88Sharia News Watch 88
- Dec 8, 2003Sharia News Watch 88 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
The Sharia Newswatch provides an almost weekly update of newsquotes
on Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
news- searchengines. All editions :
Afghans debate new constitution - 04 Dec 03
Imam accused of gay hatred - 07 Dec 03
Police are investigating claims that one of Australia's most senior
Islamic clerics has incited his followers to attack homosexuals. A
complaint made to Victoria Police alleges the chairman of the Board of
Imams, Rexhep Idrizi, was reading from the Koran when he made
derogatory comments about homosexuals and said they should have "their
heads chopped off". Imam Idrizi's alleged outburst occurred before
1000 worshippers at a prayer service to celebrate the conclusion of
fasting for Ramadan at the Albanian Mosque in Drummond St, Carlton.
Imam Idrizi, whose son was jailed last year for bashing gays, said
yesterday the claims were unfounded and he had a video of the service,
in Albanian, to prove it. "It's just spite from idiots," he said. "All
I said was that homosexuality is prohibited in Islam."
worshipper Asip Demiri, who was at the service, told the Sunday Herald
Sun that Imam Idrizi had verbally attacked homosexuals. "I couldn't
believe it. I was sitting there with my son and he comes out with
comments as if the Koran says it's OK to attack homosexuals," Mr
Demiri said. "He told us they should have their heads chopped off. "My
son asked me if what the Imam said was true and I said 'No, it's not'.
Then, he wanted to know if the Imam was lying and I couldn't give him
an answer that would make any sense.
Last year, Imam Idrizi's son was jailed for four years and eight
months, with a minimum of 15 months, for bashing gays. Muhamed Idrizi,
20, and four others attacked a cyclist with a machete and bashed and
robbed two other men. The court heard that the group had gone on what
he called a "p--fter bashing" mission. The first victim was repeatedly
kicked, punched and struck over the head with a machete in Alma Park,
St Kilda. The gang then robbed the man, stripped him and taunted him.
They later attacked two other men in Elwood. At the time, Imam Idrizi
said his son had "been the devil this month". "God will punish him."
Separatists Target Muslim Sect in Bangladesh - 08 Dec 03
A 150,000 strong Muslim minority sect in Bangladesh called the
Ahmadiyyas is under attack from a separatist group in the country,
which warns they will face dire consequences if the government does
not declare them non-Muslims before Friday. In the last two months,
attacks on the Ahmadiyyas by Sunni Muslim separatist groups have
intensified, especially in the southwestern district of Kustia and the
northern districts of Rangpur and Jamalpur. One member of the sect was
killed in the southwestern district of Jessore. Ninety percent of
Bangladesh's 130 million population comprises Sunni Muslims.
Hailing from the central Bangladesh region of Brahmanbaria from 1912,
the Ahmadiyyas follow the same rituals as the Sunnis, apart from their
belief that Imam Mehdi, the last messenger of Prophet Muhammad, has
already arrived to uphold Islam as it was preached 1400 years ago.
In one of the largest anti-Ahmadiyya protests last Friday, more than
30,000 separatists under the banner of the Khatme Nabuat Movement
Coordination Committee (KNMCC) laid seige to an Ahmadiyya mosque in
Dhaka. The attack was foiled by a deployment of 1000 policemen, but
the separatists have sworn to storm the mosque again this Friday. The
KNMC has said they will stage demonstrations against the sect in the
city every Friday throughout December.
Another separatist group has issued a similar ultimatum to Ahmadiyya's
living in Sarishabari in Bangladesh's northern Jamalpur district.
Mobassher believes the current aggressive stance has spilled over from
anti-Ahmadiyya clerics in Pakistan. Significantly, most of the
anti-Ahmadiyya publications in Bangladesh are written by Pakistani
clerics who are more militant than their Bangladeshi counterparts.
But none of the attackers has so far been arrested. Reportedly, the
Islamic Oiyko Jote (Islamic Alliance) -- which is an alliance partner
in the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party government -- tacitly
supports the anti-Ahmadiyya movement.
Mufti: Violence due to ignorance of Islamic teachings - 05 Dec 03
"The wave of violence sweeping through some Islamic countries is due
to ignorance of Islamic teachings," Egypt's Mufti of the Republic Ali
Gomaa said yesterday. "Only by educating the new generation in
accordance with the true principles of Islam can these dangerous,
trends be reversed, Gomaa said in an interview with the Middle East
News Agency (MENA). "The image of Islam has not changed, only the
realities which we are experiencing," Gomaa explained, adding that he
rejected the idea that a fatwa (ruling based on Islamic law) should
apply to all Muslim countries. "A fatwa demonstrates the flexibility
of Islamic law, but the Muslim should be selective in such matters,
otherwise the imposition of one opinion on all believers is tantamount
to bigotry, which is rejected by Islam," he said.
Egyptian library removes 'anti-semitic' book - 07 Dec 03
Egypt's Library of Alexandria has removed a book perceived as
anti-semitic from its shelves, following protests and has opened an
inquiry into the matter. The library's director Ismail Sirag al-Din
said on Saturday there was an error in displaying The Protocols of the
Elders of Zion. The book, which was the text's first Arabic
translation, completed in 1951, had been put on display "several days
or several weeks ago' in the manuscripts museum, which is part of the
new library in Egypt's second city, said Siraj al-Din. It was
withdrawn from the museum after articles appeared in the Egyptian and
Israeli press. The document was displayed "as a curiosity", Siraj
German Women Campaign Against Hijab Ban - 04 Dec 03
Seventy of Germany's woman intelligentsia, all non-Muslims, have
launched Wednesday, December3 , a counter-campaign against draft laws
banning hijab in public institutions in a number of German states.
They signed a statement warning of the grave consequences of such
discriminatory laws on the German society. Chief among the signatories
are Federal Minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture
Renate Künast, Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees
and Integration Marieluise Beck and Federal Government Commissioner
for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid Claudia Roth. Others
include former speaker of the German parliament Rita Suessmuth;
Berlin's point woman on immigration Barbar John and former justice
minister Sabina Shnarrengerger. The statement was also inked by the
Archbishops of the Protestant Church in Hamburg and Luebeck, Maria
Jepsen and Baerebel Wartenberg and famed actress Katja Riemann. The
mass-circulation Der Spiegel said that Mrs. Beck snapped at plans by a
number of German states to ban hijab in public institutions. She said
that such laws, if ratified, would hold in contempt religion-related
articles in the German constitution, which state that all religions
should be treated on equal footing. Seven states backed last October
a legislation barring hijab at a meeting of 16 regional ministers for
culture, education and religious affairs in the western German city of
Darmstadt while eight opposed such laws. She further said that placing
restrictions on Muslim women inside state schools and government jobs
is a kind of racial discrimination and flagrant injustice that would
leave them psychologically scarred.
German President Johannes Rau admitted in a congratulatory message to
the Muslim community on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr that the
controversy over hijab has cast a pall over their everyday life. The
president welcomed the employment of hijab-wearing Muslim teachers in
state schools as long as they did not take sides.
Muslims pray in Berlin's first mosque - 05 Dec 03
The city already boasts more than 70 places of prayer for Muslims, but
not until the Pehitlik opened on Columbiadamm, a non-descript street
in southern Berlin, has it had a mosque. "It is good to have a
representative place," said Recep Turkogu, a member of the
Turkish-Islamic Union for the Office of Religion (DITIB) which
supervises 600 of the 2200 Muslim prayer centres in Germany. There
are some 3.4 million Muslims in Germany, including 220,000 in Berlin.
An estimated two thirds are of Turkish origin. Countrywide the
Muslim community has 77 mosques. In Berlin, up to now, the prayers
have been organised in apartments, halls and courtyards.
However, news of a dozen similar plans to build mosques or Islamic
centres in Berlin, notably in the Turkish-dominated areas of Kreuzberg
and Neukoelln, have raised concerns. "Generally, people think that,
Islam being embedded in this district, it is legitimate that there are
representative buildings," said Guenther Piening, a Berlin city
official responsible for matters of racial integration. "But they
fear mosques will encourage a radicalisation that would threaten the
liberal atmosphere of those districts."
[Andhra Pradesh] Protesters killed in Babri mosque clashes - 07 Dec
Between three and six people have died in clashes between Hindus and
Muslims in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on the eleventh
anniversary of the razing of the 16th century Babri mosque.
Twenty-four people were hurt in the incident late on Saturday, 12
suffering bullet injuries, as police opened fire to control rampaging
mobs in Muslim-majority areas. The violence broke out, AFP reported,
after Muslims accused Hindus of burning a black flag put up to protest
the destruction of the mosque by Hindu zealots in the northern town of
Ayodhya 11 years ago.
Amien Denies Exploitation of RRI Forum for Political Campaign - 04 Dec
Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Prof.Dr. Amien
Rais has denied allegations that he exploit the Republic of Indonesia
Radio (RRI) for his own political campaigns. In a statement during the
"Halal Bihalal" gathering at the Parliament (DPR) building here
Thursday, Amien Rais said that he had only been requested to help
substantiate the Holy Ramadhan (fasting) month by making a religious
talk at the RRI forum. Halal Bihalal is a deeply-rooted tradition
among Indonesian Moslem to forgive one another following the end of
the Ramadhan fasting month.
Iran making room for its spiritual minorities - 04 Dec 03
Another major step forward may come with the ending of one of Iran's
most egregious forms of discrimination -- unequal status for
minorities in the payment of "blood money" as compensation for victims
of violent crime. Under the system, the amount legally owed by a
perpetrator to the victim's family is just 1/13 of the amount due to
Muslims. Iranian law retains an old Islamic definition of blood money
as one of the following: 100 camels, 200 cows, 1,000 sheep, 200 silk
dresses, 1,000 gold coins or 10,000 silver coins. To simplify things,
religious authorities have set an inflation-adjusted cash equivalent,
which this year is 150 million rials, or $18,750 [EUR 15.500,-].
Because auto and life insurance coverage is rare in Iran, the ability
to collect blood money can be vital for citizens who lose a family
member. A bill to eliminate the discrepancy between Muslims and
non-Muslims is winding its way tortuously through the legislative
system -- after being vetoed twice by the powerful 12-member Guardian
Council as un-Islamic -- and may become law by the end of this month.
"For sure, this bill will not be rejected in the Expediency Council,"
said Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, a cleric in the city of Qom who is
close to Khamenei. "The supreme leader has expressed his support for
it. There is a fatwa determining that blood money should be equal."
The estimated 300,000 Baha'is in Iran are denied permission to
worship, hold office or carry out other communal affairs publicly or
privately. They are banned from university education, they are denied
most business and professional licenses, and their property is often
confiscated. .. Iranian women also will not benefit from the blood
money reform. They receive only half the payment due Muslim men (or
1/26 if they are female members of the three minority religions).
Shiite religious leaders can hold many different titles - 05 Dec 03
Iraqi resistance deeply divided over Saddam's role - 08 Dec 03
Hariss al-Dari, a former professor of Islamic Sharia law at Baghdad
university and a Sunni tribal leader, noted that "Islamist guerrillas
are against Saddam because he persecuted them". He accused "the
Americans of inflating the role of Saddamists to link the guerrillas
to terrorism." "The Islamist resistance recruits in the mosques and
does not need financing because its members are volunteers, the
weapons are available and the population shelters them."
An Islamist guerrilla organiser, who asked not to be named, said "a
small number of fundamentalists coordinate with Saddam because from a
religious point of view, he is in charge of the country and as head of
state he has called for jihad (holy war)." The Islamist added that
coordination took place mainly in the supply of weapons.
The third faction, the nationalists, refuses any cooperation with the
ousted leader but does coordinate at a local level with the Islamists,
said Abu Hazem, a nationalist combattant.
All the factions minimised the role of the followers of the
puritanical Wahhabi Islamic sect and non-Iraqi Arab combattants,
without denying their presence.
Iraq Set to Form War Crimes Tribunal - 06 Dec 03
Human rights workers said the trials could include genocide cases -
for a campaign against Kurds in northern Iraq in the 1980s, and for
the draining of southern marshes in 1992 that drove many Shiites from
their homes. They also could include cases against former Iraqi
officials for the massacres of Shiites and Kurds in 1991, when those
communities rose up against Saddam at the end of the Gulf War.
The tribunal will use a combination of laws, according to people who
have seen a draft of the plan, including the Iraqi penal code of 1969
and the Iraqi criminal code of 1971. In addition, the new charges of
genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity - taken from
international courts - will be added, they said.
"Any tribunal established on behalf of the Coalition Provisional
Authority will not be able to rid itself of the perception and the
fact that it is an instrument of American power," said Paul van Zyl of
the International Center for Transitional Justice. "Any justice it
dispenses will be of dubious legality and questionable legitimacy."
Richard Dicker, director of the international justice program at Human
Rights Watch, said he was concerned officials didn't consider bringing
in judges who have worked on major war crimes trials in other
countries. "After three decades of Baath Party rule, the capacity of
Iraqi judges to conduct incredibly complicated trials has been greatly
diminished," he said by telephone from New York. He said he worried
about the tribunal's ability to provide fair trials. Two recent
studies of the Iraqi judicial system, obtained by AP, describe a legal
system riddled with corruption and incompetence. One was conducted in
August by the United Nations; the other in June by the Justice
Department. "A degraded justice system and inadequate and outdated
legal framework is not capable of rendering fair and effective justice
for violations of international humanitarian law and other serious
criminal offenses involving the prior regime," the U.N. study said.
But Sandra Hodgkinson, director of the coalition authority's human
rights and justice office, said she believed an Iraqi court system -
with some training from international experts - will work.
Hundreds from Saddam regime will face war crimes tribunals - 06 Dec 03
The law creating the tribunal - which could be passed as early as
today - will be similar to proposals made in Washington in April, one
member of Iraq's Governing Council said on Friday. It calls for Iraqi
judges to hear cases presented by Iraqi lawyers, with international
experts serving only as advisers. That would be starkly different from
UN-sponsored tribunals set up to consider war crimes in the former
Yugoslavia and in Rwanda. In those cases, international judges and
lawyers have argued and decided cases.
It remained unclear when the trials would begin. The coalition
authority now holds at least 5,500 people in prisons, but it isn't
known how many of those are war crimes suspects and how many are
accused of common crimes.
Prosecutors will draw on a huge and growing cache of documents seized
from the former regime. Evidence will also come from the excavation of
mass graves that dot the Iraqi landscape. Some 270 mass graves are
believed to hold at least 300,000 sets of remains.
Muslim scholars say Islam rejects all forms of terrorism - 07 Dec 03
"Islam is an international religion which promotes justice and human
rights, and rejects all forms of terrorism," Muslim scholars agreed at
the end of a two-day conference that ended in Amman late Thursday.
More than 150 Islamic scholars from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and
Palestine gathered to address a wide range of issues, including
sectarian fanaticism, and extremism among followers of the different
Muslim theological and jurisprudence schools. The meeting, according
to organisers, aimed to establish a common ground among Muslims,
regardless of their sect.
At the conclusion of the conference, the participants announced a plan
to set up a fatwa comprising senior scholars in Bilad Al Sham. In the
research paper he presented on Thursday, Wahbi Zuheili criticised
clerics for their failure to stand up to social, economic and
political changes influencing and involving the Muslim world. Among
some of these challenges, according to the Sharia professor, are
terrorism, globalisation, secularism and fragmentation in the Islamic
world, in addition to the Palestinian and Iraqi issues. Rajih Kurdi, a
sharia professor at the University of Jordan, called for a revision of
Islamic education curricula and that of Sharia faculties at
universities in the Muslim world, so that these syllabi begin to deal
with contemporary issues from an Islamic perspective. He also urged
more attention on the quality of sharia students.
US vision of democracy in Mideast flawed, say Islamist thinkers
.. - 07 Dec 03
International scholars and Islamist thinkers accused Washington
yesterday of trying to impose a flawed vision of democracy on the
Middle East that was biased and doomed to failure. The delegates told
the opening session of a three-day conference on the role of Islamic
groups in political reform in the Middle East [organized by Al-Watan
newspaper and the US Carnegie Endowment for International Peace] that
any reform process that was not home-grown was destined to fail. "The
idea of imposing an agenda from outside is completely rejected,
especially as the administration behind this project has a position
that is deviant, extremist and biased against the cause of the Arabs
and Muslims," said Abou Al Illa Madhi, manager of the Egypt-based
International Studies Centre.
John Esposito of the US-based Centre for Muslim-Christian
Understanding, said many viewed Washington's talk of democracy with
great cynicism. "They're wondering whether or not, along with military
and economic options, democracy is simply being used as a tactic to
redraw the map of the Middle East," the author and academic said.
Marina Ottaway, a conference organiser and Johns Hopkins University
lecturer, said Washington wanted to democratise Arab states but feared
a democratic process could bring about Islamist governments hostile to
the US. "So there is this continuous ambivalence which is very much
reflected in US policy."
Mosque takeovers will hurt Umno more - 08 Dec 03
In recent months, Umno has embarked on a mission to rid mosques and
suraus of what its leaders called activities and abuse by PAS and its
sympathisers. In Selangor, the government of Menteri Besar Mohd Khir
Toyo has sent out its over-zealous Islamic officials to take over the
running of mosques from what he has called unprofessional people. He
claimed that the move was to put into motion an administrative
machinery to better govern mosques for the good of local Muslims.
Everybody knows that it is just a ploy to replace existing
officer-bearers, whom he considers as PAS supporters, with Umno men.
Firstly, it is a common secret that mosques are regularly frequented
by PAS sympathisers. It is true that Umno people also pray at mosques
but from my observation, their numbers are small and they can only be
seen at a few occasions like when the Sultan or MB were present. This
is the true character of Umno Muslims who only use mosques as a means
to an end and not as a way of life (addin).
The recent seizure of the mosque in Bangi was unfortunate as the
government had refused to accept the office-bearers whom the people
wanted. Currently, not many people go to pray at the mosque and many
are being turned away by the activities which include inviting guest
speakers who only speak good of government policies and nothing else.
'Most men in Terengganu prefer young single mums' - 04 Dec 03
Thee State Assembly was told Wednesday that most men in Terengganu
prefer to take unmarried women or young single mothers with few
children as their life partners. State Social Welfare and Health
Committee Chairman, Abu Bakar Abdullah, said reports from the Women
Affairs and Communal Relations Committee showed that old single
mothers with many children were not wooed because the men preferred to
marry unmarried women and single mothers who were young and had few
kids. However, the PAS Government gave an assurance to single mothers
in the State that they would be better looked after in future, he said
when winding up the 2004 State Budget. On Tuesday, PAS Assemblyman for
Paka Satiful Bahari Mamat proposed that the State Government launch a
polygamy campaign to help reduce the number of single mothers in
Terengganu, which currently stands at more than 4,000, to ease their
burden, especially poverty.
[Terengganu] Probe timber concession to woman - 04 Dec 03
The state Hisbah (ombudsman) has been urged to investigate the
awarding of a timber concession to a company owned by a 26-year-old
woman. Tengku Putera Tengku Awang (BNTelemong) claimed that the
woman was only a sawmill worker. "I'm not sure how she could afford
to raise the RM1.5mil to pay the state government for the concession,"
he said when seeking clarification to a reply from state Economic
Development, Petroleum, Industrialisation and Human Resource Committee
chairman Datuk Mustafa Ali at the state assembly yesterday. The issue
was raised by Rosol Wahid (BNAjil), who claimed that a young woman
had been granted a timber concession involving 2,631 ha of land in
Merang, Setiu. "Congratulations to the state government for making an
instant millionaire of this person, who is from Kuala Berang," he
said. Showing records obtained from the Companies Commission of
Malaysia, Rosol said the company was only registered in July. Yet, it
managed to bag the concession within four months, he added.
PAS government: No individual got concession - 05 Dec 03
The Terengganu PAS government has denied a press report that it had
given a timber concession in Setiu to a 26-year-old female factory
worker. State Economic, Petroleum, Industrial and Human Resources
Committee chairman Datuk Mustafa Ali said the state government had
never given any logging concession to any individual. The 2,600 ha
concession in question had been given to the Terengganu Foundation
the only foundation to which the state government had given land and
timber concessions to work on to source funds for its education
Chief Imam Wants Legislation On Discrimination Against HIV/Aids
Victims http://allafrica.com/stories/200312040381.html - 04 Dec 03
.. [Daily Trust - Abuja]
As campaigns for awareness and societal change of attitude towards
people living with the dreaded pandemic HIV/AIDS intensifies, the
Chief Imam of the National Mosque, Abuja, Ustaz Musa Muhammed, has
called for a Bill eliminating all forms of discrimination against
HIV/AIDS victims. The Chief Imam gave this suggestion in Abuja before
the World Aids Day observed on Monday. According to Ustaz Musa
Muhammadu, the National Action Committee Against AIDS (NACA) should
spearhead a bill to the National Assembly which should aim at
safeguarding people living with the disease. "NACA should ensure that
victims are not relieved of their jobs. They should go from ministry
to ministry and other establishments and find out those who are
retrenched or relieved of their jobs because of their HIV status so
that they can fight for them and ensure their reinstatement," he
Credibility of Sharia law is in jeopardy - Bauchi State AG - 05 Dec 03
.. [Mallam Aliyu Habib is the Attorney- General and Commissioner
of Justice of Bauchi State].
Q: Though the expanded Sharia is practiced in your state, it has not
attracted the kind of controversy witnessed in other states. What
would you say is responsible for this?
A: It is a question of attitude and approach. The expanded scope of
Bauchi State was handled in a much more sober and reflective manner
because of the sizeable population of non-Muslims in the state who are
quite vociferous. To avoid the controversy that took place in other
states, we took every body along. Let me give you an example, which is
unique to Bauchi State in respect to the implementation of the Sharia
code. The Sharia Commission in Bauchi State decided that it would
discourage the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks and it is
there in the law. But how to go about its implementation was another
matter. But with the active support of the governor, the Sharia
implementation committee was given a huge amount of money with which
it was meant to induce the sellers of alcoholic drinks to engage in
The implementation of Sharia in Bauci State is being used for
religious reorientation, social engineering and reorientating the
society towards achieving a moral goal. It does not require harshness
or high handedness but persuasion. If you stop an alcoholic trader
from selling his goods, what else does he do? The government provided
about N25 million [EUR 150.000,-] to alcoholic sellers requesting them
to engage in other trades. They were made to realise that they would
make more money and have access to credit facilities if they engage in
Q: Critics of the Sharia legal code argue that only people of the
lower social status are the victims of the law. Why are the elites not
being brought before the Sharia law?
A: Honestly I must confess that to some extent that observation is
true. In almost all the states that controversial cases have been
brought to court, you will discover that most of the people that were
involved are poor rural folks who are either illiterate who do not
know their rights. That is the greatest challenge in the
implementation of the Sharia legal system in Nigeria.
Sharia: Kano Moves Against Pornography - 04 Dec 03
In line with its resolve to fully implement the Sharia Legal Code,
Kano State Government has moved to stamp out the circulation of
pornographic films in the state. Already, no fewer than 10 persons
have been arrested while cartons of Compact Disc (CD) plates and video
cassettes have also been confiscated from suspected dealers. The State
Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Garba Yusuf, urged residents of
the state to report anybody suspected to be involved in the sale or
use of the banned films.
In the same vein, the commissioner disclosed that a mobile court would
soon be constituted to try those who flout the law banning the
circulation or use of the pornographic films or publication.
[Kano] Queen's Trip Was Cancelled Because We Are Sharia State
http://allafrica.com/stories/200312070076.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
.. [Kano Commissioner of Information] - 06 Dec 03
I do not believe it was cancelled for security reasons as postulated
by the authorities at the federal level, it must be due to some
elements in power who said we are a Sharia state, so she [= British
Queen] should not come.
[Kano] Sharia commission probes harassment of female students
http://www.mtrustonline.com/dailytrust/sharia08122003.htm - 08 Dec 03
The Kano State Sharia Commission is set to probe alleged harassment of
female Muslim students of the Nigerian Law School for wearing veils. A
member of the commission, Alhaji Munzali Hanga, announced this at a
news briefing in Kano. He said the affected students from all the
states of the federation had been denied entry into the Bar Dinner at
the Lagos, Abuja and Kano campuses of the school. Entry into the Bar
Dinner was a pre-condition for any law student before being called to
the bar, he pointed out. Hanga stated that he was not aware of any law
at the institution which prohibited a particular mode of dressing.
Niger Flogs Six for Drunkenness - 05 Dec 03
http://allafrica.com/stories/200312050162.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
Six persons in Niger State were flogged publicly by the state liquor
board for allegedly consuming the banned liquid.
The board chairman further stated that besides this operation, some
cases have also been referred to the board's mobile court for hearing.
Similarly, Barrister Awwal Bida told journalists that revenue realised
from fines has declined from N1.2 million naira [EUR 7.130,-] since
October to N359,000. [EUR 2.132,- ] "This development reflects the
increased activity by the board as they are less offenders who
contravene liquor laws in the state now," he said.
Zamfara Denies Teaching Arabic - 03 Dec 03
http://allafrica.com/stories/200312030493.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
The Zamfara State government has denied allegations that it has
introduced Arabic language in public schools to intimidate non-
Muslims. A statement signed by the Director of press affairs, Alhaji
Ibrahim Magaji, and made available to Daily Trust in Gusau, explained
that the policy of religion in the state does not affect non-Muslims.
Confessions of a failed jihadi - 05 Dec 03
Violence against women unabated - 06 Dec 03
The existence of the Punjab Prevention of Domestic Violence bill of
2003 and the Hudood Ordinance bill point at positive attempts to curb
violence against women. But, an analysis of four months of data on
violent crime by the Citizens' Commission for Human Development (CCHD)
indicates close relatives, family, friends or neighbours commit most
crimes against women. The increase in the number of incidents of
honour killing, gender-based violence and socio-cultural related abuse
reveal that violent practices against women are difficult to stop,
despite government action on a few cases.
Violence, including murder, rape, physical violence, suicide, burning,
and kidnapping, remains rampant at the grass root level in Pakistani
society, according to a press release from CCHD on Friday. At least
211 women were murdered, 183 kidnapped, 177 raped, 128 were physically
abused, 116 committed suicide and 63 were burnt or had acid thrown on
them by their relatives between July and October 2003. According to
CCHD, 62 women were murdered during July, 62 in August, 61 in
September, and 26 women in October. Their data indicated that 37 women
were murdered by their husbands, 23 by brothers, 16 by in-laws, 10 by
fathers, 7 by uncles, 5 by sons, and 113 women by other relatives.
Out of the 183 kidnapped, 49 women were taken in July, 43 in August,
45 in September, and 46 in October. Most of the kidnappers were either
close relatives, friends or from victim's neighbourhood.
[NWFP] Commission to Islamize education system - 07 Dec 03
The NWFP government has constituted a commission to ensure the
province's education system is consistent with the Shariat, an
official statement said. The commission, the statement said, would
guarantee character-building in the light of Islamic injunctions.
The commission would be headed by Mufti Ghulamur Rehman of Jamia
Usmania, Nauthia, Peshawar. The statement said the commission would
submit its recommendations as envisaged in Section 7 of the Shariah
NWFP Education Minister Maulana Fazle Ali has complained that
well-known nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan had expressed his
inability to head the provincial Educational Reforms Commission after
having agreed to do so earlier. The commission was notified here the
other day. In place of Dr Qadeer, the new chairman of the commission
is Maulana Ghulamur Rahman, a prominent religious scholar, who also
headed the Nifaz-i-Shariat Council. The council was formed to make
recommendations for enforcing Shariat in the NWFP.
Geneva : A Blow To Peace - 07 Dec 03
The so-called Geneva Accord, signed last week by Yossi Beilin, a
former Israeli justice minister, and Yasser Abd-Rabbo, a former aide
to Yasser Arafat, has met with a mixture of childlike enthusiasm by
some and wizened cynicism by others.
A more official condemnation came from the Palestinian Dar al-Fatwa
(House of Edicts) which declared the accord to be "haraam" (forbidden)
and a violation of "the sacred principles of Islamic justice."
Saudi killer saved by victim's family - 05 Dec 03
A convicted Saudi Arabian murderer has been spared execution after
tribal sheikhs persuaded his victim's father to accept five million
riyals [EUR 1,1 m] in return for his life, Saudi newspapers report.
Al-Watan newspaper said on Friday 22-year-old Saeed bin Manea
al-Harith killed Abdallah bin Jakhdab al-Kawal after an argument at
work last year. Thousands of men from the convicted murderer's tribe
besieged the Kawal family house in South Dhahran in southern Saudi
Arabia at dawn on Thursday to try to save him from his punishment.
After several hours of talks Kawal's father, overruling the wishes of
his wife, agreed to spare the killer. He originally demanded 10
million riyals compensation, along with 10 cars and 10 daggers, the
paper said. Under Islamic laws, relatives of a murder victim can
accept "blood money" instead of the execution of the offender.
Pledge, assurance not enough to give hope to Singapore Malays
.. - 06 Dec 03
Top of the list is the issue of loyalty of the Malay-Muslim community.
The challenge has become more testing following the arrests of several
members of the community for supposedly being members of the banned
terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah that has been blamed for the bombings
and alleged planned terror acts in the region and in Singapore.
Members of the community also form the highest number of unemployed in
the country as most employers blatantly refuse to hire Malay-Muslim
workers, citing their inability to speak Mandarin as the reason, and
preferring, instead, to hire foreigners who speak the language. The
community also tops the class in the number of serial divorcees, or
those who have gone through two, or more divorces. The problem
afflicts mainly the very poor who are either unemployed or earn less
than S$500 (RM1,100) [EUR 240,-] a month. The Syariah Court, which
administers Muslim marriages and divorces, blames the problem on
younger men who marry or remarry for short-term goals, mostly to
satisfy physical needs, and the low educational level of the couples.
Social workers, however, insist that the blame should be on the court
for its eagerness to settle marital problems through divorce, rather
than help save a marriage. Still, there is hope for the community,
which is recognised as the city-state's indigenous race.
Muslim leaders vow to reject proposed family law if it opposed Sharia
.. [New Vision - Kampala] - 05 Dec 03
Muslim leaders have said they will not accept the Domestic Relations
Bill if it contradicts the Islamic marriage and family law. Meeting
members of the Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA) at
Parliament yesterday, seven Muslim sheikhs said the Islamic law
adequately caters for their marriage and family concerns. They said
the bill has British origins and could not adequately cater for
Islamic concerns on marriage.
"We have also been to school. There is no way you can say you can
harmonize the Muslim marriage law with any other law. The law you are
talking about is of British origin, which is a Christian country with
the seat of the Church," said [Sheikh Imam] Kasozi [secretary of the
Muslim Tabliq community].
The meeting, however, ended prematurely, after the leaders rejected
the debate as 'meaningless'. They said they could not go any further
as they did not have copies of the Bill, and could not debate what
they did not know.
Muslim doubts over training scheme - 08 Dec 03
Proposals are being drawn up by the Home Office to educate Muslim
community leaders. The state-funded course, equivalent to an A-level,
is being developed with the Learning and Skills Council and aims to
train Muslims to become mosque leaders known as imams. Keighley MP Ann
Cryer, who has spoken out against imams being brought to Britain with
little English and no knowledge of local communities, said: "Many of
the imams in West Yorkshire are part of the problem rather than the
A Home Office spokesman said: "The courses will focus on professional
and managerial skills and do not include theological training. The
initiative responds to concerns within the Muslim community at the
shortage of imams with knowledge and understanding of the needs of
Muslims in Britain today." But Ayub Laher, vice-president of the
Bradford Council for Mosques, said there was no substitute for imams
from the sub-continent. It is too simplistic to say we can train the
graduates coming through the Islamic colleges, because they need
guidance from the overseas scholars."
[California] Islam has an African-American face - 06 Dec 03
At its core, the Islam practiced at Masjidul Waritheen [East Oakland
mosque] is no different from what is practiced in Indonesia, India or
Saudi Arabia. The Quran and the collected sayings of the Prophet
Muhammad form the basis for all beliefs. But there are differences of
interpretation, culture and history. Most African-American Muslims are
converts; many feel they are returning to the religion of their
ancestors, slaves who were Muslims. Many came to the faith through the
Nation of Islam -- which even African-American Muslims consider to
have Islamically heretical beliefs. Women also have a higher status
and more visible presence in the mosque, and music plays a role.
"A common misperception has been that they are Muslims in training,
even though they are fully Muslim and they have a lot to offer," says
Shahed Amanullah, 35, a child of Indian immigrants and a spokesman for
United Muslims of America. While race and class play a role in the
divisions, the historic tie many African-American Muslims have with
the Nation of Islam and its quasi-Islamic beliefs is also a reason
immigrant Muslims sometimes don't view African Americans as full
followers of the faith. Remnants of that history are still visible. Go
to Masjidul Waritheen on a Friday, the Muslim Sabbath, and you might
see members selling everything from bean pies, strawberries and
mangoes to soap, tea and vegan chocolate chip cookies. Such
farmers-market scenes aren't part of immigrant mosques, but Masjidul
Waritheen's congregants believe economic self-reliance is one more
step on the straight path toward Islam.
One of the most striking differences between today's immigrant and
African-American Muslims involves the role of women. At Masjidul
Waritheen, women follow the Quran's teachings on modest dress but also
serve in leadership roles. Men and women mingle freely after services,
sometimes exchanging hugs. Both genders pray in the same room -- rare
in many immigrant mosques.
[California] Muslim Football Team Names Spark Protest - 07 Dec 03
It was planned as a way to bring young athletes together for a weekend
of fun, but when participants in the Muslim Football tournament
started naming their teams Intifada, Soldiers of Allah and Mujahideen,
Jewish leaders took offense. Intifada means "uprising" in Arabic and
is the term applied to suicide bombings and other attacks against
Israelis in the Middle East. Mujahideen means holy warrior. Rabbi
Bernie King, who lives in Irvine, said the teams' names undermined
those who worked to have closer relations with Muslims. "Something
like this ... tends to support those in the community who have
suspicions about the real intent of Islam," King said.
One of the Jan. 4 tournament's organizers said the names were meant to
show support for Muslims in the Middle East, but also represent
football bravado. "A lot of the kids on our team are from Palestinian
origin," said Tarek Shawky, Intifada's 29-year-old captain and
quarterback. "We are in solidarity with people in the uprising. It's
about human rights and basic freedoms."
Islamic banking growing, but faces challenges - 07 Dec 03
Bankers in the Muslim world find that the biggest hurdles to the
growth of Islamic banking are of their own making -- lack of
regulation and local expertise, bankers said on Sunday. With available
funds totalling an estimated $260 billion worldwide, Islamic banking
has vast growth potential in a region where personal wealth is
estimated at $1.1 trillion. "There is a great deal of demand. People
like to invest their money according to their beliefs," said Rifaat
Ahmed Abdelkarim, secretary general of Islamic Financial Services
One shortcoming, according to experts, is the lack of clear regulation
and guidelines to help central bankers supervise Islamic financial
entities. "Islamic institutions have to abide by sharia, but does the
regulatory environment support this? Such (shortcomings) expose
Islamic banks to increased risks and affect their products,"
Abdelkarim said. Abdelkarim's IFSB, whose job is to set prudential and
supervisory standards for central banks in Islamic countries, has been
trying to tackle a number of challenging issues, including capital
adequacy, risk management and corporate governance. Yet at a meeting
this weekend in Bahrain the body failed to so more than agree to set
up one more working group to study new standards for corporate
Another challenge, bankers say, is an insufficient pool of human
resources to lead Islamic finance. "The region suffers from a shortage
of financiers in general and Islamic banking experts in particular,"
said Khalid Abdullah Janahi of Solidarity, a Gulf-based Islamic
insurance company. "Governments have just discovered the wide interest
in Islamic banking; it's something to keep their people happy. So why
not pay more attention to it?" Janahi told Reuters. Experts also say
Islamic banking needs to develop a wider variety of products to lure
customers among the one billion Muslims worldwide.
The growing importance of Islamically-structured bonds (Sukuk)
.. [Jordan Times] - 07 Dec 03
The interest of investors in the Islamically-structured debt
instruments, commonly known as Sukuk, has been on the rise recently
and demand for these instruments will continue to surge. The list of
sovereign issuers of these bonds has grown to include Bahrain, Qatar,
Lebanon, Turkey and Malaysia in addition to the Saudi-based Islamic
Development Bank. Corporate issuers have also started to tap this
market, with Emaar Properties and Tabreed, both of the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), issuing Sukuks of $50 million and $100 million
respectively. Not only Islamic fnancial institutions are seeking to
invest in the Sharia-compliant bonds, but also the investment
community at large is showing interest in these instruments.
The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA), the country's central bank, issued
the first tradable Sukuks in September 2001. Since then the pace of
issuance has quickened with the BMA tapping this market seven more
times, brining the total value of the Sukuks issued by Bahrain close
to the $1,000 million mark. There has been a $ 600 million sovereign
issue from Malaysia that came to the market in June 2002, $400 million
from the Islamic Development Bank issued in July 2003, $700 million
from Qatar issued in September 2003 and Lebanon is planning a $200
million issue before year end.
The main reason for the success of Islamic bonds is that they offer a
solution to one of the main problems that have slowed the growth of
Islamic finance, that of liquidity management. Islamic financial
institutions are not allowed to deposit the excess balances they have
in short- term debt instruments, or to draw on the Interbank market
for that purpose. As a result, most Islamic financial institutions end
up having highly liquid balance sheets with rising liabilities, but
only limited opportunities on the asset side. Sukuks have, over the
past two years, been creating new venues for the short-term placement
Sukuks must be asset-backed and as such they are structured as bundles
of ijara, or leasing transactions. Sukuks are tradable because they
are backed by real assets. Murabaha contracts, on the other hand, in
which a client makes payment to a bank for a product that the bank has
bought for the client cannot be traded because they represent money
owed, not tangible assets. If an Islamic financial institution wants
to tap the debt market in a Sharia-compliant way, a special purpose
company needs to be established, call it Islamic Global Sukuk (IGS).
The IGS will issue trust certificates or Sukuks to potential
investors and will use the money raised to purchase a rent generating
property from the Islamic financial institution. IGS will then rent
the property back to the financial institution for say a five-year
period corresponding to the duration of the trust certificates or
Sukuks, and will keep the property or the asset in trust for the
holders of the Sukuks. The lease rental payments from the Islamic
financial institution to the IGS will exactly match the periodic
payments due to the holders of the Sukuks. These rental payments are
not fixed and may be calculated based on six months US dollar Libor
plus a margin. All claims due to IGS, the special purpose company
issuing the Sukuks, including the rent that will fund the periodic
payments on the trust certificates are a direct, unconditional and
irrevocable obligations of the Islamic financial institution under the
agreement. The Islamic financial institution is also obliged to
purchase from the IGS upon the maturity of the lease, the asset or the
property leased at the agreed exercise price which will be used for
the repayment of the principle to the holders of the Sukuks.
For example, Bahrain's $250 million Sukuks issued in May 2003 is
backed by an ijara lease on the country's airport, Malaysia's global
Sukuk, launched in June 2002, is similarly backed by an ijara lease on
a single piece of government property. The money raised by the
government of Qatar will be partly used to finance the construction of
the Hamad Medical City. The $50 million Islamic bonds arranged by the
Bahrain-based Liquidity Management Centre for Emaar Properties of
Dubai will be used to fund Emaar's expanding portfolio of new
commercial and residential projects in and around Dubai.
[Bahrain] USD 300m Islamic insurer - 07 Dec 03
Today marks the official launch of Solidarity, a USD 300m Islamic
insurance and assurance company established in Bahrain. It claims to
be the largest Islamic insurance company in the world, and is a first
for the Kingdom. The company will offer a wide range of Takaful
[Bahrain] Murabaha offer by Noriba Bank - 08 Dec 03
Noriba Bank has announced the launch of Range Murabaha Investments
(RaMI), an innovative new product that offers capital preservation
while allowing investors the opportunity to optimise the risk-adjusted
returns on their short-term investments. RaMI is a Sharia-compliant
structured yield investment alternative which provides investors with
the potential to earn up to 10 per cent per annum, significantly
higher than normal 'Murabaha' (Sharia-compliant trade finance)
investments. RaMI investors select their benchmark commodity or
currency and its performance within a selected price range band,
thereby planning for a higher overall return within a given time
period. Periodic Murabaha trades are carried out over the life of the
investment. Once the individual Murabaha deferred sales proceeds are
due, any profit arising from the investment is paid to the investor.
The original amount is re-invested in another Murabaha transaction,
and so on.
[Saudi] NCB Launches Five New Islamic Funds - 08 Dec 03
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has launched five Islamic mutual
funds, continuing what it calls its history of innovation. Three are
new risk-profiled funds called Al-Manara Portfolios -- Al-Manara
Conservative Growth, Al-Manara Medium Growth and Al-Manara High
Growth. The other two funds are the Al-Ahli Diversified Saudi Riyal
Trade Fund and the Al-Ahli Diversified US Dollar Trade Fund.
The Al-Manara portfolio range offers three diversified investment
solutions provided by NCB with its chosen sub-advisers. The
stock-picking skills of such managers as Wellington, Gulf
International Bank, Bakheet and Deutsche Bank are combined with NCB's
extensive experience in Islamic investing. "The Al-Manara Conservative
Growth Portfolio is a solution for investors who are still cautious
about the risks of equity markets but who realize that cash-only funds
cannot, in the current environment, provide a sufficiently high
return." The Medium Growth Portfolio is a solution for investors who
are prepared to commit half of their investment portfolio to equity
markets, but appreciate that it is sensible to diversify across a wide
range of markets and currencies and countries. The High Growth
Portfolio is suited for investors who understand and appreciate that
equities, although volatile, are the asset class that has the highest
probability of delivering significant capital growth. Such investors
typically take a longer-term view of returns.
"We already manage the Al-Ahli Saudi Riyal Trade Fund which, at over $
3 billion, is the world's largest Islamic mutual fund. We conducted
research recently which made it clear that investors were looking for
more innovation and higher returns. We now offer two new funds -- one
denominated in riyal and one in dollars -- which are managed to
deliver higher returns to investors without taking on the risk of
equity markets." "The two Al-Ahli Diversified Funds are low-risk
specialist, open-end funds designed for investors who wish to employ
the manager's full discretion in the search for high returns from
trade transactions which conform to murabaha principles and from
Islamic bonds -- sukuk -- and other instruments."
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