Sharia News Watch 106 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
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The Sharia Newswatch provides a regular update of news quotes
on Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
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Ashoora events lined-up - 26 Feb 04
A series of events are being lined up in Naim to mark Ashoora, which
commemorates the Death of Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Mohammed
(Peace Be Upon Him). For the first time, Hussaini lectures which
relate the story of the Imam and his martyrdom will be accompanied by
sign language at the Mohammed Hassan Ma'tam in Naim, starting from
tonight. .. The lectures will continue in the ma'tam until Tuesday.
Martyrdom insight for non-muslims - 26 Feb 04
A temporary centre opens tonight to help non-Muslims experience and
understand Ashoora. Tents are being set up in the processions area in
Manama suq to create the centre, which will highlight the martyrdom of
Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Mohammed. The Ashoora Cultural
Centre, which will be open until March 1, is a part of the Islamic
Enlightenment Society's First Ashoora Festival.
Arab version of Big Brother upsets Bahrain Islamists - 26 Feb 04
The Arab version of the controversial reality TV production Big
Brother has incensed Islamist MPs in Bahrain, where the show is being
filmed, and who want it stopped.
"We do not agree that the programme be filmed in Bahrain because it
goes against our traditions. We support any development and tourism
project provided it is not at the expense of our values and our
traditions," Khaled said. MBC is producing Big Brother at a villa in
a resort called Amwaj on Muharraq island, the second largest in the
Bahrain archipelago. Twelve young men and women from across the Arab
world are living in the villa in separate quarters but meet in the
lounge, kitchen and garden. Film of their daily life and interaction
imitates, in a more restricted way, scenes which angered
traditionalists in the West when the programme first appeared in the
Netherlands in 1999 and later in Britain, the United States and
MBC, owned by Sheikh Walid al-Ibrahim, a brother-in-law of Saudi King
Fahd, shifted headquarters from London to Dubai last year taking
advantage of the media free zone and reduced costs.
[editorial] Why the Chief Imam Must Be Non Partisan - 26 Feb 04
[Accra Mail - Accra]
We have been observing the cynical exploitation of the Zongo (Islamic)
communities for dirty political actions for some time now. By some
historical arrangement, the Zongos hold the largest concentrations of
Ghana's Islamic communities. The National Chief Imam is currently
based in one such community. Sadly, the Zongos are beset by poverty,
illiteracy, unemployment, ignorance, superstition, poor housing, and
all the other factors that make life unbearable.
this is where we think the National Chief Imam should come in. He has
a moral obligation to preach peace and condemn violence. He has a
moral obligation to preach against Zongo/Muslims being used as cannon
fodder in dirty political escapades. He has a moral authority to
reaffirm the non-partisan nature of the office he occupies. He has a
moral obligation to help the Zongo/Muslim communities in the country
to break from decades of superstition and illiteracy and move into
enlightenment and above all, he has the moral obligation of
championing the cause of peace in the country. .. He must maintain
his dignity and play the role of babangida where all of us in the
house are his children, without any favouritism.
[Bombay] The 'spectacular success' of Indian Taliban - 24 Feb 04
In September last year, Cheetah Camp* in suburban Trombay took to
heart an edict issued by the local Muslim clergy and did away with the
loudspeakers blaring Bollywood numbers at every wedding and festive
occasion. Now, following the "spectacular success" of the existing
ban, the talk in the narrow bylanes and street-corners is that the
next to go will be the household telly."`Even the Ulema Council
praised our September farmaan (edict)," says Abdul Jalil Khan, a
highly influential member of the local clergy and one of those who
issued the diktat. Called 'Sadar Saab', Khan says 50-odd weddings have
been conducted in Cheetah Camp since September, "without loudspeakers
Khan is now rolling up his sleeves for the bigger battle, against the
"corrosive power" of the visuals on the air-waves. All television
programmes, informative or entertaining, are replete with images "of
lust and of semi-nude models" Khan adds. Along with the welcome
respite from the noise pollution caused by the loudspeakers, there's
also a silent revolution underway. Around the mosques and madrasas,
conversations are liberally peppered with references to the holy
Quran, the Hadith and 'ittefaq-i-rai' (consensus on any issue).
That's why, when 17-year-old Mohammed Alam steps outside the
high-walled precincts of the Al Jamiatul Arabia Merajul-Uloom Madrasa,
he's particularly careful not to stray from the path of "pure Islam".
"My teachers are very clear. I should shun any external influence,
especially women and Western things," he says.
"Even news programmes bristle with nudity -- thanks to the
commercials," ays Mohammed Azad (29), a teacher who gives taqreers
(religious sermons) at the Merajul mosque and at Alam'smadrasa. The
madrasa and the mosque are both housed in a common campus in Sector C
of Cheetah Camp, the structure standing out amid the irregular rows of
shanties. Inside the madrasa, kids hover around the sole telephone --
one of the few links with the world outside Cheetah Camp. Can Alam use
the radio? "Only for news. He should switch it off when there's music
coming on," offers one teacher.
Cheetah Camp is located in northeastern Mumbai and has a population of
around 150,000 people, nearly 80 per cent of who are Muslims working
as either artisans or daily wage workers. "We found that our Muslim
brethren were creating too much of noise by playing music on
loudspeakers. This is un-Islamic and at the same time disturbs the
entire neighbourhood. So we issued a fatwa stating that maulvis from
our area won't conduct Muslim marriages if they play music."
Asked - didn't he feel that this was Talibanisation and a threat to
Muslims who want to celebrate their marriages with music, Ahmed says,
"We are not like the Taliban. We are not boycotting such families
socially. We only boycott their marriages. This is mentioned in our
hadith and shariah (Islamic law) that music should be not played
during marriages, which are supposed to be very simple affairs and
without wasteful expenditure. So, we are only propagating the view of
International Islamic scholars conference ends on critical note
.. - 25 Feb 04
The three-day international Islamic scholars conference ended here on
Wednesday by issuing "Jakarta declaration". The 240 Muslim scholars
concluded they strongly "condemn acts of terrorism in all its forms
and manifestations" and "reject the identification of terrorism with
"any particular religion". The Muslim scholars agreed to empower the
Islamic community to promote Islamic economic practices and
international cooperation so that they can actively participate and
effectively compete in the future global economy. The conference,
co-hosted by the Indonesian government and the country's largest
Moslem organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), agreed to establish a
secretariat, which will be based in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
The conference, which gathered more than 200 Islamic scholars from 42
different countries to discuss such issues as Islam's role in
education, globalization and human rights, had a goal of "easing
Islam Never Recognizes Concept of State, Gus Dur Says - 25 Feb 04
Former chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the biggest Islamic
organization in Indonesia, Abdurahman Wahid, popularly called Gus Dur,
said Islam never recognized the concept of a state and therefore the
idea of an Islamic state was an illusion. "My opinion is supported by
many people who say Islam has never recognized the concept of a state.
Therefore, it is not an obligation for Moslems to form an Islamic
state," Gus Dur told the press after speaking in the International
Conference of Islamic Scholars here on Tuesday.
Fraud trial calls Indonesian justice system into question - 24 Feb 04
The head of Indonesia's largest Islamic organisation has warned the
fraud-trial acquittal of parliamentary speaker Akbar Tanjung may
endanger the country. Hasyim Muzadi, the head of Nahdlatul Ulama,
which claims 40-million supporters, says the decision could be seen as
incompatible with people's sense of justice. Indonesia's supreme
court cleared Tanjung of misappropriating $ US 4.7 million in state
funds, which had been allocated in 1999 to feed the poor. The court
found he could not be penalised for following orders from then
President, BJ Habibie.
US to send books to Islamic schools - 26 Feb 04
The US Embassy said on Tuesday it would distribute books on US
history, geography and other topics to Islamic schools to counter
rising anti-American attitudes in Indonesia, home to the world's
largest Muslim population. But there seems to be a wrinkle in the plan
- some of the books in the US State Department collection are up to 12
years old. One book, on political history, ends in 1992 with Mr Bill
Clinton becoming president. Embassy spokesman Stanley Harsha played
down the age of the books' contents, saying the important thing was
getting them into Islamic boarding schools whose students often base
their view of the United States on what comes out of Hollywood.
'They get all their information from television, movies and rumours.
We want to give them a real and deeper understanding of American
democracy, pluralism and the way the economy works.' The embassy
translated the five-book American Online Series - with volumes on
American history, economics, literature, politics and geography - into
Indonesian and plans to distribute them to some 1,000 Islamic boarding
New political conflict shaping up in Iran - 25 Feb 04
Analysts say a new conflict could be brewing between the religious
fundamentalists, who want to tighten social controls, and pragmatic
conservatives who want to follow the "Chinese model" by adapting to
new domestic and international realities.
The hard-liners' carefully crafted takeover of parliament comes as
Iran prepares to reopen its economy to the world for the first time
since Iranians toppled pro-Western Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in 1979.
Political unknowns calling themselves the Association of Advancement
of Islamic Iran, known locally as Abadgaran, won the biggest block of
votes. Their leader, incumbent lawmaker Gholamali Haddadadel, is
married to a daughter of Khamenei. The group has endorsed many of the
good-government slogans of the reform movement -- for example, vowing
not to crack down on women with hair showing beneath their headscarves
or young people listening to pop music. "Our goal is to solve economic
problems," said Emad Ghetassi, who works in Abadgaran's public
relations office. "The last parliament ignored economic problems.
We've promised to solve unemployment. We've promised to increase
people's purchasing power and solve the inflation problem."
The pragmatic conservatives talk of a new approach: a Chinese model,
in which the country would open itself to foreign investment, provide
jobs and limited social freedom while keeping most political dissent
in check. Adherents of this approach disdain the tactics of the
clerics' most strident supporters.
the Chinese model will be no easy fit for Iran. Although the country
has reformed foreign investment laws and set up tax holidays for
investors, its market potential -- 68 million Iranians, compared to
1.2 billion Chinese -- is relatively small, while the potential for a
public relations fallout is immense, especially with foreign companies
that have significant U.S. investments.
Our Religious Literature Is Multidimensional: Poetess - 23 Feb 04
Contemporary Iranian poetess Simindokht Vahidi said that it was not
common for women to compose laments and epics from the time of the
advent of Islam until shortly before the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
She added that laments recited to encourage soldiers on war fronts
were only written by a few Arab women, but in recent years more women
writers have begun to work in the field of religious literature,
creating precious works. "Considering the form of poetry, the
development of language in religious literature attracted more
readers, and it has been a long time that our religious poetry does
not talk only of death, but also describes epics, social issues, and
politics as well, making it multidimensional," she said.
Iraqi feminists see 'tiny gap for democracy' - 24 Feb 04
Dozens of women's groups have sprung up since Saddam Hussein's regime
collapsed in April, but few appear to know how to seize the
opportunity and make a clear set of demands as politicians draw up an
interim constitution. Time is running out as the June 30 deadline
nears when the United States, their most solid supporter, transfers
power to Iraqis and ends its occupation.
Resolution 137 was passed by the council in December abolishing the
previous, liberal Personal Status Law - which governs family law - and
allowed each sect in Iraq to apply its own religious law. Abdul-Aziz
al-Hakim, a hard-line Shiite Muslim who headed the council in
December, pushed the decision through, apparently taking advantage of
the absence of several council members. The decision sparked
widespread protests by women, who feared it would roll back the rights
they have. It hasn't come into effect because L. Paul Bremer, the top
U.S. administrator in Iraq, who must approve all measures passed by
the council, has shown no intention to sign it. This month's president
of the council, Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, a Sunni fundamentalist, also
raised worries about the future of women's rights when he demanded
that it be written into the constitution that Islam is "the primary
source" of legislation in a future Iraq. Bremer suggested he would
block any such move and said Islam would be "a source" out of many.
Role of Islam in Iraqi Constitution - 27 Feb 04
Iraqi Shiites opposition to a religious state, however, is not solely
doctrinal. It is also dictated by practical politics. Though Shiites
account for some 60 percent of the Iraqis, they cannot be regarded as
a monolithic bloc even on issues of faith. Like other Shiites they are
divided into dozens of ways (tariqats) and countless forms of
allegiance (taqlid). As the Iranian experience has illustrated, it is
impossible for Shiites to agree on a single political reading of
Islam. But even if such a single reading were to be imposed by
conjecture, as was the case in Iran in 1979, it would not be
sustainable for long. The Iraqi situation is more complex still
because 40 percent of the country's population are not Shiites and
have no reason to accept any Shiite political reading of Islam.
[comment] Dangerous illusions of a democratic Shi'ite Iraq - 26 Feb 04
Though in the past (and continuing into the present) these varied
Shi'ite groups have nearly as often been at each other's throats as at
the Ba'athists, they share a radical Islamic outlook more akin to
Khomeini's or the current Iranian supremo Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei's than Sistani's. I consider it a dangerous illusion that -
after a putative electoral victory of Shi'ites under Sistani's
leadership - the likes of Muqtada al-Sadr or al-Da'wa and Badr Corps
leaders and their followers could be smoothly integrated into a
peaceable Shi'ite political body leading a unified, democratic Iraq.
Quite understandably, with thousands of their former comrades in arms
buried in Saddam's mass graves, hatred for the once Ba'ath Party-led
Sunni minority runs deep, as do motives of revenge and retribution. In
the long run, more importantly, these radicals will not foreswear the
ideas for which many of them have fought for decades. With a popular
following and armed to the teeth, why should they subordinate their
goals and aspirations to those of a weaker leader's? Badr Corps
commander Abdul Aziz al-Hakim spelled out the strategy quite clearly:
first have elections, in which Shi'ites under moderate leadership win
an absolute majority; then use popular pressure and force
transformation into a Khomeini-style Islamic republic. It's the old
Leninist two-stage strategy by the precepts of which the Bolsheviks
seized power in Russia in 1917 after intermittent moderate Menshevik
rule under Alexandr Kerenski
[Karbala] Clout of Iraq's Shiite Clergy Growing - 25 Feb 04
After a two-hour meeting, the provincial council finally came to a
solution to resolve a dispute over whether it is a legitimate
political institution - ask the ayatollah.
The dispute erupted last week when local Shiite Muslim religious
figures urged the faithful not to accept the council as a legitimate
governing body because its members were appointed by the U.S.-led
occupation rather than elected by the people. According to council
members, the coalition decided to expand and reorganize the council
from 16 to 40 members. Coalition authorities asked tribal leaders and
other dignitaries to provide a list of 160 candidates. The coalition
and some Iraqi officials then picked new council members from that
list. The 40-member council then elected a new provincial governor.
Coalition officials also used the reorganization to replace some
members of the old council who were deemed inactive or ineffective.
During his Friday sermon, Sheik Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalayee, the Karbala
representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, asked
worshippers to boycott the council.
Meanwhile, a leaflet circulated in this city accusing the Americans of
disregarding the will of the people in the provincial council flap.
The leaflet called for protests to demand the right to choose their
leaders "without foreign intervention." All that didn't sit well with
some members of the American-appointed leadership, who accused
opponents of stirring up trouble to promote their own supporters.
"We think that the way the council was chosen represents democracy,"
said Karbala Gov. Saad Sfouk. "Some of the clerics may be hoping for
more representation for their supporters." With clerical influence in
the ascendancy, however, there was little the coalition or Iraqi
officials could do. Ten new council members submitted their
resignations or asked that their memberships be suspended until the
matter could be resolved. The council met Monday and decided after a
two-hour discussion to send a delegation to Ayatollah al-Sistani in
nearby Najaf to try to sort out the problem.
No Kadhis' Courts, Say Delegates [The Nation - Nairobi]
- 26 Feb 04
Christian delegates yesterday revived the controversial issue of
Kadhis' courts in the new constitution and accused the consensus
building committee of failing them. The delegates, led by Rev David
Oginde of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, expressed fear
that there was "a deliberate and well co-ordinated agenda" behind
moves to entrench the courts in the new constitution.
The bone of contention is Muslims' demand that the courts, which deal
with personal, marriage, property and inheritance law, be entrenched
in the new constitution, a position vehemently opposed especially by
the evangelical churches.
Kuwaiti MPs, lawyers back Shiite call for high court - 27 Feb 04
Shiite MPs and lawyers have backed calls for the establishment of a
Shiite Court of Cassation to serve the needs of Kuwaiti Shiites
because the current court uses a branch of Islamic jurisprudence which
they say is at odds with that of Shiites, the local English daily Arab
Times reported yesterday.
MP Saleh Ashour, one of five Shiite parliamentarians, said litigation
was simple and less complicated in the 60s and Kuwaiti courts used the
Imam Malik branch of Islamic jurisprudence, including Shiite cases.
However, in modern times, cases have become more complicated and for
this reason, Shiites called for separate courts for their cases at the
Court of First Instance to adjudicate according to Imam Jaafar's
branch of jurisprudence to which they adhere. "When litigations
involving Shiites became mired in complications we called for a Shiite
Appeals Court, which was granted. Now things have become worse as lots
of cases at the Appeals Court cannot be settled. That is why we are
calling for a Shiite Court of Cassation," said Ashour. "We do not
blame the Sunni judiciary for this quagmire. They are not specialised
in Shiite jurisprudence, that is why their verdicts create problems
for Shiites." He pointed out Law 15/1987 on personal status cases
stipulates that Kuwaiti personal status courts judge according to the
teachings of Imam Malik. It also allows other adherents of teachings
other than Imam Malik to be judged according to their branch of
He said such verdicts need to be overturned because Shiites and Sunnis
have different interpretations for child custody, divorce and
inheritance matters. "Even the legal teachings differ among the four
schools of jurisprudence (Maliki, Shafii, Hanbali and Hanafi)
professed by Sunnis. Citing examples to show the differences of
opinion, Ashour said if a man passes away and leaves only a daughter,
the late man's brothers share the estate with his daughter according
to Imam Malik. But according to Imam Jaafar the entire estate goes to
the daughter. He said this has forced some Shiites to bequeath their
properties to their daughters to prevent their uncles from sharing it
with them when they pass away and the Maliki teachings are invoked. In
the case of divorce, it becomes binding when the husband invokes the
term once according to the Jaafari school. However, the Maliki school
rules that divorce is binding only after three invocations. The
Jaafari school also maintains divorce can only hold when it is invoked
in the presence of two witnesses whereas there is no need for a
witness in the Maliki school.
"Some people believe that Shiites are trying to get a separate court
for themselves, but we are only asking for a branch of the Cassation
Court for Shiite personal status cases," he said. Shiites are said to
comprise about 30 per cent of Kuwait's population.
Rights of non-Muslims guaranteed, says PM - 24 Feb 04
Non-Muslims do not have to fear the Government's efforts to instil
Islamic values and practices among Muslims, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
"The Government will always respect and protect the constitutional
rights of non-Muslims and they are free to go about their own
activities and programmes," Abdullah said in his speech at the launch
of the state-level Islam Hadhari (The Management of an Islamic
Country) at the USM hall in Kubang Kerian yesterday.
Earlier, Abdullah said the Governments' moves to make it mandatory for
Muslim students in primary and secondary schools to learn the Arabic
language and master the Quran were to enable them to evaluate any
"confusing fatwa (edict)" issued in the language. "When they have good
command of Arabic, they can crosscheck the fatwa with the Quran."
Currently, only students in secondary religious schools are compelled
to take up Arabic studies while it is an optional subject in all
Polio vaccines meet resistance in Nigeria - 24 Feb 04
Bearing droppers of polio vaccine and promises of its safety, hundreds
of thousands of volunteers fanned out across 10 African nations Monday
in a drive to stop a polio outbreak spreading from Nigerian states
that have banned the vaccine. Islamic leaders in three northern
Nigerian states have blocked polio inoculations since October, calling
them part of a U.S. plot to spread AIDS or infertility among Muslims.
One of the states, Kaduna, lifted the ban on the eve of Monday's
emergency campaign -- but even here, many Islamic neighborhoods turned
away the volunteers with their iceboxes of vaccines, drops
Until the Nigeria-based outbreak, endemic polio had been narrowed to
six nations, including three -- Nigeria, Niger and Egypt -- in Africa.
Global cases had been reduced from 350,000 in 1988 to fewer than 1,000
last year. The outbreak helped trigger the emergency campaign in
Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Niger, Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central
African Republic, Ivory Coast and Chad. In Ivory Coast, women in the
Muslim-Christian rebel-held city of Bouake lined up by the dozens
under scorching sun to get the vaccine for babies strapped to their
backs or toddlers holding their hands. Ivory Coast, previously thought
freed of the disease, this month saw its first polio case since 1999.
Monday's immunizations were the first in the country in two years
because of a 2002-2003 civil war. In Nigeria, health workers made no
attempts to launch the campaign in the two states -- Kano and Zamfara
-- that banned immunizations. After months of prohibiting door-to-
door vaccinations, Kano state officials last week withdrew stocks of
vaccine from hospitals where patients had received inoculations upon
request, U.N. officials said.
Panel Says Polio Vaccine Probe Inconclusive - 25 Feb 04
Nigeria set up the 23-man committee earlier this month to clear up the
controversy after Islamic leaders urged Muslims in the north, where
the crippling disease is endemic, not to immunize children because the
vaccines could cause infertility. "The result we have cannot be
released now because it is not conclusive," committee chairman Kyari
Umar El-Kanemi told reporters in the capital Abuja. "One part of the
result is still being awaited...We will release our final report to
the general public by early March," said El-Kanemi, a Muslim elder in
northeast Borno state. Nigeria and international donor agencies had
hoped the committee's report would finally allay the concerns of
Islamic elders that the vaccine has been adulterated.
[Kano] Muslim state leader defends polio vaccine boycott - 26 Feb 04
A Nigerian state governor defended a boycott of a polio immunization
campaign, asserting a spreading outbreak of the disease was a "lesser
of two evils" than rendering women infertile with vaccines that some
Islamic leaders have deemed a U.S. plot against Muslims.
Bauchi, another predominantly Muslim state, on Wednesday rejoined the
four-day immunization campaign. United Nations Children's Fund
spokesman Gerrit Beger said vaccinators were "quite successful" in
Bauchi where he said officials allowed the campaign to begin on
Wednesday morning. Bauchi had just two days earlier suspended
participation in the vaccine drive. Reasons for its apparent reversal
were unclear and officials there could not be reached for comment.
U.N. officials have declared that Kano is the epicenter of a polio
outbreak spreading from Nigeria to at least seven other African
nations where the disease had been eliminated.
Kano Police Arrest Mastermind of Sudan-Saudi Inspired Bloody Revolt
.. - 25 Feb 04
Nigerian Security agents in Kano have arrested the Sudanese head of a
Saudi-funded charity accused of funding a shortlived but bloody
"The arrest followed the discovery of financial transactions running
into millions of naira (tens of thousands of dollars/euros) between
Sheikh Muhiddeen and a Kano-based businessman, Alhaji Sharu," an
In late December last year a group of young Nigerian Muslims launched
a small-scale uprising in Yobe State, calling for an Islamic state.
The gang fought a series of clashes with security forces, but was
dispersed after about two weeks of fighting left at least two police
and more than a dozen rebels dead, and some 47 Islamists in custody.
Security agents swooped on a suspected militant hideout and arrested
Sharu, who has since confessed to acting as middleman between the
group and Almuntada, the official said. Almuntada al-Islami is a
charity reputedly funded by wealthy Saudi individuals. It is said to
have built 42 mosques in Kano, and promotes the conservative Wahhabi
brand of Islam espoused by Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime.
The senior Sudanese intelligence agent was working for the "Islamic
Call" (Munazama Dawa) organisation of Sudan, which acts as a front for
Sudan foreign intelligence operations. The Islamist military general
Swar al Dahab, who recently received an international Islamist prize,
is patron of the Munazama Dawa. Dahab prevented Sudan from falling to
a popular revolution after the masses rose up against the Nimeiri
Kano Emirate Moves to Retrieve Stolen 1807 Constitution - 25 Feb 04
As the Sokoto caliphate celebrates the 200 years of Uthman Dan Fodio's
revolution, Kano Emirate Council has raised a high profile team to
storm London and retrieve the emirate's stolen written constitution.
The constitution which was written in 1807 by the Habe rulers was
ferried away by the invading British colonial overlords following the
fall of the emirate in 1903. Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and
other traditional authorities in the emirate had repeatedly expressed
serious concern at the non-return of the precious document by
successive British governments. Addressing newsmen on the matter
yesterday, the Wambai Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi, who is also a senior
councillor in the emirate, said the document was a guide to the then
rulers of the emirate as well as a tool for propagating the Sharia
legal system. Alhaji Sanusi hinted that at the time the constitution
was written, none of the 32 states conquered by Danfodio, had anything
like it. He said the 1807 constitution was taken to Sokoto in 1809
during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Bello, the son of Danfodio, who
edited it and made it more readable for Kano emirate to work with.
"Unfortunately in 1903, when the British colonialists captured Kano
Emirate Council, they packed away the constitution, some valuable
properties which have traditional bearings and many things," Sanusi
[Plateau] Religious violence kills 48 - 26 Feb 04
Suspected Muslim militants armed with guns and bows and arrows killed
at least 48 people in an attack on a farming village in central
Nigeria. Most of the victims died as they sought refuge in a church,
police said. The latest bout of Muslim-Christian violence in the
region occurred on Tuesday night in Yelwa, a mainly Christian town in
Nigeria's Plateau State, police commissioner Innocent Ilozuoke said.
The killings appeared to be the latest retaliatory attack in a
sporadic conflict that has rocked the central region since an outburst
of sectarian violence in 2001, pitting Christians against Muslims in
once-peaceful Jos. In the initial outburst in Jos more than a thousand
people died in one week.
On February 19, gunmen suspected by the police to belong to a Muslim
militia ambushed a patrol car, killing four police officers. The
ambush followed an earlier attack by a Christian militia upon a Muslim
village that killed 10. For decades, the majority Christian
inhabitants of Plateau and the minority Muslim population - mostly
Hausa and Fulani tribespeople with origins farther north - had lived
Oman To Host Islamic Fiqh Council Meeting [Info-Prod Research]
.. - 24 Feb 04
According to "Oman Observer", the Sultanate will host the fifteenth
meeting of the Council of Islamic Fiqh, which will be held between
March 6 and 11. The meeting is being organized for members of the
Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad al
Khalili, Grand Mufti of the Sultanate, said that the hosting of the
Islamic Conference in Oman follows invitations made by Sultan
Qaboos.He added that the idea for establishing Fiqh Council emerged
from the Islamic Summit held in Saudi Arabia, in which the king headed
Oman's delegation. He said that two sessions were held in Kuwait, one
in the UAE, one in Bahrain, one in Qatar and one in Brunei Darussalam.
The future sessions will be held in other Islamic countries.
Lessons from Karbala - I by Farhan Bokhari - 26 Feb 04
Today, for students of Islam, understanding the personality of Syed
Bibi Zainab, remains as important a basis for appreciating the
significance of Karbala, as the events during the first ten days of '
'Muharram' till 'Ashura' (10th of Muharram-the day of Imam Hussain's
martyrdom). Syed Bibi Zainab spent her life before Karbala behind a
veil, in accordance with Islamic tradition. Over the years, some of
the best accounts by scholars of Syeda Bibi Zainab's life have often
mourned the desecration of her 'chadar' (veil) in Karbala as one of
gravest tragedies that befell upon her. Indeed, the significance of
such a tragedy should never be down played.
Despite Reform Plan, Few Changes Seen At Most Radical Madrassahs
.. - 24 Feb 04
When Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf announced plans to reform
the madrassahs in his country almost two years ago, he said the move
was necessary because some of the private Islamic schools had become
breeding grounds for "intolerance and hatred." Reports now suggest,
however, that there have been few changes at the country's most
radical madrassahs, the religious schools that spawned Afghanistan's
Taliban movement. To be fair, International Crisis Group terrorism
expert Najum Mushtaq says it is wrong to label Pakistan's entire
madrassah sector as a hotbed of Islamic extremism. "We should make no
generalizations about madrassahs," he told RFE/RL. "Madrassahs are of
so many kinds. To associate militancy with madrassahs is only to avoid
the real issue, which is that the Pakistani state has been promoting
religious extremism itself -- initially with the help of the West [to
stop the spread of communism from Afghanistan during the 1980s], and
then on its own as a tool of Pakistan's military strategy and defense
strategy. Madrassahs were, at best, a pawn in the game of religious
extremism. And [even] that [refers] to a very small section of
madrassahs." Pakistan's government last month approved more than $100
million for madrassahs participating in the modernization program.
About 80 percent of an estimated 10,000 madrassahs are to receive
those funds -- meaning 20 percent of the madrassahs have not met
Islamabad's reform criteria. According to a World Bank study, that is
about the same number of madrassahs that were sending their students
to camps for military training when Musharraf's reform program was
Musharraf's reform scheme calls for modern disciplines such as
English, science, mathematics, economics, and even computer science.
The plan aims to curtail the enrollment of foreign students and to
block funding -- both from Islamabad and from abroad -- for madrassahs
that fail to register and adhere to the modern curriculum. The scheme
also calls for madrassahs to stop sending students to military
Unlike Mushtaq, de Borchgrave considers Pakistan's madrassah sector,
as a whole, to be a potential source of Islamic extremism. "To this
very day now, you have madrassahs that have spread all over Pakistan
which were originally encouraged by the United States and Saudi
Arabia," he said. "They are churning out hundreds of thousands of kids
- about an estimated 700,000 this year from about 10,000 madrassahs -
all still paid for by the Wahhabi clergy in Saudi Arabia to the tune
of about $300 million a year. And that is the clear and present
danger. Not Iraq. Iraq was a clear and distant danger." Other recent
international studies are critical of madrassahs that focus solely on
Islamic teachings. Some madrassahs use texts from the 11th century to
teach medicine and that others teach mathematics based only on the
works of the ancient Greeks more than 2,300 years ago.
Fallacy of religious reasoning - Khaled Ahmed's Urdu Press Review
.. - 27 Feb 04
The truth is that different exegeses of the Quran have led to
different courses of action. The judge favours the concept of the
"wali" under the Maliki "fiqh" although he knows that the Hanafi
"fiqh" ignores it and gives primacy to consent.
We think "shariah" is based on the Quran but find that it is based on
the "fiqh" as well. Our "fiqh", not someone elses. Because if another
"fiqh" contradicts ours, we denounce it. Above all facts are not
important when seeking to defend our faith.
Writing in "Khabrain" (5 January 2004), Justice (Retd) Abdul Majeed
Tiwana said that asking for the repeal of Hudood laws was not within
the power of any institution of the state as it was divine law as
enforced by the Quran. He said as far as the question of "wali" is
concerned the different schools of thought in Islam have been
discussing the question since 1979. He thought that while an adult
girl could marry without the permission of her "wali" society would
not tolerate that a girl run away from home and marry someone
stealthily after dishonouring her family and parents, and starting a
vendetta between the two families involved in the runaway marriage.
The judge thinks we can't reform anything related to the text of the
Quran, but doesn't say if by the text of the Quran he excludes
interpretation of it. The "hudood" are supposed to be the "nas" (clear
edict) of the Quran, but we ignore it in some cases and accept "nas"
when it is not even in the Quran. The truth is that different exegeses
of the Quran have led to different courses of action. The judge
favours the concept of the "wali" under the Maliki "fiqh" although he
knows that the Hanafi "fiqh" ignores it and gives primacy to consent.
Then he takes flight into emotion and fantasy. He thinks that a girl
marrying on the basis of her consent runs away from home and marries
someone "stealthily". He presumes that the parents (father as "wali")
did not agree. Before assuming that the girl fled her home, he has to
legally consider whether the parents were right in refusing her
choice? It is thinking like this that misleads us. The judge is an
intellectual delinquent. He lives under Hanafi law but is dying to go
Maliki or Hanbali. What he wants is hardline Islam. But facts tell us
that after hardline Islam is forced upon people the state collapses.
Lahore High Court says nikah with sister-in-law is no offence - 27 Feb
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday observed that the Hudood has
no ban against a person who enters into a Nikah (marriage agreement)
with the sister of his wife without divorcing her. LHC Justice Sheikh
Abdul Rasheed said such a Nikah was irregular, but by no means
constitutes an offence under the Hudood Ordinance. The court said this
irregularity would be resolved if the husband divorced his first wife.
The court, while quashing the Hudood case registered against Nazir and
Khalida at a Shekhupura police station, said marrying a sister-in-law
in the presence of her sister as a valid wife or a fifth-wife in the
presence of four legitimate wives, or marrying a non-Muslim lady comes
under the definition of "Faasid Nikah" (Irregular Nikah), which was
not an offence. One who marries two sisters cannot keep both in
wedlock, and if he does so and tries to establish conjugal rights with
both of them, then he could be said to have committed an offence, said
the court. Earlier Mr Nazir's counsel said his client did not enter
into Nikah with his sister-in-law, instead his nephew Shahzad had
married Khalida without the consent of her parents.
[NWFP] Body to review Hisba legalities - 26 Feb 04
NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani has formed a subcommittee to
review the legal aspects of the Hisba Bill and its present status and
demanded final recommendations within four days to set the course for
approval of the draft law.
Various legal proposals were tabled to facilitate the smooth passage
of the Bill, said the minister, who wished not to be named. The
present status of the draft Bill and its legal aspects were discussed
and the participants came out with consensus to wait for the final
recommendations of the subcommittee that was directed to submit the
final recommendations within four days and these recommendations would
set out the future strategy for the Bill's approval.
Radical Islam spreads among Palestinians - 22 Feb 04
The growth of religion is not confined to Gaza, which was
traditionally fairly conservative. More women also cover their heads
in the relatively westernised West Bank city of Nablus. Attendance is
rising at mosques everywhere. Even left-wing militant groups that once
took a firmly secular line have become part of the trend. The Marxist
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine now uses verses of the
Koran on posters and political leaflets.
Helping the growth of religion has been the failure of Yasser Arafat's
secular Palestinian Authority to resist the Israelis, to assuage
poverty, to root out corruption and stop the gun law of militant
factions. Palestinian leaders blame the Israelis for destroying their
internal security services in the conflict. The Islamic group Hamas --
at the forefront of a suicide bombing campaign that has killed
hundreds of Israelis -- has filled a social and financial vacuum
through its widespread network of charity organisations and mosques.
But Palestinians say groups like Hamas do not have to work hard to get
people to turn to God. "Palestinians have been exposed to a situation
that turned their villages into prisons, but prisons without roofs,"
said psychiatrist Eyad Sarraj, a founder of the Gaza community Mental
Health Programme. "When the Israelis strike, they fill the streets
with panic because nobody knows where to hide. Total exposure and
vulnerability have resulted in intense fear that is translated to the
children through the behaviour of their parents."
Sarraj said women had become even more devout and radicalised than men
as a result of their experience and that could only help to encourage
a new generation of children to become more militant than their
parents. A recent study by his department of 12-year-old children
found that the ambition of nearly a quarter was to die by the age of
18 in a "martyrdom attack" -- suicide bombing to kill Israelis. Many
see the only hope for stopping the steady drift towards religious and
political radicalism as being a revival of the peace process, but
there is scant sign of that.
Yes, jilbab girl can sue her school - 25 Feb 04
A 15-year-old Muslim girl has been given permission to bring a High
Court challenge against her Luton school in a dispute over her right
to wear traditional religious dress in the classroom. Her lawyers
confirmed on Monday that a judge who considered the case papers found
that she had an "arguable case" to seek judicial review. A full
hearing will take place some time after April. Shabina Begum has been
out of school since September 2002 when she was sent home after
arriving for classes at Denbigh High School in the jilbab a long,
flowing gown. Her lawyers are arguing that Shabina's right to practise
her religion is being infringed unlawfully.
Luton's Icknield High School recently made national headlines over a
ban that meant Muslim girls cannot wear their traditional headwear.
The ban is currently under review by the governors. Denbigh, a
1,000-pupil comprehensive where almost 80 per cent of pupils are
Muslim, maintains it has a flexible school uniform policy which takes
into account all faiths and cultures and is not acting in a
discriminatory manner. Pupils can wear trousers, skirts or a shalwar
kameez, consisting of trousers and a tunic. Although not officially
excluded, Shabina's lawyers argue she has effectively been prevented
from attending the school. Originally, she wore a shalwar kameez to
school, but her deepening interest in her religion led to her wearing
the loose, ankle-length jilbab. When she turned up for the first day
of the new school year in September 2002, Shabina, who wants to become
a doctor, was told she had to go home and change.
ADV27-01 - 26 Feb 04
The Brooklyn case stemmed from a broader crackdown on informal
money-transferring operations known as "hawalas." U.S. authorities
allege the system is used by terrorists to secretly launder and
transfer millions of dollars, including money siphoned from Islamic
charities. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Treasury Department
has used provisions of the Patriot Act to freeze the assets and revoke
the nonprofit status of several Middle East-based charities with
branches in the United States, citing alleged ties to terrorists. Some
of the non-profits have denied any wrongdoing, insisting the money
only went to the needy. In Brooklyn alone, more than a dozen Arab or
Muslim men have been charged with illegal money remitting and other
crimes. Foremost among them is another prominent Yemeni sheik, Ali
Hassan al-Moayad, accused of funneling more than $20 million to
terrorist networks; another Brooklyn man was convicted of illegally
transmitting millions of dollars to Yemen and elsewhere through the
bank accounts of his Brooklyn ice cream shop.
[Washington] Muslim cemetery in Covington fulfills teachings of Islam
.. - 22 Feb 04
It seems an unlikely final resting place for immigrants of the Islamic
faith -- men and women from countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia,
Iraq, Pakistan, Syria -- and their children. The 3-year-old graveyard
is one of only a few in the United States exclusive to Muslims. It's
the only one in the state of Washington. Dr. Mahmood Sarram, a retired
Tacoma obstetrician from Iran, who first envisioned this place more
than 16 years ago, thought the region's growing Muslim population
needed a burial site that fulfilled the teachings of Islam -- and a
place where "future generations could come, pause and reflect," he
said. Plans also call for a Muslim school and a mosque on the site.
In many cities, Muslims must reserve sections of traditional
cemeteries to bury their dead, a process that can be complicated.
Islamic tradition calls for the body to be wrapped in white cloth and
placed in the ground -- returned to the earth, dust to dust. At
All-Muslim and other Muslim cemeteries and cemetery sections across
the United States, the body is typically placed on soil within a
concrete vault, primarily for environmental reasons. Islamic tradition
also calls for burial to be within 24 hours of death, which can
overwhelm some cemeteries and funeral homes, said James Noel,
executive director of the Washington State Funeral Directors
Association, who is also an adviser to the All-Muslim Cemetery.
"Muslim tradition requires that graves face in the direction of Mecca
-- it's a very important tenet, so much so that they will come out and
measure to make sure it's correct down to the degree," Noel said.
Noel, who retired from Mountain View Funeral Home in Tacoma after 34
years, said that in some cemeteries, Muslim families have had to buy
as many as six grave plots to get two that could be properly aligned.
Landscaped, with fencing separating it from the residential
subdivision next door, the property includes a pair of houses -- one
for gatherings and prayers, and a second, smaller one where bodies are
prepared for burial. From this second house, the washed and wrapped
body is carried in a wooden casket a few yards to the burial site.
While Muslim traditions differ by country and sect, here the body is
removed from the casket and placed in the earth facing Mecca.
Some similar cemeteries in other parts of the country have had a
tougher time getting established. In January, a long-planned all-
Muslim cemetery near Lawrenceville, Ga., finally opened after a
fierce, years-long rezoning battle that drew world attention. The
Georgia Islamic Institute of Religious and Social Sciences spent
$140,000 to comply with a list of rezoning requirements, such as
groundwater monitoring and fencing that included an 8-foot-high
privacy fence along the abutting neighborhood. The institute also must
use stone grave markers, a practice often eschewed by Muslims wanting
Muslim Girl Has Right To Wear Scarf, AU Tells Okla. School - 01 Feb 04
.. [Church & State, Publication: 2004-02-01, Arrival time: 2004-02-25]
A Muslim student attending an Oklahoma public school [Muskogee] has
the right to wear a headscarf as dictated by her religious beliefs,
Americans United has told school officials.
School officials contend that the scarf violates a school policy that
prohibits students from wearing hats, caps, bandannas or other
headgear. In a Dec. 10 letter to school officials, Americans United
Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan urged the school to reverse its policy.
Khan noted that while public schools are not permitted to promote
religion, individual students have the right to express their
religious beliefs in a nondisruptive way.
Islamic Finance: Prerequisites of Murabaha in view of today's needs
Seminar To Discuss Publication Of Fiqh Encyclopedia [Info-Prod
Research - Middle East] - 24 Feb 04
According to IINA, a scholarly seminar is to be held to look into ways
and means of publishing an encyclopedia of Fiqh and Economics. The
seminar is being convened by the International Islamic Fiqh
(Jurisprudence) Academy and the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank
(IDB), and is scheduled for February 26. The encyclopedia would be the
first of its kind, and would contain such things as the Fatwas
(religious pronouncements) and juridical rulings relating to economic
New financial instruments in Gulf, Malaysia evolve out of Bahrain
- 25 Feb 04
Bahrain announced Monday it was issuing $250 million worth of global
Islamic bonds. The small island state will pitch the new financial
instruments in the Gulf and Malaysia later this week. The move comes
amid efforts by the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA, the central bank) to
strengthen the country's position in the market for Islamic banking.
Bahrain is a major offshore center. But it is rapidly beefing up the
number of Islamic financial institutions, currently numbering 26.
The BMA offered around $800 million worth of Islamic bonds in 2003 and
plans to issue a similar amount this year. The bonds are guaranteed by
the government of Bahrain, and the issue has already been assigned a
preliminary rating of A by Standard & Poors. The rating is in line
with Bahrain's long-term foreign currency rating by S&P and Fitch.
Rashdan said the bond issue would be used to refinance an existing 100
million Bahraini dinars ($265 million) 30-year conventional bond issue
which was made by the Bahraini government in 1999, and matures in
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