Sharia News Watch 45 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*]
all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
Afghan Chief Justice Under Scrutiny 03 Apr 03
The qualifications of the conservative chief justice of the supreme
court, Fazil Hadi Shinwari, are being questioned in the wake of his
controversial ban on cable television.
Shinwari does not appear to meet the requirements for the post set out
by the 1964 constitution, which is the law of the land under the Bonn
Agreement. He is over the age limit of 60 and has not received an
education in secular law. But Shinwari, speaking to IWPR in a rare
interview, defended his recent decision and insisted that he has the
right to continue to hold his post.
"I think the knowledge I have in Islamic studies and principles is
enough for a chief justice," he said. "I will never accept and am not
obliged to learn any law or regulation opposing Islamic law." But he
acknowledged that "there are some foreign rules and regulations that
are similar to Islamic laws, such as human rights, and I will never
Dr Tariq Rishad agreed. "The chief justice should know Islamic and
international laws and principles thoroughly in order to find a
mutually acceptable path between the two," he said. Defending his
decisions, Shinwari told IWPR, "I will never ignore Islamic principles
for the sake of anyone. And I would oppose anything that leads society
to non-Islamic actions." He said he decided to ban cable television
after investigating complaints by several people about its un-Islamic
content, which included Indian movies and western programmes that
showed women in scanty clothes.
[The deputy minister of information and culture, Abdul Hameed] Mubarez
suggested that under the 1964 constitution, Shinwari had no right to
issue the ban; that the proper procedure would have been to refer the
matter to the president who would then have authorised the information
and culture ministry to investigate it.
Mubarez insisted that not all cable and satellite programme were
against Islam; that most were educational and recreational and
benefited the younger generation. " It necessary that the youth know
about the outside world and that their minds develop," he said.
Extra-judicial killings, death in custody double 02 Apr 03
Security forces committed a number of extra-judicial killings, and
deaths in custody more than doubled from 2001, the [US] State
Department said in its Human Rights Report 2002 released on March 31.
The HR report pointed out that the two major political parties often
employed violence, causing deaths and numerous injuries. Quoting press
reports, the HR report mentioned that vigilante justice resulted in
numerous killings. Police routinely used torture, beatings, and other
forms of abuse while interrogating suspects and frequently beat
demonstrators. The Government rarely punished persons responsible for
torture or unlawful deaths. Prison conditions were extremely poor.
The Constitution prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading
punishment; however, police routinely employed physical and
psychological torture and other abuse during arrests and
interrogations. Torture may consist of threats and beatings, and the
use of electric shock.
Police have been known to rape women not in custody, as well. One
human rights organisation documented seven cases of rape and, during
the first 6 months of the year, six cases of attempted rape by law
enforcement officials against women not in custody.
In addition, after women reported that they were raped or involved in
family disputes, they frequently were detained in "safe custody" (in
reality, confined in jail cells) where they endured poor conditions
and were sometimes abused and raped. This year the Government began
transferring women in safe custody to vagrant homes or NGO-run
shelters, where available.
Human rights groups and press reports indicated that vigilantism
against women for perceived moral transgressions occurred in rural
areas, often under a fatwa (a proclamation from an Islamic leader) and
included punishments such as whipping. One human rights organisation
recorded 32 such fatwa cases during the year.
Ruling party MPs filed separate criminal libel suits against several
newspapers after articles were published that the politicians viewed
as false and defamatory. The journalists in all cases received
anticipatory bail from the courts, and none of the cases moved to
trial. Sedition charges remained pending, and those persons accused
remained on bail.
Courts accept Islamic law 03 Apr 03
More and more divorce settlements between immigrants are being decided
by Islamic law, even though it discriminates against women Judges are
today often using Islamic law in divorce cases involving refugees and
immigrants, in full knowledge that Islamic sharia legislation is at
odds with Danish principles of male/female equality.
Contrary to Danish legislation, women under Islamic law cannot be
granted any of the couple's joint property after a divorce. Despite
this, Danish judges continue to use a 70-year-old legal ruling which
states that it's the law of the country where the husband was resident
at the time of marriage that is relevant when the couple file for divorce.
Although the ruling was formulated at the time as an attempt to
protect Danish women from being subjected to a different
interpretation of the law if their spouses relocated to another
country, leading lawyer Jens Jørgen Viuff, one of the few Danish legal
experts to have specialised in Islamic law, claimed that it often has
the opposite effect today.
'If an Iranian woman gets a divorce from her Iranian husband in this
country, she wouldn't be able to share the couple's property in the
same way as a Danish woman would,' said Viuff. 'However, under Islamic
law, couples are forced to abide by a 'marriage contract' that often
requires the husband to pay a substantial amount of money to his
spouse if they get divorced. The question is whether a Danish court
would be able to help the woman collect the money.
Suicide Attacks on Invading Forces Permitted: Tantawi 04 Apr 03
Suicide attacks on the US-led coalition in Iraq are "permitted under
(Islamic) religious law," the sheikh of Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni
Muslim spiritual authority, Muhammad Sayed Tantawi, said here
yesterday. "Martyr operations against the invading forces are
permitted under religious law," he said, quoted by the official MENA
news agency. Tantawi described the invasion of Iraq to oust the regime
of Saddam Hussein as "an unjust aggression".
"Whoever attacks others, spilling blood, harming the other's honor and
land is a terrorist," he added, referring to the US-led coalition.
Tantawi, however, said the US-led war was not a crusade against Islam
since many Christian nations and religious leaders, including Pope
John Paul II, have opposed it. He also indirectly criticized the Iraqi
and the Kuwaiti leaders.
On March 27, Syria's Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kaftaro, the country's
top Muslim religious authority, called for suicide bombings against US
and British troops in Iraq. Islam universally bans suicide as a crime
against oneself but it allows it in defense of Muslims and their land,
and celebrates as "martyrs" those who make the sacrifice. There have
been two suicide attacks against the invading forces since the war
began on March 20. One of them killed four US soldiers and the second
three others, according to the US military.
Tantawi gave his blessing to volunteers wishing to help Iraqis in the
war against US and British forces. Tantawi said the war on Iraq was an
attack on all Arab countries. "Whoever wants to go to Iraq to support
the Iraqi people, the door is open, and I say the door for jihad (holy
struggle) is open until the day of judgment," Tantawi told a news
[Ayodhya] History overtaken by politics 01 Apr 03
An interview with Professor Irfan Habib, the former chairman of the
Indian Council of Historical Research, was published in The Indian
Express on March 12, with the headline ``Digging won't resolve Ayodhya
dispute''. A historian of the repute of Irfan Habib would be expected
to talk about possible historic finds on excavation of the site rather
than resolution of Ayodhya dispute.
His apprehension is that ``such a post facto rationalisation of what
was done on December 6, 1992, would place in jeopardy the fate of
numerous historical monuments all over the country.'' Such
apprehension is rather unfounded for two reasons.
Secondly, excavation is pertinent in the context of the observation by
leaders like Syed Shahabuddin that if it was proved that the Babri
masjid had been built after demolishing the Ramjanmabhoomi mandir,
then a mosque on such usurped land deserved to be destroyed in
conformity with the tenets of the Shariat.
Top Iraqi clergy blast "immoral" war against Iraq 01 Apr 03
Top clerics from Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority slammed the US-led
invasion as "unjust and immoral" even as they expressed eagerness to
return home from exile as soon as President Saddam Hussein's regime
"Our theological school considers that any collaboration with the
United States is sacrilegious even if it involves fighting Saddam's
regime," Ayatollah Mohammad Hadi al-Razi told AFP to approval from
fellow exiles in Iran's main clerical centre.
Forced into exile by Saddam25 years ago, the four leading clerics
interviewed by AFP opened an Iraqi seminary in exile in this city
south of Tehran, which now boasts some 3, 000students.
"We have the same views as the Shiite religious leaders in Najaf,
except that they can't say anything about the crimes of Saddam," he
said. As for plans for post-war Iraq, the four clerics stressed the
next Iraqi government should apply sharia, or Islamic law, as in Iran.
The four said they were looking forward to reviving the historic
seminaries and theological schools in Iraq's holy cities of Najaf and
Karbala, the main centres of pilgrimage for Shiite Muslims.
Tehran hosts Iraq's main Shiite opposition group -- the Supreme
Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI) -- as well as its
armed wing, the Badr Brigade, estimated to have some 10,000 to 15,000 men.
In Shiite Slums, Focus Is on Survival, Not Revolt 30 Mar 03
In recent days, a fatwa, or religious decree, signed by five senior
Shiite clerics called on followers to remain loyal to the government
and submissive in a time of war. Shiite Muslims, who make up about 60
percent of Iraq's 23 million people, have been handed a role crucial
to Hussein's staying power, with British forces besieging Basra and
U.S. forces farther north at or around two other Shiite centers, Najaf
"Don't succumb to the devil's temptation and rush into aggressive
actions to satisfy personal grudges or achieve illegal gains," said
the decree, which was posted at Kadhimiya, the most sacred shrine for
Shiite Muslims in Baghdad.
From liberation war to jihad 02 Apr 03
Ali Sistani, the Marja of Najaf, a model of religious rectitude, has
issued a fatwa according to which jihad is now an obligation for
Shi'ites. In Baghdad, Sheikh Abdel Karim Biarah, the Grand Mufti of
Iraq, issued a similar fatwa for Sunnis.
By hyping the jihad to unparalleled levels in modern Iraq, the Ba'ath
Party is managing to implicate practically the whole population in the
resistance. But the party hasn't forgotten more mundane aspects of
[Najaf] March to mosque provokes worst fears 04 Apr 03
Commanders of the 101st Airborne Division went seeking the crucial
support of one of Iraq's leading holy men, but instead riled an angry
crowd that mistakenly thought soldiers were trying to capture the
ayatollah or attack his mosque, one of the most sacred sites in Islam.
If the Americans continued working well with citizens for two more
days, Sistani's missive said, he would issue a fatwa -- a religious
and legal decree -- condoning the U.S. mission here and encouraging
Iraqis to actively cooperate.
Arabic 'Crimes of War' text released online 01 Apr 03
An Arabic edition of the book "Crimes of War: What the Public Should
Know" was released on the Internet to "assist the Arab media and
public in monitoring the conduct of both sides in the US-led invasion
of Iraq," said the book's editor Monday.
The online Arabic edition www.crimesofwar.org/arabic was edited by
local journalist Daoud Kuttab and features an introduction by
Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi. Georges Abi Saab, an honorary
professor of law at Cairo University, provided legal advice.
The English version, first published in 1991 and edited by Roy Gutman
and David Rieff, contains articles and legal analysis by a number of
renowned journalists tackling the issue of war crimes.
"We wanted to have material available to the public to help them
differentiate between crimes of war as specified by International
Humanitarian Law and simply war activities," said Kuttab. "Crimes of
War" is also available in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Hungarian,
Russian and Chinese. [English: http://www.crimesofwar.org/
Jordan king signals pro-Iraq public shift 03 Apr 03
Jordan's King Abdullah, an ally of Washington, has responded to
mounting domestic pressure by condemning the U.S.-led war on Iraq as
an "invasion" and describing Iraqi civilians killed in the war as
Jordan's largest political party the Islamic Acton Front has also
issued a religious edict (fatwa) saying the government's decision to
station U.S. troops was "one of the gravest sins".
Fear of Saddam cements Kuwait's polarized society 02 Apr 03
Most Kuwaitis want to see the U.S.-led coalition succeed in removing
Saddam, but they also suspect his departure would bring to the fore
divergences in their own country between powerful Islamists and
Gradually expanding a campaign to turn the oil-producing state into a
fully Islamic society, Islamists have won increased gender segregation
in education, secured early retirement for women to shorten their
working lives outside the home, won tacit government tolerance of an
expansion of private religious charities overseas and blocked a move
to give women the vote.
Many Islamists fear a U.S. victory against Iraq may boost liberal
trends and jeopardise their traditional values.
It is unsettling to many Islamists to see some young people abandoning
their culture, like the wearing by men of flowing robes and
headdresses, even if only temporarily. Kuwaiti youths' flirtation with
Western lifestyles tends to end with marriage and the acquisition of a
Hamed and his friends represent the "Hadhars", the more Westernised
population of Kuwait. At the other extreme are conservative bedouins
who tend to live outside the city centre. Their women fully cover
themselves in public, revealing only their eyes, and they do not mix
with men to whom they are not related.
Running grassroots public support and with their influence expanding
in parliament, the Islamists have waged an intensive campaign to
enforce their strict interpretation of sharia law, and are making some
Moving in the footsteps of Iran and Saudi Arabia, some call for a
religious police force to fight "social corruption" and enforce
Kuwait's fundamentalists are a far cry from those across the Gulf in
Iran or their militant co-religionists in Algeria. Islamic leaders say
they have no wish to overthrow the existing order, only to make it
more Islamic. Many are confident of success.
War in Iraq illegal, unjustified, Kyrgyz religious figure 30 Mar 03
.. Text of report entitled "A step towards reconciliation is needed"
by Yuriy Aleksandrov in Kyrgyz newspaper Vecherniy Bishkek web site
on 26 March. [BBC Monitoring Central Asia]
The faithful in [eastern] Issyk-Kul Region, regardless of their
confession, condemn the military actions unleashed by the anti-Iraq
coalition. A Vecherniy Bishkek correspondent asked Shakir Mamatov,
kazy [a judge according to the Islamic Shari'ah law] of the region, to
express his point of view on this issue.
[Mamatov] On behalf of all the Muslims of our region I declare with
full responsibility that this war is absolutely illegal and there is
no justification for it. It is virtually being conducted against the
whole Iraqi people.
The only correct way in the present critical situation is to stop the
aggression as soon as possible and start [peace] talks. This would be
a good deed.
Bar backs women syariah judges 29 Mar 03
The Bar Council expressed support for the Government's recent decision
to allow the appointment of women syariah court judges. In a statement
released here today, chairman Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari said the decision
was a positive move by the executive branch of the Government on the
issue of gender discrimination, which is prohibited under the recently
ammended Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution. [New Straits Times]
Fund denies fatwa limiting service charges 28 Mar 03
The National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) has denied that the
National Fatwa Council has issued a decree saying that the service
charges imposed on student loans should not exceed one per cent.
The decision reads: "Under Syariah, PTPTN is allowed to impose service
charges calculated accordingly on loans disbursed to students."
[Jigawa] I'm not embarrassed by Sharia courts' death penalties
04 Apr 03
[first and current Chief Judge of Jigawa State Justice Abubakar:]
Commenting on the application of Sharia legal system in the Northern
part of the country, he said there was nothing wrong sentencing
convicts of offence like adultery to death, after all "drug pushing
was made a capital offence in this country at a time"
Civil Sharia legal system has been with us for long and it is still
existing with us today. But at the inception of this administration,
there were pressures from our people for the extension of the Sharia
legal system to cover the criminal aspect of their lives just because
what constitutes offence under Sharia can not be punished under our
written laws which is the constitution. So, since the House of
Assembly has powers to make laws, they now incorporated the criminal
aspect of it into the Sharia legal system with the procedure for
trying anybody caught flouting the laws. This has been fully in
operation since January 2000 till date and we don't have any problem
in the state.
Before this new dispensation, all the area courts which were applying
both the Sharia civil law and the penal procedure court were directly
under the chief judge. But under the new dispensation, there was a
creation of a special statute for Sharia in respect of criminal
matters, taking away the jurisdiction of the chief judge on its
operation, vesting same in the Grand Khadi.
Q: Recently, some Sharia courts in the North were clamping death
sentences on convicts of offences like adultery which many human
rights activists nationwide and international community condemned. As
a Muslim and judge of a regular court, would you say you are
comfortable with these judgments?
A: I am comfortable with them. I am in no way embarrassed because for
every Muslim, sovereignity under Islamic laws is directly from God. No
Muslim can feel embarrassed. It is the power of the state House of
Assembly to make laws for the progress, peace and prosperity of the
state. It is a constitutional power. Nothing stops the legislature
from creating an offence which is capital like robbery. After all, at
a time in this country, drug pushing was made a capital offence in
this country. So, why not adultery? I don't feel embarrassed as a
Muslim. Besides, it is the wish of the people in the state to operate
Sharia legal system and everybody is happy with its application.
Our main problem in the Jigawa State judiciary is lack of building.
Most of our courts are in temporary sites, rented houses, and this is
not helping matters at all.
Before the 1999 constitution, we have no problem with the payment of
salary and allowances. Our problem was mainly with regards to the
capital expenditure and now that it had been made clear through the
Supreme Court judgement that the Federal Government is not responsible
for the capital expenditure of the state judiciary, we have to go back
to state for funding. And most of our courts are in temporary sites,
no houses. We have to plead with both the legislature and the
executive arms of government to make good budgetary allocation to the
judiciary for building of more courts and provision of accommodation
for the judges. This would definitely enhance the integrity of the
judiciary. It is one of the fundamental principles of the Sharia that
judges should be looked after, they should not go cap in hands seeking
for money to do their job.
SBP wants taxes on PLS financing withdrawn 03 Apr 03
The State Bank of Pakistan has approached the Central Board of Revenue
pleading with it to withdraw all corporate taxes on PLS financing
which the bank argues is "actually double taxation" on the business
transactions carried out by banks, DFIs and leasing companies, banking
sources disclosed on Wednesday.
Sources said a newly established Islamic bank recently approached both
the central bank and the ministry of finance requesting for change in
the taxation laws and regulations. No serious trade or industrial
financing would be possible while complying with Sharia without making
changes to taxation laws. Investors do not want to engage in
wranglings with tax authorities, they observed.
Pakistani Court Reverses Christian Case 22 Mar 03
An appeals court has ordered the release of two Christians in eastern
Pakistan who were sentenced to life in prison for allegedly insulting
Islam's Prophet Mohammed, a Christian activist said Saturday.
The Lahore High Court overturned a lower court's conviction of the
Christians, brothers Rasheed and Saleem Nazir, in a ruling Friday,
said Joseph Francis, head of the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and
Settlement. The center represented the brothers in their appeal.
The Nazirs were convicted three years ago by a court in the town of
Pasrur, about 90 miles southwest of Lahore. Police had charged them
with blasphemy on the basis of a complaint by a Muslim ice cream
vendor who had argued with them, according to Francis.
The appeals court ruled there was insufficient evidence for the
conviction. Under Pakistani Islamic law, the word of a Muslim accuser
is all that is needed to prosecute a non-Muslim on blasphemy charges,
which can carry the death penalty.
"The law has frequently been abused to imprison people on grounds of
religious enmity, but also has proved an easy tool to have people
imprisoned when the real motives are business rivalry or land issues,"
the human rights group [Amnesty International] said
Pakistani Women in a Changing Society
Among the new 'Islamic' laws that were enacted by the Zia regime was a
change in the law of evidence, enacted in October 1984, purportedly to
bring the existing law of evidence in line with prescriptions of
Islam. Except in the case of the Hudood Ordinances of 1979
(prescribing 'Islamic' punishments) which laid down their own special
rules of evidence for hadd offences, the new law of evidence provided
that two male witnesses or in the absence of two male witnesses one
male and one female witness would be required to prove a crime. This
law as well as other proposed legislation, equated one man to two
women. This was so, for example, in the proposed new laws of Qisas and
Diyat which provided for financial compensation to be given to the
injured party by an accused in lieu of punishment in cases of murder
or bodily injury, it being held that in such cases the 'Islamic'
remedy lay not in punishment of the offender but in compensation to be
paid to the victim or his family. This law was proposed by the Council
of Islamic Ideology and passed by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Zia's
legislative institutions). The compensation in the case of women was
to be fixed at half that for men. Such laws that put the worth of a
women at half that of a man, were a powerfully symbolic factor that
set the women's movement into action.
The Zia regime introduced Hudood Ordinances purportedly to lay down
'Islamic' punishments for certain crimes. These were barbaric
punishments such as cutting off of hands and stoning to death. There
has been some controversy in the country whether these are truly
Islamic prescriptions. That, as such, is not a matter that we need to
pursue here except to say that even where these were not actually
carried out in all cases, they carried a symbolic charge and provided
a rallying point to mullahs who demanded their full implementation.
Public lashings however, were carried out before vast crowds and TV
cameras, quite savagely - members of the crowd urging the
'executioners' to hit 'the bastards' even harder. These were
incredibly degrading sights to watch. The law that concerns us here
most directly, however, is the Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance
of February 1979. This Ordinance provided a new basis, as we shall
see, for intimidation and terrorisation of women by husbands or male
relatives, especially amongst the urban poor, but not amongst them
alone. Ironically, the Ordinance has also created a situation in which
women victims of rape dare not even complain about the sexual violence
done to them for fear of penalties that they themselves invite under
this iniquitous law, while the culprits go Scot free because of its
The Ordinance provides new weapons to men against women by virtue of
making Zina i.e. adultery and fornication, crimes against the state,
cognisable offences for which the police can take action. Previously
that was not the case, for then adultery was a matter of personal
offence against the husband by the male party to adultery and
extra-marital sex was not a penal offence at all. Now where a wife
leaves her husband, it has become all too easy for the husband to go
to the police and file a complaint against her for committing zina
whereupon the wife is arrested and jailed. Given police corruption and
the interminable length of time that it takes for such cases to be
adjudicated by courts of law (often years) the woman is effectively
punished without even going through the due process of law. The
husband can bail the wife out of jail. But when that happens. she is
totally at his mercy. for he would threaten to withdraw bail which
would return her to prison. Thus the woman's position is made worse
than that of a slave. According to Asma Jahangir, a distinguished
Pakistani woman lawyer and Secretary of the Human Rights Commission of
Pakistan: 'it has now become common for husbands to file complaints of
Zina against wives wanting separation. There are hundreds of cases
every year where women are arrested for Zina on complaints filed by
husbands' (SHE. March 1989: 81). It is likewise in cases of elopement,
where a father refuses permission to his daughter to marry the man of
her choice. The father brings charges of 'abduction' in such cases and
the law presumes zina unless the couple can prove lawful nikah or
marriage according to Islam.
The Zina Ordinance has created a 'Catch 22' situation for women
victims of rape. This arises from the fact that the ordinance brings
both adultery and fornication (zina) on the one hand and rape
(zina-bil-jabr) on the other, under a single law in a manner that is
unsafe. Secondly, the problem arises from the type of admissible
evidence that is prescribed under the Ordinance. The offence of rape
is defined as sexual intercourse against the will and/or without the
consent of the victim or with consent if the consent has been obtained
under fear of death or hurt. It also includes under the category of
rape sexual intercourse with consent of the victim where the offender
knows that the consent is given by the victim because she (or he)
believes that she (or he) is validly married to the offender although
the offender knows that they are not.
The catch in this law, that affects women victims of rape cruelly, is
the specification of the type of evidence that is admissible for
hadood or 'Islamic' punishment for zina and zina-bil-jabr which is
stoning to death (under certain conditions lesser punishments called
tazir would apply). The evidence required is either a confession on
the part of the accused (for an unmarried woman pregnancy is
self-evident proof) or the testimony of 'at least four Muslim adult
male witnesses about whom the Court is satisfied ... that they are
truthful persons and abstain from major sins ... (who) give evidence
as eye-witnesses of the act of penetration necessary for the offence.'
This is a type of evidence that is most unlikely to be found except
perhaps in the vast open spaces of the Arabian desert.
Pakistani Children Add School to Workday 30 Mar 03
Under Pakistan's constitution, every child up to age 16 has the right
to an education, but widespread poverty, weak labor laws, weak
enforcement of the laws, a large population of unskilled Afghan
refugees and a woefully inadequate public school system have all
contributed to making Pakistan a major violator of international bans
on child labor. At least 4 million children are believed to work
nationwide, and some groups put the number far higher.
The country's huge carpet-weaving industry alone employs hundreds of
thousands of school-age boys and girls -- docile, nimble-fingered and
cheap. International organizations including Amnesty International and
UNICEF have published reports criticizing Pakistan's profitable carpet
export trade and demanding government reforms.
The shortage of affordable public schools has added to another
Pakistani phenomenon: the rapid growth of tuition-free Islamic
academies, some of which are led by the radical Muslim groups that
gave rise to the extremist Taliban movement in Afghanistan and preach
violence in the name of religion. In 1971 there were only about
180,000 students studying at 900 Koranic schools nationwide; today
there are about 7,000 schools with 1 million pupils.
An additional obstacle exists for girls. In many parts of Pakistan,
including Peshawar and the surrounding North-West Frontier Province,
conservative tribal custom frowns on educating girls. Many of them
remain hidden away in their villages, toiling in fields or simple
workshops, never learning to read or acquiring skills
Actually, there is a way: an unorthodox but pragmatic program,
operated by a nonprofit organization in Peshawar, in which working
children are offered free schooling for two hours a day, with their
employer's permission, as long as they hurry back to stitching sofas,
repairing cars, baking bricks or weaving carpets afterward. The first
Mashral Center for Working Children opened in Peshawar nine years ago.
Now there are seven such schools with a total of 600 students.
Since November, when a coalition of religious parties was elected to
lead the provincial government, officials have been promoting the idea
of education for both boys and girls as a basic Islamic right,
pleasantly surprising critics who expected them to reinforce
conservative tribal trends in the region.
"Under Islam, every child should be educated and every parent should
be responsible for his child's rights," said Mufti Ghulam ur Rahman,
who heads the provincial Islamic Law Council. "We need to discourage
child labor and spread education. If parents won't send their
daughters to schools they believe are unfit, we need to have separate
institutions. If there is no money, we need to use zakat [a Muslim
charitable tithe] and convert mosques into schools."
[NWFP] Shariat Council recommends appointment of assistant Qazi
02 Apr 03
NWFP Shariat Council has recommended for appointment of Assistant Qazi
(Islamic Judge) from Ulema to assist the Qazis in the interpretation
of Islamic jurisprudence for ensuring implementation of Islamic system
of "Qaza (judicial system)" in letter and spirit in the provincially
administered tribal areas.
The recommendations said that officers who have been appointed Qazis
mostly include civil judges, district and sessions judge and
additional district and sessions judges. They are ignorant of Sharia
injunctions related to Islamic system, as LLB has been set as their
educational qualification for appointment as Qazis.
The Sharia injunctions concerning Islamic system of Qaza are not
included in the syllabus of the law colleges from where these Qazis
had obtained three degrees. Therefore the idea of assistant Qazi has
been presented keeping in view the difficulties of the Qazis.
The knowledge of the Sharia injunctions is pre-requisite for the
induction of Qazis. This condition can only be exempted if a scholar
of Sharia laws assists Qazi.
Palestinian clerics declare fatwa over Iraq 05 Apr 03
"All Muslim scholars in Palestine declare a fatwa (edict) forbidding
any Muslim to participate in that aggressive war, or even to lend the
voracious invaders a hand," said the Al-Fatwa Supreme Council, an
assembly of clerics from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Grand Mufti Ikrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Council, told Reuters:
"We see that the continuous aggression against Iraq aims at stealing
the oil of Iraq and not liberating the people of Iraq."
Iraq War Sparks Jihad Debate in Saudi Arabia 01 Apr 03
Soon after the Iraq war began, government-appointed clerics in Saudi
Arabia appeared on state television and declared that it wasn't worth
shedding Muslim blood by joining a holy war to protect Saddam Hussein
and his "infidel" regime.
Mohsen al-Awajy, an Islamic scholar who maintains close contact with
extremists in the kingdom, said he has heard of hundreds who have gone
to Iraq. But Jamal Khashoggi, the editor-in-chief of the Al-Watan
newspaper said he did not believe the figure is that high.
Fielding questions on a religious program hours after the war started
on March 20, Saudi cleric Sheik Saud al-Funeisan warned youths not to
listen to fatwas, or edicts, urging jihad issued by independent scholars.
A small band of militant independent scholars have urged jihad,
arguing that Iraqis should not be held accountable for the actions of
Khashoggi said such edicts by "Internet scholars" have influence only
among a small audience of fundamentalists. A group of independent,
less extremist scholars, who have nationwide followings, have
denounced the war but not sanctioned jihad.
Unjust War Must Stop, Says Haram Imam 28 Mar 03
The imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah yesterday called for an
immediate halt to the war on Iraq as people across the Gulf prayed for
the victory of the Iraqi people against the US-British aggressors.
"This unjust war must stop immediately. If it continues, it will only
fuel hatred and conflicts" between nations, said Dr. Saleh ibn
Abdullah Humaid, who is also chairman of the Shoura Council.
Delivering his Friday sermon to more than 500,000 faithful thronging
the large mosque complex, Sheikh Humaid urged the international
community to stand by the Iraqi people. "Truth and justice demand that
we stand by the Iraqi people," he added.
U.S. cites China, Israel, Saudi Arabia for poor human rights
.. 02 Apr 03
Although the Saudi government has taken some measures to participate
in human rights activities, such as allowing a visit by the U.N. Human
Rights envoy, it continued to view its interpretation of Islamic law
as its "sole source of guidance on human rights," and does not follow
international standards on the issue, the report said. Accordingly,
the government punished criminals according to its interpretation of
Sharia law with methods considered torture by international standards.
Behind The Veil: Women's Headscarves In School 04 Apr 03
Formerly Jeddah Preparatory School had a policy of not allowing girls
to wear the headcover. In Ramadhan of this past year a student named
Lujain Mohammed Munir's father discovered that his daughter was
required to remove her headscarf when entering the school. When he
realized the school was adamant in their position, he pulled her from
the school and changed her to Continental School where hair covering
The students were upset and gave reactions to the policy. One girl
said, "It's horrible to make us uncover, especially when it was
Ramadhan. They don't respect our feelings at all." Another 17 year old
said, "It should be a personal choice. After all, it's your body and
you will be asked about it by God."
Syrians told to prepare for fight with U.S. 31 Mar 03
On Sunday, Kuftaro took pains to explain the meaning behind a fatwa,
or religious edict, issued Friday by his father, Sheikh Ahmad, the
chief mufti of this predominantly Sunni Muslim nation for the past 38
The edict, the first of its kind from such an influential religious
leader in the region, said Muslim men and women were obliged to resist
invading forces using any and all means available to them, including
Said Salah Kuftaro: "This is not a war of religions but a war of
colonization, and as such martyrdom operations are a legitimate right
of the Iraqis and any other nation under attack. If the resistance of
the French against Hitler was justified, then why not the resistance
of the Iraqi people?"
From the news weeklies 05 Apr 03
In the New Statesman (April 7), Alex McBride reported on Somali
immigrant communities in London, which have introduced a private
system of sharia justice to resolve disputes - even those involving
serious criminal offences - between the tightly knit clans that have
settled in the capital. "To British eyes, this is a startling thing to
have done - even ungrateful - but to a Somali it seems natural,
because in Somalia even justice flows from the clan. Their courts,
underpinned by sharia law and made up of elders from the clans of the
wronged and the wrongdoer, can settle anything, including crime."
What are the benefits of the Somali courts? "They keep young men out
of jail and give the elders, who do not speak English well, some
control over the young, just when they feel they have no role and no
[Parliament] Halal and Shechita Slaughter 27 Mar 03
That this House, while wanting to see every practical effort made to
improve the welfare of farmed animals, also believes that freedom of
religion is integral to a free society; recognises the importance of
halal and shechita methods of slaughter to Britain's Muslim and Jewish
communities; expresses concern that reported proposals, however
well-intentioned, from the Farm Animal Welfare Council may impose
unacceptable restrictions on religious freedom; and calls upon the
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to defend the
liberty of religious minorities.
[CIWF] The Welfare of Animals which are Subject to Religious Slaughter
[..] March 1999
It's Crusade Vs Jihad 26 Mar 03
Now that the Crusade against Islam has been extended to the Muslims of
Iraq, Muslims need to undergo a sobering reality check. Unfolding
events since 911, seem to be revealing a number of messages, almost as
an answer from Allah (swt) to confused Muslims.
The tenth message is for all those that deny Jihad as the prescribed
method of the creator to defeat Zulm or oppression, and choose secular
methods instead. The more you deny Jihad, the more Allah (swt) brings
the enemy around you neck, leaving you with Jihad as the only option.
When Allah (swt) has declared the only way to fight oppression is
Jihad why do you seek solutions elsewhere.
"Fighting is mandatory for you although you dislike it, and it may be
that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like
something that is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know". Al
Baqarah 216 [Jahangir Mohammed is Director of the centre for Muslim
Affairs in the UK]
The Sketch: Friendly piffle from a nice young man 26 Mar 03
What would he do if the democratic system he has planned for Iraq
produced a fundamentalist government based on sharia law?
[Tony Blair] says it just won't happen. Why not? Because, he says:
"People want to live under a broad-based government rather than trying
to impose their will on other people." We listen to this friendly
piffle because the Prime Minister is such a nice young man. He
sincerely believes in what he is saying. He has values. He wants the
best for people. Oh, and the moral case.
The folly of 'liberating' Muslims 01 Apr 03
President Bush insists we are "liberating" Iraq, but someone forgot to
tell the Iraqi people.
Forbidden Financing 06 Apr 03
Last year, most of the 400 bank branches of HSBC in New York began
offering an alternative mortgage product that costs no more than a
traditional mortgage. Soon thereafter, lending giant Fannie Mae, the
government-chartered corporation that helps finance home mortgages,
pledged to invest $10 million in loans originated by Lariba.
"Many American-Muslim families have stayed out of the housing market
for years because they are not allowed by Islamic law to be charged
interest," Yahia Abdul-Rahman, founder of American Finance House
Lariba, said in a statement. He called the new funding from Fannie
Mae, an "historic step in the development of non-interest-based
Here's how many of the programs work: Instead of charging interest,
an Islamic lender collects "rent," which is determined based on the
sale price of the property and a fair market rent.
Buyers who put a 20 percent down payment on their purchase would pay
the company 80 percent of the rental price. But the homebuyers are not
simply renting the property - any appreciation in value goes to the
buyer, not the bank.
The "rents" charged by the banks are generally comparable to current
interest rates. And like interest charges, the rental payments are
tax-deductible. The house is in the buyer's name.
Washington Journal : Al-Arian translated for military 30 Mar 03
In 2001, the then-University of South Florida professor [Sami
Al-Arian] translated an Islamic religious ruling from Arabic into
English for the military that sanctioned Muslim-American soldiers
fighting in Afghanistan, his lawyer said during Al-Arian's recent bond
hearing in Tampa.
The ruling, or fatwa, was endorsed by prominent Qatar cleric Sheikh
Yussuf Al-Qaradhawi, who has expressed sympathy for American victims
of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but also has lauded Islamic
Jihad and other suicide-bombing groups as Palestinian freedom fighters.
"His message is very confusing," said Tamar Tesler of the
Investigative Group, a Washington terrorism research organization that
has translated Al-Qaradhawi's writings from Arabic into English.
Concerning the war in Iraq, Al-Qaradhawi wrote on his Web site: "If
the Kafir (unbelievers) attack a Muslim country, all its people must
go out and hasten to resist them, and expel them from their homes."
Iraqi refugee says world hasn't seen Saddam's cruelty 01 Apr 03
As Al-Mamori watches the screen, images of global protest appear on
Al-Jazeera, the Arabic world's 24-hour news channel. A mob of Sudanese
men burns an American flag. In Yemen, a cleric delivers a fatwa, a
religious decree, ordering Muslims to not help the United States in
[Bangladesh] City Bank introduces On-Line banking 30 Mar 03
The City Bank Limited, country's first private bank introduced on-line
real time banking to ensure world-class services in Bangladesh on
With the introduction of the on-line banking we now can provide the
best customer services'," said Abbas Uddin Ahmed, Managing Director of
the bank. He also said that the bank would try to ensure customers'
satisfaction while rendering its services. As per demand of
shareholders, the City Bank will introduce an Islamic banking function
very soon, Managing Director informed the audience.
[South Africa] Albaraka Bank starts to make its mark 03 Apr 03
Growth in its client base, a increase in the deposit book and a
reduction in bad debt helped Islamic bank Albaraka Bank lift headline
earnings a share 124 percent to R 2.17 in the year to December.
Ebrahim Vawda, the chief executive of Albaraka Bank, said: "Growth in
our client base has accelerated, confirming a widening understanding
of and support for the benefits of Islamic banking beyond the Muslim
community. "People are recognising there is an alternative to the
interest-based banking system," he said.
The bank has about 40 000 depositors and has about 4 000 clients for
which it has arranged trade, asset or property finance
Albaraka Bank has a branch in each major centre in the country and
will be opening a second branch in Lenasia, Johannesburg in May.
A shariah-compliant unit trust known as Futuregrowth Albaraka Equity
Fund has been launched in conjunction with Futuregrowth Asset
Management and Frater Asset Management. Channel Islam International
will jointly market the fund.
During the year UK-based DCD Holdings Group bought a 15 percent stake
in the bank, resulting in an increase in the issued capital of the
bank to R40 million from R30 million. The Dallah Albaraka Group of
Saudi Arabia retains its 50 percent holding.
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