Sharia News Watch 39
- Sharia News Watch 39 : a collection news quotes on Sharia,
for research & educational purposes only. [*]
all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
Islamic Party leader calls on Afghans to rise up against USA 22 Feb 03
.. [BBC Monitoring South Asia]
The leader of the Islamic Party of Afghanistan, Golboddin Hekmatyar,
has called on Afghans to wage holy war against the US forces and what
he called their agent government in Afghanistan. In a message quoted
by the London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsa,t Hekmatyar called
Afghans who cooperated with the USA traitors and hypocrites. He
condemned all the political arrangements made since the fall of the
Taleban and said the Afghan people should elect their own
representatives. The following is an excerpt from the report,
published on the newspaper's web site on 22 February:
Golboddin Hekmatyar, leader of Afghanistan's Hezb-e Eslami [Islamic
Party], has issued a fatwa [religious legal ruling] saying that the
Afghans' jihad [holy war] against the American troops is a degree
higher than their jihad against the Soviet Union.
In the message that the IslamonLine web site published yesterday, he
said that the Americans have ignited another crusade to annihilate the
Muslims and are supporting the usurping Jews who have seized the
Muslims' first Qiblah [direction to face when praying], the Al-Aqsa
Mosque, and are killing our innocent brothers in beloved Palestine.
They have also established military bases in the Islamic countries
they want to control and want to rule the whole world.
Clerics encouraged to reject anti-Afghan state fatwa 26 Feb 03
.. [BBC Monitoring South Asia]
Fatwa issued by the opponents of the Transitional Islamic State of
Afghanistan are not based on [Islamic] legislation, so they are
rejected. This statement was made by Islamic scholars, spiritual
leaders and preachers of mosques in Kabul at a gathering in the hall
of the Interior Ministry today. The general head of political and
spiritual affairs of the Interior Ministry, Sayed Eshraq Hosayni,
asked them to block the propaganda of the remnants of terrorism and
al-Qa'idah with clear reasoning.
Egypt's controversial emergency laws extended 24 Feb 03
The Egyptian parliament extended by another three years the country's
controversial emergency laws in force since 1981. [..]
Court Allows French Supermarket to Sell Only Halal Meat 26 Feb 03
The Administrative Court in Paris handed down Tuesday, February 25, a
verdict in favor of Muslim French citizens nullifying a verdict on
closing their supermarket for not selling pork or alcohols and
insisting on selling Halal meat.
Chief of Ivry Municipality Manuel Valls, who filed the closure lawsuit
against al-Djaiziri and his brother Abdallah, said that rejecting to
sell pork and alcohols conflicted with the system followed by the
parent company, which was selling such products in all its branches.
However, the two brothers argued that they are entitled to reject
selling pork and alcohols on the basis of the financial independence
of their supermarket.
Supreme Court defers hearing of temple-mosque dispute 21 Feb 03
The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing of a government plea
to allow Hindu religious activity around the ruins of a 16th-century
mosque that was destroyed by a Hindu mob in northern India in 1992.
The government had sought a court decision before Saturday, when
several of its Hindu nationalist affiliates say they will decide
whether to try to forcibly build a Hindu temple at the site in Ayodhya
in Uttar Pradesh state, 550 kilometers (345 miles) east of New Delhi.
Last year, the court banned religious activity in the area to avoid
any clashes between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindu nationalists want
the land around the site to be handed over to them. Muslim groups say
that would allow the building of a temple that surrounds the
demolished mosque site, cutting off access and making it impossible to
rebuild the mosque.
The Hindu hard-liners say the mosque was built by 16th-century Muslim
rulers on the birthplace of Hindus' supreme god, Rama. There is
another temple nearby, however, whose name also refers to the god's
birthplace. Hindu groups have already carved hundreds of stone
pillars and statues of gods and goddesses for the temple, and have
stacked them near the site.
[Hajj] Indian Pilgrims Point Accusing Finger at Mission 22 Feb 03
As pilgrims start returning home after completing their Haj, many of
them carry bitter memories of their stay here following harsh
treatment at the hands of their own diplomatic mission.
many of them were angry at their own missions for substandard
accommodation and harsh behavior. Most of the 70,000 Indian contingent
complained about "the complete confusion" they faced in the matter of
accommodation and "the non-cooperative attitude" of Indian mission
Many pilgrims complained that while they paid for first category so
they could stay close to the Holy Haram, they were given accommodation
at faraway locations. "Our accommodation was certainly not worth first
category," said a pilgrim of building No. 53.
All rented buildings were supposed to have elevators, but in
accommodation No. 87 one of the three buildings was without elevator,
causing immense hardship to elderly and handicapped pilgrims. In the
seven-story building No. 52 the elevators would go only up to the
Many pilgrims also complained about the grouping of the pilgrims.
"Many women pilgrims were grouped with strangers and accommodated away
from their male relatives. This was highly irregular and created too
much confusion. Many pilgrims were seen looking for their companions,"
Abdul Rahman said. There were also complaints against mutawwif [guides
caring for pilgrims in Mecca] and transport arrangements.
Many pilgrims and volunteers were angry over the statement of Indian
Haj delegation chief, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, Indian civil aviation
minister, that "none of the 70,000 CHC [India's Central Haj Committee]
pilgrims had any complaints." Pilgrims say that there was no effort
on the part of the delegation to find out their problems.
Islamic leaders in India seek fatwa if U.S. attacks Iraq 27 Feb 03
Indian Islamic leaders said on Wednesday they would urge the world's
Muslim scholars to issue a fatwa to boycott American and British goods
if the United States launched an attack on Iraq.
The leaders, representing various organisations of Muslim clerics and
scholars, urged the government not to co-operate with the United
States in any manner, including allowing the use of its land or
airspace, in the event of war.
"If the U.S. wages war on Iraq, we will ask the Ulemas (Muslim
religious scholars) of India and the world to issue a fatwa to boycott
all U.S. and UK products, except medicines," Maulana Musannah Miyan,
president of the All India Aimmae Masajid, told reporters. The All
India Aimmae Masajid is a body that represents clerics of Indian mosques.
Miyan said about 120 Indian Islamic scholars and leaders planned to
write to the Organisation of Islamic Countries to support the fatwa or
Indon police hand over Bashir 28 Feb 03
Indonesian police have handed over suspected terror group leader Abu
Bakar Bashir to prosecutors in preparation for trial as the Muslim
cleric accused American "infidels" of orchestrating the case against
him. Bashir is expected to be charged with treason, which is
punishable by life imprisonment, and with immigration offences.
"The whole thing, especially this treason charge, perplexes me. There
must be something behind these shifts in charges. I understand that
our country has been under pressure from America."
Bashir said he was ready to stand trial as soon as possible but
refused to sign the police evidence file. "It is haram (forbidden by
Islam) because it's a demand from the infidels."
Indonesian police and foreign governments say Bashir leads the Jemaah
Islamiah (JI) regional terror network, which is blamed for the October
12 bombings on Bali that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Indonesia To set Capital Adequacy Ratio For Isamic Banks 22 Feb 03
The central bank, Bank Indonesia will issue a regulation setting the
minimum limit of capital adequacy ratio (CAR) for syariah or Islamic
banks in the country.
The CAR on conventional banks is 8 per cent by the end of 2002. The
CAR for 2003 is yet to be decided by the central bank. The Accounting
and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, has
recommended that Islamic bank be required to have a minimum CAR of 12
per cent. Harrisman said the central bank has not decided the CAR
considered suitable for Islamic banks in the country.
[West-Java] Dangdut singer's erotic dance is haram 22 Feb 03
Chairman of the fatwa (legal advice) commission of the Indonesian
Ulemas Council (MUI) said here on Friday that the erotic stage act of
dangdut singer Inul Andarista could be categorized as haram (banned by
Islamic teaching) because of her suggestive moves.
"Nevertheless, MUI will not issue a fatwa over Inul's stage act,"
Ma'ruf said, as quoted by Antara after attending a program to
publicize MUI's fatwa on intellectual property rights here.
Ma'ruf, who is leader of the Jakarta Darunnajah Islamic boarding
school, said that Inul's erotic stage act was covered by MUI's fatwa
No. 5 on pornography issued in July 2002. The fatwa stipulates that
someone who promotes his or her body through pictures, electronic or
print media, whether directly or not, is committing an act that is
haram. In addition, allowing one's body to be viewed through open or
transparent clothing, either through pictures or by any other means of
visualization, is haram.
.. 26 Feb 03
Before appearing in a recent celebrity show on local television in
Indonesia, the singer-dancer Inul Daratista was told to sit tight and
speak up, but she was not allowed to perform the main topic of the
show, her controversial, trademark butt-shaking movements dubbed by
the media as the "drilling" dance. But as soon as the host closed the
30-minute show, one of the TV cameramen shouted, "Now, Inul, you are
free to shake."
The TV audience at home missed it, but the crowd of TV workers jamming
the studio got to see Inul shake her bottom and reveal her belly in
the trademark "energetic" way that has caused some Muslim leaders to
label her dancing as "immoral" and "haram"(sinful).
"The top management decided that for the time being we still cannot
air her dance on our TV," said executive producer Sundari Pulungan of
Indosiar TV, which is the top income earner among Indonesia's 10
national television stations.
Born in Jan. 21, 1979 in East Java provincial town Pasuruan, Inul
started her career as a rock singer early. Initially, she refused to
become a singer of "dangdut" music, which is characterized by the
sounds of special percussion and is influenced by Indian and Arabic
music because of "dangdut's" use of a similar style of sexy clothing
But attracted by the huge market demand for "dangdut," Inul decided to
switch and held shows from village to village in East Java,
Indonesia's largest province. Combining aerobics movements, local
traditional dances and salsa, Inul created her own trademark, a fast
shaking of her buttocks while lowering her body as if she is about to
drill a hole through the floorboards.
According to MUI, Inul's dance style and clothing falls under the
jurisdiction of a July 2002 "fatwa" (Islamic edict) issued against
The sister who is Mister in between 21 Feb 03
Indonesia's transvestites enjoy a high level of acceptance, living in
poverty and wealth right beside conventional families, appearing in
sitcoms, advertising campaigns and theatrical shows across the
country. Muslim men in skirts and heels are tolerated as just another
exotic ingredient in the rich, tolerant mix of Indonesia.
Yuni said a waria in a low-cut blouse eat could eat in any of the
little street stalls around their homes without fear of harassment,
and the issue of using Mr or Mrs rarely arises. "Usually they just
call me sister," he said.
He also cannot go to the mosque, where men and women are required to
worship in separate areas - a problem for people like Yanti who would
never go out in anything less than "sexy mini".
One new resident at Pedongkelan wrestled to reconcile his deeply held
religious beliefs and occasional forays into prostitution when he's
unable to earn enough from his day job singing to drivers stuck in
After removing nail polish and earrings he goes to the mosque as a man
to pray. "Sometimes I cry in my heart and ask God, 'Isn't there
another way for me?"'
[Aceh] Aceh to have its first sharia court in March 26 Feb 03
Aceh province will inaugurate its first Islamic sharia court on March
4 as part of the broadautonomy granted to curb separatist sentiment.
"We will begin to implement the Islamic sharia integrally but in a
gradual way, not all at once. On the first of Muharram, God Willing,
the sharia courtwill be inaugurated by the Supreme Judge and several
related ministers," Aceh Governor Abdullah Puteh said on Tuesday.
There are currently 19 state religious courts in districts and
municipalities across Aceh and one appeal court. A total of 121 judges
serve onthe courts, which do not enforce sharia law in criminal matters.
Aceh's four million population practise a more conservative version of
Islam than much of the rest of the country. Syariah law calls for the
caning of Muslims who propagate beliefs other than Islam, fail to
attend Friday prayers three times in a row, or sell food, cigarettes
or drinks in daylight hours during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
The Syariah courts will dole out justice for violators of the new
laws, but officials in Jakarta said they will eventually handle
murder, adultery and theft cases
.. [Kompas Cyber Media]
The Syariah [shari'ah] Court [Islamic Law Court] of Nanggroe Aceh
Darussalam will be inaugurated on 4 March 2003, or to be precise, on 1
Muharram 1424 [in the Islamic calendar] by Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court Bagir Manan. In the short term, stoning to death or hand
amputation will not be endorsed.
the names of all of the religious courts will be changed. The
Provincial Religious High Court will be called the Provincial Mahkamah
Syariah and the 19 District/Metropolitan Religious High Courts will be
called Mahkamah Syariah [minus the provincial].
According to the governor, the implementation regulations related to
the Mahkamah Syariah would be promulgated in 'qanun' [regional bylaws]
These would be discussed by the regional government in conjunction
with the DPRD [Provincial People's Representative Council]. With
regard to the position of the "qanun" themselves, there were some
differences in perception, whether or not they would be the same as
regional bylaws or follow government regulations.
Abdullah Puteh then added that the process of Syariah would be
developed in stages. Currently, two "qanun" had been completed, namely
No 10/2002 covering Mahkamah Syariah and Qanun No 11/2002 concerning
the Act of Devotion under Islamic Law. Very shortly, three more
"qanun" would be prepared concerning immorality, gambling and drinking
Clash Of Civilizations 26 Feb 03
Some of the more important insights came from Marius Deeb, professor
of Islamic studies at Johns Hopkins University and a Lebanese
Christian (that he was not a Muslim was a sore point for several
Islamic members in the audience of 150). Deeb spoke plainly about the
clash of civilizations, citing the need for Muslims to live in a state
ruled by Islamic law to fulfill their lives and to be free from
"Only in a state which is Islamic could Muslims aspire to live in a
just society," he explained. "Justice cannot be executed without
sha'ria [Islamic law] reigning supreme." And perhaps more important,
he added: "The influence of these ideas are beyond Muslim
fundamentalism. Those who are not fundamentalists and who believe
Islamic sha'ria should really reign supreme have become the majority.
That's the reality."
Journalist convicted of libeling Islam's Prophet says he will watch
.. 19 Feb 03
However, military judges released the editors under a law that allows
the commuting of misdemeanor jail time of three months or less to a
fine. Qamash said he was fined 180 Jordanian dinars (US$ 253.5);
Haddad paid 120 dinars (US $169).
The court also ordered the paper -- an independent weekly with an
estimated circulation of 7,000 -- closed for another month as
punishment. Police shut down al-Hilal on Jan. 16 after arresting the
But the case had been widely interpreted as an attempt to appease
Jordan's Islamic opposition. Muslim clerics in the powerful Islamic
Action Front had declared Mubaideen an apostate in a fatwa, or
Acute shortage of Islamic enforcers 22 Feb 03
The Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will request the Government
to consider increasing the number of enforcement personnel of the
Islamic Department and Council in all states to ensure strict and
effective implementation of the Syariah laws.
Speaking to reporters after the closing of the two-day conference and
symposium of heads of state Islamic departments and councils here, on
Friday, Jakim Director-General Datuk Mohd Shahir Abdullah described
the request as urgent, considering the acute shortage of enforcement
personnel when compared to the increasing Muslim population ratio in
"Based on the 2001 statistics, the nation's population was recorded at
21 million, of whom 13 million were Muslims, against only 349
enforcement personnel attached to the state Islamic departments and
councils nationwide," he added. This reflected a ratio of 1:37,000,
that of enforcement personnel against the number of Muslims in the
country, compared with Kuala Lumpur City Hall with 1:5,000.
He pointed out that state Islamic authorities and agencies had been
empowered to impose the Islamic and Syariah laws, while describing the
acute shortage of enforcement personnel as pathetic.
Proposal to streamline Syariah laws on polygamy 22 Feb 03
The Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will submit a proposal to
the Syariah Court to compel husbands to discuss first with their
spouse their intention to take another wife. Only when the first wife
has given her say and the Syariah Court has heard the opinions of both
sides will the husband's decision be considered, said Jakim
director-general Datuk Mohd Shahrir Abdullah.
Family court, Syariah laws on agenda 19 Feb 03
The committee formed to study the setting up of a family court will
meet on Thursday and the issue of the uniformity of Syariah laws in
the country will be on the agenda.
The Government announced in September 2000 that the Family Court would
be established to speed up the resolution of family problems. It has
decided to structure the court under the Courts of Judicature Act 1964
to deal with family cases involving all races.
[Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri] Shahrizat had said
last year the dichotomy between Civil and Syariah court matters would
be ironed out with the setting up of the Family Court. These two law
systems occasionally overlap, usually when one party in a marriage
converts to Islam.
Ikim calls for unified code for Islamic banking and finance 19 Feb 03
The Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) will propose an
Islamic Commercial Code, so that all matters relating to Islamic
banking and finance will be covered under one statute.
Currently, Islamic banking and finance transactions are governed by
the Islamic Banking Act 1983, Takaful Act 1984 and Banking and
Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) 1989, with the supervision of Bank
Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission.
''But when it comes to detailed provisions regarding Syariah
transactions, we cannot run away from the need to have an Islamic
Commercial Code,'' said Ikim director of Centre for Syariah, Laws and
Political Science Dr Zainal Azam Abdul Rahman. The problem becomes
apparent when one has to deal with sales contracts or agreements drawn
up according to the civil law system.
The idea will be explored further today in a two-day seminar entitled
"Towards the Promulgation of More Comprehensive Islamic Business and
Banking Laws in Malaysia'' organised by Ikim.
The seminar, supported by Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank, is
also held to examine the current Islamic business and banking setting,
with a view of improving the legal framework that relates to such
''We are aware that Islamic banking and finance has been going on for
more than 20 years, but we felt that it is high time Malaysia has a
more comprehensive legal framework to support the development of such
activities,'' said Zainal Azam. Among others, the seminar will seek to
identify and examine law-related problems and issues facing Islamic
business and banking activities. [Business Times]
[Terengganu] Police seek A-G's views on enforcing hudud in Terengganu
.. 23 Feb 03
The police are seeking the views of the Attorney-General's Chambers on
whether they can assist the Terengganu Government in enforcing the
Syariah Criminal Offenipping and jail. There is also a section on
qisas (law of retribution) for murder and causing injury, where
offenders would face punishments equal to the crime.
Fed-up couple turn in dadah-addict children 25 Feb 03
Berita Minggu also had its share of interesting news on the front
page. One was a report that an average of 90 couples from Malaysia
travelled to southern Thailand every month to get married.
Thirty-three per cent of the cases involved men wishing to practise
polygamy while 22 per cent involved women and widows who did not have
any wali. The Malaysians, it was reported, resorted to cross-border
marriages as they claimed the procedures set up by the syariah court
here were too strict, especially for men wanting to take a second
wife. [New Straits Times]
Moroccan police crack down on Islamists 21 Feb 03
Moroccan police have reportedly detained Muslim fundamentalist
preacher Hassan Kettani and plan to bring him to trial on charges of
inciting violence and forming a criminal gang.
Kettani was jailed in the town of Sale near Rabat, after going to the
state prosecutor's office in the capital of his own free will when he
heard that police were looking for him.
He is regarded as a leader of the Salafia Jihadia movement, which
preaches that Muslims should abide by the strict original precepts of
Islam and Sharia law and is thus regarded as a fundamentalist movement.
[Jigawa] Theft cost man an arm and a leg 21 Feb 03
An Islamic Sharia court in northern Nigeria has sentenced a convicted
thief to a "cross amputation" of his right hand and left leg, state
radio reported on Friday.
Wednesday's conviction was the first in Jigawa State, a sparsely
populated and highly conservative region on Nigeria's northern border
which reintroduced Sharia law in August 2000. Judge Isa Gantsa gave
the 35-year-old Haruna Mohammed 30 days to appeal his sentence after
finding him guilty of stealing 86 000 naira ($ 630) from a man in the
remote village of Bulanga, the report said.
The court will reconvene on March 18, when the defence will submit its
grounds for appeal.
[Kaduna] Two men create bridge over Nigeria's troubled waters
.. 28 Feb 03
James Wuye was once a self-described militant Christian youth, and
Muhammad Ashafa a radical Muslim activist - unlikely partners in
efforts to bring peace to Kaduna, the ground zero of religious
conflict in Nigeria.
in August 2002, Wuye and Ashafa had persuaded 10 senior religious
leaders from each faith in Kaduna to sign a peace declaration that
mitigated the Miss World violence, says Judith Asuni, director of
Academic Associates PeaceWorks, a think tank and mediation center in
Abuja, the capital.
Wuye and Ashafa share duties in the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum
and the Inter-Faith Mediation Center, organizations they jointly
founded to create better understanding between the communities and to
mediate when violence occurs. They hold workshops on conflict
resolution with vigilante groups and sharia police in Kaduna and
nearby states. They've produced a weekly series on local television,
quoting passages of the Koran and the Bible showing common ground
between Islam and Christianity. They've written a book called "The
Pastor and The Imam: Responding to Conflict." And they meet with both
sides in simmering disputes to try to prevent violence. If clashes do
break out, they rush to the scene to try to quell tensions, at times
putting themselves in danger. During the Miss World clashes, they
drove religious leaders around affected neighborhoods on a bus, and
arranged to have them appear on television to appeal for calm.
The pair agrees that religious differences are not at the root of
Nigeria's crises, but that leaders whip up religious fervor for
political gain. Meanwhile, the large numbers of unemployed youth use
any opportunity to loot. Ashafa says the Miss World violence was
fueled by local rivalries in the ruling People's Democratic Party and
"was much more political than religious."
[Zamfara] Court Clears Head of Service 25 Feb 03
A Sharia court in Kanwuri, Gusau, Zamfara State, has set the state's
Head of Service, Alhaji Yusuf Garba free after he swore with the holy
Qur'an that he was not indebted to his accuser. Alhaji Yusuf was taken
to the Shariah court by a businessman, Alhaji Yakubu Musa Yaro, on
allegation that he (Alhaji Yusuf) had refused to pay him N50,000 being
a balance from a business transaction they had.
The judge explained that since both of them are Muslims and one of
them swore by the Holy Qur'an, the case was discharged. When Daily
Trust contacted the complainant for comments, he said he was forced to
accept the verdict of the court. "I have to accept the judgement
because I am a Muslim like him", he said. [Daily Trust - Abuja]
PM discusses law, order with Sindh, Balochistan Governors 24 Feb 03
The meeting discussed law and order situation prevailing in the
provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. Prime Minister stressed for the
improvement of law and order situation in both the provinces. Mr.
Jamali particularly emphasized that the supply of natural gas must be
continued for all parts of the country without any hurdle. He directed
the Balochistan government to keep vigilant eye on those who had
blasted the gas pipe line.
Malaysia to train Pakistanis in Islamic banking 21 Feb 03
Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Ishrat Hussein said on Thursday
the central bank has signed an agreement with a Malaysian bank to
train Pakistani bankers for speedy promotion of Islamic banking in the
country. He was addressing the 52nd annual general meeting of the
Institute of Bankers Pakistan (IBP) here. The training will enable
bankers to understand and implement Islamic banking in a smooth and
orderly fashion, he added.
[NWFP] NWFP govt demands transfer of concurrent subjects
http://www.thefrontierpost.com.pk/city_news.asp#198 24 Feb 03
The government of the NWFP has demanded of the federal government to
transfer the list of the concurrent subjects to it. It was a
longstanding demand of all the provinces to which no attention was
paid by the federal government which believes in the accumulation of
more and more powers for Islamabad. They were always at its mercy with
whose permission they could not move an inch. Even in their petty
matters, its approval was sought which was delayed due to red-tapism.
Some months ago, there was an interesting programme on the provincial
autonomy on the television in which the leaders of all the political
parties participated enthusiastically and expressed their views in a
fair and free manner without any fear. It was the first time that the
government of President Musharraf liberated the electronic media which
was chained by Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.
According to the Constitution of 1973 the concurrent list was to be
discussed after ten years and transferred to the provinces. The
federal government remained quiet and calm over this issue and is
still retaining it from the last 30 years without any reason.
The bureaucracy of Islamabad also did not take any initiative to
delegate powers to the provinces. Thus the issue still lingers on and
the leaders of the smaller provinces demand it day and night. In the
concurrent list, there are duplications of the ministries which exist
in the provinces as well as in centre. There are ministries of
education, health and many more in them on which a huge amount is
spent. It is a sheer wastage of money.
[NWFP] Government of NWFP on way of Riba Free Financial System
.. 21 Feb 03
Senior Minister of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) Siraj-ul- Haq
Wednesday said that Frontier Government was consulting with economists
and financial experts to introduce Riba Free Financial System in the
province. Talking to newsmen during visit to corporate branch of Bank
of Khyber at Shara-e- Faisal Karachi he said this work would be
launched from Bank of Khyber.
He disclosed that setting up Peshawar Stock Exchange also include in
immediate goals of Frontier government, and said it would be regulated
by consultation of Ulema, which would be beneficial for Frontier
province as well as people of Afghanistan.
Siraj said that first time Urdu has been declared as an official
language in NWFP and there would be a choice for candidate to take
competitive examination whether in Urdu or English languages, besides
his government was also endeavoring to develop regional languages.
He informed that NWFP government was considering to provide free
medical treatment in emergency wards of government hospitals, as MMA
government has already announced free education for students upto
matriculation level, which would be another step towards welfare
government. He said government had already abolished interest from
cooperative loans and now borrowers have to pay only principal amount
[NWFP] A Growing `Talibanization' 23 Feb 03
In mounting their cultural dragnet, the MMA-controlled provincial
police are not acting on new laws but on the fatwa s proclaimed by
leading mullahs. In November the inspector general of police
personally organized the first attack in Peshawar, leading his fellow
cops and Islamic activists in tearing down huge, colorful,
hand-painted billboards depicting scantily clad actresses outside
local cinemas. Periodically, the police hold public bonfires of
confiscated videos, CDs, film and music posters and even cosmetics.
The coalition is moving to close down movie theaters and ban cable TV.
But the harshest assault has been on offending writers. In January,
Fazli Wahab, a noted Pakistani novelist, was shot to death in a local
tea shop after a number of mullahs condemned his books, which lambaste
the clerics' involvement in politics.
Most controversial is the MMA's drive to end coeducation in the
province's colleges and universities. In a rare bid to counter the
mullahs, Peshawar's City Council adopted a unanimous resolution this
month asking the MMA government not to set back women's education.
[Punjab] CM sets Peace Committees for Muharram 22 Feb 03
Punjab Chief Minister, Ch. Pervez Elahi has constituted Peace
Committees at district level to improve law and order in the province,
especially during Muharramul Haram [first, sacred month of the
Islamic, Hijrah calendar].
The chief minister directed IG Police to prepare a plan of action on
emergency basis to control law and order during Muharram. All the
Superintendents of Police have been asked to deploy police force on
sacred and other sensitive places so as to avert any untoward
incident. He said that the ulema, MPAs and representatives of district
governments would be inducted in peace committees.
Editorial: Roots of religious terrorism 27 Feb 03
The killing of nine Shia Muslims near an Imambargah in Malir, Karachi,
puts us on notice that religious terrorism is not at an end; and that
the government remains responsible for it in more ways than one.
The latest research tells us that the madrassas continue to be
nurseries of hatred and extreme views. In comparison with students
from Urdu and English medium schools, a survey found that over 60 per
cent of the respondents in seminarians are opposed to giving rights to
the minorities. What is remarkable is that despite indoctrination 60
per cent of the pupils from the other two education streams responded
positively to giving rights to the minorities, proving once again that
the general non-clerical population of the country is neither
sectarian nor warlike in its thinking.
No amount of America-bashing will exonerate us from the conversion of
religious institutions into nurseries of extreme opinion. On the eve
of Muharram, the Karachi incident delivers us another warning.
Sikh girl abducted, converted to Islam 24 Feb 03
A six-year-old Sikh girl in Pakistan has reportedly been converted to
Islam by a tribesman who abducted and held her for more than a month
after her parents refused to ransom her. This was revealed by
intelligence sources here on Sunday. This is reportedly the most
sensitive incident of conversion in the recent past. Earlier, reports
of mass conversion of Hindus in Pakistan under threat had been pouring in.
According to sources, Harvinder Kaur had been kept in Tirah valley of
Khyber but no one helped the poor parents who had been running from
pillar to post for recovery of the child. Reports received by
intelligence agencies here state Harvinder has been given a new name,
Amina, by a powerful tribesman Malikdin Khel.
Shrine of the Times 23 Feb 03
.. [The Independent on Sunday]
Deep in the mountains of Pakistan, one devout Muslim has brought his
dream to life by preserving old copies of the Koran - and created a
modern holy place in the process.
The Muslim world has no such tradition. The correct method for
disposing of pieces of paper containing sacred inscriptions is not
covered by Sharia (holy law). Therefore, according to Islamic
scholars, the issue of how to dispose of old copies of the Koran does
not arise and no method can be thought to be haraam (prohibited).
in the early 1970s, Haji Wali Mohammed awoke with the notion that all
used Korans must be preserved, he set about bringing his vision to
life under the Chiltan mountain in the Quetta region of Pakistan.
Since then, with the help of just a handful of men, Mohammed has been
collecting overly well-thumbed holy books from all over Pakistan - and
the 16 hand-dug galleries inside the mountain now contain over 65,000
bundles crammed with sacred writings.
The area has become a shrine and people come from far and wide to pray
or simply visit Mohammed's unique resting place for holy scriptures.
There is an element of the recycling plant about the place too -
children scrupulously go through the bundles to see if any of the
books can be salvaged. In this way, over 10,000 copies of the Koran
have been redistributed to local schools.
Before Mohammed began his mission, it was acceptable for copies of the
Koran to be burned. Now, locals have had second thoughts about this
manner of disposal. Just as for their Jewish brethren, it seems, the
burning of books has rather negative connotations.
Fear grows in the company compounds of Riyadh 22 Feb 03
Although the country does not publicly oppose allied action against
Iraq, the feelings on the street are savagely anti-Western.
The British consulate has issued several warnings to Britons to keep a
low profile, and avoid areas of cities where they could be in danger.
Most of the estimated 20,000 British expatriates in Saudi Arabia live
in secure company compounds. They tend to be men whose families remain
in, or have returned to, their homes. Many of the wives of British
expatriates working in the country return to Britain to escape the
frustrating local laws. Women are required to cover themselves in
black abayahs, they are not allowed to drive, they have to eat in
separate "family" sections in restaurants and signs reading "No women"
are displayed on many shop doors.
The men often remain after their partners leave. Alcoholism is rife
among this group, despite the fact that alcohol is illegal. Few feel
the need to venture past the compound gates for anything other than work.
There are no public cinemas or theatres in Saudi Arabia; entertainment
of this kind is considered Haram (against Islamic principles) and some
satisfy their need for entertainment by visiting a parking lot in
downtown Jeddah to watch the beheadings that take place every week.
This bleak way of life is the norm for many British expats in Saudi
Arabia, but recent events have caused some to rethink their future in
Turkmenistan: Isolated but dangerous 27 Feb 03
Turkmenistan sits squarely in one of the world's most sensitive
political zones - Afghanistan to the south, Iran to the west, while
Russia stands guard further to the north beyond Kazakhstan. The
country is almost all desert, beneath which lie some of the biggest
proven gas and oil reserves on the planet.
But so far relatively little money has materialised. That is because
the only big pipeline - a Soviet legacy - runs to Russia, and Moscow
refuses to pay the market price.
Already isolated, from next month no Turkmen will be allowed to leave
the country without government permission. Not surprisingly, there has
been a scramble to leave before the door shuts.
The International Crisis Group says foreign governments must put far
more - and more visible - pressure on [president] Turkmenbashi, not
just for the sake of the Turkmens but for themselves. "You have a
society that in many ways is in a form of breakdown at the moment."
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L20584547 20 Feb 03
The pan-European rights watchdog, the OSCE, said on Thursday it was
"very worried" about human rights in Turkmenistan after mass arrests
following the attempted assassination of its autocratic president.
"Equally worrying is the decree on 'betrayal of the Motherland', which
sounds all too much like policies and ideas of an era long gone-by,"
the EU statement said.
Muslim leader urges people to quit holding extravagant ceremonies
.. [BBC Monitoring Central Asia] 25 Feb 03
The head of the Muslim Spiritual Board of Uzbekistan, Mufti Abdurashid
Bahromov, has urged people to give up holding extravagant ceremonies.
Speaking at a round table debate, broadcast on Uzbek TV on 25
February, Abdurashid Bahromov said: "We should not hold them [such
extravagant ceremonies]. If we give up holding such ceremonies, our
people's lives, God willing, will be better, and their living
standards will improve. People will be able to use the money saved for
their families, for the education of their children."
Abdurashid Bahromov said that commemoration functions on the 7th, 20th
and 40th days after a person's death, as well as functions marking
death anniversaries were in contravention of the Islamic shari'ah law.
He said that the fatwa (religious order) recently signed by him
ordered that the holding of such functions should be given up. ..
He warned chief prayer leaders at Uzbek mosques that they should
oversee the implementation of the fatwa at local communities.
Putting an end to lavish and extravagant ceremonies is a long-
standing issue in Uzbekistan. The Uzbek authorities ordered the
neighbourhood and women's committees to work further in this area.
Islamic Funds Shift to Real Estate 23 Feb 03
After the persistent bear market in equities, investors especially
those in the Gulf states have been seeking refuge in either cash
management instruments, short-term liquidity management instruments,
capital guaranteed or protected funds, and latterly in real estate
funds. Real estate funds and investments, for instance, are flavor of
the moment for Islamic (Shariah-compliant) investment funds,
especially in US, UK, European, and Gulf real estate assets.
Investors have been attracted by the outperformance of real estate
investments, especially commercial property, which in the UK for
instance has outperformed equities, gilts, and cash investments. The
total return forecast for UK commercial property investments in 2002
is put at 9 percent plus; and the forecast for 2003 is even higher at
In the Islamic finance sector several Gulf banks have launched real
estate funds and have closed a motley of club deals. Bahrain-based
Gulf Finance House (GFH) in 2002 successfully (and some would say too
easily) raised 50 million UK pounds from Saudi and other Gulf
investors for its Cayman Islands-registered Gulf Atlantic Real Estate
Company (GAREC), which plans to invest in a 300 million UK pounds
commercial property portfolio in the UK. In November 2002, the company
made its first acquisition in the UK it bought an office block in a
business park adjacent to Gatwick Airport for 41.7 million pounds
sterling from BAA Lynton. The property is currently leased to British
Telecom on a long lease. More recently, GAREC completed the second
investment in the portfolio when it acquired the Arlington Securities
Plc portfolio for 67 million pounds. The portfolio comprises two
office blocks and two distribution warehouse centers. GAREC is looking
to acquire further portfolios.
The Kuwait Finance House deal, however, is more of an exception than
the rule. Other players, such as London-based Islamic Asset Management
(IAM), a subsidiary of ABC International Bank in London, and Dawnay
Day Group, have closed several individual and club commercial property
deals for Islamic investors from the Gulf amounting to millions of UK
By far the biggest player in the Islamic real estate investment sector
is Bahrain-based First Islamic Investment Bank (FIIB), which closed
its first real estate deal in Europe in December 2002 through a joint
venture called Crescent Euro Industrial I, set up by FIIB and Lend
Lease Real Estate Investments GmbH, a subsidiary of Lend Lease
[Jordan] Merger announcements applauded but bankers urge incentives
http://www.jordantimes.com/Mon/economy/economy2.htm 24 Feb 03
A recent move by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) to encourage weak
banks to merge with major financial entities was commended by some
bankers who, on Sunday, stresssed the importance of incentives to push
further the trend of mergers.
Last week, the CBJ announced that merging talks were being held
between the Arab Bank, the Kingdom's largest financial institution,
and the Jordan Gulf Bank (JGB) which currently faces financial and
Another statement followed announcing negotiations under which the
Philadelphia Investment Bank (PIB) would be acquired by the Housing
Bank for Trade and Finance (HBTF). According to bankers, the HBTF was
promised a Central Bank licence to establish a bank that will operate
according to Islamic Sharia. An official at JGB said that his bank was
driven by the CBJ to launch the talks with the Arab Bank.
Currently, the Arab Bank, HBTF and the Jordan Islamic Bank for Finance
and Investment control over 60 per cent of the local market while the
remaining 14 financial institutions compete for the remaining part.
In mid-1990s, the Arab Bank acquired the Amman Bank for Investment
after the former won a licence from the CBJ to establish an Islamic
bank that was named the Islamic International Arab Bank.
[Dubai] Salam can be used as tool of pre-shipment finance 24 Feb 03
.. author is head of risk management at Dubai Islamic Bank. [..]
[Malaysia] Syarikat Takaful launches first investment-linked product
.. 27 Feb 03
Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd yesterday launched Malaysia's first
investment-linked takaful, Pelan Takaful Dana Saham.
Under Takaful Dana Saham, money will be invested in the market and
profit divided according to the principle of Al Mudharabah.
Takaful Dana Saham, which is Syariah-based, offers customers two types
of savings, namely Tabung Istiqrar and Tabung Ittizan. Tabung
Istiqrar involves long-term low-risk investment with relatively lower
returns, while Tabung Ittizan offers a balanced high-risk investment
and high returns. [Business Times - Kuala Lumpur]
[Bahrain] $80 million BMA bond oversubscribed three times over
.. 26 Feb 03
An $80 million issue of Government Islamic leasing bonds (sukuk), made
by the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA), has been oversubscribed by more
than three times. On February 25, the bond's closing date, BMA had
received tenders worth $255.8 million for the issue of Ijara sukuk,
which carries a maturity of three years.
Ijara Sukuk are ideal Islamic financial structures because they are
asset-backed securities and therefore can be listed on a stock
exchange and be traded. Islamic bonds do not pay interest, which is
banned by Muslim law, but they mimic such payments by discounting the
bond's selling price or through profit sharing.
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