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Sharia News Watch 106

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 106 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2004
      Sharia News Watch 106 : 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 :


      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
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200402260424.html [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
      or fireworks".
      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.
      * http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/feb/14muslim.htm
      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
      our religion."


      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
      East-West" tensions.

      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]
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200402250923.html - 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
      Badawi said.
      "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
      primary schools.


      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
      administered orally.
      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
      Islamic rebellion.
      "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
      official said.
      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
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200402250571.html [Daily Champion-Lagos]
      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
      in harmony.


      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
      training camps.
      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
      modest graves.

      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
      http://www.dailystar.com.lb/business/25_02_04_b.asp - 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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