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Sharia News Watch 39

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  • Enzo Picardie <6vtmu001@sneakemail.com>
    Sharia News Watch 39 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2003
      Sharia News Watch 39 : a collection news quotes on Sharia,
      for research & educational purposes only. [*]
      Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      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
      fifth floor.
      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
      religious edict.


      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
      and dancing.

      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
      Western domination.

      "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
      religious edict.


      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
      the country.

      "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
      of loan.

      [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
      the Kingdom.


      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.
      map: http://www.ou.edu/mideast/country/turkmeni.htm


      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
      10 percent.

      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
      operational irregularities.

      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.

      [*] 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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