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Sharia News Watch 107

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 107 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3 5:20 AM
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      Sharia News Watch 107 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/message/107

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

      AFGHANISTAN

      Tales of the Taliban: Part Tragedy, Part Farce - 29 Feb 04
      http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=56634
      ..
      Waheed Mojda, a former official in the Taliban Foreign Ministry, has
      written a 40,000-word account of the Taliban years that provides both
      hilarious and painful insights into a short-lived Islamic regime that
      left no written records, rarely explained its actions and shunned
      contact with outsiders. According to Mojda' s unpublished account,
      written in Dari, the Taliban's extreme notions of Islam led to many
      bizarre moments. When Mohammad Omar, the movement's religious leader,
      was offered a toy camel by visiting Chinese diplomats, he recoiled
      like "someone holding a piece of red-hot coal," because he believed
      all likenesses of living creatures to be un-Islamic. In another
      passage of Mojda's account, a Kabul man desperately tries to secure a
      religious order from the Supreme Court to have his teeth pulled
      because he had his cavities filled by a dentist but was told by a
      Taliban cleric that having filled teeth "would make my prayers and
      ablutions invalid." Mojda also wrote about how an internal split
      between the moderate and fundamentalist camps deepened in early 2001,
      when officials began destroying historic art objects they viewed as
      un-Islamic. A dispute over whether to destroy a valuable European
      painting of a hunting scene became a tug of war among officials in
      five separate ministries.
      ..
      In an interview this week, Mojda said he had no desire to make fun of
      the Taliban, but rather sought to point out the flaws and fanatical
      aberrations that gradually disillusioned him -- and ultimately
      alienated many other Afghans from the initially popular movement.
      ..
      The most serious Taliban mistake, Mojda writes, was the arbitrary
      power given to its religious police, mostly illiterate village gunmen
      who had neither the legal nor Islamic knowledge to carry out such
      work. In one incident, he recounted, a police squad forced a Sikh man
      to pray in a mosque, insisting that "whatever else he was, he was
      still a Muslim." The Taliban's obsessions with religious litmus tests
      and personal loyalty repeatedly undermined its administrative
      competence, according to Mojda. The ability to "recite verses from the
      Koran beautifully" was enough to obtain senior administrative posts,
      while transferred officials took along large coteries of followers,
      known as "andivalis," forcing agencies to start from scratch. The
      Taliban's permanent conflict with ethnic militias from northern
      Afghanistan also prevented it from evolving into a real government.
      Senior officials were ordered to the front lines, leaving their
      ministries drifting and leaderless. Military commanders wielded far
      more power and enjoyed greater perquisites than their civilian
      counterparts.
      ..
      the rustic Afghan militiamen never meshed with the more fanatical
      fighters from Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iraq who flocked to assist their
      "holy war." The Arabs, Mojda said in an interview, looked down on
      Afghans as vulgar and impure, especially because they smoked
      cigarettes and hashish, and found even the stern Taliban cadres
      insufficiently pure.

      Afghan Shias mark bloody ritual, celebrate freedom - 01 Mar 04
      http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/ISL298233.htm
      ..
      Hundreds of minority Afghan Shi'ites took to the streets of Kabul on
      Monday, whipping and beating themselves to mark a sombre anniversary
      of mourning in a manner unthinkable under the hardline Islamic Taliban
      regime. It was the first commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a
      revered Shi'ite leader, since Afghanistan adopted a new constitution
      in January that promised religious tolerance in the overwhelmingly
      Sunni Muslim country of 28 million people. Men and boys marched
      through sunny streets and sat in long rows stripped to the waist,
      beating their chests to rhythmic chants over loudspeakers.
      Individuals were handed metal chain whips, using them to reopen old
      wounds on their scarred backs and heads in a display of collective
      grief to honour the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet
      Mohammad, in a seventh century battle.
      ..
      Most of Afghanistan's Shi'ites are Hazaras, an ethnic minority with
      close ties to Iran that was persecuted by the Taliban and continues to
      suffer to a smaller extent today. In the latest incident, 12 Hazaras
      were killed in January when unidentified gunmen fired on their vehicle
      in the southern province of Helmand, an area dominated by Pashtuns.
      Witness accounts described the slaughter of thousands of Hazaras in
      the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif in August 1998 in one of the
      ousted Taliban's most notorious atrocities.

      BANGLADESH

      Bangladeshi Scholar Attacked, in Critical Condition - 01 Mar 04
      http://www.pressaction.com/pablog/archives/001357.html
      ..
      Professor Humayun Azad, a noted Bangladeshi scholar, academic,
      essayist, novelist, and linguist, was brutally attacked in Dhaka,
      Bangladesh on Feb. 27, 2004. .. Azad was known for speaking his mind.
      His books and essays were popular and widely read, even though some of
      his books had been banned by various governments of Bangladesh.
      ..
      Professor Azad is a major Bangla novelist*. His most recent novel**
      earned him the wrath of fundamentalists and assorted bigots. It is a
      story about an Islamic fundamentalist who is determined to establish a
      Taliban-like regime in Bangladesh. The title of the novel is the
      Pakistani national anthem, "Pak Sar Zamin Saad Baad." The Bengalis are
      aware of historic oppression under the Pakistani rule of Bengal, the
      exploitation of its resources, and the genocide carried out by the
      Pakistani army. The militant protagonist of the novel wants to setup a
      "distorted Pakistan." At the end of the novel, the fundamentalist has
      a dramatic change: He falls love with a Hindu woman and gives up
      religious fundamentalism.
      ..
      * Humayun Azad http://www.bangladeshinovels.com/Humayun_Azad.htm
      ** The book that got him marked for death - 29 Feb 04
      http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/02/29/d40229011010.htm

      BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

      Too Near Pork Products Complaint Lodged Against Shop - 27 Feb 04
      http://www.brudirect.com/DailyInfo/News/Archive/Feb04/280204/nite06.htm
      ..
      Members of the public particularly shoppers in a prominent supermarket
      in Kuala Belait are expressing discontent over the arrangements of
      "non-halal" foods which are placed not far from the daily needs items
      of Muslim customers at the supermarket. A number of customers here
      stated that the arrangements of food for non-Muslims at the stated
      shop are placed near essential products such as soaps and detergents
      and next to daily use items such as tissue paper and other goods.
      ..
      When the supermarket was visited again, it was found that racks
      containing a number of canned and plastic packaged foods for
      non-Muslims were still placed alongside racks holding washing soaps
      and tissues, and facing the rack displaying varieties of instant
      noodles. The shop owner should have understood the situation
      surrounding the community and is advised to consider the full
      interests of the customers, particularly in terms of sale item
      arrangements.

      EGYPT

      Legalize the Muslim Brotherhood by Mustapha Kamel al-Sayyid
      http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/01_03_04_b.asp - 01 Mar 04

      Abu Zeid stirs up heated debate - 28 Feb 04
      http://dailystar.com.lb/28_02_04/art18.asp
      ..
      Abu Zeid, whose writings support a more liberal interpretation of the
      Koran, was forced to divorce his wife in 1995 by a Cairo court on the
      grounds that his views made him a heretic. The court argued that a
      heretic was a non-Muslim and is therefore barred from marrying a
      Muslim woman. Abu Zeid told the packed theater [in Beirut] he was
      trying "to reach out to the crowd to light a candle of dialogue."
      "Just because you view the Koran as a cultural document doesn't mean
      you are disregarding its holiness," Abu Zeid said.
      ..
      He went on to argue that nothing was sacred, and that anything
      considered scared should be subject to debate, in an indirect way he
      also compared the Koran and the Kabaa to the sacredness of the cow in
      the Hindu faith. Abu Zeid, who still considers himself a Muslim, added
      that "the disagreement is not on our belief system it's on the
      interpretation of our belief system."

      INDIA

      [comment] Fatwas on violence against women by Tahir Mahmood
      http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/2004/01-15Feb04-Print-Edition/01150220=
      0465.htm
      .. [1-15 Feb 2004 print edition of MG]
      Does Islam indeed allow inter-spousal violence ? None of the
      high-authority textbooks on Muslim law widely used by the modern
      courts - those of luminaries like Abdur Rahim, Amir Ali, Tyabji, and
      Fyzee among them - even remotely mentions any Islamic 'precept'
      permitting any form of violence between married couples. Nor has any
      such precept ever found a place also in any of the non-Muslim authors'
      popular books on the subject including DF Mulla's century-old
      Principles of Mahomedan Law -- now running in 19th edition and still
      the most favoured work in the English-speaking courts - which does
      misrepresent some principles of the Sharia law. Even orientalists like
      Joseph Schacht known for their unsavoury criticism of Islamic law
      never had the cheek to point out such a thing in their biased
      exposition of that noble law. For the last thirty five years I have
      been personally collecting and publishing in my books texts of
      family-law statutes of the contemporary Muslim countries. For sure, I
      have never found in any such statute any provision even remotely
      approving inter-spousal violence in any context.
      ..
      A certain verse in the Holy Book of Islam teaches Muslim men how to
      try to salvage marital relationship where a recalcitrant wife is
      hell-bent to break it by her extraordinarily indecent behaviour. The
      ancient Arabic vocabulary used in this verse is susceptible of many
      meanings, and it is indeed a great folly to subject it to a literal
      translation into a modern language of our times. In any case, whatever
      be its true meaning, it has never entered the realm of law in any form
      anywhere in the Muslim world. It is this verse a literal translation
      of which mindlessly included by the imam in Spain in his work on
      matrimonial relations landed him into trouble under that country's
      law. This shows that the exposition of Islam's socio-legal precepts is
      a very hazardous job which must never be taken up by theologians not
      well versed in Islamic jurisprudential principles and legislative
      procedures.

      [Uttar Pradesh] Indian Shias rest in hope - 01 Mar 04
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3523675.stm
      ..
      Iftkhar Fatima's body has been lying in the northern Indian city of
      Lucknow, waiting for burial for the past 12 years. It was her last
      wish to be buried in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala - like many Shia
      Muslims around the world.
      ..
      Nobody is sure how many such bodies are waiting for their final
      journey to Iraq. Some 300,000 residents of Lucknow, a city of three
      million people, are Shia Muslims. Mohammed Khalil, a caretaker at the
      graveyard where Iftkhar Fatima's body is stored, says he knows of
      other bodies awaiting burial in Karbala and Najaf. Other caretakers at
      other graveyards in Lucknow say the same thing.
      ..
      Maulana Hameedul Hasan recalls taking the body of one of his relatives
      to Karbala for burial in 1954. He remembered that the authorities
      there had built multi-storey graveyards to accommodate bodies from all
      over the world.

      [West Bengal] Hindu priest makes 'tazia' for Muharram procession
      http://www.keralanext.com/news/index.asp?id=28029 - 01 Mar 04
      ..
      A Hindu priest has become a shining example of communal harmony in a
      West Bengal town by making a 'tazia' - replica of a tomb - for a
      Muharram procession by Muslims. Sukumar Chakraborty, 28, has earned
      the respect of one and all in Islampur town. Muslims in particular are
      overwhelmed. The young priest and his entire family have taken the
      responsibility of making the tazia for the Muharram march Tuesday,
      that too free of cost.

      IRAN

      Flogging kills man who helped free sisters - 26 Feb 04
      http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/0226lashing26-ON.html
      ..
      Three sisters who fled to Canada from Iran to escape beatings from its
      religious police were in mourning Wednesday after learning their
      brother died after reportedly being flogged 80 times. Mohsen Mofidi,
      35, who turned himself in to police so Iranian authorities would
      release his sisters from prison, died Sunday after the beating.
      ..
      Amnesty International officials said Wednesday the lashings, which
      under Iranian law involve a one-meter leather cord, amounted to
      torture.
      ..
      The problems with Iranian morality police began when two of the women
      attended a party last summer where young men were also present.
      The party was arranged by their brother at his Tehran apartment.
      Police broke up the party at gunpoint and took the two girls into
      custody.They suffered broken teeth after being beaten with chains
      while in custody and they were sentenced to be lashed for having
      boyfriends. Mofidi surrendered to police and was accused of corrupting
      his sisters, owning an illegal satellite dish and possessing medicines
      containing alcohol. Amnesty International said Wednesday that Mofidi
      suffered from lung and sinus infections while in the Qasr prison in
      Tehran and had spent a week in the prison's hospital before being
      beaten. He was released after being flogged on Feb.18. Mofidi made his
      way to his aunt's home and was admitted to hospital Sunday, where he
      received antibiotics for his infection but died.

      199 officials ask Khatami to clarify Sadr's fate - 28 Feb 04
      http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=22993&NewsKi=
      nd=Current%20Affairs
      ..
      A hundred and ninety-nine prominent Iranian authorities, including
      sources of jurisprudence, Islamic Alims and theological instructors,
      heads of universities and cultural figures, politicians and6 th and7
      th Majlis elected representatives, have in the letter addressed to
      President Khatami asked him to organize efforts aimed at clarifying
      the fate of the Lebanese social-religious leader of Iranian origin.
      ..
      Among the authorities that have signed the letter there are the names
      of 13 sources of jurisprudence and prominent Alims,58 instructors of
      theological schools throughout the country, 22 heads of universities,6
      20 th Majlis MPs,7 15 th Majlis elected MPs, and 22 lawyers, some of
      whom are internationally acclaimed. In prelude to the letter addressed
      to the president we read, "As you are aware, the Iranian born leader
      of the Lebanese Shi'as, Imam Moussa Sadr was kidnapped in Libya 25
      years ago while he was visiting that country officially."

      IRAQ

      Shiites Walk Out of Talks on Iraq Charter - 28 Feb 04
      http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraq28feb28,1,7392077.s=
      tory
      ..
      A majority of the Shiite Muslim members of the Iraqi Governing Council
      walked out of a meeting aimed at drafting an interim constitution
      Friday night after the council voted to repeal a proposal that would
      have allowed Sharia, or Islamic law, to govern divorce, inheritance
      and other family matters. The walkout occurred as the council worked
      to finish the interim constitution on the eve of a deadline. The
      interim constitution will guide Iraq until a permanent one is
      finalized next year.
      ..
      The departure of at least eight Shiite members from the meeting
      deprived the 25-member body of a quorum and halted work. The walkout,
      the first since the U.S.-backed council was formed in July, was
      alternately described as an example of the growing divide between
      Shiite and Sunni members and as political theater with little real
      implications.
      ..
      Aides to council members said the Shiites, who largely favor a greater
      emphasis on Islam in designing Iraq's laws, were beginning to
      demonstrate their independence from the minority Sunnis, who prefer a
      more secular system. The walkout followed a series of tense arguments.
      ..
      The Shiite legislators walked out after Dr. Rajaa Habib Khuzaai, a
      female Shiite member, introduced a measure to repeal a proposal passed
      in December that allowed each major religious group to apply its own
      traditions to family issues. The repeal passed 15 to 10. [15 to 9, one
      council member was away - according to Christian Science Monitor].
      ..
      Iraqis reach deal on text of constitution - 01 Mar 04
      http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apmideast_story.asp?category=1107&sl=
      ug=Iraq
      ..
      Iraqi politicians agreed early Monday on an interim constitution with
      a wide ranging bill of rights and a single chief executive, bridging a
      gulf between members over the role of Islam in the future government,
      coalition and Iraqi officials said. .. The coalition official said
      the document strikes a balance between the role of Islam and the bill
      of individual rights and democratic principles, by calling Islam a
      source, but not a primary source, for the implementation of civil law.
      ..
      Despite new constitution, Iraqis still must decide government's form
      http://www.denverpost.com/framework/0,1413,36~6439~1989364,00.html
      .. - 02 Mar 04
      The charter has a 13-article bill of rights, including protections for
      free speech, religious expression, assembly and due process and spells
      out the shape of an executive branch. .. Fundamentalists backed down
      after a clause was included underlining that no legislation will be
      passed the contravenes the tenets of Islam, several council members
      said.

      Iraqi Shi'a Observe First Ashura Since Fall of Ba'athist Regime-26 Feb
      http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2004&m==
      February&x=20040226182824ndyblehs0.2843439&t=livefeeds/wf-latest.html
      ..
      For the first time in more than three decades, Iraqi Shi'a will be
      able to observe the holy day of Ashura and its associated period of
      mourning this year without the shadow of the Ba'athist regime hanging
      over the ceremonies. While many Shi'a made the pilgrimage to the holy
      city of Karbala immediately following the war last year, this is the
      first time they will be free to observe the actual day of Ashura since
      the fall of Saddam Hussein. According to Sayyed Farqat Al Qizwini,
      Director of the Hilla University for Humanitarian, Scientific and
      Religious Studies, "Saddam Hussein absolutely prevented the observance
      of Ashura. He actually imprisoned many people who were practicing this
      ritual." "The army and the security forces used to surround Karbala
      and Najaf for two months to keep people from practicing the rituals,"
      he said in a recent interview. "They used to enforce checkpoints on
      all roads leading to Karbala. If anyone tried to pass the checkpoint,
      he would have been killed or arrested."
      ..
      the pilgrimage [to Karabala] is not the only religious observance
      associated with Ashura. During this period, many Shi'a observe daytime
      fasts and nightly vigils. The observances reach their peak on the
      ninth and tenth days of Muharram during which groups engage in
      commemorative processions and perform street plays and tableaux
      vivants recalling the events of Hussein's martyrdom. Recognized
      cantors will lead mourning chants in mosques and during special
      observances in people's homes. These chants, known as the latmiya,
      typically recount the suffering of Hussein and his supporters during
      the siege in the desert and the cruel massacre of the forces during
      the hour of the Friday noon prayer. But Ashura is also a time to
      remember the poor and share food with the less fortunate. Many people
      sponsor open dinners in the street or prepare food for their friends
      and neighbors.
      ..
      This year, the month of Muharram began February 22, and the climactic
      tenth day will fall on March 2. While the ninth and tenth of Muharram
      mark the height of the observances, the period of mourning continues
      for 40 days, and some Shi'a continue to observe the traditional
      activities for the full period.
      ..
      124 Dead After Blasts on Iraqi Shi'ite Holy Day - 02 Mar 04
      http://asia.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=4477277
      ..
      Blasts tore through Shi'ites marking their holiest day in Baghdad and
      Kerbala Tuesday, killing at least 124 people on Iraq's bloodiest day
      since Saddam Hussein's fall. Furious leaders of the country's 60
      percent Shi'ite majority branded the attacks an attempt to ignite
      civil war. Polish troops in Kerbala and U.S. soldiers in Baghdad said
      the blasts were caused by mortars which landed among huge crowds of
      Shi'ites in near-simultaneous attacks on the two cities.

      [Anbar] Sunni Clerics Call for End to Attacks on Iraqis - 01 Mar 04
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/01/international/middleeast/01FATW.html
      ..
      In one of the first acts of its kind, the Iraqi religious scholars
      drafted a fatwa, a holy admonition, against staging attacks inside the
      country. But the document, drafted earlier this week, calls on Iraqis
      to stop killing Iraqis only. It makes no mention of stopping the
      killing of American soldiers.
      ..
      The text and the interpretations offered by Anbar's imams encapsulate
      the two-sided feelings that Iraqis here have for the occupation and
      the creation of a new Iraqi state. While saying nothing about the
      Americans themselves, the document declares unqualified support for
      the Iraqi institutions the Americans are trying to build. Furthermore,
      while it presumably speaks with great religious authority, the imams
      who wrote it say they cannot be sure that anyone out there will heed
      its call.
      ..
      The document issued in Ramadi declares that killing fellow Iraqis not
      only runs counter to the idea of holy war, but also constitutes what
      is known in the Muslim world as haram, the unpardonable act of killing
      another Muslim.
      ..
      The idea for this one came about after the fatal attack on the Falluja
      police station two weeks ago. That attack, staged by insurgents in the
      middle of town in the middle of the morning, resulted in the deaths of
      15 Iraqi police officers and 3 civilians. The day after the attack,
      the clerics in Falluja got together and issued the fatwa. Word spread
      quickly throughout the province, and the idea caught on. Within a
      week, imams from all over Anbar, an arid region the size of Wyoming,
      had signed up. The clerics printed up 3,000 copies and have begun
      distributing them at mosques and kebab houses around the province.
      ..
      Sunni imams of Anbar say they are encouraged. It has been a quiet week
      across the province. The fatwa received a warm reception all over the
      country, even among Shiites. Some of Anbar's clerics are thinking of
      trying to persuade their fellow clerics across the country to sign on.

      [Basra] Vigilantism Hits Iraq's 2nd-Largest City - 28 Feb 04
      http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/8066418.htm
      ..
      major acts of violence has included the murder of the three Christian
      liquor vendors, the killings of former regime loyalists, and the
      ransom kidnapping of several rich Basra residents. Many people blame
      the violence on some of the 150 small political and religious groups
      that have sprung up in this city of 2 million.
      ..
      Most worrisome have been the kidnappings and sometime murder of women
      whose actions have been deemed un-Islamic. A few weeks ago, local
      newspapers reported the shooting death of a young woman who worked in
      a video store - which extremists brand as pornographic. Residents have
      different versions on the death of a female medical student who was
      kidnapped and raped several months ago. Some say that her parents
      killed her for the shame her rape brought on the family. Others say
      she committed suicide. Dye has been thrown at women who did not wear
      the hijab, or the Islamic veil. Even many Christian women began
      wearing the hijab for fear of attracting kidnappers.
      ..
      Al-Zubaidi said women had been told by religious male students that
      they will not be allowed into classrooms if they wear short or tight
      skirts. Also, music is not allowed in the university canteen. "We're
      afraid to play the music loud in our cars," complained Haidar
      al-Khalidi, a 22-year-old student.
      ..
      Gov. Wa'el Abdul-Latif said it is difficult to crack down on the
      vigilante groups - some of which operate under the guise of Islamic
      movements - because they do not need government permits to open
      offices. "These groups are violating the citizen's human rights,"
      said Abdul-Latif. He said they routinely summon people to their
      offices and interrogate them for a variety of reasons.

      Gen. Ali al-Rubaiei, deputy governor for security, said the
      reorganization of the police force in Basra had helped reduce much of
      the security problems. The reorganization included the establishment
      of an active police intelligence and anti-crime units, similar to SWAT
      teams, that raid organized crime hideouts. "Their impact has been
      impressive on reducing crimes such as smuggling, kidnapping and
      murders," said al-Rubaei. He said criminal incidents had fallen to two
      a week, compared to twice a day a couple of months ago. "We still lack
      education and understanding of freedom. We are like a bird who has
      been set free," he said. "To some people everything is religiously
      allowed while to others everything is religiously forbidden."
      ..
      Iraq Video Dealer's Death Raises Flags - 01 Mar 04
      http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-iraq-death-of-a-s=
      aleswoman,0,3719812.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines
      ..
      Hoda Abdulkarim Abbas dressed modestly and wore a headscarf. But when
      she was gunned down in front of her video shop, neighbors suspected
      religious vigilantes. Other shopkeepers said she rented "romantic
      videos" deemed pornographic in this conservative, predominantly Shiite
      city. Afraid to help, they watched as she lay on her stomach, blood
      pooling on the sidewalk. .. Abbas, who was divorced with a 4-year-old
      son, died en route to the hospital, one of 22 people murdered in Basra
      last month.

      ISRAEL

      New clashes shake flashpoint Jerusalem shrine - 27 Feb 04
      http://www.reuters.com/locales/newsArticle.jsp;:40403a60:35d21a45c9d9a6c3?t=
      ype=worldNews&locale=en_IN&storyID=4457295
      ..
      Israeli police stormed the square outside the al-Aqsa mosque, one of
      Islam's holiest sites, to confront stone-throwing Palestinians on
      Friday amid heightened tensions over Israel's West Bank barrier.
      ..
      Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said officers had fired rubber bullets
      and tossed stun grenades after hundreds of Muslim worshippers "started
      rioting" at the end of Friday prayers within the shrine, which Muslims
      call al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and Jews revere as the
      Temple Mount. He said police had mobilised to stop Palestinians in
      the sanctuary -- which covers a plateau in the Old City -- trying to
      stone worshippers standing below the compound at the Western Wall,
      which buttresses the hillside and is the most sacred site of Jewish
      prayer. Palestinians said police acted without provocation during the
      30-minute clash.
      ..
      Israel prevents renovations of Muslim's holy site in Jerusalem -24 Feb
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=47545932
      .. [Xinhua News Agency]
      Part of the fence of Al Haram Al Sharif, which is known to Jews as the
      Temple Mount, had collapsed after a light earthquake hit the region,
      including Israel and the Palestinian territories a few weeks ago, they
      said. The Waqf officials said that they wanted to rebuild the
      collapsed wall and help removing the rubble and sands caused by the
      collapse. The whole area of Al Haram Al Sharif and the Al Aqsa
      Mosque, Muslims' third holiest site, are in danger of collapse, Waqf
      sources said, adding that Israel is preventing the Muslims from doing
      any architectural renovation to the place.

      KENYA

      Lumumba: Christians wrong on Kadhi courts - 29 Feb 04
      http://www.eastandard.net/headlines/news29020413.htm
      ..
      Christians are wrong to oppose the inclusion of Kadhi's Courts in the
      new constitution, review commission secretary Patrick Lumumba has
      said. Lumumba, speaking during a dinner for St Paul's Theological
      College at a Nairobi hotel on Friday, said church leaders should be
      more accommodating, adding that there was nothing wrong with
      protecting minorities. It is they (minorities) that deserve
      protection, he added. Lumumba, the secretary of the Constitution of
      Kenya Review Commission, said that every time the issue came up,
      Christians became emotional and even "want to beat you".
      ..
      Lumumba, himself a practising Christian, said that if the issue was to
      be subjected to a national referendum, the Muslims would lose the vote
      but pointed out that Kenya is governed by common law and 80 per cent
      of which is Christian.
      ..
      Kadhis courts are currently categorised as subordinate courts — like
      magistrates' courts, courts martial and traditional courts or local
      tribunals established by an Act of Parliament.

      LEBANON

      Al-Manar shows two versions of Ashoura commemorations
      http://dailystar.com.lb/28_02_04/art22.asp - 28 Feb 04
      ..
      Ashoura is one of the most important religious events in the Shiite
      Muslim calendar. It falls on the first 10 days of the Muslim month of
      Muharram, and commemorates the death of Hussain, the third Shiite
      Imam, at the hands of the Caliph Yazid in battle at Kerbala in 680 AD.
      Since that time, Shiite Muslims have commemorated the anniversary of
      Hussain's death with expressions of public grief ranging from parades
      to self-flagellation. Sunni Islam has some reservations about these
      practices. This is why Al-Manar, the television station of Hizbullah,
      a Shiite party, broadcasts two different versions of the Ashoura
      commemorations in Lebanon ­ one on its terrestrial channel for the
      domestic audience, and the other on its satellite channel, for a wider
      Arab and international audience. "The manner in which the Shiites act
      … is controversial to the Arab and Muslim audience. Locally we
      broadcast the whole program, whereas we have to replace it with a
      different version regionally without compromising the religious
      doctrine or the actual teachings of the rituals," Hassan Fadlullah,
      news director of Al-Manar television, said.
      ..
      This politicization of Ashoura is relatively recent. Sunni cleric
      Abdel-Naser al-Jabri, head of the Islamic college in Beirut, said that
      the Ashoura commemorations first acquired a wider political
      significance during the Iranian revolution.

      MALAYSIA

      Editorial: Corruption a major concern among the young - 28 Feb 04
      http://www.emedia.com.my/Current_News/NST/Saturday/Columns/20040228081838/A=
      rticle/indexb_html
      ..
      The survey busts conventional ideas of indifference among the young.
      One of the issues that aroused significant responses was corruption.
      ..
      On Islam, the acceptance of hudud law was higher among younger Malay
      voters than older ones.
      ..
      Forty-eight per cent of the young voters said freedom of religion
      would be uppermost on their minds if voting were today. Upholding
      democracy and racial harmony were also important issues.
      Interestingly -- and hearteningly -- another factor that ranked
      relatively high was the status of women, with a full quarter of young
      voters saying this was the most influential factor in their vote.

      MOROCCO

      Comparison of former Moroccan Family Law with the new provisions, as
      prepared by l'Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM)
      http://www.learningpartnership.org/events/newsalerts/moroccofamlaw.pdf

      NIGERIA

      Ban On Cinema, Alcohol Stays in Bauchi [This Day - Lagos]
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200402270187.html - 27 Feb 04
      ..
      Bauchi State Sharia commission has warned that the ban on cinema
      operation as well as sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages was
      still in operation in the state, vowing to deal decisively with
      violators of the Islamic legal code. The commission has renewed its
      directive to liquor sellers to desist from their illegal trade
      henceforth, or face the wrath of the law.
      ..
      [state Chairman of the Commission] Mukhtar particularly warned liquor
      sellers at Amgwu Morocco to close shop or face the wrath of the state
      sharia law, stating that the decision asking them to close shops
      immediately was reached during a meeting among security agents, liquor
      sellers and representatives of the Bauchi Local Government Council and
      members of the state sharia commission, giving them one week ultimatum
      to comply with the directives. He warned that at the expiration of the
      ultimatum, the law would take its cause, saying that the committee was
      determined to ensure the adequate application of the Islamic Legal
      System in the state.

      [Kano] Muslims march for stricter sharia in Nigerian city - 01 Mar 04
      http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L01465233.htm
      ..
      Hundreds of Nigerian Muslims marched in the northern city of Kano on
      Monday to press for a stricter implementation of the sharia Islamic
      penal code, witnesses said. The protesting members of the Kadariyya
      group said they were worried that alcohol was still sold and
      prostitution practised in Nigeria's second largest city four years
      after the state adopted the new legal code and three years after
      hundreds died in Muslim-Christian riots that rocked Kano.
      ..
      "It has become compulsory for the government to implement sharia
      practically. We are tired of lip service," Sheikh Abdul Jabber Nasir
      Kabara said before handing over a copy of the petition to the
      leadership of the state House of Assembly.

      [Kano] Group Protests Powers of Sharia Commission - 02 Mar 04
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200403020236.html [This Day - Lagos]
      ..
      Thousands of Quadriyya Sufis yesterday marched on the streets of Kano,
      protesting the constitutional power vested on the state Sharia
      Commission. Leading the protest, one of the leaders of the Seu,
      Sheikh Abdul Jabar Nasiru Kabara, accused Governor Ibrahim Shekarau,
      of deliberate usurpation of Emir of Kano's power of appointing imams
      of Juma'at mosques in the state. Kabara, however, called for the
      immediate sack of the commission chairman, Sheik Umar Kabo, who
      incidentally is a member of Tijjaniyya Sufi sect. In the same vein,
      Kabara also demanded the removal of the state Commissioner of
      Information, Alhaji Garba Yusuf and his Local Government Ministry
      counterpart, Abdullahi Sani Rogo, for allegedly being members of rival
      Izalat group.

      But a government spokesman who pleaded anonymity said the Qadriyya
      members, were merely registering their anger over the removal of their
      leader, Sheik Rariballah Nasiru Kabara, from the position of chairman
      of the State Pilgrim's Welfare Board. According to him, the position
      is being rotated among the Qadirinyya and Tijjaniyya group. "But
      despite that the tenure of the former has expired, he wants to stay
      for life."

      PAKISTAN

      Experts demand appointment of SC judges - 02 Mar 04
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_2-3-2004_pg7_23
      ..
      Constitutional experts and senior lawyers have stressed the need for
      the immediate appointment of judges to superior courts in Pakistan to
      fulfil the constitutional requirements and to expedite justice.
      ..
      [Advocate] Mr Khairi said hundreds of cases related to the Shariat
      Appellate Bench's jurisdiction had been pending due to the absence of
      the bench. "Cases will leave a deep impact on the social and political
      life and the adjudication of these cases is necessary," he said.

      RUSSIA

      Conference on Islam Evolution in Russia Begins in Moscow - 01 Mar 04
      http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/364/12186_islam.html
      ..
      An international conference "Reformism in Russian Islam: history and
      the present" started at the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of
      Oriental Studies on February 27. Main goal of the forum is to analyze
      history, find out the importance and essence of reforming Islam in
      Russia, consider contemporary reformatory Islamic projects and
      estimate their perspectiveness, RIA Novosti news agency was told at
      the Institute. At the conference, experts are to discuss the internal
      evolution of Russia's Islam during the epochs of the Russian Empire,
      the USSR and democratic Russia, the dogmatics, the law and relations
      between the authority and Moslem communities.

      SAUDI ARABIA

      Saudi king calls for charity fund-raising reforms - 29 Feb 04
      http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/02/29/saudi.charity/
      ..
      In a royal decree issued Saturday, the king announced the formation of
      a new institution for organizing and restructuring overseas charities
      run by Saudi Arabia.
      ..
      Saudi charities are subject to audits and no longer permitted to send
      money outside the country. The country has also banned the collection
      of cash in mosques and public places.
      ..
      Last month, the United States and Saudi Arabia called on the United
      Nations to freeze the assets of four branches of the Saudi-based
      Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, accused of financing terrorist groups,
      including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, which masterminded and
      carried out the September 11 attacks. Branches in Indonesia, Kenya,
      Tanzania and Pakistan were added to a U.S. list of groups and
      individuals suspected of bankrolling terrorism, effectively freezing
      any assets they hold in the United States.
      ..
      In March 2002, the United States and Saudi Arabia jointly froze the
      assets of Al-Haramain's branches in Somalia and Bosnia-Herzegovina,
      accusing them of diverting charitable donations to fund terrorist
      activity. In December, U.S. officials moved to freeze the assets of a
      nonprofit organization headquartered in Bosnia-Herzegovina believed to
      have been continuing the work of the Al-Haramain branch after its
      closing.

      Saudi Shiites donate blood to mark Ashura - 29 Feb 04
      http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=112396
      ..
      Saudi Arabia's minority Shiites are shedding blood as they prepare for
      one of their most sombre religious anniversaries. But instead of
      spilling it in gory self-flagellation as part of a 1,300-year-old
      tradition, Shiites of eastern Saudi Arabia are quietly queuing to give
      their blood at a mobile donors' unit.
      ..
      One man who asked not to be named said giving blood was a response to
      militant clerics who have threatened violence against Shiites. "They
      used to say spilling our blood was halal (permissible). Now we are
      giving it and they can use it".
      ..
      Saudi Shiites, who have seen their brethren in Iraq emerge from
      decades of repression under Saddam Hussain, say they have gradually
      been granted more freedom to conduct their ceremonies. This year for
      the first time an art exhibition was opened in Seihat, with pictures
      depicting the suffering of Hussein and the gold-topped domes of Shiite
      mosques in the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala, where he died.
      Shortly before midnight on Friday up to 300 men and boys also
      processed through a district of Seihat, beating their chests in ritual
      grief as a preacher recounted Hussein's story.

      Saudi authorities investigate 'gay wedding' - 01 Mar 04
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1056548.htm
      ..
      Saudi investigators are grilling 50 people, mostly expatriates, for
      allegedly attending a gay wedding in the city of Medina. Arab News
      reports the suspects deny they were attending a gay marriage, which is
      prohibited in Saudi Arabia. They say they took part in a ceremony to
      mark the wedding of a Chadian friend.
      ..
      One of the two Chadians involved told police that he was "rehearsing
      for his legal marriage", which was due to take place two days later.

      SUDAN

      Sudan Cries Rape by Maria Sliwa - 02 Mar 04
      http://mathaba.net/x.htm?http://mathaba.net/0_index.shtml?x=39306
      ..
      Though thousands still remain enslaved in the North, since 2003, the
      genocide and slave raiding in South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains has
      been suspended because of a ceasefire. Amnesty International, however,
      reports that the government continues to attack black African Muslims
      in Darfur, Western Sudan. According to Sudan expert, Eric Reeves, more
      than 1,000 people are dying every week in Darfur because of government
      attacks, and "the numbers are sure to rise." Amnesty also reports that
      surviving victims have been raped and abducted by government soldiers
      during these raids. International law recognizes both slavery and rape
      in the context of armed conflict as "crimes against humanity."
      ..
      [appellate court judge of South Sudan]Jok's description of Southern
      Sudan's punishment for consensual male-to-male sex is not too
      different from Sharia law in Northern Sudan, which imposes a death
      penalty on those found guilty of homosexuality. Village leaders told
      me that male rape victims, who are able to escape slavery in the North
      and return to their villages, often consign themselves to a life
      filled with guilt, while suffering silently and alone. "This affects
      their minds badly," Nhial Chan Nhial, a chief of one of the villages
      in Gogrial County said with anger. "When they return to us, many of
      these boys have fits of crying, mental problems, and are unable to
      marry later on in life." I worried about Majok and the other boys I
      had interviewed. These boys were all adolescent and pre-adolescent
      ages. Many of them told me that their violent experience of rape was
      their very first introduction to sex.
      ..
      I interviewed a total of 15 male slaves, for one to two hours each.
      Six of the boys interviewed said they were raped and the majority of
      these six said they were eyewitnesses to other boys being raped. Most
      of these six boys said they were raped numerous times, by more than
      one perpetrator. Some of the boys gave the full names and the home
      towns of the men they said had raped them. Though five in this group
      of 15 boys said they were not raped, they did say they were either
      sexually harassed or were eyewitnesses to other slave boys being
      raped. Only four of the 15 boys interviewed said they were not raped
      or sexually harassed, and were not eyewitnesses to the rape of other
      boys. All of the boys said they were never sexually abused or raped
      prior to their enslavement. In 2004, the rape of boy slaves is not
      unique to young Sudanese males, as recently exposed in a "CNN
      Presents" documentary "Easy Prey: Inside the Child Sex Trade." Sadly,
      the ugly arm of slavery reaches far beyond Sudan and shockingly
      touches every continent except Antarctica. Slavery expert Kevin Bales
      of Free the Slaves (FreeTheSlaves.net) says there are approximately 27
      million slaves worldwide. To date, however, there has been no
      comprehensive report on how many male slaves have been traumatized by
      rape.

      SYRIA

      Syria limits foreigners' Islamic studies - 27 Feb 04
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040227-125820-7894r.htm
      ..
      The Syrian government has announced a ban on foreign students studying
      Islam in Syrian private schools, the BBC reported Friday. Beginning in
      the next academic year, foreign students will only be permitted to
      attend classes at the Islamic law faculty of Damascus University, in
      the Syrian capital. Officially, government officials with the social
      affairs and labor ministries said the rationale was that the country's
      20 private religious schools could not issue officially recognized
      degrees. The schools are all under intense scrutiny by the strict
      Syrian Baath regime, which is accused by the United States of
      supporting radical groups such as Hamas.
      ..
      Syria has about 3,000 students from the United States, Japan, Britain
      and Indonesia.

      USA

      [Texas] Muslim Compensated - 29 Feb 04
      http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2004-02/29/article01.shtml
      ..
      a Muslim airlines worker in the American city of Houston, Texas, has
      been awarded $250,000 in compensation for being harassed on the job
      for his ethnic and religious background. Nizar Kamal, who worked for
      Continental Airlines and was fired in September, won his case after a
      federal jury ruled that his supervisors had used ethnic and racial
      slurs against him, the Associated Press reported Saturday, February28.

      WORLD REGIONS

      Arab reality show jilted by runaway bride - 01 Mar 04
      http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,7493,1159616,00.html
      ..
      A reality TV show for Arab countries in which young women compete to
      win an arranged marriage has ended in the controversial style in which
      it began with one of the final two contestants storming out and
      refusing to get married to the man selected by producers. The show,
      which was the first reality show ever on Arab TV, has been at the
      vanguard of a revolution in the Middle East where Big Brother and Fame
      Academy are also provoking a storm of protest because of their
      western-style values. Critics damned the ground-breaking dating show
      Al Hawa Sawa - Being Together - as too liberal, but fans writing on
      internet diary sites said it supported traditional values of limited
      contact before marriage. In the show eight women lived together in a
      Big Brother-style luxury apartment with suitors able to view the girls
      24 hours a day.
      ..
      Al Hawa Sawa ended just after an Arab version of the hit reality TV
      show Big Brother started in Bahrain, which has just been dropped from
      the schedules following protests that it was "indecent" and offended
      Arab sensitivities. But a source at the Lebonese production company
      behind Hawa Sawa said he was not surprised that Big Brother was
      pulled. "They put girls and boys under the same roof. This goes
      against Arab sensitivites. In Hawa Sawa, they don't sleep under the
      same roof and you don't have cameras giving the public access to the
      bedrooms 24 hours a day. Our objective was to see a true romance
      unfold not to be peeping toms," he said.
      ..
      According to the al-Hayat newspaper*, the dean of Islamic studies at
      Kuwait University, Mohjamed Al Tabtabai, issued a fatwa prohibiting
      viewing or voting for a contestant "deeming it a threat to Islamic
      values and a cheap imitation of immoral western programmes in pursuit
      of profit". He also called for Arab governments to prevent such shows
      [Star Academy] from being broadcast. The paper said personal lives
      are still considered a taboo for TV entertainment but that there is no
      stopping the proliferation of the western formats.
      * [Pan-Arab independent daily published from London. Also printed in
      Lebanon for local distribution].

      FINANCE

      Set up halal base, Saudis urged - 29 Feb 04
      http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2004/2/29/business/7423107
      ..
      Saudi investors have been invited to explore the possibility of
      joining hands with Malaysia parties in establishing halal food
      production bases in Malaysia for the Asian and global markets.
      International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said
      that apart from halal food, there are also numerous areas in which
      Malaysia and Saudi could forge further cooperation to tap the
      domestic, regional and global markets. Among the potential areas are
      tourism, education, healthcare, construction, investments in equities
      and Islamic financing, she said at the "Malaysia-Saudi Arabia Business
      Opportunities" seminar here yesterday, attended by more than 100 Saudi
      businessmen.

      [UAE/ Saudi] ABN AMRO's premium Islamic investment product
      http://www.ameinfo.com/news/Detailed/35487.html - 29 Feb 04
      ..
      ABN AMRO, the Dutch national bank, has reported that the bank's first
      Islamic fund – the Al Diraa Global Protected Equity Fund ('The Al
      Diraa Fund'). The fund is proving to be extremely popular among the
      bank's Islamic customer base in the United Arab Emirates and the
      Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This innovative fund has been endorsed by
      prominent Islamic economist Dr. Mohamed Elgari, and is the result of a
      unique partnership that combines the expertise of ABN AMRO Asset
      Management in international equities and structured investments, and
      the experience of Saudi Hollandi Bank in Islamic investing.
      ..
      The Al Diraa Fund provides Islamic investors with an opportunity to
      invest in a fund which protects the customers initial capital, whilst
      also exposing it to growth of the equity markets. To seek capital
      protection, the fund invests in Murabahah contracts, which are
      commodity transactions which have the goal to return the investment
      amount and to seek capital growth the fund invests in an Arboun
      contract, which are Sharia complaint options approved by the Sharia
      advisor.

      [USA] Guidance's Islamic home financing program attracts over 1,000
      Americans [MENA Report] - 29 Feb 04
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=47717353
      ..
      Guidance Financial Group has assisted over 1,000 American households
      acquire their homes in a Shariah-compliant manner. The company has
      originated $200 million of home financing contracts in the United
      States through its Declining Balance Co-ownership program. The
      international Islamic financial services company has established
      itself as the prime provider of Shariah-compliant home financing in
      the United States. With an estimated population of six million and
      exhibiting superior per-capita income levels, the American Muslim
      community constitutes one of the world's most attractive retail
      markets for Islamic finance. In terms of home financing alone, it is
      estimated that American Muslims generate $30 billion of new home
      mortgages annually.
      ..
      Guidance's Declining Balance Co- ownership program is based on the
      concept of declining-balance partnership (musharaka mutanaqisa). Under
      this program, the customer does not repay an interest-bearing loan.
      Instead, he and Guidance purchase a property together and become
      co-owners. The program allows the customer to acquire Guidance's share
      of the property over time until he becomes a full owner. Moreover,
      during the co- ownership period, the customer leases Guidance's share
      in order to have the exclusive right to live in the property.

      [Malaysia] Focus on growth of non-bank Islamic financial institutions
      http://www.mmail.com.my/Current_News/BTimes/Tuesday/Nation/20040301233726/A=
      rticle/
      .. - 02 Mar 04
      [Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop] said significant
      focus has been given to the development of the Islamic banking system
      in the last two decades, while certain components of NBFIs are also
      well-established, likeTabung Haji. Others, such the Islamic capital
      market, takaful and collection of personal zakat, have experienced
      encouraging growth. "Many other important components of NBFIs have not
      yet fully developed, particularly institutions such as waqf,
      inheritance management, micro-credit, Qard Hassan and corporate zakat,
      among others," he added. Besides Islamic banks, the Islamic financial
      system comprises other institutions like zakat, waqf, takaful, venture
      capital, ar-Rahn, mudharabah, investment trusts, special savings
      institutions, inheritance management, mutual fund and micro-finance.
      Nor Mohamed said the country's Islamic banking system currently has
      two Islamic banks, 13 conventional banks and four development
      financial institutions with Islamic banking windows, and more than
      2,000 branches offering Islamic banking products and services.
      ..
      The Islamic capital market has also increasingly emerged as an
      important avenue for fund-raising activities through equity- and
      debt-based instruments, where Islamic debt securities now account for
      40 per cent of the total outstanding private debt securities. "The
      takaful industry, which is a NBFI, has been identified to play a
      greater role in the Islamic financial system in the coming years."

      [Brunei] Syariah-compliant finance by HSBC - 03 Mar 04
      http://www.brunei-online.com/bb/wed/mar3h32.htm
      ..
      The Dynamic Allocation Shield Fund is the fifth capital-protected
      equity fund launched by HSBC Amanah Principle Protected Funds Ltd, our
      investment company wholly dedicated to launch syariah-compliant mutual
      funds. However, this is the first time that we have received approval
      by the regulators in Brunei to distribute an Islamic fund locally.
      ..
      we have incorporated a separate investment company which is completely
      separate from the HSBC Group and which is actually wholly-owned by
      investors themselves. HSBC acts only as manager of the company but
      keeps its capital and its deposit base separate and distinct from the
      capital of the Islamic investors. This ensures that any profit earned
      by the investment company flows directly to the Islamic investors and
      is not mixed with the interest paid to our conventional depositors.

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