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60Sharia News Watch 61

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Jul 2, 2003
      Sharia News Watch 61 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:

      The Sharia News Watch provides a weekly update of news quotes on
      Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as provided by major news
      search engines. All Editions :


      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.
      http://www.brunei-online.com/bb/fri/jun27h1.htm - 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'
      http://www.ameinfo.com/news/Detailed/25556.html - 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
      for ever.
      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
      Temple Mount.
      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
      the opposition.
      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
      capital, Lilongwe.


      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
      foods .


      [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
      Frontier Province.

      [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
      cosmopolitan Lahore.
      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
      been caught.

      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
      religious groups.
      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
      ($265 million).

      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 -
      http://liimirror.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/17/107.html - 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%5d