Civil services examination conducted by UPSC is considered one of the toughest exams in the world. Lakhs of candidates prepare for years to clear this exam but only a few are able to achieve that. Because of the reservation and the existing exam pattern the exams are losing the sheen. The exam came under criticism when 2 years ago, Tina Dabbi an SC, cleared the first stage of the exam with much fewer marks than the cut off for general candidates and then topped the overall exam. The method of moderating the marks obtained in different optional subjects has also been criticised. Are candidates with a good PR story like an SC woman clearing the exam in first go or someone from insurgency-ridden J&K doing it despite all difficulties, chosen deliberately?
Last year 52 and this year 51 Muslim candidates have been selected by UPSC and it is an all-time high. Compare this with 2005, when only 3% Muslims were selected for Civil Services. This year the percentage has increased to 5.15%. Is the rise in selected candidates only due to their own efforts? Out of the 51 selected Muslim candidates, 26 have been coached by Zakat Foundation. Zakat Foundation is an American NGO with branches all over the world.
In 2012, a German federal court banned IHH, a Turkish International Islamic Charity as the Turkish Charity was contributing funds to Hamas. Hamas is recognized by the European Union, Israel, and the United States as a “terrorist organization”. The Illinois-based Zakat Foundation had reportedly passed funds through another foundation to IHH in the past. The German court ruled that if the Zakat Foundation or any other Western charity continued working with IHH despite the evidence presented in the German case, that meant they were knowingly working with an entity that funds Hamas—-a terrorist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel. FrontPage Magazine also alleged that the Zakat Foundation sponsored a grant to IHH, a pro-Hamas charity. The same year, a leading charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, lowered the overall ranking of Zakat Foundation because of lack of transparency in its functioning. In 2010, the Zakat Foundation worked with Muslim Hands, a British-based charity also accused by Israel of funding Hamas, during relief operations in Haiti.
After 9/11 attack, scores of charities were shut down after prosecutors found their financial and logistical links to terrorist groups across the globe. The US government eased up after Obama became the President. Eight years of Obama administration gave the Islamic charities the chance for a resurgence. One of the most notorious charities is the Gaza-based Unlimited Friends Association for Social Development (UFA). Investigations have shown that UFA has close links with senior Hamas leaders. At least 8 prominent US-based charities are funding UFA, one of them is the Zakat Foundation.
For many years now India is suffering from the menace of illegal migrants. These illegal migrants pose a serious threat not only to the law and order situation but to the national security too. Recently many incidents of Rohingya Muslims being involved in illegal and terror activities have come to light. Many anti-India forces are trying to support and settle these illegal migrants in many strategic places in India. Zakat Foundation is one of the first to provide the land to Rohingyas to build their camp as far back as in 2012 in Delhi, the national capital. A Muslim charity can do better than that for its Muslim brothers. Why not settle them in an Islamic country?
Popular Front of India (PFI) is an extremist and militant fundamentalist organization of India. In 2010, Kerala police unearthed country-made bombs, weapons, CDs and documents containing Taliban and Al-Queda propaganda from PFI activists. In 2015, intelligence agencies confirmed the role of PFI in 2011 Mumbai bombings, 2012 Pune bombings, and 2013 Hyderabad blasts. It is said that PFI is nothing but a resurrection of the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). In March this year when the Jharkhand government banned PFI in the state, leaders of the many Muslim organizations condemned the ban and issued a joint statement against Jharkhand government. One of them was Dr. Zafar Mahmood, Chairman of the Zakat Foundation of India.
In 2012, the UPA government proposed to introduce the provision of Limited Competitive Examination (LCE) for recruitment of a limited number of IPS Officers from amongst the existing police officials working under various State Governments. This was to be in addition to the direct recruitment method already in vogue. The proposal was to give an opportunity to the lower ranks of the police force to rise to the level of direct entry IPS officers. Zakat Foundation filed a petition against the Government of India against the change in the procedure. The entire case is here. The Foundation lost the case and the UPA government too dropped the idea later on. What would Zakat Foundation have gained by hindering the rise of meritorious junior police officers to the level of police leadership? Is it because the chances of junior level Muslim officials rising to top positions were less?
Zakat Foundation first came into limelight when coached by it, Shah Faesal became the first Kashmiri to top civil services exam in 2009. He raked up controversy when he wrote in a newspaper article-
When Kashmiri representatives are bullied in TV debates… when military bravado is encouraged over civilian agony……….and truth is not shown at all, and most importantly, when cows are made to feel more important than the Kashmiri people, the frustration and anger will, expectedly, be directed against India.
Is Kashmir not a part of India?
Another prodigy of Zakat Foundation coaching classes, Safeer Karim, an IPS officer from Kerala was caught cheating in last year’s Civil Services exam. There are many interesting facts about this year’s civil services exam and the outstanding performance of Muslim Candidates. Read this thread of tweets-
These statistics are shocking and alarming. Is there a network which is trying to help Muslim candidates? If Zakat Foundation really wants upliftment of Muslim community, why is it not arranging for coaching of Muslim students for IIT, IIM, medical colleges and other high paid professional courses? Why is it only eyeing for Civil Services? All this makes us ask a fundamental question – Is Zakat foundation’s agenda social or political? Politicians keep changing but the bureaucracy is permanent. The policy-making power going into the hands of agenda driven people is dangerous for the country in long run.