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99Sharia News Watch 99

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Jan 20, 2004
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      Sharia News Watch 99 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/message/99

      The Sharia Newswatch provides a regular update of news quotes
      on Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
      news searchengines. All editions :
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/

      AFGHANISTAN

      [analysis] The New Afghan Constitution - 15 Jan 04
      http://www.e-ariana.com/ariana/eariana.nsf/allDocs/EA80147564DA1C4887256E1C=
      00410DCA
      ..
      The good news, then, is that the Afghani Founders clearly believe that
      religion and rights can be reconciled. This, in itself, deals a sharp
      blow to fundamentalists who dispute such a claim. But practically
      speaking, the new Constitution offers little guidance for achieving
      this. The result is that most of the tough questions will be left to
      the future Afghan Supreme Court. What, for example, if husbands decide
      their wives should not work based on conservative interpretations of
      the Koran? Or what if fathers prohibit their daughters from going to
      school, or force them into marriage? Will such actions violate the
      equal rights guarantees under the Constitution, or be upheld as
      consistent with Islam?
      ..
      One provision upholds the interests of the family, calling for "the
      elimination of traditions contrary to the principles of the sacred
      religion of Islam." Would such traditions include women's right to
      work, or to an education? Or, more hopefully, would this require the
      elimination of oppressive cultural traditions that are inconsistent
      with the egalitarian aspirations of Islam? Again, the answers are
      anything but clear.
      ..
      The answers to many of these women's rights questions will turn in
      large part on who sits on the high court. The Afghan Constitution
      allows for judges to be trained in either civil or Islamic law. Either
      way, the way they may interpret the Constitution will be hard to
      predict. Judges trained in civil law might still offer fundamentalist
      interpretations, and judges trained in Islamic law may be progressive.
      Unfortunately, elsewhere in the world, similarly ambiguous
      Constitutions (or other mixed governmental systems) have not proven
      advantageous to women. Countries such as India and Nigeria, for
      example, are progressive on women's issues, but in practice allow for
      deviations from the equality principle.
      ..
      A low point of the [constitutional] convention occurred when the
      chairman of the convention, Sibghatullah Mujaddedi -- who is
      considered a moderate -- reportedly told women delegates, "Don't try
      to put yourself on a level with men. Even God has not given you equal
      rights, because under his decision two women are counted as equal to
      one man." (Mujaddedi was referring to a contested provision of Islamic
      law that says that the testimony of two women is equivalent to that of
      one man in some cases.)
      ..
      The 2003 Arab Human Development Report similarly calls for Arab
      countries to develop "an authentic, broadminded and enlightened Arab
      knowledge model. " Such a model, the Report stresses, must respect
      critical religious scholarship, activate interpretive religious
      jurisprudence, and perhaps most importantly, preserve "the right to
      differ in doctrines, religious schools and interpretations."

      Afghan woman singer back on state-run television - 18 Jan 04
      http://www.reuters.com/locales/newsArticle.jsp?storyID=4153356
      ..
      A women singer has reappeared on Afghan state-run television,
      apparently signalling that reformists have won a dispute with
      conservatives over women entertainers. President Hamid Karzai said on
      Saturday it should be left to the government to decided whether women
      could be shown singing on television and hours later Kabul Television
      aired a tape of a performance by 1980s star Ustad Mahwash.

      BANGLADESH

      Ahmadiyya book ban violation of rights - 12 Jan 04
      http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/01/12/d4011201044.htm
      ..
      Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina yesterday protested the ban on
      Ahmadiyya publications, terming the government decision as a violation
      of the community's fundamental and constitutional rights. "It clearly
      violates the freedoms of religion and thought, enshrined in the
      constitution," she said while exchanging views with journalists at the
      Dhanmondi office of Awami League (AL), of which she is the president.
      Hasina said the ban was also against the fundamental spirit of Islam,
      a religion that upholds tolerance. "Who are we to say whether a person
      is Muslim or not. Only Allah can judge it," she said. The former prime
      minister also criticised the government move to bring the electronic
      media, especially satellite television channels, under a guideline
      with a motive to control them. "In this era, the media cannot be
      controlled," she said, adding, "The move brought to light the
      government's autocratic face." On the ban on Ahmadiyya publications,
      she said if there were anything to ban they were the publications of
      Moududi, idealist of the Jamaat-e-Islami. "There are many derogatory
      remarks against our prophet Mohammad (SM) in Moududi's books," she
      claimed. She accused the coalition government of encouraging religious
      fanatics through the decision.
      ..
      [opinion] Ahmadiyyas to fight it out in court - 11 Jan 04
      http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/01/11/d4011101044.htm
      ..
      The government imposed the ban on Thursday in view of what it said was
      objectionable materials in Ahmadiyya publications that "hurt or might
      hurt the sentiments of the majority Muslims of Bangladesh". The ban is
      viewed as the first step towards declaring Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim. It
      was imposed after religious bigots represented mainly by Islami Oikya
      Jote, a constituent of the ruling coalition, launched a campaign with
      Hifazate Khatme Nabuwat Andolon (HKNA) to force the government declare
      Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim.
      ..
      Anti-Ahmadiyya group's new programmes - 17 Jan 04
      http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/01/17/d40117012020.htm
      ..
      The chairman of the Islamic Oikya Jote, a partner of the ruling
      coalition, threatened that the country would turn into a province of
      India if the government did not declare the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim.
      "Beware, Bangladesh will no more exist and will become India's
      province if you do not declare the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim immediately,"
      warned Fazlul Haq Amini MP. Amini was addressing an anti-Ahmadiyya
      grand conference organised by International Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme
      Nabuwat Bangladesh (IMTKNB), an international outfit of anti-Ahmadiyya
      diehards, at Paltan Maidan after Juma prayers yesterday where they
      announced a 44-day ultimatum to meet their 11-point demand. The IMTKNB
      will observe a countrywide demonstration day on January 23 and march
      towards the Jatiya Sangsad and submit a memo randum to the Speaker on
      January 26. It will submit memos to deputy commissioners of all
      districts within the next week and conduct a signature campaign till
      February 29 in support of their 11-point demand. They will submit the
      collected signatures to the prime minister and home minister at a
      later date. Later, they will stage a sit-in at the secretariat on
      March 17 if the government fails to meet their demands by the end of
      February.

      BELGIUM

      Veil ID woman wins case - 15 Jan 04
      http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=48&story_id=3=
      681
      ..
      In a ruling set to create a country-wide precedent, a Muslim woman who
      went to court after being ordered to remove her veil for an identity
      photograph has won her case, Belgium's 'La Libre Belgique' newspaper
      reported today. The appeal court in the city of Li├Ęge found in the
      woman's favour, saying Belgian law did not require people in identity
      photographs to have their heads uncovered and their ears visible.
      "The point of a photograph on an identity card is to identify, as its
      name suggests, the holder. That means that the picture should be as
      close a likeness as possible to the normal appearance of the
      cardholder, and in this case that means a young woman who always wears
      an Islamic veil," the court ruled.

      BURKINA FASSO

      12-Year Campaign Reduces Female Circumcision - 14 Jan 04
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200401140306.html [UN networks]
      ..
      The government of Burkina Faso has launched a nationwide survey to
      find out just how successful its 12-year campaign against female
      circumcision has been and the first results are mighty encouraging.
      ..
      The first results from the latest national survey show that in some
      areas of Burkina Faso the proportion of girls subjected to FMG has
      fallen to just one or two percent. The National Committee to Combat
      the Practice of Circumcision (CNLPE), has so far reported the results
      from six of Burkina Faso's 45 provinces.
      ..
      However, the ritual remains common in many poor, remote conservative
      and staunchly Muslim villages, even though the custom was outlawed in
      1996. Those practicing FMG now face up to three years in jail and a
      fine of $1,500. And those responsible for inflicting wounds that lead
      to death by bleeding or other medical complications can be jailed for
      up to 10 years.
      ..
      In staunchly Muslim Oudalan, near the northern frontier with Mali, the
      circumcision rate is down from 97.9 percent to 12.9 percent. .. "We
      think that some provinces are lagging behind, but a close look at them
      shows that people there have taken irreversible steps to give up a
      practice that has no root in religious books nor in traditions."
      ..
      "For a long time there has been a misunderstanding of Islam's teaching
      about female circumcision," said Imam El hadj Adama Sakande, a member
      of the Center for Studies, Research and Islamic Training (CERFI).
      "Some religious leaders thought out of ignorance that it was in the
      Koran...But investigations have shown that it is a social practice
      that existed before Islam and tolerated by it," he added. Sakande said
      that although religious leaders have not spoken out directly against
      the practice in mosques, Islam has at least broken some "barriers" by
      urging militants to respect women's physical integrity. He noted that
      fundamentalist Islamic countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia do not
      practice FGM.

      EGYPT

      Nour El Sherif awaiting the approval of Al Azhar - 15 Jan 04
      http://www.albawaba.com/headlines/TheNews.php3?sid=268100
      ..
      Prominent Egyptian actor Nour El Sherif had rejected to sign a
      contract for a new TV drama to represent famous Islamic leader Khaled
      Bin Alwaleed unless an official approval by Al Azhar is given. Nour
      had previously showed his enthusiasm to perform the role after
      watching a movie done by late actor Hussein Sidqi, so he immediately
      asked writer Sami Guneim to transform the story intto a TV drama.
      According to the UAE based daily, Al Bayan, El Sherif retracted and
      asked the author to have Al Azhar's approval first before signing any
      formal contract, in order not to face any complications. If this
      project receives the approval of AL Azhar, it will eventually open the
      gateway to the production of more dramas representing famous figures
      in Islamic history like Abu Baker, Othman bin Affan, and Ali Bin Abi
      Taleb.
      ..
      In a meeting with students from Ain Shams University, Nour asserted
      that every paper of the script of his TV drama "Rajol Al Aqdar" (Man
      of Power has gotten Al Azhar permission to be screened, adding that he
      made sure to go through all the historical books to prevent any error.
      The same thing had happened before with Nour when he played the role
      of Haroun Al Rashid, which he faced lots of criticism for not paying
      attention to historical facts. The students at Ain Al Shams surprised
      Nour when they gave him proof from Islamic reference books stating
      that many substantial errors were made, specially the character of
      Salma which students say that she never existed. The students and
      teachers of Ain Shams also said that it was not convincing that Amr
      had his own ambitions above the obedience of orders. The teacher of
      history in the university added that there was some overstepping of
      limits especially when they were talking about Amr's wife.
      ..
      This year is El Sherif, who has been leading the competition in best
      Ramadan television series for the past two years, was not part of the
      most watched and popular Ramadan TV dramas for this year. The previous
      works by Nour were light, satirical, and family content drama that
      used to have the highest percentage of viewers throughout the Arab
      world. This year the actor is only taking part in one work, which is a
      historical drama about one of the great generals of Islam. The drama
      is witnessing some success but nothing compared to his previous works.

      FRANCE

      [Lyon] Muslim Radicalism Flowers in French Town - 18 Jan 04
      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040118/ap_on_re_eu/fran=
      ce_radical_network_1

      French move to ban headscarf veils a deeper conflict - 19 Jan 04
      http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/01/19/1074360695620.html

      Thousands march in Paris demo against headscarf law - 17 Jan 04
      http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040117/wl_afp/france_religio=
      n_islam_040117151816
      ..
      Three [10?] thousand people marched in central Paris to protest
      against government plans that would ban the Islamic headscarf and
      other "conspicuous" religious insignia from schools, police said.
      Organised by a small group called the Party of French Muslims (PMF).
      ..
      Dalil Boubakeur, moderate head of the French Council for the Muslim
      Religion (CFCM) -- Islam's official representation in France -- had
      urged Muslims to stay away from Saturday's demonstration, describing
      it as "counter-productive". However the Union of Islamic
      Organisations of France (UOIF), the largest group within the CFCM,
      called on Muslims to demonstrate calmly and responsibly to show that
      "the Muslim population of France has faith in the republic. Smaller
      rallies also went ahead throughout France, with 1,800 people marching
      in the southern city of Marseilles, 1,000 in the eastern city of
      Mulhouse and a hundred in southwestern Toulouse.

      Air France protests interrogation of its crew of Arab, Muslim origin
      at US airports - 16 Jan 04
      http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theworld/2004/Jan=
      uary/theworld_January345.xml
      ..
      The Air France has protested against certain security measures staff
      members of Arab, Muslim origin would have to under go on arrival at US
      airports. The airline said the steps amount to interrogation. Air
      France has informed staff members operating on US territory that
      employees hailing from Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq,
      Iran and Indonesia will be subjected to security measures.

      INDIA

      [West Bengal] Women's organisations condemn fatwa on Taslima [Nasreen]
      http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/00219133075.htm

      INDONESIA

      Radical Muslim groups getting more vocal - 16 Jan 04
      http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,230337,00.html
      ..
      The 'noise' from radical Islamists has shot up in recent months. They
      are mobilising supporters, issuing decrees, preaching acrimony and
      lambasting the West for its war on terrorism. Analysts say this is
      happening partly because their mainstream supporters - the pro-syariah
      parties - are distancing themselves. Jakarta Post deputy editor Endy
      Bayuni said mainstream parties see their ties to the radicals -
      especially those connected to the bombings that have killed Muslims
      too - as a political liability. This was further confirmed by the
      independent Indonesian Survey Institute's latest poll results,
      released in November, which showed that only 14 per cent of 2,240
      respondents supported the pro-syariah parties.
      ..
      'The Islamist parties .. had a victory in the national education Bill
      this year. The Bill, now law, requires that all schools provide
      Islamic teachers if they have Muslim students. And now they are
      pushing for a Bill on religious tolerance, which critics say is really
      an attempt to thwart the spread of Christianity. A draft of the Bill
      suggests that inter-religious marriage and inter-religious adoptions
      will be outlawed.

      IRAQ

      Joyful Iraqis Begin First Haj Since Saddam - 15 Jan 04
      http://news.myway.com/article/id/379304|world|01-15-2004::09:48|reuters.htm=
      l

      Islamic exile ordered bombings from Oslo, claims CIA - 18 Jan 04
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/01/18/wirq18.xml&=
      sSheet=/news/2004/01/18/ixnewstop.html

      [Najaf/Hawza] Rise of the cleric with all the answers - 16 Jan 04
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1124100,00.html

      [Basra] Liquor Store Murders Raise Concerns - 19 Jan 04
      http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Iraq-Liquor-Crackdown.html=


      More on the Family Laws issue - 16 Jan 04
      http://dear_raed.blogspot.com/ [quote from Al-Sabah]
      ..
      This [Governing Council] decision [# 137] will abolish the current
      Personal Affairs Law [family law] which is followed by Muslim or non
      Muslim families, Social Protection Law, Minors Protection Law,
      Inheritance Law and all amendments to the 1959 law concerning non
      Muslim citizens Christians, Jews and Mandeans.
      ..
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21321-2004Jan15.html
      ..
      The council's new policy decree was brief and vague, mentioning
      neither particular family issues nor individual branches of Islamic
      law that would replace current civil law. But lawyers and other
      experts from Iraqi women's groups said the ambiguity of the decision
      was especially worrisome, since rival Islamic sects in Iraq espouse
      different policies for women's legal and marital rights.
      ..
      Background on Women's Status in Iraq Prior to the Fall of the Saddam
      http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/wrd/iraq-women.htm - Nov 03
      ..
      The Code of Personal Status was first promulgated in 1959 under the
      regime of Abdal-Karim Qasim, which took power after the overthrow of
      the Hashemite monarchy in July 1958. Until that time, family laws were
      based on tradition or customary law and had never been codified. Qasim
      was executed in 1963 and many of the family law reforms he had
      implemented were reversed by the successive rulers under religious
      pressure.
      ..
      While most advances in women's status occurred in the political and
      economic spheres, the government also made modest changes to the
      personal status laws in 1978. For example, divorced mothers were
      granted custody of their children until the age of ten (previously
      seven for boys and nine for girls) at which time, at the discretion of
      a state-employed judge, custody could be extended to the child's
      fifteenth birthday. The child could then choose with which parent to
      live. Changes were also made to the conditions under which a woman
      could seek divorce and regulations concerning polygynous marriages and
      inheritance.18 These reforms reflected the Ba'ath Party's attempt to
      modernize Iraqi society and supplant loyalty to extended families and
      tribal society with loyalty to the government and ruling party.19

      Women and girls have also suffered from increasing restrictions on
      their freedom of mobility and protections under the law. In collusion
      with conservative religious groups and tribal leaders, the government
      issued numerous decrees and introduced legislation negatively
      impacting women's legal status in the labor code, criminal justice
      system, and personal status laws. In 2001, the U.N. Special Rapporteur
      for Violence against Women reported that since the passage of the
      reforms in 1991, an estimated 4,000 women and girls had been victims
      of "honor killings." In recent years, both the Kurdistan Democratic
      Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) administrations
      in northern Iraq issued decrees suspending laws allowing for
      mitigation of sentences in honor crimes, but the degree to which the
      suspension has been implemented is unknown.

      Shiite women knock at mosque door - 20 Jan 04
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0120/p06s01-woiq.html
      ..
      Usually this mosque is full of men. But in recent months, a handful of
      Shiite mosques in Baghdad have begun holding religious classes for
      women. Like a Muslim Sunday school, the classes teach the basics of
      Islam according to Shiite doctrine. Some also offer literacy training.
      For Iraq's Shiite women, long cloistered from public life, they hold
      out the promise of something even sweeter: a tentative independence.
      ..
      In Shiism, women have more freedom than in Sunni Islam - in theory.
      But under Saddam Hussein, public schools were forbidden from teaching
      anything but government-approved Sunni doctrine. Those who taught
      Shiite principles in private places, even at home, risked imprisonment
      or death. During this time, Shiite women were doubly oppressed:
      unable to worship freely, they were also often barred from public life
      by overprotective menfolk. Many of them simply dropped out of sight.
      "I could have studied computer science, but my husband didn't agree,"
      says Umm Ali. "Because of the circumstances around us in the country -
      people were not committed to religion - I didn't argue." Often, they
      turned to religion for comfort. But while Shiite men could study in
      hawzas, Shiite religious academies, the women had to try their luck
      with Sunni-run public seminaries, which were loath to admit them.
      ..
      When the regime fell, Shiite women - the plurality of Iraq's
      population - eagerly joined the national religious awakening. Mothers
      began teaching daughters at home. Prominent clerics began sending
      imams to mosques to lecture them. More mosques began offering
      introductory classes for women. But some Shiite women aren't
      satisfied with just the ABCs. In the offices of the Islamic Women's
      Movement, a Shiite party that promotes Islamic democracy, Ms. Ghareeb
      and others are planning something bolder: a hawza of their own. "In
      the future, we want to have a school that issues religious degrees for
      women," says Halima Hemadi, a journalist. "It wouldn't be any
      different from a regular hawza, but it would just be for women." Right
      now, the female hawza is just a dream, but they have drawn up a
      detailed plan: They would study sharia and fiqh, Islamic
      jurisprudence, like men. They hope someday to get a share of the alms
      left by pilgrims at Shiite religious shrines, which feed the small
      stipends male seminarians live on. Most important, they would regain
      something they lost: a role in public life. "We are asking the Muslim
      men to show the woman's role and her place in society," reads Ms.
      Hemadi's declaration, "according to the Koran and the prophet's Sunna
      [words and deeds] and the thoughts of his life." Though her demand
      sounds modest, it contains a veiled challenge. One of the
      uncomfortable truths in Iraq, as in the rest of the Muslim world, is
      that women don't have nearly as much freedom as the Koran says they
      should. For years, Hussein's repression provided a convenient
      justification for this disparity. Now that excuse is gone, and many
      Shiite women want to reenter the public sphere. They see Islam as
      their key.

      Shiite clerics hint violence possible - 17 Jan 04
      http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0117iraq-protest17.html
      ..
      Preachers in Shiite Muslim mosques appealed to their followers Friday
      to prepare for demonstrations, strikes and possible confrontations
      with occupation troops to back up demands for elections in advance of
      a transfer of authority from a U.S.-led administration to Iraqis. The
      calls increased pressure on the Bush administration and its handpicked
      Iraqi Governing Council to satisfy demands by Grand Ayatollah Ali
      al-Sistani, the country's most influential cleric, for elections.
      ..
      The United States and the council have fashioned a proposal to select
      a transitional assembly by July 1 through a complex system of regional
      caucuses. Sistani rejected the plan on the grounds that it
      disenfranchises Iraqis and puts Iraq's future in the hands of the
      United States. Sistani's challenge was sharpened in Shiite mosques
      throughout Iraq on Friday, and the option of violence was made
      explicit.
      ..
      Shiites consider Sistani, 73, an object of emulation, and his
      followers heed his words not only on religious matters but also on
      social and political issues. [Sistani's website :
      http://www.sistani.org/html/eng/%5d
      ..
      [Bagdad] Iraqi Shiites demand elections in huge protest - 19 Jan 04
      http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0119Iraq19-ON.html
      ..
      Huge crowds of Iraqi Shiites, estimated by reporters at up to 100,000,
      marched about three miles to the University of al-Mustansariyah, where
      a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani
      delivered a speech he said was directed at Annan, the U.S.-led
      occupation authority and its Iraqi allies. It was the biggest display
      of Shiite political power in Baghdad since Saddam Hussein's regime
      collapsed in April. It followed a similar demonstration on Thursday by
      some 30,000 Shiites in the southern city of Basra.
      ..
      [Sunni] Shiites' pressure may result in more theocratic Iraq-19 Jan 04
      http://www.trivalleyherald.com/Stories/0,1413,86~10669~1900983,00.html
      ..
      In an interview Saturday, Sheik Mohammed Bashar Faidi, the spokesman
      for the Board of Clergy and Scholars, a prestigious Iraqi Islamic
      religious organization, said that Sunni clerics are likely to issue a
      communique soon that if the government were elected along the lines
      requested by Sistani, it should be viewed as illegitimate. Sistani
      representatives had already made a similar threat, saying that if the
      government were chosen through a caucus system, Sistani might issue a
      fatwa, or religious ruling, saying that the government was illegal.

      KENYA

      [draft constitution] Presidential age limits scrapped - 17 Jan 04
      http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/Today/News/mainReview1701200450=
      .html
      ..
      The changes came at the national conference considering a new
      Constitution, at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi. And another big change to
      the [Ufungamano] draft came when delegates threw out suggestions that
      the kadhis' courts should be given equal status to the High Court and
      the Court of Appeal. Instead they said the courts could be enshrined
      in the new Constitution, but like magistrates' court be answerable to
      the High Court. Delegates to the Judiciary committee decided not to
      recognise the Chief Kadhi and other kadhis as full-time judicial
      officers but said their courts' powers should be limited to
      determining Muslim law on personal statutes, marriage, divorce, and
      inheritance and succession. They should not be allowed to rule on
      civil and commercial disputes, they said.
      ..
      Throw Out Parallel Draft Constitution, Say Muslims - 17 Jan 04
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200401190142.html [East African Standard]
      ..
      Muslim leaders want the Ufungamano draft constitution thrown out.
      The document's rejection of kadhi courts had threatened the existing
      religious harmony, said Sheikh Juma Ngao, chairman of the Supreme
      Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem). .. Ngao said the draft undermined
      the work of the 600-plus delegates at Bomas.

      MALAYSIA

      No sexy, revealing attires for Mariah Carey in Malaysian concert
      http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_536737,001100050003.htm
      .. - 16 Jan 04
      American pop diva Mariah Carey will hold her concert in Malaysia next
      month despite Islamic pressure for it to be cancelled but she cannot
      wear sexy or revealing attire under strict stage rules, officials and
      organisers said Friday.
      ..
      [her spokesman] said the singer, who would also be performing in other
      Muslim nations including neighbouring Indonesia, would respect local
      sensitivities and abide by dressing guidelines issued by the tourism
      ministry.
      ..
      Deputy Tourism Minister Fu Ah Kiow told The Star newspaper that all
      artistes performing in Malaysia, including Carey, were subjected to a
      dress code as part of conditions for her concert permit. Under the
      general guidelines, the singer cannot wear attires that are too sexy
      or revealing, officials said. Predominantly-Muslim Malaysia also
      imposed strict stage rules on major US rock group Linkin Park during
      their concert here in October, including requiring them to cover
      themselves from chest to knee and barred them from leaping around or
      be "raunchy".

      Jakim Plans To Ban 12 Book Titles - 15 Jan 04
      http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news.php?id=40344
      ..
      The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will propose to
      the Home Ministry that 12 book titles with Islamic elements from
      abroad be banned for sale in this country. The Chairman of the Censor
      Committee on Publication Materials with Islamic Elements of the
      Islamic Affairs Council, Jakim, Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria said the
      decision was made after making a thorough study of the contents of the
      books which were found to be misleading and could divert the faith of
      Muslims. "Some of the books contain photographic illustrations,
      including that of Jesus Christ, the picture of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
      talking to angels and pictures that could confuse the Muslims," he
      told reporters after chairing a meeting of the committee, here
      Thursday.

      IKIM to publish book on Malaysia as an Islamic State - 20 Jan 04
      http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2004&dt=0120&pub=Utusan_Expre=
      ss&sec=Front_Page&pg=fp_10.htm
      ..
      The Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) will publish a
      book clearly stipulating that Malaysia is an Islamic State, its
      Chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said Monday. He said the
      book on "Malaysia, an Islamic State" would be launched on Feb 7 and
      would explain from the legal, economic, social and other angles "that
      our country is indeed an Islamic State."

      [Terengganu/Kelantan] Islam 'Moderately Implemented' In Malay States
      http://www.islamonline.org/English/News/2004-01/16/article05.shtml

      [Terengganu] MB: Non-Muslims free to wear what they like - 15 Jan 04
      http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2004/1/15/nation/7109475&sec=nat=
      ion
      ..
      Facing flak from local and international organisations, PAS has
      "backtracked" on its dress code ruling for non-Muslims and Muslims in
      the state. [PAS president] Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang
      said such a ruling did not exist and there was no question of the
      authorities taking action against anyone. "Non-Muslims are free do
      dress according to their religion but they must respect the attire of
      Muslims."Hadi: 'The local authorities never passed such a ruling.' "We
      will motivate and educate Muslim women to wear the tudung (headscarf)
      as it is compulsory under Islam," he told newsmen yesterday after
      chairing the state exco meeting at Wisma Darul Iman. "Muslim men must
      also cover their aurat (parts of the body which cannot be exposed
      under Islam)." He said the statement by Kuala Terengganu Municipal
      Council president Dr Sulaiman Abdullah on Jan 4 was his "personal
      view" since it was not discussed in the council. "The local
      authorities had never passed such a ruling and non-Muslim councillors
      were not consulted before the announcement was made," he said. Dr
      Sulaiman had said owners of business premises would be compounded up
      to RM250 if their Muslim workers failed to wear tudung under the dress
      code. He said the owners could also face a similar fine if their
      non-Muslim workers were not attired decently, saying a mini-skirt was
      not allowed.

      NIGERIA

      Students behind failed Taliban-like uprising in Nigeria - 16 Jan 04
      http://www.azdailysun.com/non_sec/nav_includes/story.cfm?storyID=80306

      PAKISTAN

      Have faith and despair -- Khaled Ahmed's Urdu Press Review - 16 Jan 04
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_16-1-2004_pg3_6
      ..
      Columnist Irshad Haqqani wrote in "Jang" (18 December 2003) that he
      had written in one of his columns that abolishing the evidence of
      women in hudood cases was not correct because the Quran equated the
      evidence of two women with one man only in cases of registration of
      contract. He received a letter from Syed Zakir Hussain Shah Advocate
      who had been member of the Council of Islamic Ideology from 1990 to
      1996. Shah said that he had stated the same position about the
      evidence of woman in hudood cases but was overruled by the rest of the
      Council members. The evidence of women is rejected in Hudood cases by
      four schools of Islamic jurisprudence: Hanafi, Maliki, Hanbali and
      Shafei. The Ahle Hadith and Zahri schools deemed that the evidence of
      two women should be equated with one man, but one woman should not
      give evidence. Under the Jafariya school women could give evidence
      with men and two would be counted as one man but women alone could not
      depose. Shah further said that the Quran did not clearly agree with
      these versions. Also since the four schools differed there could not
      be said to be consensus on disallowing women from Hudood. He wrote
      that in respect of "liyan" or the method of proving fornication
      through cursing, one woman's evidence was considered acceptable.

      Major parties to support law against Karo-Kari ban - 16 Jan 04
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_16-1-2004_pg7_32
      ..
      Major political parties in the Senate and National Assembly (NA) on
      Thursday pledged their support for a bill banning Karo-Kari * [honour
      killing] that was moved in the lower house.
      ..
      deputy parliamentary leader of the MMA, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed .. said
      the religious alliance believes that there is no role of 'traditions'
      in Islam. He added that they would review the language of the bill to
      determine if it needed any changes or not.
      ..
      Dr Sher Afghan Niazi of the PPP-Patriots said that a person found
      guilty of committing such an act should be given a death sentence
      under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code. He said there was no
      need to make a fresh law against Karo-Kari when such a law already
      existed.
      ..
      * http://usconsulate-istanbul.org.tr/reppub/vawo/tkhan.html
      ..
      What is Kar-Kari? Karo is a black man and Kari is a black woman, black
      in the sense that they are morally corrupt. It is a highly ritualized
      form of woman killing. To declare a woman Kari, there has to be a
      Karo, a black man but the statistical data shows that although both
      are declared black, but in 90% cases, it is the woman who gets killed
      and man, either escapes, or bargains his live by paying money.

      PALESTINE

      Hamas: Women who shame family can be bombers - 19 Jan 04
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/384608.html
      ..
      Last week, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin praised the
      woman who killed herself and four Israeli security men at the Erez
      checkpoint. But it turns out Yassin's militant Islamist organization
      does not unequivocally support the use of women in terror attacks - it
      is especially hesitant about the deployment of married mothers.
      Senior Hamas figures who have consulted about the subject recently are
      inclined to support only the use of women who have desecrated rules of
      "family honor".
      ..
      In some cases, Hamas leaders rejected requests of women to take part
      in such attacks; Hamas referred a few such women to other
      organizations, particularly Islamic Jihad and Tanzim. Hamas has now
      revised this position, and some of the organization's leaders condone
      the use of women in terror strikes, particularly in situations where a
      woman can carry out the assignment more easily (since she is likely to
      cause less suspicion at crossing points), and when the woman has
      transgressed moral norms.
      ..
      Palestinians in rare debate on bombers - 19 Jan 04
      http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/uniontrib/mon/news/news_1n19bombers.html=


      PHILLIPPINES

      [Mindanao] Cancellation of all logging permits in ARMM urged
      http://www.inq7.net/reg/2004/jan/16/reg_1-1.htm - 16 Jan 04
      ..
      The law-making body of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
      wants the unilateral cancellation, through legislation, of all timber
      license agreements (TLAs) that the government has issued to giant
      logging firms operating within its territorial jurisdiction. Regional
      Legislative Assembly Bill No. 91, the proposed ARMM Sustainable Forest
      Management Law, seeks to cancel "all existing and valid timber
      licenses, contracts or agreements granted (for logging operations) in
      (areas of) ARMM by the national or regional government for the
      development, management and constructive utilization of forest
      resources..." Assemblyman Suharto Midtimbang, the author, said aside
      from voiding TLAs, the bill also seeks to reconcile and integrate
      conventional and Islamic concepts of forest management into one piece
      of legislation.

      The bill, which is being pushed to serve as the ARMM Forestry Code,
      also provides "ecological and genetic services as well as biodiversity
      conservation and enhancement of environmental activities" in the
      region. "It is a product of a series of consultations and roundtable
      discussions, and is partly based on the Sharia principle of tahsin
      al-ardh and ihya al-mawat (protection of the land and natural
      resources)," Midtimbang said. Some of the terms introduced in the bill
      are "khilafah" (stewardship) and "amanah" (trust), which are classic
      Arabic from the Sharia law.

      [Mindanao] Davao Muslims give nod to city's antiterror drive - 19 Jan
      http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?section=Provincial&OID=42716
      ..
      Muslim communities here expressed their support to the antiterror and
      the anticrime campaigns of the city despite raising earlier objection
      to the raids and abductions conducted against their communities in the
      aftermath of the bombing of the airport and the seaport here last
      year. Aleem Mahmod Adilao, regional chairman of the Ulama League of
      the Philippines, said that Muslim communities have approved the
      conduct of the antiterrorism and anticrime campaigns in the city,
      almost a year after the government placed the city under a state of
      lawless violence. Adilao said that the city mayor's move to restore
      the city government support to the madaris (plural of madrasah, or
      Islamic theology schools) removed a great part of the apprehension
      kept by many Muslims that they were targets of the antiterrorism
      campaign.

      SAUDI ARABIA

      How charity begins in Saudi Arabia - 15 Jan 04
      http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/FA16Df06.html

      No SARS in Saudi as 500,000 Muslims arrive for Mecca pilgrimage
      http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040116/hl_afp/saudi_hajj_pil=
      grims_sars_040116082648

      Plan to Protect Pilgrims From Flash Floods Finalized - 17 Jan 04
      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=38147&d=17&m=1&y=2004
      ..
      The Haj Ministry has worked out a comprehensive plan to protect
      pilgrims from possible flash floods during this Haj season, a senior
      official said. "We have already identified the areas and pilgrim tents
      that could be hit by floods and made arrangements to drain rain waters
      from such areas," Al-Madinah daily quoted Dr. Sahl Al-Sabban,
      assistant deputy Haj minister, as saying. Anti-flood measures are
      significant as weather forecasters have predicted heavy rains during
      this Haj season. .. He hoped that implementation of the first phase of
      a drainage system would prevent rain waters from entering tents and
      flooding streets.

      SINGAPORE

      One rule stands between him and a new kidney - 16 Jan 04
      http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/singapore/story/0,4386,230390,00.html
      ..
      Muslims in Singapore have to opt-in to donate their organs. The pool
      of Muslim donors now stands at just 14,500, despite a 14-year,
      $7-million public-education effort. This tiny donor pool stands in
      contrast to the number of Malays who need kidneys. Malays account for
      one in five patients waiting for a kidney transplant. They are also 50
      per cent more likely to suffer kidney failure than other races. To
      make matters worse, genetic differences make it difficult for them to
      find a match from among Chinese and Indian donors. .. To them, the
      problem is all too clear: The rule that a Muslim cannot opt into the
      organ donation scheme unless his waris (paternal next-of-kin) gives
      consent. .. Yesterday, Muis, the Islamic Religious Council of
      Singapore, came back with good news. In a statement to The Straits
      Times, it said it will act as next-of-kin for those who want to pledge
      their organs but have no next-of-kin. But that still means those who
      cannot get consent from their waris, for whatever reason, will be left
      out in the cold.

      SPAIN

      Imam Convicted for Advice on How to Beat Wives - 15 Jan 04
      http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=41331=
      69
      ..
      A Spanish court sentenced an imam to 15 months in prison Wednesday for
      writing a book instructing husbands how to beat their wives without
      leaving bruises. A lawyer for the Egyptian-born imam, Mohamed Kamal
      Mustafa, 44, vowed to appeal, telling state radio the ruling was
      unjust. The Barcelona court found Mustafa guilty of provoking
      violence on the basis of gender in his book "Women in Islam,"
      published in 2000. The book recommends that in the case of a
      "rebellious woman" a husband should attempt "serene dialogue" and if
      that fails, refuse to sleep in the same bed. If rebellion persists,
      the woman should be struck in a "symbolic" way and "without excesses,"
      the court order cited the book as saying. "If one needs to use blows,
      they should be administered to specific parts of the body like the
      feet and hands, using a light and thin stick so it will not leave
      scars or bruising on the body," read an excerpt from the book quoted
      in the ruling. In the trial Mustafa argued that much of his advice
      was based on the Koran, the Muslim holy book.

      SUDAN

      Songs and tears as Sudan's slaves begin long journey home - 17 Jan 04
      http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/story.jsp?story=482015
      ..
      The return of the slaves has started in Sudan. An estimated 14,000
      women and children have been abducted from the war-racked south since
      1986. Now aid workers say the Khartoum government, embarrassed by its
      association with the phenomenon, is prodding the slave-raiders to send
      their booty home. A trickle of abductees has returned. As the
      burgeoning peace process takes hold, thousands more are expected to
      follow. The charity Save the Children UK is helping organise the
      returns.
      ..
      Khartoum deployed horseback militia known as Murahaleen to frontline
      areas. In return for protecting a strategic railway line, the Arab
      tribesmen were allowed keep whatever booty they found, crops, cattle
      or human. The raids have ceased in the past year, but thousands of
      southern women and children still live in servitude on northern farms.
      They get no money and are beaten if they refuse to work. Some, reports
      say, have been forced to convert to Islam.

      TURKMENISTAN

      Secret police close down mosque refusing to go against Islam
      http://www.kavkazcenter.com/eng/article.php?id=2285 - 17 Jan 04
      ..
      Officers of the State Security Ministry (MSS) (the former KGB) closed
      down a Sunni mosque earlier this year because one of its leaders
      refused to put a copy of the Ruhnama (Book of the Soul), President
      Saparmurat Niyazov's book of spiritual writings, on the same stand as
      the Koran during Friday prayers.
      ..
      The Ruhnama, which officials have likened to the Koran, plays a
      significant role in President Niyazov's massive cult of personality
      and is compulsorily imposed on schools and the wider public. All imams
      in large mosques are required to put the Ruhnama alongside the Koran
      during prayers and sources have told that most imams reluctantly
      comply for fear of being punished or jailed.
      ..
      the television crew insisted that the Koran and the Ruhnama must be
      side by side. The mosque leaders refused, insisting that they could
      not put anything alongside the Koran and could not pray to it. They
      also refused to use any words during prayers that were not from the
      Koran (mosques are required to incorporate prayers for President
      Niyazov into regular prayers). [..]

      UGANDA

      Mufti warns MPs over family law - 16 Jan 04
      http://www.monitor.co.ug/news/news011614.php
      ..
      Mufti Shaban Mubajje has asked MPs to consider the interests of
      Muslims when they start debating the Domestic Relations Bill.
      Otherwise, the mufti said, "Muslims will resist any laws that
      contradict the religion [of Islam]." Mubajje said the secular laws
      must balance with Sharia, the Islamic legal code. "I am watching
      whatever the MPs are doing in regard to the Domestic Relations Bill. I
      expect them to seek support in ensuring that Muslims get a fair law,
      especially the marriage law, because we base our belief in the Quran."

      640 Ugandans off to Mecca, Medina - 16 Jan 04
      http://www.monitor.co.ug/news/news01165.php
      ..
      Some 641 Muslims have received Saudi Arabian visas to attend this
      year's pilgrimage in Mecca and Medina. "I have given visas to 247
      pilgrims who registered with the five hajj offices, plus 33 Burundi
      nationals," said the Managing Director of Firdaws Tours & Travel
      Agency, Sheikh Muhammad Kiggundu, on Wednesday.

      UK

      Inside Britain's Islamic colleges - 15 Jan 04
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3355803.stm

      USA

      Political discontent hinders US PR - 14 Jan 04
      http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/05FAA6CA-6D62-4DCE-A779-1DBD0000C91F=
      .htm
      ..
      The decision to form a government-funded Arabic television station is
      viewed by many as an attempt to present the Arab world with a more
      pro-American take on various issues. The station's programmes will be
      broadcast from a state-of-the-art studio in Springfield, Virginia, and
      will have a largely Arab staff. In English, al-Hurra translates into
      The Free One.
      ..
      [specialist Jon Alterman] says he doubts al-Hurra is the right move,
      in part because governments generally do not produce good television,
      but also because of questions about journalistic independence and the
      potential for propaganda. "How do you serve an Arab audience when you
      also have people in the US government monitoring every single word and
      saying 'that is not what US policy is,' " he said.
      ..
      Muafac Harb, a former Washington bureau chief for the Arabic-language
      daily al-Hayat, is the station's news director.

      Muslims upset about removing scarves to get Alabama licenses
      http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/0104/16license.html
      ..
      Some Muslim women in Alabama are upset because state driver's license
      officials are requiring them to remove their head scarves if they want
      to get a license.
      ..
      Department spokeswoman Dorris Teague said department officials were
      reviewing the matter. DPS officials later released a statement
      Thursday saying that it is necessary for a driver's license photo to
      clearly identify the individual. The statement said that DPS policy
      requires that photographs on Drivers Licenses "appear in such a way
      that would allow for the positive identification of individuals
      pictured on the license." Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the
      Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said most
      states -- including Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee -- have
      policies that allow people to wear head coverings for religious and
      medical reasons, such as cancer patients who have lost their hair. The
      rules provide that the coverings can't obscure the person's face.
      ..
      The scarves at issue in Alabama cover the hair, ears and neck, but not
      the face, Hooper said. Boyd Campbell, a Montgomery attorney who
      specializes in immigration law, said banning head scarves makes no
      sense when Alabama allows men to wear hair pieces and women to wear
      wigs in their driver's license photos.
      ..
      [La Tonya] Floyd maintains that a photo in a scarf would be better
      because it would represent the way she should would look if stopped by
      a law enforcement officer or going through a security checkpoint. She
      said Alabama's policy doesn't appear to be enforced consistently
      because she has talked to Muslim women who got driver's licenses in
      Alabama while wearing scarves. In one case, a Muslim woman stepped
      into a private room and allowed a female employee to verify that the
      hair color she put on her license application was correct, Floyd said.
      Floyd, who moved to Mobile from Dallas last year, said she had no
      problem getting a license in Texas while wearing a scarf.

      Alleged York victims deny cult leader molested them - 16 Jan 04
      http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/local/7729593.htm
      ..
      Five young women that cult * leader Malachi York is charged with
      molesting as children told a federal jury Friday that York never
      touched them sexually.
      ..
      York, 58, is being tried in U.S. District Court on 13 counts of child
      molestation and racketeering. Prosecutors have had 13 witnesses
      testify that York molested them. Many of York's accusers say the cult
      leader would have sex with two or more children at a time, and named
      several of them - including the five witnesses who denied being
      molested Friday.
      ..
      * Nuwaubian Nation of Moors [Profile | Beliefs | Controversies]
      http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/nuwaubians.html

      WORLD REGIONS

      Divine Intervention [Harvard International Review] - 01 Jan 04
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=45870934
      .. [religion as a source of international peacemaking].

      Al-Jazeera reports worldwide demonstrations against France on "hijab
      day" http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=46007010

      Worldwide protests over ban on religious symbols [in] French proposal
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/01/1=
      8/MNGCP4CJUT1.DTL

      ISLAMIC FINANCE

      Islamic Finance: Concept of cause in a commercial contract - 15 Jan 04
      http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=108067

      [Turkey] Turkcell Raises US$100 Million in Islamic Finance Syndicate
      http://www.stockhouse.com/news/news.asp?tick=TKC&newsid=2104207
      .. - 16 Jan 04
      Turkcell (NYSE: TKC, ISE: TCELL), the leading provider of mobile
      communications services in Turkey, has secured a syndicated Murabaha
      facility of US$ 100 million from a consortium arranged by the Islamic
      Development Bank and HSBC. The facility is to support the purchase of
      equipment required by Turkcell for its continuing program of upgrading
      and maintaining the country's premier GSM service.

      Dubai Islamic Bank To Issue Islamic Bonds Of Up To US$1 Bln -13 Jan 04
      http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news_business.php?id=39803
      ..
      The Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has formed a joint venture securities
      company to launch Islamic bond issues of up to US$1 billion to attract
      capital for mortgage lending in Dubai. The new Emirates National
      Securitisation and Finance Corporation (ENSFC) will issue commercial
      mortgage backed securities (CMBS) that will be listed and traded on
      regional and international markets, including the US and Europe. The
      Shari'a compliant bonds will be open to subscription from institutions
      and individuals and may carry maturity periods ranging from five to 10
      years, the UAE daily Gulf News reported. The mortgages will be kept
      in a trust vehicle and once the securitisation is complete, the funds
      can be returned to the banks, which can then recycle the financing,
      further improving liquidity.

      [*] Copyright: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 -
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      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