News on Orphans: Fatwa Gives Lifeline to Sudan Orphans
- Fatwa Gives Lifeline to Sudan Orphans
IslamOnline.net & Newspapers
Sat. Apr. 5, 2008
CAIRO Thanks to a Muslim fatwa (religious edict) and
efforts by the government, backed by religious leaders
and aid groups, children born out the wedlock are
finding a new chance in Sudanese society.
"It is really a social revolution," Mona Abdullah
el-Faki, a government social worker, told The New York
Times on Saturday, April 5.
Abandoned children in Sudan are traditionally viewed
as the product of an illicit union and therefore a
disgrace, discouraging many Sudanese from adopting
children whose parents are not known to have died.
Maygoma orphanage mirrored how abandoned children
whose parents were not known to have died were
They were totally neglected, left to grow nearly mute
and badly stunted.
"It was no place to raise children," said Osman Abu
Fatima, a UNICEF program officer.
"There were children who could not speak because no
one talked to them. Some were malnourished. All were
unloved. No one touched or held them. After my first
visit I was traumatized by it for a long time."
But the situation totally changed following a fatwa
issued by Sudan's highest religious body that
abandoned children are also orphans that the society
has a duty to care for them.
The fatwa also said that children born out of wedlock
should not be made to suffer the consequences of their
The government, helped by UNICEF and local aid groups,
also joined to change the societal view of the
abandoned children, adopting a law allowing adoption.
"It was very difficult to persuade people that
adoption is not forbidden in Islam. There are a lot of
misconceptions," said Faki, who supervises foster care
of children from Maygoma.
The concerted efforts are beginning to bear fruit,
encouraging some Sudanese to adopt abandoned children.
"A home with no children is a very bad place," Fatima
told the Times.
"Family is very important in our society."
The 40-year-old and her husband have been trying for
years to conceive a child until they gave up hope of
ever having a family.
But one day, Fatima heard a radio program about foster
care through Maygoma Orphanage.
Fatima brought a boy named Khalid home but she was
worried that her husband would reject.
"But he said, it is very important for us to adopt
this child, " she said.
"God loves all children."
Changes, however, are not that complete as many
husbands still oppose adoption.
Khanssa Sandal has been a foster mother to seven
children, the latest being Muayid, whom she took in
when he was 2 months old. But her husband refused to
allow her to adopt the one-year-old child.
"Each time it gets more painful to say goodbye," she
said, clinging to big-eyed Muayid, who hid in the
folds of her shawl.
Among the children she also wanted to adopt was a boy
named Siddiq but the husband opposed.
"I wanted to adopt him, but my husband refused," she
said. "I cried for weeks. I still miss him."
Back to Iraq for Orphans
IslamOnline.net & Newspapers
Fri. Apr. 4, 2008
CAIRO No sooner Army Capt. Jon Powers returned to
Washington after a 14-month dusty, exhausting tour of
duty in Iraq, he went back to the war-torn country for
helping the Iraqi orphans traumatized by the US-led
"When I finally had time to decompress at home is when
I decided to go back," Powers told the Christian
Science Monitor on Friday, April 4.
Powers returned to Iraq in August 2005, a year after
he had left to run a charity to help Iraqi orphans.
"This is an extension of my time there. War Kids is an
extension of my time there," he said.
After spending a 14-month dusty, exhausting tour of
duty in Iraq, Powers returned to Buffalo, New York, in
One day, he got a call from a filmmaker making a
documentary about Powers's unit in Baghdad to speak
about his experience in Iraq in 20 US cities.
"All this traveling around to talk about it helped me
better understand my thoughts on the war," he said
". I realized for the first time my story wasn't as
personal as I thought it was.
"I could be a voice for it."
During a screening in New York City, Powers met with a
member of Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Joe
Donahue, who asked him what he would do if he could go
back to Iraq.
"Without a doubt, help the kids," Powers replied
"If we don't find a way to positively engage these
kids we'll be fighting them for centuries. It plays
right into the extremists."
Enthusiastic about Powers's idea, Donahue pledged to
seek backing from the Vietnam Veterans of America
After getting a funding contract from the foundation,
Powers returned to in August 2005 to found an
orphanage in Baghdad.
"I literally talked my way into the green zone," he
For week, the Iraq war veteran met with high-ranking
Iraqi ministers to drum up support for the project. He
also sent discreet delegations of Iraqis to meet with
the directors of two orphanages in Adhamiyah
"He had a lot of passion for the project," Donahue
said of Powers, who has also outlined plans for a
Baghdad network of work-study centers for the older
kids but has not yet obtained funding though the Iraqi
government now has the blueprint for setting up the
Five years after the 2003 US-led invasion, the daily
lives of Iraqis have worsened with millions having
insufficient access to clean water, sanitation,
electricity and health care.
With estimates putting the death toll at between
100,000 and one million, millions of families are left
According to the United Nation, 17 percent of Iraqi
children are permanently out of primary school.
An estimated 220,000 more are missing school because
they and their families have been displaced or have to
help support the family.
Powers says his orphanage is the result of his
"defining experience" in Iraq.
"For me, it's been a real long process to get to the
point I am today."
Orphans Day: Tulkarem thriving, Hebron facing closures
by Israeli forces
04.04.08 - 14:04
Tulkarem / PNN Friday marks Orphan Day in
Tulkarem, which runs one of the oldest and most
important institutions. The Orphans Society House was
established in 1961, but shut down for a time in 1967
under the pretext of helping the children of
The children receive food, clothes, housing, social
and educational studies, and love and care. A group of
women began this project and it is thriving.
In the southern West Banks Hebron Israeli forces
continue to threaten to close several orphanages, with
one given a notice until 1 May. Students and children
who live in the cities orphanages are protesting via
nonviolent sit-ins on a daily basis. Public offices
are calling for international help against the Israeli
interference in this Palestinian city.
President of the Orphans Society House in the northern
West Banks Tulkarem, Abu Bakr Attaf, says, We have
been more than 45 years strengthening the spirit of
homeless children. The general population contains 55
girls and 45 boys.
We provide all of the basic needs, but also
humanitarian and charitable educations and social
The President continued, We are Muslim people who
have in our religion a love and kindness, a need to
care for the marginalized, as a part of our belief
system. We assume responsibility for these children.
This is one of the oldest institutions of its kind.
Abu Bakr is asking that official, civil, local, Arab,
Islamic and international institutions offer their
support and assistance to enable the orphanage to
continue the journey and perform its mission.
Twenty-two people are on staff, including the business
sector of accountants and secretaries, but also social
workers, teachers and cooks.
According to UNICEF reports, there are as many as one
hundred thousand orphans in the Valley. There is no
denying the fact that scores of orphanages operate in
the Valley. These orphanages are doing a commendable
job and deserve appreciation. However, these special
homes cater to the needs of two thousand orphans only.
Rest have been left by the indifferent society to fend
for themselves. Both the state and the society have an
important role to play viz-a-viz rehabilitation of
orphans. The state, for obvious reasons, has decided
not to help the orphans of militants. The society,
therefore, is left with no option but to take up the
challenge. According to International Journal of
Current Medical Science and Practice, the Valley
people used to adapt the orphans in their respective
localities before the militancy commenced. But during
the turmoil when this was needed most, the people
became indifferent. Even the surviving relatives of
the orphans have failed to provide succor to these
hapless souls. The problem, according to the Journal,
can be addressed and solved if the collective
conscience of the society awakens. But this is where
the problem lies. Gone are the days when the people
used to look in their neighbourhood for orphans and
widows. In contemporary times nobody has time for such
phinltrophic activities. Present day Kashmir is
predominantly Muslim in character. Muslims are under a
religious obligation to work for upbringing of the
orphans. Allah has made a mention of orphans at scores
of places in the Holy Quran and directed them to treat
them well. Similarly the last Messenger of Allah has
repeatedly urged Muslims to work for welfare and
rehabilitation of orphans. But the Muslims seem to
have ignored these teachings. The results are obvious.
The hapless souls are suffering and God forbid if
preventive measures are not taken now, the neglected
orphans can turn into anti-social elements. And if it
happens, the consequences can only be imagined. If
perceived from a religious point of view, the orphans
are not unfortunate or children of Lesser God. In
fact they are special children as they enable a Muslim
to achieve ultimate salvation. Therefore, by helping
an orphan a Muslim is actually helping himself.
Ignoring an orphan who lives in a neighbourhood is an
unpardonable sin. Allah the almighty shall take such
persons to task on the day of judgement. The problem
can be solved if people rise to the occasion. If there
are a handful of orphans in a particular locality, the
local people can feed them well on their own without
outside assistance. Contributing a few hundred rupees
every month for the welfare of orphans should not be a
problem for the well off persons who live in that
locality. The orphans do not need hefty sums. Yes,
money is needed but the orphans need love and
affection as well. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has shown
how orphans have to be taken care of. One has to get
personally involved in the job. This is the sunnah of
the Holy Prophet (SAW). The persons who cannot
contribute to orphan fund can be entrusted with the
job of interacting with orphans. Welfare of the
orphans is the collective responsibility of the
society. Every body has to play his role. Nobody can
escape responsibility. One who eats while his
neighbor starves is not a Muslim. This is what the
Last Messenger (SAW) of Allah has said.
Israeli Army Loots a Palestinian Orphanage
March 17, 2008
Who creates the violence and the terror attacks on
Israel, the Zionist regime itself or the charitable
organizations? Who is the real terrorist and criminal:
the IDF Central Command and its thugs, or the
charitable organizations which supply the Palestinian
orphans, the poor, and the children of poor families
Does Israel create peace and security for their
country with the regime of continued assassinations of
political activists, jailing youths, building
apartheid walls, increasing the number and brutality
of IDF checkpoints, confiscations of lands, murdering
children, destroying Palestinian houses and closing
the charities by the IDF, or is this regime just yet
another one in their long series of criminal actions
against humanity which bring shame and scandal to Jews
The Israeli military Commander of Hebron Colonel
Yehuda Fuchs said that "under our Laws, the military
can do whatever they want. And that none of the peace
agreements hinder the IDF activities in the occupied
On Tuesday, 26 February 2008, Major General Gadi
Shamni, GOC of the Central Command, issued several
criminal "military orders" to seize the infrastructure
and all property of the orphanage and daycare center
for children of the poor families in Hebron, which is
financed by charitable organization and is run by the
Palestinian Authority in Hebron. The immoral, illegal
and criminal orders issued by GOC Shamni was directed
against the Houses for Orphan Girls and Boys, the
House for Care of Babies (a daycare center), the "Cake
Bakeries", against shops which distribute clothing to
the orphans and to poor families, Trade center in the
city, food and flower stores, the stocks of food which
are also distributed to poor families, the physical
therapy institute, the barbershop, the library,
Salons, a supermarket, the Islamic schools for boys
and girls, and the Islamic chartable organization for
According to the illegal military order, 13500
orphans, 1000 poor families, 9000 school children,
2500 children receiving care, and 800 workers should
be cut off of their social and educational security,
their jobs destroyed, and the properties of these
charitable organizations must be transferred to the
property of GOC Gadi Shamni by 1st April 2008.
On Tuesday, 26 February 2008, the thugs under order of
the Hebron district Israeli military commander Yehuda
Fuchs and General Gadi Shamni, proceeded to illegally
appropriate eight lorries containing food and clothes
destined to the orphans under care of the center. A
large contingent of Israeli IDF troops raided the
premises of the orphanage, ransacking all the sleeping
rooms, offices, and other property belonging to the
charities, and destroying everything belonging to the
defenseless orphans under care of the charity. Colonel
Fuchs ordered the Israeli military to steal the food
and other property of the orphans, as well as those of
Abed Al- Khader Al-Kaisy, a Hebron resident who lives
with his two sons and their families over four shops
in a building which belong to the charities which the
Israeli military plans to appropriate.
The criminal commander Fuchs told Mr. Al-Kaisy: they
knew that he is not a member of Hamas but they had
orders to confiscate the shops. Fuchs added that under
emergency law the military can do whatever they want,
and that none of the peace agreements hinder the IDF
activities in the occupied cities.
Which emergency does Fuchs mean ? Is it necessary to
loot the food from the orphans, is it necessary to
provoke the inhabitants of a quite city ? What
emergency does this miserable and bloodthirsty thug
mean, exactly, which would justify stealing food from
the poorest of the poor ?
To add insult to injury. the food stolen from the
Palestinian orphans went to the kitchen of the
well-fed soldiers of the IDF at Colonel Yehuda Fuchs
Sheikh Dr. Taisir Rajab Al-Tamimi, the Chief of Judges
of the Palestinian Authority and the Chairman of High
Council of Islamic Law, commented on the illegal order
of Shamni and the behavior of the troops under orders
of Fuchs. He said that the soldiers and commanders
committed uncounted crimes against humanity in Hebron
and other Palestinian cities and towns every day, that
they are destroying the social, the economic,
industrial, and educational life in our homeland. He
described the closure of the orphans houses, schools,
and charities organizations as a clear violation to
the fourth Geneva Convention. According to this
convention, the GOC command and the Israeli occupation
authorities can not close, steal or otherwise
appropriate the public or the private property of
others and transfer them into their property.
Dr. Al-Tamimi clarified that the IDF order to close
the schools, the charities and the orphanage houses
and the theft of food, clothes, and the closure of the
bakery shops is a criminal action committed by unwise
commanders who are intent in seeding violence and
terror actions in Palestine and causing famine among
the people in the city of Hebron. Dr. Al-Tamimi
described Shamni and Fuchs as "an octopus who wants to
swallow the Palestinian land and property after
jailing the owners". Yes, the Octopus Fuch stole the
old city under his control and then started closing
the organizations under the the PA in other parts of
the city. This is Colonel Fuch, he is a real Octopus.
Mr. Abed Al-Kareem Farrah, the attorney of the Islamic
charitable organization said "I would like to
emphasize that our organization and our property is
under control and observation of the PA, and that
there is no official connection between us and Hamas.
Perhaps some of our workers belong to Hamas, just as
in other institutions such as the municipalities, but
there is no formal connection. And our financial
reports are open and transparent. We are in no way the
infrastructure of Hamas".
Mr. Farrah said that he would have been happy if the
IDF explained the steps it took, and what is permitted
or forbidden in terms of his organization. The
movement has already hired the services of Israeli
attorney Jawad Bulus, who will appeal before the
attorney general on behalf of their organizations and
try to overturn the evil decree and the irresponsible
and criminal decision of the IDF.
On Tuesday, 11 March 2008, over 8000 angry students
and Palestinian citizens representing Fatah, Hamas,
Jihad, Popular Committee, National Committee,
Democratic Committee, as well as PA officials
demonstrated in Hebron against the Israeli Illegal
decision of closing the charitable organizations which
helps orphans, poor families and youths. The
demonstrators affirmed their legal right to present
criminal complaints against the Israeli decision at
the International Criminal Court.
The direct perpetrators of this immoral crime, namely
Fuchs, Shamni, the Shin Bet, the Israeli Office of the
Prime Minister, the Israeli War Ministry, the
Americans, should not count on the strict limitations
of jurisdiction for the prosecution of genocide and
crimes against humanity set by most national
jurisdictions and by the ICC (for example) - there are
signs that these apparently so strict limitations of
jurisdiction do not hold in the special case of
Israel, and there are sound legal reasons for this.
The orders issued by Shamni are proof admissible in
court against him and others of grave crimes against
humanity, war crimes. His orders have no basis in any
law whatsoever - the so-called "British mandate"
(colonial occupation) never had any legitimacy
whatsoever, and their immoral "laws" expired together
with the end of their occupation, in 1948. By issuing
these orders, Shamni has exposed himself and others to
prosecution for imposing condition conducive to
genocide on the Palestinian population of Hebron, and
he should not count on the assurances of impunity by
people like Beinisch, who is herself a candidate for
The extremists and terrorists in the so-called "Civil
Administration", Shamni, Olmert, Fuchs, Barak,
Dichter, Sheetrit, Livni, Diskin and the other
planners, financers and perpetrators of genocide
against Palestinians should judiciously study the life
and demise of criminals like Ceaucescu, Eichmann,
Goebbels, Goering, Pinochet, Marcos, and many others.
Whatever they do to cover up their crimes, everything
is coming to light, and there will be no powerful
friends able or willing to provide protection.
Gadi Shamni must immediately rescind his criminal
orders and restore the orphanage and all its property
to the statu quo ante, the state it was in before his
soldiers rampaged through the premises. He must return
all stolen property, all food, clothes, and other
resources, he must repair all damages done to
buildings, private property, equipment of the
orphanage and all the other premises ransacked by his
Appeal to readers: Please contact the Israeli Embassy
in your country and ask them to return the stolen food
and clothes to the orphans of Hebron.