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Sharia News Watch 32

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  • Enzo Picardie <6vtmu001@sneakemail.com>
    Sharia News Watch 32 : a collection news quotes on Sharia News, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Subscribe:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 12, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 32 : a collection news quotes on Sharia News,
      for research & educational purposes only. [*]
      Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/


      Islamic militants join forces for global struggle 09 Jan 03
      well-placed sources in Afghanistan maintain that US designs on Iraq
      have already caused a U-turn in the situation in Afghanistan.
      Guerrilla activities previously restricted to Khost, Paktia and
      Paktika have now been expanded to Jalalabad, Ghazni, Kunar, Logar,
      Kandahar and even Kabul.

      Sources said that an alliance of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami
      (HIA), the Taliban and al-Qaeda has virtually changed the political
      and military landscape. HIA and the Taliban have divided the zones,
      with the Taliban fighting in Khost, Paktia and Paktika, and HIA in
      Kandahar, Jalalabad, Ghazni, Logar and Kabul. The Taliban and al-Qaeda
      are using religious sentiments to attract followers, while the HIA is
      fighting under the banner of nationalism.
      Sources said that in many places - and especially in Jalalabad - local
      administration has turned a blind eye to visible HIA camps and
      operations. The same situation exists in Kabul, where even the
      International Security Assistance Force commander has now admitted the
      presence of a considerable number of "terrorists".

      Sources maintain that this U-turn was only made possible after the
      US's attention began to shift from Afghanistan to Iraq.


      Bahraini women demand unified civil status law 06 Jan 03
      Scores of Bahraini women yesterday organized a silent sit in, in the
      courtyard of the ministry of justice in Manama demanding a unified
      civil status law.
      A member of the women "Banner" committee, Ghada Jamshir, said that the
      committee organized the sit in to confirm its determination to
      continue requesting its demand to "enacting a unified civil status
      law, reforming the Sharia judiciary, appointing qualified Sharia
      judges who are academically qualified." She explained that the women's
      Banner will propose to the parliament a draft civil status law
      prepared in collaborations of lawyers.

      She indicated that the committee issued a statement "renewing our
      demands: like increasing due spending for the divorcees, the right of
      the woman to divorce, her right to housing and raising marriage age to
      22 for both women and men and issuing a unified civil status law."

      Special Panel to take up women's issues 10 Jan 03
      The concerns of women about the Sharia Court are to be taken up by a
      special committee, it was revealed yesterday. The committee will be
      formed of members from different women's societies and will bring up
      worthy cases with Members of Parliament (MPs).

      The announcement came after six MPs met 60 members of the Women's
      Petition Committee, which has been calling for the introduction of a
      personal status law. This law would result in family and other
      personal issues being dealt with by civil courts, rather than
      religious courts.


      Bangladeshi women bear brunt of misguided `fatwa' 07 Jan 03
      It is not the first time that mullahs in a far-flung village in
      Bangladesh have warned women against going out to vote in upcoming
      elections, but critics say the latest such calls show how hard it is
      to counter the issuance of misguided `fatwa' or religious edicts.

      Some mullahs in Madargonj sub-district of Jamalpur district, about 200
      km north of the capital Dhaka, have said that women who go to public
      polling stations without a veil to vote would be violating Islam.
      Public lashings, though illegal, continue to happen, according to
      rights campaigners who cite figures saying that up to 200 `fatwa'
      prescribing lashings were issued by mullahs across the country from
      1993 to 2000. These statistics were taken from newspaper reports,
      which means the real figures could be higher.

      Women were the victims of `fatwa' in 99 percent of the cases,
      according to the Ain O Salish Kendra (Law and Arbitration Centre), a
      human rights organisation in Dhaka. Because of the issuance of
      `fatwa', at least 18 women committed suicide in different parts of the
      country from 1993 to 2000, it added.
      The `khatib' or chief priest of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque,
      Maulana Obaidu Haque, says that there are misconceptions of `fatwa',
      an Arabic word that means decision or resolution.

      "The purpose of `fatwa' is to explain the laws of `shariah' (Islamic
      law)," he added. Therefore, he said, an Islamic scholar can pronounce
      `fatwa' but none has the right to punish anyone. "Punishment can be
      given only by a court, not the people who utter `fatwa'," he maintained.
      Critics say some mullahs, especially those with inadequate knowledge
      or training in Islamic jurisprudence, appear to be ignoring a January
      2001 High Court judgement that outlawed the issuance of `fatwa'.

      In that landmark judgement, Justice Golam Rabbani and Justice Najmun
      Ara Sultana —- the first woman high court judge in Bangladesh — ruled
      that any `fatwa' by any unauthorised person is illegal. The judges
      urged the national parliament to enact a law making issuance of
      `fatwa' by unauthorised persons a punishable offence. However, no one
      has been reported to have been penalised as yet for issuing `fatwa'
      and ordering public whippings.

      "The legal system of Bangladesh empowers only the courts to decide all
      questions relating to legal opinion on Muslim and other laws in
      force," the judges' verdict had said.


      Islamic militants join forces for global struggle 09 Jan 03
      On January 1, Guide-General of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad
      Ma'moun el-Hodaibi, called on the leaders of Arab and Islamic
      countries to rearrange their homes and pressure the Arab League and
      the Organization of Islamic Conference to stand up to the United
      States. In his statement, el-Hodaibi described the US as the heir of
      Western colonialism.

      Many of Egypt's Muslim Women Turn to the Veil 07 Jan 03
      .. [Reuters]
      Encouraged by an Islamic revival and a rise in religious programs on
      Arab satellite channels, Maha and a growing number of young women
      among Egypt's wealthier classes have augmented their Western wardrobes
      with variations on the veil, or "hijab," such as colorful headscarves
      and long flowing shirts.

      Conservative robes, scarves and veils have been a part of the culture
      in Egypt's rural and poorer areas for centuries. But the veil is now
      on the rise among the country's urban and traditionally more liberal
      classes, who a few decades ago wore daring mini-skirts and strapless
      A century ago, the Egyptian intellectual Qassim Amin wrote "The
      Liberation of Women" and called for new interpretations of the Koran.
      He suggested that the "yashmak," or flimsy face-covering prevalent at
      the time, was not mandatory.

      Today, liberal thinkers are stirring new controversy by calling for
      "ijtihad," or development in religious thought, on the entire idea of
      hijab, which many Muslims consider a "fard," or religious obligation,
      for women who have reached puberty.

      "What we need is serious religious ijtihad on hijab to see if what was
      applicable many years ago is still feasible today. But launching
      ijtihad on hijab is a taboo," said Hala Mustafa, an analyst at Cairo's
      al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies.

      Egyptian Police Entrap Gay Men Through Internet 10 Jan 03
      .. [Gay Financial Network]
      Egyptian police arrested a 30-year-old gay man after chatting with him
      on an Internet site he used to seek potential partners and, posing as
      gay men, lured him to meet them, police said Thursday.
      Police, in an undercover operation, chatted with the man over the
      Internet passing themselves off as a potential lover and arranged to
      meet with him.
      Although homosexuality is not explicitly prohibited under Egyptian law
      which is based on sharia or Islamic law, authorities use "public
      morality" statutes as a ruse to harass, arrest and prosecute gay men.


      Anesthetization of Oblation Angers German Muslims 10 Jan 03
      The biggest two Muslim organizations in Germany threatened to lodge a
      complaint with the Higher Constitutional Court against a draft bill to
      stop Muslims of the northern Ryan State [North-Rhein Westphalen?]
      from slaughtering animals without anesthetization.

      In a joint statement, a copy of which was received by IslamOnline
      Thursday, January 9, the Higher Council for Muslims and the Islamic
      Council refused a new draft law to organize the slaughter laws,
      prepared by the state's Environment and Consumer Protection Minister
      Biere Bill Huhin.
      Huhin, in a press conference last week, declared that the suggested
      draft law made it compulsory for slaughtering to be mechanic and after
      anesthetization unless an individual offered a document to the effect
      that it was necessary, from a religious point of view, for oblation to
      be carried out without anesthetization.
      Head of the Higher Council for Muslims in Germany, Dr. Nadeem Ilias ..
      reminded Huhin that the Higher Constitutional Court had stressed that
      the German authorities should not interfere with the Islamic Law
      (Sharia) in any way.
      According to [Sheikh Yusuf] al-Qaradawi, any method of slaughtering
      that leads to "a swift and less painful slaughter of the animal,
      serves the aims of Sharia, unless that method causes any kind of harm
      whether to the animal or to the human who will eat its meat".


      [Death Fatwa] Two brave, moderate Muslims speak out 08 Jan 03
      Mr Ulil, head of the Liberal Islam Network, which champions a moderate
      interpretation of Islam, said Indonesian Muslims faced shrinking space
      for discussion. 'It is dangerous because the space is dominated by
      radical groups.'

      He should know. In an article in November, he said practices like
      headscarves for women and chopping off the hands of thieves came from
      Arabic culture and were not necessarily part of Islam. Offended
      clerics issued the fatwa.

      Mr Ulil is unfazed by the death sentence hanging over his head. 'The
      fatwa creates a bad environment for debate and discussion,' he said in
      a matter-of-fact manner on the sidelines of the forum.

      [Java] Islamic activists protest price hikes in Indonesia 11 Jan 03
      Around 1,000 Islamic activists marched through the East Javanese
      capital [Surabaya] on Saturday to demand the government overturn
      recent hikes in fuel and utility prices.

      The protesters also called for the imposition of Islamic Shariah law
      in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. They claimed
      its application would prevent prices rising beyond the reach of the
      country's legions of poor.

      The government hiked fuel, electricity and telephone tariffs by up to
      22 percent last week to meet demands by the country's international
      lenders to reduce budget deficits and increase economic growth.

      West Sumatra reinvents its original roots 08 Jan 03
      Each province responds in a different way to the reform movement that
      evolved four years ago and led to the implementation of regional
      autonomy on Jan. 5, 2001.
      Mochtar Naim, a sociologist from Andalas University in the West
      Sumatra capital of Padang, said the movement of returning to nagari
      was an attempt by Minang (native West Sumatra) people to reinvent
      their own identity.

      This identity is enshrined in the basic philosophy of the Minang,
      known as Adat basandi syarak, syarak basandi Kitabullah (custom law is
      based on religion (Islam), religion is based on the Koran). The
      4.2-million population of the province, formerly known as Minangkabau,
      is predominantly Muslim
      "One option is a type of nagari administrative system adopted after
      the arrival of Islam in the 14th century and before the (second)
      arrival of the Dutch in the 19th century, which is identical to the
      1946-1958 administrative system, with some improvements here and
      there," H. Asbir said.

      Experts differ on the arrival of Islam in Minangkabau. Dien Rice, in
      1998, wrote that Islam, in the form of sufi cults, arrived on the
      coast in the mid-16th century but was not yet firmly entrenched nor
      present in the interior when the Dutch arrived early in the 17th
      century, while Minangkabau civilization reached the height of
      prosperity around the middle of the 15th century. The period also
      served as a golden age for the formulation of Minangkabau matrilineal

      The shared goal to return to nagari received full support from the
      West Sumatra administration by promulgating new laws and decrees in
      order to accelerate the process of returning subdistricts and desa
      (villages) to nagari. As of last December, 450 nagari had been formed,
      said assistant to the West Sumatra governor Yulrizal Baharin.
      Minangkabau youths used to live in surau (communal buildings), not
      with their parents. There they learned silat (traditional martial
      arts) and memorized the Koran under a guidance of a teacher.

      The Minang are also famous for their oral culture, a tradition of
      discussing at length current issues such as culture, the economy,
      politics, education and social affairs in coffee shops and at formal
      places in the community. This tradition helps them sharpen their
      intellectual skills and curiosity as this habit requires them to
      critically observe and analyze events before making a decision.


      Khatami 'bid to curb hardliners will fail' 09 Jan 03
      President Mohammed Khatami's bid to curb hardline opposition to his
      reform policies with two new laws is doomed to failure, Iran's most
      influential conservative commentator said yesterday.

      But Hussein Shariatmadari, head of the hardline Kayhan publishing
      group, dismissed warnings by Khatami's allies that failure of the
      bills could plunge Iran into a crisis that would undermine the
      foundations of the Islamic system.
      The legislation targets two bastions of the conservative establishment
      - the judiciary and an unelected constitutional watchdog known as the
      Guardian Council. One bill would give the president greater power to
      sanction judges deemed to have overstepped the constitution. Hardl-ine
      courts have jailed scores of reformist activists and shut down dozens
      of liberal newspapers in the past three years.

      The other bill would remove the Guardian Council's power to veto
      election candidates - a tool which Khatami's allies argue has been
      used to bar many reformists from standing for office.

      Registration ends for Iran city council elections 07 Jan 03
      Unlike other elections, candidates are not required to survive a
      strict vetting process by the hard-line Guardian Council. That means
      liberal dissidents can test their rising popularity amid growing
      disillusionment with reformers, who have largely failed to live up to
      promises of institutionalizing democracy and protecting freedoms.

      Khosrow Mansourian, a candidate and member of the outlawed Freedom
      Movement, said about a dozen members of his group have registered
      their names.

      The Freedom Movement of Iran opposes the country's 23-year-old
      clerical rule, but seeks nonviolent democratic change. A hard-line
      Islamic court banned it in July, and ordered 33 leaders jailed for as
      long as 10 years each saying they acted against national security with
      the intention of "overthrowing the establishment."


      Signs of War in Northern Iraq 11 Jan 03
      This week, ABCNEWS was allowed to interview eight prisoners at a
      security prison in the city of Sulaimaniah, the headquarters of the
      Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
      The informant described village life behind the fortified and mined
      positions of Ansar al-Islam.

      Biarrah is one of about 10 hamlets in a small enclave of 60-80 square
      miles controlled by the guerrillas. The informant, who wore a ski mask
      to conceal his identity during several hours of interviews, detailed a
      Taliban-like existence behind the Ansar lines.

      He said the Biarrah society was under the strict Islamic rule of
      "sharia", where music and videos were outlawed, women were forced to
      wear the veil and public beatings were given to anyone found in the
      possession of alcohol. He testified to the presence of al Qaeda
      operatives, and he said he attended the funeral of a well known Arab
      commander who was killed in battle.



      Religious edict bans killing non-Muslims 08 Jan 03
      Kuwait has revived a religious edict forbidding the killing of
      non-Muslims, reinforcing existing laws after recent attacks on U.S.
      troops in which one Marine was killed, local newspapers reported on

      The edict, or "fatwa" was issued by the ministry of justice,
      endowments and Islamic affairs at a time of heightened tension over a
      looming U.S.-led military campaign against Iraq in which Kuwait is
      likely to be one of the main launching pads.

      The edict comes on top of civic and religious laws which forbid
      murder, a crime which can be punishable by death. Diplomats say it is
      apparently aimed at countering calls by Islamic militants who have
      urged Muslims to kill Western "infidels" and rid the Arabian Peninsula
      of Americans.
      The English-language Arab Times daily said the edict prohibited
      Muslims from harming foreigners in Kuwait because their residence
      visas entitled them "to live in peace and security".


      PM defends cutting foreign TV link 03 Jan 03
      Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri defended his order to cut the
      international satellite link of an opposition TV station saying he was
      protecting vital economic ties with Saudi Arabia.

      Lebanese authorities cut the link of New Television (NTV) ending its
      foreign transmission although the station's terrestrial service
      remains on the air in Lebanon.

      The decision to cut back the service was sparked by a planned show on
      how the threat of a US war on Iraq affects domestic politics in Saudi
      (Islamic) Group warns against stirring sectarian tensions 09 Jan 03
      In a statement issued after the [Higher Islamic] council's meeting,
      presided over by Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, the
      council said that efforts to exploit individual incidents for
      sectarian purposes should be refused by all parties.
      The statement, which focused on the controversy over New Television,
      said that Lebanon should not undermine relations with Saudi Arabia in
      any way, especially since that Gulf country has always supported it
      both economically and politically.
      A show about the opposition in Saudi Arabia was banned from being
      broadcast on NTV last week. According to the statement, the council
      was in support of freedom of speech, but not "chaotic practices nor
      arbitrary interpretations."


      Facing the fundamentalist challenge in Malaysia
      BY ZAINAH ANWAR [director of Sisters in Islam]

      Tough laws for incest 10 Jan 03
      Incestuous rape will carry a prison term of between 15 and 30 years
      and a minimum 10 strokes of the rotan, the Cabinet has decided.
      With the proposed new Section 376C, expected to be tabled in
      Parliament this March, there will be three categories under rape in
      the Penal Code, said the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

      Currently, Sections 375 and 376 deal with rape and Sections 376A and
      376B deal with non-consensual incest. A rape conviction carries a jail
      term of between five and 20 years and whipping and the provision for
      incest as a separate offence – which was passed by Parliament only in
      2001 - carries a penalty of between six and 20 years' jail and whipping.
      "The Penal Code will also be amended in order to punish family members
      or others who fail or try to cover incidents of incest, with a minimum
      of three years' jail.
      Current provisions in the Penal Code relating to rape and incest: [..]

      [Kelantan] Malaysian leader calls for rapists to be stoned 11 Jan 03
      The spiritual leader of Malaysia's Opposition Islamic party .. Nik
      Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who is also chief minister of eastern Kelantan
      state ruled by the hardline Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), follows
      tougher penalties to be imposed against offenders.
      Mr Nik Aziz says extending jail terms is insufficient. "Even if a
      convicted rapist is sentenced to 50 years' jail, the punishment is
      still not in accordance with Islam," he said. "Some people may say
      sentencing to death by stoning is outdated. "But we must bear in mind
      that rape, illicit sex and incest are also uncivilised."
      PAS tried in 1993 to impose Sharia law in Kelantan but the move was
      vetoed by the Federal Government.

      Govt mulls over standardisation of syariah laws 11 Jan 03
      The government will consider proposals to standardise the syariah laws
      in the states, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
      Badawi. He said the government had to look at several aspects on the
      matter because it was the responsibility of the syariah courts in the
      states to formulate syariah laws.

      "I understand that Islamic syariah laws are formulated by the syariah
      courts in the respective states, but for the sake of uniformity
      because the country is small, we should adopt common procedures and
      laws as far as possible," he told reporters Saturday.

      Abdullah said in matters pertaining to religion, Malays in Malaysia
      who were Muslims who practised the Ahli Sunnah Wal-Jamaah and followed
      the teachings of Imam Shafie, were all the same.

      No point uniform syariah laws if no enforcement 12 Jan 03
      Having a uniform syariah law in the country will be ineffective
      without the enforcement of such laws, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd
      Khir Toyo said here today.
      He said some state religious departments lacked manpower to enforce
      the laws, pointing that in Selangor, the religious department, had
      addressed this problem by taking in about 100 new enforcement
      officers. He added that proper training on syariah laws and ways to
      enforce them should also be given to the enforcement officers, syariah
      court officials and also to police personnel.

      Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Abdul Hamid Zainal
      Abidin had also said that efforts to coordinate and standardise
      syariah laws in the country had been made long ago with five basic
      laws having been standardised. He said standardisation that had been
      approved by the Rulers' Council in March 2001 were the Islamic Family
      Law, Mal Procedure, Islamic Evidence Law, Syariah Criminal Offences
      Law, and Administration of Islamic Law.

      Fatwa council bans cloning, okays embryonic stem cell research

      .. 07 Jan 03
      The National Fatwa Council is against human cloning for any purpose
      but welcomes the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research.
      This is provided the cells are not harvested from cloned embryos.
      Its chairman, Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim, said the cloning of humans went
      against Islam's teachings on the sanctity of human life and the
      supremacy of God as creator. "The status of human beings should not be
      lowered to that of animals. This is what cloning does," he told a
      Press conference at the Malaysian Islamic Advancement Department.
      The cloned child's status would be difficult to determine, and for
      Muslims, this would complicate marriage and inheritance issues. If
      human cloning took off as a trend, it would add to the problem of
      single mothers, Dr Ismail added.
      http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1180158.html 09 Jan 03
      Fatwa council chairman Ismail Ibrahim said the ruling on the 120-day
      cutoff point was in keeping with the view in Islam that, until a fetus
      reaches that age, it has no soul and therefore can be aborted.

      Not all Muslim scholars accept that opinion, which is based on
      secondary texts called hadiths, rather than the Quran.
      Noting that a senior Vatican scholar had called on humanity to "defend
      itself from scientific experimentation, [Manila Bulletin columnist]
      Cristobal wrote: "Perhaps what's needed is for humanity to defend
      itself from credulity."
      Also scoffing was Malaysian media commentator Abdul Razak Ahmad, who
      said the Raelians shouldn't hog the limelight. Noting Malaysia's
      notorious reputation for the pirating of music, videos and other
      copyrighted items, he said the country was better prepared than the
      cult was for the cloning revolution.


      Presidential race hots up in Nigeria 07 Jan 03
      Correspondents say former northern military ruler Major-General
      Muhammadu Buhari is regarded as the favourite to be selected by the
      All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP).
      Mr Obasanjo, a south-western Christian, has lost the support of the
      northern power brokers who backed his successful 1999 campaign.
      And his opposition to the introduction of Sharia punishments has
      alienated many ordinary northern Muslims. They may rally behind a
      strong northern candidate, such as Mr Buhari.
      Mohammed Buhari won the All Nigeria People's Party nomination after
      the five challengers abruptly withdrew from the contest minutes before
      midnight Tuesday, calling the process unfair. Mr. Buhari, a Muslim,
      has spoken in support of strict Sharia (Islamic law) being implemented
      in a dozen of the northern states, where his party is strong.

      [Bauchi] A leg for a leg, orders sharia court 07 Jan 03
      .. [The Mercury - SA]
      A Muslim court in northern Nigeria has ordered that a 45-year-old
      man's leg be amputated as punishment for doing the same to his wife.
      The Upper Sharia in the town of Bauchi made the order against Adamu
      Hussaini Maidoya, who cut off the right leg of his wife, Amina. He
      accused her of infidelity, after "over exposing" herself to a doctor
      to get an injection.

      Judge Alhaji Abdu Yerima ordered that the convict's right leg be
      amputated at the knee and that the person or doctor who executes the
      sentence should not administer anaesthetic or painkillers.


      Islamic militants join forces for global struggle 09 Jan 03
      on January 3, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (United Action Front), an
      alliance of six religious parties that won almost 20 percent of the
      seats in the Pakistani parliament, held strong countrywide
      demonstrations against a US attack on Iraq.

      Well-placed sources in the religious party Jamaat-i-Islami maintain
      that these movements aim to consolidate their efforts so that the
      campaigns bear the same theme in every country. The campaigns would be
      aimed at forcing Muslim rulers to either take an anti-US stand or step
      down. Furthermore, these sources reveal that prominent leaders of
      Islamic movements from Egypt, Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh,
      India, Morocco, Algeria and Turkey will participate in a meeting in
      Khartoum, Sudan, scheduled for the third week of January.

      Focus on honour killings 10 Jan 03
      According to Pakistan's Human Rights Commission (HRCP), honour
      killings and other forms of violence against women are increasing.
      "One of the main reasons why honour killings are increasing is because
      people are getting away with it, and there is poor prosecution,"
      Kamila Hyat, a joint director of the HRCP, told IRIN from the eastern
      Punjabi city of Lahore. "Only 20 percent of cases are brought to
      justice," she added, calling for tougher laws on domestic violence.

      Under Pakistan's penal code, honour killings are treated as murder.
      However, the law states that the family of the victim is allowed to
      compromise with the killer (who is usually a relative). "We are
      calling for this law to be changed," Hina Jilani, a human rights
      lawyer, told IRIN from Lahore.
      The victims range from pre-pubescent girls to grandmothers. They are
      usually killed on the mere allegation of having engaged in 'illicit'
      sexual relationships. They are never given an opportunity to give
      their version of events: most significantly of all, often the making
      of the allegation alone suffices to defile a man's honour and,
      concomitantly, to justify killing the woman.

      However, the threat of an honour killing is not confined to Pakistan.
      Women from this Islamic country living abroad are not immune from this
      violent method of death. In May 1999, the Nottingham crown court in
      the UK sentenced a Pakistani woman and her adult son to life
      imprisonment for murdering the woman's daughter, Rukhsana Naz, a
      pregnant mother of two children. She had been perceived to have
      brought shame on the family by having a sexual relationship outside
      marriage. Her brother reportedly strangled Rukhsana, while her mother
      held her down.
      Regarding the implementation and review of the Hudud Ordinance (based
      on the Islamic Shari'ah), which is said to discriminate against women
      in domestic violence cases, the official said: "The National
      Commission on the Status of Women has been reviewing these laws." He
      added that the law had been under discussion for two years, and that a
      report on ensuing recommendations was now being prepared by the
      commission's chairperson. "This report will become the basis for any
      modifications to the ordinance," he maintained.

      According to activists, suppression and degradation of women are rife
      in this Islamic society. A survey HRCP conducted in January 2001 found
      the extent of women's ignorance of their rights to be alarming. A
      total of 64 percent of female postgraduates interviewed by Karachi
      University students were unaware of their basic legal rights, which
      theoretically afford them equality in society. Some 50 percent felt
      they were discriminated against due to social factors linked to tradition.

      Repression of women in Pakistan 10 Jan 03

      Cable TV shuts down after attacks in northwestern Pakistan 08 Jan 03
      Cable TV operator Jahanzeb Khan said: "Some 20 men armed with
      Kalashnikov rifles and pistols attacked my shop and destroyed
      television sets, digital receivers, decoders and other equipment."
      Zubair Khalid, president of the Cable TV network association, said:
      "We have closed our services indefinitely in protest over the
      incident." He demanded government protection.
      Police in the provincial capital Peshawar last month detained some two
      dozen video-shop and cinema owners as part of a campaign against
      pornographic movies.


      Qatari sisters seek asylum in Egypt 09 Jan 03
      According to a front page report in the London-based Arabic daily Al
      Sharq Al Awsat, Nayla and Zabia, 25 and 28, were married to Indians in
      August without the approval of their family while they were on a trip
      to India.
      After they arrived in Qatar, the family arranged to send the two
      sisters with their brothers to Egypt to have their foetuses aborted.
      On arrival in Egypt, Nayla and Zabia called their husbands from the
      Cairo International Airport and warn them of the developments.
      The authorities, however, separated Nayla and Zabia from their
      brothers who tried to take them home with the help of the Qatari
      embassy in Egypt.
      UNHCR sources said that their husbands had e-mailed the Commission
      saying that they married to the two sisters according to Islamic
      Sharia and stayed with them more than four months before they returned
      to Qatar. .. the two sisters visited India frequently since their
      mother is an Indian.


      Briton accused of Saudi car bombings makes confession 07 Jan 03
      James Lee has admitted to being involved in the explosions which
      killed one Briton and injured several others. Relatives of the other
      men claim that the Saudi authorities have been putting pressure on the
      British prisoners. The group was detained following car bombs, which
      the Saudis blamed on turf wars between illegal alcohol importers.
      [The Times.co.uk] Briton admits Saudi bomb murder 07 Jan 03
      In recent weeks the other British detainees told diplomats that Mr
      Lee, 40, a hospital engineer from Cardiff, had suffered a breakdown
      while in prison. He was said to have kept bursting into tears and had
      threatened suicide. Mr Lee was moved suddenly from the al-Hajr high
      security prison to the secret police headquarters in Riyadh without
      the British Embassy being told.
      Mr Lee's lawyer said he had not explained his decision to change his
      story. "I have asked him many times why he wished to change his story,
      but all he would tell me is 'I just want to go home'," said Salah

      Ministry forms panel to monitor evasion of zakah, Saudization
      http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=21844 10 Jan 03
      The Commerce Ministry has set up a committee to discover which
      companies and establishments are evading payment of zakah and failing
      to employ the legally required quota of Saudi workers, according to a
      source at the ministry.
      The ministry's move follows the revelation that hundreds of companies
      and establishments have been attempting to escape the related
      regulations by not registering their subsidiaries across the country.
      This practice has resulted in the concealment of their actual capital
      and income, as well as concealing the total number of employees.
      However, the committee has not been empowered to take measures against
      violators, the source added. But it will be able to demand that any
      company found to be in violation of its legal requirements gives an
      undertaking in writing to cease such activity.


      Sad Case of Muslim American Charities 09 Jan 03
      Since those planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a
      Pennsylvania field, virtually all Muslim charities in the US have been
      designated as financiers of terrorism, and in some cases their
      officers arrested and charged, including the Texas-based Holy Land
      Foundation, the largest and most respected Muslim charity in the
      country, the equivalent of the Christian United Way and the Jewish
      United Jewish Appeal.
      Spokesmen for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a Long Beach,
      California group that lobbies for Muslim causes, have told the press
      that among American Muslims, particularly those from the Middle East,
      there is a feeling that were they to write checks to their favorite
      charities these days "the government will come after us." Though
      Muslims in the US are not by any means a homogenous community, coming
      as they do from different countries and ethnic backgrounds, with
      different cultures and different languages, they now are beginning to
      feel a homogeneity that they had not felt before, identifying with one
      another in no small part because the US government, and in many cases
      American society in general, are treating them as one.
      As Peter Sherry, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College,
      wrote recently in the Washington Post's Outlook section: "We are
      pushing these groups together into a political coalition around
      grievances against the government that will not soon be forgotten. The
      outcome will almost certainly be a new minority group whose claims
      against America will be a source of rancor and division long after the
      current crisis has ceased."

      Yo, Mohammed, lighten up: It was a joke! 07 Jan 03
      So it goes in post-Sept. 11 America where Muslims have become the new
      approved victim class. Here's how the knee-jerk drill goes: A
      journalist writes or otherwise depicts Muslims or their Prophet
      Mohammed in some way other than soft-focus, peach-toned Hallmark words
      or images, and thousands of American Muslims become like a battalion
      of whitewashers unleashed on urban graffiti.

      Leading the charge is the special interest group CAIR (Council on
      American-Islamic Relations), which runs a Muslim news Web site and
      organizes letter-writing and e-mail campaigns. A recent fatwa against
      political cartoonist Doug Marlette produced thousands of e-mails, many
      of them threatening to varying degrees. At one end of the spectrum
      were overt threats of death and mutilation; at the other were attached
      viruses intended to sabotage Marlette's computer and, with any luck,
      his career.

      Marlette's offense? A joke. A cartoon. A humorous image of a man
      dressed in Middle Eastern garb driving a Ryder truck with a nuke in
      back with the caption: "What Would Mohammed Drive?" If you don't get
      it, go back to sleep. Marlette's home paper, the Tallahassee Democrat,
      never ran the cartoon in its print edition and, under pressure from
      CAIR, quickly removed it from its Web site. So much for free speech.
      The [Tallahassee] Democrat's decision to suspend Cotterell and to
      withdraw Marlette's cartoon frankly smacks of caving in to special
      interests at the expense of free speech.


      Women need a ministry 01 Jan 03
      Women's issues are in fact interlocked and connected with all sectors
      and not confined to certain sector or administration, thus need broad
      support. This requires opening direct channels with policy-makers at
      those institutions to pay attention to women's plans and projects in
      education, health, labor, and politics.

      Despite our appreciation of some officials in ministries (ministers
      and deputy ministers) who received us and facilitated our task and
      deeply understood reasons of our presence, on most occasions our
      meetings were not easy.

      The meetings were permeated with various hindrances. There were
      changes in time of appointments for more than once and shortening of
      the time of meeting. Sometimes the official would preoccupy themselves
      with other matters like receiving other visitors or answering
      telephone calls. Such behavior on part of some officials made the
      meetings miss their goals and subsequently things became more
      complicated and position of the WNC representative at those ministries
      became worse.

      The feeling of superiority and the look of belittlement, which some
      would not express frankly but rather implicitly, lead us to conclude
      there is more of a need for a Ministry for Women Development in the
      coming government formation in April 2003. [Al-Yamania Newspaper]


      [al-Qeda] Bureaucracy of Terror 06 Jan 03
      In December, the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq published a
      multipart series of articles on the inner workings of the al Qaeda
      network. The articles were based on documents taken from a computer
      found in Kabul that belonged to Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the
      Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Osama bin Laden's right-hand man and the
      intellectual pillar of the al Qaeda movement.
      The documents give insights into the problems of enforcing order on a
      multimillion-dollar international conglomerate with no SEC standards
      and accounting practices that would make Arthur Anderson look
      virtuous, if it still existed.

      The network employed internal auditors who conducted investigations of
      financial or other irregularities. For example, a terrorist working
      out of London was accused of extravagant spending on office equipment
      and furnishings. (No matter what bureaucracy you work in, somehow it
      will always come down to desks.) However, conducting this type of
      investigation is extremely difficult in the terrorist milieu. One of
      the investigators, a sharia judge named Abu al-Hasan, complained of
      various impediments to completing his assignment:

      - Terrorists are hard to find; they move around, use multiple
      identities, give false addresses and phone numbers as a matter of
      course, so it's hard to locate an individual even if he isn't trying
      to hide from the investigator;
      - Terror networks are highly dispersed and the need for the
      investigator to travel long distances also contributes to these
      difficulties, especially when multiple parties are involved;
      - Long-distance communication is expensive;
      - Terrorists, because of cell structures necessary for security, do
      not all know each other, and Hasan did not know any of them, so it was
      difficult to understand the relationships to build a case;
      - Witnesses kept introducing details unrelated to the core investigation;
      - The accused keep accusing the accusers — in one case the person
      being investigated kept maintaining he was in fact the plaintiff;
      - The accused tend to be very slow in responding or completely
      non-responsive, and it is very difficult to assemble a complete case.

      [OIC] Islamic jurisprudence experts to discuss cloning at Doha meet
      .. 11 Jan 03
      The issue of human cloning is slated to come up for a threadbare
      debate at a conference of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) experts that
      kicks off here this morning.
      The conference is being held by the Islamic Fiqh Academy based in
      Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under the aegis of the Organisation of Islamic
      Conference (OIC). The academy is a prominent wing of the OIC.
      Islamic jurisprudence experts from more than 50 countries around the
      world are expected to take part in the convention, which will be the
      14th in a row. The OIC has 57 Muslim countries as members and is
      currently headed by Qatar.
      Another subject that will be debated at length is whether televised
      competitive shows that offer big money in prizes should be banned or
      not under Islam. A prominent Arabic channel airs such a show called
      "who wants to become a millionaire".

      My Husband Does Not Satisfy Me in Bed: Can I Masturbate? 11 Jan 03
      .. [Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the
      Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: ]
      Sexual fulfillment is an important part of the mutual obligations of
      husband and wife.
      Should he be suffering from a sexual dysfunction, he is required to
      seek professional advice in order for your marriage to be a happy one.
      If he cannot satisfy you through sexual intercourse, he is perfectly
      justified in satisfying you through other avenues;
      If in spite of your best efforts to convince your husband, he still
      remains insensitive to your needs in this respect, you are justified
      in taking whatever steps are necessary in terminating your marriage,
      if you are unable to tolerate it.

      Fatwa Bank - How to Give up Masturbation? 03 Nov 01


      [Bahrain] Islamic banking conference on the way 08 Jan 03
      The event, on March 2 and 3, is being jointly organised by the
      Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic
      Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the World Bank, with the support
      of the Bahrain Monetary Agency.
      Conference discussions will focus on the following topical issues:
      Islamic banks as a type of universal banking model; Standards for
      regulation and supervision: soundness and stability; Recent corporate
      malpractices: legal, regulatory and accounting lessons; Governance of
      Islamic financial institutions and the role of Sharia boards: product
      development and protection of stakeholders; Islamic financial centres
      and economy-wide Islamic financial systems: institutional framework
      and performance; Risk management practices of Islamic financial
      institutions; Transparency and accountability: the twin aspects of the
      modern financial reporting paradigm; Money laundering and its
      prevention: what is required from Islamic financial institutions.

      [*] 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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