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Sharia News Watch 31

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  • Enzo Picardie <6vtmu001@sneakemail.com>
    Sharia News Watch 31 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 31 : a collection news quotes on Sharia,
      for research & educational purposes only. [*]
      Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/


      Judge is sued for defamation 05 Jan 03
      Bahraini women activists are suing a judge they allege insulted them
      in remarks published by an Arabic newspaper.
      Committee members allege that they were defamed by remarks attributed
      to Judge Al Thawadi in a newspaper report, some weeks after the
      committee held a silent vigil in front of the Justice and Islamic
      Affairs Ministry in October. The vigil was staged to push for the
      introduction of a personal status law, under which civil rather than
      religious courts would rule on family and other personal issues.
      "He accused us of being licentious and of trying to demolish Islamic
      values and we will not accept that."


      Acid Survivors Foundation - An Important New Initiative 06 Jan 03
      Acid violence is a relatively recent phenomenon, with the first
      documented acid violence case occurring in 1967. Victims are attacked
      for many reasons, such as for spurning the sexual advances of
      predatory males or rejecting marriage proposals. Recently, however,
      children, older women and sometimes men have been attacked in the
      course of family or land disputes, vengeance, and dowry demands.

      Hajj - A wonderful experience (part 14) 06 Jan 03


      Hotel Raids, Road Blocks And Liquor Seized In New Year Fest
      .. 03 Jan 03
      While the New Year revellers enjoyed their end of the year blast with
      music, songs and fine dining at many of the posh hotels, the country's
      law enforcers were busy all night long and in the wee hours of the
      morning dealing with some errant folk and sundry offenders.
      Enforcement officers were compelled to suspend at some disco dances at
      a number of hotels for various reasons. Roadblocks were conducted
      along major highways throughout the country. A number of locals and a
      permanent Resident were detained for allegedly smuggling alcohol,
      eggs, chicken and cigarettes during a joint operation codenamed "OPS
      SEPADU DPJ14."
      At two hotels and at a public attraction in Jerudong area, the
      enforcement officers received information on disco dancing and sale of

      The Disco at one of the hotels was stopped with the cooperation of the
      hotel staff. The decision was made in view of an earlier advisory from
      the Ministry of Home Affairs based on a reference letter (37) in
      26/1359 dated December 30, informed sources said.

      At another location where a party was in full swing, no dancing
      activity was found though loud music was being played and disco lights
      sparkled. Revellers slowly dispersed when the law enforces came in to


      Somali mosque apologizes for e-mail 06 Jan 03
      A Toronto mosque has apologized for a Christmas Day message that said
      wishing someone Merry Christmas is comparable to congratulating them
      for committing murder or engaging in adultery.


      Woman reports rape in Dubai, goes to jail 03 Jan 03
      A French businesswoman who accused three men of gang rape has been
      arrested in Dubai and faces trial on charges of adultery. Touria
      Tiouli, 39, from Limoges, has had her passport confiscated and cannot
      leave Dubai after being charged under the Persian Gulf emirate's
      Islamic sharia law. The law declares any sex outside marriage to be

      Tiouli was on a business trip last October when, she alleges, she was
      raped by three men who offered her a lift home from a nightclub.
      She reported the attack immediately to the Dubai police, who after
      investigating her claim arrested her.

      One of the men admitted to having "consensual sex" with Tiouli, which
      made her, in the eyes of Dubai's judiciary, guilty of both adultery
      and making a false rape accusation. She could face up to 18 months in
      prison. None of the men has been charged.
      Mme Tiouli was held in prison for five days and has since been staying
      at a hotel.


      [Mustafa Mashhour] Lives in Brief 31 Dec 02
      Mustafa Mashhour, political leader, was born in Sharkiya province,
      Egypt, in 1921. He died of a stroke in Cairo on November 14, 2002,
      aged 81.

      Mustafa Mashhour was the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, the
      fundamentalist organisation that inspired many more in the Arab world,
      and which advocates turning Egypt into a strict Islamic state.

      Mashhour was one of the original men who worked with the founder
      Hassan al-Banna on his vision of Islamic states ruled by Sharia. With
      the Koran as its constitution, the Brotherhood's programme, "Islam as
      creed and state, book and sword, and a way of life", was so
      politicised that it was banned in Egypt, with other Arab governments
      quickly following suit. Mashhour himself spent 20 years in jail for
      his beliefs.
      Despite this conciliatory stance, Mashhour himself remained
      controversial. His views infuriated many people, particularly when he
      called for an Islamic tax on Christians - a practice dropped centuries
      ago - to be reinstituted. In 1997, a year after he was elected leader,
      he again caused an uproar when he said that Egypt's minority Christian
      Copts should not serve in the Armed Forces because their loyalty would
      be questionable if Egypt were attacked by a Christian country. He
      later denied making the comments.

      [Heineken] Making Near Beer Acceptable in Near East 03 Jan 03
      both management teams had something more specific - and ambitious - in
      mind: using Heineken's expanding global network to penetrate the
      Islamic world and distribute Ahram's popular Fayrouz line of
      nonalcoholic flavored beers.

      While the brewing process of other nonalcoholic beers yields alcohol,
      Fayrouz's does not. This led Al Azhar, a university and Sunni Islam's
      most prestigious body, to certify that the beer was halal, or
      permitted for consumption by Muslims, a ruling that gave Fayrouz a
      corner on the nonalcoholic beer market throughout the Muslim world.


      Mecca Cola gives taste for anti-Americanism 01 Jan 03
      Two million bottles have been sold since it was launched two months
      ago in France and orders are pouring in from around the world.
      In the heavily Muslim northern districts of Paris Mecca Cola is sold
      for £1.05 per 1.5 litre bottle, about the same as Coke. It is
      gradually penetrating the mainstream supermarkets. M Mathlouthi has
      orders for 11 million bottles and is building his own manufacturing
      and bottling plant near Paris.
      Other firms in the Middle East have tried creating different cola
      drinks, he said, notably Iran's Zam Zam Cola.
      In the spring, he plans to become the Muslim Colonel Sanders with a
      chain called HFC - Halal Fried Chicken.
      In the United Arab Emirates, a regional drink called Star Cola has
      seen sales explode. In Iran, Zam Zam Cola, which replaced Pepsi there
      when the revolutionary government of Ayatollah Khomeini drove out
      American businesses, is struggling to satisfy demand.

      In four months this past summer, Zam Zam delivered more than 10
      million bottles to sweltering Saudi Arabia, following a Saudi boycott
      of Coke and Pepsi.


      [discussion] Negationism in India 31 Dec 02
      Finally, the violence of the Islamic warriors was of minor importance
      in the establishment of Islam in India. What happened was not so much
      a conquest, but a shift in public opinion: when the urban working-
      class heard of Islam and realized it now had a choice between Hindu
      law (smrti) and Muslim law (shariat), it chose the latter.

      [Gujarat] Cong Dal to enrol 20,000 by March-end 02 Jan 03
      Mr Prahlad Yadav, chief organiser, All-India Congress Seva Dal, has
      admitted that the Congress leadership in Gujarat could not counter the
      false propaganda during the last two days of campaigning that an Imam
      had issued "fatwa" in its favour.

      Talking to newspersons at the concluding ceremony of a training camp
      here today Mr Yadav said none of the imams had either been approached
      nor any "fatwa" was issued but the Hindutva forces distributed false
      pamphlets to mislead voters in the state. Such pamphlets were
      distributed after campaigning had officially ended.

      [Kerala] Refrain from violating rights of Muslim women 06 Jan 03
      The state committee of the Ithihadu Shabbanil Mujahideen (ISM), the
      youth outfit of the Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen led by T P
      Abdullakoya Madani, asked the conservative priests of the Muslim
      community to refrain from violating the rights of the women, which
      were vouchsafed by Islam. In a resolution passed at the meeting, the
      organisation observed that during the days of Prophet Muhammed, Muslim
      women used to worship in mosques at Mecca and Madeena. The resolution
      said the right-thinking people would realise the ludicrous stand of
      the religious leaders, who deny Muslim women their right to worship in
      mosques. ''As no one can prove the legitimacy of reciting triple talaq
      at a stretch for divorcing a woman, the attempts of conservatives to
      prove that baseless religious practices are still prevalent among
      Muslims would be pooh-poohed by the community members,'' the
      resolution said. There is no priesthood in Islam and religious heads
      do not enjoy any infallibility, it said.


      Jakarta Muslim leader says no to Islamic law 31 Dec 02
      The chairman of Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation yesterday
      asked radical groups to stop calling for the imposition of syariah
      law, saying it would only pit Islam against other religions and ignite
      more violence in the country.

      Mr Hasyim Muzadi of the 40-million-strong Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) said
      the Bali bombings demonstrated that religious chauvinists here and in
      the region were misinterpreting the main tenets of Islam for their own
      political agendas.
      A survey by a local university found that 71 per cent of the 2,500
      respondents wanted syariah implemented in Indonesia - 10 per cent
      higher than when a similar poll was carried out last year.
      It showed that 67 per cent of those interviewed wanted a government
      system based on Islamic law - and that 33 per cent wanted authorities
      to enforce amputation as punishment for thieves.
      .. 31 Dec 02
      "There is no need to press ahead with the struggle for sharia. We
      should take the substance of Islamic values and implement them in
      Indonesia, not the symbols," [said] Ahmad Syafii Maarif, who chairs
      the nation's second largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah.
      If Muslims emphasize formalities like sharia and an Islamic state in
      their common struggle, they will collide with adherents of other
      faiths and thus end in failure, the Muhammadiyah leader said.

      "What we should seriously fight for is the enforcement of justice and
      the creation of a clean government under whatever form of the state we
      have," he said. "An Islamic state or sharia does not guarantee
      (justice and a clean government). It fully depends on the commitment
      of the people themselves," Syafii added.

      Azyumardi Azra, rector of Jakarta's Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic
      University, concurred with Hasyim and Syafii, saying Islamic social
      and political groups should set aside their struggle for sharia and
      concentrate on efforts to improve the nation's welfare.

      The enforcement of sharia: Impossible, unviable 05 Jan 03
      by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im (www.law.emory.edu)

      'Death fatwa': Death of religious tolerance? 03 Jan 03
      by Azyumardi Azra, Rector Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic
      University, Jakarta
      Recent reports revealed that a religious ruling (fatwa) was issued by
      the Indonesian People's Ulema Forum (Forum Ulama Ummat Indonesia). Led
      by Athian Ali Dai in Bandung, West Java, FUUI declared that Ulil
      Abshar Abdalla of Islamic Liberal Network (JIL) has blasphemed Islam
      and the Prophet Muhammad and, therefore, is liable to that capital

      However FUUI denied the reports: Athian said the FUUI did not issue a
      fatwa, but only said, among a number of things, that anybody who
      insults Islam and the Prophet Muhammad is liable to such punishment.
      Although certain circles of Indonesian Muslims, like the group of Ali
      Dai, have for sometime resented the Islamic Liberal Network for their
      "liberal views" on Islam, it was Ulil's article in Kompas on Nov. 18,
      that triggered the view on the capital punishment.

      His article appeals for the "rejuvenation" of the understanding of
      Islamic doctrines through certain ways. First, there should be a
      critical examination of the understanding of Islam as whole.

      For Muslim to achieve progress, there should be a substantive,
      contextual, and non-literal interpretation of Islam. Second, a correct
      understanding and interpretation of Islam should distinguish between
      the original Islamic teachings and those originated from Arab culture
      and tradition. Third, Muslims must not view themselves as separated
      and exclusive community vis-a-vis other (non-Muslim) communities.
      Fourth, Muslims should establish social structures that separate
      religion and politics.

      [Abu Bakar Bashir] How one cleric rose to embody Islamic militancy
      [International Crisis Group] 06 Jan 03


      Head of Judiciary Told Judges Not to Order Stoning 29 Dec 02
      Iran's judiciary will no longer order executions by stoning and has
      told judges to issue alternative punishments for adultery, Iranian
      officials said Sunday, December29 .

      "The head of the judiciary has sent a ruling to judges telling them
      not to order stoning," member of parliament Jamileh Kadivar told
      Agence France-Presse (AFP), adding that the decision would be upheld
      pending a permanent change in the law.
      The judiciary has yet to officially announce the ruling from its
      ultra-conservative head, Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi-Shahrudi, but E.U.
      diplomats said they were informed of the decision when their rights
      talks began earlier this month.

      Cleric Rules on Death by Stoning 30 Dec 02
      A senior Iranian cleric has ruled that death by stoning is not the
      only possible punishment for adultery, opening the way for women
      lawmakers who have campaigned against the practice to propose a bill
      banning stoning.

      "In certain circumstances, death by stoning can be replaced by other
      methods of punishment,'' Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said in
      a written fatwa, or religious ruling, obtained Sunday by The
      Associated Press.
      Shirazi is a highly influential cleric in the city of Qom - Iran's
      religious center. Abiding by the ruling of senior clerics is
      considered a religious obligation for the country's Shiite-dominated
      Muslim population.

      Earlier this month, Iran's 11 women lawmakers asked Shirazi's blessing
      before submitting a bill to the 290-seat legislature to abolish
      stoning. Though Shirazi did not directly cite the lawmakers or ban
      stoning, his ruling gives the lawmakers a green light to submit their
      Ayatollah Hussein Mousavi Tabrizi, another senior cleric in Qom, about
      80 miles south of the capital Tehran, said stopping stoning was a
      response to the "demands of modern age.'' "Any punishment, including
      stoning, that defames Islam or depicts a bad picture of the religion
      in the world is harmful to Islam and it is fully Islamic to stop it,''
      he told the AP.
      No official figures are available, but based on newspaper reports, at
      least two stoning sentences were carried out in 2001. The sentence was
      handed down several times in 2002 but it was unclear if any executions
      were carried out.

      Tehran's moral squads fight it hard against 'depraved' parties
      http://www.payvand.com/news/03/jan/1014.html 04 Jan 03
      Iran's moral squads have dismantled 32 'centers of corruption' in the
      past nine months in mostly plush districts of northern Tehran and
      arrested 138 people, the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps said in a
      report on Saturday.

      The arrests were made on the orders of the Office to Enjoin Good and
      Inhibit Evil, in which moral squads rounded up nine mixed parties,
      which are banned under the Islamic Sharia, and detained 150
      merry-makers, it added. In the period under review, 28 runaway girls
      were arrested and returned to their families, the report said.

      Ninety members of Iran vice network get 4,710 lashes 04 Jan 03
      An Iranian court has sentenced 90 members of a vast prostitution ring
      controlling 24 brothels to a total of 4,710 lashes and jail terms, the
      Entekhab newspaper reported Saturday.

      The paper said the ring was exposed four months ago following the
      arrest of a 21-year-old woman in Yaftabad, a southwestern district of
      the capital Tehran.

      Women join cops on beat for first time since 1979 04 Jan 03
      Four hundred women will soon join Iran's policemen on the beat, the
      first such female recruits since the 1979 Islamic revolution, a police
      commander was quoted as saying Saturday.

      The new recruits are undergoing the same training as their male
      counterparts, except for learning to use heavy machine guns and
      grenade launchers, Mohtaram Massoud Maneshet told IRNA.


      Israeli Arab Porn Video Inflames Community Passions 31 Dec 02

      the bilingual film billed as "the first Israeli-Arab porno" has
      inflamed the Jewish state's Muslim minority, drawing charges of
      sacrilege and a vigilante death sentence on "Fatima" issued by her own
      hometown and family.
      The litany of complaints began with the video's cover, which showed
      Kashua and Amir in a pre-coital pose against a minaret.
      Foreign pornography enjoys brisk sales in Israel, with tapes available
      for rent at stores and street dispensers. But local productions are a
      recent phenomenon. Lahat attributed this to the country's tiny
      population - 6.5 million - which precludes total anonymity for actors
      wary of being recognized in public.

      With Israeli Arabs usually more conservative than their Jewish
      counterparts, "Yussuf and Fatima" set a precedent. Lahat allowed that
      market considerations were behind its cover design.


      A new dawn in Africa is still a long way off 31 Dec 02
      There is one ideological division which is, however, growing in
      Africa, just as it is in Indonesia and across the globe. That is the
      conflict between radical Islamic elements and those, whether
      Christian, animist or of other faiths, who stand outside the ummah.
      In the Ivory Coast a vicious civil war has been running since
      September, fuelled by antagonism between the Muslim north and the
      predominantly Christian south.


      Shiite-run education on rise despite `terrorism' label 29 Dec 02
      Al-Kouther is one of 14 schools throughout the country run by
      Al-Mabarrat, a charitable organization founded by leading Shiite
      cleric Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.
      According to Ismael, the biggest challenge facing Al-Mabarrat schools,
      which serve roughly 14,000 students, was "how to eradicate the
      widespread notion that Muslim-oriented schools represent backwardness
      and inefficiency, while Christian or secular schools represent
      modernity and accomplishment."
      "Three categories of parents chose to send their children to our
      schools," Ismael explained. "The first includes those who cannot
      afford the high fees of other private schools but, at the same time,
      do not want to sacrifice quality education. The second category is
      those whose social status depended on sponsorship and special support,
      and the third is those who could afford to pay high fees, but
      willingly chose our schools for their religious affiliation."

      Ismael says that like their Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox
      counterparts, Al-Mabarrat schools do not teach religion as such. They
      do, however, maintain a "hidden curriculum" in that it represents
      Muslim values and principles, she added.
      "For example, Al-Mabarrat schools, like all other schools, have their
      own uniforms. The difference is that ours is derived from Muslim
      teachings," she explained. "Moreover, as Muslims in Catholic schools
      abide by their rules and regulation, the large number of non-Muslims
      attending our schools also abide by our regulations and codes."
      She said that many Christian girls at her school wear the hijab while
      at school, and likewise many of the Muslim girls do not wear the hijab
      outside of school.


      Second wife of Ghafar Baba to face khalwat charge 30 Dec 02
      The second wife of former deputy prime minister Ghafar Baba is to be
      charged in the Syariah Court later this week for khalwat after she was
      allegedly found in the company of three Bosnian students at a Kuala
      Lumpur condominium in September.

      Toh Puan Heryati Abdul Rahim, 45, was caught for allegedly being in
      close proximity with the students when the apartment in Jalan Pahang
      was raided by a team of religious officers from the Federal Territory.
      According to one source, she knew the three students as she had
      recently enrolled as a first-year student in the International Islamic
      University. The Bosnians are also students of the university.
      The source said one of the Bosnians had been expelled after failing to
      make the grade but had appealed against the decision. Another source
      said even though the high-profile case occurred in September, it only
      started circulating within political circles in October.

      Syariah judge issues gag order 31 Dec 02
      The Syariah High Court issued a gag order yesterday restraining the
      press from reporting a case involving Heryati Abdul Rahim, the second
      wife of former deputy prime minister Tun Ghafar Baba, and three
      Bosnian students from an international university here. The order was
      issued before the charge on the four accused was read out in court.

      Malaysian daily slams gag order on khalwat hearing 02 Jan 03
      The newspaper said the reason for an open courts system was to allow
      justice to be seen to be done and criminals made answerable not just
      to officials, but also to society.
      It said the court's reason for the gag order - its high profile,
      having involved a VIP and foreign students - was a 'lame' excuse.

      Syariah panel: Let heirs administer wakaf land 31 Dec 02
      The State Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP) should relinquish its role
      as custodian of wakaf land and make provisions under the Islamic law
      to let beneficiaries administer the plots.

      Penang Syariah sub-committee chairman Habib Rahman Seeni Mohideen said
      there should be new provisions under the enactment to allow some
      freedom for beneficiaries to administer the wakaf land or appoint
      anyone they deemed fit.

      He added that under Section 92(1) of the Administration of Islamic
      Religious Affair Enactment 1993, MAIPP has been appointed custodian or
      sole trustee of wakaf land. He said this had deterred Muslims from
      surrendering their land to the council for wakaf or Islamic religious
      The wakaf land issue in Penang is a long-standing problem. Malays in
      the city were once rich but had surrendered their land as they did not
      want to pay taxes and did not understand the taxation system. MAIPP
      has to date registered 1,000 lots of wakaf or endowment land under its
      name under the State Islamic Administration Enactment.

      Silent majority behind rising religious intolerance 01 Jan 03

      Chief Minister : Streamline rules on polygamy 05 Jan 03
      The rules on polygamy should be streamlined to avoid a division among
      States, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said today.
      He said the laws on polygamy differed from one State to another and
      this had led to confusion.

      "Terengganu has come up with its own laws encouraging politicians to
      have two wives. Now it is Perlis which has relaxed the requirements
      where men intending to marry again need not seek permission from the
      first wife.

      [Sisters in Islam] Islam allows the right to question 06 Jan 03
      The right to question interpretations of Islam, even by religious
      scholars, is enshrined in the religion, Sisters in Islam said.

      "Every Muslim has a right to an opinion and to be engaged in Islamic
      discourse,'' programme coordinator Ruzana Udin said yesterday in
      response to calls, by the Perlis mufti and the Mentri Besar for
      critics of the move to relax the regulations for polygamy in the
      state, to desist.

      "Freedom of expression is enshrined in Islam,'' Ruzana said, adding
      that this did not mean changing the teachings of Islam but it rather
      meant examining progressive applications of the teachings in current
      situations. She said it was when Islamic discourse was monopolised by
      just a few that the religion would become backward.

      [Polygamy] Selangor won't follow Perlis' example 05 Jan 03
      The Selangor religious authorities will not recognise second or
      subsequent marriages registered outside the state even if Muslim men
      took advantage of the less stringent polygamy laws in Thailand or
      other states, said Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

      "If Muslim husbands in Selangor marry another wife outside the state,
      not only is the marriage not recognised but the person can be fined
      RM1,000 or face six months in jail, or both, by the Syariah court
      under the Selangor Family Act 1984 (amended 1989)," Dr Khir said
      yesterday, when asked to comment on the move by Perlis to ease
      regulations on polygamy to deter married Muslims from flocking to
      Thailand to get married.

      He said the "polygamous husband" would also have to re-register the
      second or subsequent marriage with the Selangor religious authorities
      for the marriage to be lawful. Dr Khir said he did not see the need
      for Selangor to follow Perlis by relaxing the laws on polygamy.


      [NSCIA] South-West to Embrace Sharia Soon 30 Dec 02
      Secretary General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs
      (NSCIA), Dr. Lateef Adegbite has disclosed that Sharia would soon be
      introduced for Muslims in the South-west of the country.
      According to him, "the Southern States Council for Islamic Affairs
      (SSCIA) will in the new year constitute a high-powered committee that
      would consider the modalities for the actualisation of the project and
      provide a workable programme for its implementation."

      The introduction of the civil Sharia which according to Adegbite would
      be democratically pursued will be in the states that have appreciable
      Muslim population.


      Law Commission seeks proposals: Effective inheritance law enforcement
      http://www.dawn.com/2003/01/02/top11.htm 02 Jan 03
      In a statement issued here on Wednesday, the commission said that the
      law of inheritance was based on the Quranic injunctions and the shares
      of legal heirs were clearly specified in the law. This law had been in
      force since long but regrettably women and children had often been
      deprived of their Quranic shares clearly stipulated in the law, the
      statement said.

      It said the people employed various tricks and pretexts to deprive
      women and children of their shares. The enforcement of the law of
      inheritance, it said, was a command of Allah and a requirement of the
      law and had to be implemented in letter and in spirit.
      It said the commission had now undertaken an exercise of preparing a
      mechanism to ensure that legal heirs, and especially women and
      children, were not deprived or denied their stipulated shares in
      inheritance. The commission asked the people to put forward practical
      and workable proposals for the purpose to the Secretariat of the
      Commission by Jan 20.

      State Bank SBP issues criteria for Islamic commercial banks
      .. 02 Jan 03
      The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Wednesday announced detailed criteria
      for the establishment of scheduled Islamic Commercial Banks for
      conducting business based on the principles of "Sharia" in the private

      For the promotion of Islamic Banking, commercial banks desirous of
      offering "Sharia" compliant products and services are required to
      apply to the SBP for a license, according to a SBP circular released
      Wednesday. Commercial banks shall be required to maintain a minimum
      fund of Rs 50 million [EUR 830.000,-] or 8 percent of the risk
      weighted assets of IBB (Islamic Banking Business), which would be
      allocated by its head office and IBF (Islamic Banking Fund) shall be
      placed under the control of its controlling department, the circular said.
      The SBP authorized the establishment of subsidiaries for Islamic
      banking by existing commercial banks. It also allowed stand-alone
      branches for Islamic banking in existing commercial banks, the
      statement said.

      Don't blame the Shariat court, says ex-judge 06 Jan 03
      Khalilur Rehman Khan, former judge of the Supreme Court, said at a
      seminar on Saturday that, "the country's rulers are responsible for
      not implementing an Islamic system in a country which we got in the
      name of Islam".

      The seminar `Why Islam was not implemented in Pakistan' was organized
      by the Fahmul Quran Academy. Justice (r) Khan said the governments
      make the policies and not the courts, and it was wrong to hold the
      Federal Shariat Court responsible for not putting Islam to practice.
      He said the govt must tell people that it had no money to introduce an
      Islamic economic system.

      [NWFP] PA seeks abolition of Riba 03 Jan 03
      Through a unanimous resolution on Thursday, the NWFP Assembly asked
      the provincial government to abolish interest-based system, exempt
      taxes on residential houses, personal vehicles, and weapons according
      to the Islamic Ideological Council's recommendations.

      It also approved a resolution with majority recommending the federal
      government to restore Friday as weekly off instead of Sunday. In
      another resolution, the provincial assembly condemned Washington's
      addition of Pakistan to a list of suspect countries whose citizens
      will be subject to tighter scrutiny in the United States.
      Initiating debate on Legal Framework Order (LFO), the ANP
      parliamentary leader, Bashir Ahmad Bilour, termed it illegal and
      unconstitutional. His party, he said, did not allow an individual to
      amend the Constitution. Terming the LFO as a war on provincial
      autonomy, he asked the Supreme Court to take suo motto action but
      deplored "the might is right policy in Pakistan."

      NWFP PA votes for Friday as weekly holiday 03 Jan 03
      The NWFP Assembly on Thursday passed a unanimous resolution calling on
      the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal government to implement certain Islamic
      Ideology Council (IIC) recommendations that declared Property Tax,
      motor registration and arms license fees un-Islamic.

      The adoption of the resolution without a single vote in opposition
      obligated Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani's cabinet to implement the
      IIC recommendations without delay, experts told Daily Times. "It's now
      binding on the Frontier government to take practical steps," MPA Akbar
      Khan commented.
      "Since there are not many revenue-generating sources doing away with
      the three provincial taxes will bring the Durrani government under
      tremendous economic constraints," the said. "Now the MMA will realize
      whether it is easy or not to demand enforcement of Sharia. We will see
      how Chief Minister Durrani responds to the resolution," opposition MPs
      requesting anonymity, said.
      However, the MMA government suffered a serious setback when the House
      passed another resolution, which called for Friday as a weekly holiday
      instead of Sunday, by majority instead of unanimously.

      JUP-NS to launch drive against Riba 06 Jan 03
      Jamiat-i-Ulema Pakistan-Nifaz-i-Shariat will launch a countrywide
      drive against Riba and enforcement of interest-free economy from next
      the month, said its president Engr Salimullah Khan addressing a press
      conference here Sunday.

      He said to finalise arrangements for the movement, a meeting of 26
      Sunni parties and organisations had been called in Lahore on 20th, and
      another meeting of 36 Sunni groups in Tehrik Tahaffuz Namoos Risalat
      (TTNS) will be held on 27th to chalk out a strategy for enforcement of
      Nizam-i-Mustafa in the country.

      Lauding the resolution by NWFP assembly for abolition of interest
      based economy, Salimullah said Chief Minister Akram Durrani could
      implement interest free banking in the province. He said the State
      Bank had already issued license to a bank for interest-free banking
      besides branches of such banking were being set up in the banks
      working under interest based system.

      [NWFP] Pak's frontier province to ban New Year celebrations 30 Dec 02
      Pakistan's conservative North West Frontier Province (NWFP) has banned
      "unethical" New Year celebrations and vowed to crack down on
      un-Islamic behaviour during the holiday, local media reported today.
      "Any violation would be dealt with severely," the unidentified
      official told the Statesman newspaper, adding that cocktail and dance
      parties as well as music shows popular on previous holidays would be

      [NWFP] police burn 'obscene' material 01 Jan 03
      A public bonfire was organised in Peshawar's Jinnah Park to destroy
      the material which included Indian and English films, posters, "sex
      tonics", or aphrodisiacs and medicines.
      Peshawar police had made special arrangements on New Year's eve not to
      allow revellers on the streets. No arrests were made as most of the
      people spent the night indoors. No music shows or parties were allowed.
      Since coming to power, the province's Chief Minister, Akram Khan
      Durrani, has launched a drive against obscenity. The crackdown
      includes a campaign against gambling, pornographic and unlicensed
      cinemas, and reinforcement of an existing ban on alcohol.


      Palestinian Fatwa Council : Islam bans cloning 30 Dec 02
      The highest Muslim authority in the Palestinian territories, the Fatwa
      Council, said on Sunday that human cloning was "absolutely banned"
      amid the unconfirmed claim by a sect it had cloned a human being.
      "The cloning of human beings is absolutely banned (according to
      Islam). The cloning of animals or plants could be accepted, but
      limited to the benefits it represents for humanity," the council said
      in a statement carried by the official WAFA news agency.


      Preparations for a journey of a lifetime 06 Jan 03
      What we propose to do in this series is to outline some duties of
      pilgrimage, explain how these are fulfilled, and then speak about
      their purpose and the reason for which they are included in this duty,
      remembering always that the essence of pilgrimage is to show complete
      dedication and submission to God. [..]


      Singapore girl defies school ban on Muslim headscarves 03 Jan 03
      An 11-year Singaporean girl tried on Friday to defy a government ban
      on wearing Islamic headscarves in school, but for the second straight
      day was barred from attending class.
      After briefly entering the school, she came back out, where four
      members of her father's opposition Muslim group had gathered to lend
      support. Some 15 percent of Singaporeans are Muslim, and many Muslim
      women wear headscarves, known here as "tudung'' or "hijab.''

      Singapore to sell white paper on Islamic radicals 04 Jan 03
      The Singapore government is to put on sale an in-depth report on a
      regional Muslim militant group suspected of involvement in the Bali
      bombings and believed to have links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
      The white paper, to go on sale in Singapore bookshops on Friday, gives
      details about the Jemaah Islamiah group as well as findings on other
      Islamic militant groups in Southeast Asia and how they are connected,
      The Sunday Times reported. It is rare for the Singapore government
      to release an official report before it is debated in parliament and
      the step has stirred controversy among lawmakers.


      Thai Muslims bid to install sharia law 31 Dec 02
      Thai Muslims want to use Sharia (Islamic) law to deal with family
      issues and to settle cases concerned with property inheritance.
      According to the year 2000 official statistics, Thailand's Muslim
      population is now 6 million out of a total population of 60 million.
      The majority of the country's Muslims are in the southern part of the
      country, such as Satun, Jala and Patani.
      Den Tohmeena, a Pattani senator, said .. the philosophy and principles
      of the country's civil law did not correspond with those of the Muslim
      family. "If the country still adopted such laws for Muslim society, it
      would cause the breakup of their families and disunite their society.
      So there should be a sharia court to settle the problems," he said at
      a seminar on new steps in Thai-Muslim society in the age of reform,
      held by the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand, as quoted by the
      Bangkok Post on Tuesday.
      He cited a civil court's verdict on inheriting property of a Muslim
      family as proof of the need for a sharia court, saying one member of
      the family took the case to the court after he was not satisfied with
      the verdict on allocation of inheritance made by an imam, or Muslim
      religious leader, in his community.

      Alfaruk Lekkla, secretary to the Religious Affairs Division of the
      Central Islamic Committee of Thailand, said his committee and
      Thaksin's working panel were preparing to hold seminars on sharia law
      soon in 33 provinces, where there was a majority of Muslims. After
      that, he said, the committee would gather 50,000 names of Muslims and
      submit the petition, together with a draft on sharia law, to the
      parliament president.


      Arab Muslim Death Threats Continue to Plague Best-Selling American
      Author Kola Boof Publisher 02 Jan 03
      Ethiopian Publisher Russom Damba is hereby confirming that continuing
      death threats by Arab Muslim Fundamentalists against his most
      successful writer, California resident Kola Boof, have forced him to
      not only drop her from the roster at North African Book Exchange, but
      to also classify her most controversial and best-selling book, "Long
      Train to the Redeeming Sin" - OUT OF PRINT, effective immediately.

      In a Dec. 10th television interview with the Fox News Channel
      (Producer Kim Miller 310-571-2000), Kola Boof spoke at length about
      the death threats that were directed at her publisher and predicted
      that Damba would be forced to drop her as a writer -- but not as a
      close friend.

      Mr. Damba says that the fire-bombing of his printing press in Rabat,
      Morocco and a scathing attack on novelist Kola Boof by Sudanese
      officials in London's top Arabic Muslim newspaper (Al-Sharq Al-Aswat)
      persuaded him that his own life and the life of his family is in
      infinite danger. Damba pointed out that it's unheard of for a "woman"
      to be the subject of an entire article in an Arab-Muslim newspaper
      unless she's in big trouble. He says he has been told by numerous
      Muslims to stop publishing Kola Boof - or else. Effective this
      morning, he has chosen to comply.

      Mr. Damba hereby states that while he loves Kola Boof's literature and
      considers her to be "like family," he disagrees with Kola Boof's
      comments from Feb. 2002 that "Islam should be abolished" and that
      "Sudan is ruled by Satan now." He also stated that his own Muslim
      colleagues all over Europe are calling for the head of Kola Boof.
      Though born in Sudan, novelist Kola Boof is an American citizen.


      Strike first - by Andrew McGregor 01 Dec 02
      Publication date: 2002-12-01 Arrival time: 2003-01-01
      Dr Andrew McGregor is Director of Aberfoyle International Security
      Analysis based in Toronto. He was formerly a Research Associate of the
      Canadian Institute of International Affairs.



      [Saudi Arabia] Lack of investor education remains a universal problem
      http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=21597 01 Jan 03
      On the face of it, news that the Saudi Ministry of Interior on the
      recommendation of a special ministerial committee and of the Saudi
      Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), has banned some two dozen investment
      companies that were operating without a license, and therefore were
      not regulated, and were offering unrealistic interest rates and
      returns, should be commended.
      The issue once again raises serious questions that need answering by
      the authorities relating to the financial licensing, regulatory, and
      enforcement culture in the Kingdom. It comes at a time, ironically,
      when the authorities have been adopting economic and financial reforms
      including the imminent introduction of draft insurance, stock market
      and capital market laws. These companies smack of the infamous
      "Pyramid" schemes which have plagued many countries all over the world
      over the years, although it could also be a case of sheer gratuitous
      speculation and inept investment strategies.
      After all the investors, some reports suggest, may also have been
      attracted by the "religious cover" under which these companies operated.
      These universal standards in an era of globalization (including that
      of Islamic banking) would include:

      * Any bank, institution, or company that takes deposits must be
      regulated by the central bank or its legally designated equivalent.
      * States must have the appropriate catchall banking regulations and
      laws in place to accommodate whichever relevant type of banking, for
      instance conventional banking and/or Islamic banking, that may or may
      not be practiced in their jurisdictions.

      * Only those vetted and approved by the regulatory authorities as "fit
      and proper" persons, should hold senior management positions in these
      banks, institutions and companies.

      * Religious cover is no basis for sound investment operations.

      * Religious leaders should be proscribed by law from endorsing
      faith-based and ethical investment schemes that are unlicensed,
      unauthorized, and unregulated.

      * All banks, financial institutions, and investment companies that are
      licensed to take deposits or manage investors funds, must participate
      in a central bank-managed deposit insurance scheme.

      [Dubai] Islamic Finance: Principles and modus operandi of Musharika
      .. 06 Jan 03
      The literal meaning of the word Musharika is partnership or sharing.
      When two or more parties join hands by contributing equity towards
      developing a commercial activity, they enter into Musharika. Following
      are the main characteristics of Musha-rika: [..]

      [Bahrain] New focus on Islamic banking 06 Jan 03
      The total assets of Islamic banks and financial institutions operating
      from Bahrain stood at US$11.6 billion at the end of 2001 (rpt 2001,)
      compared with US$3.7 billion at 1997-end.

      Bahrain also boasts the highest concentration of Islamic financial
      institutions in the world, with 24 Islamic banks, two Islamic
      financial advisory and five industry-support organizations, which are
      the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial
      Institutions (AAOIFI), General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial
      Institutions (GCIBFI), International Islamic Financial Centre (IIFM),
      Liquidity Management Centre (LMC) and the Islamic International Rating
      Agency (IIRA).
      Last year, Bahrain introduced prudential regulations for Islamic banks

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