91Sharia News Watch 91
- Dec 19, 2003Sharia News Watch 91 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
The Sharia Newswatch provides an almost weekly update of news quotes
on Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
news- searchengines. All editions :
Loya Jerga: Disruption as delegates referred to as "criminals"
.. - 17 Dec 03
0532 gmt. A woman representative from Farah Province said the
criminals' decisions should not be considered. She seemed to be
referring to Abdorrab Rasul Sayyaf, well-known jehad leader and the
leader of Ettehad-e Eslami party, and said that the criminals should
all be confined to a single committee. After she finished, all the
representatives, mostly the jehadis began disrupting the Jerga, going
to the stage and shouting "Down with communism".
Shari'a - A Blessing or a Burden by Syed B. Soharwardy - 14 Dec 03
Bahaites Are Apostates: Al-Azhar - 16 Dec 03
Al-Azhar's Islamic Research Academy on Monday, December15 , renewed
assertion that whosoever believes in the so-called Baha'iyyah or
Qadyaniyyah is an apostate. The academy said in a statement, a copy
of which was obtained by IslamOnline.net, that Bahaites do not believe
in Prophet Muhammad as the seal of the all prophets.
The affirmation as a response to a letter received by the academy from
the Baha'iyyah society in Madagascar, an island in the Indian Ocean,
east of Mozambique, southern Africa. The society members wanted to
know what Muslim scholars say about their sect. The academy statement
stressed that Baha'iyyah is "totally rejected" and "a heresy that runs
counter to all principles of Islam".
It came to underline a similar ruling issued by late Grand Imam of
Al-Azhar Sheikh Gad Al-Haq Ali Gad Al-Haq, who said that Baha'iyyah
"is a mixture of various religions, sects and philosophies that is
good for nothing". The late prominent scholar said that the man-made
belief served best Zionism and colonialism and "a set of ideas aimed
at waging war on Islam in the name of religion". According to Sheikh
'Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, "Baha'iyyah
first started at the hands of Ahmad Al-Ahsani, who was notable among
scholars in Karbila', An-Najaf, and Iran. "He has authored some books
based on which he was accused of worshipping 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. He
was also accused of denying the resurrection of humans' bodies,
claiming that it would be merely a spiritual resurrection."
Some of the Baha'iyyah beliefs are Incarnation - that Allah was
personified in the sect leader - the denial of the Day of Judgment and
denial of Prophet Muhammad's miracles and interpreting them as
immaterial things. There are many branches of their belief, foremost
among which are the following: a- The divine nature of the number "19"
which is a Jewish concept. To them, the year consists of 19 months,
the month consists of 19 days. It is similar to masonry in that both
of them are anti-religion by using deceiving slogans, such as the
service to humanity.
Muslims urge calm over scarf law - 18 Dec 03
Islamic leaders in France have urged young Muslims to stay calm after
the French president's support for a law banning headscarves in
schools. President Jacques Chirac backed proposals which would mean a
ban on all conspicuous religious signs in schools.
Opinion polls showed a majority support for the law but many religious
leaders had expressed their concerns before Mr Chirac's speech on
Wednesday. Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses would be
affected, as well as headscarves worn by Muslim girls.
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said he would "move
quickly" to make sure the proposals become law before the start of the
new school year in September.
Fouad Alaoui, head of the fundamentalist Union for Islamic
Organisations of France, said the law "limits religious freedom to the
maximum" and would put practicing Muslims "in contradiction with their
religious convictions". Some Muslims have said they will demonstrate
to show their opposition to the law. Imam Hamed of the Croissant de
l'Islam community organisation in Dunkerque said the law would deepen
divisions in society. "We're going to demonstrate to show we don't
agree," he told BBC News Online.
Other proposals which got the president's backing included:
* ensuring that patients in public hospitals cannot refuse treatment
from doctors of the opposite sex;
* enabling employers to regulate the wearing of religious symbols for
reasons of safety or customer relations .
He rejected a plan for school holidays to mark the Muslim feast of Eid
al-Adha and the Jewish Yom Kippur.
Indonesian Ulemas ban interest - 17 Dec 03
On Tuesday, the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) edict commission
declared the application of interest at all financial institutions
such as banks, insurance companies, pawn houses and cooperatives as
going against Islamic teachings. "We agreed that interest is the same
as the practice of riba (usury) which was haram (prohibited) during
the era of Prophet Muhammad," said Ma'ruf Amin, head of the
commission. Amin said that MUI would prohibit Muslims from using
conventional banks once Sharia banks were operational in their area.
Bank Indonesia (the central bank) estimates that Sharia banks account
for 0.46 per cent of the country's financial system, compared with 30
per cent in Kuwait, 12 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 6.8 per cent in
Bank Indonesia (BI) deputy governor Aslim Tadjudin on Tuesday
(16/12/03) said the central bank had written to the Indonesian Ulemas
Council (MUI) in response to its decision to declare interest on money
as riba (usury), which is haram or forbidden under Islamic law.
"MUI has the authority to issue the fatwa, but it is up to the people
to accept or not to accept it because the people can have differing
opinions," Tadjudin was quoted as saying by state news agency Antara.
NU and Muhammadiyah both own commercial banks that apply interest. NU
owns Bank Perkreditan Rakyat (BPR) Nusumma, while Muhammadiyah runs
Bank Persyarikatan. Not surprisingly, the two Muslim organizations
have already declared that bank interest is not necessarily riba as
long as rates are reasonable and loans can benefit both the borrower
and lender. Former NU leader Abdurrahman Wahid has long argued that
bank loans differ from riba, which the Prophet Muhammad banned in
order to protect his followers from rapacious economic practices that
profited only the lender. Wahid was not a supporter of Indonesia's
first strictly Islamic banking institution, Bank Muamalat Indonesia,
which was opened in 1992 and now has about 200,000 customers.
Several banking figures and economists oppose the MUI's fatwa, saying
it could hinder efforts to restore confidence in Indonesia's fragile
banking sector. Others say the debate over the edict has merely
served to distract the public from allegations that funds recently
embezzled from state-owned banks were channeled to presidential
candidates of the former ruling Golkar Party.
Muhammadiyah cool on Islamic bank edict - 18 Dec 03
Muhammadiyah chairman Ahmad Syafii Maarif called on Muslims on
Wednesday to play down an edict that bans bank interest and suggested
that they continue using conventional banks. Syafii, who leads the
country's second largest Muslim organization, said the issue of bank
interest remained controversial even among ulemas. "As an opinion, an
ijtihad (individual interpretation or judgment), we appreciate the
edict. But, I think it was hastily formulated as there has been no
agreement among ulemas regarding the issue," Syafii told reporters at
Muhammadiyah headquarters here.
"Most of the shop owners here are devout Muslims, yet they obtain
credit with a monthly interest of 25 percent from local cooperatives
and we don't feel sinful about it," Rubiono, who has been on the haj
pilgrimage, told The Jakarta Post. .. Despite the high interest
rate, he said, the cooperatives provide easier access to obtain loans
compared to conventional banks or its sharia units that apply
redundant procedures. He added he had not been able to obtain a loan
from sharia banks although he had submitted many proposals to them.
Indonesian clerics issue terror ban - 17 Dec 03
After a day-long debate, the [Indonesian Council of Ulemas] ruled that
terrorism was unacceptable under any definition of jihad, or holy
struggle, falling outside the teachings of the Koran. "Terrorism is
haram (forbidden), whether it is terror done by individuals, groups or
states," the fatwa said. But jihad was still acceptable for oppressed
Muslims, while death by suicide was still allowable in war zones where
the intention was to create fear and more loss of life for the enemies
of Islam, the council ruled. "It should not be done in a non-war
place, where it can cause someone to be killed," the ruling said.
Islamic commission chief says jihad, terrorism separate issues
.. [Excerpt from unattributed report entitled: "MUI Fatwa Commission
views jihad and terrorism as separate issues", published by Indonesian
newspaper Republika on 16 December] [..]
Indonesian Muslim leader urges domestic trial on Saddam - 15 Dec 03
A noted Indonesian Muslim leader on Monday called on the United States
to let the Iraqi people try the barely-captured Saddam Hussein,
stressing that the United States has no right to prosecute the former
Iraqi leader. "The US invasion was without a UN backing. If the trial
was ledby the United States, it would likely trigger world protest
again," Syafii Ma'arif, head of major Muslim group Muhammadiyah, said
inan interview with Detikcom online news portal. "Let the Iraqi court
try. It's up to the Iraqi people whether or not he (Saddam) would be
set to free," said Syafii.
Iran Makes TV Series on Imam Musa Sadr - 17 Dec 03
Iranian Ravayat-e Fat'h (Narration of Triumph) TV group is making the
TV series about the kidnapped leader of Lebanese Shiite Muslims, Imam
Musa Sadr. .. Information about the life of Imam Sadr was mostly
oral and inaccessible but people who lived in villages in the north
and south of Lebanon with memories of him visiting the regions
provided the group with good information," added Mohammad-Hussein
Mahmudian. "The TV series intends to familiarize viewers with the
character of Imam Sadr as a successful religious and political figure,
as well as with his status in Lebanon," he said.
Iranian student Basij warns of Nobel laureate's university appearances
.. [Text of report: "Student Basij warning against consequences of
tension at universities due to Shirin Ebadi's programme", published by
the Iranian newspaper Jomhuri-ye Eslami web site on 10 December]
In a letter to Science Minister Dr Towfiqi, the Student Basij of
Tehran University and the Medical Sciences University of Tehran
announced that the frequent presence of Shirin Ebadi at the
universities will lead to tension in the academic and student
environments and warned of the consequences of her presence in these
Storm over tyrant's unholy blood - 18 Dec 03
Its classic Arabic decoration is spellbinding. But there is something
grotesque about the burnished brown ink in the calligrapher's
exquisite text - it is the blood of Saddam Hussein.
now a committee of 25 Muslim thinkers will decide if this lonely
survivor should also have been burnt. Their task is not easy because
of an appalling contradiction. It is heretical to render the Koran in
blood, an impurity that should be washed away. On the other hand, the
Koran defines absolutely Muslims' religious beliefs and culture - it
cannot be destroyed.
'Seek views before adopting proposal' [New Straits Times] - 17 Dec 03
Public and legal profession feedback should be sought before a
proposal to adopt a national judicial system fusing the inquisitorial,
adversarial and Syariah systems is made to the Government. Bar Council
chairman Khutubul Zaman Bukhari said this was important because it was
the public who would be affected if the Government approved the
proposal. He was commenting on Chief Justice Tan Sri Ahmad Fairuz
Sheikh Abdul Halim suggestion yesterday to consider a national
judicial system that fused the three systems.
DAP national deputy chairman and lawyer Karpal Singh said the proposal
was inappropriate besides being unconstitutional because it would
subject non-Muslims to Islamic law.
'A fusion of systems could solve backlog of court cases' - 16 Dec 03
.. [New Straits Times]
There is a need to look into the possibility of adopting a national
judicial system which is based on a fusion of the inquisitorial,
adversarial and Syariah systems. Chief Justice Tan Sri Ahmad Fairuz
Sheikh Abdul Halim said such a system could provide the balance, and
perhaps the solution, to overcoming the long-standing problem of
backlog of cases. "Questions must be asked whether it is time for our
judiciary system not to entirely depend on Common Law," he told
reporters after opening a three-day National Judiciary Conference at
the Hyatt Regency today.
Ahmad Fairuz said backlog of cases was still a big problem faced by
the courts and new ways must be introduced to improve on the current
adversarial system, which placed more emphasis on procedures and
technicalities. He cited rape cases as an example, saying that our
system required that the act of rape must be proved to have occurred
before other procedures take place. In contrast, he said Indonesia,
which uses the inquisitorial system where the judge gets involved in
the questioning of witnesses, has managed to clear even major cases in
a relatively short frame of time.
He said the French-based inquisitorial system had proven to be
effective in countries that adopted it, such as Japan, Indonesia and
South Korea. He said certain provisions of other judiciary systems,
such as Islamic law practised in Arab countries, could be adopted as
well. "These systems can be fused into one judicial system, which,
among others, is capable of overcoming delays and backlog without
compromising on the principles of justice."
Many queries on Pas' Islamic state document [New Straits Times]
.. - 14 Dec 03
Pas has received many queries and feedback on the Dokumen Negara Islam
(Islamic state document) released last month, but none challenged or
rejected its content, a party official said today. He said queries,
from both Muslims and non-Muslims forwarded to the party so far, were
all general in nature. "There are, of course, queries on how Pas will
go about implementing Syariah ...We have compiled and submitted them
to the special committee assigned to handle the feedback," he said,
adding that replies would be documented and distributed later.
Pas, according to the official, would print the document in Jawi to
reach out to rural Malays.The English version of the document is being
fine-tuned and will be printed soon. "We also have plans to translate
the document into Mandarin and Tamil."
Pas government to assist non-Muslims using non-halal sources
.. - 18 Dec 03
The Pas- led Terengganu State Government will carry out repairs to
homes of poor non-Muslims in the State using a special fund
accumulated from non-halal sources. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Abdul
Hadi Awang said the fund had reached RM1 million [EUR 212.000,-]. The
money was non-halal revenue, such as tax for pig-farming and bank
interests. He said the state government would use the money to assist
in repairing homes of the poor among the non-Muslim community
beginning next week.
In a related development, Hadi stressed that the state government's
decision to ban snooker and karaoke centres in Terengganu was because
they were against the teachings of Islam. He said although snooker was
a sport, it usually involved gambling while karoke was a form of vice.
"Yes, we don't allow them (snooker centres and karaoke) because there
are no good values in them. Just follow the state government's
ruling," he said.
Hadi, who is PAS president and Opposition Leader, was commenting on a
report in The Star yesterday that the Kuala Terengganu Municipal
Council was closing down the 10 snooker and 13 karaoke centres in
town. He said the closure ruling would cover all towns including
Kemaman and Dungun. "Although non-Muslims are permitted to consume
alcohol by their religion and customs, gambling is not acceptable by
any religion. "We are reviving the religious teachings of not only
Islam, but also all religions with emphasis on moral values," he said.
Commenting on the council's proposal to bar Muslims from entering
premises selling alcoholic drinks, Hadi said he supported the move as
it was in line with Islamic teachings.
King Mohammed chairs ministers' council on family code reform - 15 Dec
Morocco's King Mohammed VI chaired this Friday at the Royal Palace in
Marrakech a ministers council that was broadly devoted to the family
code reform announced by the sovereign on October 10.
[spokesman Royal Palace] Aourid said the sovereign highlighted that
the reform proposals contain moves to endow the judicial power with
executive tools through the creation of family-specialized sections in
highlighting the references and constant principles on which the
project was founded, namely: (..)
- adherence to the unity of the Malekite rite and Ijtihad
(jurisprudence) in order to craft a modern Mudawana that is consistent
with the teachings of our sacred religion.
- The family law should not be considered as a legislation devised for
women only, but as a text designed for the whole family, father,
mother and children and see to it that it contributes to lifting the
injustice that women endure, in addition to protecting children's
rights and safeguarding men's dignity.
Netherlands-Nigeria Centre to hold confab on sharia criminal law
.. - 16 Dec 03
The Centre for Netherlands-Nigeria Relations (CNNR), will today hold a
conference at Abuja on Sharia criminal law in Nigeria. According to a
statement, the conference which is in collaboration with the Faculty
of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, would discuss "Islamic
Criminal Law in Nigeria" by Professor Raud Peters of Department of
Arabic Studies, University of Amsterdam. The event is aimed at making
the administration of Islamic legal code to conform with the
international human rights standard and also seek ways of promoting
public understanding of sharia. Among personalities expected at the
event are former Justice of Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte,
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammadu Maccido, Professor Jerry Gana,
Prince Tony Momoh and others.
20,000 Devotees to Attend Ahmadiyya Confab - 16 Dec 03
Over 20,000 Muslims from Nigeria and neighbouring countries are
expected to attend the 54th annual conference (Jalsa Salana) of the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Nigeria. The three day event, which starts
on December 26 to 28, 2003 at the Ahmadiyya Missionary Training
College, owode-Ilaro road, Ilaro, Ogun State, would be formally
declared open by the Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
"The theme of the conference is Ensuring Peace and Security in the
Society." Missionary in charge of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Maulvi
Khalique Nayyar, Dr Saheed Timeyin, of the Department of Languages,
Lagos State Unversity, Ojo, Dr Y.A. Habeeb and barrister R.A. Muhammad
would all deliver lectures on The Essence of Khilafat In Islam, the
Ahmadiyya Experience, Punishment of Blasphemy in Islam, "World Peace
Situation -- Challenges, Problems and Prospects for the Ahmadiyya
Jamaat as well as The Importance of Education and Learning (Taalim and
Tarbiyyah) in the Consolidation and Expansion of Ahmadiyya Jamaat.
[Kaduna] Buhari's Aide Carpets Rep. Bugaje [Daily Trust - Abuja]
http://allafrica.com/stories/200312150447.html - 15 Dec 03
Principal private secretary to General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Malam
Ya'u Shehu Darazo has joined issues with the chairman, House of
Representatives foreign affairs committee, Dr. Usman Bugaje accusing
him of betrayal. He said Rep. Bugaje was perceived as an Islamic
activist who preached social justice and the enthronement of Sharia,
but turned against it after becoming the political adviser to vice
president Atiku Abubakar.
Ya'u accused Bugaje of double standards with regard to the
establishment of Sharia in some northern states. "As a political
adviser to the vice president, Dr. Bugaje worked against the
establishment of Sharia. He invited a Sudanese orientalist scholar to
come and debunk the establishment of Sharia. He established the
Assembly in Islam for that purpose. He did that for his new bosses
Atiku and the national security adviser."
[Ya'u] said Obasanjo's dialogue with traditional and religious leaders
from the north in Kaduna was unnecessary if Obasanjo truly believes he
was elected by the people. "If the people elected Obasanjo, they will
come out to jubilate and welcome him. But the people are in pains,
pensioners are not paid, fuel prices have wiped out their earnings and
they do not feel secure enough to come out."
Lahore High Court drops hudood case - 17 Dec 03
Justice Tassadaq Hussain Jillani of the Lahore High Court (LHC)
quashed a first information report (FIR) registered under the Hudood
Ordinance against a couple by the girl's parents after the family
reconciled in court. The parents of Ashi accepted Abdul Sharif as
their son-in-law and agreed to drop the case after he bowed before
them and begged for forgiveness. Justice Jillani told the parents they
should refrain from taking family matters to the police and courts in
the best interest of their children's self respect. The couple married
two years ago against the will of Ashi's parents. They even had a
daughter, but at the insistence of her parents, she dissolved the
marriage. However, before the divorce was final, she reconciled with
her husband. This angered her parents, who registered an FIR against
the couple with Sabzazar police.
[Sindh] Sukkur: Shaista may not be produced in SHC - 17 Dec 03
Chances of Shaista Almani's production in the Sindh High Court, Sukkur
bench, on Wednesday have minimized after the issuance of a fatwa
(religious decree) by Maulana Mohammad Murad Halejvi. According to
sources, parents of Ms Almani had approached the Maulana and sought
the religious opinion in this regard. The Maulana issued the fatwa,
maintaining that a Muslim woman must observe a 90-day iddat
(seclusion) after being divorced and must not leave her home during
this period. It was learnt that the fatwa would be produced in the
court on Wednesday through her lawyer. Meanwhile, Ms Almani was
produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate, Pano Aqil, Mr Abdul
Rahim Chandio, on Tuesday to record her statement in the wake of the
issuance of the religious decree.
The police have assured her parents that after appearance in the
court, she would be sent back to her home amid tight security. Shaista
had married Balkhsher Mahar against the will of her parents and left
her house. Later, the couple returned from upcountry and Mahar
divorced her due to pressure mounted by the Almanis. A petition, filed
by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, seeking her production in
the SHC, is fixed for hearing on Wednesday.
Human rights for women are needed in Pakistan [Tulsa World] - 14 Dec
.. [Shahnaz Bukhari]
Every day, at least four women in the country are burned to death by
family members, according the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. In
the last nine years, more than 6,500 women in the Islamabad-Rawalpindi
area of Pakistan (an area covering a 200-mile radius) have been doused
in kerosene and set alight by family members. Fewer than 1 percent
survived. These cases are rarely prosecuted, and when they are, the
conviction rate is barely 4 percent. Reasons for this abhorrent
practice, which is not uncommon in many South Asian countries, include
failure to give birth to a son, a man's desire to marry a second wife
without financial means to support the first, or a woman's acrimonious
relationship with her mother-in-law.
In the spring of 2002, the police raided and shut down our shelter,
and a Sharia (Islamic law) court judge accused me of "abetting an
attempt to commit adultery" and tried me under traditional Federal
Sharia (Islamic) law. Though I was eventually exonerated in that case,
I was forced to send my children to live overseas in fear of their
safety. Nothing in the Koran condones violence against women. Islam is
a gentle religion. In the past, it abolished repressive and cruel
practices committed against females, such as barter of women and
female infanticide. To blame religion for this violence is a great
disservice to Islam. The blame lies with the religious and political
elements that are exploiting people for their personal gain.
Purple Patch: Impossible Islamic State -- Olivier Roy - 17 Dec 03
The paradox is that the Islamists, who began by concerning themselves
with politics, can at this point reject the autonomous space of
politics that the ulamas accepted: specifically, the possibility for
the state to elaborate a positive law to legislate in areas not
covered by the sharia (this type of legislation is called ta'zir and
qanun). Having begun with criticism of the overly legalistic and
casuistic spirit of the ulamas as well as their indifference to
politics, the Islamists arrive at an even more radical negation of the
political sphere. "In a tawhid society there is no place for ta'zir
and qanun." The state effaces itself when it has accomplished its
historic tasks: to establish the exclusivity of the sharia, the only
norm for social relations; "for the people to be just and happy, it is
necessary and sufficient for the sharia to be implemented." But of
course this sharia, as we shall see, no longer bears any resemblance
to the casuistry and formalism of the ulamas: it is a dynamic sharia
(haraki), an active sharia, for it is internalized, lived, essentially
becoming one's religious practice. The circle is closed: political
action leads to religion, but to a religion of a mystical order.
Saudi ban on female doll imports - 18 Dec 03
Saudi Arabia has banned imports of female dolls and teddy bears, and
shopkeepers have been given three months to dispose of any stock. The
ban also applies to non-Islamic religious symbols, such as crosses and
statues of the Buddha. It was imposed by Prince Nayef, 69, the
interior minister, al-Riyadh newspaper said yesterday. He is also in
charge of the feared religious police and is regarded as one of the
main obstacles to reform within the government. Fashion models in the
country have also been told that they must not display "shapely"
figures. .. One unofficial source said it might to be a new attempt
to enforce a 1982 royal decree forbidding toys made in the shape of
Mecca-based Muslim clerics urge stricter use of Shari'ah to combat
..[Text of report from Jedda: "Call to root out causes of terrorism",
published in English by Saudi newspaper Arab News web site on 18
Members of the Islamic Fiqh Academy, who concluded their seven- day
deliberations in Mecca yesterday, emphasized the need to remove the
conditions that breed terrorism and extremism by implementing
Shari'ah. The academy, an affiliate of the Mecca-based Muslim World
League, called for a meeting of scholars in the Muslim world to
streamline fatwas (religious edicts) on contemporary issues. It also
called for the establishment of an international body to coordinate
among major Islamic organizations around the world.
The academy urged all banks in Muslim countries to keep away from
interest-based financial dealings. Referring to third-party sales or
tawarruk deals being practised by certain financial organizations, the
scholars said they were unacceptable because of suspicious involvement
of interest in such deals.
jurists: Killing of innocents in the name of jihad not justified
.. - 18 Dec 03
Eminent Islamic jurists meeting in Makkahtul Mukarrama under the aegis
of Muslim World League have reached the conclusion that killing the
innocents could not be condoned in the name of religion. The week-long
meeting of Islamic Fiqh Academy, due to end yesterday, has covered a
number of issues confronting the Muslim world today.
The move underlined the difference between terrorism and the right to
resist any invasion. It said that any one resisting occupation or
safeguarding integrity and independence cannot be termed as a
terrorist. According to Justice (Retd) Taqi Usmani who represented
Pakistan in the meeting of eminent Islamic jurists, it was however,
made clear that operations in which common, innocent people get killed
cannot be condoned in the name of jihad. The issue of declaring other
Muslims as infidel was also discussed by the religious Islamic
scholars during the week-long meet.
It was learned that the committee also discussed the taxation system
in the light of Islamic rulings; especially issues such as who can and
when taxes could be levied in a Muslim society and to what purposes
the collected taxes could be used. The issue of hereditary diseases
due to mismatched marriages also came under discussion. According to
sources, it was made clear that authorities could made it mandatory to
get a medical check before solemnising any marriages so as to rule out
the possibility of hereditary medical problems arising out of such
marriages. Some other medical issues such as the usage of sperms
left over after the delivery of test tube babies also came up for
discussion. The issue of legalising certain aspects of interest free
banking were also discussed at the meeting of the Islamic jurists.
Eminent jurists from various parts of the Islamic world are attending
Sudan factions see wealth-sharing deal this week - 16 Dec 03
Another source at the talks said it was likely they would agree on
retaining two currencies during the interim period, while a new single
currency was evolved. "We have agreed there will be a joint monetary
authority with two windows -- one on Islamic banking in the north and
one on a conventional Western banking system in the south."
[the source] noted there could soon be an agreement on currency as
well as the percentage of oil revenues to be shared between the north
and the south. The north, he said, would continue with the dinar and
south Sudan would adopt the new Sudan pound. In its latest report, the
International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank has said that this peace
process should take into account the rapidly deteriorating situation
in the Darfur region of western Sudan, warning that one conflict
risked being replaced by another.
[opinion] Changing Turkish Islam and the quest for modernity
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/18_12_03_d.asp - 18 Dec 03
increasingly, young men from Anatolia's dusty slums do not support the
secular state and long, instead, for an Islamic government. They face
limited prospects and were infused with a strict interpretation of
Islam during stints in Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan or Georgia in the
In that context, it can be said that the confrontation unfolding in
northern Greece and the Balkans between Turkish and Saudi approaches
to Islam since the 1990s shifted to Turkey with last month's attacks.
In the former Yugoslavia, the breakup of the state in the 1990s
allowed Saudi charities to fund the tearing down of Turkish seminaries
and mosques built in the lavish Ottoman tradition and replace them
with austere, white, Wahhabi shrines.
The export of a more radical, Saudi-inspired Islam was evident in the
path followed by the Turkish Hizbullah, an Islamist group active until
2000 which carried out religiously motivated killings aimed at
cleansing Turkish Islam of perceived unbelievers. Last month's
large-scale terrorist attacks in a major Turkish city were a first,
even for Kurdish separatists whose war against the Turkish state has
mostly been confined to the south. Besides choosing Istanbul because
it is Turkey's most Westernized city, the attackers struck deeper,
punching the city in its cosmopolitan, tolerant, Western center,
seeking to shatter the melting pot of religiously varied communities
that have peacefully coexisted there since Byzantium.
Get wife's permission for harem, Ugandan men told -18 Dec 03
Under proposed reforms to Uganda's marriage laws, a man seeking a
harem will require the consent of his first wife as well as the
approval of his district council. The proposed domestic relations bill
has provoked a clash between traditionalist men -- including some
Muslim clerics who say it is contrary to Sharia law -- and
increasingly assertive Ugandan women. President Yoweri Museveni's
government has brought in affirmative action programmes which have
boosted the numbers of women at universities and in the country's
parliament, and the marriage reforms are seen as the latest attempt to
woo female voters. "Women are the strongest supporters of Museveni,
because he is the first president to reach out to them, with all this
affirmative action," said Michael Wakabi, a journalist at the East
African newspaper in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
Second wives are usually married in ceremonies which are traditional
to the area, rather than within a major religion -- something that
leaves them with no inheritance rights when their husband dies.
The bill will place traditional marriages under the protection of the
law and will give women a right of veto on property decisions made by
their husbands. The reforms, which are being piloted through
parliament by the justice minister, Janat Mukwaya, a Muslim woman,
will also ban the practice of "widow inheritance", under which a widow
is expected to marry her deceased husband's brother. The practice has
been blamed for the spread of HIV. Marital rape will also be outlawed
by the bill, and women will be given the right to refuse sexual
intercourse on "reasonable grounds", including poor health and
recovery after birth or surgery. The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council
said the bill's limitation on further marriages was contrary to Islam.
"A Muslim is free to marry more than one wife, and to limit him is not
for human government, it is for Allah only," it said.
[Birmingham] Dilemma Of Multiple Marriages [Sunday Mercury]
The issue of multiple marriages has been hotly debated within the
Muslim community. In 2000 a respected Walsall businessman with three
wives went to the European Court of Human Rights in a bid to get the
British laws on polygamy overturned. Medi Siadatan lost his case but
reignited the debate among Muslims. Last night Dr Imam Abduljalil
Sajid, chairman of the Muslim Marriage Guidance Council, said Muslims
living in the UK should recognise the confines of British law.
'Because these marriages are not recognised by law, the additional
'wives' are not afforded any protection in legal terms,' he said.
Florida Islamic Conference Outed As Jihad-Fest - 19 Dec 03
Lawsuit over headwear unresolved [Tulsa World] - 11 Dec 03
Both sides in a Muslim family's lawsuit challenging a school
dress-code policy banning religious headwear met Wednesday in a
federal settlement conference but did not reach an agreement. In fact,
attorneys for the family of 11-year-old Nashala Hearn and the Muskogee
school district apparently plan to continue pressing their cases.
The suit asks that a federal court declare Muskogee school's
dress-code policy as "unconstitutionally vague," that the district
rewrite that code to allow religious dress and that the two
suspensions be expunged from the child's school record. Gleichman
previously has argued that changing the dress code to allow religious
expression also will open it up to gang clothing and satanic symbols.
Jacko Converts - Michael joins Nation of Islam - 18 Dec 03
Michael Jackson has converted to the Nation of Islam, at a time when
prosecutors are preparing to formally file charges against him in a
California child-molestation case. According to the New York Post his
religious changeover comes along with a shake-up of his personal
IFANCA Confirms Halal For 700 Firms And 10,000 Food Products Worlwide
.. - 18 Dec 03
Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) is verifying
halal for more than 700 food firms and more than 10,000 food products
throughout the world. Based in Chicago, IFANCA had been established in
1982 in Illinois as a global halal certification body which had branch
offices in Europe, China, India, Africa, Pakistan, South America,
Southeast Asia and Canada. It was also an Islamic technical
organisation, specifically for scientific research pertaining to food
and nutritions. International director IFANCA, Dr Mohamed Sadek
Nazardin said, halal products in America were generally for export
purposes to Islamic countries such as the Middle East, Malaysia,
Singapore and Indonesia.
Indonesia was the most in making halal certification applications at
55 percent, Malaysia (20 percent), USA (10 percent), Singapura (5
percent) dan others (10 percent), he said.
Internet Jihad By Robert Spencer - 16 Dec 03
'Real' Islam and Jihad - A rejoinder by Habib Siddiqui - 17 Dec 03
.. "To understand the significance of Jihad in Islam and its
civilization, one must distinguish between a common meaning of the
term and the theological and the juridical sense of the word." ..
Iran, Saudi worst religious freedom violators in Mideast - 18 Dec 03
The United States on Thursday assailed the Islamic states of Iran and
Saudi Arabia as the worst offenders of religious freedom rights in the
Middle East. The two countries - along with pre-war Iraq - were
listed in the State Department's annual report on international
religious freedom as nations in which there is "state hostility toward
minority or non-approved religions." Egypt was named a lesser
offending nation where there is either state neglect religious
persecution or discrimination toward certain groups. Israel and
Turkey, which had been in Egypt's class last year, graduated up a
level to the group of nations in which there is "discriminatory
legislation or policies disadvantaging certain religions," according
to the report.
Islamic Finance: Guardians have responsibilities - 18 Dec 03
Drawing the roadmap for Islamic banking - 19 Dec 03
The foundation of any Islamic financial engineering is an
understanding of the balance between fixed features of Shariah, such
as certain prohibitions and the fixed tenets of Qur'anic law, and
dynamic features, such as rules on Mu'amalat (dealings), secondary
sources of law, and the understanding that everything is permissible
unless it is forbidden. Bankers have used doctrines of necessity
(Darurah) and common need (Al Hajjah Mushtaraka) as justification, and
in some cases classical Islamic instruments have been adapted to
modern needs (for example Ijarah for operating leases and Mudarabah
for investment management) while in others conventional instruments
have been reverse engineered (for example deriving Sukuks from bonds).
Islamic finance has ethical and religious principles to adhere to, but
lacks the convictions of accepted financial theory. "Those of us who
have studied finance will have studied the Modgliani and Miller model
as a tool to calculate the cost of capital of a company," Abdulmalik
[First Islamic Investment Bank] said in explanation. "Since in Islamic
banking we have investment account holders rather than depositors, it
may not be appropriate to use the M&M model because investment account
holders to not receive a fixed rate of return. We need research to be
carried out into developing an Islamic version of the M&M model, and
in many other areas of Islamic finance such as risk management and
securitisation, so that we can build the Islamic banking industry on
sound theoretical foundations."
Abdulmalik went on to say that in his view one of the greatest
challenges facing Islamic banking is the provision of short-term
investment instruments. Several institutions have tried to develop
high quality short-term instruments, but have been hampered by their
ability to generate assets, by their credit ratings, and by liquidity.
FIIB's solution to this problem has been to partner with international
banks to develop suitable vehicles that can compete with the returns
offered to investors by traditional conventional money market
products. In this arrangement the international banks provide the
liquidity support and asset generation capabilities, and the Islamic
bank gets a solution to its problem, albeit not a fully independent
Speaking specifically about Islamic debt instruments, Dost Mohamed
Qureshi, Adviser to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), said that his
institution's experiences from launching Sukuks have taught it a lot
about the importance of innovation. "Until recently Islamic Sukuks
have been seen as bilateral rather than tradeable products," he said.
"Now we are focusing on an Islamic alternative to the bond markets. We
want to see how this market can be developed, but also how it can be
integrated with the global markets."
Given that necessity is the mother of all invention, perhaps it is a
good thing that Islamic bankers face quite a wide array of problems
that they must surmount to guarantee their industry's future growth.
Some of these problems are tangible, such as diminishing Murabahah
returns, constrained asset allocation and the need for Islamic
financial training institutions. Some of these problems are rather
less easy to define and tackle head on, such as the lack of Shariah
credibility in some products, the rather short-term nature of research
and development, and the lack of think tanks to guide the industry
with the theoretical foundations called for by Atif Abdulmalik. Iqbal
Khan identified structured alternative assets, Sukuks, treasury and
risk management products, and private equity as the areas he believes
should be top of the innovation agenda for Islamic bankers. What is
clear is that the replication and re-engineering of conventional
products will never be enough in isolation.
Market Penentration Of Syariah Banks Still Low - 15 Dec 03
The market penetration of syariah banks in Indonesia was still low
compared to that of similar financial institutions in some other
countries, an official said. "Bahrain has developed a syariah bank in
1979 and the bank is one of the developed ones," Deputy Director of
the Syariah Banking Directorate at Bank Indonesia, Hatief
Hadikoesoemo, said here over the weekend. Speaking at a seminar on the
socialization of Syariah Bank, he said that the market penetration of
the syariah bank in Kuwait had reached 30 percent, in Saudi Arabia (12
pct), in Malaysia which developed such bank in 1983 (6.8 pct) while in
Indonesia 0.46 pct.
Gulf Arab firms create Islamic investment giant - Bahrain - 18 Dec 03
Gulf Arab investment firms and investors set up a giant Islamic
insurance and assurance firm in Bahrain with a paid-in capital of $100
million and issued capital of $300 million to cash in on promising
markets such as Saudi Arabia. The new firm, Solidarity, will initially
operate in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but will extend its activities at
a later stage to other markets in the Middle East and Asian Islamic
countries. Solidarity was established earlier this year by Gulf Arab
investors after getting the go ahead from the Bahrain Monetary Agency
(BMA), Sameer al-Wazzan, general manager of Takaful & Re-Takaful at
Solidarity said. Takaful is the Arabic word for insurance, and is used
mainly by Islamic states.
"From the first day of its establishment, Solidarity has acquired
three Islamic companies in different countries," Wazzan said.
They are Saudi-based Islamic Takaful, Luxembourg-registered Life
Takaful, Bahama's Takaful-Re. They were bought from Geneva-based Dar
al-Mal al-Islami, an Islamic investment company. "The three firms will
restructure to expand is activities," Wazzan said. Wazzan added that
Solidarity will concentrate on life, education, marriage, retirement,
medical, pilgrimage, umrah (minor pilgrimage), fire, marine,
engineering, motor, home and travel insurance. "These products will be
marketed through Shamil Bank of Bahrain, QIB and Faisal Islamic Bank
through what is called banc assurance," he said.
"There is no law or regulation that organizes the insurance industry
in the kingdom," he said, adding that the Saudi Cabinet is currently
reviewing insurance regulations and once issued, they will be very
helpful. "I expect Solidarity will be very successful because it's
based near promising markets such as Iran and Iraq, when rebuilding of
the country completed," Wazzan said.
Statistics show that per capita spending on life insurance in Gulf
Arab states is estimated less than $60 compared with $2,500 in
Imperatives of non-interest banking to Nigeria's economy, by Owoyemi
http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/business/article10 - 14 Dec 03
.. [Alhaji Lateef Adebayo Owoyemi is a veteran banking, finance and
management consultant. A past President of Institute of Management
Consultants of Nigeria and council member of Institute of Chartered
Accountant of Nigeria since 1992, he is an eminent promoter of
non-interest or Islamic banking in the country.]
Q: Is Islamic banking permitted by Nigeria law?
A: Apart from the requirement to meet all the criteria set for all
banks under the law and by the Central Bank of Nigeria from time to
time, Section 39(1) (a) of the Act stipulates that "Except with the
written consent of the Governor, no bank shall be registered or
incorporated with a name which includes the words: "...Islamic,..."
There are other technical restrictions such as those in Section 20, of
BOFIA, which may have to be waived to enable a non-interest bank to
operate conveniently in Nigeria.
Q: Why his there been no such banks in Nigeria
A: Two such banks were licensed to operate by the CBN in 1992.
However, for some reasons not connected with the viability or market
for the services, neither of them took off. Habib Bank has a "window"
for non-interest banking but it is only now that a full-fledged
non-interest bank is being formed after about 4 years of painstaking
preparation and planning by a group of highly respected Nigerians
drawn from across the country.
Q: What about the proposed Jaize profit sharing bank
A: Arrangements have almost been completed to promote a fully
non-interest bank to be called "Jaiz Profit Sharing Bank." Efforts are
in progress to raise at least N2.5 billion as the bank's initial
capital instead of the minimum of N2 billion required by the CBN
before licensing a bank. It is hoped that the money will have been
raised fully before the end of September 2003 and that the bank will
be launched officially on the first day of Muharam that is, February
Q: How will Jaiz Bank be organised
A: The initial top management team will be sources with the help of
Islamic Development Bank of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who have agreed to
also be responsible for the salaries of all such foreign experts until
they have trained locally and in selected institutions abroad, a
number of carefully selected Nigerians to take over the running of the
bank and run all its branches effectively. There will also be a board
of religious advisers of highly knowledgeable Islamic scholars drawn
from across the country. The bank plans to have a many as five
branches initially in its first year of operation and to open five new
branches every year for five years, so that it can be very near to its
expected millions of customers all over Nigeria. It is believed that
the bank will begin to pay a dividend to is shareholders no matter how
modest, from its second year of operation, Allah permitting.
Q: How can one become a co-owner of Jaiz Bank
A: The shares of Jaiz Bank has been on sale from September 2003. Each
shares of N1 will be sold for N1, and not at a premium of say N4 or N5
as in similar cases. The minimum shareholding is N1,000 and there is
no maximum. Individuals, companies, clubs, societies, mosques, local
and state governments can buy shares. Each subscriber will buy a bank
draft from any bank in the name of "Jaiz International Plc" and attach
it to the share application form. Please enquire from one of the named
directors or the Chief Imam of your central mosque or myself, for
share purchase forms or any further details or assistance.
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