Sharia News Watch 50
- Sharia News Watch 50 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*]
all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
Islam `only source' of law in Afghanistan - 04 May 03
Islamic sharia law is the "only source" of legislation in Afghanistan,
deputy chief justice Fazel Ahmad Manawi has declared. "The only source
of legislation in Afghanistan is Islamic sharia law," Manawi said late
Friday, outlining the major recommendations made by a council of 75
Islamic leaders from across the country. The three-day council, or
shura, organised by the Supreme Court, ended on Wednesday.
"Islam guarantees women's right to education and participation in
political life, but they should dress in an Islamic manner and observe
hijab," the shura decided, according to Manawi. Under hijab women must
cover all of their body apart from the face, hands and feet.
"Islamic values should be taken into consideration in the media.
If the press publish something which is considered a crime under
Islamic law, they will be considered criminals and questioned."
Chief Justice Mawlawi Fazel Hadi Shinwari called the council, whose
recommendations are not binding in law. The Supreme Court earlier this
year banned cable television as "un-Islamic". The only cable channels
currently available, albeit unofficially, are news channels.
Senior Taleban leader resurfaces, vows jihad - 04 May 03
Mullah Mohammad Hasan Rehmani, former governor of the province of
Kandahar and a close associate of Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar,
was speaking to Reuters by satellite telephone from an undisclosed
location in his first interview since the fall of the Taleban in late
2001. "The Taleban will continue their jihad and struggle for peace,
implementation of Islamic sharia law, and against America and its
agents," Rehmani said. "The jihad will continue because American
troops are occupying Afghanistan."
A founder member of the fundamentalist militia, he is perhaps the most
senior Taleban leader to have spoken publicly since the regime fell.
Observers say his re-emergence may be a sign of the Taleban's growing
Kandahar was the Taleban's spiritual home and the base for its most
senior leaders during the fundamentalist regime's five-year rule.
Unified family law pledge - 03 May 03
A unified family law would not require any restructuring of the
current judicial system, Supreme Council for Women yesterday announced
in a statement. Reacting to reports published in local newspapers last
Thursday, Council Secretary General Lulwa Al Awadhi said such a move
would not lead to merger between the religious (Sharia) courts. It
would also take into consideration the fundamental differences between
Sunnis and Shi'ites.
The kingdom currently applies the Sharia laws with regard to
marriages, divorce, inheritance and other family cases in which judges
have the authority to render judgments according to their own reading
of the Islamic jurisprudence. Bahrain's clerics oppose a unified code
claiming there were major differences between the two sects'
jurisprudence with regard to family affairs such as marriage, divorce
According to reports published earlier this year, the proposed law,
which would make Bahrain second only to Kuwait in the GCC region to
adopt modern personal status legal rules, would prohibit teenage
marriages. Also, the wife will have the legal right to file for
divorce if it was evident she can longer live with her husband due to
"his unacceptable behaviour or untreatable sickness."
In case of the divorce, the new law requires the man to provide a
suitable home for the woman who will also have the sole custody of the
children. The children will stay with their mother until the age at
which they are able to choose by themselves the party they would want
to stay with. However, in the custody cases, the judge has the
discretion to consult the opinions of social workers and physiatrists
to determine the most suitable place for the children in question.
Syariah lawyers ready to defend fellow Muslims - 07 May 03
Ten Syariah lawyers would soon be allowed to practise their skills in
defending Muslims brought to courts as a result of religious
misconducts. The lawyers could be issued with practising certificates
sooner which will allow them to defend their clients at the Syariah
courts. The ten Syariah lawyers have been waiting since March 26, 2001
for their practising certificates. There had been a backlog of less
than 100 cases because alleged offenders wanted to acquire Syariah
lawyers. As a result many such cases had been adjourned.
Imam of Al Azhar refuses to condemn US presence in Iraq - 06 May 03
Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, better known as Shaikh Al Azhar, the
Imam of the Cairo-based University of Al Alzhar, doesn't believe there
is any fundamental antagonism between the Christian and Islamic
worlds. Indeed, he refuses to condemn the US post-war presence in
Iraq, claiming that "some good" for Iraq might come out of it.
msg-id <Qegypt-islam-iraq-arabsURlvt_DyB@...> AFP
"If we are truly an Islamic nation, without hyprocrisy and lies, why
did the Arab League not decide the very day to dismiss the (Iraqi)
regime" from its ranks when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, Tantawi asked.
[Muslim Brotherhood] 'The only solution' - 04 May 03
Like his father before him, Al-Hudaibi, 85, is Supreme Guide of the
biggest and oldest underground Islamic movement in the heart of the
Arab world: the fabled Muslim Brotherhood.
Founded in 1928 to fight foreign influences and impose Islamic law
with "the Qur'an and the sword," its call to arms spread like
wildfire. But in recent decades, the Muslim Brotherhood renounced
violence and embraced democracy, paving the way for other Islamist
groups to lay down their arms in Egypt.
After decades of struggle, the Brotherhood believes it is winning more
Muslims to its cause. Al-Hudaibi's weapon of choice is not the barrel
of a gun, but the power of piety.
As Islamic fundamentalism takes root among the masses, Egypt's
militants are moderating. Even the terrorist groups here that broke
away from the Brotherhood and were plunged into crisis when their
brutal tactics backfired in the 1990s are now content to sit back
and watch Islam win the day in a non-violent way.
Within Egypt, the unanswered question is whether the homegrown
Islamist movement is experiencing a comeback or even something more
profound a transformation. Some analysts argue that, as Egyptian
society becomes more religious, the Brotherhood can justly claim that
many of its goals have been realized.
"They have succeeded," says political scientist Dia Rashwan, an expert
on fundamentalism at the government-funded Al Ahram Centre for
Strategic Studies. "We can confirm now that, from the mid-1990s and
especially after 9/11, we have seen a kind of expansion of political
Islam in Egypt and especially the Arab world."
The evidence is everywhere. The call to prayers attracts the masses to
mosques like never before. The hijab veil is standard apparel for most
women strolling along the Nile Corniche or on university campuses.
Racy movie billboards showing starlets' cleavage no longer adorn
Cairo's streets. Some of Egypt's most celebrated belly dancers stopped
gyrating for their fans in order to perform the haj pilgrimage to
Mecca. Relations between the sexes have become more discrete.
It's not just the rural poor or slum-dwellers who are drawn by
promises of an Islamic state to sweep out corruption; upwardly mobile
urbanites are tuning in to television preachers who urge chastity and
Islamist candidates routinely sweep elections in virtually every
professional association and trade union, and they form an unofficial
opposition in parliament. Armed with their seductive slogan, "Islam
is the only solution" the Brotherhood would pose a strong challenge
to the regime if it could contest national elections openly.
"When we have so many problems in Egypt, they just say, `Islam is the
only solution adopt the values of Islam and most of your problems
will disappear,'" muses Muhammad Abu Layla, who teaches Islamic
studies at Al-Azhar University, the seat of Muslim scholarship in the
Arab world. "It is a powerful slogan."
France may ban Muslim scarf in school - 04 May 03
The wearing of the traditional Muslim headscarf, in particular,
triggers heated debate in France, a secular state with a Roman
Catholic majority. A survey last week suggested that over a third of
people think Muslim women should be barred from wearing headscarves,
not only in state institutions but in any public place. In comments
likely to fuel the debate, [Prime Minister] Raffarin said teachers
would take a hard line with pupils who display religious allegiance in
school in defiance of France's secular tradition.
The conflict is the latest episode in the often heated debate over how
to uphold the secular nature of France's public education system. The
question has brought France's long tradition of separation of religion
and state into a clash with freedom of expression. Raffarin said he
didn't rule out a new law to promote secularism in schools. As one
example of "intolerable" behavior, he cited the case of students who
refuse to listen during classes on the Koran if the teacher is a woman
or a non-Muslim.
France asks new Muslim council to promote moderate Islam - 04 May 03
The French government Saturday called on the country's new national
Muslim council to fight against Islamic fundamentalism and sought to
play down a controversy about Muslim women wearing headscarves in public.
One of the council's first tasks will be training imams, which at
present are mostly foreign. Sarkozy said only a quarter of the
country's 900 imams spoke French, between a third and half did not
have residence permits and many were underpaid.
Indonesian school bill rekindles religious rancor - 10 May 03
A controversial national education-system bill, which the House of
Representatives (DPR) plans to endorse on May 20, has once again put
Muslims and Christians on a collision course, raising fears of renewed
bloody religious conflicts that could lead to territorial disunity.
The bill requires both state and private schools to teach religion to
their students. It also states that religious lessons have to be
taught by teachers of the same religion as the students. If enacted,
the bill basically will oblige Christian schools to hire Muslim
religious teachers if they accept Muslim students or Muslim schools to
provide Christian religious teachers if they have Christian students
in their classes.
Under the pretext of carrying out a religious mission, Christian
schools require all students - be they Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, or
Christians - to attend religious classes, which means Catholicism for
Catholic schools and Protestantism for Protestant schools. Usually,
these schools require the parents of non-Christian children to sign a
letter of consent - stating that they have no objections to their
children attending Christian classes - when they enroll. Failing or
refusing to sign the letter means their children cannot study in
Such a policy, however, is not a monopoly of Christian schools. Muslim
schools also require Christian students to take Islamic classes,
including the recital of the Koran. Non-Muslim parents are asked to
sign a letter of consent if they enroll their children at Muslim
schools. The chance of Christians enrolling at Muslim schools,
however, is very slim, as most Muslim schools are not up to the
standard of most Christian schools.
While the protests have generally been peaceful so far, suspicions are
running high between Christian and Muslim communities. Christians
suspect that the bill is targeted against Christian schools. Some
legislators deliberating on the bill have admitted that proponents of
the draft aimed at exerting influence over Christian schools, where
children of most high-ranking government officials enroll.
[Yakarta] Muslim cleric on trial over nightclub raids - 08 May 03
A Muslim cleric [Muhammad Rizieq Shihab] in Indonesia has gone on
trial for inciting his followers to smash up entertainment spots as
part of a war on vice.
Prosecutors say he incited his followers to disobey the law by calling
for the destruction of advertising signs and the closure of
entertainment centres that he considered immoral. But Shihab, who is
chairman of the Front for the Defenders of Islam, says the managers of
vice dens and the police who protected them should be on trial rather
MUI Wants Severe Measures To Combat Poronography - 10 May 03
Chairman of the Fatwa (ruling) Commission of the Indonesian Council of
Ulema (MUI), KH Ma'ruf Amin, said severe measures should be taken
against those purveying pornography or those involved in porny
actions, a bill on which is now being drafted by the parliament (DPR).
Speaking in a hearing with a House Commission dealing with the Bill on
Pornography here Thursday, KH Ma'ruf Amin said that stiff measures
were necessary to fight the nation's moral decadence caused by
pornography and porny actions.
Promotion for hardline Iranian judge behind newspaper closures
msg-id <Qiran-justiceUR0A3_DAT@...> AFP - 29 Apr 03
The hardline Iranian judge responsible for closing scores of reformist
newspapers has been promoted to the position of prosecutor general for
Tehran, the official news agency IRNA reported Tuesday.
Best known for his firebrand declarations in court against the Islamic
republic's enemies, Mortazavi has consistently shrugged off constant
accusations that his crackdowns have been politically motivated at
aimed at underming Khatami.
Most recently, the judge handled the cases of three opinion pollsters
involved in a survey that showed most Iranians favoured restoring ties
with the United States, still publicly referred to as the "Great
Satan" by hardliners. The three, all close to the reform camp, were
found guilty of engaging in "propaganda against the Islamic regime",
among other misdemeanours. Two received hefty jail terms.
Religious leaders ease tension in flashpoint Iraqi city - 03 May 03
Iraqi religious leaders sought on Friday to defuse hostility toward
American troops, which had sparked sporadic clashes all week in the
conservative Sunni city of Fallujah, while Shiite clergymen raised the
specter of enforcing strict Islamic rule now that the secular Baathist
regime has been ousted.
Sheikh Jamal al-Shakir, addressing around 2,000 faithful at Fallujah's
oldest mosque of Al-Jamaa al-Kabir urged the city to stay calm and not
to demonstrate against the troops.
Leading clerics in the predominantly Shiite south addressed social
problems underscoring Iraq vulnerability to ethnic, religious
ideological collisions. In Friday's sermons, they called for alcohol
to be banned and women to be veiled, with one luminary in the holy
city of Kufa urging Islamic rules be imposed on the Christian
minority. Muqtada Sadr, the 31-year-old son of the revered Ayatollah
Mohammed Sadeq Sadr who was murdered in 1999, told thousands of
faithful that the "banning of alcohol and the wearing of the veil
should be spread to all, not only Muslims. "Alcohol and the display of
a woman's body are forbidden for us Muslims, as they are for
Christians, upon whom I call to give up these banned things," he said.
"I call upon Christians not to be the corrupt of the world."
Sadr, who unlike his father does not have religious authority to
interpret the holy texts, called for liquor shops to be closed down
through nonviolent means. He defended the general principle of vilaya,
by which clergymen are involved in public affairs. The school of
thought is opposed by other leading Shiite luminaries of Najaf such as
Ali Sistani, who believes in minimal political involvement by clerics.
[Sunni] Senior religious leader rules out future Islamic government
.. - 06 May 03
A senior Iraqi religious leader said in comments published Tuesday
that the creation of an Islamic government in his country would be
impossible and that he supports the restoration of the monarchy.
In an interview with the international Arabic-language daily "Asharg
al Awsat", Sheikh Ahmed al Hubeisi, head of the Sunni Muslim Assembly
of Ulemas (religious leaders) said calls for an Islamic government in
Baghdad made no sense.
[Shia] Iraq's clerics divided on Islam - 06 May 03
Like other Shia followers around the world, Iraqi Shia clerics
returning home from Iran are divided on the crucial question of how
far Islam should enter politics. Some of them who have been closer to
the conservative faction in the Iranian leadership support an
Iranian-style theocracy led by clerics.
But sources close to the Iraqi community in the Iranian holy city of
Qom say that the majority of Iraqi clerics in the city object to the
interference of clerics in politics. Living in Iran has given them a
chance to see at first hand the shortcomings of political Islam.
There is now a general belief among many Shia scholars that the
challenge faced by Islam in Iran to solve political and economic
problems has undermined the faith.
[Moqtadah al-Sadr] Back-Room Theocrat - 11 May 03
Shia clerics urge faithful to attack returning Ba'athists - 10 May 03
Qadhim al-Nassiri, a cleric, told tens of thousands of worshippers at
Friday prayers outside the Muhsin mosque in Sadr city in Baghdad that
a senior religious figure from the holy city of Najaf, Qadhim
al-Hairi, had issued a recent edict on the fate of the Ba'athists.
"The message is clear. The hawza [the Shia establishment] cannot
protect them - these Ba'athis, these Saddamites - who are now coming
out," he declared. "This is unacceptable to the hawza ... It is
permissible to kill them." The fatwa, or clerical ruling, by Mr
al-Hairi could put some clerics on collision course with US officials
who are seeking to restart public services and have already
reappointed some - albeit more junior - members of the Ba'ath party to
their old positions.
Some diplomats have said the US risks reconstituting old Ba'athist
structures in their effort to curb clerical influence. But the edict
was said to have been issued by only one cleric and does not
necessarily point to a policy by the clerical establishment in Najaf.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, considered by many Iraqis the top Shia
authority in the country, has warned against any resort to violence
and cautioned followers to verify fatwas issued by other clerics.
Hakim outlines vision of elected and modern Iraq government - 12 May
Iraq's most prominent Muslim leader said on Saturday the country's
future government should be a freely elected one that "respects Islam"
and upholds unity while recognizing the rights of the various Iraqi
ethnic and religious groups.
Hakim said that while some of the slogans he raises might be perceived
as "religious," he envisaged a "modern state, in the full sense of the
word" in line with what he called Islam's reformist tradition.
In such a state, women, "who make up half of society," would play
their full role and young people's "potential would be exploited to
the highest degree.
he issued a sweeping indictment of the former regime, whose
dictatorial nature not only surpassed that of other autocratic regimes
in the Arab and Islamic world but whose "racism" was no less than that
of the former apartheid regime in South Africa.
Honour Killings Return to Iarq - 10 May 03
soldiers in Iraq have found evidence that men have been killing their
sisters for allegedly bringing dishonour on their families by having
In one of the incidents that soldiers are aware of, the victim was
believed to be only around 12 years old. Under fundamentalist Islamic
law, said a military spokesman, a family is obliged to kill an
adulteress. It is believed that killings have been carried out by
brothers of the victims.
"The people here in Iraq have not really been allowed to express any
sort of religious freedom in the past, specifically in the last 10
years, and, now they have religious freedom, every kind of that is
coming out. "We believe that two women have been killed by members of
their families - one was about 12 - for allegedly committing adultery.
"One of these cases was in Basra and the other up north in the
Compromise the key to Kadhis' courts dispute - 04 May 03
The fact of the matter is that Kadhi's courts are catered for in the
current constitution. But their role is confined to matters pertaining
to Muslim personal law - marriage, inheritance and divorce. And they
only apply where the parties to a dispute are both Muslim. Nor does
their brief extend to criminal issues. Moreover, the present
constitution clearly delineates the Kadhi's courts as subordinate to
the High Court.
The Ghai draft proposes an elevation of the Kadhi's courts to an
appellate level. More contentiously, it proposes an expansion of these
courts' scope to cover commercial disputes, again only where Muslims
are involved. Some opponents - mistakenly - see in this a creeping
introduction of Sharia law through the back door, much as the draft
contains nothing for Kadhi's courts in the direction of criminal and
other cases that are normally handled by mainstream courts.
Abdullah: Non-Muslims Can Hire Muslim Maids - 07 May 03
Deputy Prime Minister cum Home Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi pointed out that the government has not ruled that Muslim maids
can only be hired by Muslim employers, and the government policy of
allowing non-Muslims to hire Muslim maids remains unchanged.
He said, Muslim maids can be hired by non-Muslim families, but both
sides must sign agreements whereby the employers would provide places
for prayer for their maids, would not disturb during prayer time and
would not force the maids to eat food which are not halal or do things
contrary to religious teachings.
Untying the knots in family law - 04 May 03
There are as many as nine overlapping Acts governing family law for
non-Muslims in Malaysia. The result is that complex cases often cannot
be consolidated into one application and must be heard in multiple
courts, each dealing with a separate aspect of the case.
Currently, family matters such as adoption, divorce settlements and
custody are dealt with by the High Court, which means that family
matters compete with appeals, criminal cases and big civil claims for
the courts' time. Juvenile offences and child abuse cases, meanwhile,
are handled by the lower courts.
In a worst case scenario involving a matrimonial or custodial
conflict, a woman who has been physically abused and is estranged
from her husband and her child may have to have their case heard in
as many as five different courts. Her case may be tried under any of
these laws; the Married Women and Children (Maintenance) Act 1950,
Married Women Act 1957, Guardianship of Infants Act 1961, Child
Protection Act 1991, Married Women and Children (Enforcement of
Maintenance) Act 1968 and the Domestic Violence Act 1994. She must
file an application for maintenance for herself in the Magistrate's
Court and an application for custody of her children in the High Court.
While the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 was an attempt to
consolidate the matrimonial laws of non-Muslims, many overlapping Acts
remain in place, says the Bar Council Family Law Committee in a
memorandum on setting up a Family Law Court in Malaysia.
The memorandum lists a number of problems which plague our current
approach. They include repeated hearings on the same subject matter,
delay of hearings, lack of specialisation and the adversarial process.
The current adversarial method of litigation is unsuitable for dealing
with matrimonial matters. It only makes parties more confrontational
in a delicate situation.
"Of particular importance in a unified family court is that the
entirety of each family's case is resolved before one single judge in
one courtroom," the committee says.
Malaysia has yet to decide which particular family court system it
wishes to follow. It has been been suggested by some quarters that the
Family Court system in Malaysia should encompass both the Civil and
Syariah divisions under one roof, sharing common procedures, services
and facilities. The Chief Justice Tan Sri Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul
Halim, who was President of the Court of Appeal when he opened a
seminar on Family Court Are We On Track?, says that he hopes that
the Bar Council would consider family court systems from
non-Commonwealth countries as well.
Tighter rules for polygamy in Selangor - 03 May 03
The conditions for polygamy have become tighter in Selangor under
revised Islamic family laws which impose additional layers of
procedures for Muslim men.
Among other things, a Muslim man who wants to take a new wife must
appear before the syariah court with his wife or wives, his future
wife and the wali (male guardian of the future wife), said Mentri
Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.
Under Clause 23 (10) of the amended Islamic Family Law, a syariah
judge is empowered to impose stricter conditions when hearing
applications for polygamy.
Another amendment empowers the syariah court to direct the polygamy
applicant to give his first wife a portion of their joint income (mata
sepencarian) when he remarries.
seculars call for releasing the detainees - 10 May 03
Senior Mauritanian scholars yesterday issued a statement to
Mauritania's President Mu'aweya Weld Sedi Ahmad al-Taye' in which they
expressed their " rejection of "jailing Imams and men of religion and
preventing them from performing their rituals."
The statement comes days after the detention of important Islamic
leaders, especially Muhammad al-Hassan Weled al- Dado who is described
as one of Mauritania's greatest scholars, Muhammad Jamil Weld Mansour,
the Islamic activist and the prominent figure in the lines of the
the official spokesman for the party of the opposition democratic
forces coalition party said that the current crisis between the
government and the Baathist and Islamic coalition is because "the
regime took unprecedented steps to opening an embassy for Israel and
amending the educational curricula in a way that Islamic education and
Arabic language were margined in the learning in favor of the French
Weld Sedi Mahmoud added that the Fatwa provided for forbidding
relations with Israel, issued by Muhammad al-Hassan Weld al-Dadou, and
signed by senior scholars, was behind the main reason of the steps
taken by the regime against the sheikh and the Islamic opposition and
Please Stop the International Amina Lawal Protest Letter Campaigns
BAOBAB for Womens Human Rights, which is responsible for initiating
and continuing to support the defences of cases like Ms. Lawals,
thanks the world for its support and concern, but requests that you
please stop the Amina Lawal international protest letter campaigns for
now (May 2003).
There has been a whole host of petitions and letter writing campaigns
about Amina Lawal (sentenced to stoning to death for adultery in
August 2002). Many of these are inaccurate and ineffective and may
even be damaging to her case and those of others in similar
situations. BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights, which is responsible for
initiating and continuing to support the defences of cases like Ms.
Lawal's, thanks the world for its support and concern, but requests
that you please stop the Amina Lawal international protest letter
campaigns for now (May 2003). The information currently circulated is
inaccurate, and the situation in Nigeria, being volatile, will not be
helped by such campaigns. At the end of this letter, we indicate ways
in which you can help us and we hope we can count on your continuing
Muslim Cleric Flays Buhari Over Utterances - 09 May 03
A renowned Muslim cleric, Alhaji Surajudeen Asukuna, has described the
outbursts of the All Nigeria Peoples Party's (ANPP) presidential
candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), over the outcome of
the last general elections as provocative, un Islamic and capable of
setting the country on fire.
Asukuna, who is the Chief Missioner of Hisbullahi International Prayer
Group, said in Lagos, said yesterday that "as a Muslim who is also a
strong advocate of the Sharia legal system, Buhari should have
exhibited the time-tested Iman (faith) which postulates that whatever
happens in any man's life is God's making". He said: "our Muslim
brother (Buhari) should have known that no human being can achieve
anything without the consent of Almighty Allah."
[Borno] Kachallah Commissions Sharia Appeal Court Complex - 08 May 03
Outgoing Borno State Governor, Alhaji Mala Kachallah, on Wednesday
commissioned the newly built Sharia Court of Appeal complex in
Maiduguri, describing it as another milestone in the history of the
administration of justice in the state. The new Sharia Court of Appeal
complex, built by the Kachallah administration consists of two court
halls and a chamber for the Grand Khadi and offices of seven other Khadis.
Describing the construction of the new Sharia Court of Appeal complex
as an "eloquent testimony of the determination and commitment of the
administration to entrench the administration and implementation of
the Sharia legal system in the state," Governor Kachallah added that
it showed the extent to which his government-worked to fulfil the
yearnings of the people of Borno State who had craved for the
implementation of Sharia. [Daily Trust - Abuja]
Provinces asked to enact law against honour killing - 06 May 03
The federal government has advised the provincial governments of
Sindh, the Punjab, the NWFP and Balochistan for legislation that will
leave the courts with no option but to award maximum punishment to the
accused involved in honour killings.
Chairman Parliamentary Human Rights Commission (PHRC) Riaz Ahmed
Fatyana said that in the recent months, cases of Karo Kari had
increased with an alarming rate and in most cases, innocent women had
fallen prey to such killings. It was also discovered that more than 90
per cent of Karo Kari killings were committed due to money, property
or family disputes, while the factors of honour astonishingly remained
missing, he added.
Justice Ejaz Takes Oath As Chief Justice Shariat Court - 10 May 03
Justice Ejaz Yousaf, acting Chief Justice of Federal Shariat Court
Friday took oath as permanent Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court.
[NWFP] MMA to enact Hasba Act - 03 May 03
The MMA government in the NWFP is enacting a law that will give
sweeping powers to a Mohtasib or ombudsman to prevent vice and promote
virtue in accordance with Islamic Shariat.
The law will be called the Hasba Act, NWFP 2003, and in its preamble,
it underlines the need for moulding the collective and individual
lives of Muslims in accordance with holy Quran and Sunnat.
The draft, a copy of which was obtained by Dawn, provides for an
office of a provincial Mohtasib as well as district Mohtasibs and a
'Hasba Force' that will operate as the enforcing arm of the Mohtasib.
The powers of the Hasba Force have not been defined. A senior official
of the law department said that the force would be raised from within
The draft legislation says that a Mohtasib can be an 'Aalim-i-Deen'
with matriculation qualification and a certificate of Shahadatul
Alamia from a recognized religious seminary and qualified to become a
judge of the Federal Shariat Court.
The powers and functions of the Mohtasib as provided for under the
Hasba Act are entirely different from the ombudsman as enshrined in
the Federal Ombudsman Ordinance. Unlike the federal Mohtasib, whose
job is to address public complaints, the provincial Mohtasib, apart
from acting on verbal as well as written public complaints, can also
take suo motu action. He can monitor the enforcement of Islamic values
and Islamic conduct at the provincial level. He can also make use of
any law or rule at his disposal to carry out an investigation through
the Hasba Force.
The Mohtasib, or any official authorized by him or a member of the
Hasba Force, can enter any government office and check and copy any
government record. The Mohtasib will have the same powers of contempt
of court as enjoyed by the superior courts.
More importantly, the Hasba Act invests such powers in the office of
Mohtasib that makes him virtually above the law. According to Section
21 of the draft act, the validity or invalidity of the orders and
proceedings of the Mohtasib cannot be challenged by any court of law
or authority, nor can any court stay his orders.
Critics of the draft legislation say it is intrusive and amounts to
setting up a parallel structure.
The Mohtasib is also to be granted special powers to ensure compliance
of Islamic values in public places, discourage commercial, trade and
fanfare activity in places where Friday/Eid congregations are held; to
end negligence in performance of and organizing Friday/Eid
congregations; compliance of respect for Azaan and obligatory prayers
and Islamic values; discourage un-Islamic social values; stop indecent
behaviour at public places; and reform the conduct of civil servants.
The draft proposes an amendment to the Rules of Conduct of Civil
Servants, 1987, that bars a civil servant from participating in any
meeting or function that does not uphold Islamic values or violates
[NWFP] Islamic hard-liners call for compulsory Quran lessons, ban on
men giving medical tests to women - 09 May 03
Islamic hard-liners controlling Pakistan's northernmost province
called for compulsory reading of the Quran in schools and said only
women should carry out medical tests on female patients. The demands
were made in two resolutions passed unanimously Thursday by lawmakers
in the legislature of North West Frontier Province. Under
parliamentary rules, the unanimous backing means the regional
government is obliged to put them into law, adding to a string of rule
changes intended to bring the province into line with Islamic sharia law.
Hammam: Madrid's Only Nod to Its Arab Past - 11 May 03
It has taken more than 900 years, but civilization has finally
returned to Madrid. In a tardy act of reparation for the damage caused
by the unwashed Christian hordes who chucked out the sophisticated
Moors in the 11th century, the ancient hammam the Arab baths have
Located on a central square that functions as a bus station and
pick-up zone, the underground Medina Mayrit hammam is an adaptation of
an ancient Aljibe, or cistern - part of an Arab system of water
channels, wells and storage tanks which is virtually all that remains
of Moorish Madrid.
[Durban] Hindu woman refused use of 'Muslims only' toilet - 04 May 03
A hindu woman was barred from using a locked toilet at a popular
fast-food restaurant [Winpy] because it was allegedly reserved for
Binstead told Sunday Times Extra that Wimpy did not condone the
segregation of toilets for its customers.
US using democracy against Muslims and Islam - 04 May 03
So what is the model of democracy Washington wants? Not one in which
irresponsible Muslims can elect "clerics" to power, for starters.
Rather, according to Noah Feldman, the Jewish-American law professor
whom Washington has appointed to help draft a democratic constitution
for Iraq, the object is an `Islamic democracy' like Turkey's; one, in
other words, in which American interests will be guaranteed, American
bases permitted, Israel and its `peace process' supported, the Islamic
movement violently suppressed, and if the Turkey model is copied
properly hijab and the teaching of Islam to children severely
restricted. Perhaps Feldman's model will stop short of these extremes;
its aim will be seduce Iraq's Muslims, rather than provoke them. But
the idea will be to get America's pet regimes more legitimacy than
they have now.
This cannot be achieved only by politics, of course. As usual,
American intellectuals are happy to follow their politicians' lead.
Feldman himself has written a book, After Jihad: America and the
Struggle for Islamic Democracy, in which he argues that Islam can be
made compatible with democratic ideals, and that encouraging this is
America's best hope. There has recently been a surge of studies,
debates and symposia on Islam and democracy. To take two examples, the
current issue of the Journal of Democracy has a section on `What is
Liberal Islam?'; the current issue of the Boston Review focuses on
`Islam and the Challenge of Democracy'. Later this month the Centre
for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), a Washington-based Muslim
organization, will hold its annual conference, with two senior US
government officials among its keynote speakers. In every case,
Muslims are discussing issues according to agendas set by the Western
establishment. Only in the Boston Review does one Muslim contributor,
Saba Mahmood of the University of Chicago, ask why Islam "bears the
burden of proving its compatibility with liberal ideals", rather than
the other way round.
Panel debates homeland security, civil rights issues - 08 May 2003
"This war is being conducted on American soil," Johnson said. He
asserted that there are "enemy combatants using the instrumentality of
our nation to attack it and attempt to impose Sharia Law," referring
to strict Muslim jurisprudence.
[comment] Poison Textbooks - 08 May 03
Besides the well-documented 'indoctrination' that goes on in
classrooms all across the country, the PC Leftists and America-haters
have also taken over the content of most textbooks used in elementary
and high schools.
Gilbert T. Sewall of the AMERICAN TEXTBOOK COUNCIL has written a
comprehensive report entitled Islam and the Textbooks in which he
details the blatant manipulation of facts, the cover-up of barbaric
behavior and the whitewash of a philosophy that advocates violent
As Sewall writes, "On controversial subjects, world history textbooks
make an effort to circumvent unsavory facts that might cast Islam past
or present in anything but a positive light. Islamic achievements are
reported with robust enthusiasm. When any dark side surfaces,
textbooks run and hide."
Sharia, the Islamic holy law: this is the Muslim law which supercedes
all other laws, including civil and criminal laws in any nation a
Muslim is inhabiting. As Lewis wrote, "the idea that any group of
persons, any kind of activities, or any part of human life is in any
sense outside the scope of religious law and jurisdiction is alien to
But, of course, American textbooks distort - and soften -this
definition of Sharia. Littell's Patterns of Interaction merely
whitewashes it by saying Sharia "brings a sense of unity to all
Yemeni gets death for killing three US missionaries - 10 May 03
A Yemeni court today sentenced a man to death for murdering an
American missionary doctor and two of her colleagues in the Arab state
last year. Abed Abdel Razzak Kamel said he killed the three Christian
missionaries to get closer to God. He condemned the ruling as a
violation of Islamic sharia law and his lawyer said he would appeal
the sentence. Kamel (30) smuggled a rifle into a Baptist hospital in
the southern town of Jibla last December and shot dead a doctor and
two of her colleagues and wounded an American pharmacist.
[comment] Men of Religion in Politics - 10 May 03
What draws attention and amazement is when preachers and religious
scholars on the pulpits or on television stations issue fatwas to
millions of people on political matters and to discover that the basis
for their information is either popular analysis which nobody would
call political science or old theses inherited from the Cold War era
and especially the communist literature that flooded the Arab world
for a number of decades and became a sort of beginner's guide to
politics for many.
We must be wary of political jurists such as Al-Kabeesi, Kibla and
Al-Qaradawi and others in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon who
talk of nuclear weapons and military plans, decisions of the Security
Council and the history of recent wars, the Anglo-American conflict,
the shares of OPEC, the strategies of the superpowers and other issues
that require a great deal of specialist knowledge, just as religious
matters require a different kind of knowledge.
Look at the thousands of young men who have become human bombs in a
political game. Why? Because some Sheikhs have got hold of the wrong
end of the political stick, by watching satellite channels or reading
some the literature I mentioned.
I heard amazing things from one Egyptian Sheikh who said that what the
Americans have done should be confronted with jihad, because without
approval from the Security Council America is the transgressor.
Since scholars don't see the parallels and aren't terribly
knowledgeable about the recent past, he perhaps wasn't aware that the
US did the exact same thing for the Kosovo Muslims, in accordance with
our wishes and more specifically those of Turkey, Egypt and Saudi
Arabia all of whom urged the US to get involved.
However, Russia threatened to use its veto to protect its Serbian
allies. To overcome that hurdle, Washington prepared an international
force without the approval of the Security Council and expelled the
Serbian forces from Kosovo and then got rid of Milosevic and tried him
in an international court later.
Islamic Finance: Asset securitisation under Sharia - 05 May 03
[USA] Morgan Stanley Launches Islamic Investment Fund - 06 May 03
US-owned Morgan Stanley has launched its first Islamic investment
fund, the Al-Thimar Global Equity Fund, and expects it to grow
quickly. Al-Thimar was actually soft-launched in January but due to
the Iraq crisis, active marketing was delayed.
The House of Morgan is not the only Western institution to launch its
first Islamic fund. German bank WestLB and international fund manager
Tricon Ltd. have teamed up with Dubai-based Hilal Financial Services
to launch the WestLB Tricon Murabaha Forfeiting Fund, which is the
first of its kind in the Islamic finance sector. Similarly, the
Shariah Funds Inc., a division of Meyer Capital Partners, a US-based
investment management firm, is also about to launch what it claims to
be "the first Islamic fund of hedge funds".
Not surprisingly Morgan Stanley is confident that its Al-Thimar Fund
will grow significantly over the next two years, and stresses that it
has seen "significant interest" not only from clients in the Gulf
states, but also in South and East Asia, especially Singapore, Hong
Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
"we have had increasing demand from our clients and from prospective
clients for Islamic pooled investment products. This is a relatively
new niche for Morgan Stanley, and we decided the best route to entry
was through a `plain vanilla' approach, which is a long-only global
equity fund which complies with Shariah investment principles. The aim
is to expand our range of Islamic products over time."
The largest single Islamic global equity fund is the Al-Ahli Global
Trading Equity Fund of Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank (NCB),
which was launched in January 1995 and which was the first Islamic
global equity fund to be launched. The fund at its peak two years ago
had assets totaling almost $800 million, but thanks to the troubled
equities market in the last two years, this shrunk to its current
level of $350 million.
Another Saudi investment house, SEDCO (Saudi Economic & Development
Company), together with US investment bank Worms & Co., sponsor the
second largest Islamic global equity fund, the AlFanar Investment
Holdings with current assets under management just under $160 million.
The remaining 33 or so Islamic global equity funds hover between $5
million to $50 million of assets under management.
The Islamic equity market needs more competition.
The fact that there are only two Islamic global equity funds worth
their name, suggests that the sector is hyped out of proportion.
Perhaps Al-Thimar will not only bring fruits to its investors, but
also to the development of the Islamic global equity sector.
IFSB admits central banks of Qatar and Jordan as full members
http://www.irna.com/en/head/030508152631.ehe.shtml - 09 May 03
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the international
association of Islamic countries central banks and monetary agencies,
has approved the applications of Qatar Central Bank and the Central
Bank of Jordan to join the IFSB as full members.
At its second meeting hosted by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
in Jeddah recently, IFSB also decided to start the preparation of two
prudential standards, namely risk management and capital adequacy.
During the meeting, the applications of the Association of Islamic
Banks in Malaysia to join the IFSB as full members was also approved.
Established in November last year, IFSB sets and disseminates
prudential and supervisory standards and core principles that are in
compliance with Syariah rules for the regulation of the Islamic
financial services industry.
[*] Copyright: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 -
http://liimirror.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/17/107.html - this material is
distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. If
you wish to use copyrighted material from this list for purposes that
go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
owner. [USA: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html%5d