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Eid News

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  • Zafar Khan
    In pictures: Eid al-Fitr http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/6077832.stm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Millions Celebrate `Eid Tuesday By
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 24, 2006
      In pictures: Eid al-Fitr

      Millions Celebrate `Eid Tuesday
      By IOL Staff
      Sun., Oct. 22, 2006


      CAIRO — Millions of Muslims worldwide will celebrate
      `Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting
      month of Ramadan, on Tuesday, October 23, while
      millions others will mark the festival a day earlier.

      Egypt's Mufti Ali Gomaa announced late Sunday, October
      22, that Monday will be the last day of Ramadan and
      that Tuesday will be the first day of `Eid.

      Algeria said the crescent of the new hijri month of
      Shawwal was not sighted Sunday and Monday will be the
      last day of fasting.

      In Jordan, chief justice Ahmad Julail announced that
      Tuesday will be the first day of Shawwal and `Eid.

      Official religious authorities in Oman and Syria said
      that `Eid will be celebrated on Tuesday.

      In Asia, Malaysia announced that Tuesday will be the
      first day of `Eid. The announcement was made by the
      Keeper of the Rulers Seal after the moon was not
      sighted in any of the 28 selected locations throughout
      the country.

      Indonesia's moon-sighting committee will meet later
      Monday to make an official announcement of the start
      of `Eid Al-Fitr.

      Bangladesh's 18-member National Moon Sighting
      Committee led by State Minister for Religious Affairs
      Mosharref Hossain Shahjahan sits Monday at Baitul
      Mukarram National Mosque to confirm the moon sighting.

      If the moon is sighted, `Eid will start Tuesday
      otherwise the festival will be celebrated across the
      country on Wednesday.

      The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis)
      announced on its website that the first day of `Eid
      Al-Fitr will be on Tuesday.
      Muslims in Pakistan will also celebrate `Eid either on
      Tuesday or Wednesday.
      In India, Muslims will sight the new moon on Monday.
      If the sighting is confirmed `Eid will fall on Tuesday
      otherwise it will be celebrated on Wednesday.

      `Eid Al-Fitr, one of the two most important Islamic
      celebrations together with `Eid Al-Adha, will start
      Monday in Gulf countries, the United States and some
      European countries.

      Moon sighting has always been a controversial issue
      among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds
      over the issue.

      One group says that Muslims everywhere should abide by
      the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.

      A second, however, believes that the authority in
      charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a
      given country (such as Egypt's Dar al-Iftaa [House of
      Fatwa]) announces the sighting of the new moon, then
      Muslims in the country should all abide by this.

      Muslims pray, focus on family during Eid
      Joyful festivities, special meals, gift-giving mark
      end of monthlong Ramadan fast.
      Mark Hicks / The Detroit News
      Monday, October 23, 2006


      For the last 30 days, nothing has excited Chloe Karoub
      more than anticipating the arrival of Eid al-Fitr.

      The 14-year-old ninth-grader at Detroit Country Day
      School fasted throughout the holy month of Ramadan and
      even balanced the ritual during her many tennis
      matches and daily practices.

      But what helped Chloe most was thinking ahead to
      today's start of Eid, which concludes Ramadan, and the
      accompanying festivities: donning a hijab while
      praying at the Tawheed Center of Farmington Hills;
      exchanging gifts with her parents and three younger
      sisters; and eating salmon and kibbeh at her
      grandmother's home.

      "I've waited a long time," Chloe said Sunday. "I'm
      really happy."

      Joy infuses much of Eid al-Fitr -- one of the most
      celebratory periods in the Muslim calendar. The
      three-day holiday, which begins today, concludes
      Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.

      It also coincides with a new moon and the start of
      Shawaal, the tenth month in the Islamic calendar.

      Since the previous month was devoted to piety and
      abstaining from sinful habits, Eid is a festive period
      for many of Metro Detroit's estimated 125,000 to
      200,000 Muslims -- marked with prayers in mosques,
      gift exchanges, special meals and communal gathering
      symbolizing unity and brotherhood.

      In addition to reawakening joy, the holiday also
      acknowledges spiritual advances and blessings.

      Having attained through fasting one of the five
      pillars of Islam, Muslims continue to contemplate
      their spirituality and ties to the world, said Eide
      Alawan, a spokesman and interfaith outreach
      representative for the Islamic Center of America in
      Dearborn, which is believed to be the largest mosque
      in the country.

      "Individuals recognize   the spirit they
      have," he said.

      "Individuals will be more spiritual in their daily

      While the fasting of Ramadan helps remind Muslims of
      problems such as hunger, the gathering and gift-giving
      of Eid emphasizes peace and fortified familial bonds.

      "Our aim is   that the kids feel the joy
      of the advent of Eid," said Chloe's father, Carl
      Karoub, a doctor from Farmington Hills.

      "We want them to get pumped up for next year."

      You can reach Mark Hicks at (313) 222-2300 or

      Joyless `Eid in War-Torn Iraq


      BAGHDAD — For millions of Iraqis the three-day `Eid
      Al-Fitr, which they used to celebrate with family
      reunions, the exchange of presents and visits to
      amusement parks, has lost all its joy and glamour.

      "This `Eid is marred by despair," Ali Ahmed, an Arabic
      teacher, told the London-based Al-Quds Press news
      agency in a voice filled with grief.

      "Every `Eid we expect things to improve but they just
      keep going from bad to worse."

      Unabating violence and bloodshed set the tone for `Eid
      Al-Fitr with mortar and bomb attacks on bustling
      Baghdad markets on Sunday, October 22.

      Bangladeshis Rush Home for `Eid


      CAIRO — Every thing in Bangladesh is on the move as
      millions are racing against the clock to finish
      preparations for `Eid Al-Fitr, packing buses, trains
      and ferries to celebrate the good time with their
      relatives and loved ones at their native villages.

      "Tickets are being sold at fair prices. We used to
      sell tickets at Tk 20 less as the demand was low
      before," Ticket clerks told Bangladeshi
      English-language The Daily Star, Monday, October 23.

      The capital's railway stations and bus terminals are
      crammed with home going city-dwellers as most of them
      ended the last workday before the three-day `Eid
      holiday and headed out to celebrate the feast with
      their beloved ones.

      War Hijacks Lebanese `Eid Joy


      SIDDIQIN, Lebanon — The 34-day Israeli offensive that
      devastated Lebanon has cast a pall over `Eid Al-Fitr
      festive mood, which was overtaken by ruins, fears and
      unexploded bomblets carpeting the south.

      "No one has any work here," Ahmed Azzam, mayor of the
      southern village of Siddiqin, sadly told Agence
      France-Presse (AFP) Monday, October 22, the first day
      of `Eid for Lebanese Shiites.

      Israel's bombardment of the village during its
      July-August blitz completely destroyed more than 400
      homes and severely damaged 700 others, says Azzam.

      This year the village, home to 6,200 people, that
      usually lives from tobacco and olive cultivation does
      not feel much like celebrating, living instead
      hand-to-mouth from aid donations.

      Happy `Eid for Spanish Muslims


      MADRID — `Eid Al-Fitr, celebrated here on Monday,
      October 23, is a bit different this year for Spanish
      Muslims after two years of police arrests, vile media
      campaigns and suspicious looks from fellow Spaniards.

      The government seems ready to turn a new leaf in its
      relations with the Muslim minority, deciding to
      allocate cash for the main representative Muslim body
      on par with Christians and Jews.

      The decision, put on ice since 1992, is expected to
      enter into force in 2008, according to ABC newspaper.

      Though is it not clear how much the government would
      set aside for Muslims, the move is a significant
      goodwill gesture towards much stereotyped Islam, the
      second religion in Spain after Catholic Christianity.

      Spain has a Muslim minority of about 800,000 people
      out of a total population of 40 million.

      The southern European country has recognized Islam
      through the law of religious freedom, issued in July

      After Al-Qaeda claimed the terrorist Madrid bombings
      in 2002 that killed 190 people, Muslims, Islamic
      centers and mosques were the target of mounting
      attacks and calls from rightist parties to clamp down
      on the Muslim minority.

      `Eid Comforts Italian Muslims


      MILAN — The three-day `Eid Al-Fitr, which starts here
      on Monday, October 23, brings a long-lost smile to the
      faces of many Italian Muslims who have had a very hard
      time with rising Islamophobia in the southern European

      "We are resolved to leave beyond continuing media
      onslaughts against Islam and enjoy the `Eid," Ali Abu
      Oshwaima, the director of the Islamic Center in Milan,
      north of Rome, told IslamOnline.net.

      "All Muslims in Italy should use `Eid to wash away
      their problems."

      The Islamic Center in Milan, a religious reference
      authority not only to Muslims in Milan but to almost
      all Italian Muslims, has announced Monday as the first
      day of `Eid Al-Fitr, the feast that marks the end of
      the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

      French Dwarfs Arabic in `Eid Greetings


      PARIS — "Bonne Fete" [Happy `Eid] has become the
      favorite `Eid greeting for the second and third
      generations of French Muslims, eclipsing traditional
      Arabic ones used by their parents and grandparents.

      "It is obvious from the outpour of best wishes I have
      received that French greetings like "bonne fete" have
      replaced traditional ones like the Algerian 'Sah
      `Eidek' [May God bless your `Eid]," Murad Allani, a
      Muslim activist, told IslamOnline.net on Monday,
      October 23, the first day of `Eid Al-Fitr in France.

      He said "bonne fete" marks a tendency to "Frenchize"
      Muslim greetings by the second and third generations,
      estimated at some two million out of a total Muslim
      minority of five million people.

      Though the Arabic world 'Eid has entered the French
      lexicon and is used by politicians to wish Muslims a
      happy feast, "bonne fete" has become the favorite
      among the younger generations.

      `Eid in Penang


      Weeks before `Eid al-Fitr or “Hari Raya Aidilfitri” as
      it is called in Penang, a thorough housecleaning is
      carried out, as in many other Muslim communities,
      equivalent to the spring cleaning of Europe to welcome
      the season of spring. Homes are decorated to be ready
      for the first day of `Eid, when open houses are
      customarily held throughout Malaysia , across its many
      cultures. In Penang , it is customary for the men to
      attend `Eid Prayers, after which the whole family goes
      to visit the graves of lost ones. Travel becomes
      congested as streams of people can be seen traveling
      to similar destinations for this momentous occasion of
      `Eid. The two-day holiday also presents people the
      opportunity to return to hometowns to be with the
      family, as is the custom.

      An English `Eid


      `Eid Al-Fitr is eagerly anticipated around the world
      for the release it brings to a community that has been
      fasting during daylight hours for a whole month. It is
      a day for giving thanks to Allah for all His mercy and
      blessings. It is a day when we are happy and concerned
      that others are happy too. It is a day for the whole
      community to enjoy although our happiness is tempered
      by the knowledge that many of our brothers and sisters
      in Palestine, Pakistan, and elsewhere around the world
      are celebrating `Eid in difficult circumstances.

      Do Not Crush the Joy of `Eid


      `Eid has a special joy. It is the joy at the bounty of
      Allah, His mercy and His great blessings. It is the
      joy at His guidance in a time when many people have
      strayed from the straight path. In `Eid, Muslims
      gather together, sensing the deep belonging to this
      Ummah and this religion. They rejoice at the bounty of
      Allah Who has guided them when many other peoples
      failed to follow the straight path.

      [Allah desires ease for you, not your discomfort. He
      desires you to fast the whole of the month, and that
      you may magnify Him for giving you His guidance, and
      that you may give thanks.] (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

      What blessing could be better and bigger than being
      guided to Islam!

      Moreover, `Eid fills us with joy at the bounty of
      reaching Ramadan, in contrast to those who died before
      it. We enjoy the success we achieved and feel grateful
      for the help that Allah granted us by facilitating our
      worship in this month. Those days and nights have been
      a season overflowing with Allah’s mercy and gifts.
      Muslim congregations spent the nights glorifying Allah
      and reciting the Qur’an. Many supplications were
      uttered; many eyes were filled with tears. Many souls
      have been softened as if they were ascending to the
      heavens, living with angels, looking at Paradise and
      Hell with their very eyes. On these days, Muslims
      experienced blessings and joy that no one else could
      feel. Such souls deserve to rejoice at being blessed
      by Allah with this overwhelming flow. Another source
      of joy is fulfillment of the fasting period and
      completion of the third pillar of Islam. [Say: In the
      bounty of Allah and in His mercy: therein let them
      rejoice. It is better than what they hoard] (Yunus

      More on Eid
    • Zafar Khan
      Malawi `Eid Solaces Underprivileged Mallick Mnela, IOL Correspondent Thu., Oct. 26, 2006 http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2006-10/26/01.shtml BLANTYRE
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 26, 2006
        Malawi `Eid Solaces Underprivileged
        Mallick Mnela, IOL Correspondent
        Thu., Oct. 26, 2006


        BLANTYRE — Celebrating the three-day `Eid Al-Fitr,
        which marks the end fasting month of Ramadan, Muslims
        in the Southern African republic of Malawi did not
        forget those who are less fortunate, cheering the
        sick, orphans and other needy persons.

        "The charity activities are a major part in the
        Islamic faith especially during the festive season,"
        Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, National Coordinator of the
        Islamic Information Bureau, told IslamOnline.net.

        "Non-Muslims are really amazed to see people portrayed
        as mercenaries in the press being so wonderful. That’s
        the first step towards knowing Islam and that’s why we
        encourage it," he added.

        Muslim Students Association at the Islamic Zakaat Fund
        (IZF) Business College took time to cheer the sick at
        the Mangochi District Hospital.

        "This is another way of celebrating `Eid for us,"
        Daudi Masapi, the leader of delegation, told IOL.

        "We believe that cheering the sick and making them
        happy can be a magic prescription for their ailments,"
        he added.

        Blantyre Muslim Women Organization also treated
        prisoners at the Chichiri Prison to an `Eid festivity
        endowed with special food-stuffs.

        "As a matter of fact, we have realized that some of
        the best Muslims are formed in prisons," said Asiyatu

        "They are sent there to be reformed so if we turn a
        blind eye on them we would be doing injustice to them.
        They need our love and support," she added.

        `Eid Al-Fitr, a festival that comes at the end of
        Ramadan, started in Malawi on October 24.

        `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha, the two most important
        Islamic celebrations, are regarded as national
        holidays in Malawi, where Islam is the second largest
        religion after Christianity.

        Official figures suggest that Muslims make 12 percent
        of the 12 million people, but the umbrella Muslim
        Association of Malawi say Muslims constitute more than
        36 %.


        Business was brought to almost a standstill in Malawi
        during `Eid, with most shops closed in the major

        Most wholesale and retail businesses that are always a
        bee hive of activity are operated by Muslims of either
        British or Asian descent.

        Mosques were, meanwhile, filled to the brim, with
        Muslims praying for peace.

        "This grants the occasion the importance it deserves.
        It's not like any other day, and we appreciate that
        this is being felt as we are making an effort to
        inform people on the beauty of Islam," said Sheikh

        Thousands of Muslims were seen in jovial mood across
        the streets of the major cities, attending `Eid

        Some communities had to perform prayers in the
        open-air to accommodate the large congregations.

        "We've always encouraged a spirit of brotherhood
        that’s why we tell people from small local mosques to
        come together as a single community so that they
        celebrate in a grand style," said a visibly overjoyed
        Sheikh Chabulika, while his mobile phone kept on
        receiving SMSs from well-wishers.


        In some remote areas, families brought food to mosques
        or other designated places so that they eat together
        in what is locally known as "chidyerano" or communal

        "This makes us have more fun," says Ishmael Abdullah
        of Blantyre, the commercial capital of Malawi.

        Many others decided to throw a party.

        "I am just fascinated how Islam preaches unity and
        brotherhood," Sraj Suleman, a Blantyre-based Muslim,
        told IOL.

        "I've enjoyed eating and partying with Muslim family
        friends. The most wonderful thing is that they're
        Turkish and I'm Malawian, but there was nothing that
        separated us."

        Suleman says this enables people of varied backgrounds
        to come together, thereby sharing some cultural
        aspects that may help develop local Muslims.

        Dr. Bakili Muluzi, the former president of Malawi, who
        is also a Muslim, called on Muslims to co-exist with
        people of other faiths so that they maintain the good
        image of Islam.

        "It's incumbent upon us as Muslims to guide those who
        do not know our religion by maintaining the virtues
        and spirit of unity that we ably demonstrated during
        the just-ended holy month of Ramadan," reads an `Eid
        Al-Fitr from the former leader made available to IOL.

        MP Yunus Mussa also commended the Muslims for living
        well with their Christian neighbors, which he said has
        helped to dispel the misconception that Islam condemns
        the existence of people of other faiths.

        "In the just-ended month we're told to respond to
        those who provoke us: "I'm fasting", why then should
        we not carry forward this noble trait. Avoiding those
        who provoke us could be a major prescription for

        US Muslims One Family in `Eid
        By Sahar Kassaimah, IOL Correspondent
        Wed., Oct. 25, 2006


        WASHINGTON — The most important thing for American
        Muslims in `Eid Al-Fitr is to demonstrate their unity
        and inter-racial harmony with a focus on the younger
        generations, who can only recognize one of the biggest
        festivals in the Islamic calendar through the
        congregational prayers early in the morning and a
        one-day merrymaking.

        "It's extremely important to bring our children to
        these events and let them play together," Ghalia
        Raheemy, an Afghani mother of four, told
        IslamOnline.net Wednesday, October 25, one day after
        the start of `Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the
        holy fasting month of Ramadan.

        "Otherwise, they won’t get to know what Eid `is," she
        added. "Back home, you feel `Eid everywhere you go: at
        homes, at work, on the street and in the

        She continued: "But here, we have to create or revive
        the `Eid feeling in our kids’ hearts to make it a
        different day for them. And getting them with the
        Muslim community is the best thing to do to remind
        them that today is a special Islamic holiday."

        The Maghawri family starts their `Eid morning with
        Fajr prayer and `Eid takbirats (saying Allahu Akbr or
        God is Great several times) before joining the
        community for the rest of the day.

        "We only have two holidays," the father Nabil
        Maghawri, who owns a CD and DVD manufacturing
        business, said.

        "So we try to celebrate them as much as we can to show
        our kids the authentic Muslim holiday. There are lots
        of Muslims around. We pray here at community centers
        to accommodate a larger number of Muslims and that is
        how the kids enjoy it."

        There are an estimated five to eight million Muslims
        currently living in the US, out of a total population
        of 300 million.

        Many of them were born and raised in the United States
        or have been living here for decades.

        According to a recent study by US polling firm Zogby
        International, only 26% of American Muslims are of
        Arab origin, with around 33% coming from South-East

        Significant Prayers

        American Muslims agree that it is the `Eid prayers
        that make their day, gathering in big mosques and
        large indoor and outdoor areas, such as community
        centers and football stadiums to perform the prayer.

        "It is the `Eid prayer that spreads the real spirit of
        `Eid among all of us," said Basima Salman, a mother of
        three children.

        "Every `Eid, we wake up early in the morning and bring
        our kids to attend the prayer. Without this prayer and
        these takbirats, our kids won’t feel the joy of `Eid
        and they won’t feel any difference between the `Eid
        and any other day. When they wake up in the morning to
        attend the `Eid prayer, they say, ‘We are going to the
        `Eid’," Salman said.

        "The `Eid here is different from the `Eid back home,"
        added Ali.

        "We always take our kids to the `Eid prayer to
        understand that this is an Islamic occasion. So, we do
        all what we can to make it a special day filled with
        fun and entertainment."

        After the` Eid prayer, Muslims usually visit various
        friends, exchange gifts and make phone calls to
        distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday.

        "We visit each other and exchange presents so our kids
        could get as much presents as possible and that is how
        they share the joy of `Eid with other Muslim friends,"
        Ali said.

        `Eid Programs

        `Eid programs vary from community to another. As some
        prefer to have open air picnics especially in nice
        weathers, others prefer having an open day at one of
        the community members’ houses.

        "The community always arranges for special Eid
        programs," said Ali.

        "Today we have a picnic day in the park. It is a very
        nice weather and the kids will enjoy playing together.
        We prefer to eat pizzas, sandwiches or to have
        barbecue in order to give the mothers a day off from

        "We always have a special `Eid program. Sometimes we
        go to amusement parks or spend the day at the park,"
        added Maghawri.

        Bilal Hailey, owner of a company, had a "wonderful"
        `Eid day.

        "We had a nice breakfast with some Muslim families.
        Then we took a break for two hours before we go to the
        park and we enjoyed it," he said.

        Sonia Hadad, a Tunisian mother of three, said there is
        lots of fun stuff that they could do in `Eid.

        "Kids would enjoy such as movies, Disney Land and
        Universal Studios, but my husband although he’s an
        American, he always likes them to be around Muslim
        kids to feel that it is an Islamic holiday," she said.

        Many people also decorate their houses for `Eid.

        "That is the only chance the kids will recognize one
        of our major holidays," said Maghawri.

        New clothes are one of the basics during `Eid like all
        Muslim countries.

        "Kids start getting ready for `Eid a night before.
        They decorate their rooms; get some gifts to their
        friends, wrap gifts together and everyone buys new
        clothes," said Maghawri.

        Palestinian Samar Muneer wants to give her children
        what she missed in the good old days.

        "At our kids’ age, we never celebrated `Eid or bought
        new clothes," she said.

        "We were never enjoying `Eid because we were living
        under the Intifada, so now we try to give our kids
        what we couldn’t get because of our political
        situation. We still feel the pain for our country and
        family who suffer there, but it is our kids’ rights to
        enjoy these blessed days," added the mother of two.


        By American Muslims are still disappointed at state
        refusal to grant them a day off on `Eid day.

        "As you know, `Eid here is not an official holiday for
        everyone," Muneer said.

        "Most of the time, my husband can’t spend the `Eid
        with us, unless if the `Eid comes in a weekend. But I
        always take the kids to the `Eid prayer and we
        celebrate it with our community."

        For college Students, it is also hard to get a day off
        in `Eid.

        "I am returning back to my college because my class
        will start at 1:00 p.m.," said Ayah Sabbah.

        Some mothers feel worry on how their kids would feel
        when they become teenagers and still don’t have a
        regular holiday like other Americans.

        "I am worry how it becomes for my kids when they
        become teenagers and find others having a normal
        holidays while they don’t," said Hadad.

        "We had a stress almost three weeks ahead of `Eid to
        plan for our holiday. Even my husband has his own
        business, but still he can’t leave his work. We feel
        very happy when `Eid comes in the weekend," said

        Although Muslim kids usually have schools on `Eid
        days, most of their parents do not send them to
        schools in the first day of `Eid.

        "They take a day off after getting an advanced
        permission from their schools," said Maghawri.

        "Our kids need to feel that the `Eid day is a very
        special day for Muslims, especially because they know
        that all of their peers attend a regular school day."

        Bangladeshis Pray for Peace in `Eid
        IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
        Wed., Oct. 25, 2006


        DHAKA — Bangladeshis offered their `Eid Al-Fitr
        prayers on Wednesday, October 25, for peace and
        stability as the world's third-largest Muslim country
        prepares for January general polls.

        "Almighty Allah bless the country, which is in the
        throes of political adversity," an imam told a
        50,000-strong congregation at Dhaka's national mosque,
        reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

        "God, let a leader emerge from the bargaining and let
        them understand the political situation in order to
        hold a peaceful election," the imam said.

        `Eid Al-Fitr, one of the biggest festival in the
        Islamic calendar marking the end of the fasting month
        of Ramadan, was held a day later than many Muslim
        countries, as the new crescent moon was not sighted
        until Tuesday night, October 24.

        The festival was marred by the death of at least 28
        people in two separate accidents as they travelled
        home to celebrate with their families.

        At least 18 people died Monday when an overloaded
        ferry hit a goods boat and capsized on the River
        Meghna, near Dhaka.

        Ten others died and 50 were injured, also Monday, when
        two buses collided head-on in the capital's central
        Gazipu district.

        Critical Phase

        Three days before Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum
        Khaleda Zia is due to transfer power to an interim
        authority, the government and opposition leaders
        remain poles apart on reforms to make the next
        election free and fair.

        Khaleda is due to hand over power to the caretaker
        authority on October 27 at the end of her five-year
        rule. Opposition parties warn of protests if there is
        no smooth transfer of power, Reuters reported.

        The main bone of contention is the choice of the head
        of the caretaker authority to supervise the election.

        Khaleda's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wants
        former chief justice K.M. Hasan in the post of
        caretaker chief, but the opposition Awami League led
        by Sheikh Hasina oppose him and say he has past
        associations with the ruling party.

        The other main dispute is over the opposition's demand
        for removal of the chief election commissioner M.A.
        Aziz and his deputies, who are accused of pro-BNP

        Both sides said on Tuesday, October 24, they had yet
        to agree on any of 31 electoral reforms that Hasina
        proposed to ensure fair voting in polls due in January

        Hopes for a settlement brightened when Awami chief
        negotiator Abdul Jalil said he had received a
        telephone call from his BNP counterpart Abdul Mannan
        Bhuiyan proposing an alternative to Hasan and offering
        more talks to resolve the deadlock.

        But Hasina, who leads a 14-party opposition alliance,
        told reporters on Tuesday that Bhuiyan named Aziz as
        caretaker chief, instead of Hasan.

        "Aziz is even more controversial and unacceptable to
        us," Hasina said, adding that if the disputes are not
        resolved by Oct. 27 opposition activists from all over
        the country would march to Dhaka and besiege the

        "The time is running out fast and an agreement ...
        must be reached by Friday," said Suranjit Sen Gupta, a
        senior member of the Awami League presidium.

        "Otherwise the country will burst into protests from
        the moment when Hasan or any other partisan man takes
        over (from Khaleda)," he said.

        BNP leader Khandaker Musharraf Hossain said the Awami
        League was trying to push the country into a "point of
        no return" and warned that peace-loving Bangladeshis
        would resist them.

      • Zafar Khan
        Malaysians Help Flood Victims in `Eid IslamOnline.net & News Agencies Sun. Dec. 31, 2006
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 1, 2007
          Malaysians Help Flood Victims in `Eid
          IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
          Sun. Dec. 31, 2006


          KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Muslims rushed Sunday,
          December 31, on the first day of `Eid Al-Adha in the
          southeast Asian country to help victims of massive
          floods that hit the country.
          Apart from performing the `Eid prayers and
          slaughtering sheep, cows and goats, they also
          sacrificed their time, energy and cash to help fellow
          Malaysians hit by the floods, Malaysia's The Star
          newspaper reported.

          Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
          donated 130 head of cattle to 34 mosques, 40 surau
          (prayer rooms), government agencies and departments,
          as well as non-governmental organizations in Kepala
          Batas and Seberang Prai Utara provinces, worst hit by

          Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib also donated
          299 head of cattle to 52 mosques and 124 surau in

          For the flood victims, particularly in areas which
          took the brunt of the monstrous floods, the Udhiyah
          meat brought back smiles to many faces.

          A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or
          goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or a
          cow as an act of worship during `Eid Al-Adha, one of
          the two main festivals in the Islamic calendar.

          The tradition marks the memory of Abraham who was
          about to sacrifice his son Ismail as requested by God,
          when God sent him a sheep to slaughter in the place of
          the child.

          Rising Toll

          The death toll from Malaysia's disastrous floods has
          risen to 12, with another youth missing, but
          authorities said fears of another round of flooding
          had been averted.

          The latest confirmed victim is a five-year-old girl
          whose body was found late Saturday, December 30, the
          official Bernama news agency said.

          She was swept away when the car her family was
          traveling in was caught by strong currents.

          Her father survived, but her mother and three-year-old
          sister also died.

          An 18-year-old youth is missing after he was lost in
          floodwaters late Friday, Bernama said.

          Malaysia's opposition has called for an inquiry into
          the floods, the worst in decades, which have forced
          nearly 59,0000 people in southern Johor state to flee
          their homes and take shelter in relief centers.

          However, Johor chief minister Abdul Ghani Othman said
          he was confident the situation in the state would be
          back to normal within the next few days.

          Abdul Ghani said the second wave of rains predicted by
          forecasters would not take place as the rain-bearing
          clouds had been blown towards Singapore and Sabah
          state on Borneo Island.

          All in all, the rain-triggered floods and landslides
          have killed at least 158 people and displaced at least
          half a million in the past week in Malaysia and
          Indonesia's Sumatra province.

          Another 163 people remain missing and are feared dead
          after torrential waters swept away thousands of homes
          in the Southeast Asian nations, mostly in Indonesia.

          Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation,
          was the worst hit country when a 9.3 magnitude
          earthquake sent shockwaves through the Indian Ocean on
          December 26, 2004, unleashing tsunami waves that raced
          towards the shores of 11 nations.

          The giant walls of water wrought devastation as never
          before, killing at least 168,000 people in Indonesia

          Volunteers Key for American `Eid
          By Abderrazak Mrabet
          Mon. Jan. 1, 2007


          RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — Due to the lack of space in
          the Islamic centers, many Muslim communities in the US
          celebrate `Eid Al-Adha in rented places to accommodate
          the large number of Muslims attending the `Eid prayer,
          which requires good planning and an army of
          "Usually we reserve the place for two days in case the
          `Eid falls in one of them, and at least a month before
          the `Eid we start contacting volunteers to make sure
          that we have enough qualified brothers and sisters to
          help us," Emad Ali from the Islam Association of
          Raleigh (IAR) told IslamOnline.net.

          Some 5,000 Muslims attended `Eid prayer at the Dorton
          Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Saturday,
          December 30.

          "We expected this big turnout because most people are
          off work and kids are still in winter break," said
          Ali, adding that everything was in place to ensure
          everybody’s safety.

          The Fiqh Council of North America, an independent body
          of experts in Islamic law who serve the Muslim
          community of North America, has announced Sunday,
          December 31, as the start of the four-day `Eid Al-Adha
          based on astronomical calculations.

          But many local Muslim communities across the US,
          including IAR, followed Saudi Arabia which celebrated
          `Eid Al-Adha, one of the two main religious festivals
          in Islam, on Saturday.

          Boys and girls of different ages, with a volunteer
          sign on their chests, were ready to assist with all
          the details.

          People are met with volunteers even before they park
          their cars.

          They help control traffic and parking, direct the
          crowd through the gates, make sure that everybody is
          seated in straight lines, and handing over drinks and
          balloons for kids.

          After the `Eid sermon, volunteers double their effort
          to keep the place organized with a lot of kids running
          around chasing their balloons or enjoying the games
          put in place for them.

          Refreshments were served for everyone and many people
          stayed hours after the prayer and sermon concluded.


          For many young American Muslims volunteering to help
          others is the best way to celebrate `Eid Al-Adha.

          "I volunteer every year," Ahmed, a college student,
          told IOL.

          "I feel it’s my duty to do whatever I could to help
          the community."

          Volunteers meet the day preceding the `Eid to discuss
          the details and to distribute roles.

          "Each of us has a specified task that he or she has to
          focus on till everything is over," said Ahmed.

          "After everybody goes home safely, we start cleaning
          up the place. We are the first to come here and the
          last to leave."

          Another volunteer, Khaled, said that it doesn’t bother
          him at all to wake up early in the morning.

          "I am glad that they gave me the opportunity to
          volunteer and serve the community," he said

          Khaled was handing over plastic bags for people to
          keep their shoes in.

          "As simple as it appears, with a big crowd, every task
          counts," he said proudly.

          Umm Sophia, a member of the women’s committee in the
          IAR, is supervising about fifteen volunteers.

          She told IOL that many Muslim girls want to volunteer.

          "We have no problem finding volunteers, actually we
          can’t accommodate all the demands we get.

          "We choose the well-qualified sisters that are able to
          handle all sorts of tasks."

          She said most of the volunteers are students, noting
          that even adult women are always willing to help.

          "Without their assistance, it’s almost impossible to
          handle such an event," asserted IAR's Ali.

          "They are mostly youth, between the age of 14 and 21
          and they are very enthusiastic about what they are

          The volunteering activities did not go un-praised.

          "I just love seeing so many young Muslims helping the
          community and volunteering," said one Muslim woman.

          "The youth are our future and as Muslims we must
          encourage our children to be good members of society
          and help the community grow with strong Islamic

          War Hijacks Somalia `Eid
          By Abdel Qadir Mohammad, IOL Correspondent
          Sun. Dec. 31, 2006


          MOGADISHU — The `Eid joy in Somalia has been hijacked
          by the ongoing war between Ethiopian-backed government
          troops and the fighters of the Islamic Courts with
          many residents recalling the good old days.
          "Markets were closed before `Eid as the war chaos kept
          spreading over," Fatima Mohammed, a housewife, told
          IslamOnline.net Sunday, December 31, the second day of
          `Eid Al-Adah.

          She added there was almost no preparations in the
          shops that are usually laden with gift items and new
          clothes on `Eid.

          "Every one is closely following up the ongoing war and
          `Eid shopping is not a priority right now," shop owner
          Halima says, her hair tucked into a black headscarf
          and her body enveloped in billowing black.

          She said that some of the shop owners were among
          volunteers who joined the Islamic Courts to fight the
          invading Ethiopian troops and many of them were killed
          in the bloody battles.

          "We miss our dear friends and feel sorry for their
          wives and children."

          With militias formed, looting reported and people
          killed in skirmishes, Somalia is descending into
          instability once again as the Ethiopian-backed Somali
          troops are moving towards Kismayu, the last stronghold
          of the Supreme Islamic Courts of Somalia (SICS).

          Hundreds, and possibly thousands, have died on scrubby
          battlefields in what aid agencies are calling the
          worst fighting for a decade in the war-raven nation.

          The beginning of battles o December 20 marked the end
          of months of relative stability in the country.

          After years of lawlessness and security chaos, Somalis
          were finally rejoicing a peaceful life when the SICS
          kicked out US-backed warlords from the capital in

          Good Old Days

          Besides the two holydays of `Eid Al-Adha and `Eid
          Al–Fitr, Somalis used to enjoy multiple celebrations
          like the Day of Revolution on October 21 and the
          Independence Day celebrations from June 27 to July 1.

          But now, people could only look back fondly to `Eids
          gone past.

          "`Eid used to be an occasion for family visits,"
          Abdullah Balak, editor-in-chief of Al-Ayam newspaper
          told IOL.

          "These joyful post-dawn visits," recalls Balak, "are
          impossible this year amid the spike of violence."

          Residents envy children who are still green to
          understand what is going on.

          "This year's `Eid is not for adults," Halima Ahmed,
          bitterly told IOL.

          "We try our best to keep our children aloof from the
          news of the raging war," she added in grief.

          But kids in the Horn of Africa nation are trying to
          enjoy themselves amid the beating drums of war, though
          colorful masks, fireworks and new clothes are
          something of a luxury in a country that has not known
          stability since 1991.

          The lack of security marred the kids' joy, hindering
          them from the usual `Eid rides to cinemas and parks.

          "Lucky them! Children don't realize the terrible
          situation in the country," said. Abdullah Ibrahim.

          Saddam Immortalized by `Eid Hanging
          IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
          Sun. Dec. 31, 2006


          CAIRO — Images of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein being
          led to the gallows on one of Islam's most important
          feast days and the sectarian and politicized nature of
          the execution have immortalized the late leader and
          risks further fueling civil strife in the occupied
          country, politicians and experts said on Sunday,
          December 31.
          "Executing former Iraqi president Saddam Hussain on
          `Eid day has made him a hero from zero," Pakistan
          Muslim League President Shujaat Hussain told Pakistan
          Tribune Sunday, December 31.

          "It is no doubt that Saddam Hussain had committed many
          atrocities and was involved in several crimes but
          hanging him on the occasion of `Eid Al-Adha has once
          again made him a hero."

          The ousted strongman was executed in Baghdad at dawn
          on Saturday as Muslims began celebrating `Eid al-Adha,
          one of the major feasts in the Muslim calendar.

          Grainy footage of a grey-bearded and calm-looking
          Saddam being prepared for the gallows was aired on
          Iraqi state television and re-broadcast across the
          Arab world.

          Even the West's leading Middle East allies, Egypt and
          Saudi Arabia, publicly spoke out against the choice of
          the first day of the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice to put
          Saddam to death.

          The European Union denounced the death sentence as
          "barbaric," saying it would turn Saddam into a

          "Unfortunately Saddam Hussein risks to appear as a
          martyr, and he does not deserve that. He is not a
          martyr, he committed the worse things," European
          Union's aid and development Commissioner Louis Michel
          told Reuters in a phone interview.

          "The death penalty is against the values of the
          European Union ... we are against by principle,
          whatever the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein."

          US President George W. Bush termed the execution an
          important milestone. Bush carefully measured words in
          a written statement from his Texas ranch.

          "Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the
          violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on
          Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern,
          sustain, and defend itself," Bush said in his
          statement. "Many difficult choices and further
          sacrifices lie ahead."


          Experts say that the `Eid execution has won Saddam's
          sympathy from Arabs and Muslims worldwide whether they
          support him or not.

          "Saddam was being dragged away like he was the sheep
          waiting to be slaughtered," Emad Gad, researcher with
          the Cairo-based Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies,
          told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Sunday, December 31.

          "The main issue here is that the execution took place
          on the morning of the `Eid Al-Adha. This will stir
          anger and humiliation in people, whether they
          supported him or not."

          Gad said the hanging images would further alienate
          Muslims and Arabs against the United States.

          "Generally in the region, people's emotions are
          already anti-US, and these images will add to that
          feeling," he warned.

          The executive editor of the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya
          news channel, Nabil Khatib, agreed.

          "The pictures will re-create the anger and frustration
          among a large part of the Arab masses," Khatib told

          "Once more, ordinary Arabs felt that there is a
          conspiracy against their symbols."

          Prominent Jordanian criminal lawyer Sameeh Khreis
          criticized the swift appeal process and execution and
          said the hanging's timing disrespected Arabs and

          The execution "was very, very fast, and in my mind to
          execute him today on the first day of our Eid, the
          American policy decided to challenge us and our
          feelings as an Arab people and Muslim people," he told
          The Associated Press.

          Saddam Hussein's execution drew outcries from human
          rights activists who condemned the hanging as too
          hasty and said they feared the trial may taint the
          future of Iraq's justice system.

          "The test of a government's commitment to human rights
          is measured by the way it treats its worst offenders.
          History will judge these actions harshly," Richard
          Dicker, director of New York-based group's
          International Justice Program, was quoted by The
          International Herald Tribune as saying on Sunday.

          Saddam's execution came nearly two months after his
          November 5 sentencing for his role in the 1982
          slayings of 148 Shiite Muslims from a town where
          assassins tried to kill him.

          Fueling Sectarianism

          Pundits have also warned that sectarianism and
          violence would be further fueled in already volatile

          "Saddam's death would give rise to sectarianism in
          Iraq," Shujaat Hussain, the Pakistani scholar, said.

          Though spilling Muslim blood is forbidden during some
          Arab months including this Dhul Hiijah, Iraqi Shiites
          feted his demise, dancing and cracking off bursts of
          automatic fire.

          Sectarianism was present when Saddam Hussein was sent
          to the gallows with a final taunt by hangers, who
          chanted the names of two of Shiite leaders while the
          noose was readied.

          In video footage of the execution, apparently captured
          on a mobile phone and spreading across the Internet on
          Sunday, December 31, the hangers can be clearly heard
          chanting "Moqtada, Moqtada, Moqtada," and "Mohammad
          Baqir Al-Sadr," according to Al-Jazeera satellite

          Samer Hamzeh, news consultant for state-run Dubai
          Media Incorporated which groups Dubai Television and
          three other channels, warned that the graphic footage
          of Saddam being led to the gallows risked sparking a
          violent backlash in Iraq.

          "This is not our daily news picture. It is a historic,
          very emotional picture ... and the effect of emotional
          pictures does not show right away," he said.

          Hamzeh said the fact that Saddam looked composed as he
          was readied for execution would not diminish the
          negative impact of the footage.

          "It is not about his behaviour. The normal viewer will
          see the picture as humiliating," he argued.
          "Humiliation can provoke anger, violence."

          On Saturday, soon after Saddam was hanged, at least 77
          people were killed in a series of bomb attacks, mostly
          against crowded Shiite areas.

          A car bomb exploded in a fish market in the Shiite
          town of Kufa, and a triple bombing ripped through a
          Shiite neighbourhood in Baghdad.

          The abyss of civil strife into which Iraq has sunk
          since the US-led invasion has cast a shadow over `Eid
          in Iraq.
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