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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Rage that is Ragni …

This is just a quote from the CUNY Newsletter


Rage M. Kidvai (’14) Awarded Equal Justice Works Fellowship

March 24, 2014

Rage M. Kidvai (’14) has been awarded a two-year Equal Justice Works (EJW) fellowship, starting in September, to work at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), providing legal representation on asylum applications for low-income transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGNCI) immigrants.

Kidvai pursued the EJW fellowship to address the “huge gap in providing asylum and deportation defense services to TGNCI people with criminal records.” This is especially important “where transgender and gender non-conforming folks of color and immigrants are disproportionately poor, policed, and incarcerated.”

Prior to law school, Kidvai represented survivors of interpersonal violence and trafficking on cases regarding public assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, and housing, and decided to pursue a law degree to be “better able to listen and serve” those facing transphobia, homophobia, racism and xenophobia in the forms of state violence caused by criminalization, incarceration and deportation.

During the EJW fellowship, Kidvai will file asylum, withholding of removal, U-Visa, T-Visa, naturalization (citizenship), adjustment of status and employment authorization applications on behalf of clients, and will also provide legal assistance to the Prisoner Rights and Survival and Self-determination Projects at SRLP, assisting clients with public benefits and name change applications.

While at CUNY Law, Kidvai participated in the Criminal Defense clinic, and interned with SRLP, Brooklyn Defender Services Family Defense Practice, Orleans Public Defenders (through the CUNY Law Mississippi Project), Brooklyn Defender Services Criminal Defense Practice, and The Bronx Defenders.


Lots of Love, Hugs, Kisses.
We are so thrilled!

Ummi & Abi

Marvi Mazhar, [Me], Jehan Ara, Nuzhat Kidvai, Hareem Sumbul, Sabeen Mahmud

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dead at 99 … and we'll all miss him

Khushwant Singh

I was visiting my friend Tarun Tejpal in Delhi and one night I was invited with him to Khushwant's house for dinner at 9:00pm by his son. I said I wanted to meet Khushwant Ji. The son said I should come at 8:30 and meet him as he goes to his room at 9:00pm.

Meeting Khushwant Ji was a pleasure. He was eating his daal and chatted away with me about Pakistan for which he had a great love. At 9pm he started to reach his room and I saw that the door had a large kalmah around the sides. I asked him why that was and he said "Hindu bohat ghabraatay haéñ daykh kar …"

His books on every subject, serious, laughable, biographical, and his novels, have always fascinated me … but his Train to Pakistan was totally remarkable.

RIP, Khushwant Ji

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Getting the facts right …

I have to start this post by saying that I am in no way willing to accept the 'rules' suggested by the CII for marrying again without the wife's permission or to allow underage marriage.


Take a look at cutting off limbs in stealing. Do we cut off the hands of a poor man who stole to eat his only meal … and also of the businessman who took away millions from his firm illegally?

No. We don't. Even in this Islamic Republic.

We have courts. The Judge listens. He announces his Judgement. He may say that the poor man is wrong, warn him for further crimes, but add that he doesn't have to be put in jail. On the rich man he will also pass his Judgement. A long sentence, fines, and maybe more.

To force us to obey 'all the rules of the 7th Century' today would be wrong. Rules change as times and spaces become different, as the world becomes different.

Do we still burn witches today? No.

I can come up with many more examples that have changed because we have jails now, and insane asylums, and medical practices. We understand that a murderer may have killed in self-defence. 


So why am I writing all this?

This morning I found Iqbal Ismail's Facebook account having quoted Laal (or Taimur, to be precise). Here's what Taimur had to partly say:

Taimur's Reactionary Proposal is OK, I guess, but let's just get our facts correct. The Qur'anic Verse that he refers to is badly translated. There is nothing that prevents one from marrying a widow, an orphan, or a regular virgin here. Nothing!

The Prophet married THIRTEEN wives. Apart from not marrying until Bibi Khadijah's death, he married Bibi Soodah who was a widow. But then, as his THIRD wife, he married Ayeshah. She was neither a widow, nor an orphan. As his TWELFTH wife he 'married' Bibi Maria about whom we do not know if she was a virgin. She may have been an orphan or a widow. Victors picked up slaves from every area when they won wars. Others bought them. She was gifted to the Prophet by al-Muqawqis of Abyssinia. Some historical records show that she was a concubine and the Prophet never married her: Read Ibné Saad's "Life of the Prophet"

Some of the Prophet's marriages certainly happened after the Qur'anic Verse quoted in Item#3 above. He did not divorce any and had many wives at at time. There is a Qur'anic Verse (XXXIII:52) that shows that the Prophet was not allowed to add more wives than the ones he had … something that others could do, as you will see in this post.

If you think that I may have faltered in my perception here, let me get to the fact that the Qur'an had certainly been completed just before the Prophet's death. Which means that anyone after that time should not have married more than one wife (except, of course, widows and orphans … if the verse meant that).

Let's look at Hazrat Ali, who remained married to Bibi Fatimah until her death. After that he married eight more wives. Some of them were NOT widows or orphans. He was the father of 15 sons and 18 daughters (of which 12 daughters came from two slave girls… Humia and Umm Shuaib).

Hazrat Ali's son, Hazrat Hasan, who died while he was in mid-forties, was known as Mitlaaq (=Great Divorcer). He was married, according to Philip K. Hitti's "History of the Arabs", to around 100 wives whom he divorced. Some people say that all this took place in his later 9 years.

To make FOUR WIVES as the prevailing rule … it is an Islamic rule from the Hadees rather than a Qur'anic Injunction … we have people saying that Hazrat Ali had only four wives at a time, as did Hazrat Hasan.

Surely when you marry it is for all times to come, unless you or she have problems when there can be a divorce. It does not mean that you marry one and divorce her and marry another and divorce her and go on and on like that.


Let's go to the Qur'anic Verse (IV:3) which has been misinterpreted. While there is a part in the verse that says 'one' would be better, the phrase that causes the major problem is "Mathana va Thülaatha va Rübaa" (=Twos and Threes and Fours). This phrase certainly does not mean 'unto four' as it is now interpreted. It meant 'many' in those days. This is much the same way as when you say to a child, for example, 'I have told you hundreds of times not to lie'. 'Hundreds' does not mean 'several hundred' … it means 'many'.

If you think that the Qur'an is the best way to decide things if the same verse is found elsewhere, let's go to (XXXV.1) where it says that Angels have wings that are "Mathana va Thülaatha va Rübaa" (=Twos and Threes and Fours). Surely it means 'many' here. Muslims do not have an article of faith that says an Angel can only have 2, or 3, or 4 wings. Several legends tell us about Angels with numerous wings.

Incidentally, here's another part that will convince you further. Read (XXXIV:46) which says "... that you stand up for Allah in twos and singly". This does NOT mean that Muslims can offer prayers in twos or ones … but not in a Jama'at.

Good luck!

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