts for one-sixth of China’s landmass and has the country’s largest deposits of oil, natural gas and coal. Xinjiang, now officially known as Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, is home to several Muslim minority groups, including the Uighur, Kazakhs, Hui, Kyrgyz and Mongols. The Uighurs, who are the original inhabitants of the region, are the largest ethnic group in Xinjiang and account for about 45% of the region’s population. Ethnic Han Chinese account for 39% of Xinjiang’s population.   Read more

China Is Detaining Muslims in Vast Numbers. The Goal: ‘Transformation.’

By Chris Buckley

HOTAN, China — On the edge of a desert in far western China, an imposing building sits behind a fence topped with barbed wire. Large red characters on the facade urge people to learn Chinese, study law and acquire job skills. Guards make clear that visitors are not welcome.

Inside, hundreds of ethnic Uighur Muslims spend their days in a high-pressure indoctrination program, where they are forced to listen to lectures, sing hymns praising the Chinese Communist Party and write “self-criticism” essays, according to detainees who have been released.   Read more


Fuat Sezgin

Fuat Sezgin, the world’s greatest living authority on the monumental contribution of Islamic civilization to the advancement of science and technology, passed away at the age of 95 on June 30 in Istanbul.

By Professor A. R. MOMIN

Fuat Sezgin, Professor Emeritus of the History of Natural Sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany until his death, was born in Bitlis in eastern Turkey on October 24, 1924. He graduated from the faculty of literature at Istanbul University in 1947. An encounter with Hellmut Ritter, a highly respected German Orientalist, at Istanbul University in 1943 proved to be a turning point in young Sezgin’s career and life.   Read more

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