Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

97Sharia News Watch 97

Expand Messages
  • Enzo Picardie
    Jan 11, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Sharia News Watch 97 : 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 :


      Full text: 'Bin Laden' tape - 05 Jan 04

      Afghan Envoy Defends New Constitution on Rights - 08 Jan 04
      [Kabul's ambassador to France Zalmai] Haquani said the constitution,
      whose text was not yet available in Western languages, clearly stated
      that men and women were equal under Afghan law and that Kabul would
      respect all the international rights conventions it has signed. He
      said non-Muslims were free to practice their religion within the law,
      without saying which legal provisions would apply. Islamic law usually
      bans conversion, a point that U.S. evangelical churches have regularly

      Haquani rejected [U.S. ambassador-at-large-for-international-religious
      -freedom] Hanford's questioning of the use of Hanafi sharia law
      whenever no civil law existed. The text does not use the word "sharia"
      but its reference to the Hanafi school of sharia legal scholarship
      makes clear it will be used. "Hanafi is the most liberal jurisprudence
      in Islam," he said. "It allows a very wide range of interpretation
      according to where the law is applied." Haquani suggested critics
      placed too much emphasis on legal guarantees, which could be flouted
      by a strongman in a country as underdeveloped as Afghanistan, and
      placed too much blame on Islam for shortcomings in Afghan society.
      "In Afghan history, many of the setbacks for human rights did not come
      from the application of Islam," he said. "They came from traditions,
      from cultural problems, from tribal problems.


      Girls march against veil ban - 09 Jan 04
      Hizbollah organised a demonstration yesterday of about 5,000 girls,
      most in headscarves, outside the French embassy to protest against a
      proposed French ban on headscarves in state schools. Most of the
      demonstrators were students brought in by bus. They marched from the
      Place du Musee to the embassy, where one veiled girl gave a letter to
      an embassy employee. Men from the Lebanese movement acted as marshals
      for the march, as the girls carried French flags and banners demanding
      that French President Jacques Chirac block any ban.

      Mother wins custody battle again - 11 Dec 04
      A court yesterday again granted a Bahraini mother custody of her two
      children from her ex-Saudi husband and raised the monthly alimony to
      BD150, said a report in our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej. The Sharia
      Court had in November 2003 ordered the ex-husband to hand over the two
      daughters to Badriya Rabea. However, he refused to comply. He said
      yesterday that he will appeal the ruling and the court gave him one
      day to do so.


      Bangladesh bans books by Muslim sect - 08 Jan 04
      The Bangladesh government today banned the sale, publication and
      distribution of all books and booklets on Islam published by the
      Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat. An official announcement said the proscribed
      publications include Bengali or any other translation (with
      explanation) of the 'Quran Majid'. The ban came in the wake of
      agitation by some Islamic groups, who have also planned demonstrations
      in the capital tomorrow, for declaring the Kadianis as "non-Muslims".
      "The ban was imposed in view of objectionable materials in such
      publications that hurt or might hurt the sentiments of the majority
      Muslim population of Bangladesh," said the announcement of the
      Bangladesh Home Ministry. Around 5,00,000 members of the Ahmadiya
      community live in Bangladesh, where majority Muslims are 'Sunni'.
      The Ahmadiya community established in India respects Hazrat Mirza
      Ghulam Ahmad Kadiani as a guide of the Muslims after Prophet Mohammad.


      Belgium too planning hijab ban - 10 Jan 04
      Belgium is seeking to emulate France by planning to ban religious
      symbols from its own courts, schools and offices. Backing the
      controversial French legislation that seeks to ban the Islamic hijab
      and other religious symbols from schools, Deputy Prime Minister
      Patrick Dawael on Saturday called for a similar law in Belgium.


      [comment] Veiled dependency? - 08 Jan 04
      .. [Al-Azhar is under fire after its Grand Imam issued a controversial
      edict on France's anti-hijab bill].

      Egypt's top Islamist dies at 82 - 10 Jan 04
      The spiritual leader of Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood, the
      country's largest opposition group, died on Thursday, the group said
      in a statement yesterday. He was 82. More than 50,000 mourners joined
      a peaceful march outside a Cairo mosque where prayers were held for
      Ma'moun Al Hodeiby.
      Hodeiby took over as spiritual guide of the Arab world's oldest
      Islamic political movement in November 2002 . His father was one of
      the founders of the group that says it wants to implement Islamic
      sharia law by constitutional means. Hodeiby was known for resisting
      attempts by young members of the Muslim Brotherhood to promote a
      policy of stronger political confrontation with the government.
      Founded in 1928 , the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned since 1954
      but is broadly tolerated on the Egyptian political scene. The group is
      unofficially represented in parliament by about 20 independent

      Hala Shiha to be the star of Adel Imam's upcoming film - 09 Jan 04
      Egyptian actress Hala Shiha has been waiting for the right moment to
      make her debut back into the big screen after she had previously
      resigned from acting due to wearing the Hijab (headdress), which she
      took off feeling she is not ready to give up her career. Since she
      announced her return, Hala has not taken part in any new film.
      According to the London based, Elaph, it was revealed that Egyptian
      comedian-actor Adel Imam has nominated Hala for his upcoming film. The
      actress has expressed her acceptance of the role offered to her
      stressing that a film alongside Adel is a great way of making her come
      The Egyptian Censorship Committee has refused to accept the new film
      "Siko Siko" co-starring Hala, which tackles the issue of sex education
      taught in schools, unless 18 scenes are deleted. The committee
      stressed that it will not give the green light to the film unless all
      the unfit scenes are removed and a new name is given for the film.
      This is the first time in 20 years that the censorship committee
      demands this many deletions from one film. The committee stressed that
      the creation of any film with such sensitive themes as teaching
      children about the nature of sex is in itself very inappropriate for
      an Arab audience and does not go with social standards. The writer of
      the film stressed that the film is an educational one that enlightens
      the community and that he was in shock with the report given by the
      Censorship, which simply means destroying the film entirely in terms
      of meaning and ideas. He added that the film tackles important issues
      that reflect problems in our society in a very serious manner and it
      does not display any sexual or inappropriate scenes.


      French pro-veil march branded dangerous - 07 Jan 04
      The head of France's Muslim council has urged the country's Muslims to
      ignore the "siren" calls of Islamic radicals and refuse to join
      protest marches against government plans to ban headscarves in public
      schools. Dalil Boubakeur, chairman of the French Council of the
      Muslim Faith (CFCM), branded a pro-veil march set for next week as a
      "very dangerous" measure that could frighten voters two months before
      regional elections are held across France. Boubakeur, a moderate
      close to President Jacques Chirac, was reacting to growing resentment
      among Muslim groups that feel unfairly targeted by Chirac's plan to
      ban all religious symbols in public schools and hospitals. The CFCM,
      launched last year to represent the diverse groups among France's five
      million Muslims, has split over the veil decision. One of its largest
      member groups has come out in favour of protest marches set for at
      least four large cities.
      Qaradawi threatens legal action against France - 07 Jan 04
      "If the law is passed, we will seek to file a legal complaint because
      this law will be in contradiction with the French constitution,"
      Qaradawi said in an interview on Tuesday.

      The furore over Tariq Ramadan - 07 Jan 04
      The French daily Le Monde devoted the main story on the front page of
      its 23 December issue to Tariq Ramadan, the controversial Islamic
      activist and grandson, on his mother's side, of Muslim Brothers
      founder Hassan El-Banna. [..]
      Ramadan's critics argue that he cannot be part of the European Social
      Forum as long as he subscribes to a philosophy that rejects the notion
      of progress and does not condemn the veil. In their televised debate,
      the French Interior minister tried to embarrass Ramadan by raising the
      issue of Islamic punishments such as stoning women who commit adultery
      and amputating the hands of thieves. Ramadan resorted to ijtihad (one
      of the four sources of Islam that is used to find the doctrinal
      solution to new problems) to come forward with alternatives to such

      The Sarkozy/Ramadan debate was part of a series of televised debates
      between the interior minister and a number of key figures, including
      Christophe Aguiton, representative of the Porto Allegre "other
      globalisation", and Le Pen, leader of France's extreme right. Sarkozy
      is planning to present himself in France's next presidential
      elections, and these debates appear to be preparing the groundwork for
      his campaign. It seems Ramadan is playing a key role, albeit from the
      standpoint of an ever more significant Islamic opposition, in
      establishing the features of France's future policies. In such a
      context, can we continue to ignore Tariq Ramadan ?


      People keen to adopt orphans but officials want time - 06 Jan 04
      Iran has been flooded with offers to adopt such orphans, but
      authorities announced yesterday they needed more time. Officials want
      to be sure the children's parents are dead. They want to be sure that
      relatives from other provinces and countries have time to search for
      their loved ones. They want to wait at least three months before
      allowing the children to be released for adoption. "Not yet," said
      Reza Khoshnood, the deputy of social affairs for the government's
      Better Life Organisation, which runs the orphanage helping most of the
      surviving children. "We have to be certain."
      Among those offering to adopt them are a government official in Tehran
      and strangers from the United States and Canada. The Better Life
      orphanage in Kerman, 177 km north of Bam, has served as a transit
      centre for most of the children left alone after the earthquake.

      Senior Iranian cleric says Egyptian fatwa on Islamic dress
      "humiliation" [Iranian Fars News Agency] - 05 Jan 04
      A source of religious emulation, Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi, has
      written a letter to religious scholars of Al- Azhar protesting about
      their fatwa.
      Makarem-Shirazi added: If true, this report is truly frightening. That
      is because it will give a green light to all non-Islamic countries to
      pass any kind of legislation against Muslims. Has any Muslim scholar
      issued such a fatwa against any Muslims until now?

      If Mr Tantawi's source of reference is the necessity of obeying the
      guardian of the Muslims' cause, then his remarks are contrary to the
      consensus of opinion reached by Islamic religious scholars. They
      believe that Muslims must obey officials as the guardian of Muslims'
      cause. However, they do stipulate certain conditions for that.
      Firstly, the officials in question must be Muslims. Secondly, they
      must not issue any decrees that are contrary to divine decrees. That
      is because obeying creatures, while defying the creator, is not
      permissible. If his source of reference, however, is those people's
      rules and regulations, then according to the rules of jurisprudence,
      they are not allowed to pass any type of legislation which is contrary
      to the commitments into which they have entered.

      The letter continues: They have accepted the Declaration of Human
      Rights. Therefore, they did not have the right to prevent anyone from
      fulfilling their religious obligations. Besides, the obligation in
      question is one which does not harm anyone. Moreover, if the law is
      approved and implemented, it will prevent a large number of Muslim
      residents of France from studying. This is another offence in itself.


      Council close to law on transition - 05 Jan 04
      Members of Iraq's Governing Council are close to completing a
      transitional constitution that would make Islam a basis, but not the
      only one, for Iraqi laws, an Iraqi legal expert says.
      Istrabadi said a six-page draft of the provisional constitution
      circulating among the 24 council members calls for the new Iraq to be
      a "pluralistic, federal, parliamentary democracy." It would establish
      separation of powers between different branches of government and the
      principle of judicial review.
      • Islam. Iraqi legislators would not be obliged to ban banks from
      charging interest or to enact strict punishments such as cutting off
      hands for theft or stoning for adultery, as both required under strict
      Islamic law or sharia. Laws would be based on Western and Muslim
      sources. By making a general reference to Islam, Iraq's majority
      Shiite Muslims and minority Sunnis could follow their own traditions
      on family law including divorce, child custody and inheritance.
      Freedom of religious practice for non-Muslims and equal rights for
      women would be guaranteed.
      Another major issue is whether the procedure to choose a transition
      assembly will satisfy Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's leading
      Shiite cleric. He issued a fatwa or Islamic ruling last summer that
      members of the assembly must be elected. The Bush administration is
      concerned that direct elections might produce a Shiite religious
      government; Shiites are 60% of the 24 million population and hard-line
      religious groups are better organized than secular ones.

      Iraq campus learns freedom's price - 06 Jan 04
      Students still talk about an incident in 1998, when Baath Party
      officials took two Shiite engineering students from an examination
      hall and accused them of taking part in anti-government demonstrations
      following the assassination of Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, a prominent
      Shiite cleric. The students disappeared without a trace, and the
      engineering college dean resigned in protest. "We want the whole
      faculty to change from a dictatorial age to an age of freedom," said
      Ali Abdul-Jabar, a petroleum engineering student and senior member of
      the new Shiite student union.

      Abdul-Jabar's student union is the largest and most powerful of the 15
      that have sprung up since last spring. Abdul-Jabar said his union was
      open to all students, though it is mostly Shiite and is at least
      partly funded by a group of prominent Shiite religious schools. The
      Shiite union claimed the old headquarters of the Baathist student
      union shortly after the war. Some former Baathist students have
      reunited into a union based out of the physical education department,
      Abdul-Jabar said, and members of the two groups have gotten into

      In the early summer, Moktadr al-Sadr, the son of Ayatollah Muhammad
      Sadiq al-Sadr, a leading Shiite cleric, mobilized his followers to
      take over student unions at universities across the country. But the
      Shiite unions have not been able to sweep away the other student
      groups - and other ways of thinking - that have blossomed after the
      fall of Saddam. "They've been putting up pictures of Sadr, and we've
      been taking them down," said Lina Aboosi, a third-year architecture
      student. "We're not opposing these things because they're religious.
      But this is a university, not a mosque."

      Iraqi Artists Anger Sunni Islam - 06 Jan 04
      For most Muslims, depicting them is strictly forbidden, but Haidar
      Dahlouz sees them in his dreams and then paints them. The family of
      the Prophet Mohammad are revered as the true leaders of the Islamic
      community by Shi'ite Muslims, and Dahlouz has no compunction about
      glorifying them with his brazenly naturalistic brushstrokes.
      Sunni Muslim clerics frown on devotional images but have not dared
      object. In Baghdad in the Sunni Muslim heart of Iraq, Shi'ites adorn
      cars and shops with the small posters and postcards which fill the
      capital's street markets.
      "These are the same people who used to do portraits of Saddam Hussein.
      Now they're doing the imams," railed Qasim al-Sabti. The imams are the
      12 descendants of the Prophet through his cousin Ali who are revered
      by Iraq's Shi'ites. "This is a big lie and has nothing to do with a
      holy figure like Ali," Sabti said, denouncing the way Shi'ite artists
      depict Ali, the fourth caliph (leader of the first Islamic state).
      "They make him look like a film star, with white-skin, beautiful eyes
      and a striking pose," said Sabti, speaking at Iraq's revamped National
      Art Gallery. "But we know what he looked like because it's written in
      history and it's more like this guy here," he said, pointing to a
      squat, dark-skinned man entering the gallery. "He was brown, fat,
      short and bald." A Shi'ite listening to the diatribe smiled. "Well,
      he's obviously a Sunni," he whispered.
      Dahlouz said the Iranian input had only slightly altered the true
      visage of the Shi'ite imams. "The imams, peace be upon them, were
      first depicted by Iranians, so they always make the nose straight,
      while the Arab nose isn't straight. I don't like to make the eyes so
      feminine and I try to make the nose round," he said. "Most of the
      Iranian artists tend to idealize and beautify them. They make the eyes
      dreamy and sleepy. I prefer eyes like a hawk," Dahlouz said, pointing
      to a Shi'ite magazine which had commissioned him to draw portraits of

      American Baptist Group Hopes To Convert Iraqi Muslims - 05 Jan 04
      Jon Hanna, an evangelical minister and missionary from Ohio, told the
      Telegraph UK last week that Islam's denial of Jesus as divine
      qualifies the religion as "false." Citing the New Testament, Hanna
      said, "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the
      Christ. Such a man is the antichrist." Despite the fact that this
      defines almost 70 percent of the world's population, access to Iraq's
      23 million plus unsaved souls is literally an answer to IMB's prayers,
      presenting a unique but possibly brief opportunity. "A U.S. passport
      is all you need to get in, until the new Iraqi government takes over,"
      said Hanna. "What we thought was a two-year window, originally, has
      narrowed down to a six month window." Under the pretense of
      providing humanitarian aid, the Baptists come to Iraq with food,
      medical services and Bibles; IMB [Baptists' International Mission
      Board] holds that the first two items are "a conduit" for the latter.
      As one missionary who met with Iraqi children said in an IMB news
      bulletin, "...I could tell some of them have not eaten well. But their
      biggest need is to know the love of Christ."


      An Interview with Sheikh Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi - 11 Jan 04
      .. [Sheikh Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi is Secretary-General of the
      Italian Muslim Association].

      - I must say that – because of the absence of a Caliphate, i.e.
      because of the non-existence of the Islamic state, no Jew or no
      Christian can today be in the legal condition of dhimmi. It is only a
      Caliph or his delegate who can accept the covenant of dhimmah from a
      Jew or a Christian. In my opinion, the absence of the status of
      dhimmah is one of the main causes of the violation of the rights of
      the minorities in the Muslim world. A Caliph and his officials are
      bound by the Shari'ah to respect the religions freedom of the dhimmis
      and to protect their rights (even in case they are peradventure
      violated by some Muslims). Surely there exist many misunderstandings
      considering dhimmah, exactly like there exist similar
      misunderstandings about the status of non-Jews in Israel. Some people
      claim that dhimmis in Islamic law are second-class citizens, and some
      other people claim that non-Jews in Israel are second-class citizens.
      The two things are strictly related, since the Knesset law regulating
      the status of non-Jews in Knesset law derives from the Ottoman
      Mujallat, which in its turn is based on the Shari'ah. If one abides
      by a strict secularist ideology, then it is natural to suppose that
      all the citizens are equal in front of the law, and that religious
      identity is a private matter, having no relevance for the state. If on
      the contrary one state wants to be the state which expresses the
      values of a certain religion, i.e. the religion of the majority of its
      citizens, the immediate problem is the legal status of those citizens
      belonging to a different religion. One cannot change their religion by
      force, and cannot deny that their abide by the creed which is not the
      one by which the state is inspired. Islamic law effaced from the very
      beginning the problem of non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim state, and
      the rules of "'dhimma"' were the solution. In 1948 Israel had to
      efface a similar problem: the status of non-Jewish citizens of the
      Jewish state, and the solution was borrowing from Mujallat. Now an
      Islamic state does not exist anymore – and consequently there exist no
      dhimmis anymore – while a Jewish state exists, as it existed before
      the advent of Islam. I do not think that all this is related to the
      problem of the acceptance of an independent state of Israel, which as
      such does not opposes the dictates of Islam, but on the contrary
      totally opposes the ideology of secular Arab nationalism.


      Religious freedom survey, January 2004 - 07 Jan 04


      [opinion] When chief justices lack foresight [backlog] - 07 Jan 04

      [organ donation] Malay MPs want Muslims included - 07 Jan 04
      Almost every Muslim Member of Parliament who spoke in the debate on
      the amendments to the Human Organ Transplant Act (Hota) made the call,
      while urging their own Islamic religious authorities here to help
      redress the situation. The MPs called on them to review the existing
      fatwa, or religious rulings, on organ donation and to re-interpret the
      Quran so that Muslims are not excluded from the Act. Under Islamic
      law, the body of a dead person belongs not to the person, but to the
      paternal next-of-kin, known as wari. Hence, Muslims who wish to pledge
      their organs for donation need to opt in, and only after obtaining the
      consent of two waris, or closest male relatives.
      Most Muslims do want to be part of Hota, said Dr Ahmad Magad (Pasir
      Ris-Punggol GRC), citing a proposal submitted by the Muslim Kidney
      Action Committee, in which 56,000 Muslims pledged their support for
      organ donation. However, many faced resistance from their family
      members, as could be seen in the rejection of 12,000 pledges by
      Muslims to opt-in since Hota was passed in 1987. They were not
      accepted because they lacked signatures from both waris.
      Acting Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that he was aware that
      Malays are the biggest losers, with 50 per cent more likely to suffer
      kidney failure than other races. This is why they account for one in
      five patients waiting for a kidney. Not only do they have low priority
      in getting an organ unless they have opted in, but because of their
      genetic difference, it is difficult for them to find a match from a
      Chinese or Indian donor. And there are few Malay donors, with organs
      taken from only six out of 70 potential Muslim donors since 1988.

      Muftis need funds to study social, religious issues - 07 Jan 04
      Muftis must be given adequate funds to enable them to carry out
      thorough research before issuing fatwas, Wilayah Perseketuan Mufti Dr
      Mohammed Yusoff Hassain said Tuesday. "The mufti departments play a
      constructive role in society and they must do proper research before
      issuing any fatwas," he said on the sidelines of a seminar on
      "Understanding Biotechonolgy: Towards An Informed Ulama" here Tuesday.
      The changing times, coupled with the increasing issues confronting the
      Muslim community, demanded that muftis understand their problems in
      depth before coming up with important guidelines, he pointed out.
      "We need to study issues relating to family institutions, economy,
      education and how to raise the living standards of Muslims.
      "Muftis are responsible in advising the King, issuing guidelines on
      religious and social matters. Therefore, we must be informed and be
      able to defend our decisions," he said.

      Dr Mohammed Yusoff said there was no Government funding in the past,
      nor was any detailed research carried out. However, recently all State
      muftis decided that it was time to study social and religious issues
      more carefully. He said his Department had requested for RM 400,000
      [EUR 83.000,-] from the Wilayah Baitulmal Foundation for research
      purposes, especially to help develop Muslims in Kuala Lumpur and in
      Labuan, Sabah. The shortage of qualified reseachers, like sociologists
      and pyschologists, was another setback faced by mufti departments, he

      [Terengganu] Ex-PAS leader: Party will never implement hudud
      .. - 06 Jan 04
      Former Terengganu PAS deputy commissioner Latif Mohamad, 63, has
      claimed that the party would never implement hudud law in Terengganu.
      "PAS does not have the experience or expertise to implement the law
      which was gazetted in October 2002," he said. The party only
      introduced the hudud enactment following pressure from the grassroots.
      "The party knows the national leadership would not allow the
      implementation of the enactment. "It all boils down to hypocrisy," he
      said in a press conference yesterday.

      [Terengganu] 'Focus on business not skirts, blouses' - 06 Jan 03
      The Kuala Terengganu Municipal Council should be thinking of ways to
      revive the weak business environment instead of how women should
      dress. Shoe store owner Lakhmer Singh, 46, said: "It's not enough that
      the council has imposed various restrictions on local business
      community, now it is trying to squeeze RM250 out of us if the clothes
      of our female employees are not loose enough." Lakhmer's reaction was
      reflective of the anger the people felt over this latest move by the
      Terengganu authorities. Restaurant owner Aw Fang Eng, 52, said such a
      rule should not have even been considered by the council as it was a
      blatant infringement of the individual's basic rights.
      Sisters in Islam programme manager Masjaliza Hamzah questioned Pas'
      honour. "When Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang launched Pas'
      Islamic State document, he stressed that non-Muslims would still be
      able to enjoy the rights of their own beliefs and practices, and that
      individual freedom would not end with the inception of a Pas
      government. "With this ruling, it sounds like the party has gone back
      on its promises." Masjaliza said women should not be held responsible
      for the indiscretion of others. "Did Pas consult the non-Muslim
      community before coming up with a directive that will affect them? Or
      is this yet another 'surprise' for nonMuslims in Pas-ruled States?"
      asked Masjaliza.

      Lawyers Zaid Ibrahim and Karpal Singh challenged the legal right of
      Terengganu to impose such a law. "This is illegal. Terengganu has no
      right to outlaw such a thing - it is a Federal issue," said Zaid, who
      is also Kelantan Umno deputy chief. Zaid said the people should lodge
      a report if they were persecuted by the Terengganu Government.
      He added that ideas of decency and morality could be enacted in the
      Constitution, but the definition had to come from the public's
      perspective and not an ulama's opinion.


      Man to die by stoning for impregnating step-daughter in Bauchi
      http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/news/article09 - 05 Jan 04
      The Alkaleri Upper Sharia Court in Bauchi State has sentenced a randy
      father of three to death by stoning for impregnating his
      step-daughter. With the case of the 45-year-old Umaru Tori, the number
      of persons awaiting death by stoning for adultery in the state is now
      three. Tori's case was an open-and-shut one, as he had confessed to
      making love to his 15-year-old step-daughter four times in his farm.
      But this claim was refuted by the girl, who is already six months in
      pregnancy. Tori made love to her only twice, she insisted.
      Before the ruling, Umaru, confessed to the offence, claiming that his
      predicament was an act of fate and pleaded for leniency. In his ruling
      delivered on December 29, last year, the judge, Malam Hashimu
      Husseini, sentenced Umaru to death by stoning for self-confession in
      accordance with the Bauchi State Sharia penal code. The judge,
      however, sentenced the teenage girl to 100 strokes of the cane for
      voluntarily giving herself to her stepfather. He said the punishment
      should be meted to her after she had been delivered of the baby.

      A Ningi Sharia Court [Bauchi] had earlier sentenced a 35-year old man,
      Yunusa Rafi'u Chiyawa, to death by stoning for making love to a
      friend's wife 13 times. Also sentenced to death by stoning for sodomy
      was a 22-year-old-man, Jibrin Babaji. Babaji, however, appealed
      against the sentenced, seeking a re-trial. Also, 22 other persons
      are waiting for the assent of Governor Ahmadu Mu'Azu to have their
      wrists chopped off following their convictions by the various Sharia
      courts in the state for thefts. In the list of the prospective
      amputees is a 45-year-old man, Husseini Maidoya, who was sentenced to
      amputation for forcefully chopping off the leg of his wife for an
      alleged infidelity.

      [Plateau] Jni, Gov Disagree Over Ulama's Council - 05 Jan 04
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200401050420.html [This Day - Lagos]
      The Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has disagreed sharply with Plateau
      State Governor, Chief Joshua Dariye over the ban of the Council of
      Ulamas by the state government. On December 31, last year Governor
      Dariye had made a special broadcast announcing the ban of the council
      of Ulamas for what he called "inciting publications and act of
      irresponsibility". The governor had announced that the state
      government was only willing to liaise with the JNI and that any other
      Islamic group in the state was considered illegal by government.
      However in a seven point communiqu‚ issued by the JNI Jos North
      chapter and made available to THISDAY at the weekend, the association
      noted that the JNI was in full support of the activities of the
      council adding that the former was instrumental to the formation of
      the latter. "The JNI Jos. North branch has full knowledge of the
      activities of the Ulama/Elders council, and apart from its membership
      in the council, it has facilitated the formation of the council
      consequent upon the crisis that re-engulfed Jos township in May 2002.
      It is worthy of note that the Council of Ulamas consist of all
      registered Islamic organizations in the state including JNI".
      According to the communiqué, other members of the Ulama Council
      include JIBWIS 1, JIBWIS 11, Rahatul Islam, Muslim Brothers, Fityanul
      Islam and Munazzamatul Fityanul Islam.


      Development of Fiqh Sciences in Oman - Seminar - 06 Jan 04
      A seminar on development of Fiqh sciences in Oman during the 4th
      Hijrah century being organised by the Awqaf and Religious Affairs
      Ministry continued at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque's lectures hall
      in Bousher today. Several working papers presented by Omani and other
      Arab intellectuals and researchers in today's session reviewed the
      grammar and its relation to Arab wording and Fiqh rules and other


      New proposals unlikely to be presented to parliament - 07 Jan 04
      The chances of presenting final report of the Special Committee of the
      National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) on Hudood Ordinances to
      the parliament have gone bleaker with the MMA-government agreement on
      LFO, a Committee members told Dawn on condition of anonymity. The
      special committee after six extensive meetings has overwhelmingly
      recommended repeal of Hudood Ordinances with consensus among the
      members that the laws, as drafted, are defective and that a major part
      of these ordinances consists of sections that have been lifted from
      the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
      With the announcement of recommendations, the MMA has outright
      rejected the findings of the NCSW terming them un- Islamic. The
      Alliance has also announced that if such a bill was presented to the
      parliament, it would oppose it and never allow any legislation
      approving the repeal of the Hudood Ordinances. Now that the MMA and
      the government are sitting on the same benches [over LFO], it is
      almost impossible that the government will present these
      recommendations to the parliament for discussion, he argued.

      Cops told to respect religious freedom - 07 Jan 04
      Justice Sakhi Hussain Bukhari of the Lahore High Court observed on
      Tuesday that the police have no right to interfere in the religious
      affairs of citizens, and if they do so, the courts must punish them.
      The court gave these observations on a constitutional petition from
      Yousaf Masih against police harassment. The court told the Lahore
      senior superintendent of police to punish the policemen responsible
      after conducting an inquiry. Mr Masih said he and his brother Amanat
      had converted to Islam and married according to Muslim rites after
      separating from their family. He alleged that North Cantt police had
      harassed them on behalf of their relative Chohan Masih and conducted
      raids on their house.

      Our so-called claims on science - Khaled Ahmed's TV Review - 06 Jan 04
      One is forced to concede that the opening of the private channels will
      make Pakistanis confrontational in foreign policy and primitive in
      national culture. There is so much on TV these days that is painfully
      medieval and primitive that one starts doubting whether everyone is
      living in the same country
      GEO (9 December 2003) had Fahd Hussain discussing moon-sighting with
      ex-religion minister Raja Zafarul Haq and an Islamic scientist, Mr
      Khalid Shaukat. Mr Shaukat quoted at length from the Holy Quran to
      prove that it did not mandate sighting of the moon through the naked
      eye. He said that in the light of the divine message the Muslims would
      be justified in formulating a scientific calendar indicating precisely
      the position of the moon years in advance. Ex-religion minister Raja
      Zafarul Haq was asked whether any Islamic state had taken recourse to
      the scientific calendar. He appeared to be ignorant about the practice
      of moon-sighting in the Islamic world. He tentatively said that Saudi
      Arabia relied on the naked eye for sighting, but was informed by Mr
      Shaukat that, on the contrary, the Saudi state had a scientific
      calendar. While Mr Haq knew little about other states, Mr Shaukat
      mentioned that Egypt was living under the scientific calendar for the
      past hundred years and that Malaysia too had followed suit.
      Channel tv contributed by Pakistan is mostly religious. Now that ary
      has opened more channels, the religious programmes have proliferated.
      One unfortunate result of this proliferation would be the
      medievalisation of the Pakistani population even further. (Shutting of
      the eyes during "namaz" is not allowed, etc.) There is no way a cleric
      of today can explain Islam without highlighting his alienation from
      modern times as if something completely wrong is going on. The geo
      programmes devoted to religion seem to emphasise the fiqh-dominated
      nature of the religion. Other channels too simply get in the orthodox
      schools of thought. On half a dozen channels there are cassettes
      showing 24 hour singing of the "na'at" with the horrible new tradition
      of literally "cascading" currency notes on the heads of the singers.
      In some cases, people go into the condition of "haal" which is really
      a series of unseemly contortions that everyone seems to enjoy. The
      cassettes are recorded in small towns and the singers are peripatetic
      and famous for the ability to cause "haal".


      Human rights are universal, say experts - 07 Jan 04
      Speakers and delegates on the second and final day of the Human Rights
      seminar at The Ritz-Carlton reiterated the fact that human rights are
      universal, not nation, culture or religion-specific; that they must be
      applied everywhere to all groups of the population; and that the world
      needs to translate its fine words into action.


      Guidelines for Doing the Tawaf Properly - 06 Jan 04
      .. [One of the most important duties of the pilgrimage and the Umrah
      is tawaf, which means walking around the Kaabah seven times].

      [opinion] Saudi Islamists begin targeting the security forces
      http://dailystar.com.lb/opinion/06_01_04_e.asp - 06 Jan 04

      Even the Saudi public discourse on reforms is conducted in secrecy
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/380222.html - 07 Jan 04
      The American pressure on Saudi Arabia to carry out reforms, in
      particular to remove incitement against the West from its schools
      curricula, led Prince Abdullah to establish a respected forum for
      "national dialogue" about six months ago.
      In accordance with the demand from the Saudi crown prince, Prince
      Abdullah, the members of the conference have been forbidden to discuss
      the contents of the conference with strangers or to pass on any
      information about it to the press; even ordinary citizens are not
      allowed to know what was discussed. Those that attended the conference
      would only agree to make a few general comments regarding the desire
      to "carry out a reform that will help believing Muslims live in the
      new reality," one of those present told a Saudi newspaper
      "It is as if a new word has been introduced into our Arabic
      dictionary," wrote a Saudi journalist [Saudi News Agency]. "Everyone
      here is now talking about reforms; everyone knows what it refers to,
      but everything is being conducted behind closed doors instead of
      holding a public dialogue on the subject."
      The Saudi discourse on reforms is not shared with the general public
      and is not allowed into the school yards or mosques. .. One may
      learn of the enormous difficulty in carrying out reforms faced by a
      country like Saudi Arabia from comments made by the Mufti of Egypt,
      Dr. Ali Juma'ah, who explained that in Egypt, it would take 160 years
      to retrain all the religious preachers.
      "The discrimination against the Shiite population in Saudi Arabia is
      still carried out in full force. Women Shiite teachers can still not
      serve as school principals in Shiite areas; there are no Shiite
      officers in the army; and the incitement against Shiites continues
      without respite. Nothing has changed in the status of women, and in
      the universities, there are still teachers who view the West and its
      culture as the root of all evil."
      In contrast to the talk on reform, last week a sociological study was
      published, whose conclusions revolve around the damage caused to Saudi
      families by the employment of foreign, especially non-Muslim, domestic
      help. The study calls upon the government to prepare a national
      program to restore the traditional roles of the woman as mother and
      educator at home. "Too many women are going out to work and the
      employment of foreign help has become an integral part of the
      luxurious lifestyle and a status symbol of the wife," said the report.

      Saudi council calls for moderate Islam - 06 Jan 04
      Saudi Arabia's Shura has endorsed an education review Bill that calls
      for making the concept of moderation a central tenet of Islam, the
      consultative council's secretary-general said. The recommendations,
      which have to be approved by the government, include 'entrenching the
      Islamic concept, in its moderation and centrism, in the philosophy of
      education and in curricula', Mr Hmud al-Badr told the SPA news agency.
      The Shura's proposals came just after some 150 Saudis, including
      judges, university professors and a cleric with links to Muslim
      militants, warned the kingdom against changing its Islam-based school
      curricula : 'Any omission or mutilation of what was written by the
      Islamic scholars..contradicts the national unity the state is calling
      for, as this unity is based on our religious creed.'

      The Saudi Paradox by Michael Scott Doran - 01 Jan 04
      Radical Sunni Islamists hate Shi'ites more than any other group,
      including Jews and Christians. Al-Qaeda's basic credo minces no words
      on the subject: "We believe that the Shi'ite heretics are a sect of
      idolatry and apostasy, and that they are the most evil creatures under
      the heavens." For its part, the Saudi Wahhabi religious establishment
      expresses similar views. The fatwas, sermons, and statements of
      established Saudi clerics uniformly denounce Shi'ite belief and
      practice. A recent fatwa by Abd al-Rahman al-Barrak, a respected
      professor at the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University (which
      trains official clerics), is a case in point. Asked whether it was
      permissible for Sunnis to launch a jihad against Shi'ites, al-Barrak
      answered that if the Shi'ites in a Sunni-dominated country insisted on
      practicing their religion openly, then yes, the Sunni state had no
      choice but to wage war on them. Al-Barrak's answer, it is worth
      noting, assumes that the Shi'ites are not Muslims at all.


      Sudan, rebels take step toward peace - 07 Jan 04
      Sudan's government and its southern rebels agreed on Wednesday to
      share the oil-producing nation's wealth, removing a key barrier to
      reaching a comprehensive peace deal that would end Africa's
      longest-running war.
      Wednesday's agreement also calls for a new national currency and
      different systems of banking. In the north, banks aren't allowed to
      charge interest, according to Sharia, or Islamic law; in the south,
      Western-style banks charge interest. Currently, Sudan's banks are run
      according to Islamic law. The wealth-sharing and the new monetary
      systems will remain in place for a six-year transitional period,
      starting when a comprehensive peace deal is signed. During this
      period, the south will have its own autonomous administration.
      Afterwards, southerners will vote in a referendum on whether to
      Unresolved are issues involving disputed territory, power-sharing in a
      transitional government and whether Islamic law should govern the
      capital, Khartoum.
      The agreement also sets up a monetary system which will allows for
      Islamic banking in the north and Western banking in the south, and to
      introduce a new currency. Currently, all Sudan's major banks are run
      under the regime's version Islamic law, which forbids most forms of
      interest but in practice amounts to much higher rates of interest than
      in western banking, albeit termed "murabaha".
      The focus of the talks will now shift to the three disputed areas, the
      Nuba Mountains, southern Blue Nile and oil-rich Abyei, all of which do
      not wish to be subject to rule by either the SPLA or the northern
      Khartoum-based dictatorship, neither of which have any history of
      democratic concerns. Meanwhile the largest state of Sudan, Darur in
      the west, bordering Libya and Chad, is in full-scale rebellion and
      armed pro-democracy rebels such as the SLA are engaged in an all-out
      war with the government troops and local allied Arab militias.
      The wealth pact provides for a central bank with two branches -- one
      in the south operating international-style banking and one in the
      north that will operate Islamic banking that outlaws the charging of
      interest, the statement said.


      Is The Nation Of Islam Taking Control Of Jackson's Affairs? -31 Dec 03


      Is Radical Islam Inevitable in Central Asia? - 27 Dec 03
      .. [report examines the attitudes of Central Asian Muslims to the
      West, based on public opinion surveys and interviews in Uzbekistan,
      Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and offers a range of policy options for
      closer engagement with Islam and approaches that might reduce support
      for radical alternatives to present regimes].


      Islamic Finance: Performing an act by unauthorised agent - 08 Jan 04

      [Pakistan] Keynes and Islamic banking by Dr Aqdas Ali Kazmi -07 Jan 04

      [Pakistan] 'Islamic banking deals with economy, not money' - 09 Jan 04
      [Islamic Banking Department Director Sayeed] said the Islamic banking
      system should be adopted purely for banking reasons. He said religion
      should not be involved because things would get confused by the
      differing versions of the various sects. He said Pakistan had
      international-level banking system advisers who should be encouraged
      to participate in the system.

      [Brunei] Islamic banks seek maximum profits too - 08 Jan 04
      Pehin Dato Hj Awg Abu Bakar, the Minister of Health, presenting a
      certificate to one of the speakers at the International Conference on
      Islamic Banking and Finance. Contrary to popular belief, the Islamic
      banks and Islamic financial intermediaries, just like their
      conventional counterparts, are also seeking to maximise profits for
      their "owners" and they do not work as a charity organisation or Qarde
      Hasanali. However, in addition the Islamic institutions address the
      issue of distributive justice. .. He said Islamic banking and finance
      is a sub-system of the Islamic economic system that gives equal weight
      to distributive justice and efficiency.

      [Malaysia] Zeti wins top honours from The Banker
      Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz is The Banker's choice
      of the central bank governor for 2004. The magazine, which is a
      publication of Financial Times (London) said that Zeti's continued
      pioneering work to build the Islamic finance industry and establish
      Malaysia at the forefront "shines out". "No less important, she showed
      a deft hand in guiding the Malaysian economy onto a path of solid
      growth," the magazine said, adding that as a result of her efforts,
      Malaysia leads Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as the centre for
      Islamic finance. Bank Negara leads numerous initiatives to develop
      the financial and legal infrastructure in the Islamic banking
      industry. These include new disclosure standards for Islamic banks and
      court procedures to handle cases involving Islamic finance.
      Last September, Dr Zeti was named Asia's best central bank governor in
      a poll of investors and bankers in the region by Emerging Markets, a
      Euromoney publication.

      [Malaysia] Answering to the highest power [Investor Digest]- 08 Jan 04
      The Islamic view of corporate governance boils down to one package -
      accountability. As simple as it sounds, the study of accountability as
      a principle of human action in a corporate environment can be very
      complicated. This is because Man does not seem to agree on one thing,
      namely, accountability to God.
      The concept of formal contracts and informal contracts as readily
      found in corporate governance literature can help show how the concept
      of accountability is linked to the requirement of law and ethics. In a
      formal contract each stakeholder is required to fulfill his
      contractual obligations. Failure to do so bears serious legal
      implications often with punitive damage. This is because we are
      accountable to society and there are penalties and punishment imposed
      upon people who break the law. In this way individuals will stay away
      from unlawful practices that carry penalties and sanctions. This is
      what the law intends to fulfill.

      Where formal contract is concerned, both secular and Islamic law is
      quite similar in so far as penalties are concerned. Although in the
      former we are accountable to society while in the latter we are
      accountable to God, failure to observe the law comes with punitive
      sanctions and punishment in this world. For example, in the secular
      system, people found guilty of evading taxes go to jail. In an Islamic
      government, the same applies under a category of penalty called
      Informal contracts invoke ethical obligations that warrant no worldly
      rewards and punishment. In the western environment, ethical and
      unethical actions are rationally-induced behaviour. It is reason that
      says whether an action is virtuous or not. There is no fear of legal
      penalties when one commits an immoral act such as lying, breaking
      promises or turning away a beggar. Man is accountable only to himself,
      that is, to reason on which his conscience is based .

      However, in Islam, Man is made accountable to God both in his legal
      and ethical conduct. As mentioned earlier, the Meccan pagans found it
      hard to accept the concept of monotheism and revelation, what more the
      idea of resurrection. As a consequence, the idea of moral
      responsibility was as dead as the idea of the hereafter where the
      final accounting is to take place. To observe the requirements of
      informal contracts brings no material reward. Likewise, ignoring them
      too will not incur legal punishment.
      People who are prone to violating informal contracts are often tempted
      to commit corporate crimes like insider trading and manipulating
      financial statements and are described by the Quran as `gravitating to
      earth' (wa la kinnahu akhlada filal ard). This is because it is easier
      to do so than ascending to the heights of purity. It is easier to
      follow one's lust and self-seeking ways than to struggle to attain
      purity. The Quran says, `So, for him who gives of his wealth, guards
      against evil and confirms goodness, We make good easy for him, but for
      him who is niggardly, thinks he is self- sufficient and gives lie to
      goodness, We make evil easy for him (92:5-10).' The study of Islamic
      corporate governance should be an interesting one given that many
      untrodden paths have yet to be explored. On the legal side (fiqh), it
      requires the fuqaha (Muslim jurists) to take a serious look at the
      nature of the corporation and joint-stock company. Undoubtedly,
      examining the nature of the human self and factors affecting actions
      falls under the domain of philosophy (falasafah) and mysticism
      (tasawuf). [Dr Saiful Azhar Rosly is a professor at the Economics
      department, Kuliyah of Economics & Management Science, International
      Islamic University, Malaysia].

      [*] Copyright: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 -
      http://liimirror.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/17/107.html - this material is
      distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. If
      you wish to use copyrighted material from this list for purposes that
      go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
      owner. [USA: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html%5d