Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Dr Omar Khalidi: An obituary

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Dr Omar Khalidi was born in Hyderabad and had his early education in the city. Later, he studied in the UK and the USA. He has been associated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been reflecting the views of Indian Muslims in the West, and hailed as a liberal Muslim intellectual.

A researcher, Dr Omar Khalidi had penned over two dozen books including the one on Muslim representation in armed and police forces in India. His book is said to have triggered the religion-based census in armed forces by the Congress-led UPA government. His areas of research including sociology, ethnic groups and their economic status, Islamic architecture and the history of Hyderabad.

The news of Omar Khalidi's death was received with shock in Hyderabad with several senior Muslim leaders condoling his death and describing him as a "great Hyderabadi researcher and author".

"Khalidi had pioneered research on Indian Muslims. The facts he presented in his research works were astonishing. His book on communal violence led to a furore in Parliament," said Islamic scholar Muhammad Zaheeruddin.

He carried out research on the economic and social status of Muslims in India since Independence. His famous works included "Hyderabad: After the Fall", a collection of academic papers. His books on Islamic architecture are “Approaches to Mosque Design in North America” and “Import, Adapt, Innovate: Mosque Design in the United States.”

Omar Khalidi's father, Prof Abu Nasr Khalidi, was a well known scholar of Arabic and Islamic studies.

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