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Sharia News Watch 48

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 48 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] all editions:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 25, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 48 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*]
      all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
      Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


      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
      family relations.

      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.
      Ref: http://www.law.emory.edu/IFL/legal/iraq.htm#table
      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
      not adopted.)

      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
      not death.

      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
      up checkpoints.

      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
      public execution.


      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
      identity photographs.
      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
      are Muslims.

      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
      non-Muslim maids.

      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
      Islamic nation.


      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
      standardization bill.
      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
      ostracise him."

      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.

      [*] 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
      owner. [USA: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html%5d
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