Sharia News Watch 48
- Sharia News Watch 48 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*]
all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
Deputy Taleban Religious Police Chief Arrested - 17 Apr 03
State-run Kabul radio and the official Bakhter news agency reported
Thursday that the Western-backed government has Maulawi Qalamuddin in
custody. They did not say when or where the arrest took place.
Mr. Qalamuddin was best known for his role as enforcer of ultra-strict
interpretations of Islamic law before the Taliban's ouster by a
U.S.-led military coalition in late 2001.
Afghan women demanding voice in new constitution - 16 Apr 03
At a seminar on "Women and Constitutional Reform" held over the past
few days in Kabul, Women's Affairs Minister Habiba Surabi said "the
rough draft of the new Afghan Constitution takes the situation of
women into account," but added, "I am very concerned about whether or
not it will be applied."
Despite their pledges, some governors, like Ismail Khan in the western
province of Herat - who has a private army of some 15,000 men -, have
imposed strict Islamic sharia law in their territory and treat women
the same way the Taliban did, denying them education, job
opportunities and even the right to move about freely.
[European Union special envoy Francesc] Vendrell acknowledged that in
the case of women, traditionally the victims of harsh discrimination
in Afghanistan, "it will be very difficult to apply the law overnight,
because it will be hard to change these customs."
[Opinion] While secularists slumber - 25 Apr 03
The battle cry for further Islamisation has grown louder over the
years. The secular tradition has been challenged and secular laws
broken with impunity. Two High Court judges, who had ruled that the
Fatwa, such as those sometimes handed out by the village religious
leader, was unlawful because it violated basic human rights, have been
proclaimed apostates by national religious leaders. Not only has there
been a proliferation of political parties and caucuses demanding the
creation of an Islamic state; such demands are already being
accompanied by threats of violence. Shadowy political groups openly
call for the violent overthrow of secular democracy and establishment
of Islam-ic rule.
Some actions purported to be Islamic do not have political goals. But
many of them certainly have. Some are results of ignorance that is
exploited for political ends. Some are clothed in innocence. A
satisfactory taxonomy of the phenomenon will be long and complex. The
decision to put up a neon sign in Arabic on the national airport of
Bangladesh should, however, be easy to describe. There has been a
series of steps over the years at various levels of our national life
that can only be described as attempts to nudge the nation away from
its Bengali ethos towards the goals of political Islam. The neon sign
in Arabic on top of the airport in Dhaka is one such nudge. And it is
sharper than most people seem to realise.
Hunt for stolen 4x4s and illegal drinkers at Kuala Lurah
http://www.brunei-online.com/bb/wed/apr16h7.htm - 16 Apr 03
Codenamed "Operasi Semerbak 1", the operation was also aimed at
nabbing traffic offenders and Muslims who crossed the border to have a
"drink" which is an offence under Chapter 77 of the Kadhi Court
(Amendment 2001) as well as to look for stolen vehicles that intended
to slip out of the country and cross the border.
During the operation, the officers found three foreign women carrying
dubious chicken meat and questioned several local Muslims who crossed
the border to allegedly have a "drink".
Investment in sharia bonds expected to surge - 22 Apr 03
Investment in the form of Islamic syariah bonds in the country is
forecasted to grow robustly to around Rp 1.27 trillion (about US$ 144
million) this year from Rp 130 billion last year, a consultant
specializing in the sector said. Analyst Adiwarman A. Karim from
Karim Business Consulting said that syariah bonds were an attractive
investment alternative as they offered high returns with a coupon rate
averaging 16 percent compared to the 14 percent to 16 percent offered
by conventional bonds.
Karim hinted that in the third quarter of this year, three giant
companies engaged in financing, transportation and food processing
were expected to issue syariah bonds that could be worth at least Rp
700 billion [EUR 75 mill].
Investment in syariah bonds is still in its infancy, but market
players predict that it will soon emerge as an important investment
option as most Islamic countries had adopted this investment form,
particularly Malaysia whose bond portfolio is dominated by syariah
bonds rather than conventional bonds.
Where a kiss is never 'just a kiss' - 22 Apr 03
A prominent Iranian actress has been handed a suspended sentence of 74
lashes for publicly kissing a male film director during an awards
ceremony, said a report. The Hambastegi newspaper said the court in
the central city of Yazd suspended the sentence after Gohar
Kheirandish, a veteran star of Iranian cinema, apologised for her
public show of affection.
Kheirandish sparked protests from religious hardliners last November
after kissing Ali Zamani on the forehead and shaking his hand when
handing him an award for Best Filmmaker at a film festival in Yazd.
Physical contact between unmarried and unrelated men and women is
strictly forbidden in Iran.
Focus on family planning - 24 Apr 03
The Islamic Republic of Iran is often perceived by the outside world
as a very conservative, closed society when it comes to social issues.
However, the country boasts one of the best family planning programmes
in the region. With the average size of a family at 4.6 - rural five,
urban 4.4, according to official statistics compared to seven/eight in
the neighbouring countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Iran is the
most progressive country in the region when it comes to family planning.
Afzali [deputy minister for research and technology in the Ministry of
Health] remarked that the success of the family planning programme was
evident, saying that the number of unwanted pregnancies now stood at
20 percent, down from 25 percent in 1980. "To start with, we only had
approval for contraception such as the pill, condoms and IUCDs
[intrauterine contraception devices]. But we were later given a fatwa
[religious decree] for vasectomies [male sterilisation] to be carried
out," he added.
Another fatwa was also issued calling for consent by couples on family
planning issues, thereby ensuring that there were no major side
effects, that the method of family planning should be reversible, and
should be based on Islamic rules. "We trained people in carrying out
reversible operations," he said.
Race for order in Iraq - 24 Apr 03
In Iraq, at least, jurists won't have to start from scratch. The
country has no shortage of good laws on the books, with a strong legal
tradition dating back to Hammurabi's ancient code of justice - one of
the earliest known bodies of law.
Modern Iraqi law, last overhauled in the late 1960s, is an
amalgamation of the Napoleonic codes and Islamic sharia with hints of
the Ottomans and British who once ruled there. The result resembles
the Egyptian legal code: It contains some concepts familiar to
Westerners such as presumption of innocence, while sharia governs
Exiled Iraqi lawyers say Hussein gradually perverted this justice
system during three decades in power, adding decrees to the criminal
code that banned most forms of publishing, legalized torture, and
sentenced army deserters to death.
Once the courts are functioning again, the job will shift to reforming
the legal codes. One area of law likely up for change, says Ridha, is
the discriminatory nationality law that favors Arabs.
Iraq has a mixed legal system that draws on both Sunni and Shi'i fiqh
for the law applied in shari'a courts. The legal system as a whole
also includes constitutional law, legislation and statutory
provisions, usage and custom, judicial precedent, and authoritative
juridical opinions. Iraq, the birthplace of the Hanafi school of
fiqh, came under Ottoman rule in the 17th century. From 1850 a number
of new civil, penal and commercial codes were adopted by the Ottomans,
based on European (mainly French) models, but the OLFR 1917 was never
implemented in Iraq as the Turks lost control over the region by the
end of World War I when a British Mandate was established. The British
administrators did not adopt the OLFR as it was not part of local law
and because of the fact that Iraq had an almost equal proportion of
Sunni and Shi'i inhabitants. A monarchy was established under King
Faisal in 1921 following the Arab Revolt; Iraq gained full
independence from its Mandate status in 1932. A military coup in 1958
brought an end to the monarchy and Iraq became a republic.
The Iraqi Law of Personal Status 1959 was based on the report of a
commission appointed the previous year to draft a code of personal
status and applies, according to Article 2, to all Iraqis except those
specifically exempted by law, mainly relating to Christian and Jewish
minorities. The ILPS provides that, in the absence of any textual
provision, judgements should be passed on the basis of the principles
of the Islamic shari'a in closest keeping with the text of the ILPS.
Article 1 of the Civil Code also identifies Islamic law as a formal
source of law.
Schools of Fiqh: The Ja'fari and Hanafi are the predominant schools in
Iraq. There are also Christian and small Jewish and Yezidi minorities.
Constitutional Status of Islam(ic Law): The provisional constitution
was adopted on 22nd September 1968 and came into effect from 16th July
1970. Article 4 of the current provisional constitution declares Islam
the state religion. (A new constitution was drafted in 1990 but was
Court System: Courts of Personal Status hear all cases involving
Muslims, whether Iraqi or not. These Courts have jurisdiction over
marriage, divorce, legitimacy, succession, awqaf, etc. Shari'a courts
operate independently from the regular courts. The Code of Personal
Status 1959 is a unified code applicable to Shi'a and Sunni Iraqis.
Shi'ite clerics tap aides for posts - 23 Apr 03
Sheik Karbalai was appointed by Ayatollah Hussein Sistani, a leading
Shi'ite cleric in Najaf, to bring law and order to the city [Kerbala]
and help the needy.
It has been the wish of the religious leaders in the holy city of
Najaf, from the day of the Saddam's fall, to take matters into their
own hands," Sheik Karbalai said.
Shi'ite leaders in Najaf, about 120 miles south of Baghdad, have
appointed their own city council and named people to provide security
and basic needs to local residents.
In at least one city, Karbala, about 60 miles south of Baghdad,
candidates contacted by U.S. forces have refused to be appointed,
fearing opposition to any interim leaders seen as too close to the
Mr. Sadr's family in Najaf has appointed Sheik Halim al-Fatlawi to run
a district of Baghdad formerly known as Saddam City, but now known as
Sadr City. Mr. Fatlawi said he has had no contact with the new mayor,
Mohammed Mohsen Zubeidi, nor has he sent an envoy to Mr. Zubeidi or
the U.S. forces, or received an envoy from either. He, however, plans
to continue to provide law and order and basic services to the
district's residents without help from either parties.
Shiite Muslims embrace move toward Islamic republic in Iraq - 22 Apr
Newly liberated Iraqi Shiites, who have gathered this week in Karbala
by the millions for an important pilgrimage, say there can be no
turning back from the course they have chosen to establish a new
Islamic republic of Iraq.
They describe the new republic as a place where Islamic law, or
sharia, would be strictly enforced. Women, whether Muslim or
Christian, would be urged to wear a head-to-toe cloak known as an
abaya. There would be democracy but also a socialist-style economic
system based on equal distribution of wealth.
A supreme Islamic council, known as the Hawza al-Ilmiyya, would have
to approve everything from garbage collection to homeland security. In
fact, the supreme council already is doing so, Shiite clerics say,
noting that Iraqi hospitals, mosques and public buildings already are
being guarded by armed men appointed under Hawza authority.
"The Americans absolutely must consult the Hawza" before attempting to
organize a government," Jabouri said. "There is no government without
the Hawza. The Hawza is and always has been our government."
Jabouri went on to say, however, that he would support the
participation of Sunnis and Christians, as well as representatives of
the Iraqi expatriate community who have been working for years with
Washington on forming a successor government to Hussein.
That comment prompted another man in the crowd to begin shouting, "You
know better than to say such things! The Hawza has issued rules, and
you have violated them." The man, who did not identify himself,
suggested that members of the crowd seize a reporter's notebook and
tear out the pages where the offending remarks were written. He
grabbed Jabouri by the collar and hauled him away, apparently for
questioning by security men appointed by the Hawza.
Ayatollah breaks his silence after fleeing siege - 16 Apr 03
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who is still at an undisclosed location,
contacted his son to say he was safe but was not ready to receive
visitors, according to Ayatollah Abulqasim Dibaji, his Kuwait-based aide.
Senior Shi'ite leaders accused the Jimaat-e-Sadr-Thani group of
orchestrating the siege and of killing Majid al-Khoei, another
prominent Shi'ite cleric, at the Imam Ali mosque last week.
Under Shi'ite religious law, Ayatollah Sistani's authority outranks
that of Iraq's secular authorities, including Saddam.
At the centre of the Shiite struggle is the Iran-based Supreme Council
for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), set up by Ayatollah Muhammad
Bakr al-Hakim, son of another Shiite grand ayatollah who first
challenged Iraqi secular regimes as far back as the 1950s.
Ayatollah al-Hakim followed in his father's steps as an Islamic
scholar, but when his father died in the 1970s, the leadership of
Iraqi's Shiites was taken up by Mohammed Bakr al Sadr who encouraged
Shiites to join al Dawa - meaning Islamic Voice - an outlawed militant
organisation that opposed Saddam.
[Al Dawa] Beloved Iraqi Cleric Has Rival Vision 16 Apr 03
But here in Al-Bait mosque [Nasiryah], another movement to rebuild
Iraq was being born, one led by a 71-year-old Shiite cleric who is a
prominent leader of the Al Dawa Party [Islamic Call]. Membership in
the party during Saddam Hussein's reign guaranteed imprisonment, if
The Al Dawa Party calls for a fundamentalist Islamic state and has had
an armed unit in Iraq, but Hussein crushed or executed many of its
leaders, followers said. At the mosque, Al-Nasri said he was "sorry"
that the Ur conference failed to include all of the Iraqi parties that
had opposed Hussein.
An Al Dawa representative was to be at the meeting but only as an
observer, a party member said. When asked if he thought Ahmed Chalabi,
one of those favored by Bush administration, should become Iraq's next
leader, the cleric said "absolutely not." But Al-Nasri said he would
abide by any election results. He called for elections to be held in
six months and declined to say who he thought should lead a new Iraq.
Al-Nasri urged the Shiite faithful to unite and restore public
services such as water and electricity. In the mosque, volunteers
routed outdoor power lines through broken windows and connected them
to an interior circuit-breaker box.
He described Al-Nasri as a leading Shiite thinker whom he believes can
play a leading role in rebuilding Iraq. "We think that the [new]
regime leader should be a religious man but with political experience,"
Earlier Tuesday, more than 1,000 residents of Nasiriyah protested the
Bush administration's conference. Participants said the protest was
organized by Al-Hawza, a network of Shiite schools based in Najaf,
north of Nasiriyah. Al-Nasri's father was an Al-Hawza imam, and many
of the father's books filled dusty bookcases on a second-story catwalk
around the mosque, followers said. Access to those bookcases were
forbidden under Hussein's rule, followers said.
.. - 17 april 03 -
The extent of al-Hawza's influence is perhaps best manifested by
orders it issued this week. Posted on the outer wall of Karbala's
al-Hussein Mosque, one of the holiest Shiite shrines, it orders the
city's Shiites not to organize marches without its prior approval and
bans anyone from joining a political party without its permission.
"It's absolutely forbidden to speak to news agencies," says another
order. "When something happens, don't act. Wait for instructions from
al-Hawza," says another.
The pilgrimage to mourn the prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein was
organized by a center of Shi'ite learning known as the Hawza
al-Ilmiya. Since Saddam's ouster, the organization has been sending
out volunteers to guard banks, get power plants back on line and set
Where are the women? - 25 Apr 03
Dr Nadje Al-Ali, an Iraqi academic who now lives in the UK, has been
struck by the rise in social conservatism in Iraq over the past
decade, shown by the way that young women now wear hijab (Islamic
dress) and tend not to go out alone. She puts this down not so much to
a rise in religious feeling as a rise in insecurity. Honour killing -
the murder of women by family members if they are thought to have
engaged in immoral behaviour - was legalised by Saddam Hussein's
government, and suspected prostitutes were targeted by the regime for
MP booed for telling Muslim women to unveil - 21 Apr 03
French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy drew boos at a Muslim
gathering by insisting that Muslim women must remove their veils for
Sarkozy made the remark on Saturday at the annual congress of the
hardline Union of Islamic Organisations in France (UOIF). His words
were drowned out when he said Muslims must obey the law, even if that
meant baring their heads.
"The law states that the holder of a national identity card must be
bare-headed in their photograph, whether they are male or female,"
Sarkozy told the 7 000-strong audience. "This is respected by Catholic
nuns, and there is no justification for Muslim women not to respect
it," he said.
Sharia law warning in kadhi court row - 24 Apr 03
Islamic courts should not be part of the new constitution because
putting them there might be mistaken as a declaration of Sharia law, a
Cabinet minister told a meeting of MPs yesterday.
Water minister Martha Karua took issue with the powers given Kadhi's
courts to settle commercial and civil disputes, warning: "We need to
separate State and religious laws." The MPs' meeting tackled the
controversy amidst lobbying by Muslim leaders to have the courts made
part of the a new constitution.
The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims and the Muslim Consultative
Council quit [the] Ufungamano [meeting] on Tuesday complaining that
church leaders had betrayed them by opposing the of Kadhi's courts in
the new constitution.
Islamic courts are provided for in the current Constitution. The draft
constitution, however, proposes a significant expansion of the courts
with an appeal system running from District Kadhi's courts, Provincial
Kadhi's courts to the Supreme Kadhi's courts.
the Independence Constitution of 1963 enshrined the Kadhis Courts
under Chapter 5 in the Judiciary, and thereafter Parliament passed the
Kadhis Courts Act, the Mohammedan Marriage and Divorce Registration
Act and the Mohammedan Marriage, Divorce and Succession Act, to make
these courts fully operational.
At independence, there were three Kadhis Courts. In 1967, the Kadhis
Courts Act was passed which increased the number to six. Today, there
are more than a dozen spread all over the country.
The Kadhis Courts were entrenched in the Constitution as a safeguard
to the integrity of the agreement. Had the courts been established
under Ordinary Law by an Act of Parliament alone, any decision to
abolish them would have required a simple majority of legislators.
As a minority, therefore, Kenyan muslims find great solace in the
entrenchment of the Kadhis Courts in the Constitution.
Section 66 of the Constitution provides for the Chief Kadhi and
Kadhi's Courts and states their powers as being to decide on issues of
Muslim personal law - marriage, divorce and inheritance.
Muslims generally asked for the enhancement of the role and status of
the courts while in some cases like in North Eastern Province, they
asked for the full application of Sharia Law.
A group of human rights and legal organisations also prepared a model
constitution in which they recommended the retention of the Kadhis
Courts, and for the Chief Kadhi to have minimum academic qualification
and to enjoy the same status and privileges as a High Court judge.
In recommending improvements to the Kadhis Courts, the Commission was
faithfully reflecting an analysis of the views it received. It is
therefore wrong to suggest the CKRC is favouring Muslims or creating a
parallel court structure or introducing Sharia Law through the back door.
The major difference between the Kadhis Courts in Nigeria and Kenya is
that the former apply full Sharia Law while in Kenya, jurisdiction is
limited to personal law.
The Gambian Constitution under Section 137, establishes the Cadi Court
to be constituted by the Cadi and two other scholars qualified to be
Cadi or Ulama. Appeals from this court go to a review court composed
of the Cadi and four ulamas (Islamic scholars).
The Cadi Court has jurisdiction to apply Islamic Sharia in matters of
marriage, divorce and inheritance where the parties before the court
The Ugandan constitution establishes the Qadhis Courts under Section
129 as one of the subordinate courts of judicature exercising judicial
power to deal with matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance of
property and guardianship.
Abu Zahar: Same-religion ruling in hiring foreign maids - 15 Apr 03
The Home Ministry will introduce regulations to ensure that foreign
maids are only employed by individuals having the same religion as them.
He said recruitment agencies would be required to ensure that Muslim
maids were only hired by Muslims and the same principle applied for
Women syariah officers don't meet judge criteria - 25 Apr 03
None of the women officers in the Syariah Judiciary Department (JKSM)
have been appointed syariah judges because they lack the
qualifications, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk
Seri Abdul Hamid Zainal Abidin.
"They were appointed syariah officers but as judges they are not
qualified yet. When the time comes, they will be appointed," he said
after visiting a JKSM resource centre.
Bank Pertanian launches Islamic pawnshop - 24 Apr 03
To reduce middle-man manipulation and profiteering, as well as further
develop the Islamic financial system in the country, Bank Pertanian
Malaysia has introduced `Ar-Rahnu', an Islamic pawnshop system in 12
of its 132 branches nationwide.
"The loan application is based on the principles of `Syariah Al-Qardul
Hassan' that is when you take a RM 3,000 loan, you return RM 3,000 and
if you pay extra it is a good thing to the bank," said Mohd Rosli.
However, he said, a deposit in the form of gold jewellery would be
kept by the bank based on the `Al-Wadiah Yad Dhamanah' concept while
the loan could not exceed 70 per cent of the jewellery's value after
testing its grade.
A fee (`Al-Ujrah') at 50 sen per RM100 will be charged for the
safe-keeping, he said, adding that "as a government bank, this is our
social responsibility with minimum profit."
PAS to impose Islamic laws if it comes to power - 21 Apr 03
PARTI Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) will implement its version of an Islamic
state if it comes to power even though non-Muslims are unlikely to
support its goals, says the party's acting president Abdul Hadi Awang.
Malaysia's plural society would remain but Malay Muslims, who form
about 55 per cent of the population, would continue to be the core
group to woo in national politics, he said in an interview with the
New Sunday Times and Berita Minggu.
Asked if PAS still espoused a theocratic state with no compromise for
the country's plural society, the 55-year-old said: 'Yes, that has
been the foundation of our struggle since PAS was formed. 'A plural
society is an objective derived from an Islamic nation, which is the
message of Islam for the whole of mankind.'
'If non-Muslims can see that Islam is not just about hudud but about
the economy, about land and other laws, I believe that they will
accept Islam as a national policy while they remain believers of other
faiths. They are not forced to embrace Islam.'
After virtually doubling its number of seats in Parliament in the 1999
polls to 27 and wresting control of Terengganu to add to its rule in
Kelantan, PAS has greater ambitions to win more seats and states in
the next elections.
Terengganu an Islamic state after Pas took over: Hadi - 23 Apr 03
Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today Terengganu became
an Islamic state when Pas assumed power after winning the general
election in 1999. He said Terengganu met the criteria to be an Islamic
state as the Pas State Government had purged vice activities through
the closures of entertainment and gambling outlets.
Besides, he said the State Government had enacted Islamic laws
comprising hudud, qisas and takzir in accordance with the requirement
of Islam. "We have partly enforced laws under takzir and in the
process of implementing hudud and qisas but our efforts are hampered
by the Federal Government.
"Our country has, from the start, been anchored on secularism and
Malaysia does not meet the criteria to be an Islamic nation," he said.
Furthermore, he added the Federal Constitution stipulated that syariah
laws enacted by the State Government should not surpassed the powers
provided by the Constitutions. He said written provisions about
religion in either Federal Constitution, party constitutions and
election manifestos could not be used to justify Malaysia as an
U.S. Level of "Comfort" Rises Following Nigerian Elections - 15 Apr 03
On Obasanjo's handling of the delicate controversy regarding the
implementation of Islamic law, known as Sharia, in Nigeria, the
official said he believed Obasanjo had, in general, been right in
taking a non-confrontational approach. Although the official cited
continuing concern about the recent death sentences issued under
Sharia in northern Nigeria, he noted that Obasanjo "didn't go
overboard and make a fuss" over the issue. "The net result is that
Sharia is not as big a problem in Nigeria as it could be. It could
have been a massive breakdown in the judicial process, and it hasn't
[Kano] Nigeria's powerful new governors - 22 Apr 03
Mr Shekarau is from the opposition All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP),
which has done well in the Muslim-dominated north of Nigeria. Part of
his election platform was a pledge to strictly enforce Islamic or
Sharia law in Kano, an ancient Muslim city.
one area where governors have made a difference is implementing Sharia
law in northern states. One source close to Kano's governor-elect said
that Mr Shekarau would now move vigorously against alcohol and
prostitution. Until now, Kano's Christian minority in Sabon Gari
(foreigners' town) has been exempt from Sharia law and pubs and
taverns have remained open.
Some Christians are fearful that harsh Sharia punishments such as
amputations and stonings will also be introduced. But Mr Shekarau's
camp denies suggestions that enforcing stricter Sharia punishments
could lead to a repeat of the clashes between Muslims and Christians,
which claimed more than 100 lives in October 2001.
Mahathir let sharia genie out of bottle: lawyer - 16 Apr 03
The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Malaysia meant there was a real
risk of Muslim sharia law being extended to its non-Muslim population,
prominent human rights lawyer Karpal Singh told the Commonwealth Law
Conference in Melbourne yesterday.
"(That statement) set in motion the fury which will eventually lead to
the dismantling of the British judicial and legal systems in Malaysia.
"One of the reasons (common law) is still there is because most of the
judges in the superior courts are British-trained. They are still
there, but all of them are retiring." He said that until Dr Mahathir
withdrew his proclamation, which was made for political reasons,
Malaysia's established legal systems would be at risk.
Mr Singh, who represented Dr Mahathir's former deputy, Anwar Ibrahim,
at his controversial trial for sodomy in 1999, also criticised the
Prime Minister for his heavy-handed treatment of the judiciary.
CLAAS conveys concern on church attacks to MP Peter Pike - 22 Apr 03
Mr. Nasir Saeed, Coordinator CLAAS, UK, on 19 March 2002, met with Mr.
Peter Pike Member of British Parliament, Secretary and a member of the
delegation which is going to Pakistan this Thursday to meet President
Pervez Musharraf and other senior officials.
He also discussed about the persecution faced by Christians due to
several discriminatory Islamic Sharia Laws, such as Blasphemy law
section 295-C which is hanging sword on Christian's neck, Hadood
ordinance which require four male Muslim eyewitness to prove rape,
Witness Law which discriminates between Muslims and non-Muslims, and
other discriminatory laws against Christians.
Mr. Saeed also requested to raise the case of Ayub Masih who is
charged under the Blasphemy law and has been given the death sentence
by the lower and higher courts of Pakistan. His appeal is due for
hearing in the supreme court of Pakistan. Ayub Masih is innocent and
has been falsely charged under blasphemy law section 295-C.
Sipah-e-Sahaba leader forms new party - 21 Apr 03
Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of the outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan
(SSP), an Islamic militant group, on Sunday said he and his followers
had formed a new party to work for the enforcement of Islamic edicts
in Pakistan. He said the new group called Millat-e-Islamia (MI) wanted
to bring about an Islamic revolution.
Staff report adds: The MI has claimed that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
(Sami), a major component of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), might
leave the alliance and join the MI. The group also claims that some
MMA and independent parliamentarians have joined it and would soon
announce their support for the MI in a press conference.
MMA leader Liaqat Bloch said the ruling party had started conspiracies
against the alliance after being morally and legally defeated on the
LFO issue. He said Mr Tariq was working for the government as it had
several cases registered against him. He also denied reports that
Maulana Samiul Haq had differences with the MMA regarding the
distribution of Senate tickets and ministries in the NWFP government.
Shariat Court awards death in triple murder case - 22 Apr 03
The Shariat Court of Azad Kashmir on Tuesday awarded death sentence to
an accused in a triple murder case. The accused, Mohammad Jehangir,
had killed Abdul Hussain, his wife Ashraf Jan and son Arshad Mehmood
and injured Sabilah, in district Bagh in June 1995. He was sentenced
by the district criminal court, Bagh, to life imprisonment.
The state had filed an appeal with the Shariat Court for enhancing his
sentence, and the point for adjudication before the court was as to
whether he should be sentenced or not to Qisas or death.
The Chief Justice of the AJK Shariat Court, Syed Manzoor Hussain
Gillani, in his judgment announced in the open court, held that the
accused had not filed any appeal against the order passed by the trial
court, which amounted to acceptance of the fact that he was rightly
The CJ said: "If an accused is convicted of any offence punishable
with death and the court sentences him to any punishment other than
death, then the court shall state (in its judgment) the reasons for
not passing the capital punishment; which otherwise means that
sentence of death has invariably to be passed unless the accused
establishes the mitigating circumstances in support of lesser sentence
of life imprisonment."
Congress resumes session - 20 Apr 03
The Senate of the Philippines .. set to approve the judicial salary
Lower-ranking court personnel, whose salary grades fall below 22,
would not get salary increases, but their monthly allowances would be
raised to not less than 50 percent of their basic pay.
Regional Trial Court (RTC) and Sharia District Court judges get R
25.333,- [Eur 445].
The rest in the judicial ranks, such as judges of the Municipal
Circuit Trial Court (MCTC), MTC, and Sharia Circuit Court (SCC),
receive a basic salary of R 22.521,- [Eur 395].
Call for reforming education system - 16 Apr 03
The Arab education system is plagued with defects which is responsible
for several problems witnessed in this region, Abdul Hamid Al Ansari,
dean of the Sharia and Law College at the Qatar University, said here
In his speech at the session entitled "Education: The building block
for democracy and development," Abdul Hamid said that one of the main
flaws of the Arab education system was that it laid too much emphasis
on history and the past and glorified ancient heroes such as Haroon
Rashid. The system completely ignored the present and hence, Arabs
were given a misplaced sense of pride because of the past occurances
in this region, he said.
Another drawback of the education system, he said, was the
discrimination between men and women. In some cases, the system also
conveys that women are inferior to men, which is against the teachings
of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). As a result of such wrong
education, students get a distorted image of women and their
abilities, which needs to be urgently corrected.
Further, Arab education also does not take into account other
religions and cultures, which leads to an improper understanding of
the world and often generates hatred towards others. The curriculum in
the region, he said, also ignored subjects such as democracy and human
Qatar to hold referendum on constitution in new democratic step
.. - 16 Apr 03
The text, comprising 150 clauses, also provided for freedom of
association, expression and religious practice and for an "independent
judiciary," but it did not sanction the formation of political
parties. The draft stated that "Qatar is an Arab and Islamic country,"
whose official religion is Islam but that Sharia, or Islamic law, is
the "main," rather than sole, "source of legislation."
Equals among men - 21 Apr 03
Farida Ibrahim Hussein, a federal supreme court judge from Sudan ..
talk about the Sudanese experience in appointing women Syariah court
"We did not have to fight for our rights, they're practically given to
us. Traditionally, Sudanese men have always been respectful of women
and we have always been treated as equals. For example, it is a great
shame for men to physically abuse their wives. The community will
Sudan refers to the teachings of Imam Ibn Hazm, Ibn Jarir Altabri and
Al-Hassan Al-Basri from the Maliki school, with regards to the
appointment of women judges. Imam Maliki is one of the four founding
jurists in Islam. However, the dominant school is now the Hanafi, due
to Egyptian and Ottoman influence.
In 1965, Sudan's first woman judge was appointed in the civil courts.
Five years later, in 1970, the first Syariah woman judge was appointed
in the Syariah judiciary.
Currently, there are six women judges in the supreme court. Two of
them specialise in family law for Muslim circuits.
Women Syariah judges preside over all cases that fall under Islamic
family law. These include cases dealing with marriage, maintenance,
guardianship, obedience, lineage and divorce.
On the issue of polgyny, she said that it is a man's divine right to
marry more than one and in Sudan, classical rules apply to regulate
polygyny. However, in Sudan, a woman is allowed to include the option
for divorce in her taklik (marriage contract), in the event her
husband decides to take another wife. This will enable wives who don't
want to be in a polygynous marriage to be granted a divorce.
Farida said Sudan experienced a decrease in crime after it implemented
hudud in 1983. It was during this time that the government reunified
the civil and Syariah courts, which had been divided under the
colonial period. However, armed robbery is still rampant and
perpetrators are punished by the amputation of the hand, which is in
line with hudud. [New Straits Times]
[UNHCHR] Member States Reject Draft Resolutions on Situations - 16 Apr
By a roll-call vote of 24 in favour and 26 against, with 3
abstentions, the Commission rejected a resolution on the situation of
human rights in the Sudan. Through the resolution, if passed, the
Commission would have expressed concern at continuing restrictions on
freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief; expressed deep
concern at the continuing violations of human rights and international
humanitarian law throughout the Sudan; and would have extended for one
year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation in the Sudan.
A Representative of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization
of the Islamic Conference, said the contents of the resolution did not
reflect the important and positive developments now taking place in
the Sudan. It was regrettable that the co-sponsors had not taken on
board the recommendations of the African Group, which had underlined
the fact that the resolution was unbalanced. Of particular concern to
the OIC were the contents of operative paragraph 3 (a) referring to
the Sharia law. The language in this paragraph was an offense to all
Muslim countries. Furthermore, controversial issues, such as the death
penalty, should not be part of country specific resolutions.
Islamic Head Scarf Dispute Stirs Tension - 23 Apr 03
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the military chiefs stayed away from
the event marking the founding of Turkey's parliament because the wife
of parliamentary speaker Bulent Arinc was expected to attend wearing a
Although most Turkish women wear head scarves the practice is banned
in public buildings. Secularists like Sezer and the military see the
scarf as an Islamist challenge to European Union candidate and NATO's
only Muslim member Turkey.
The ruling Justice and Development Party's roots are in a banned
Islamist movement. It says it has broken with its past. But it remains
suspect in the eyes of the military, which ousted Turkey's first
Islamist-led government in 1997. In the event, Arinc's wife also
skipped the reception in an attempt to defuse the controversy.
Bush nominee says the president shouldn't have said Islam is peaceful
.. - 23 Apr 03
A scholar nominated to a federal think tank on peace over the
objections of Muslim groups said Tuesday that President Bush should
not have characterized Islam as a peaceful religion after the Sept. 11
Asked by reporters whether he thought Bush should have made the
statement, Daniel Pipes said: "No." He said "presidents shouldn't talk
about religion" and it was wrong to "make generalizations" about Islam.
Pipes said sweeping comments about Islam prevent people from fully
understanding the threat from militant Muslims, who he said combine
religion and politics to justify brutal acts. "We protect ourselves
better by defining who the enemy is," he said.
Pipes is a Harvard-trained scholar and the director of the Middle East
Forum in Philadelphia. Bush has nominated him to the United States
Institute of Peace, a centrist foreign policy think tank whose 15
board members are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
[Malaysia] Securities Commission Updates Syariah Securities - 24 Apr
Twenty-five companies had been approved to be included in the list of
securities approved by its Syariah Advisory Council (SAC) while five
companies which were in the previous list have been excluded,
Securities Commission (SC) announced Thursday.
SC said investors who held "approved securities" which were
subsequently considered "non-approved" must liquidate them if on the
date this updated list takes effect (April 25), the value of the
securities held exceeded the original investment cost.
Monash University Organising Islamic Banking Conference In Italy
.. - 16 Apr 03 -
Monash University Malaysia, in an effort to push its research on
Islamic Banking, will be organising an International Conference on
Islamic Banking in Prato, Italy from Sept 9 to 11.
The conference themed "From Money Lenders To Bankers: Evolution Of
Islamic Banking In Relation To Judeo-Christian And Oriental Banking
Traditions" will delve into the various facets of early banking
including its history, Syariah law, Jewish financial tenets, usury in
early Christianity, informal credit markets, informal remittances,
money lending and pawn broking.
"For example, some people have the misconception that informal
remittance or hawala is what Islamic banking is all about. "And since
hawala is a vehicle for money laundering, they cannot understand how
Islamic Banking can be considered legitimate or legal and we hope the
conference wil help clear this confusion," he said.
He said that there will also be a session where banking practitioners
could discuss and resolve issues and explore ways of standardising
Islamic products and services.
Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, economic adviser to the Prime Minister on
financial matters, is expected to deliver the keynote address, while
the key resource people will include representatives from Bank Negara
Malaysia, Bank Islam, Institute Of Islamic Understanding Malaysia
(IKIM) and the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah.
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