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Sharia News Watch 46

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 46 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] all editions:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 46 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*]
      all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
      Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


      Scarf ban on Bahrain policewomen lifted 07 Apr 03
      Bahrain's policewomen will be allowed to go to work wearing their head
      scarves or Hijab beginning from today. A total of 135 policewomen
      have sent a letter to His Majesty King Hamad last month demanding the
      Interior Ministry lifts a ban on wearing the Hijab.

      Last week in Parliament, Interior Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa
      Al Khalifa said that there was no law banning policewomen from wearing
      the head scarf, but its type had to be in keeping with the uniform.
      Mr Mohammed said policewomen have now informed MPs that the ministry
      was introducing a new uniform for them. They will now be required to
      wear long shirts and trousers at work.

      Hunger strike mum vows new fight 11 Apr 03
      Ms Rabea had lost a case for custody of her daughters Ghazlan, seven,
      and Janat, five, and then lost an appeal too.

      But there is still hope, according to her lawyer Mohammed Al Mutawa,
      who said that the proper legal procedure wasn't followed by either the
      Lower Sharia Court or the Higher Sharia Appeals Court, both Sunni
      courts. "The lower court has no jurisdiction over child custody
      according to Bahrain law but it judged in favour of Ms Rabea's husband
      anyway," he said.

      "She filled an appeal with the Higher Sharia Appeals Court but that
      court did not recognise that a procedural error was made by the first
      court and upheld the verdict. "There is no higher court in this case
      because the Court of Cassation, the highest court in the land, does
      not handle Sharia cases, only civil and criminal cases.

      "Our only option is to go back to the High Sharia Appeals Court and
      ask them to look at the case again because there is a clear procedural
      error," pointed Mr Al Mutawa.


      Australia hears gay asylum claim 08 Apr 03
      Two gay men from Bangladesh have asked the High Court in Australia to
      grant them asylum because they fear persecution at home for their
      The defendants' lawyer, Bruce Levet, told Australia's final court of
      appeal that the couple had already been stoned and whipped for their
      sexuality and that the local Islamic council had issued a fatwa
      against them.
      Mr Levet said that the Review Tribunal's argument that the men would
      face no persecution at home if they were discreet about their
      homosexuality, was tantamount to arguing that Holocaust victim Anne
      Frank was safe from Nazis in World War II as long as she continued to
      hide in an attic.

      But Ann Duffield, an adviser to Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock,
      said the government believed "homosexuality is... not a valid reason
      for seeking asylum under the UN Convention on Refugees".


      Police call for investigation against Islamic sect 08 Apr 03
      Police in Southern Bulgaria on Tuesday asked a prosecutor to order an
      investigation against four members of Muslim religious sect suspected
      of fundamentalist propaganda. Police in Pazardzhik, 100 kilometers
      (62 miles) southeast of Sofia, said members of the Chalifate sect
      called in their sermons to replace Bulgaria's existing legislation by
      the Islamic religious law or the Sharia. Police said sect members
      preached in a Roma neighborhood of Pazardzhik. Officers said they
      seized outlawed fundamentalist literature in places where sect
      followers gathered. The Chalifate sect is banned in neighboring Turkey
      and in Germany.


      'I sincerely apologize': Ottawa imam 08 Apr 03
      An apology was issued last night by Gamal Solaiman, the Ottawa imam
      who called on Muslims across the Middle East to take up arms in a holy
      war against American troops in Iraq, after Denis Coderre, the Minister
      of Citizenship and Immigration, said he intended to conduct an
      ''investigation'' into his inflammatory comments.

      Mr. Solaiman issued the apology after a furor erupted both on
      Parliament Hill and across the country among religious and political
      leaders who demanded he retract his statements
      During Sunday's edition of Global's Ottawa Inside Out, Mr. Solaiman
      said he supports the call for a jihad, or holy war, as issued by
      Saddam Hussein and many other Middle Eastern religious leaders. ''I do
      [support the jihad],'' Mr. Solaiman told the television panel.
      ''Because to my mind, it [the American-led military action] is not a
      war for justice. It is not a war for principle.''


      Arrests in Egypt: when the personal gets political 08 Apr 03
      Since US and British forces launched their attacks on Iraq, there have
      been reports of hundreds of arrests at anti-war protests in Cairo and
      human rights organizations have issued worldwide alerts. There are
      also alarming reports of torture.

      In an illustration of the activist side of globalization, dozens of
      people are circulating information in e-mails around the globe and
      calling on the Egyptian government to investigate charges of wrongful
      arrests and torture. One activist has even put up the information on
      the Oklahoma Students Against the War website, which can be found at

      Several of the detainees are women. Women Against the War and other
      women's groups have been organizing petitions to the Egyptian
      Parliament calling for official investigations into the arrests and
      torture of non-violent demonstrators. The women's groups are also
      collecting "donations and other things essential for surviving
      Egyptian prison conditions," as one activist put it, adding:
      "It isn't
      generally realized, but the condition in the main women's prison
      much worse than in most men's. An acquaintance of mine spent nine
      months last year in a cell with 100 other women and two buckets as
      toilets ­ and an outbreak of meningitis."


      [Ayodhya]Buddhists stake claim to disputed Hindu-Muslim religious
      .. 06 Apr 03
      The Lord Buddha Club has filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court,
      citing fifth century writings by Chinese travellers to support a claim
      Ayodhya was once a Buddhist city.

      [Kashmir] Hardline group says protecting Kashmiri non-Muslims is
      "Islamic duty" 07 Apr 03
      A hardline Islamic militant group fighting Indian rule in Kashmir on
      Monday said Muslims had a religious duty to protect non-Muslims.
      Idrees is Lashkar's commander in the Muslim-dominated south
      -- where 24 Hindus were massacred by unidentified gunmen on March 23
      in the village of Nadi Marg. The Indian army has blamed Lashkar and
      another hardline group Jaish-e-Mohammad for the attack.

      His statement comes a few days after the founder and former head of
      Lashkar-e-Taiba said "killing Hindus" was the best approach
      to the
      56-year-old dispute between Pakistan and India over Kashmir. "We
      like to give India a tit-for-tat response and reciprocate in the same
      way by killing the Hindus, just like it is killing the Muslims in
      Kashmir," Hafiz Saeed said Wednesday.

      Lashkar and Jaish -- also blamed by India for an attack on its
      parliament in December 2001 -- denied they were to blame for the Nadi
      Marg attack and accused the security forces of carrying it out to
      malign the militant movement. "The members of the minority
      should continue to live in Kashmir without any apprehensions,"
      said. "Islam does not permit targeting non-Muslims."

      Indian officials say the rebels carried out the massacre to discourage
      Kashmiri Hindus returning to the Kashmir Valley.


      War puts Indonesia KFC in a food fight 06 Apr 03
      In Indonesia, Muslim students are protesting the war in Iraq by
      leading a vocal boycott against American fast-food chains. KFC Corp.
      is fighting back this month by adding chicken balls to its menu.
      When the United States began bombing Afghanistan, for example, the
      owner of the McDonald's Corp. franchise for Indonesia, himself a
      Muslim, put up pictures of his family in Islamic garb and played
      religious music in his stores.

      But in Indonesia, KFC, a unit of Yum! Brands Inc. of Louisville, has
      concluded that what works best is a good, old-fashioned special offer.
      "No matter what, at the end of the day, customers here look at price,"
      said Mario Ledres, general manager of finance at PT Fastfood
      Indonesia, the local franchisee.
      And while KFC is sticking to its value-price strategy, it has stepped
      up training to alert staff how to handle potentially incendiary
      incidents. The company's emergency-response manual instructs employees
      to change into their uniform only after they are inside the store, and
      to ask protesters politely to let them inside if they encounter a
      gathering at the start of a shift. "If there's a crowd outside, we
      monitor it. If the crowd gets unruly, we shut the store," Ledres said.

      The anti-American boycotts and pickets, plus the economic impact of
      last year's terrorist bombing on the Indonesian resort island of Bali,
      in which more than 180 people were killed, apparently have taken a
      toll on KFC's profits. According to Fastfood Indonesia, KFC's 2002
      revenues fell 8 percent short of its forecasts, but still grew by 20
      percent from a year earlier. Management feels the effect would have
      been much greater if it hadn't rolled out a steady stream of special

      But as students step up their calls to action over the Iraq war,
      management fears there is more to come. KFC estimates March sales will
      fall about 9 percent short of forecasts. Added Ledres: "We haven't
      seen the worst of it yet."

      The Cybercaliphate 11 Apr 03
      On sub-tropical Sunday mornings in August, in the square outside the
      Fatahillah Museum in north Jakarta, cultural tableaux testifying to
      Indonesia's diversity take place. In one of them, a troupe of Balinese
      schoolgirls performs the elegant Legong dance that interprets, in its
      distinctive way, aspects of the island's ancient Hindu traditions. In
      its present Jakarta version, however, instead of the sinuous
      traditional dress, the girls cover their heads with white scarves.
      Such puritanical disdain for traditional practice reflects the growing
      Islamisation of Indonesian cultural life. It marks a significant
      breach with the recent and historical past, when both pre- and
      postcolonial Javanese rulers took pride in a syncretism that
      amalgamated religious and cultural differences into an original
      Indonesian blend. Across Jakarta today, however, middle-class women
      anxiously debate - while sipping cafe lattes in the downtown shopping
      malls - whether it is Islamically correct to wear the stylish
      "millennium" headscarf, elegantly tied at the nape of the neck, as a
      fitting accompaniment to lipstick and Ray-Bans.
      The Jakarta Charter of 1945 declared the centrality of Sharia to the
      future of the inchoate republic, but the modernising nationalist
      regimes of Sukarno (1950-66) and Soeharto (1966-98) had no use for
      such views. In 2002, however, Islamisation was back on the political
      agenda. Although eventually rejected by the MPR, the Sharia amendment
      received support from vice-president Hamzah Haz, assembly speaker
      Amien Rais and two small Islamic parties in the assembly.

      It was also endorsed on the streets by increasingly assertive Islamist
      groups like the Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defenders Front), Hizb
      ut-Tahrir (Islamic Liberation Party) and the Majlis Mujaheddin
      Indonesia (Assembly of Indonesian Mujaheddin), and it is clear that
      these groups have popular support that goes well beyond their formal
      memberships. A December 2001 survey conducted by the State Institute
      of Islamic Studies found that 61 per cent of the population responded
      positively to the statement that "Islamic government, that is
      government based on the Quran and the Sunna and led by experts in
      Islam ... is the best for this country".


      Karroubi hopes Iran's Parliament will not refer bill on elections to
      Expediency Council 06 Apr 03
      The GC [Guardians Council] last week rejected the bill arguing that
      some articles of the bill contradicted the Constitution and the
      Ismlaic Sharia law. The bill along with another one seeking to
      increase the power of the President was submitted by President
      Mohammad Khatami's Government, backed by nearly all reformist MPs now
      holding the majority of the Majlis seats.

      It has been basically drawn up to address the GC's prerogative of
      Approbatory Supervision which enables the council to disqualify
      candidates whom it considers as unfit for state posts from running in


      Dispatches From Northern Iraq 05 Apr 03
      Two weeks ago, on the morning after the first American missile strike
      on Ansar al-Islam, the band of itinerant jihadists holed up in the
      mountains on the Iranian border, a suicide car bomber pulled up at a
      checkpoint and exploded himself.
      Later [..], I drove up to where the Ansar terrorists had been pushed
      out of their positions by a ground attack of U.S. special forces and
      Kurdish militia. I drove past the blackened checkpoint where Moran had
      died, past charred poles, smashed cinderblock—depressingly
      unremarkable—past the empty Ansar bunkers of overturned earth and
      sandbags, past an Ansar graveyard where the mounds of earth were
      marked with small black metal numbered squares. Ansar had its main
      military headquarters in Sergat, the last high village before the
      massive rock and snow ridge that marks the border with Iran.

      Everywhere was detritus of the battle: machine-gun-bullet casings,
      piles of mortars, a black flag bearing the slogan, "The only way is
      Sharia." An old man was carrying on his back a pile of wooden boards
      that he had pulled from a bunker. "My donkey was killed in the
      bombardment," he said. "I'll use these planks for rebuilding."

      Kurdish Islamic leader rejects call for jihad against US, UK forces
      .. [Al-Sharq al-Awsat- London] 03 Apr 03
      Salah-al-Din Muhammad Baha-al-Din, secretary-general of the Islamic
      Union in Kurdistan, a pro-Muslim Brotherhood group, has rejected a
      fatwa [Islamic religious ruling] that was issued by a group of Muslim
      scholars some time ago calling for jihad against the US and British
      forces in their current war against Iraqi President Saddam Husayn. He
      regarded this fatwa as illegal.

      In statements to a television channel run by the Islamic Union,
      Baha-al-Din said: We highly value and respect the fatwa that was
      issued by some scholars among whom the name of Dr Ali Qarah Daghi,
      spiritual leader of the union, was mentioned.

      He added: However, we regard this fatwa as illegal because it did not
      take the current situation in Iraq into account. The scholars who
      issued the fatwa have no knowledge of this situation. Therefore, they
      misjudged it amid the confusion caused by US attacks on the Iraqi
      Dr Qarah Daghi is a professor at the University of Qatar and currently
      heads the Kurdish Islamic League, which finances the Islamic Union in
      Kurdistan. This league operates abroad as a relief body that collects
      donations from Islamic figures and charity organizations and sends
      them to Kurdistan to implement some service projects, build mosques,
      and give financial and material assistance to poor families,
      especially families of members of that organization, which expanded
      remarkably in the past years as a result of this aid.
      However, Qarah Daghi sent a letter from Qatar denying that he signed
      this fatwa.
      In another development in the field, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
      [PUK] forces continued two days ago and yesterday morning to chase
      after members of the hard-line fundamentalist group of the Supporters
      of Islam. This group's centres and camps in the mountainous areas
      close to the border with Iran were bombed by US aircraft.

      Troops welcomed with cheers and ritual flagellation 05 Apr 03
      Shia Muslims in Umm Qasr performed a public ritual of self-
      flagellation yesterday, an act that would have meant death if Saddam
      Hussein still controlled the area. The ritual, performed at a funeral,
      was the first open sign of defiance of the Iraqi regime by Shia
      Muslims in the port town since it was captured by coalition forces.

      Iraqis Sense the End of the Regime 08 Apr 03
      The last days have also witnessed the battle of the Ayataollahs as the
      Pentagon and the Iraqi government have tried to interpret and
      reinterpret the greatest personalities in the land — those, that
      who have survived the mysterious murders, hangings and car accidents
      of the past two decades. Ayatollah Al-Osmar Ali Assistani, for
      example, was first claimed by the United States to have called upon
      his Shiite flock not to fight the American occupation troops. Now the
      good Ayatollah claims he was misquoted. He never urged his people to
      collaborate and wants them to fight against the West. Or so say those
      last editions of the Baghdad press.

      Now Sheikh Abdul Karim Mohamed Biara Al-Mudaress has produced a fatwa,
      which emphasizes the importance of Iraqi martyrdom in the battle
      against the Americans. Far from a few paragraphs in government
      newspapers, Al-Mudaress has been rewarded with a glossy brochure with
      the entire text of his juridical opinion printed opposite a color
      photograph of the white-bearded and bespectacled expert in Islamic
      jurisprudence, complete with his hand-written signature.

      Yet another Iraqi Shiite prelate, Sayed Hussein Sayed Ismael Al-Sadr,
      has now demanded that true believers must fight the "devils,
      criminals, Zionists and Crusaders." Since Saddam had developed the
      habit of ridding himself of meddlesome preachers, the brochure
      suggests that Al-Mudaress and Al-Sadr have nothing to fear from the
      supreme leader — as long as the supreme leader lives.

      US hopes exile's return will sow seeds of new order 07 Apr 03
      It has been 13 years since Abdelmajid al-Khoi has prayed at the Shrine
      of Imam Ali, the holiest spot for Iraq's Shia Muslims. On Saturday, he
      returned, and was mobbed by wellwishers and old friends.

      Wearing his clerical garb and a green scarf, he disdained the bullet
      proof vests carried by many of his entourage and US special forces
      soldiers accompanying him to the heart of Najaf. "I have never felt so
      safe as I do here," he says of the city, taken last week by US forces
      after a four-day battle.

      The Khoi name carries almost unlimited cachet in Shia Iraq: Ayatollah
      Sayed Abdul-Qasim al-Khoi, Abdelmajid's father, was leader of much of
      the Shia world until his death while under house arrest in Najaf in
      Mr al-Khoi, who recently spoke to the FT in London about his hopes for
      the US-led invasion, has been camped out with a group of baseball
      cap-wearing US special forces soldiers in an abandoned factory on the
      outskirts of Najaf.

      US officials hope he can handle delicate negotiations with high
      ranking Shia clergy in Najaf, as well as facilitate the creation of a
      city government to take the place of the Ba'athist administration.

      On Saturday, he tried to meet Iraq's Grand Ayatollah, Ali Sistani, who
      was a student of his father's and succeeded him following his death in
      1992, but the elderly cleric has been refusing all visitors this week.
      He met the Ayatollah's son instead.
      US forces have also been backing a little-known group called the Iraqi
      Coalition for National Unity (ICNU), a group of 60-odd militiamen who
      drive around on US special forces vehicles, but appear to be doing
      little else.

      Mr al-Khoi says he is not familiar with the ICNU, but has organised a
      meeting of local wijaha or notables, to deal with the problem of local
      administration, citing the Loya Jirga held in Afghanistan last year -
      a meeting of tribal elders that elected Hamid Karzai as president - as
      an example to be followed before free elections can be organised.
      "What we need here is exactly like the Loya Jirga for Najaf," he says.
      "Even if the Americans temporarily appoint one of their generals to be
      president of Iraq, then the Shia will be fine with that," he says.
      "But if they appoint a Sunni, then I guarantee there will be a revolt.
      I will have to leave, because I promised them justice and it didn't
      Shia cleric backed by Washington murdered 11 Apr 03
      Abdul Majid al-Khoei and another cleric were stabbed and hacked to
      death in the Imam Ali mosque, apparently while trying to make an
      agreement with a governmentappointe official for control of the
      In an apparent gesture of reconciliation, he accompanied Haider
      al-Kadar, an appointee of the ministry of religion, into the
      goldendomed mosque in Najaf when supporters of another group accosted
      them. "The people were shouting they hate him, he should not be
      here," a witness said. Mr Khoei pulled a gun and fired one or two
      shots. It was unclear last night whether he had fired into the air or
      the crowd. But both men were then rushed and hacked to death with
      swords and knives.


      Muslims urge embassy shutdown 06 Apr 03
      The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) has called on the
      government to close down the US and British embassies in Nairobi in
      protest at the two countries' invasion of Iraq, SUPKEM's chairperson
      said on Sunday.

      "We urge the government to shut the US and British embassies in Kenya
      because these two nations have resorted to dictatorial behaviour that
      is meant to hurt Muslims around the world," SUPKEM's chairman
      Abdulghafur al-Busaidy said.
      He urged Kenya to ignore calls by the US to close down the Iraqi
      diplomatic mission in Nairobi. The Kenyan government is "studying"
      that request, and has not yet taken its decision, the minister of
      Foreign affairs, Kalonzo Musyoka, recently said.


      Morocco only Islamic state upholding Commander of the Faithful
      institution (official) 04 Apr 03
      Seen from a political point of view, Morocco is the only Islamic state
      upholding the Commander of the Faithful (Amir Al Mouminine)
      institution, embodied by King Mohammed VI, "who belongs to the family
      of the Prophet Sidna Mohamed's descendents," said Morocco's minister
      of Waqf and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Taoufiq.

      Talking at the first World Congress of Spanish-speaking Muslims, held
      in Seville on Thursday, the Moroccan official stressed that the Amir
      Al Mouminine institution consists in preserving the doctrinal unity
      inspired from the sharia (Islamic law) and the Malekite Rite (in
      reference to Imam Malek) in terms of jurisprudence.
      In Morocco nowadays there's a debate on modernity without renouncing
      to religious and traditional values, said the Moroccan official, who
      also recalled another no less important debate concerning the works of
      the Royal Commission in charge of reforming the personal status
      (Moudwana), including women's condition.
      Spanish-speaking Muslim community in the world accounts for about 12
      million worshipers, while the Moroccan expatriates living is Spain
      represents 85 per cent of the whole Muslim community in Spain.


      Stoning case mums in limbo 07 Apr 03
      The fate of Amina Lawal and Fatima Usman - two village housewives
      condemned to be stoned to death by Nigeria's new Sharia courts - will
      hang in the balance until after this month's key elections. Both were
      found guilty of having sex outside marriage by Islamic judges, and
      both have been granted leave to appeal. Neither can be cleared until
      after the next delicate stage in Nigeria's democratic development.
      Nigeria will go to the polls for legislative elections on Saturday and
      week later to elect or re-elect a president, in the first elections
      since Africa's most populous country returned to civilian rule.
      The case of Usman, 34, and her former boyfriend Ahmadu Ibrahim, who
      had a baby together outside marriage, is less clear cut. Both were
      sentenced to be stoned to death in absentia by a judge who belatedly
      decided to apply Sharia principles to a case that began as a simple
      civil claim against Ibrahim for paternity payments.

      Sources in the pair's home village of New Gawu in Niger State, a
      hour's drive from the federal capital Abuja, say the judge has now
      been moved to other functions. But, their lawyer says, the pair have
      yet to win an appeal date and are living in legal limbo.
      When the case of Lawal raised international controversy, Obasanjo told
      the foreign media that he was confident that she would be cleared once
      her appeal reached a federal court, but he defends the northern
      states' rights to pass Sharia law into their penal codes.

      Behind his caution, observers say, is not just a cynical electoral
      calculation, but also a genuine concern that a federal attack on the
      Sharia might re-ignite the angry tensions in the north.

      [Zamfara] Persons found guilty of rigging during poll risk amputation
      .. [The Guardian on Sunday] 06 Apr 03
      The Zamfara State government has vowed to amputate the hand from the
      wrist of anybody found guilty of rigging or stealing votes during
      forth coming elections in the state.
      [A member of the Zamfara State elders committee] said the decision was
      in line with the Shari'ah legal system being implemented in the state
      which teaches Justice, fear and equity among the entire community.
      Anka who is a senator with the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)
      representing Zamfara West Senatorial District, said the punishment
      will be executed on anybody irrespective of political party
      His words: "we in Zamfara are determined to deal with anybody who is
      involved in rigging or stealing the votes we will take him to Shari'ah
      Court." "And in any case such would be treat like some one who have
      stolen cow or someone else's property or money and you know what
      Shari'ah says if you steal cow your hand would be cut-off."


      Peshawar: Drug trafficking thru women on the rise 07 Apr 03
      In past the number of women arrested under the Offence of Zina
      (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979, outnumbered other women
      prisoners, but now the situation had changed and the women arrested in
      narcotics cases were more than those arrested in any other offence,
      said a lawyer dealing in narcotics cases.

      NWFP Diary: MMA Concerned Over Law & Order 08 Apr 03
      Claims made by NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani regarding
      bettering the law and order situation in the province, so for, the
      NWFP administration failed to lower down the crime tide going up
      Everywhere during his tour to the main towns, chiefminister [Durrani]
      has assured the people that the days of lawlessness had come to an
      end. But, the incidents of kidnapping-for-ransom have multiplied,
      robberies, dacoities and disappearance of minors have become the order
      of the day. The police force, which is supposed to maintain the law
      and order and take action against the criminals, issues a bundle of
      handouts each day on its poor performance.
      A high ranking government official on condition of anonymity told this
      scribe that without streamlining the police department the MMA
      government would not be able to enforce Shariat in the province.
      It is high time for the government to depoliticise the police force to
      maintain law and order and introduce an accountability mechanism to
      burnish the police force.

      Veil for women in NWFP to uproot obscenity: Minister 05 Apr 03
      NWFP Information Minister, Asif Iqbal said that the women in the
      province would be made bound to wear veils to root out obscenity from
      the province. "Urdu has been declared official language of the
      province and provision of free education up to matriculation, wearing
      of veils by womenfolk, ban on the advertisement reflecting nude
      pictures and reactivation of the Zakat system will be ensured", he
      announced this while talking to the journalists here Saturday.
      About Zakat system, he said government has taken several positive
      steps to activate the system. Ahead of distribution of Zakat through
      cheques, the beneficiary will be asked if he is entitled to Zakat or
      "To ensure Islamic values take roots in the province, he said and
      added the womenfolk will be made bound to wear veils so that the
      obscenity could be curbed.
      "Ban on printing of obscene pictures and advertisement in the
      newspapers is included in the recommendations of the Sharia Council,
      he disclosed. The campaign is underway with full force on extraction
      of tape recorders from vehicles", he remarked .

      [NWFP] JUI happy over blocking of porno sites 10 Apr 03
      JUI [Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam] expressed satisfaction over the blockage of
      1800 pornographic web sites has been imposed by the PTCL [largest ISP
      in Pakistan]. JUI senator sahibzada khalid Jan, JUI district amir
      mulligan hamidullah and Muhammad rasool expressed their concerns in a
      press conference here the other day and termed the PTCL decision as a
      good decision to block the 1800 pornographic web sites. They said that
      the decision would reduce the sex sites watching.

      [NWFP] BoK board of directors meets 10 Apr 03
      The board of Directors of the Bank of Khyber (BoK), which met here
      today under the Chairmanship of Senior Minister, Sirajul Haq, decided
      to gradually convert the Bank into an Islamic one. For this purpose,
      the Board approved the formation of a Shariah Supervisory Board
      comprising of Prof. Khursheed Ahmed (Chairman), Mufti Ghulamur Rehman,
      Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Dr. Mahmood Ahmed Ghazi and Dr. Shahid
      Hassan Siddiqui. The Board decided that the first Islamic Branch of
      the BoK would be established at Peshawar for which it sanctioned Rs.
      50 million. After approving the Shariah Advisory Board and Rs. 50
      million, the BoK has fulfilled all the legal formalities for opening
      of an Islamic Branch at Peshawar. However, final approval for the
      purpose will be sought from the State Bank of Pakistan. Addressing the
      meeting, Sirajul Haq said that establishment of an Islamic Welfare
      Society was prime objective of the MMA adding that practical steps
      were being taken to ensure supremacy of law and merit at all levels.
      He said that there was no room for Riba in Islam, therefore, he asked
      bankers to utilize all their energies for the Islamization of banking
      system so as to get rid the society of the menace of Riba.

      [NWFP] Fazl criticized for Sharia delay 10 Apr 03
      A spokesman for the Pakistan People's Party (PPP-Sherpao) on
      lashed out at Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the Secretary-General of the
      Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal, for making excuses to enforce the Shariat in
      the NWFP.

      Expressing astonishment over the alliance leader's statement in
      he threatened to quit the Frontier government due to impediments being
      created by the federal government in the way of implementation of
      Islamic laws in the province, the spokesman not only challenged the
      contention of the alliance leader but also rejected his allegations.

      [NWFP] ANP hints at rift in MMA 10 Apr 03
      Central Information Secretary of the Awami National Party (ANP) Haji
      Muhammad Adeel has criticised the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal government
      in the NWFP and said that despite tall claims of the enforcement of
      Islamic Shariah in the province, they have totally failed to call the
      assembly session.
      The ANP leader said the government has also failed to present its
      secret Shariah Bill before the people. He demanded that this bill
      should be presented before the media so that the people might get
      familiar with it.

      Haji Adeel said if the MMA succeeded in banning Riba and use of wine
      on the followers of other religions, and exempt the household cars and
      property from tax, then the ANP would accept this as Shariah.

      Peshawar : Man acquitted of rape charge 06 Apr 03
      Misal Khan was accused in an FIR of molesting the 11-year-old girl
      here at Tehkal on Aug 23, 2002. Fazal Bibi, mother of the victim, had
      lodged the case under the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood)
      Ordinance 1979. A medical investigation of the girl also proved that
      she was sexually assaulted.

      Advocate Shakeel Ahmad appeared for the defence and argued that there
      was a conflict in statements of the victim and her mother. Misal Khan
      was implicated in the case as there was no evidence on record against
      him, he added.
      The victim said she was playing with other children in front of her
      house when Misal Khan, a resident of her village, came holding two
      pigeons in his hands and said if she went with him to a hujra (guest
      room), he would give her some pigeons. But in the hujra, she alleged,
      the accused molested her.
      http://www.dawn.com/2003/04/09/nat15.htm 06 Apr 03
      AJK Shariat Court Chief Justice Syed Manzoor Hussain Gillani directed
      the top officials of the AJK health department on Tuesday to depute
      experienced , efficient and competent doctors conversant with the
      medico-legal cases so that these are not hampered because of medical
      officer's inefficiency and inaction.

      The chief justice also took strong exception to what he observed was
      worst kind of inefficiency and lack of expertise on the part of a
      doctor, which had rendered it impossible for the investigating agency
      (police) to reach any conclusion as well as for the court to decide
      the matter at appropriate stage.

      He made the observations and direction while disposing of a revision
      petition by one Sakina Bibi, who had been arrested by the police on
      March 16 for committing zina (adultery) with Mohammad Sadiq in a
      quarter attached to the Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences,
      During the hearing of the petition, the court was told that the female
      medical officer, to whom the accused was referred to for medical
      examination, had refused to reply to the questions by the
      investigating agency on the plea that she could do so only after
      receiving the report of the chemical examiner.

      The petitioner's counsel had contended that in the absence of any
      report her client could not be held guilty of the offence. However,
      opposing the bail plea, the assistant advocate-general had contended
      that the accused was arrested by the police in the presence of the
      eyewitnesses and mere absence or non-existence of medical certificate
      did not falsify the case.

      On Tuesday, the FMO, Dr Nasreen Akhtar, informed the court that she
      had examined Ms Sakina Bibi, but she said she was not supposed to
      reply the police inquest unless she received the chemical examiner's
      report. The AAG placed before the court the memo of inquest report
      whereby three questions were asked to the FMO by the police but none
      of them was replied by her.

      When the chemical examiner was contacted, he stated that the specimen
      sent to him did not carry the medico-legal certificate of the doctor,
      the AAG said.

      On further questioning, the FMO told the court that she had examined
      the petitioner, but did not find any stain of semen or scratch or
      anything on her body and, therefore, she was of the opinion that
      sexual intercourse could not be said to have been committed.
      Giving the benefit of doubt, the chief justice ordered the
      petitioner's release from Central Jail, Muzaffarabad, provided she
      furnished bail and personal bond in the sum of Rs 50,000 [Eur 800].

      However, the chief justice said it would be open to the court to
      recall the concession of bail on its own motion or on the application
      of prosecution, if after examining the alleged eyewitnesses the court
      came to the conclusion that the accused, prima facie, appeared
      connected with the commission of offence.


      Palestinian ban for leaders of UK and America 07 Apr 03
      The Mufti of Jerusalem, the Palestinians' most senior Muslim cleric,
      has issued a fatwa barring George Bush and Tony Blair from visiting
      the "sacred holy land of Palestine". Sheikh Ikrimah Sabri, who is
      appointed and paid by Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, said
      Muslims were obliged to rise in the face of the Anglo-American
      "aggression". All Muslims, he insisted, were forbidden to assist the
      war effort.
      Sheikh Sabri's fatwa was issued a week after the Greek Orthodox Bishop
      of Bethlehem announced that the Allied leaders, both practising
      Christians, would never be allowed to enter the Church of the
      Nativity. The Greek Orthodox Church, the largest denomination among
      Palestinian Christians, controls most of the 6th-century basilica,
      built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian over the traditional
      birthplace of Jesus.


      Praying for Revenge 07 Apr 03
      The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Saleh Al-Sheikh, instructed
      the imams all over the Kingdom who lead congregational prayers to
      offer "qunoot" prayers for the welfare and protection of
      Muslims. The
      decision followed a fatwa issued by the Kingdom's Grand Mufti,
      Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, citing "the great calamity that has befallen
      Muslims in Iraq and the mass killing of innocent women, children and
      the elderly."

      Offering "qunoot" prayers is a tradition with its roots in
      the time of
      Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). However, listening to some imams
      offering "qunoot" prayers, one gets the impression that they
      seeking revenge instead of the welfare of their fellow Muslims. Islam
      is not a religion which seeks revenge on those who do not follow it.
      Rather, it guides and directs people to the right path.

      Some "qunoot" prayers only harm us even if they are directed
      at the
      enemy. One imam prays for the death of the enemy, for their children
      to become orphans and their wives to become widows. Another prays for
      the enemy's blood to freeze in the veins so they will wish they
      dead rather than suffer so terribly.


      Mortgages: Future is fixed rates 10 Apr 03
      People buying specialist mortgage products, such as Islamic mortgages,
      will no longer have to pay double stamp duty from December under plans
      unveiled by Mr Brown yesterday as part of the Finance Bill to be
      published next Wednesday.

      Under sharia law, Muslims are not allowed to pay or receive interest.
      Stamp duty is paid twice because to get around this problem, the
      property is sold twice - once to the lender and again to the buyer. In
      collecting instalments to repay the loan, the lender charges "rent",
      rather than interest. Mr Brown also froze stamp duty.


      Charity illegally pumped millions into Baghdad, investigators say
      .. 06 Apr 03
      Even as war rages in Iraq, federal agents have begun to unlock the
      secrets of an unlicensed, unregistered Islamic charity in upstate New
      York that allegedly pumped millions of dollars into Baghdad.

      Flouting U.S. economic sanctions, the group shipped cash out of
      Syracuse, laundered it in banks in Jordan and then illegally funneled
      it into Iraq, according to an unsealed federal indictment.

      Operating under the name Help the Needy, the organization described
      itself as a tax-exempt nonprofit that provided food and humanitarian
      assistance to the "starving children and suffering Muslims of Iraq."

      But it lacked charitable status, misrepresented itself in appeals to
      donors, never got a license to send aid to Iraq, as required by
      federal law - and, more ominously, had ties to groups accused of
      supporting al-Qaida, investigators say.


      [Al-Jazeera] Ignorant by decree 10 Apr 03
      Mideast government news agencies have kept their audiences ignorant.
      But after Saddam, a free press will give Arabs their first taste of
      unbiased news.
      Al-Jazeera, dubbed the Arab CNN, is among the most credible of Arab
      broadcasters, and for this reason it has an immense following -- an
      estimated 40 million viewers in the Arab world alone. But being among
      the best of a bad lot isn't good enough. As Baghdad was falling, the
      Arabs in the Middle East overwhelmingly believed that the coalition
      forces were suffering major setbacks when they were not, that Iraqi
      forces were holding up well when they were not, that civilian
      casualties were high when they were not.

      Many Arabs claim al-Jazeera brings balance to war reporting by
      providing an Arab cheering section. But countering facts with fictions
      only creates casualties among civilian viewers. Until Arabs have
      access to a free and competitive press, they will be kept in
      ignorance, not just about developments in the war in Iraq but about
      the way the world actually works.

      Throughout the Arab world today, a free press is an alien concept. The
      government owns or controls almost all media -- most governments
      appoint all newspaper editors, for example -- and considers the press
      an arm of the regime. So does the Arab public. To most Arabs, who have
      never experienced the West's rigorous reporting, investigative
      journalism, and competition for the public's confidence that can only
      come of a media not dominated by the government, it is inconceivable
      that the western press can be trusted any more than the Arab press. In
      Arabic, in fact, the word for "news media" (i'laam) is the same word
      frequently used for "public relations."

      Because Arabs have been kept ignorant by their government press, Arabs
      understand little about the outside world that their repressive
      governments don't want them to know. Arabs consequently cannot judge
      the West's intentions for themselves, leading to misunderstandings and


      Takaful concept based on mutual cooperation and support 07 Apr 03
      Takaful in Arabic means, 'guaranteeing each other' or 'standing for
      each other'. Though related to the field of Islamic finance, Takaful
      is not a banking product but an alternative to insurance. For ease of
      reference, it is Islamic Insurance.

      Takaful can be described as an arrangement made by a group of people
      with common interest to protect each other from certain defined
      mishaps through a collective pooling of their financial resources.

      Principles on which Takaful operates are approved under the Islamic
      jurisprudence or Sharia guidelines and are more a consumer-driven
      response to their needs rather than an exercise to make the
      shareholders of an insurance company richer.
      Characteristics of a Takaful Contract: As opposed to the exploitative
      nature of a conventional insurance contract, the takaful contract is
      known to have the following user-friendly characteristics:
      * It is based on principles of co-operation, solidarity and mutual
      * It avoids elements of interest (Riba) and uncertainty (Gharar).
      * The premium charged is commensurate with the cost of risk plus
      reasonable amount for meeting operational expenses.
      * It complies with all Sharia requirements, including but not limited
      to fair play with all participants, especially in the event of loss.
      Since the concept of takaful is close to the insurance, which is prone
      to the elements of speculation, uncertainty and gambling, all takaful
      activities are closely supervised and contracts carefully developed by
      the committee to ensure that Sharia principles are upheld at all

      A takaful company does not have policyholders. It has Contributors or
      Participants as they are participating jointly in a takaful fund for
      their mutual benefit. They are owners of the fund and the Company
      manages and operates takaful fund on their behalf.

      [Malaysia] Restructuring pays off for JCorp 08 Apr 03
      .. [New Straits Times - Management]
      Under the restructuring, JCorp had converted its debt amounting to RM
      3.4 billion [EUR 833 mill] into three major financial instruments.
      The first, involving RM 2.75 billion [EUR 675 mill.], comprises a
      long-term Guaranteed Redeemable Islamic Bond based on the Syariah
      principle of 'Al-Bai Bithaman Ajil'.
      The second scheme involved RM 230.34 million of Redeemable Secured
      Certificates (RSCs), also based on the Syariah principles of 'Al-Bai
      Bithaman Ajil'' with a maturity period of five, seven and 10 years.
      Under the third scheme, JCorp secured RM 400 million of 10-year
      working capital under the Syariah principle known as "Murabahah''
      Revolving Facility.
      The restructuring enabled KPJ's paid-up capital to be raised to more
      than RM 200 million, making it the single largest healthcare entity
      with a 14 per cent market share of the private healthcare industry.

      [*] Copyright: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 -
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      distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. If
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      go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
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