Sharia News Watch 61 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
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The Sharia News Watch provides a weekly update of news quotes on
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Bomb Injures 16 in Afghan Mosque - 30 Jun 03
A bomb ripped through a mosque in southern Kandahar on Monday as
worshippers gathered for the final prayer of the day, wounding 16
people, four of them seriously, a religious leader said.
"Mullah Fayaz said the Taliban were not following Islam and that their
interpretation of Islam was wrong," Kandahar police chief Mohammed
Akram said. "This is the important thing and the reason they probably
attacked Mullah Fayaz's mosque."
Fayaz is head of Kandahar's religious council, which is aligned with
President Hamid Karzai's government. The attack may also have been a
warning to Afghans to stop working with the government, he said.
Khalwat, zina cases cause for concern - 27 Jun 03
The high number of syariah cases involving close proximity and illicit
sex or zina amongst Muslims in Brunei Darussalam is a cause for
concern for relevant authorities as well as devoted Muslims here.
According to statistics released by the Syariah Courts, a total of 31
cases involving zina were brought to courts in 2001 and a staggering
299 cases of close proximity.
Out of the 31 zina cases, four were done by men and women who were not
permitted to get married to each other such as brothers and sisters or
illicit sex performed by men on other married women. The other 27
cases involved men and women who could marry each other.
According to religious experts, western lifestyles are being adopted
by some people here as they have been exposed to such culture.
They added computers with compact disc players at offices could also
be misused especially when such facilities enabled some career men and
women to watch obscene movies. They said modern living that needed
the contribution of mothers towards family income had also increased
infidelity amongst married men and women.
- 27 Jun 03
There has been a steady increase in polygamy cases in Brunei
Darussalam. Fifty-two complaints pertaining to household (marriage)
problems have been received in the past three years as result of
polygamy. Last year, 24 complaints were received compared to 19 in
2001 and nine in 2000.
Meanwhile in one of the paper works highlighted yesterday, it was
learnt that though there is no restriction to polygamy, Brunei's Kadhi
court has rejected some applications for polygamy as husbands were not
in a position to financially support two wives - for example drawing a
low salary coupled with outstanding debts. It was also found out that
those husbands whose polygamy applications were rejected took an easy
way out by getting their marriges solemnised outside the country
without the knowledge of the Kadhi or the first wife.
Polygamous husbands whom neglect their wives could end up in jail for
six months and fined up to $2000 [EUR 990,-] or both upon conviction.
This stern reminder was made at a recent talk on polygamy at the
Islamic Dakwah Centre in a working paper presented by three experts
from the Islamic Legal Unit, Syarie Judge of the Syariah High Court
and Syariah Affairs Department
Application for another marriage should be forwarded to Syarie court
with a panel account along with reasons, details of his commitment,
financial background, details of dependants as well as whether consent
has been given by his current wife(s). Under Section 123, it is an
offence to marry more than one wife or practice polygamy without
getting written approval from the court. He could face a similar fine
of $2,000 or a maximum six months imprisonment or both.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank gears up to introduce an 'Islamic Credit Card'
- 28 Jun 03
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB),
Mr. Mohammed Al Qubaisi recently revealed, that the consumers of the
UAE market will not have to wait much longer for the payment card that
would give them the satisfaction and comfort of a "Shari'ah Compliant
In response to a question, Mr. Al Qubaisi pointed out that the current
Credit Cards offered by the Islamic Institutions are in fact "Charge
Cards", whereby the customers have to settle the full outstanding
balance on their card monthly statement. A "Credit Card" in the true
sense is when the Bank allows "Credit" to the customer where a balance
is carried forward and repaid in installments over future months.
Not commenting on the mode of operation of the credit card, Mr. Al
Qubaisi advised that ADIB is introducing this product to satisfy the
needs of the growing segments of the market (Mass, Middle and Upper).
It is a "Shari'ah compliant Product" which will give the customer the
freedom to chose to pay the outstanding balance on the credit card in
Mullahs and the movies, a Tehran diary - 25 Jun 03
Who is Mahmoud Vakili, the man who has been arrested? Unlike the
detained film journalists Kambiz Kaheh, Mohammad Abdi, Amir Ezzati,
Yassamin Sofi and Sina Motallebbi, he is not well known. So there are
no protests when he is arrested. No one even knows.
Mahmoud Vakili fits nowhere in the "system". Finally he became a
"filmi" - an occupation which must not exist anywhere in this world
other than this wasteland. He collected films on tape and DVD, threw
them in his shoulder bag and rented them to people. But there was a
great difference between him and all those others who rented films: in
his archive you could find films by masters such as Ford, Hawks, Von
Sternberg and Griffith, as well as by Lynch, Jarmusch, Kusturica, Von
Trier, Almodovar and Aronofsky. You could see films by genre, or
choose a historical period to study, watch New Wave films or American
independent cinema, you could start in Mexico or Brazil and go all the
way to Greece and Georgia or Kazakhstan and always see good,
thought-provoking films. Mahmoud never sold out.
Those in charge know full well what they are doing. Carefully and
patiently they have identified the most complete collections and
archives there are and have proceeded to destroy them. Amir Ezati,
Kambiz Kaheh and Mohammad Abdi's film and book archives were among the
greatest resources available in this barren land. Now they are gone
While a stone's throw away a scumbag in uniform harasses a young woman
whose hair may have slipped out from under her scarf, and while some
young man walking along with a young woman friend has to answer to the
scumbag to avoid being sentenced to lashes of the whip; at this very
same moment one of those greaseballs murmurs in your ear, "Tapes, CDs,
films." Do you think he is offering you the latest film by Alfonso
Cuaron or Walter Salles or Zhang Yimou?
Ayatollah Sistani: The Occupiers Cannot Write Iraq's New Constitution
.. 01 Jul 03
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani, top Shi'I authority in
Iraq, has issued a fatwa whereby he stated that it is impermissible
for the occupation authorities in Iraq to set up a council for
drafting a new constitution in Iraq. He described the plan as
unacceptable. Al-Sistani stressed that those authorities are not
entitled to appoint members of the constitution-drafting council,
noting that there is no guarantee that the council would draft a
constitution which meets the supreme interests of the Iraqi people,
which is bases on the religion of Islam, and reflects their national
identity. In his fatwa, a copy of which Al-Jazeera has received,
Al-Sistani urged all Iraqis to demand general elections to select
their representatives to a council for drafting the constitution. He
added that any constitution approved by the council should later be
put to general vote. [Source: Al-Jazeera TV]
Sistani, however, faces a dilemma. He is opposed to the direct
intervention of the clerics in politics and has long criticized the
Iranian model under which the mullas control the key organs of the
state. For Sistani to step in now and assume a political role would
require a major revision of his well-established theological positions
with regard to the nature of power and the modalities of its use.
It is time for Sistani to take the full measure of the situation.
Whether he likes it or not, he must offer his people with a measure of
political leadership. He must call on all Shiite political parties,
groups and personalities to join the process organized by Bremer and
help create an Iraqi national authority that can seize control of the
nation's destiny as quickly as possible. Because everyone knows that
Sistani does not want political power for himself, he would be in a
stronger position to encourage the Shiites to play their role in
shaping a new Iraqi state.
Blast hits US vehicle in Iraq as resistance mounts - 26 Jun 03
U.S. soldiers have come under attack almost daily over the past month
in mainly Sunni central Iraq and 19 have been killed since war was
declared over on May 1. Washington blames the attacks on Saddam
loyalists. A group calling itself Mujahidoo al-Ta'ifa al-Mansoura
(Muslim Fighters of the Victorious Sect) claimed responsibility for
several of the attacks in a statement sent to Qatar-based al-Jazeera
television on Wednesday.
Shiite clerics oppose Iraqi women body searches by male soldiers
.. - 30 Jun 03
The powerful Hawza, the leading school for Shiite Muslim clerics in
Iraq, called in a statement published Sunday on US-led coalition
troops to stop body searches of women by male soldiers. Several Hawza
clerics, including Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, urged the coalition to
"stop the body searches of Iraqi women by its men" in a statement
published in the Azzaman daily. If coalition troops insist on
searching women, then female soldiers should carry out the task, it
The newspapers said the statement was published after the Hawza,
located in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, was given information about
the body search of women by coalition troops "pretending to be
searching for arms." Such searches "do not respect the Sharia (Islamic
religious law) nor Iraqi traditions and social values," it said.
Waqf Rejects Israeli Actions Permitting Non-Muslims into Al-Aqsa
.. 01 Jul 03
The Islamic Waqf, the body responsible for Islamic sites in the Holy
City, has "totally refused" Israel's permission to allow non-Muslims
into Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the ongoing conflict erupted
some 33 months ago. Al-Aqsa Mosque, also known as Al-Haram Al-Sharif,
is Islam's third holiest shrine. The compound is known to Jews as the
Waqf officials banned Jews and other non-Muslims from visiting the
site shortly after the current conflict [2nd Intifadah] erupted.
However, on Monday, Israeli officials confirmed that police had
actually escorted groups of Jews and tourists into the site, despite
Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, the administrator of Al-Haram Al-Sharif, said
the Israeli act is "rejected", adding, "our stance is clear: the
circumstances are not yet ripe for reactivating the visitation program
for non-Muslims." What is happening "is a challenge [by the Israeli
police to the Waqf] and it is part of the practices undertaken by the
(Israeli) occupation. We told the Israeli police that this is
Malawi Calls in Troops to Quell Muslim Riots - 28 Jun 03
Malawi called in troops on Saturday to quell Muslim riots sparked by
reports that U.S. officials had whisked five al Qaeda suspects out of
the country and the president vowed to crack down on religious
violence. Witnesses said mobs attacked churches and Christian priests
in a second day of rioting in the lakeside resort district of
Mangochi, 120 miles northeast of the commercial capital Blantyre.
Malawi's sizeable Muslim minority was outraged by unconfirmed reports
that U.S. security officials taken the five suspected Islamic
militants out of the country on Tuesday with Malawi's approval before
they could appear in court.
The fate of the five suspects - two Turks, one Saudi, one Kenyan and a
Sudanese - has inflamed tensions in a landlocked southern African
country of 10.6 million, which rarely sees religious clashes and has
never before been linked to terrorism.
Police fire on Muslim demonstrators - 30 Jun 03
Police in Malawi on Monday opened fire on Muslims demonstrating in the
central district of Kasungu over last week's deportation of suspected
members of the al-Qaeda extremist group, news reports said. The police
fired rubber bullets and tear gas, and then live ammunition, to
disperse what was described as a "sizeable" number of protestors in
the small tobacco-growing town of Kasungu, 120 km north of the
Malaysia gets tough on non-Muslims - 28 Jun 03
Recently in Malaysia there has been a surge in incidents in which
young lovers are being summoned to court for holding hands in public.
This phenomenon has emerged in three cities to date: Kuala Lumpur,
Penang and Ipoh. Surprisingly, the target of this recent re-emergence
of a previously ignored rule is not the majority Muslim Malay
population, but rather non-Muslims. And it doesn't stop there -
recently there have been other incursions upon the rights of
non-Muslims that have caused concern among many.
This campaign was ignited by executives within the local governments
of the three aforementioned cities who decided to slap hand-holding
couples with subpoenas for public indecency. Fines range from
MR100-MR500 (£15-£80) [EUR 23/115,-] . So far, more than 170 subpoenas
have been issued in Ipoh alone.
Aside from the crackdown on hand-holding, other types of Islam-based
policies are increasingly encroaching upon the rights of non-
Muslims... For example, in one town, non-Muslim dog owners are now
required to obtain written approval for dog ownership from a Muslim
neighbour when applying for a dog license. Another town forbids the
sale of pork products in open-air markets. Signs advertising alcoholic
drinks are forbidden in cafes, restaurants and karaoke bars throughout
Soldiers Advised To Avoid Borrowing From Loan Sharks - 29 Jun 03
Defence Deputy Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal Sunday advised army
personnel not to borrow from "alongs" or loan sharks as this could
affect their work performance and expose their families to danger.
He said the ministry would continue to remind army men to choose loans
from bodies like Koperasi Tentera, which now implemented an Islamic
scheme following Syariah laws in place of conventional loans. He said
the improvements and the systematic loan scheme which had been
implemented made it easier for army personnel to get loans.
[Sabah] Jheains withdraws 'halal' tags issued to abattoirs - 28 Jun 03
[Sandakan] The Sabah Islamic Affairs Department (Jheains) has decided
to withdraw all "halal" tags issued to chicken and meat abattoirs in
the district in a bid to stop unscrupulous operators from deceiving
the Muslim community. .. Using copies of other people's "halal"
certificates is a criminal offence and consumers must be aware that
the presence of such certificate is not an assurance that the products
being sold are "halal"
Pub hostess in vice-raid photo to face syariah probe - 26 Jun 03
The pub hostess who was detained and photographed during a vice raid
is now being investigated by the city's religious authorities for
allegedly encouraging Muslims to drink and commit vice. Ms Maslinda
Ishak is now being investigated under the Syariah Criminal Offences
Act (Federal Territory). She had earlier filed a RM5 million [EUR 1,15
mill.] suit against volunteer religious officer Mohamad Tahir, Kuala
Lumpur's religious affairs department and the Malaysian government
over the incident.
She is accused of abetting another person to commit the offence of
drinking and selling alcohol and abetting to commit vice. Ms Maslinda
was one of several women detained in a raid at De Vegas club in Kuala
Lumpur on March 21. She and her friends were taken away in a lorry.
The volunteer religious officer took a photograph of her easing
herself on the lorry after she was not given permission to go to the
Mauritanian Places Mosques Under State Control - 01 Jul 03
The Mauritanian cabinet ratified Monday, June 30, a bill turning
mosques into state-run public facilities. The decision follows a
sweeping arrest campaign that netted some 60 Imams and preachers for
allegedly "plotting against the state security" and led to the closure
of six religious institutes, associations and Islamic-oriented
newspapers. Minister of Communications and Relations with Parliament
Hammoud Ould Mohammad told reporters the new law would make turn
mosques to "public facilities."
The new legislation outlines financial and moral assistance given to
Imams and their assistants, said Ould Mohammad. The former minister of
culture and Islamic orientation had threatened three months ago to
change "the mosques which change its course into bakeries." The police
campaign also coincided with an intense media campaign spearheaded by
the government that enlisted employees from the ministry of Waqf
(endowments) and the "appointed " supreme Islamic council.
Last month, Mauritanian political sources familiar with the foiled
putsch strenuously denied that the incident was Islamic-oriented,
noting that it came in response to the latest wave of arrests of
Muslim scholars in the Islamic country.
Muslims pushing to copyright halal - 29 Jun 03
New Zealand Muslims want new laws to copyright the word halal.
The growing number of restaurants mostly in Auckland, wrongly claiming
they sell halal food, was top of the agenda at the Islamic
Federation's annual general meeting. "We want to see the law changed
in line with what we are seeing for genetic engineering products a
similar type of protocol can be adopted for the halal products as
well," says Dr Anwar Ghani of the Islamic Federation. The Islamic
Federation has copyrighted the halal logo to be displayed on halal
[Kano] Zakkat Committee Realises Over N3m - 27 Jun 03
The Kano State Zakkat Committee has realized the sum of over N3
million [EUR 20.000,-] from 26 wealthy individuals across the state.
The Secretary, Zakkat committee explained further that part of the
money N900,000 was granted from the shops owned by the Zakkat
A trap for Muslim women in Europe - 27 Jun 03
But intermarriage and integration are not happening as expected - and
the consequences of this failure are grievous. Such is the conclusion
drawn by "Feminin Integrering" (Female Integration), a new book from
the Oslo-based organization Human Rights Service that is based on a
recent report to the Norwegian Parliament. The book's focus is on
Norway, but there is no reason to believe that the situation elsewhere
in Europe is appreciably different.
The book presents the results of a study of immigrant-group marriage
patterns in Norway that is probably the most comprehensive statistical
analysis of its kind in Europe. The study shows that members of most
of Norway's non-Western immigrant groups are, in overwhelming numbers,
not just marrying within their own ethnic groups but are marrying
spouses - often their own cousins - from their countries of origin.
These marriages - invariably arranged, and often forced - have two
chief motivations. One is to provide the foreign spouse with Norwegian
residency rights under the "family reunification" provision of
immigration law. The other is to resist integration by injecting into
the European branch of the family a fresh dose of "traditional values"
- among them a hostility to pluralism, tolerance, democracy and sexual
While Norwegian Muslims of both sexes are forced into marriages, the
situation is particularly brutal on girls. As female Muslims they are
already powerless. Add to this the fact that they are usually married
off extremely young, and that their imported husbands tend to be
untouched by any notion of sexual equality, and one can begin to grasp
the predicament of these young women, whom Storhaug calls "living
visas in a new form of human commerce." They have grown up in Norway
and had a taste of freedom, but they are forced into marriages with
men who take for granted a wife's total subservience.
From 1996 to 2001, 82 percent of the men marrying the Norwegian
granddaughters of Moroccan immigrants were themselves Moroccans;
another 14 percent were of Moroccan origin. For Norwegian
granddaughters of Pakistani immigrants, the corresponding rates were
76 percent and 22 percent. In that five-year period, only three
granddaughters of Moroccan immigrants married ethnic Norwegians; only
one granddaughter of a Pakistani immigrant did so.
Officially, men and women in Norway have equal divorce rights. But
among Muslims only Islamic divorce counts, and while Muslim men enjoy
divorce on demand, Muslim women - even in cases of chronic domestic
violence - have very restricted options. It is possible in a Muslim
marriage contract, however, for a groom to grant his wife the right to
divorce. Human Rights Service has thus proposed - and the Norwegian
Parliament has just adopted - a law stipulating that no family
reunification through marriage be permitted unless the wife has been
granted this right. Norway is the first nation in Europe to introduce
such a law.
Some officials still fret about "interfering" in family matters. Yet
leaders seem to be recognizing that the alternative to "interference"
is a Norway with two systems of governance: democracy for Westerners
and an oppressive, misogynist autocracy for Muslims. A country - and a
continent - that accepts such a state of affairs is headed for
disaster. Norway's neighbors should take note.
[Karachi] Islamists ban women in ads in Pakistan metropolis - 26 Jun
Islamists who head the council running Pakistan's largest city said on
Thursday they had banned the unnecessary depiction of women in
advertisements, calling the practice "obscene and vulgar".
The decision by the city government is likely to trigger confrontation
with the government of Sindh province of which Karachi is the capital.
There have been sporadic incidents in Karachi and other major cities
in which religious militants have blacked-out billboards showing
women, especially those adjacent to mosques.
Saeed Ghani, a member of the city council from former premier Benazir
Bhutto's opposition Pakistan People's Party, said Jamaat-e-Islami had
wanted a complete ban on images of women. "But we fought hard. Now
the law bans 'unnecessary use of women in ads' and is open to debate -
it's impossible to agree whether women are needed or not."
[NWFP] Court removes Pakistan politician - 30 Jun 03
Peshawar High Court's Election Tribunal ruled that the qualifications
of Mufti Ibrar Sultan - a member of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA)
- are inadequate. Mr Sultan's degree was obtained from an Islamic
seminary and was not equivalent to a university degree, as required by
Pakistan's Election Commission.
Mr Sultan is also due to face similar claims in a case at the Supreme
Court in the capital Islamabad. Earlier this month Supreme Court
notices were sent out to 65 members of the MMA after a petition was
lodged with the court challenging their academic credentials. The
request has led to accusations from religious leaders that the
petition is a political ploy to undermine their authority.
Last year the election commission agreed the drop the matter of
politicians' qualifications but recently a lawyer, Aslam Khaki, argued
the degrees were not equivalent to a university qualification. He has
also filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging the legality
of the introduction of sharia law by religious leaders in North-West
[NWFP] MMA policies hit NWFP tourism industry - 27 Jun 03
Hoteliers here say that they are experiencing a slump in business and
facing probably one of the worst tourist seasons in the province.
The hotel owners and tourist operators complain of decline in the
number of tourists to Swat, Kalaam, Naran, Malam Jaba, Nathia Galli
and even Chitral - the most visited tourist places in the NWFP.
Tourists occupancy in hotels in Swat has declined from 100 per cent to
below 40 per cent that has also caused seasonal unemployment,
affecting mostly local hotel owners, transporters and tourist guides
and handicraft shops.
Tourists say they have been discouraged by the highhandedness of
policemen at roads leading to tourist destinations. The policemen at
the checkpoints ask the tourists not only about their whereabouts but
at times ask mixed groups of tourists, specially couples, to show
their Nikahnama (wedding bond).
[NWFP] Islamic Parties Pose Fresh Challenge to Musharraf - 28 Jun 03
As Pakistan consolidates military control for the first time over a
rugged area along the border with Afghanistan, leaders of one of the
country's main Islamic parties have expressed support for armed
resistance by local tribal groups, posing a fresh challenge to the
president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
In statements over the past few days, leaders of a faction of the
Jamiat-e-Ulema-iIslami party - one of the main partners in the
coalition of six radical Islamic parties that lead the political
opposition in Pakistan's Parliament - have challenged the army's right
to operate in Mohmand Agency, one of six autonomous "tribal areas" on
the Afghan border.
"When the Pakistani Army or police will go there and besiege and
surround their houses and violate their women's right to purdah
(separating men and women), definitely they will have the right to
self-defense," Ahmad said. Pakistani officials say deployment of
regular and paramilitary forces in Mohmand Agency will complete the
process of establishing federal control in the lawless border region
and will help prevent attacks on US-led coalition forces in
Afghanistan by remnant Taleban fighters who use the area as a refuge.
[NWFP] Little change so far in land of Sharia - 29 Jun 03
For a city where Sharia law is now in force, Peshawar women move
through its stifling bazaars with heads uncovered, in its sprawling
parks women jog and stroll in the long summer twilight, and strains of
harmoniums drift through the musicians' bazaar, where instruments hang
from latticed windows. Hospitals are crowded with women waiting to
see male doctors, men still coach female cricket and squash players at
the city's Qayum stadium.
Dr Obaidullah treats young women with genital disfigurement. Many ask
for a waiver of the standard procedure of having a female nurse
present during examinations, such is the intimacy of their treatment.
It's blown out of proportion. NWFP has always been a conservative
society. It's a culture, not something to do with Sharia or the MMA in
[NWFP] Silencing the Music in Pakistan - 01 Jul 03
Now, Khan counts the days before he can shutter the [Dabgiri] bazaar
and silence its 2,000 troubadours because of a widely held belief in
this conservative region that music and dancing are an affront to God.
"I don't want to give this dirty example to the next generation," said
Khan, who is a ward leader for the Muttahida Majlis-e-Ammal, an
alliance of Islamic religious parties that took control of Pakistan's
North-West Frontier Province after a landslide election victory in
To erase signs of "un-Islamic" culture in this border province, police
and religious students have arrested, threatened and beaten musicians
and music shop owners, defaced billboards and trashed merchandise. The
campaign has spread to other cities, from conservative Quetta to
Abdul Raouf, who owns a record company and music shop nearby, said the
inspector general of police had ordered him to remove a poster of a
female singer. "Twenty days ago they arrested more than 100
shopkeepers and charged them with obscenity," Raouf said. Since
Musharraf's June 10 speech decrying "backward and intolerant"
interpretations of Islam, the police stop by only once a week, he
said. The province's chief minister, Akram Durrani, said such claims
are meant to provoke Musharraf into dismissing the provincial
government. "There is no ban" on music, Durrani said. Rather, he said,
his opponents had "bribed the musicians to say these things."
[NWFP] Hasba Act To Reduce Burden On Courts: Durrani - 02 Jul 03
NWFP Chief minister Akram Khan Durrani has said after the approval of
Hasba act on one hand and a transparent system of accountability
devoid of all political considerations will be established on other
would reduce the heavy burden on courts.
The Hasab act will decide the cases on the pattern of Jirga system in
consultation with rival parties. The act would discourage corruption
and nepotism and people would get relief from going to court for minor
He said the ombudsman department will comprise of apolitical people
including two senior lawyers, senior journalists and elders of the
area. He dispelled the impression that a special force will be created
under Hasba act and said the department would take help formt he
police department whenever needed. He said the MMA government wanted
an accountability system devoid of all political considerations. He
said after establishment of Hasba department the people would get
relief from the going the courts for minor crimes. He said all the
conception regarding Hasba will be removed once it came into light.
He said they wanted the transfer of power to the lower strata in real
sense. However, he said there are a lot of complaints from the present
district governments in connection with distributions of funds and
taking vital decisions. He said the government is against the
concentration of powers with in individuals and this is also against
the spirit of local government ordinance.
Wahhabism Under Pressure Within And Without - 01 Jul 03
The liberals are attacking the central institutions through which
religious scholars exercise their stranglehold on Saudi civic life.
These are the sharia law, control over education and media, and the
extraordinary powers given to the mutawa [Saudi religious police].
Education in Saudi Arabia, for example, is mostly religious; there is
little room for technical, foreign languages or secular humanities
subjects. A tenet of Saudi religious education is that not only
non-Muslims, but also Shias are infidels.
a Saudi journalist had the temerity to ask [interior minister Prince
Nayef] what would be done henceforth to reform the mutawa, at which
the prince could only rage - "as a Saudi you should be ashamed to be
asking such a question." Hamza Al-Muzini, a prominent linguistics
professor, wrote in another newspaper that under the Saudi education
system teachers taught extremist ideas to their charges, and that his
son was learning the culture of death at school.
The royal family itself is thought to be divided into liberal and
conservative factions, with Prince Abdullah as the hope of the
liberals, while Prince Nayef heads the conservative group. Liberal
politics as of now consists of petitioning the rulers for reform,
hoping that will strengthen the hands of the pro-liberal faction among
them. However, half the current Saudi population is under 16.
The export of Saudi Wahhabism on the strength of the petrodollar has
had a destabilising effect on many Third World societies as well. Take
Nigeria, where the northern province of Zamfara decided to follow the
fashion and adopt sharia law in 2000. 12 other Muslim majority
provinces followed suit, a controversial move that is not sanctioned
by Nigeria's constitution. .. in January, the governor of Zamfara
state announced that he was giving powers of arrest and prosecution to
local Islamic 'vigilante' groups as the police had failed in their
Nigerian instability, not to mention other Third World hotspots such
as Afghanistan and Kashmir, have been the products of a puritan
revolution across the Muslim world, a principal player in which has
been the petrodollar boom of the 1970s, coupled with the proselytizing
zeal of Saudi Wahhabism.
For India the principal cause of worry is the Deobandi madrasas in
Pakistan, controlled by the Jamiat-e Ulema-i Islam and funded by Saudi
money. These madrasas breed the human material for continuation of the
jehad in Kashmir. General Musharraf has promised that foreign funding
of Pakistani madrasas will stop, but one doesn't know the extent to
which he is either able or inclined to keep the promise.
Riyadh Confirms Bombing Suspect Held - 26 Jun 03
An Interior Ministry source told Reuters Ali Abdulrahman Saeed
al-Faqa'asi al-Ghamdi gave himself up voluntarily to Deputy Interior
Minister Prince Mohammad bin Nayef at the minister's house in the Red
Sea city of Jeddah Thursday morning. "He made the right decision," the
source said. He said no deal had been made with Ghamdi but that under
Sharia Islamic law someone who admits what they have done is treated
differently in court to someone who refuses to confess.
The source described Ghamdi as an explosives expert and one of the two
top people on a wanted list of 19 suspected al Qaeda militants issued
a few days before the May 12 bombings. The other was named as Turki
Nasser Mishaal al-Dandani. Both are Saudi nationals.
The U.S. official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity,
challenged the Saudi account of a surrender, saying the suspect had
Al Alamiah Electronics prepares the Islamic University for the
e-Government Project - 30 Jun 03
Al Alamiah Electronics Co., a major IT company in the region, recently
announced that it has completed the execution of a large scale project
on the premises of the Islamic University, al-Madina al-Monawara.
The project involved the supply and installation of a central unit
containing the main equipment at the IT & Computer Centre which is
essential for establishing a modern network electronically connecting
all the interior & exterior buildings of the university.
Is Smoking Forbidden? - 27 Jun 03
Q. An increasing number of scholars are endorsing the ruling that
smoking is forbidden in Islam [..]
A. More than 20 years ago, a group of prominent scholars in Saudi
Arabia issued a fatwa making tobacco smoking, growing and selling
forbidden under Islamic law. Later, ten leading scholars from Al-Azhar
in Cairo, the oldest Islamic university in the world, issued a series
of ten fatwas, with eight making it clear that smoking was strictly
forbidden, while the other two saying that it is close to being
Sudan's Other Wars - 25 Jun 03
The two-party framework in which Sudan's peace talks are being held is
not adequately addressing all the country's current armed conflicts:
especially the long-running rebellions in the "Three Areas" (Abyei,
the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile) in the North, and the more
recent outbreak of armed conflict in Darfur in western Sudan. The
discontents in these regions have thus far largely been viewed as of
secondary importance to those of the South
The Three Areas lie in the geographic North but have been fighting
alongside the SPLA since the mid-1980s. Much of the tension there is
fed by the same factors that led to the long running war in southern
Sudan: a central government that has exploited local resources,
imposed its religious and cultural beliefs on historically diverse
populations and consistently pitted local tribes and ethnic groups
against each other for short term tactical gain. Many communities
across Sudan feel deeply marginalised a result of these practices.
Failure to achieve change peacefully has pushed more and more of them
into armed confrontation with central authorities. Their fear of being
shunted aside in an SPLA-government peace has led them to intensify
conflict as a way of calling attention to their problems before any
agreement is signed.
Change in Stamp Duty to aid Muslim house buyers - 23 Jun 03
Changes in Stamp Duty will mean a fairer deal for Britain's 2.5
million Muslims when they buy a home. Under Sharia law Muslims are
forbidden to charge or repay interest because it opens up the
possibility of usury - extortionate money-lending. Buying a house
through financial institutions offering Sharia-compliant mortgages has
hitherto been disproportionately expensive, according to solicitor
Mike Charlesworth, a partner at Manchester law firm Glaisyers.
From December duty will only be payable on one transaction. The new
rules, says Charlesworth, are expected to lead to a flood of
"pseudo-mortgage" finance applications from Muslims who's religious
convictions previously required them to rent or lease a home - or pay
over-the-odds to buy it. "It seems a fairer way of dealing with this
religious anomaly," Mr Charlesworth added.
HSBC to offer Islamic law mortgages - 01 Jul 03
HSBC is to become the first UK high street bank to offer mortgages and
current accounts designed to comply with Islamic law.
[Scotland] Muslim babies' MMR jabs have traces of pork
Thousands of Muslim babies in Scotland have been injected with a
derivative of pork contained in a major child vaccine, The Herald can
reveal. One of the two triple measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
vaccines used by GPs in Britain are made using porcine gelatin, which
is forbidden in Islam. Public health officials in Glasgow admitted
that they had only begun informing parents in the last week.
The vaccine with gelatin which is used widely in Britain is made by
Aventis Pasteur, while Merck makes another vaccine containing porcine
gelatin which is used widely across the world, but not in the UK.
Another vaccine used in the UK is made by Priorix and is free of the
material. However, usage of either one depends on availability.
Between them, Aventis Pasteur and Merck have offices in 41 countries
across the world, including Arab nations such as Egypt, the Gulf and
Saudi Arabia, as well as Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim
nation. A spokesman for Aventis Pasteur admitted the company was
aware of the possible implications of using such ingredients for
Although Jews also consider pork to be unclean, kosher law only covers
animal products which are eaten.
U.S. imams at crossroads - 28 Jun 03 [The Columbian]
Muslim leaders say the position of imams here has evolved to the point
that they are becoming an institutionalized clergy a remarkable shift
since Islam has no ordained clergy and is led instead by religious
scholars, traditionally a group that is distinct from imams. "You are
at a crossroads," Muslim political scientist Muqtedar Khan told U.S.
imams, meeting this month in Alexandria, Va. Imams need to decide
"whether you're going to end up becoming office managers at the masjid
(mosque) or becoming leaders of your community."
U.S. imams started gaining importance in the 1960s, when the federal
government relaxed immigration laws, drawing Muslims to the United
States in large numbers for the first time. Few scholars were among
the newcomers, creating a leadership vacuum that imams often filled.
Imad Benjelloun, an imam for mosques in the Quad Cities area of
Illinois and Iowa, said Muslims often ask him for guidance on issues
that counselors, scholars and others would provide in his native
Along with imams' new duties have come new freedoms that have boosted
their position in local Islamic communities. In many Muslim nations, a
government ministry tells imams what they must say in their speeches
at Friday prayers. In the United States, the imams decide the topics
themselves, setting priorities for their congregation. "In
predominantly non-Muslim countries, you have to have special skills,"
Benjelloun said. Imams also have been shaped by contact with other
religions. Muslims, who have no ultimate religious authority like a
pope, have had to find leaders to work with national organizations
that represent U.S. Catholics and Protestants, said Souheil
Ghannouchi, a former imam and president of the Muslim American
Society, in Alexandria, Va.
While there are some training programs for Muslim chaplains in the
United States, and even Internet courses, no internationally respected
U.S. school has been established to educate them about Islam. Some
have studied at top universities overseas, like Cairo's prestigious
Al-Azhar University, while others have received little formal
training. Often, the less educated provide poor guidance on religious
matters, based on their own cultural traditions instead of a true
understanding of their faith, said Sheik Muhammad Al-Hanooti of the
Fiqh Council of North America, a supreme court that interprets Muslim
religious law. As a nation, "our knowledge of Islam is around
zero-plus," Al- Hanooti said. "Our imams are in need of a lot of
learning." [The Columbian - Washington]
[Kuwait] Islamic banks law 'tuned' - 30 Jun 03
.. [Middle East News Online]
The Financial and Economic Affairs Committee at the National Assembly
approved yesterday a number of articles of a draft law allowing the
establishment of Islamic Banks. The head of the committee Abdelwahab
Al-Haroon told reporters that the committee approved nine articles of
the draft law, stating that the remaining seven articles would be
okayed during the committee meeting today.
Al-Haroon pointed out that the approved articles stipulate that it is
impermissible for any natural or corporate body to own more than five
per cent of the shares, so as to prevent monopoly and dominance of the
project, stating that the committee specified the capital of Islamic
banks to be not less than KD 75 million [EUR 218 mill.].
The committee also allowed banks to resort to the Fatwa and
legislation department at the Ministry of Awqaf as a reference body in
case of disagreement among the jurists panel in the bank, stressing
the need for a jurists panel inside the bank consisting of three
experts in Islamic jurisprudence.
Al-Haroon also pointed out that the committee decided last week to
allow Islamic banks to carry out direct investments according to
regulations and percentages specified by the Central Bank, and to
allow traditional banks to open branches, as an independent financial
and legal entity, to carry out Islamic transactions.
[France] UK law firm advises on 100mill French Islamic property fund
.. - 30 Jun 03
The international law firm Clyde & Co, has advised Gulf Finance House
(GFH), the Bahrain-based investment bank, on the establishment of the
first ever Shari'a compliant investment fund created to invest in a
strategic mix of commercial properties in France. Lawyers from the
Middle East Regional Office of Clyde & Co in Dubai, worked closely
with GFH's Shari'a, legal and tax teams to design a tax efficient,
Shari'a compliant structure for the 100 million fund. According to
an executive director of GFH, Rashad Yaqoob, the terms of the deal
were complex, but the structure developed meets the requirements of
Islamic investors and those lenders involved. Yaqoob went on to say
that the first property acquisition, valued at 24 million, had been
completed successfully and would be the first of many.
[Europe] First Islamic invests in European self-storage development
.. - 30 Jun 03
First Islamic Investment Bank (FIIB) has formed a joint venture with
Shurgard Self-Storage SCA to develop up to 38 self-storage facilities
in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and
Germany. The transaction is valued at approximately 232 million euros
Shurgard Europe is the largest developer, owner and operator of
self-storage facilities in Europe. First Islamic and its co-investors
will hold an 80 percent interest in the joint venture, with Shurgard
Europe holding the remaining 20 percent. Of the 38 sites targeted for
acquisition over the next 12 months, to date 23 have been identified
and approved for development.
The joint venture has agreed terms with Societe Generale for the
provision of a development financing facility for 65 percent of the
total development cost. First Islamic projects that the investment
will generate an Internal Rate of Return of approximately 20.7 percent
over the anticipated four-year investment holding period.
[UAE] USD 90 m Islamic aircraft lease - 30 Jun 03
Emirates Airline has signed a USD 90m multi-currency Islamic lease for
an A330-200 aircraft with the Islamic Development Bank, the first
Islamic financing of an A330 by a single Islamic institution. HSBC
arranged the pioneering 12-year leasing deal which is mainly
denominated in pounds sterling.
US$250 million Islamic bond issue listed on Bahrain Stock Exchange
.. - 01 Jul 03
A US$ 250 million issue of Islamic leasing bonds (Ijara sukuk*) was
listed today on the Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE). The listing brings
to a total of US$ 1.25 billion the value of bonds listed on the BSE.
The issue was arranged by Bahrain-based Liquidity Management Centre
(LMC), in coordination with the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA). It was
the largest-ever offering of Bahrain Government Islamic bonds.
*) The ijara contract is essentially of the same design as an
instalment leasing agreement. The term of ijara is flexible enough to
be applied to the hiring of an employee by an employer in return for a
rent that is actually a fixed wage.
*) Sukuk simply means an Islamic certificate or note, which represents
the value of an asset.
[*] Copyright: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 -
- this material is
distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. If
you wish to use copyrighted material from this list for purposes that
go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
owner. [USA: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html]