” Mari Bhasha ” – ” My Language”

Dr Sibtain Panjwani – UK

In June 1987, Marhum Kassimali Nazerali Panju wrote a nine page letter to the leaders of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Community (KSIMC) expressing his sadness at the diminishing importance of Gujarati Language within the community in East Africa and in the West. With candid clarity, Marhum Kassimalibhai analysed how the loss of a mother tongue deprives the community of “checks and balance” mechanism as it engages with other cultures and beliefs. He also expresses his fears of the subsequent loss of our own Islamic Values and Identity. As part of “The Awakening Project”, Dr Sibtain Panjwani refers to his foresightedness and informs the audience to take heed of this warning. Initial result of recent survey on “KSIMuslim Identity conducted by “The Awakening Project” do reveal that Gujarati/Kachhi language and Islamic beliefs are fundamental pillars to progress our KSIMuslim Identity in the 21st century.

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About the author

Dr. Sibtain Panjwani is a Dental Surgeon by Profession with a special interest in Medical Law and Ethics having obtained an MA from King’s College London and a PhD in Law at the University of Essex.

He regularly gives lectures at various institutes and takes interest in writing articles and conference papers on subjects ranging from law and religion to ethics and community affairs.

He held the position of the Secretary General of The World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities from 1996 – 2003.

The Awakening Project was created by Dr. Sibtain Panjwani, a project that seeks participation and reform from community members themselves – madrasah teachers, professionals, volunteers, scholars, laymen and laywomen, youths, the elderly and all those interested in meeting current and future social, spiritual, ethical and cultural challenges.

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