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‘If Muslims of India succeed, the country will succeed’


first_img“If 200 million Muslims of India succeed, India will succeed. So rather than getting filled with bigotry and hatred, we should try to bring people together and provide them an equal economic opportunity,” said Frank Islam, noted Indo-American entrepreneur and philanthropist.Speaking to The Hindu ahead of participating in the 202nd Sir Syed Day event at AMU as the chief guest on Thursday, the celebrated alumnus of the university said: “One nation under God is acceptable but not one nation under one religion and one language. That is not part of the secular ethos of the country. When you attack one set of people because of who they are, you attack the composite culture of India.” He said India was a “global beacon” for democracy and “we have to keep that momentum alive”.The head of FI Investment Group said he was not an expert on Islam but Islamic faith always had people who were entrepreneurs. “I am here to provide a connection between AMU and entrepreneurship. The students should go out and get jobs, create jobs and make a cha-nge in people’s lives. That’s what Sir Syed’s vision was.”He appealed to the Muslim youth to keep their chin high, aim high and work hard. “If you are good at something, people recognise your talent and give you opportunities. Don’t be afraid of hostility or get disheartened by prejudices; it probably happens in every country… There are Muslims who can’t afford good education. It is where people like me have a role to play,” said Mr. Islam who has funded the construction of an auditorium in the mass communication department and an entrepreneurship centre in the department of business administration in AMU.Modern educationOn the need for imparting modern education, Mr Islam said madrasas have to rework their curriculum to train youngsters for the 21st-century workforce. “I have always said reciting Koran is a very good thing, and one should do that, but it is not going to get you a job.”Aked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the U.S., Mr. Islam said he was able to capture the pulse of the Indian-American population. He added that there were protesters wherever Mr. Modi went but their number was much less than those who turned up to cheer for him.last_img read more


Concord Reuse Project Suffers New Setback


first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The city of Concord for the second time in two weeks has postponed a meeting of the city council to discuss the selection of a master developer for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station in northern California, after the apparent suicide of the city attorney who had been investigating allegations that one of the two competing firms improperly lobbied the city.The city first postponed the council’s discussion late last month after Catellus Development Corp. requested the city investigate its accusations that Lennar Urban had violated the negotiating agreement both finalists had signed. Catellus also asked why city staff failed to recommend a preferred master developer as expected.At the time of his death last week, city attorney Mark Coon was preparing a report on his investigation. It is not clear if Coon finished the report or when the city plans to release his findings, reported the Contra Costa Times.While the city council’s five council members have said Lennar did not lobby them, Concord Mayor Tim Grayson last month returned $12,600 in donations to his state Assembly campaign from companies or individuals linked to Lennar. Kofi Bonner, president of Lennar Urban, vigorously defended his firm’s conduct after Catellus’ accusations came out.The city council had been scheduled to meet Oct. 15 to discuss the selection of a master developer; the city has not yet rescheduled that meeting.The reuse plan for the 5,046-acre weapons station site calls for residential, commercial and office use clustered around the North Concord BART station with greenways and parks separating neighborhood villages. Almost 70 percent of the property would be open space and recreational facilities.————Image Sourcelast_img read more