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91Sharia News Watch 91

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Dec 19, 2003
      Sharia 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
      neighbouring Malaysia.
      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
      Moroccan courts.
      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
      living creatures.

      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
      the meet.


      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
      developed countries.

      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
      20/21. 2004.
      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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