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83Sharia News Watch 83

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Nov 15, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 83 : 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 :


      Taliban Assassinate High-Ranking Warlord - 11 Nov 03
      The Taliban have assassinated a high-ranking Northern Alliance
      warlord. The attack happened in Kabul, where the Karzai regime boasts
      about total security from Taliban attacks. The attack proved that the
      Taliban are able to strike any where in the country however no other
      details were provided. In Zabul, the governor's house was blown up
      using a remotely activated bomb. No one was injured in the attack
      which was meant to warn the governor that he must stop hindering the
      efforts of Taliban to implement Sharia law in the country. The bombing
      of the house was one of two bombs that exploded in the provincial head
      quarters of the military in the city of Qalat. The bombings were 10
      minutes apart, which indicates the organizational efforts of the
      Taliban because the targets were in two different cities.
      More Coalition casualties have been reported by Jasarat in various
      incidents in Afghanistan with 18 Coalition and Afghan forces deaths
      reported. The deputy governor of Zabul has finally admitted that four
      districts of the province are being ruled by Taliban and they were
      fighting for the control of the Qalat district. Deputy Governor Mullah
      Mohammad Omar told reporters that the Taliban control the districts of
      Anghar, Naubahar, Shipangi, and Shamasi. Zafar Khan, head of the
      Khak-e-Afghan district in the southern province of Zabul, told AP by
      satellite telephone that loyalists want the government of President
      Hamid Karzai to send more troops to protect the remote mountainous
      region. Khan said four of his relatives also had been kidnapped by the


      Local press: Algerian alcohol ban sign of radicalism - 12 Nov 03
      A surprise vote by Algeria's parliament to ban the import of alcoholic
      drinks in the moderate Muslim country marks the return of Islamic
      extremism, several leading newspapers said on Wednesday.


      Bahraini House adjourned after rare verbal clashes - 12 Nov 03
      A proposal to ban outdoor religious ceremonies resulted in rare verbal
      clashes in the Bah-raini parliament yesterday, forcing a premature end
      to the weekly session. The proposed law, introduced by Islamist MP
      Jassim Al Saidi, has drawn strong criticism from Shiite clerics, MPs
      and journalists. They complained the MP was seeking to ban the
      traditional Shiite ceremonies in Ashura, when the tragic death of Imam
      Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) 1,400 years ago
      is remembered by nightly assemblies and outdoor rallies.
      Ashura has been observed for centuries in the kingdom, where the
      Shiites constitute a relative majority. Al Saidi is an independent
      Sunni MP. Al Saidi, who later withdrew the proposal, told Gulf News
      earlier this week, the proposal was not aimed at the Shiite
      ceremonies. "It is about those imported celebrations, which are alien
      to our Muslim society," he said, adding that he was seeking to ban
      Halloween and Christmas street parties.

      Report on human rights in Bahrain discloses discrimination- 13 Nov 03
      With the great multilevel progress achieved in the last few years in
      Bahrain, and recognized by many including the opposition, the Bahrain
      Center for Human Rights submitted to the UN committee in charge of
      discrimination a report under the title "discrimination and privileges
      in the Kingdom of Bahrain: the unwritten law."
      the Kingdom which is composed of 33 islands, the largest of which is
      the island of Bahrain which is inhabited by the population majority.
      Bahrain's population ( according to 2003 statistics ) is about 650,600
      inhabitants, 38% of them are foreign workers.
      Excerpts from the "Bahrain Center for Human Rights " said that
      "despite the dominance of members of the Shiite community within the
      society, however, their rate in higher governmental posts is low, and
      rather null in certain governmental establishments. Statistics stated
      in this report said that the rate of higher jobs occupied by members
      belong to the Shiite sect constitute only 18% of the total employments
      in governmental establishments. There are 9 higher governmental posts
      where the Shiite are not included.
      According to the report, woman are not more fortunate in occupying
      higher posts in Bahrain. woman occupy a rate of 26% of the total labor
      force in 2001 while women occupy 8% of the higher posts covered by the
      report. There are 16 ministries and governmental sides where women do
      not have any leading post, while women of al-Khaleifa family occupy
      the most important posts like two ministries secretaries, university
      reactor and an ambassador. Members of al-Khaleifa family to which the
      king affiliates enjoys priveliges concerning higher posts. Though this
      family constitutes just 1% of the population rate, however, they
      assume 17% of the higher governmental posts. This rate increases with
      the higher degree of the post where it is 51% in the post of the

      Court rejects move to transfer judges' case - 12 Nov 03
      A defamation case filed by 11 Sharia judges was yesterday referred
      back to the High Criminal Court, after a move to transfer it to the
      Constitutional Court was dismissed on appeal.
      The General Prosecutor appealed against a decision by the High
      Criminal Court to suspend the trial and pass the case to the
      Constitutional Court, to give a final ruling on the rights of the
      media. The High Criminal Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that the case
      fell within the jurisdiction of the High Criminal Court and referred
      it back, according to Akhbar Al Khaleej.


      Opar Bangla film ignored yet again - 09 Nov 03
      For years Tareque, whose Muktir Gaan is a landmark in Bangla cinema,
      wanted to make a film based on his childhood in a madrasa. Combining a
      French Government grant with their meagre savings, Tareque and his
      wife Catherine completed the intimately observed story of divisions
      within a family to reflect the clash between the moderates and
      extremists within Islam.
      Matir Moina was the first Bangla film to contend for the Oscar for the
      Best Foreign Film of 2002. It opened the Director's Fortnight at
      Cannes; fetched the Best Screenplay Award at Morocco; featured in
      Toronto and in MOMA's New Directors Festival at the Lincoln Centre.
      Plus, it had a successful run in UK and Bangladesh.

      Bangladeshi Islamic NGOs face financial crisis - 12 Nov 03
      Over 200 Islamic non-governmental organizations (NGO) operating in
      Bangladesh are facing acute financial crisis due to sharp decline in
      the flow of funds, reported the Independent newspaper on Wednesday.
      Those Islamic NGOs with 25,000 employees are primarily run on funds
      from donor agencies and charity organizations mostly from Muslim
      countries, according to sources from the Association of Muslim Welfare
      Agencies in Bangladesh (AMWAB), the apex body of the Islamic NGOs in
      the country. The sources denied the Islamic NGOs in Bangladesh receive
      fundsfrom the government of any Muslim country. Some non-muslim
      organizations that used to fund their projects,however, suspended or
      even withdrew their funding following the terror attack of Sept. 11,
      2001, while the funds from Muslim countries have been reduced at an
      alarming rate since "911" incident, said the sources. Director of the
      NGO Affairs Bureau of Bangladesh SM Meshbahul Salam admitted on
      Wednesday that some of the Islamic NGOs had already abandoned their
      projects and retrenched the stuff to fight for survival.


      Arabs close the book on reading - 12 Nov 03
      Grasping the poor state of Arab information industries such as
      publishing and journalism, they say, is critical to understanding the
      alienation, isolation and malaise roiling the modern Middle East.
      "There is simply no readership," publisher Ibrahim al-Mowallem says
      bluntly. "We think of this as part of a pan-Arab depression. People
      are not reading because they have lost hope."
      "There is very significant human capital in Arab countries, and those
      people are not allowed to innovate because of social and political red
      lines," said Egyptian scholar Nader Fergany, the report's lead author.
      "Take the publishing business; a book that aims to find a market in
      all Arab countries has to negotiate 22 countries' censors. The noose
      is so tight that very little squeezes through."
      Translators say demand for their services has fallen off because
      economic woes have left high-priced translated books out of range for
      most Egyptians. "Nobody can pay 25 Egyptian pounds [EUR 3,50] for a
      book these days," said Ahmed Mostageer, a Cairo University professor
      who has translated more than 30 scientific titles. "Most books never
      print more than 1,000 copies."
      But no figures are needed to measure the decline of Cairo's
      once-thriving book market beside the Ezbekiya gardens. For more than a
      half-century, Arabs looking for rare and common books headed to
      Ezbekiya's rows of merchants selling all manner of Arabic and foreign
      titles. But a decade ago, city planners erected a parking garage and
      installed a subway stop at the site, forcing the booksellers to a new
      location on a remote edge of the city. Though they eventually were
      able to return to downtown, business never recovered. Barely 50 of the
      stalls remain today from what were once more than 100. "The number of
      people who read about culture has decreased," vendor Khaled Dahy
      explained, looking out from stacks of yellowing volumes onto a quiet
      market on a weekday morning. "They don't buy as many books anymore."
      Readers may be disappearing, but censors are not. Government readers
      and religious authorities routinely review books before publication in
      most Arab countries. Recently the highest religious authority in Sunni
      Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, called for a ban on Egyptian poet
      Ahmed Al-Shahawi's book "Commandments for Loving Women*)," arguing
      that its explicit passages desecrate Islam. Al-Azhar's declaration
      carries great symbolic weight but no legal power to remove the book
      from shelves. Shahawi, who says his work follows a long tradition of
      amorous writing inspired by Sufi mysticism, has taken the unusual step
      of rejecting the religious edict, or fatwa, and intends to promote the
      book anyway. .. "The problem," said Al-Shahawi, holding his hands to
      his throat, "is that a fatwa issued by Al-Azhar will always be like a
      sword against my neck."
      *) Inquisition interrupted - 24 Sep 03

      [adoption] Going with the Flow - 11 Nov 03
      Adopting a child (tabanni) is prohibited by Shariah. Under Islamic
      law, adoptive parents can take in a child (a process known as kafala),
      but as the infant grows, he or she is considered an agnebi (stranger),
      a problem that prevents many childless couples who are also devout
      Muslims from taking in one of the nation's thousands of orphaned
      children. Enter Amr El-Nouri, a prominent ob/gyn and researcher, who
      noted that under Islam, a child that breast-feeds from a woman five
      times automatically becomes a mahremm (first-degree relative), making
      the mother's children his or her siblings. Provided the five feedings
      were filling and delivered before the age of two, marriage is
      prohibited between the child and the mother and her offspring, and the
      women of the house do not need hijab in front of the son.

      Under Shariah, the child has to breast-feed before the age of two for
      the tahrimm (prohibi- tion of marriage) to be valid So far, 25 of the
      40 women who have signed up for El-Nouri's pilot breast-feeding study
      have successfully used the pumps to induce breast milk and feed the
      infant children they have adopted. The Cairo University-backed study
      began at Dar Al-Orman Orphanage, on whose board of trustees El-Nouri
      sits. "Any woman can breastfeed if she puts her mind to it," declares
      Doaa Mohebb, a public outreach officer with Dar Al-Orman, which
      specializes in infants under the age of three as well as children with
      special needs. "All she needs is perseverance." So what does Shariah
      have to say of the roundabout strategy? El-Nouri and the orphanage won
      the blessing of Al-Azhar before starting the pilot. In November 2002,
      Ahmed Mohamed El-Tayyeb, then mufti of Al-Azhar and now president of
      Al-Azhar University, issued a fatwa declaring that the pilot's Islamic
      precepts valid provided the child receive five full feeds. "Permission
      granted, Dar El-Orman ordered a batch of electric pumps, declared the
      issue of tahrimm solved and called for couples to come and start
      taking in babies," says Mohebb, who provided Egypt Today with a copy
      of the fatwa.


      Islamic burial practices largely conflict with German law - 13 Nov 03
      Some 3.2 million Muslims live in Germany, but, as al Founti explains,
      "Ninety percent of the dead are returned home to be buried, though a
      lot of them would prefer to be buried here." The Essen-based Center
      for Turkish Studies agrees. According to one of its surveys, only 5
      percent of Turks living in Germany - by far the largest group of
      Muslims here - expect to be buried in their adopted homeland, though
      68 percent of respondents said they would find it acceptable if the
      conflict between Islamic burial practices and German law was not so
      When a Muslim dies, the body is washed, wrapped from head to toe in
      cotton cloth and placed on its right side in the grave, which will
      have been dug at an angle ensuring the deceased faces Mecca.
      Family members should neither decorate the grave with plants or
      flowers or place a tombstone over it, and there must be a guarantee
      that the body will never be exhumed or otherwise disturbed in its
      eternal rest. To some extent, all these conditions clash with German
      Muslims in Germany do not have their own cemetery, apart from one in
      Berlin that dates back to 1798 and which was filled up long ago. They
      have settled for "Muslim burial grounds" inside 70 public cemeteries
      around the country because municipalities have denied members of this
      faith permission to set up their own cemeteries under laws that state
      a confessional cemetery can be operated only by a recognized public
      corporation or a religious community as defined in the constitution,
      meaning one that is expected to last permanently.
      Within Germany's municipal cemeteries Muslims are bound to the same
      burial ordinances which stipulate that the grave is not owned but only
      leased, usually for a maximum of 30 years, after which period the
      lease must either be renewed or the graveyard is plowed over and
      returned to another use. The same rule applies in some Muslim
      countries, although the reserved period there is usually 99 years.
      The new internment law that took effect on Sept. 1 in the state of
      North Rhine-Westphalia, which includes Essen, aims to accommodate
      Muslims by dropping the existing regulation that all bodies must be
      buried inside coffins.


      Parties under fire for recruiting actors. actresses - 14 Nov 03
      Major parties including the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle
      (PDI Perjuangan), the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the Golkar
      Party announced recently that they were recruiting soap opera actors
      to run as legislative candidates.
      The PKB, which is affiliated with the country's largest Muslim
      organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has listed actors Rieke Dyah
      Pitaloka and Ayu Azhari as candidates, while the Golkar Party has
      enlisted Nurul Arifin.


      "4 men sentenced to stoning, despite suspension"
      Four Iranian men found guilty of a series of kidnappings and rapes
      have been sentenced to execution by stoning, the conservative Qods
      newspaper said Tuesday, despite an order from the judiciary late last
      year for judges to issue alternative punishments. The four were
      members of a gang who abducted and raped an undisclosed number of
      women and girls in the northeastern city of Mashhad. Nine members of
      the gang have already been executed by hanging, one of them publicly.
      The hardline-run judiciary said it had ordered judges to issue
      alternative punishments to stoning, without saying what other
      punishments could be ordered. No executions by stoning have been
      reported by the Iranian press for over a year, although Amnesty
      International reported at least two cases during 2002 . Diplomats said
      two people were stoned to death in 2001 .


      U.S. to complete Iraqi militairy in 2004 - 13 Nov 03
      Shi'ite Muslims are slated to comprise most of Iraq's new military,
      planned for completion in 2004. U.S. officials said Shi'ites comprise
      60 percent of the recruits chosen to serve in Iraq's new army. More
      than 1,000 recruits have begun training by the Vinnell Corp. as part
      of a plan to create a 40,000-man military by 2006. Vinnell is a
      subsidiary of Northrop Grumman. The new Iraqi military will also have
      a largely Shi'ite officer corps, the officials said. They said that
      Sunnis, who represented the ruling minority under the regime of
      deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, will comprise 25 percent of
      the new military. Kurds will comprise 10 percent of the recruits.


      [Ramah] The Jordanian town that still circumcises women - 13 Nov 03

      National Program of Action breaks new political ground - 12 Nov 03
      The Lower House of Parliament's rejection of three provisional laws -
      the Personal Status, Penal, and Passport Laws - infuriated most women,
      but in the end it catalyzed a concerted National Program of Action
      (NPA) that aims to promote dialogue between women and decision-makers.
      The seriousness of the situation helped bring together the three
      largest women's NGOs, which had often acted as rivals.
      The major issues raised by the grassroots women in the three regions
      of the country were almost identical. In each meeting women mentioned
      that their demands for their rights are sometimes viewed as going
      beyond the framework of Islamic Sharia law, while in reality this is
      not so. The times necessitate changes that can take place without
      negating our firm beliefs.
      The changing roles within the family were also touched upon, including
      the fact that socioeconomic circumstances dictate that women become
      productive participants in the economy and society at large.


      Federal Court reserves judgment on appeal by four in apostasy case
      The Federal Court today reserved judgment on an appeal by a couple and
      two others against the Court of Appeal's judgment rejecting their
      application for a declaration that they have absolute right and
      freedom to practise the religion of their choice.
      Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, for the director of the
      Pengkalan Chepa prison, in his submission today, said a person's right
      to profess a religion of his choice as stipulated under Article 11(1)
      of the Federal Constitution was not an absolute right. He said since
      the country had a dual system - civil and syariah - the religious
      affairs of the Muslims were governed by the syariah, including the
      issue of apostasy. He also said that Article 11(3)(a) of the
      Constitution, which gave every religious group the right to manage its
      own religious affairs, also rendered Article 11(1) as not absolute. He
      argued that if Article 11(1) gave absolute right, Section 102 of the
      Kelantan Islamic Religious Council and Malay Customs Enactment 1994
      would be ultra vires the Constitution. (Section 102(1) of the
      Enactment provides in essence that a Muslim may not declare that he is
      not a Muslim save where he has been certified as such by a Syariah
      court. Section 102(3) allows a Muslim to be detained at an Islamic
      Guidance Centre for up to 36 months for religious instruction and
      repentance if he attempted to renounce his faith.) Kelantan legal
      adviser Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali, for the Kelantan Government and MAIK,
      adopted Gani's submission.

      Groups: General principles already in our laws - 13 Nov 03
      The general principles of good governance in the PAS document are
      already embodied in most constitutions of modern nation-states,
      including Malaysia, said the Bar Council and Sisters In Islam (SIS).
      Among those in PAS' blueprint for an Islamic state are: freedom of
      religion, freedom to practice one's culture, no forced conversions to
      Islam, a dual legal system, no discrimination based on race and
      gender, the right to involve oneself in the political, legal and
      administrative processes and the right to be educated in one's mother
      tongue. "What is unclear is how they mean to amend the Federal
      Constitution for the implementation of an Islamic state," said council
      chairman Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari yesterday.

      "Will fundamental rights in the Constitution, for example equality
      before the law, be removed? We can't have a nation where there are two
      classes of people governed by two sets of laws. We will need to study
      PAS' document before commenting further."

      SIS said the PAS document did not provide any new understanding on the
      kind of Islamic state it intended to bring about. "What is of concern
      is the PAS obsession with the codification of punitive laws which it
      claims to be Islamic law, and therefore divine and infallible and
      cannot be challenged. But this claim of infallibility must be
      challenged as what is labelled as Islamic law is derived from various
      sources. "However, PAS seldom stated the sources of its laws –
      whether they are from the Quran or hadith or juristic opinions,
      minority or majority opinions, or modern codified laws of other Muslim

      [Kelantan] Mother and son jailed for incest - 12 Nov 03
      A mother and son were fined and jailed by a Malaysian sharia court for
      committing incest in the northeastern Kelantan state that is ruled by
      the opposition Islamic Party (PAS), a report said Wednesday.
      "When they reached the house they found it locked from inside. However
      they managed to peep through a crack in the wooden wall of the house,"
      sharia deputy public prosecutor Suratemi Mat told the court. He said
      the offence, which they both admitted, was "beyond human decency and
      religion". In addition to fines, Mazlan Yahya was sentenced to 20
      months in jail and his mother for three months.

      [Kelantan] Lawyer: Appellants' renunciation valid in law - 11 Nov 03
      A llawyer has argued that any law that regulates in any way the
      renouncing or changing of faith by a Muslim is inconsistent with the
      fundamental right to freedom of religion as enshrined in the
      Constitution. In an apostasy case involving four people from
      Kelantan, counsel Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, who made the submission before
      a five-man panel made up of Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul
      Halim, Federal Court judges Justices Mohd Noor Ahmad, P.S. Gill and
      Rahmah Hussain and Court of Appeal judge Justice Richard Malanjum.
      Malik was representing Mat Yaakub Ismail, 56, Kamariah Ali, 51, and
      Daud Mamat, 72, who finished serving two-thirds of a three-year jail
      sentence imposed by the Kota Baru Syariah Appeals Court on Nov 19,
      2000, for contempt of court after they failed to attend repentance
      The appellants named the Kelantan Islamic State Religious Council and
      the Kelantan government as respondents in their appeal. The four
      obtained leave from the Federal Court on Nov 5, last year, to appeal
      against the Court of Appeal's decision that their detention for
      repentance classes pending an official confirmation of their
      renunciation by the Syariah Court was constitutional.
      In 1996, they were ordered by the Syariah Appeals Court to attend
      repentance classes. They refused, and were charged in November 1999
      with contempt of court. They were found guilty and sent to jail.
      However, when their defence was called before the Syariah Appeals
      Court in November 1999, the four declared they were no longer Muslims,
      and as such the court had no jurisdiction over them. The Syariah
      prosecutor then laid an additional charge of "attempting to leave
      Islam" against them.


      [Bauchi] Nigerian spared from stoning - 14 Nov 03
      An Islamic appeal court has overturned a 36-year-old Nigerian's
      adultery conviction and saved him from being stoned to death, a state
      spokesman said Friday.
      But on Thursday the Upper Sharia Court in the town of Bauchi, the
      capital of Bauchi State, ruled that the prosecution had failed to
      prove that the accused had eloped with his neighbour's wife. Bauchi
      State spokesman Mohammed Abdullahi told reporters that since his
      conviction by a lower court in the village of Ningi, Rafinchiyawa had
      withdrawn his confession. "The presiding judge, Dahiru Abubakar,
      argued that since Rafinchiyawa's conviction was based on confession
      which he later withdrew the prosecution had to provide fresh
      evidence," he said. "The prosecution failed to prove that Rafinchiyawa
      actually had an affair," he said. The accused was convicted in the
      Lower Sharia Court in Ningi on April 4, 2000 after allegedly running
      away with his friend's pregant wife, A'isha Haruna, and living with
      her for two weeks. The court heard that the pair had been lovers, but
      Haruna was cleared of adultery when she told the court she had been
      hypnotised by Rafinchiyawa using black magic charms.

      Cleric Wants Sharia in Gombe [Daily Trust - Abuja] - 12 Nov 03
      The Gombe state government has been called upon to as a matter of
      urgency, institute Sharia laws as an integral part of its judiciary
      with a view to addressing the wishes and aspirations of Muslims in the
      state who constitute 90 per cent population of the state. The call was
      contained in a speech delivered by Sheikh Yaya Hammari, Chairman of
      Gombe State Independent Committee on Sharia at an occasion organised
      by the committee on Tafsir, Da'awah and Guidance, Gombe.
      The Islamic scholar advised Governor Danjuma Goje not to imitate the
      antics of his predecessor who dilly-dallied on the issue, adding that
      Goje's case has been made easier since the previous administration had
      assented to the Sharia bill and all that is now left for him to do is
      to actualise its implementation as a legal system in the state.
      On the activities of the Gombe Tafsir, Da'awah and Guidance Committee,
      its chairman, Mallam Mohammed Lawal, disclosed that it was founded
      primarily to further propage the annual Ramadan sermons of Sheikh
      Aminu Daurawa started five years ago. "Two years later, however" he
      added, "the need to expand it to include preaching and rehabilitation
      of new converts to Islam became paramount following their

      [Kaduna] Zakzaky Followers, Youths Clash in Zaria - 13 Oct 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200311130315.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      A group of youths identified as members of Wahabi Movement, otherwise
      known as "Salafi Muslims" engaged followers of a Zaria-based leader of
      Nigeria's Islamic movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, in a fierce
      battle Tuesday night which led to serious casualities on both sides
      but no life was lost.

      A witness who gave his name as Aliyu Musa Gina, told Daily Trust that
      the incident started like a joke at about 9 p.m. when the Salafi
      Muslims gathered in their mosque at Tudun Wada where they started
      shouting, "death to Zakzaky! Death to Shi'ah! Death to non-followers
      of Sahabi! Today is the 'Day of Badar! and we must follow the footstep
      of the Prophet of Islam to fight Zakzaky and his followers," whom they
      called infidels. After they became fully charged by repeated chanting
      of these slogans, our source narrated, they queued up and matched
      towards the residence of the Islamic leader at Gyallesu where they
      threatened to set his home ablaze and possibly kill him to bring to an
      end what they described as his unacce-ptable and rapid spread of
      Shi'ah ideology and excessive preaching and elevation of the status of
      the progenitor of Prophet Muhammad instead of his Sahabas
      a disciple of Sheikh Zakzaky who introduced himself as Abdulhamid
      Bello, told Daily Trust that, "These people have been attacking us
      every year and threatening that they will not stop until they either
      kill our leader or force him to live Gyllesu as he was forced with
      their collaborators out of Zaria city and their reasons is that we are
      infidels." Bello said, "what we usually ask them is if we are
      infidels, are we the only ones in Nigeria? I want to belief that we
      are many, and if we are many why are you bent on fighting us alone and
      in the Holy month of Ramadan?

      [Kano] Shekarau Swears-in Hisbah, Zakkat, Sharia Commission Members
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200311110246.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      .. 11 Nov 03
      The Kano State Governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau had last Saturday
      sworn-in members of Hisbah board, Zakkat and Sharia commissions in the
      The Governor further disclosed that contrary to speculations Sharia
      commission was established to serve as an advisory commission on how
      Sharia could be fully implemented in the state but not executing
      judgements on offenders. Turning to Hisbah, and Zakkat commissions,
      the governor explained that Zakkat commission was responsible for
      collecting and distributing Zakkat while Hisbah board is to monitor
      activities of Hisbah members in the state.

      [Kano] Sharia Body Warns On Capital Punishment - 13 Nov 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200311130180.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      The Kano State Sharia Commission has warned the federal government to
      stop its moves to abrogate capital punishment in the Sharia legal
      system in Nigeria.
      Ustaz Kabo said further that the emir and indeed the entire Muslim
      Ummah should ensure that capital punishment is not abrogated from the
      Islamic Sharia legal system, saying that "such punishment should
      remain in the Sharia legal system if we want full implementation of
      the system."
      On the visit, the deputy chairman of the commission said they were at
      the palace to inform the emir of the new development towards the full
      implementation of Sharia in the state. He added that the establishment
      of the Hisbah board; Zakkat and Sharia commissions will no doubt
      assist the Islamic legal system.


      Death sentence for blasphemy - 12 Nov 03
      A Muslim man in southeastern Pakistan has been convicted of blasphemy
      against Muhammad, Islam's prophet, and sentenced to death, police said
      today. The verdict against Niaz Ahmed, 50, was given on Tuesday by
      Judge Malik Mukhtiar Khokhar in Bahawalnagar, a city 170 kilometers
      southeast of Multan, said Nadeem Iqbal, a Bahawalnagar police
      official. Ahmed was arrested in July in a village near Bahawalnagar
      and charged with making the blasphemous comments, Iqbal said. The
      comments were made at a tea stall and prompted other villagers to file
      complaints to police, he said. In court, Ahmed denied insulting
      Muhammad, but 10 villagers testified against him, Iqbal said. He is
      free to appeal both the death penalty and the 50,000 rupee (US$800)
      fine that he was charged to the High Court.
      Human rights groups say Pakistan's blasphemy laws are routinely abused
      to settle land disputes and village or tribal vendettas. ..
      No one has been hanged for blasphemy in Pakistan and that is largely
      because higher courts routinely overturn blasphemy convictions. The
      judicial and investigative process is steeped against anyone accused
      of insulting Islam, the Prophet Mohammed or the Islamic holy book, the
      Koran. Suspects in blasphemy cases are immediately arrested and
      presented before a court without a police or magistrate's
      investigation. Judges are often too scared of the reaction from
      powerful local Islamic leaders to throw out cases.

      Re-trial of death convict in blasphemy case ordered - 13 Nov 03
      District and Sessions Judge, Islamabad, Chaudhry Asad Zia has issued
      orders that re-trial of a death convict Professor Yunis Sheikh in a
      blasphemy case be conducted in Adiala jail.
      Professor Yunis Sheikh was operating Capital Homeopathic College in
      G-9 and he had allegedly used sacrilegious words against the Last
      Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) before the students while
      conducting their class. The judge Safdar Malik of Anti-Terrorism court
      had awarded death penalty to him after his case was proved. The
      accused filed appeal against his conviction in the High Court which
      referred the case back to the court of District and Sessions Judge,
      Islamabad for retrial.

      Jamali bans fashion shows in Pakistan - 12 Nov 03
      Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has ordered his government
      to crack down on fashion shows because they are un-Islamic and give
      Pakistan a bad image, The News reported today. The paper cited an
      interior ministry order dated October 25, which directs officials to
      end the regular parades at the more expensive hotels across the
      nation. The paper quoted the order as saying: "It has been observed
      that different functions are organised under the garb of fashion shows
      at leading hotels of the provinces and federal capital, which militate
      against our national culture and Islamic values. Such activities are
      not reflective either of our culture or heritage and subsequently
      paint the government in bad light. "The prime minister has taken
      serious notice of such undesirable activities and has directed that
      the administration and hotel management be issued strict instructions
      to avoid recurrence of such programmes, which are not in consonance
      with Islamic values and norms of decency."

      Editorial: Our academic desertification - 12 Nov 03
      Vigilante groups are active in many cities, acting outside the ambit
      of law, but in campuses the 'lumpen' students from such groups form
      more readily, bullying serious scholars and the faculty with the
      presumption of moral superiority. Cultural activities like drama and
      music, once considered part of an institution's extracurricular
      activity, are banned in all campuses because the hooligans are quick
      to come and disrupt any function remotely recognised as culture. The
      department of visual studies at the Karachi University, for instance,
      was ransacked and its musical instruments, sculptures and paintings
      destroyed recently because the 'moral' brigade among the students did
      not approve of them. Culture is replaced with an ostentatious
      observance of religious rituals with each department giving its own
      'version'. While there is a lot of religiosity in the campuses, there
      are hardly any meaningful seminars, lectures and debates in the
      various disciplines taught at the public institutions.
      The honourable Lahore High Court, while ruling on a case of Zina
      Ordinance, has said that it has become a practice on the part of some
      parents to get a case of hudood registered whenever they don't like
      their children marrying on their own. As a result, case after case
      shows that properly married individuals have been dragged to the
      police station and maltreated by the 'thanedars' under allegation of
      abduction and illicit relations. What actually happens is this. The
      girl's parents, discovering that their daughter has married without
      their consent, take recourse to the hudood law as a custom in the hope
      to getting the judiciary to solve their personal problem for them. But
      the courts are now emphatically saying that they cannot recognise any
      contravention of the law on this score.
      the practice of slapping the hudood laws on duly married couples goes
      back to an errant Lahore High Court decision some years ago which said
      that any marriage solemnised without the consent of the parent was
      null and void. The decision was struck down by the Supreme Court but
      the extremist trend in society made the concept of the 'wali'
      unofficially acceptable. To gild the lily, the Council for Islamic
      Ideology too recommended that consent of the 'wali' be made mandatory.


      [Mindanao] Understanding the Halal process on food - 14 Nov 03


      Islamic Shura And Its Similarity To Western Democracy - 13 Nov 03

      Violence and the Illusion of Reform in Saudi Arabia - 13 Nov 03

      Bombed Riyadh compound was watched, residents say - 13 Nov 03
      Residents of the mainly Arab residential compound attacked by
      suspected Al Qaeda suicide bombers said yesterday they knew their
      Westernized lifestyle was under scrutiny — they'd received a surprise
      visit from Saudi religious police suspicious that men and women were
      mixing at a party.
      Muhaya was typical of compounds housing members of the large
      contingent of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia: A place where
      non-Saudis could escape rules banning alcohol and mixing of men and
      women in public and requiring women to cloak and veil themselves when
      outside their homes. Muhaya had a coffee shop where residents of both
      sexes chatted over water pipes and watched foreign movies and other
      entertainment on a big screen television. It was located next to a
      pool where women swam in bikinis.
      Seven bearded, robed religious police officers visited the compound
      three months ago, saying they had reports of an "un-Islamic" party
      being held there, residents said yesterday. The religious police
      scuffled with compound guards who barred their entry until the
      compound owner arrived. During the delay, residents of both sexes
      slipped out of the complex coffee shop. The religious police were
      eventually allowed in and headed straight for the coffee shop. They
      left after finding it closed.
      Residents said most compound parties are birthday gatherings for
      children. They said some residents may have alcohol in their homes,
      but it was never consumed in public.

      Saudi sheik: 'Slavery is a part of Islam' - 10 Nov 03
      A leading Saudi government cleric and author of the country's
      religious curriculum believes Islam advocates slavery. "Slavery is a
      part of Islam," says Sheik Saleh Al-Fawzan, according to the
      independent Saudi Information Agency, or SIA. In a lecture recorded on
      tape by SIA, the sheik said, "Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will
      remain as long there is Islam." His religious books are used to teach
      5 million Saudi students, both within the country and abroad,
      including the United States. Al Fawzan – a member of the Senior
      Council of Clerics, Saudi Arabia's highest religious body – says
      Muslims who contend Islam is against slavery "are ignorant, not
      Al-Fawzan's best-known textbook, "Al-Tawheed – Monotheism," says most
      Muslims are polytheists, and their blood and money are therefore free
      for the taking by "true Muslims." SIA said although the Saudi
      government claims religious curriculum is being reformed, Al-Fawzan's
      books are still in wide use. Al-Fawzan is a member of the Council of
      Religious Edicts and Research, the Imam of Prince Mitaeb Mosque in
      Riyadh and a professor at Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University,
      Saudi Arabia's main center of learning for the strict Wahhabi
      interpretation of Islam. SIA noted Al-Fawzan, a leading opponent of
      curriculum reform, opposes elections and demonstrations as Western
      influences, is against Arab women marrying non- Arab Muslims and has
      issued a fatwa forbidding the watching of television.

      Suggestion of mediation between Islamists for enhancing security
      .. - 11 Nov 03
      News reports said that a group of scholars in Saudi Arabia will
      propose mediation between the Saudi Arabian authorities and the
      Islamist activists in order to prevent the occurrence of new attacks
      in the kingdom.

      Islamic Religious Angered by TV Satire - 15 Nov 03
      Saudi actor Nasser al-Qasabi scanned Web site comments castigating him
      for appearing in a TV satire about an Islamic religious edict that
      bans Saudi women from going almost anywhere without a male guardian.
      The program that drew the criticism was an episode of the popular
      comedy program Tash Ma Tash, which roughly translates as "Confusion."
      A fatwa, or religious edict, called unsuccessfully for its banning
      three years ago. In the past, few have challenged the edicts of
      religious scholars. But now more Saudis, like al-Qasabi, are daring to
      speak out. They say they aren't criticizing Islam but fear some people
      are misusing the faith to block criticism and political reforms
      desired by many Saudis.
      The offensive episode was called "Without a Mahram," the male guardian
      who must be the woman's father, brother, son or husband under the
      conservative Wahhabi Islamic philosophy applied in Saudi Arabia. A
      Saudi woman needs a mahram to go to a government office or a
      restaurant or to go anywhere in a car. Saudi women are not allowed to
      drive, and if they are caught in a vehicle with a man other than a
      mahram or a professional driver, they can be jailed. The episode
      showed the troubles suffered by the women in one family - a mother,
      sister, wife and daughter - when the only man in the house has to go
      away for six months. The sister could not go to work, the wife
      couldn't go out shopping and the daughter was without her beloved
      videos because women are not allowed in video stores. When a policeman
      came to investigate a theft at the house, he refused to enter because
      there was no mahram. Al-Qasabi played the part of the cop.
      In Saudi Arabia, it's not just TV shows that run afoul of the
      religious establishment. The kingdom regulates even the tiniest aspect
      of life in its role as the birthplace of Islam. For instance, the
      Commission for the Protection of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice -
      the formal name of the religious police - prevented one Saudi prince
      who owns a factory from registering the brand name of a new product
      because the commission didn't like its name, Explorer. The prince, Amr
      Mohammed Al-Faisal, reacted caustically in the Arab News. "The learned
      scholars of the commission rightly noted that the letter X in the name
      was a cross, and this aroused their delicate Islamic sensibilities."

      Saudi reforms face harsh resistance - 11 Nov 03
      A new child's textbook has sketches of boys and girls together -
      normal classroom fare in many countries but criticized by extremists
      here as a government scheme to teach children to rebel against the
      precepts of Islam. One Islamic Web site, in attacking the book,
      displayed a drawing of girls in a classroom and declared: "To show
      this to male students is a problem. ... A boy could remove it at every
      opportunity he has, kiss it and return it to his desk's drawer."
      Resistance to change is not new - since King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
      established the kingdom in the 1930s, the ruling family has had to
      contend with conservatives who objected to each step toward
      modernization. Even so, the government gradually introduced the
      telegram, radio, cars, girls' schools and satellite television.
      The royal family faces four staggering problems: It must liberalize
      its ailing economy, which means more contact with the West. It must
      satisfy many Saudis' desire for greater freedom and more say in
      politics. It must tame the radical religious elements so the royals'
      role as guardian of Islam's holy places will not be challenged.
      "The state is in trouble now," said Abdulaziz al-Gasim, a reformist
      lawyer. "It was the one that created Wahhabism, and Wahhabism is
      what's strangling it now. It's strangling it because the state wants
      to fight al-Qaida." In a sign of how serious the royal family is
      taking the need for change, a working advisory group made up of
      prominent decision-makers has been formed to push the reforms at a
      faster pace, according to a senior Saudi official.
      the House of Saud is not talking about genuine political and economic
      reform of the kind that could starve the extremists of fuel for their
      hatred. It is talking only about limited elections for local municipal
      councils and making vague promises of further changes somewhere down
      the road.


      Activists Call For Ending Anti-Hijab Campaign - 12 Nov 03
      Some 100 Tunisian politicians, lawyers and human rights activists
      signed a petition urging President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali to put an
      end to the incessant harassments against women wearing hijab. The
      petition, a copy of which was obtained by IslamOnline.net, said that
      veiled Tunisian women have been denied access to universities and
      institutes since the beginning of this year. It said that security
      personnel scold them for wearing hijab and had the gall to remove
      their head scarves and coerce them into making a written pledge not to
      wear hijab.
      In a press release, which was e-mailed to IsamOnline.net, the league
      [Tunisian human rights] said that the ministry of education issued a
      note ordering all schools and institutes to rigidly implement rules
      that ban women from wearing clothes of religious character, in an
      implicit hint to the Muslim headscarf. "It (the note) is null and void
      and violates the enshrined rights of freedom to education and choice
      of clothes," the league charged. Health Minister Habib Mubarak also
      issued a similar note at the beginning of the holy fasting month of
      Ramadan, demanding all hospitals and medical centers to prevent nurses
      wearing hijab and doctors growing beards from entering the buildings.
      the national council for liberties said in a statement that Tunisian
      authorities have launched an organized campaign against veiled women
      in streets, public transport, educational institutions, courts and
      In 1981, President Habib Bourguiba (1956-1987) ratified law no.108,
      which banned Tunisian women from wearing hijab in state offices.

      Sexual Orientation And Religious Discrimination [Regulations 2003]
      http://www.mondaq.com/i_article.asp_Q_articleid_E_23321 - 14 Nov 03


      Jews bigger target of anti-religious bias in US than Muslims: FBI

      Supreme court rejects local Muslim charity's appeal - 11 Nov 03
      The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from an
      Illinois-based Islamic charity whose assets were impounded three
      months after the terrorist attacks.
      Justices refused to consider whether it was unconstitutional or
      illegal for the government to freeze the foundation's bank accounts.
      Since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States and other
      governments have frozen the assets of several groups they claim assist
      groups like al-Qaida. Global Relief has not been charged with a
      terror-related crime.


      Islamic Intellectualism by Murad Wilfried Hofmann - 13 Nov 03


      Islamic Finance: Some clarifications on certain aspects of zakat

      First Lebanese Islamic bank set to begin business - 13 Nov 03
      The first Lebanese Islamic-oriented bank is set to open for business
      by the end of 2003 and will abide by the Islamic religious law in its
      dealings, according to a press release by the bank. The bank, which
      will be known as the Arab Finance House (AFH), will be a joint venture
      company established between two Gulf-based financial institutions ­
      the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and the Gulf Finance House (GFH).

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