Sharia News Watch 101
- Sharia News Watch 101 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
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 :
Karzai signs post-Taleban constitution into law - 27 Jan 04
The constitution outlines a tolerant, democratic Islamic state under a
strong presidency as sought by Karzai a two-chamber Parliament and
an independent judiciary. Ratified Jan. 4 after a sometimes bruising
debate at a 500-member Loya Jirga, the text also declares men and
women equal before the law a victory for human rights advocates.
Two Thousand Ulamas Issue Fatawa Against The Karzai Regime
.. - 26 Jan 04
Two thousand Ulamas in Afghanistan have declared the regime of Karzai
to be Kufr and have called for the Jihad against the regime. The
Ulamas have issued a fatwa that states it is compulsory to fight the
Hamid Karzai regime and any support for the government, either
financially or in any other way is not permissible. They have said
that the regime is not implementing Shariah law and is proactively
resisting the calls to implement Islam. One recent event that caught
attention of the people was when the supreme court of the country was
rebuffed when it called for the ban on women on Afghan National TV.
and any future Islamic government will punish those that do not adhere
to these edicts. The fatwa was faxed from Hamid Agha, spokesman for
Taliban, to various newspaper offices in the country. The Fatwa states
that there is no difference between the government of Karzai and the
previous communist government, calls for the youth to join the jihad
and for all Afghans who consider themselves good Muslims to keep their
families and friends out of the government and to stop supporting
them. It also calls for the implementation of Islamic veil on women,
the establishment of an Islamic education system and to fight the
hypocritical regime just as they fought the British and Soviet
The Fatwa goes on to say that the attack on Afghanistan not only
destroyed an Islamic government, but it also is trying to erase the
Islamic identity of the nation and that the "crusaders" have come to
this land to spread immorality and Christianity under the guise of
aid. It called for Muslims to resist their efforts and not to accept
any kind of aid being given to the government regardless of its form
and declared that helping the regime either materially or financially
means would be considered a crime punishable by death. In a related
event, Taliban distributed pamphlets inside Afghanistan to warn people
to stop supporting the Karzai regime and to keep their family members
from working for the regime because any government worker will be
considered a legitimate target for attacks by Taliban.
All set for Eid Al Adha celebrations - 28 Jan 04
From festive parties to the more subdued but joyful family reunions,
everything's set for Eid Al Adha celebrations this year. Come Sunday
the three-day celebration begins and there will be glitzy nightouts or
afternoon parties. With the added Arafa holiday on Saturday, it will
be a long holiday week ahead. Eid has always been the season to bring
families together either relaxing at home for simple but finely
prepared dishes or a visit or two for a good family treat at hotels or
restaurants. After the traditional Hedabiya on the eve of the Eid,
entertainment activities begin. Museums will be closed but there will
always be the alternative open public parks and other places to see.
Belief of Ahmadiyyas by Annie Habib, Stuttgart, Germany - 29 Jan 04
There has been much misunderstanding about the true belief of
Ahmadiyyas because of one-sided propaganda against them.
The Ahmadiyyas believe in all the tenets of Islam and is spread over
almost 180 countries of the world, having 200 million members, and
preach Islam in a most rational and peaceful way. They believe in Holy
Prophet Mohammad (SM) as the last Prophet in the sense that there will
be no new sharia after him. It is inferred from the Holy Quran, Hadith
and writings from earlier Muslim divines that the promised reformer
(Imam Mahdi) of the latter age would be an 'ummati' (follower) of the
Prophet not bringing any new law and not discarding any teachings of
the Holy Quran. This sect was not founded by the British and is run by
the money of its own members.
Whatever happened to tolerance? - 28 Jan 04
the odious far right Flemish Vlaams Blok party has played on the
current climate of Islamophobia in its recent campaign against plans
to allow non-EU foreigners to vote in Belgium's local elections. This
week the Blok proudly announced that it had managed to gather nearly
70,000 signatures for a petition it is supporting against the new law.
Anti-racism groups say the vast bulk of opponents to the law are more
concerned about immigrants from the other side Mediterranean than
about transatlantic expats.
The Strasbourg-based European Commission against Racism and
Intolerance (ECRI), one of Europe's most respected anti-racism
organisations, is so concerned about racism at the extreme ends of
Belgian politics that it this week openly condemned the casual way
parties like the Vlaams Blok and its French-speaking counterpart the
Front National use racist language in their propaganda. In a detailed
report on racism in Belgium ECRI quite rightly called on the Belgian
authorities to prosecute parties like the Blok when they incite race
hatred in their literature.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Bosnian cleric urges Europe to show support for Muslims - 25 Jan 04
Mustafa Ceric, the grand mufti of the estimated 2 million Muslims in
this former Yugoslav republic, said in an interview in early January
that Europe was failing to engage with Muslims, allowing militants to
step in and create the kind of groups that have been used to recruit
terrorists. In the interview, he called for European governments to
help finance Islamic schools as well as to contribute to building
mosques. Europe, he said, needs to "institutionalize" Islam, to give
it "an official voice." Ceric also criticized countries that gave
support to any single religious group.
Muslims make up about half of Bosnia's population. The other two main
religious groups are Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics, but no
census has been completed since 1991, before the war broke out.
Although the Islamic community here contends it is the "European"
branch of Islam, with an awareness of democracy and human rights, it
has come under increasing pressure from more conservative movements,
promoted by Saudi Arabian groups, which have provided support to some
Freelance Jihad - Crusaders and the Soldiers of Allah - 27 Jan 04
The 43 detainees are awaiting a trial in a martial court after they
were picked up in Alexandria, Beheira, and Mahalla 15 months ago. The
government charged the suspects with forming an underground group,
dubbed as "Jundullah" (Soldiers of Allah), and planning attacks on
"Western targets" in Egypt.
According to defense lawyers and Islamist sources in London and Cairo,
the detainees, most of whom are in their mid 20s and 30s, do not have
political records. "Everyone is talking about the Intifada," said
defense lawyer Mr. Youssef Saqr, in his house, few kilometers away
from the military court. The suspects "are simply a group of people
who sat down, gave it a thought, and wanted to travel to carry out
jihad in Palestine. When they couldn't, they decided to attack the
American and Israeli embassies in Cairo." The state-owned Al-Ahram
had reported, on January 5, 2003, that the defendants had allegedly
vowed revenge for the Israeli atrocities in Jenin in April 2002. The
67 -year-old Islamist lawyer proudly stated that he would include, in
his defense, studies on the "Crusader-Zionist conspiracy plans"
against Muslims, hoping "the military judges would realize the threat
all Muslims are under today." The arrest of Jundullah's suspects was
followed by a series of security crackdowns on other new amateur
groups. .. "The group's members confessed they endorsed jihadi
thought [regarding it as a way] to protect Muslim minorities under
oppression in some Asian countries, and because they were enraged by
US and Israeli practices in the Arab region," the minister added.
"More of these [amateur] groups will appear, due to the rage against
the US policies in the Middle East," commented Islamist lawyer Mr.
Montasser Al-Zayat, in his office in downtown Cairo. The expected
damage could vary in scale from a couple of rocks thrown at a
McDonald's branch to "disastrous operations," he warned.
French cabinet approves hijab ban - 28 Jan 04
Wednesday's cabinet approval opens the way for the bill's passage
through parliament before it finally becomes a law. .. The bill has
its first reading before the National Assembly, parliament's lower
house next Tuesday.
Gunman, allegedly insulted, kills 2 at German mosque - 26 Jan 04
A gunman opened fire during morning prayers Monday at a mosque in
western Germany, killing two men who reportedly insulted him and his
wife, police said. Shortly after the shooting in Gelsenkirchen, about
25 miles northeast of Duesseldorf in North Rhine-Westphalia state,
authorities arrested a 59-year-old Turkish man, who admitted shooting
the men in the head before about 20 worshippers. The victims, ages 58
and 48, were Turkish. The man, whose name was not released, told
police he killed the victims because they insulted him and his wife.
Authorities arrested the suspect after he fled to his home.
The Haj - An Orientation Manual for Trainers of Indian Pilgrims of
[comments] Iraqi Personal Law Draws Criticism - 26 Jan 04
The major criticism against the new law - yet to be effective - stems
from the fact that it virtually complicates matters in Iraq and
encourages sectarianism through "establishing a court for each and
every faction." This is despite the fact that the law is based on the
Islamic Shari'a in general. The 1959 law, on the other hand, has been
in breach of some provisions of the Shari'a.
The second article of the annulled law, passed in 1959 to regulate
Iraqi family affairs regardless of their factional affiliations,
stipulated that the law was to be applicable to all "Iraqis save those
exempted by a special law." The law had been applicable to all Iraqi
factions and to Muslim foreigners residing in Iraq. Yet, it exempted
Jews and Christians as they have their own laws and regulations.
In statements to the Saudi Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper last week,
deputy chief of Shiite Waqfs Divan Galal Al-Saghir expressed his
strong support of the newly-approved Law. "The law is about referring
each claimant in cases of marital affairs to his own sect," Al-Saghir
said. He described the marital affairs law issued by former Iraqi
President Abdul-Karim Qassem as being "the worst of laws, as it gave
women free reign to divorce themselves and put them on an equal
footing with men with regard to inheritance," in a clear breach of the
Islamic Shari'a, which is the main source of legislation.
"The decision has been said to be based on Islamic Shari'a but what
provisions it has been based on? There are no specific articles. There
are four Sunni doctrines and I do not know the reasons behind it," the
[Sunni] member of the Governing Council said. Kurdish leader and
Governing Council member Galal Talbani has opposed the decision and
deemed it "invalid and illegitimate" for procedural reasons,
reiterating that it has not been approved by the majority of two
thirds of Council members, in conformity with the existing regulations
of the Governing Council.
In statements to IslamOnline.net, political analysts deem the decision
as being a step "to lebanize Iraq" (To turn it into another Lebanon),
as it does not only affect the Iraqi family file but it hits at the
Iraqi public interests and encourages sectarianism. Some sources said
that the Lebanese example does not have a unified personal law, as
each religious sect organizes its family affairs, reducing the
possibility of marriages among different sects. Such Lebanese method
was a factor in the build up to factional wars that lasted for 15
[comment] A Reclusive Cleric Holds the Power - 27 Jan 04
It is hard to know exactly where Ayatollah Sistani wants Iraq to go,
but he appears to envision a government founded on Islamic law and
precepts in keeping with the tradition of his mentor, Abdul Qasim
Khoei, who died in 1992. Sistani accepts, in principle, the political
reality of the modern state and advocates that clerics should keep
their contacts with the government to a minimum, focusing instead on
matters relating to personal status and Islamic learning and worship.
In statements posted on his website (sistani.org) and related by
aides, he has called for a government based on freedom, justice and
equality. These terms, as well as the idea of Islamic democracy, have
often been invoked by moderate Shiites, who have yet to articulate a
clear meaning for these words in the Iraqi context or to demonstrate a
commitment to apply these concepts to both men and women.
Team is set up to reconcile factions - 27 Jan 04
A committee to reconcile warring political and religious factions at
Bomas was formed yesterday. Constitution of Kenya Review Commission
chairman Yash Pal Ghai said the committee, with the mandate to iron
out contentious issues on the Executive and the Kadhi courts, would
operate under the umbrella of the steering committee. .. The
chairman, who refused to name the members, said the group's
responsibility would be to take on board factions operating outside
Bomas. .. The Judiciary Committee has entrenched Kadhi courts in the
Constitution, sparking a row with the Ufungamano masterminds, who
walked out to draft a parallel constitution.
House of advisors in Morocco adopts Family Code - 24 Jan 04
The House of Advisors unanimously adopted on Friday the new family
code that aims at promoting the situation of women in the Moroccan
society. Last Friday, the code was adopted by the House of
Representatives. The reformed Code puts family under the joint
responsibility of spouses, imposes difficult conditions for polygamy,
and raises women's age of marriage from 15 to 18. .. Specialized
jurisdictions have been set up in Moroccan courts to implement the new
Changing status of Morocco's shunned wives - 28 Jan 04
Under Morocco's old family code Hadija's husband and thousands of
other Moroccan men could verbally divorce their wives at any time, and
their decision was legally binding.
Under a new family code, or the Mudawana as it is known, husbands will
now have to go to court to make their repudiation binding and women
will no longer be legally required to be "obedient" to their husbands.
"Under the new family code, whoever keeps the children keeps the
marital house. So they will no longer be on the streets. This is an
important protection for women."
Azziza's marriage was not legal, but what was legal in accordance with
the Koran, was that her father as a Walli, or male guardian, should
decide her fate for her. Under the new Mudawana a woman from the age
of 18, may be her own Walli.
Now a backer of the king's Mudawana, perhaps surprisingly, Nadia
Yassine says it does not go far enough because women remain minors
under the penal code, which has not changed. On paper at least, with
the adoption of the new Mudawana, Morocco is set to become one of the
most progressive countries in terms of women's rights in the Arab
world. Next, says Layla Rhiwi of Spring Time of Equality, the
magistrates and judges must be retrained.
While polygamy is not completely outlawed - a man may take a second
wife as soon as his first wife submits a request for divorce on
grounds of "wrongs suffered" - women will be able to draw up a
pre-nuptial agreement that forbids husbands from taking another wife.
It offers a new guarantee for wives, giving them the possibility of
drawing up a contract to share out goods acquired during marriage in
the case of divorce.
The new law also offers new rights for the protection of children,
notably the right of women to have custody of their offspring and the
right for children born out of wedlock to trace their fathers.
Specialised family courts will oversee the new code.
Nigeria to test polio vaccine to counter suspicion - 28 Jan 04
Nigeria is to test samples of the polio vaccine next month in the hope
of resolving a dispute with Muslim authorities which has helped spread
the crippling disease to children across Africa.
"A meeting has been scheduled in two weeks' time with all the states
that are opposed to the immunisation programme," Health Minister
Eyitayo Lambo told Reuters. He said during the meeting, and in the
presence of all, the vaccine would be tested for impurities.
Nasiu Baba-Ahmed, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Sharia
(Islamic law) in Nigeria, backed the idea of a joint test with the
government. He said tests commissioned by Nigerian Islamic groups in
Italy and India confirmed the presence of contaminants in vaccines
taken from northern Nigeria. .. "There are serious suspicions of a
conspiracy by the U.S. government to depopulate Nigeria, among other
developing countries," he told Reuters. .. Baba-Ahmed questioned
why there was so much emphasis on polio, which affects hundreds of
children in Nigeria, when thousands are killed every year by other
preventable diseases such as measles, typhoid, malaria and meningitis.
Analysts warned the joint test may not clear up the dispute, as its
roots went beyond purely scientific matters. "The problem is
geopolitical, not a health matter," said political commentator Pini
Jason. "The controversy over the vaccine is similar to the debate over
Sharia. Those who oppose the vaccine are making a global political
statement against the United States as regards its foreign policy to
Islamic nations," he said.
Sharia: Kano Warns Hotel Proprietors [Vanguard - Lagos] - 28 Jan 04
Addressing the hoteliers at a one day meeting organized by the
commission, the chairman of the State Sharia Commission, Sheike
Ibrahim Kabo said the meeting was meant to establish an effective
working relationship with Hoteliers and come up with ways to sanitize
their business activities in the state.Sheik Kabo pointed out that the
commission had identified, prostitution, gambling, alcoholism, etc as
some of the social menace bedeviling the state, adding that ther is
need to work together to address the ugly development in the state.
His words ' by this directives Sharia commission is assigned with the
serious challenge of carefully studying the social ways of living with
a view to sanitizing it from anti Islamic activities which are alien
to Islamic culture'.
[Chief Adeaga] recalled that some of their members have been victims
of some ruthless Hisba officials (Islamic voluntary sharia enforcers)
in the past, and appealed to the commission to help caution the Hisba
members against destroying vehicles of hoteliers or burning their
Contractors, Govt Officials to Face ICPC in Kano - 26 Jan 04
http://allafrica.com/stories/200401260387.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
All contractors and senior government officials found to be involved
in the misappropriation of monies meant for contracts in Kano State
during the last administration are to be arraigned before the
Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC.
Governor Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau promised that no stone will be left
unturned in carrying out the final report of the committees and as
required by the Sharia.
Taraba Dep Gov Under Probe [P.M. News - Lagos] - 27 Jan 04
A seven-member panel set up by the Taraba State Government to probe
allegations of gross misconduct against Deputy Gov. Uba Maigari by the
House of Assembly has begun sitting in Jalingo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deputy governor was
present at the Sharia Court of Appeal in Jalingo, venue of the
sitting. But the case was adjourned to Tuesday to enable witnesses to
appear before the panel. Maigari was served with six-point allegations
of gross misconduct in December last year, but has denied all the
Four-day Eid holiday in Oman - 26 Jan 04
Oman on Monday declared a four-day holiday for the private sector to
mark Eid Al Adha; government offices will remain closed for five days.
The holidays for both sectors will start on Saturday.
[editorial] 'Zalim' on Line [on religious tv channels] - 26 Jan 04
[Punjab] LHC tells police to stop harassing couple - 28 Jan 04
The Lahore High Court on Monday directed the police not to harass a
woman whose parents had registered an abduction case against her
husband, whom she had married against their consent.
Ms Nooshi, through advocate Nawab Ali Mayo, told the court she was
over 18 and had married of her own will. She said her parents wanted
her to marry an elderly man because he was rich. When she refused and
married Mr Akhtar instead, her father Ghulam Hussain had a false
abduction case registered against Mr Akhtar, she said, adding the
police were harassing her and her husband. The judge said that the
police could not take action against an adult couple that married of
their own will.
LHC frees 21 kiln workers
The Lahore High Court has set free 21 people who were illegally
detained by a Manga Mandi kiln owner. The court directed the detained
people to approach the district police officer of Lahore for action
against the kiln owner. The court observed that Islam and the law
prohibit using anyone for bonded labour and strict measures should be
taken against those involved in such activities.
Food, Labour depts issued notice
The Lahore High Court on Monday issued notice to the Labour and Food
departments on a writ petition alleging that labourers at various
markets in the Punjab are being forced to carry weight on their back
greater than that permitted under the law.
NWFP courts yet to take up case under Shariat Act - 27 Jan 04
The courts in the province have not dealt with even a single case
under the NWFP Shariat Act 2003, enacted last year by the Muttahida
Majlis-i-Amal government, as the law is not practicable, observed
speakers at a seminar on Monday. The provincial parliamentary leader
of the People's Party Parliamentarians, Abdul Akber Khan, and former
president of the Peshawar Bar Council, Sher Afgan Khattak, said under
the Shariat Act the courts in the province had to interpret laws in
accordance with Islamic Shariat, but despite the passage of more than
seven months the provisions of the act had not been followed by any of
the courts. "Even the members of the MMA or the provincial government
have not asked any of the court to decide their cases in accordance
with the said act as they also know that the law was faulty and could
not be implemented," said Mr Khattak.
[The NWFP Minister for Law] said: "We have finalised debates on laws
aimed at safeguarding the right of inheritance of women, prohibiting
the inhuman custom of Swara and honour killing." He added that Talaq
Mughaliza (pronouncement of three Talaqs in one go) would also be
declared a penal offence.
Mr Khattak said there were more than 100 judges of different
categories in the province. If all of them were empowered to interpret
laws in accordance with Shariat, he remarked, it would create complete
confusion in society as they might not be well versed in Islamic
Shariat. Under the Constitution, he added, only the Federal Shariat
Court was empowered to decide cases in accordance with Shariat and
even the high courts were not given those powers. He asked when a
power could not be exercised by the high court how could the courts
subordinate to it exercise it.
[NWFP] PHC dismisses plea against Hasba push - 29 Jan 04
A division bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday
dismissed a petition of lawyer Sher Afgan asking the court to stop the
provincial government from presenting the proposed Hasba Act in the
Frontier Assembly. The bench consisting of Chief Justice Mian
Shakirullah Jan and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan dismissed the petition
by declaring it premature. The chief justice observed that it was
premature to hear the petition because the assembly had not passed the
proposed act into law. He also observed that the act was under
consultation with different sections of the society.
The petitioner stated that 25 laws already covered the offences
mentioned in Section-23 of the proposed Hasba Act and there was no
need for fresh legislation for them.
Despite Difficulties, 5,000 Russian Muslims Perform Hajj - 26 Jan 04
Many Russian Muslims complained about the highly-priced visa issuance,
hajj costs and the hardships faced by pilgrims traveling by buses.
Traveling by road costs about 36,000 Russian rubles ($1300), while by
plane around 51,000 ($1800). According to the Saudi consul in Moscow,
Abdal Razek Al-Kashmi, 3500 pilgrims were traveling by road this year.
In sub-zero temperatures, the last 180-strong batch of pilgrims left
the capital of Ingushetia, Nazran, saturday, January 24, for the holy
places in Saudi Arabia. .. Dagestan makes up the majority of Russian
pilgrims this year with 1582 people and followed by Tatarstan with
Women Allowed to Pray on Grand Mosque's Terrace - 27 Jan 04
The authorities at the Grand Mosque have allowed women to pray on its
terrace for the first time this year as part of their efforts to
reduce congestion inside the mosque. Several escalators have been
installed to take the worshipers to the terrace. A light system has
also been installed on the mosque's 126 gates to let worshipers know
in advance whether the mosque is crowded. If it is crowded, a red
light is on; if not crowded, a green light will be on.
Dr. Abdul Mohsen Humaid, director of the department of projects and
studies at the presidency, said the expansion of the mataf
(circumambulation area) on the mosque's first floor and terrace had
reduced the tawaf length from 662 to 572 meters. There are special
areas for the handicapped and elderly to perform tawaf. He said the
shifting of the entrance to the Zamaam Well and Zamzam water drinking
area from the mataf had created more space for circumambulation this
year. The mataf will be crowded when the faithful come to perform
tawaf al-ifada on the third day of Haj.
Numbers swell as Haj start nears - 28 Jan 04
Makkah and the nearby holy city of Madina were hit with torrential
rains last week causing floods. The cold weather has caught some of
the pilgrims coming from warm countries by surprise, with health
experts blaming some of the recent deaths on that. At least 113
pilgrims, mostly from southeast Asia, have died, many of them from
exhaustion, chr-onic illnesses or road accidents, the Saudi Gazette
reported on Sunday. Many pilgrims were seen wearing masks as the bird
flu grips Asia and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), appears
to be making a comeback in Hong Kong.
More than 100 medical specialists and nurses from Britain, the United
States and Malaysia have been brought in to work in emergency,
intensive care and anaesthetic units bolstering 9,500 local doctors,
nurses and administrators. The Haj Ministry is focusing on preventive
measures and checking pilgrims as they arrive at 24 entry points.
Last year 14 people were trampled to death on the third day of the haj
-- the latest in a series of tragedies to hit the holy rite, a duty
for every able-bodied Muslim.
The main trouble spot has been the Jamarat Bridge, where pilgrims will
flock on Saturday night and Sunday to stone thrones where Muslims
believe the devil appeared to Abraham.
Sami Angawi, who set up the state's Haj Research Centre in 1975, said
crowd control plans had been obstructed by "five-star pilgrims" who
refuse to walk and insist on performing rites at the time specified by
the kingdom's creed of Sunni Islam. Following Wahhabi religious
teaching, clerics say the stone-throwing should take place in the
afternoon, as booklets handed out to pilgrims advise. Most pilgrims
are not Wahhabi. Angawi said the problem was that there could be an
estimated 50,000 cars at the same time in one location. The haj
rituals, laid down by Prophet Mohammad 14 centuries ago, see Muslims
move around a circuit of several km in the mountainous terrain around
Mecca over a five-day period.
[comment] clerics set boundaries on reforms - 27 Jan 04
Some analysts and academics say the country was not always so
restrictive, pointing to a period of liberalism in the 1960s when
Saudi Arabia had a Shura (advisory) council, municipal elections and
women could work and mix with men. They attribute the change to the
1979 takeover of the Grand mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest city, by a
group of Sunni fanatics who opposed modernisation in the birthplace of
Islam. A disconcerted royal family empowered the clergy to bolster the
validity of its rule; the House of Saud bases its legitimacy on
safeguarding the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina.
Wahhabi clerics then waged a campaign against art and other pleasures
of life. Music was banned from public places and the few cinemas
closed. Religion hijacked most of the school curriculum with students
having less time for other topics.
No significant changes in the kingdom, from the introduction of
telephones and television to the start of education for girls have
ever gone ahead without fierce resistance from the clerics. .. Crown
Prince Abdullah has pledged to press ahead with reform but said change
would be gradual and in harmony with Islam. "This country is either
Muslim or nothing at all," he said.
"It was the mistake of the government to allow them (the clerics) to
expand their influence," said [analyst Khaled] al-Fadely. "The state
gave them power and the magic turned against the magician."
Chief Justice Suspends Flogging of Girl - 23 Jan 04
The London-based human rights organisation Amnesty International has
welcomed the suspension of a flogging sentence against a 16-year-old
girl convicted last year of adultery, but urged the Sudanese
authorities to treat the case in accordance to their obligations under
international human rights law. Sudan's chief justice on Wednesday
suspended the sentence against Intisar Bakri Abd al-Qadir, pending her
appeal against it. She was to have received 100 lashes, with the
punishment due to be carried out on Friday.
According to [Amnesty's] Goderiaux, the law was applied unfairly
against Intisar, whose pregnancy was used in court as sufficient
evidence for a conviction, yet the man involved only needed four
witnesses to prove his innocence. Intisar's lawyer Ghazi Sulayman, who
is also a human rights activist, told IRIN on Thursday that he had
appealed against the sentence on the grounds that she was not only a
Christian, and therefore not bound by Shari'ah, but also that she was
still was a minor. "The chief justice of Sudan ordered a stay of
execution and promised to look at my appeal," Sulayman told IRIN from
Khartoum. "I am very optimistic that the high court of Sudan will
dismiss the case against her," he added.
The girl, who reportedly lives with her mother in a shanty town
outside Khartoum, gave birth in September to a son. The man who she
alleged to have raped her has, however, denied having had any
connection with her. The punishment had initially been postponed
because she was pregnant, and then in December because she was in poor
Nine people were at risk of execution and cross-amputation, without
the right to further appeal, the Supreme Court in Khartoum having
dismissed their initial appeals against their sentences, which had
been issued by a specialised criminal court, the organisation said in
'Religious conflict' worries premier - 27 Jan 04
"Don't take what happened as a religious conflict, otherwise we could
become a tool of the [Muslim] separatists," warned Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra after three members of the Buddhist clergy were
killed in Thailand's Muslim-majority south. Muslims fighting for a
separate Islamic nation are suspected of countless bombings, arson
attacks, shootings and other assaults during the past several years in
southern Thailand, to destabilize Bangkok's grip and allow Islamic
Sharia law to dominate there instead.
Islam and Buddhism are at different ends of the spiritual spectrum
because, unlike Islam, there is no "god" in Buddhist belief. Muslims
also denounce the "worshipping of idols", while statues of Buddha
appear throughout Thailand and are revered by bowing Buddhists who
comprise more than 90 percent of this Southeast Asian nation's
Thai officials suspect that returnees from Afghanistan, plus
Wahhabi-financed religious schools, have influenced some Thai Muslims
at more than 100 small, private Islamic campuses in the south.
Relentless arson attacks on government schools in the south during the
past decade have been blamed on Muslims who want to cripple the
official education system so more Muslim children end up in local
Islamic schools or fundamentalist institutions in the Middle East.
Many Turks Become Christians - 23 Jan 04
Some 35,000 Turks converted from Islam to Christianity last year,with
most joining evangelical congregations the newspaper, "Milliet,"
reports. If true, this would amount to a mass movement, considering
Christians make up only 0.2 percent of Turkey's 68 million population.
The German protestant news service Idea reported most converts are
descendants of Orthodox Christians who ostensibly became Muslims to
avoid being killed in Turkey's 1914-22 genocide of its Armenian
Kibuli PTA Reject 'Hijab' [New Vision - Kampala] - 26 Jan 04
Members of the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) of Kibuli Senior
Secondary School have rejected the school management proposal of
making every girl student put on a hijab. [change in school uniform].
"The members of the association as a policy body have not been
officially informed and have not met over the new regulation requiring
all girl students to put on long skirts and long sleeved blouses, so
we are not part of it and don't accept it,"
[Cambridgeshire] Teacher 'insults' Muslim girl - 27 Jan 04
A 16-year-old Muslim student told a British court on Tuesday how a
senior teacher at her high school insulted her religion after pulling
an Islamic scarf from her head. .. The jury trial has been told that
the girl arrived for class wearing a black hijab, and that Dick told
her to change it for a [school] uniform hijab which was black-edged
with a red and grey stripe.
yesterday (27 January), the case against the teacher collapsed. Judge
Nicholas Coleman halted the trial and discharged the jury following a
series of legal discussions between lawyers. A new trial has been
ordered for 8 March 2004.
More people attend mosques than Church of England: Census
.. - 26 Jan 04
More people in Britain attend mosques than the Church of England. It
is for the first time that Muslims have overtaken Anglicans. According
to figures 930,000 Muslims attend a place of worship at least once a
week, whereas only 916,000 Anglicans do the same. Muslim leaders are
now claiming that, given such a rise of Islam in Britain, Muslims
should receive a share of the privileged status of the Church of
Although the census recorded 1.59 million Muslims but Ceri Peach,
professor of social geography at Oxford University said the census
could not record the correct balance because the question was
voluntary. Academics believe the figure to be at least 1.8 million.
Tariq Modood, a professor of sociology at Bristol University has found
that 62 per cent of Muslims pray in places of worship. The figure,
after excluding young children, most of whom do not worship in
mosques, is about 930,000. The figure is said to underestimate the
number of practising Muslims. Many, it is said, pray at home.
The Church of England has 26 seats in the House of Lords. However, the
recent figures do not include Catholics. The Catholic church has 1.5
million British worshippers.
[California] Muslims acquire burial ground in Oceanside - 28 Jan 04
Burial is a collective obligation for Muslims, he said, and the mosque
has recently contracted for an exclusive burial area in Eternal Hills
Memorial Park in Oceanside. The allotted space, which will include "72
spaces with some land around it," will be enclosed by a fence. A sign
outside will indicate that it is a Muslim burial ground. "The fencing
is because Muslim burial grounds have to be identified differently,"
Khan said. "No other graves are allowed." Muslim scholars say the
burial segregation is to maintain the placement of the bodies in an
unbroken pattern. All the spaces will be aligned toward the Ka'ba,
or Kaaba, the place in Mecca toward which Muslims turn when they pray.
The body rests on its back, but the face is turned toward the right.
The depth should be at least half the body's length, but deeper is
better. This is according to the Islamic Sharia, or law. Burials are
not extravagant. If not for the fence, it might be difficult to
discern what lies beyond it. Markers, statues and mausoleums are not
used to mark graves. And the amount of earth mounded above the grave
should not be higher than the breadth of a man's hand, said Imam Nader
Dehaini. .. Essentially the poor and the rich go into the ground the
same way, and that's the important thing." The mourning or grieving
period should last no more than three days. After 33 years, the space
can be used to bury another person, scholars say.
There are five phases to prepare a Muslim's body for burial:
* The obligatory washing, or ghusl, which is conducted according to
strict rules: Men wash men and women wash women; * Wrapping (kafan)
the body in a clean, preferably white cloth, three pieces for men,
five for women, and tied to allow differentiation between the head and
legs; * Prayers (salat) and supplication (du'a) are offered for the
dead, the Prophet Mohammed and for all Muslims. The burial prayer is
done standing. * Funerals are conducted without music, screaming or
crying; the deceased is buried with the head slightly elevated but
with nothing inside the grave other than the body. * Burial should
take place as soon as possible to minimize contact with the dead.
Planting flowers or wreaths on the grave or returning to visit it is
[Texas] Islamic academy receives accreditation - 26 Jan 04
Fort Worth's Al-Hedayah Academy has become the second Islamic school
in Texas to receive accreditation from the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools. .. Open since 1992, the school, which teaches
students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, offers classes in
Arabic and Muslim religious classes and Muslim history. Children also
learn the Islamic way to conduct themselves in daily routines and
relationships and to respect nature and the environment.
Receiving accreditation will allows Al-Hedayah's 180 students to move
more easily to a public school system when they graduate.
Al-Hadi School of Accelerated Learning in Houston became the first
full-time Islamic school in 2001 to receive the association's
accreditation in the region.
[Virginia] Woman fights for equality in mosque - 26 Jan 04
[Asra] Nomani, a journalist who has written for the Wall Street
Journal and The Washington Post, is trying to change a rule that women
should enter the Morgantown mosque through a side staircase and pray
separately from the men. A growing number of mosques have such rules.
"I can interview the Taleban," said Nomani,38 , "but I can't walk
through the front door of my mosque." Before ever approaching the
front door, Nomani asked the mosque's board of trustees for equal
access for women. But when she later went to the mosque, the board
president stood at the front door and said, "Sister, please, the back
entrance," Nomani noted in a discrimination complaint she filed with
the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
About three months ago, Nomani, her mother and her12 -year-old niece
rejected the women's entrance for the front door. Once inside, the
women chose not to pray in a balcony built for women in the rear of
the mosque - where the main prayer space cannot be seen. Instead, they
began praying under the same vaulted, sunny ceiling as the men - but
several feet behind them. "The men interrupted the start of 'taraweeh'
prayer," Nomani recalled in the discrimination complaint. "A man said,
'We cannot pray until she leaves.' A group of men told my father to
tell me to leave. He said he would not. "Four men assembled around me
and told me to leave. Two men took positions directly behind me and
started to pray.
[comment] Team Jackson and the Nation of Islam - 20 Jan 04
Nation officials have been prominent at team Jackson's press
conferences, the advisor's meeting, and Muslim bodyguards will
probably surround the Pop King at his court appearances. But there's
no evidence that they are anything other then one more ornament in
Jackson's traveling ménage. In the past decade, Jackson has had a
penchant for drawing into his circle anyone that he takes a momentary
liking to, and believes can be useful.
Though the black Muslims have long drawn public fire for their past
black separatist, anti-white, anti-Semitic rhetoric, the Nation is run
as a top down, hard-nosed corporate structured, money making
operation. It provided security for political, entertainment, and
sports figures Jesse Jackson, P. Diddy Combs, and O.J. Simpson
attorney Johnnie Cochran. It has brokered contracts with various
municipal agencies to provide security and run anti-drug and anti-gang
prevention programs. (These contracts have raised howls of protest
from conservative groups and demands that they be rescinded). It has
established numerous farms, stores, and restaurants. The Nation has
waved its rugged, capitalist business prowess as an emblem of black
pride that other blacks should emulate.
Islamic Medieval Medical Manuscripts on the Web - 06 Jun 00
[al Qaeda] Muslim web sites under terror spotlight - 28 Jan 04
Analysts say the sites, used by al Qaeda backers to spread their
message, are unlikely sources of exact information on where or how
Osama bin Laden's network might strike next -- though an experienced
eye may spot the more probable comments. Mainly, the Arabic-language
sites, usually bulletin boards where anyone can post anonymous
messages, provide a forum for users with nicknames like erhabi
(terrorist) and abuosama (Osama's father) to vent anger at the West
and United States. "There's no official al Qaeda site, only sites run
by Qaeda supporters but even these lack credibility as anyone can post
there," London-based Islamic activist Yasser el-Serri said on
London-based analyst Paul Eedle who closely follows pro-Qaeda sites,
agreed that a trained eye was needed. "The way to assess the
authenticity of statements is to see what other Islamists on the Net
think of them," he said. "In this and other spheres, the Internet is a
Gary Bunt, a University of Wales lecturer who runs a site on Islam,
virtuallyislamic.com, said Islamists had proven much more tech-savvy
than their governments. "A number of these site are exciting to take a
look at. They've been designed very intelligently, a great deal of
thought goes into how to put the message across," he told Reuters by
telephone. "That has had an impact."
Special standards needed for Islamic banking - 29 Jan 04
The Basel II agreement, which is expected to enter into force by the
end of 2006, imposes stringent new standards on banks around the
world, which will have to increase their capital adequacy ratios and
apply a more thorough rating of operation and market risk to avoid
receiving low credit ratings from international agencies.
" The new Basel II standards, which will become mandatory to all banks
around the world, apply to banks in general and do not address the
characteristics of only particular banks, such as Islamic banking,"
Joseph Torbey, president of the Union of Arab Banks, said at the
opening session [in Lebanon] of the three-day conference on Basel II
Standards and Islamic Banking.
Islamic banks around the world have achieved an annual growth rate of
15 to 20 percent over the last few years, and currently have $262
billion in combined assets, Torbey said. Roughly 265 Islamic banks
collectively handle investment portfolios worth $400 billion, and have
$202 billion in deposits and $13 billion in capital, he added.
"These standards will make it difficult for Arab banks in general to
attract international capital flows due to our low credit ratings if
these ratings ever existed," he said, adding that the "standards will
also impose new capital adequacy ratios due to the new risks,
particularly operational risk."
[Indonesia] 'Sharia banks should invite foreign investors - 28 Jan 04
Sharia banks need to improve their capacity to absorb risks and
deliver loans by expanding capital through inviting foreign investors
or going public, Bank Indonesia (BI) deputy governor Maulana Ibrahim
said. .. "When they raise capital, their risks will decline and they
will be ready to lend more," he announced on the sidelines of an
international seminar entitled Money and the Real Economy from an
Islamic Perspective organized by Trisakti University on Monday.
"Sharia banks have a higher financing-to-deposit ratio (FTR) as they
are not disturbed by the (government's previous) recapitalization
program," said Maulana. Bank Muamalat recorded an FTR of 80 percent
as of August 2003, while conventional banks' average loan-to-deposit
ratio (LDR) stood at 52 percent.
Currently there are two fully Islamic banks and about eight sharia
branches of conventional banks. The trend of conventional banks
opening sharia branches started with the enactment of dual system
banking by the government in 1998.
[Malaysia] Qatar Sukuk pushes up LFX market cap to US$ 3 bil - 29 Jan
The listing of the inaugural Sukuk by the Government of Qatar on the
Labuan International Financial Exchange (LFX) yesterday increased the
market capitalisation of the exchange to US$ 2.95 bil. The secondary
listing of the US$ 700 mil Trust Certificates (Sukuk) due 2010 of
Qatar Global Sukuk is the 14th listing on LFX, said a joint statement
by LFX and Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd (CIMB).
The Sukuk has an A+ rating by Standard & Poor's Rating Services and
was listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange on Oct 9, 2003. It was
also endorsed by the Bahrain-based International Islamic Financial
Market in September 2003.
The Qatar Sukuk is the fourth Syariah compliant instrument listed on
LFX after Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd's Serial Islamic Lease Sukuks due 2004
(US$ 100 mil) and 2006 (US$ 50 mil) and the Government of Malaysia
Sukuk Trust Certificates due 2007 (US$ 600 mil).
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