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82Sharia News Watch 82

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Nov 10, 2003
      Sharia News Watch 82 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:

      The Sharia Newswatch provides a weekly update of news quotes on
      Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
      news- searchengines. All editions :


      Organ Transplants and the Opinion of the Islamic Sharia and the Law
      http://www.aps.dz/an/pageview.asp?ID=50860 - 08 Nov 03
      Dr. Beloucif also touched on the positions of the various religions
      which tolerate ending the life of clinically-maintained patients and
      consequently the possibility to use their bodies, and the position of
      other religions which reject this idea. Referring to the Islamic
      Sharia, which allows this operation, the Islamic Case Law Council,
      meeting on October 16th, 1986, allowed to disconnect intensive care
      devices if death has been certified by a doctor.
      Pr. Cherif pointed out that the issue of organ transplants has
      resulted in a serious polemic in Arab countries, especially Islam's
      opinion and its reliability, given these countries lagging behind in
      terms of medical technology. The speaker put forward the positions of
      the supporters and opponents of this technique, quoting Koran verses
      to reach "Fetwa" authorising organ transplants under certain
      conditions and legal rules.


      Repeat telecast of Ramadan programme - 09 Nov 03
      The popular Malayalam channel Kairali TV will show a repeat telecast
      of its much-sought-after Ramadan programme Shaharu Ramadan due to
      public demand. The programme telecast at 11pm UAE time will be
      telecast again the next day at 7pm UAE time from Monday to Friday.
      "This is the first time that we are using an English title song in our
      programme produced by the London-based Mountain of Light, an
      organisation of Yusuf Islam. The title song is very popular among the
      children from the Gulf region and from India," said a Press statement
      from the Pan Arabian Network, the producers of the programme on


      The Egyptian Controversy Over Circumcising Girls by B. Chernitsky
      http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=IA15203 - 07 Nov 03

      The Marriage Market - 10 Nov 03
      In the marriage market, the forces of supply and demand are visibly
      distorted: men who have both the means and desire to marry are in
      short supply, while women from their early 20s to early 30s search
      anxiously for their prince charming in a sea of unemployed,
      financially immobile and frustrated young bachelors. Informal marriage
      statistics indicate that the number of couples getting hitched is, in
      fact, declining, with 452,000 marriage contracts signed in 2002
      compared to 592,000 in 2000.
      Nevertheless, any observer of – or commodity on – the marriage market
      is well aware that, while a single man can expect to be introduced to
      plenty of potential arousas (brides), the market for an arees (groom)
      presents much slimmer pickings. "There is a critical shortage of
      grooms on the market – we have felt it in our home," related Mona
      Feris, one of seven daughters living in a lower middle-class
      neighborhood in Giza. Feris, 24, is already married and has one
      daughter. But five of her sisters are still waiting for Mr. Right –
      fully aware that the clock is ticking. After reaching 24 or 25 years
      of age, the women of this community – few of whom have much formal
      education – are popularly considered less desirable to would-be
      husbands. "We need a groom of the same class and financial status, who
      is from a good family and has a job. But there are few such men
      around," observed Feris.

      While the reasons may differ, women in the upper and upper-middle
      classes are also hard pressed to find satisfactory suitors. These
      women – generally more educated and often professionally driven – tend
      to enjoy greater independence from the traditional household gender
      roles. This, according to Malak Rouchdy, a sociologist at the American
      University in Cairo, leads them to demand more from marriage and
      society. "There are women of marriageable age who are not willing to
      compromise on their choices. For instance, many women now are not
      willing to abandon their jobs, for reasons of security," Rouchdy
      For most men, though, it's the size of their wallets, rather than
      their egos, which confines them to the matrimonial sidelines. In the
      West, the notion that professional doctors and lawyers represent the
      best "catches" has become a cliché. But, according to Rouchdy,
      marriage constitutes "suicide" for their Egyptian counterparts –
      thanks mainly to monthly salaries of around £E 500 [EUR 70,-] or less.
      But even mid-range salaries are seldom enough to envisage marriage in
      the short term. Ibrahim El Toukhy, a 31-year-old sales executive with
      the French-owned Accor hotel chain, brings in something in the
      neighborhood of £E 1,500 [EUR 210,-] monthly. Nevertheless, El Toukhy,
      a thirty-something graduate of economics and political science, isn't
      planning on getting married anytime soon. To start a family while
      maintaining his current standard of living, he said, he must earn a
      salary of at least £E 3,000. "Of course I can't afford to start a
      family with the income I'm getting now. This is the problem these
      In all social classes, well-developed familial and social networks
      serve to facilitate marriage. Membership at the neighborhood social
      club, or nadi, for instance, provides a perfect courting ground for
      young people of similar social standing. Once a potential match is
      identified, the groom and the bride's father must mutually negotiate
      the terms of the marriage contract, as well as a written timeline for
      complying with each clause. The first – and generally most important –
      obligation for the groom is to purchase an apartment.
      For those who don't have this option, however, buying an apartment at
      current market prices – even by installment – can take years. But
      since most Egyptian families frown upon rented apartments, especially
      the furnished kind (generally considered the preserve of rootless
      expats and vacationing Gulf Arabs), they are given little choice.
      Another important marriage-related expense that must be borne by the
      groom's side is the mahr, a sum of money paid to the bride's family
      for the purpose of furnishing the newlyweds' home. Going prices for
      the mahr differ based on the financial status of the families
      involved, but they usually start – in Cairo, anyway – at about £E
      10,000 [EUR 1.400,-], the bear minimum needed to furnish an urban
      flat. Sometimes, however, in lieu of the mahr, families agree to split
      furniture expenses between them. The groom is also expected to buy a
      shabka, or a token gift of gold jewelry, which he presents to the
      bride-to-be amid the oohs and aahs of family and friends. The bride's
      family may request a shabka worth anywhere from £E 3,000 – for a
      wedding band, two bracelets and a necklace with a pendant – to more
      than £E 50,000 for a high-grade diamond jewelry set.

      Ever pragmatic, the possibility of divorce in also considered before
      the nuptial is forged. The ayma, for one, is a legal document included
      in the marriage contract listing the legal possessions of the woman,
      while the mu'akhar is a promise of payment to the bride in the event
      that the groom divorces her. The mu'akhar generally ranges from £E
      5,000 to £E 20,000 in lower and middle income groups, and can reach up
      to £E 50,000 or more in the upper classes – or in cases where the
      groom has divorced previously.
      Those of a lower-income bracket, meanwhile, tack their prestige to the
      youm el-farsh ('day of the furniture'), which occurs about a week
      before the official wedding party. On this day, families conspicuously
      display all the newlyweds' furniture, often towing it on the backs of
      pickups or horse-drawn carts to give the entire neighborhood a chance
      to appreciate the openhandedness of the groom's family. A growing
      number of more affluent Egyptians, however, are becoming more cynical
      about traditional marriage customs, likening them to auctions rather
      than celebrations of mutual love. "The customs, I think, are silly.
      It's not a business deal. A lot of girls aren't really interested in
      all these things," insisted Amira.
      The price of gold, linked to the price of the dollar, has risen
      enormously: from about £E 45 per gram at the end of 2002 to £E 68 in
      mid-October of this year. "More and more families are agreeing to buy
      only two rings for the bride and use the extra money to buy something
      essential for the apartment instead, such as a washing machine," Abd
      Allah explained.
      According to Ahmed Mohamed, the 31-year-old owner of a workshop in
      Haram that sells wood to local furniture builders, modest-income
      couples that could fully furnish their homes for £E 10,000 before the
      devaluation now must shell out an additional £E 5,000 for the same
      mobilia, or furnishings. This, he explained, is due to a 30- to 60-
      percent increase in the price of wood, which is imported from places
      such as Russia, Finland, Indonesia, Sweden and Romania. .. Other
      essential building materials, including paint, are also imported in
      whole or in part. The price of painting a 100-square-meter apartment,
      therefore, has jumped in price from £E 800 to £E 1,200, according to
      Fayez Said, owner of El Yosr paint store in Giza.


      French Bishops Oppose Headscarf Ban - 07 Nov 03
      At a gathering in Lourdes, French Bishops jointly expressed their
      opposition to the law banning headscarves. "I am not sure that this
      solution will contribute to social peace," said Cardinal Philippe
      Barbarin in a statement to the Agency France Press (AFP). He added
      that France was a country of human rights where everyone practiced
      their religions freely. Stressing that Muslims were French citizens
      like everyone else, Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin underlined that the law was
      intended for an "imaginary and general" perception of Islam.


      Pointing the Car Toward Mecca - 10 Nov 03
      Frank Deworetzki, an inventor for Mannesmann, in Frankfurt, offers a
      solution. Two weeks ago Mr. Deworetzki patented a navigational system
      for automobiles that not only shows the driver where he or she is
      headed but also shows the direction of Mecca at all times. Moreover,
      the system can be programmed to play prayer calls at the appropriate
      times. During Ramadan, the month of daytime religious fasting, which
      begins today in the United States, the system alerts drivers to the
      time of sunrise and sunset, wherever they may be. Mr. Deworetzki could
      not be reached for comment, and the system does not seem to be
      available yet. It is patent No.6,633,813. David M. Thimmig, the patent
      lawyer who shepherded the application through the patent office for
      Siemens, which owns Mannesmann, said the patent was much broader than
      simply a way to know the location of Mecca. ''You can use this
      technology to know where your grandmother's house is at all times if
      you want to,'' said Mr. Thimmig
      Abdelhamid I. Sabra, a professor in the department of the history of
      science at Harvard, said historically religious authorities often
      opposed innovative thought in the Islamic world. From the 9th century
      to the 14th century, however, Islamic mathematicians were obsessed
      with figuring out how to calculate the position of Mecca from
      different locations. In the course of this quest, they proposed a
      variety of novel trigonometric solutions. For a medieval historian
      like Professor Sabra, the new technology puts a modern gloss on
      age-old knowledge. ''Mathematically, this problem was solved centuries
      ago,'' he said.


      [Jammu & Kashmir] Man's ears slashed for drinking during Ramzan
      http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_454150,0008.htm - 10 Nov 03
      Late Sunday, a group of unidentified persons barged into Lone's house
      in Naidihal village near Bandipore town, 40 km from here, dragged him
      out and slashed both his ears. .. He was attacked because he was a
      habitual boozer. He would often come home in a drunken state and start
      shouting," said a neighbour. Lone's defiance of Islam's ban on
      alcohol, and that too during Ramzan, appears to have evoked the wrath
      of his attackers, the police said.


      Hip mullahs - 09 Nov 03

      Ramadhan stampede kills 3 - 08 Nov 03
      A rush for free gifts at a charity event marking the Muslim fasting
      month of Ramadhan ended in a stampede, killing three elderly women and
      leaving one in a coma, a government official said Friday. The stamped
      occurred when a rich Indonesian family was handing out traditional
      Muslim gifts and cash to around a thousand poor people outside their
      house in a south Jakarta suburb, said Wahyu Hidayat, a local
      government official. The three women were killed when people at the
      back of the crowd surged forward because they feared the gifts would
      run out, he said. Jakarta's rich, who often live in palatial mansions
      bordering on slums, often give food and money to their neighbours
      during the fasting month. Charity is one of the five pillars of Islam,
      and it is viewed as especially meritorious during Ramadhan.

      Two million to leave Jakarta for holiday - 10 Nov 03
      More than two million people are expected to leave the Indonesian
      capital in an annual exodus that marks the end of the Muslim fasting
      month this year, a newspaper report said Sunday.
      Indonesians traditionally prefer to spend the festival with family and
      friends. This leads to a massive movement out of urban centers in the
      weeks leading to the end of the fasting month that falls on November
      26 this year, testing the limited transport network.

      Island bans all daylight eating during Ramadan - 07 Nov 03
      The government on Bengkalis island, in the Malacca Strait south of
      Singapore, has ordered inspectors to patrol street restaurants, called
      warungs, to ensure no one is eating during the holy month. "Officers
      of the district (carry out) regular checks on who eats at these
      premises during fasting time," local author Isma Selamat said. He said
      for local Muslims the order was unprecedented, and several people were
      arrested late last month as the holy month got underway. "In the past,
      until recently, the people who did not fast could be seen eating and
      drinking at restaurants," he told the website Islam Online. The ruling
      was ordered by the local mayor with approval from the governor of the
      island chain.
      in Bengkalis, Selamat said some people were also arrested for gambling
      at the start of Ramadan after they were caught playing cards. "The
      whole thing is a process of educating those who normally would not
      fast ...that they cannot defy others by eating in public," local mayor
      Rozali Saidun said. "It will also teach them that in this auspicious
      holy month, Muslims of age must engage totally in the sacrifices of
      Ramadan." Resource-rich Bengkalis has a population of half a million,
      with 90 per cent Muslim and the rest mostly ethnic Chinese.

      Most of the oil and gas are found on smaller islands in Riau. One such
      island is Bengkalis, recently visited by IslamOnline as part of a trip
      to Muslim dominated areas in the South East Asian Region, or ASEAN.
      The island of Bengkalis has strategic and political importance in the
      Malacca straits and is seen as a launching pad for the Islamization
      drive in Riau. Run by Syamsul Rizall, the administrator of the
      island, Bengkalis is currently gearing itself for more integration
      towards Islam and its socio-economic and political principles.


      Mosques on Front Line of Battle With U.S. - 10 Nov 03
      It was Friday prayers at Haibat Khatoun mosque, and the imam faced
      worshippers to deliver a fiery sermon accusing American troops of
      insulting the Muslim holy book and trampling the honor of women.
      "It's not enough for them to defile the land, they also wanted to
      defile God's book and then violate the sanctities of Muslims,'' the
      preacher shouted, his words carried into the street by loudspeakers.
      "The grandsons of monkeys and pigs, who don't know their mothers or
      fathers, trespass on the book of God!''
      Some mosques in Mosul have become channels for anti-American rhetoric,
      drumming on Muslim resentments over perceptions of Western dominance
      and painting the occupation as a religious struggle. While arguing
      that many clerics espouse pro-occupation views, American officials say
      they are keeping an eye on mosques that could be fueling resistance to
      the coalition administration. But they say local Iraqi authorities
      have removed only one imam in Mosul for anti-U.S. speeches.
      The preacher at Haibat Khatoun talked about an Oct. 21 incident in
      which U.S. soldiers sparked outrage when they tried to use a sniffer
      dog to search the handbag of a female employee at the Oil Ministry in
      Baghdad. The woman's bag contained a copy of the Quran, and Muslims
      consider dogs to be dirty animals. Witnesses said that when the woman
      resisted the search, the soldiers threw the Quran on the ground and
      arrested her. Military officials have had no comment on the incident.
      The imam also said "the forces of the infidels'' went to arrest three
      people in the Khaldiya area but took away their wives instead when
      they didn't find the men. In traditional societies like Iraq's, men's
      honor is linked to what happens to the women of their families.
      A group of Sunni clerics in Mosul, the Association of Muslim Scholars
      in Iraq, issued a statement Friday warning people against cooperating
      with U.S. forces. "Beware of supporting the occupiers and know that
      contacting them, without a legitimate necessity, is sinful,'' it said.

      Iraqi cleric tones down anti-U.S. rhetoric - 09 Nov 03
      Muqtada al-Sadr's new tone may have more to do with fear of arrest
      than any decision to abandon his quest for leadership of Iraq's Shiite
      majority, coalition officials believe. Nonetheless, it's a radical
      departure for the 30-year-old al-Sadr, whose fiery anti-American
      sermons raised fears of a new front in the battle against the American
      occupation. In a rapid rise to prominence this year, backed by young
      clerics and mostly poor, urban Shiites, he challenged the religious
      elders of Iraq's Shiite leadership.
      During last Friday's sermon in the ancient city of Kufa, al-Sadr
      chanted "No, No to colonialism" and thousands of young worshippers
      squatting on straw mats, rugs and cardboard pieces across the sandy
      courtyard of the city's main mosque repeated after him with a
      deafening noise. There also were shouts of "No, No to Israel," but,
      significantly, not "No, No to America." "Colonialism" is a thinly
      veiled reference to the U.S. occupation of Iraq, but the fact that the
      United States was not mentioned by name was further evidence that
      al-Sadr was at pains not to provoke Iraq's new master. In an
      English-language open letter to the American people - distributed in
      his movement's publication, al-Sadr wrote, "Iraqi people love and
      intend no harm to you." "There is no enemy of Iraq but Saddam the
      destroyer and his cronies, whom we denounce until Judgment Day and
      they are in immortal hell," he wrote.


      Despite Ramadan, Arab Book Fair does great business - 08 Nov 03
      Despite falling in the middle of the month of Ramadan, the 47th Arab
      Book Fair in Expo Beirut attracted a high number of visitors,
      according to the fair's sponsors. "We were surprised to see an
      increase in the number of visitors and in the number of book sales."

      Ramadan still follows older traditions in Tripoli - 07 Nov 03
      in Tripoli, as in Sidon, technology hasn't yet extinguished what once
      was. The musahher (a young boy with a drum) still beats his drum every
      day at dawn, to wake people up and mark the beginning of a new day in
      the holy month. Most of the time, the people are already awake because
      Tripoli's streets and shops are full of life until way past midnight.
      Restaurants and shops keep their doors open. At sunset, the cannon
      blasts, again, indicating that it's time for prayer and iftar.
      The meal usually includes soup, fattoush, fatteh, kebbe nayeh as well
      as the main dish, which is usually rice with meat. As for the drinks,
      there's a wide variety to choose from. Kharnoub, jallab, raspberry and
      licorice are favorites in Tripoli, but there are also juices such as
      apple, orange and carrot. Then, dessert is served. ward al-sham
      (baklava stuffed with achta, or cream) and basma (also known as
      ismaliyeh) are Tripoli's specialties, and usually, they can be found
      only during Ramadan.


      Mosque plans put on hold - 10 Nov 03
      Plans are now on hold for a Saudi charity with alleged al Qaeda links
      to help fund projects at a Christchurch mosque. Last month community
      leaders wrote to the government concerned over a proposed deal with
      [Saudi] al Haramain. Its Bosnian and Somalian branches have been
      blacklisted by the United States, which claims they were funding
      terrorist activity. The SIS and the police are still investigating the
      claims made in the letter. But the mosque is now considering an offer
      from the Kuwaiti government for funding to promote Islam.


      [Kaduna] Sharia: Two Convicts to Be Amputated - 10 Nov 03
      All is set for the amputation of the limbs of two men convicted by a
      Sharia court in Zaria. The convicts are currently being detained at
      the Zaria Central Prison. The Kaduna State Grand Khadi, Dr Maccido
      Ibrahim, who announced this at a Ramadan fast-breaking ceremony at the
      palace of the Emir of Zauzzau, Dr Shehu Idris, said the judgment
      signalled the effective take-off of the Sharia legal code in Kaduna.
      He described critics of the Sharia law as ignorant people who are
      uninformed about the islamic code of jurisprudence. Although the grand
      khadi neither gave details of the court that handed down the
      amputation judgment nor the persons involved, he announced the
      constitution of a three-member panel of judges to study the judgment
      of the court. He said the panel would begin sitting this week.
      The grand khadi said it was misleading to think that the enforcement
      of the sharia law in Kaduna was not possible. He explained that
      "government does not believe in celebrating the punishment of any
      offender and government does not have to call the press to announce
      the punishment of an offender for his bad deeds. This would amount to
      celebrating bad deeds." He advocated an overhaul of the emirate system
      in the north, to reflect what the grand khadi described as islamic
      fundamentals in governance.
      Kaduna has an almost equal number of indigenous Christians and Moslems
      who occupy the southern and northern parts of the state respectively.


      Alliances, loyalties rule in Pakistan border area - Jaish-e-Mohammed

      Pakistan paper notes "puzzle" of UK national's disappearance - 07 Nov
      .. [Daily Ausaf in Urdu]
      Tariq's friend Rizwan told the family in London that the FIA [Federal
      Investigation Agency officials] had arrested him and Tariq in
      Islamabad on 4 October. Later, Rizwan was deported, but Tariq is still
      under arrest. Therefore, the family contacted their relatives. It was
      learned that no one was aware of Tariq's whereabouts. That is why the
      family came to Pakistan. Some people told them that newspapers had
      published a report that Tariq Mahmood had been arrested on the
      suspicion of having links with the Al-Qa'idah. Tariq had grown beard
      as the Shariat [Islamic jurisprudence] had ordained. To be a bearded
      person is obligatory for the Muslims, but Tariq's disappearance in
      such a way is not in conformity with the norms of humanity.

      Unique Hafiz-e-Quran boy fascinates reception - 10 Nov 03
      An Iranian boy (11) who learnt the Holy Quran by heart (Hafiz-e-Quran)
      by the age of six, fascinated people at a reception arranged by
      Iranian Consulate General Muhammad Khodadi. .. The child
      Hafiz-e-Quran Mahyar Hussain Pur and another Huffaz-e-Quran team who
      were invited to the reception are on tour in Pakistan. .. The unique
      child displays a special skill in learning the Holy Quran by heart. He
      has learnt the Holy Quran of recognized publishers Usman Taha and he
      can tell the people which verse of the Holy Quran was printed on which
      page and line.

      Notices issued in Shia marriage row - 08 Nov 03
      The Federal Shariat Court has issued notices to Attorney General of
      Pakistan and advocates-general of provinces to assist the court if the
      family court has powers to dissolve the marriage of Shia couples.

      The petitioner, Ali S. Sheikh, stated before the Federal Shariat Court
      that as per Fiqh Jaafria, a marriage could be dissolved only through
      pronouncement of Talaq by reciting of "Seeghas" in the presence of
      wife or her representative/s and two witnesses, and the family court
      had no jurisdiction to pass a decree under the Dissolution of the
      Marriage Act, 1939. The petitioner's wife has obtained a decree of
      dissolution of marriage from the family court by filing a suit for the
      dissolution of marriage. The petitioner stated that the power of the
      court to dissolve the marriage, was in violation of the holy Quran and

      He further said that the judges of the family court were ordinary
      civil judges and not religious scholars and thus they could not
      pronounce the dissolution of marriage of a Muslim couple. He further
      stated that a woman could not claim divorce just by deposing in a
      court that she was not prepared to live with her husband. He prayed to
      the court to declare that the dissolution of marriage by the family
      courts under the Dissolution of Marriage Act, 1939, as repugnant to
      injunctions of the holy Quran and Sunnat.

      Accused facing blasphemy charges acquitted - 07 Nov 03
      Additional Sessions judge Muhammad Amjad Pervez has acquitted an
      accused facing the charges of blasphemy. The blasphemy case was
      registered by city police Toba. As soon as the accused was exonerated,
      he bowed his head before Almighty Allah. SM Sadiq, the accused was
      standing in a Photostat machine shop and taking Photostat copies of a
      book entitled " criminals of Islam" written by Dr Shabbir Ahmad.
      Certain sacrilegious words were used against the last prophet Hazrat
      Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Four Caliphs, Ummahat ul Mom-e-Neen and
      Ehl-e-Bait in the book. The court dismissed the charges levelled by
      the prosecution observing that the writer has quoted references from
      certain religious books. The book is aimed to reform the society by
      pinpointing the objectionable references. The writer has not added
      even a word from his side. The court regretted over registration of
      case remarking that police authority has demonstrated extremely
      irresponsible attitude on a religion specific matter.

      NCSW divided on stoning to death punishment - 08 Nov 03
      The Special Committee of the National Commission on the Status of
      Women (NCSW) on Hudood Ordinance is divided on whether Rajam (stoning
      to death) punishment comes under Hadd or Tazeer. However, members of
      the committee have agreed that the issue needs detailed study and
      should be further discussed. The special committee, which has
      recommended repealing of Hudood laws in its final recommendations
      during its deliberation, could not decide about Rajam, as to whether
      it is Hadd or Tazeer punishment.

      The committee reviewed and discussed the punishment of 'Rajam' as
      prescribed in the Offence of Zina Ordinance. This punishment is
      mentioned in Sections 5(2)(a) and 6(3)(a) of the Ordinance that
      defines and prescribes Zina liable to Hadd for Mohsin and Mohsina, and
      Zina-bil-Jabr along with the prescribed punishments for both. The
      discussion was held in the context of inclusion of Rajam as a
      punishment under Hadd in the offence of Zina. The subject of debate on
      this issue was raised over the fact that the punishment of Rajam is
      not derived from the Quran, but is in fact a punishment implemented
      through Sunnat as a customary punishment of those times for such

      It was agreed that for the Offence of Zina the prescribed punishment
      in the Quran is 100 stripes as given in Surah Noor verse 2. In
      addition to the Quranic prescribed punishment of 100 lashes/stripes,
      Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also inflicted the punishment of
      stoning, though selectively, in a case where a married person
      committed the offence of adultery. Nevertheless, there were instances
      where even a married person was not awarded Rajam. Hence, the
      punishment of Rajam was awarded in some cases and waived in others.
      Noor Mohammad Shahtaj and Dr S.M. Zaman were of the view that Sunnat
      was an equally significant source of legal interpretation of laws and,
      hence, its value must not be undermined even in cases of Hadd.
      Dr Farida Ahmed supported this view and stated that since the holy
      prophet had awarded punishment of Rajam in case of Zina (Hadd), Rajam
      should be considered as a Hadd punishment. Rahila Durrani also
      supported the view that Sunnat could not be differentiated from the
      Quran for the purposes of interpretation for the offence of Zina.

      The arguments raised in this context was that Rajam; (a) could not be
      considered as Hadd within the accepted meaning of that term because
      Hadd is a fixed penalty for a fixed crime under fixed conditions, and
      therefore, cannot be remitted or dropped, and (b) it is not a
      prescribed punishment in the Quran. The verse of Surah Noor mentioning
      the punishment for the offence of Zina is general and does not even
      distinguish between married and unmarried adulterers. Rajam was
      carried out as an additional extra-Quranic punishment in view of the
      aggravated situation arising from the marital status of the adulterer,
      and was therefore Tazeer.

      However, Syed Afzal Haider, another committee member, suggested that
      this issue needed further research and study in which; (a) the timing
      of the revelation of Surah Noor and the carrying out of Rajam be
      determined in order to find out the underlying principle applied in
      this punishment, and (b) the number and exact circumstances in which
      the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) had awarded Rajam be determined
      to verify whether it was inflicted as an exception or as a rule.
      Therefore, the committee agreed that these points required detailed
      study and needed to be discussed further.

      Pakistan encourages Islamic schools to diversify - 06 Nov 03
      Pakistan's Islamic seminaries, often hotbeds of fundamentalism, are
      signing up to a scheme to extend teaching beyond religious subjects in
      an effort to root out extremism, Pakistan's foreign minister said on
      Thursday. Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri said Pakistan was encouraging
      the seminaries, or madrassahs, to accept state cash to teach more
      subjects, in a drive to limit the appeal of the radical Islamic
      Taliban and other extremist groups.
      "The only way you can tackle such beliefs is by education," Kasuri
      told a conference in Brussels. The government scheme encourages the
      madrassahs to teach subjects besides religion, such as English,
      computers and Pakistan studies. "If they do that, we help them with
      salaries of teachers and in various other ways. About 20 percent, I
      think, have registered so far and we are encouraging others to do so."

      Socialites turn to Islam in Pakistan - 08 Nov 03
      A new breed of Pakistanis is turning to Islam inspired by a scholastic
      approach to the religion – the educated female elite. Women like Dr
      Farhat Hashmi are bringing a contemporary perspective to the teaching
      of the Quran. It appeals to followers like Naila Shahid, who always
      wanted to study Islam in greater depth but balked when hearing the
      preachers talk of heaven and hell and the purdah (veil).
      To teach the aspiring students, the new breed of women scholars uses
      modern methods. One such teacher, Huma Hassan, addresses weekly
      informal gatherings at a private residence in Karachi. The women who
      attend are mostly socialites. Hassan translates and explains Quranic
      verses with the help of multimedia presentations projected on to a
      screen. But it isn't just the modern methods that appeal - the
      teachers do too. Bushra Kausar, a regular at Al Huda, says: "Dr Hashmi
      relates the Quran to everyday experiences."
      About 1,200 women signed up for Dr Hashmi's year-long course on
      Quranic translation in Karachi last year. Such was the scholar's
      renown that the last session, open to the public, drew almost 10,000
      women from all over the city. "It's very difficult to give a reason
      for this trend," says Farah Moazzam, a journalist who heads Al Huda's
      mass communication department.


      Hudna, resistance and war on Islam - 12 Nov 03
      .. [Graham Usher met Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas founder and spiritual
      leader, in his house in Gaza's impoverished Sabra district] ..


      Qataris shy away from Imam's job - 09 Nov 03
      Several young religious Qataris interested in taking up jobs as Imams
      and Khateebs at mosques have blamed the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic
      Affairs for not helping them enhance their qualifications and
      knowledge. Qataris form only around six per cent of the total number
      of Imams in the country. According to ministry officials, out of 700
      Imams who lead the daily prayers, only 41 are Qatari, while out of the
      total of 340 preachers (khateebs) in the country, only 31 are
      nationals. Many young Qataris interviewed by The Peninsula yesterday
      said the ministry did not show interest in supporting them to gain
      enough skills in the field of Da'wa. They said the meagre salaries
      offered for the post of Imam (around QR1,000 per month)[EUR 240,-]
      and Khateeb (QR2,500 to QR3,000)[EUR 600 - 716] is another reason
      pushing young Qataris away from the profession.
      According to the Dean of the Faculty of Shariah, Law and Islamic
      Studies at Qatar University, Dr Abdul Hameed Al Ansari, the faculty
      has graduated 1,913 students during the past 25 years. Among them 116
      Qataris specialised in Islamic studies, and most of them did not join
      the field of Dawa and presentation of Islam. In recent comments to an
      Arabic daily, he said most of the expatriate Khateebs are not familiar
      with the needs of the Qatari society. "We need Qataris, who understand
      the social, cultural and religious ethos of this country, to deliver
      the Friday sermons," he said. Mohammed, a Khateeb in Doha and a high
      school teacher, blamed the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs for
      not having a proper programme to adequately train Khateebs. "The
      ministry focuses on seasonal lectures at the Da'wa Department. This is
      not enough for interested young Qataris to be in a position to deliver
      sermons. A few of them are sent to the university in Ras Al Khaimah,
      UAE," he said. Also, he said, the ministry gets "readymade" Khateebs
      from other Muslim nations, so it is not too serious about developing
      Qatari youths. He called upon the ministry to allocate more funds to
      increase the salaries as well.


      2 Militants Blow Themselves Up in Mecca - 06 Nov 03
      Twelve to 17 militants were involved in the shootout [in a Riyadh
      neighborhood], according to residents and a police officer on the
      scene. Members of the religious police stopped an AP reporter from
      finishing interviews with male onlookers because she was "shamelessly
      mingling with men." In Saudi Arabia, men and women are allowed to mix
      only if they are related.

      Saudi authorities deploy 5,000 Saudi police - 10 Nov 03
      At least 5,000 Saudi police and soldiers have been deployed in Islam's
      holy city of Mecca to protect an estimated 2.5 million pilgrims during
      the last two weeks of Ramadan, a security source said Monday.
      .. About two million foreign pilgrims and 500,000 Saudis are expected
      to throng Mecca over the last 10 days of the Muslim fasting month of
      Ramadan, which was at its half-way point on Monday.


      Singer N'dour records Islam album - 10 Nov 03
      Senegalese singer Youssou N'dour has released an album devoted to
      Muslim religious figures. N'dour said he wanted to show a positive
      view of Islam at a time when his faith was being misinterpreted.
      The album - Sant Allah (Homage to God) in Senegal's Wolof language -
      marks a departure for one of West Africa's most popular artists.
      The album includes tributes to Muslim leaders such as Sheikh Amadou
      Bamba, founder of Mouridism, Senegal's Muslim brotherhood. N'dour,
      best known to western audiences for his 1994 hit Seven Seconds with
      Neneh Cherry, first made his name outside Africa working with Peter
      Gabriel in the 1980s. It is not the first time the Senegalese
      superstar has made political statements. In March he postponed what
      should have been the biggest US tour of his career to protest against
      the war in Iraq.


      31 killed in Sudan stampede - 09 Nov 03
      Thirty-one people have been killed and 46 others injured in a stampede
      for charity donations in Sudan. Health Minister Sadik al-Milaik said
      scores of poor rushed to collect "zakat" - or Islamic alms - being
      distributed by an association of benevolent businessmen on Saturday in
      the northeastern city of Port Sudan. He said the place was too small
      for the crowd of poor people, many of them beggars, and the crush
      resulted in 31 people dying of suffocation. Among the dead were 16
      women and 10 children.


      Swedish Imam says Islam forbids female circumcision - 10 Nov 03
      Female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, is forbidden under
      Islam, a dominant religion in countries where it is practised, a
      leading Swedish Muslim leader told an international conference on
      Monday. .. "I as Imam would like, with my colleagues, to turn to the
      Islamic world, particularly in Africa, and inform people that female
      genital mutilation is prohibited," said Sheik Omar Ahmed. "It is a
      matter of abuse and violation of the female body and is quite clearly
      forbidden according to Islam," he told delegates from 13 African
      countries, Sweden and international bodies such as the World Health
      Organisation. Imams, whose role as mosque prayer leaders gives them
      great influence in Muslim communities, differ in their interpretation
      of Muslim teachings. .. Sweden staged the two-day conference to
      coordinate action against genital mutilation in its own immigrant
      community and overseas, with the aim of total eradication by 2010.


      Turks must fast again after imam's false call - 07 Nov 03
      A Muslim cleric has mistakenly forced an extra day of fasting for the
      Ramadan holy month on people in a Turkish town by reading the call to
      prayer five minutes early, officials say. Veysel Mat, the imam in the
      Black Sea town of , apparently miscalculated the time of sundown on
      Thursday and read the prayer early, causing people to break fast five
      minutes too soon. He read it again after realising his error. But
      those who accidentally broke the fast must now refrain from eating for
      one more day at the end of Ramadan, provincial mufti Kemal Turksoy
      told Reuters on Friday.
      "I was one of the people who had just sat down for the evening meal
      when we heard the call to prayer again five minutes later. It was very
      distressing," local administrator Ali Uslanmaz said. Turksoy said it
      was not clear how many people had been affected by the false call.
      There are 10 mosques in Akcakoca, a town of 25,000 people, and they
      are linked by a central broadcasting system.


      Fantasy queen mistaken for Prophet's wife - 10 Nov 03
      First, the picture's caption described it as depicting one of the
      wives of the prophet Mohammed. It was a concept that many Muslim
      visitors condemned as an act of blasphemy - since the Muslim faith
      prohibits human representations of the prophet, his wives or
      relatives. But when, having rebuffed a number of complaints, the
      gallery conducted some historical research, it discovered a second
      gaffe: the painting of Ayesha was never intended to show one of
      Mohammed's wives at all. The woman was more likely to have been Queen
      Ayesha, a character from She, the classic novel by H Rider Haggard.

      In a letter to complainants and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee,
      the Tate's director, Stephen Deuchar, said the picture was first
      exhibited in 1887 at the Royal Academy, and had been on display in
      Britain many times since. Mr Deuchar wrote: "Our new research
      indicates clearly that this portrait was not in fact intended to be a
      representation of the prophet Mohammed's wife, and that the
      unsubstantiated suggestion that she was derives from speculation made
      in our picture records some decades ago. Many branches of Islam see
      the making of images of the prophet's family as an unacceptable
      imitation of actions only God can perform.
      Aaffreen Khan, speaking for the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, said
      that the campaign was a good example of the Muslim community in
      Britain being pro-active: "We are delighted that our campaign against
      the false label of the painting has borne success. The idea of a
      painting of the prophet Mohammed's wife was absurd. It just shows the
      level of ignorance there is about Islam and its practice"

      'Muslims using Christianity for back-door entry into Britain' - 08 Nov
      Muslim asylum seekers could increasingly use a ''back door'' entry
      into Britain by converting to Christianity once they arrive, a High
      Court judge has warned. Following the case of an Iranian Muslim,
      Farshid Shirazi, who initially failed to gain asylum but succeeded in
      having his case reconsidered after he was baptized into the Church of
      England, and claiming that he could face execution in Iran for
      abandoning Islam, Lord Justice Sedley said yesterday that the case
      would create a ''back door to asylum''.

      UK Sport deny insensitivity in Ramadan row - 07 Nov 03
      British anti-doping chiefs have stressed they are sensitive to
      athletes' religious beliefs after becoming embroiled in a row over
      testing a footballer during the Muslim holy month of Ramadam. UK
      Sport's chief executive Richard Callicott said on Thursday that no
      athlete would be forced to compromise their religious beliefs after
      Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan said one of his players,
      Christian Negouai, had been forced to break his fast earlier this
      week. Keegan said the defender, a Muslim, had been "very upset" at
      having to drink liquids in order to provide testers with a urine
      sample and the former England coach said he wanted to discuss the
      matter with UK Sport.
      Frenchman Negouai has been targeted by the authorities for more
      frequent testing after being found guilty of failing to take a test
      last season. The Frenchman was fined 2,000 pounds ($3,350) after
      admitting he had forgotten to meet testers on that occasion and is now
      regularly screened for drugs. Keegan said that, despite the player's
      religious beliefs, he advised the 28-year-old to give a sample because
      of the scrutiny currently surrounding drugs in football.

      Pack in fags for good at Ramadan - 08 Nov 03
      Members of the Muslim community in Warwickshire are urged to improve
      their health by stopping tobacco use for good during the holy month of
      Ramadan. Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service said Ramadan - where
      Muslims stop eating, drinking, smoking and chewing tobacco during the
      hours of daylight - is a chance to give up for good.
      Free Warwickshire said: "Many Muslims chew tobacco. People who chew
      tobacco products are over five times more likely to develop oral
      cancer as a result.


      [Viginia] 3 Men Sentenced in Jihad Paintball Case - 07 Nov 03
      Three men accused of practicing military tactics at a paintball field
      outside Washington were sentenced to prison Friday for their roles in
      a Virginia jihad network that trained members to support a Pakistani
      terrorist group. .. They were part of a group of 11 men accused of
      training at the paintball field to support Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a Muslim
      extremist group trying to oust India from the disputed region of
      Kashmir. They were accused of training from early 2000 through last
      May in the Washington suburbs and other locations.

      Seeing opportunity, Hallmark targets Muslim market - 07 Nov 03
      Single cards and a multi-pack have been issued this fall to celebrate
      Eid al-Fitr, a day of rejoicing among Muslims to mark the end of the
      month-long fast of Ramadan. .. "It was just a strong, strategic
      business decision,'' says Deidre Parkes, a spokeswoman for the
      greeting card giant based in Kansas City, Mo. She added that the early
      reaction has been overwhelming, with many venues immediately selling
      out of the cards.
      One place this new marketing trend is most noticeable is in children's
      products. NoorArt, a Livonia, Mich., company, specializes in taking
      Western-type children's items and adapting them to be religiously
      appropriate. The company now offers a talking school bus that teaches
      Arabic. It also has a board game called Race to the Kabah which is
      modeled after Chutes and Ladders and teaches the 99 names of Allah.
      It's biggest seller, though, is the Razanne doll. There are several
      versions of the doll, available in a variety of outfits, most with
      veils. While sometimes called the :Muslim Barbies,'' the Razanne dolls
      actually have pre-teen bodies rather than the curvy Mattel version.


      U.N. ban on cloning blocked - 07 Nov 03

      The Bush administration suffered a setback yesterday in its campaign
      for a global ban on all forms of human cloning, as key European allies
      and dozens of Islamic states that support therapeutic cloning blocked
      consideration of the issue at the United Nations until the end of
      2005. The action yesterday drew expressions of relief from the medical
      and scientific community's advocates, who warned that a total ban
      would stifle progress in the development of life-saving medicines. It
      elicited criticism from conservative U.S. Christian groups that
      believe cloning violates the sanctity of life.

      It also exposed the deep political and religious differences between
      the United States and the Islamic world, which does not recognize that
      life begins at conception and opposes prohibitions on "therapeutic
      cloning," which involves the medical and scientific use of human
      embryos. "Therapeutic cloning is acceptable universally by all the
      Shia and the Sunni Muslims," said Abdulaziz Sachedina, an expert on
      the ethics of cloning in Islam at the University of Virginia's
      Department of Religious Studies. "Embryos don't have the same sanctity
      (that they do in the Christian faith). They are not regarded as a
      person in any sense."

      The evangelicals who like to giftwrap Islamophobia - 10 Nov 03
      .. [The world's largest children's Christmas project has a toxic
      agenda] .. US evangelicals employ a selective biblical literalism to
      support a theology that systematically confuses the kingdom of God
      with the US's burgeoning empire. It is no coincidence that the mission
      fields most favoured by US evangelicals are also the targets of
      neo-conservative military ambition. To use Jesus as the rallying cry
      for a new imperialism is the most shameful reversal of all, for he was
      murdered by the forces of empire. The cross spoke of Roman power in
      just the way Black Hawk helicopters speak today of US power.


      [Hedge funds] Islamic Finance Moving Into a New Phase - 10 Nov 03

      [Bangladesh] IBBL holds meeting on Ramadan - 10 Nov 03
      .. [The Independent - Dhaka]
      A discussion meeting on 'the Role of Mahe Ramadhan in Purification of
      Wealth and Soul' was organised by Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited on at
      its own premises in the city yesterday.
      The necessity of Islamic economic order is tremendously being felt to
      ensure human welfare, since the traditional economic system has been
      failed. .. Moreover, distribution of wealth on equity and social
      Justice are prerequisites of Islamic economics. They stressed on the
      implementation of education policy on the basis of Islamic Shariah.

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