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Sharia News Watch 50

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 50 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] all editions:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 12, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 50 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*]
      all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rnrs/messagesearch?query=sharia
      Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      AFGHANISTAN

      Islam `only source' of law in Afghanistan - 04 May 03
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_4-5-2003_pg4_14
      ..
      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
      http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/subcontinent/2003=
      /May/subcontinent_May95.xml§ion=subcontinent&col=
      ..
      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
      confidence.
      ..
      Kandahar was the Taleban's spiritual home and the base for its most
      senior leaders during the fundamentalist regime's five-year rule.

      BAHRAIN

      Unified family law pledge - 03 May 03
      http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Articles.asp?Article=50662&Sn=BNEW
      ..
      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.
      ..
      http://www.gulfnews.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=86744
      ..
      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
      and inheritance.
      ..
      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.

      BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

      Syariah lawyers ready to defend fellow Muslims - 07 May 03
      http://www.brudirect.com/DailyInfo/News/Archive/May03/070503/bb09.htm
      ..
      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.

      EGYPT

      Imam of Al Azhar refuses to condemn US presence in Iraq - 06 May 03
      http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2003/M=
      ay/middleeast_May108.xml§ion=middleeast&col=
      ..
      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
      http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Arti=
      cle_Type1&c=Article&cid=1051643375710&call_pageid=968332188854&col=968350060=
      724
      ..
      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
      piety.

      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

      France may ban Muslim scarf in school - 04 May 03
      http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=28=
      1146
      ..
      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.
      ..
      http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?Category=18&ID=98261&r=0
      ..
      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
      http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=289700
      ..
      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.

      INDONESIA

      Indonesian school bill rekindles religious rancor - 10 May 03
      http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/EE10Ae04.html
      ..
      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
      Christian schools.

      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
      http://www.abc.net.au/asiapacific/news/GoAsiaPacificBNA_850366.htm
      ..
      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
      than him.

      MUI Wants Severe Measures To Combat Poronography - 10 May 03
      http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=query_displaynews&doc_id=NR200305=
      103010.7_7b5300033f7476f8
      ..
      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.

      IRAN

      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.

      IRAQ

      Religious leaders ease tension in flashpoint Iraqi city - 03 May 03
      http://www.dailystar.com.lb/03_05_03/art16.asp
      ..
      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
      http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=7922845&BRD=1713&PAG=740&dept_id==
      226956&rfi=6
      .. - 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
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3004551.stm
      ..
      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
      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/11/magazine/11CLERIC.html?ex=1053316800&en=4=
      5414d0c3e59eccf&ei=5006&partner=ALTAVISTA1

      Shia clerics urge faithful to attack returning Ba'athists - 10 May 03
      http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&=
      c=StoryFT&cid=1051389911957&p=1012571727172
      ..
      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
      http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/030512/2003051222.html
      ..
      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
      http://www.thecourier.co.uk/febcourierrede/NewsStory.cfm?StoryID=33503&Toda=
      y=100503
      ..
      soldiers in Iraq have found evidence that men have been killing their
      sisters for allegedly bringing dishonour on their families by having
      affairs.
      ..
      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
      Fusiliers area.

      KENYA

      Compromise the key to Kadhis' courts dispute - 04 May 03
      http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/Today/Comment/News_Analysis34.h=
      tml
      ..
      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.

      MALAYSIA

      Abdullah: Non-Muslims Can Hire Muslim Maids - 07 May 03
      http://e.sinchew-i.com/content.phtml?sec=2&artid=200305070002
      ..
      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
      http://www.emedia.com.my/Current_News/MM/Sunday/National/20030504113640
      ..
      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
      http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/5/3/nation/klgpolyga&se=
      c=nation
      ..
      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.

      MAURITANIA

      seculars call for releasing the detainees - 10 May 03
      http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/030510/2003051006.html
      ..
      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
      Mauritania's opposition.
      ..
      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
      language."

      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
      the Baathists.

      NIGERIA

      Please Stop the International Amina Lawal Protest Letter Campaigns
      http://www.google.com/groups?&selm=001801c31310%24f993e6d0%24d402a8c0%40bsw=
      a.com
      ..
      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).
      ..
      http://www.emancipatie.nl/home/Varia/Berichten/2003/001_-_050/001_-_010/200=
      3-006/
      ..
      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
      support. http://www.guardian.co.uk/gender/story/0,11812,951471,00.html

      Muslim Cleric Flays Buhari Over Utterances - 09 May 03
      http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=query_displaynews&doc_id=NR200305=
      09375.2.3_a8a3002a179c4c8f
      ..
      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
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200305080353.html
      ..
      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]

      PAKISTAN

      Provinces asked to enact law against honour killing - 06 May 03
      http://jang.com.pk/thenews/may2003-daily/06-05-2003/national/n12.htm
      ..
      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
      http://www.paknews.com/flash.php?id=4&date1=2003-05-10
      ..
      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
      http://www.dawn.com/2003/05/03/nat7.htm
      ..
      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 police.
      ..
      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
      Islamic values.

      [NWFP] Islamic hard-liners call for compulsory Quran lessons, ban on
      men giving medical tests to women - 09 May 03
      http://www.cleveland.com/newsflash/news/index.ssf?/newsflash/get_story.ssf?=
      /cgi-free/getstory_ssf.cgi?a0452_BC_Pakistan-IslamicLaw&&news&newsflash-inte=
      rnational
      ..
      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.

      SPAIN

      Hammam: Madrid's Only Nod to Its Arab Past - 11 May 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=26085
      ..
      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
      been reopened.

      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.

      SOUTH AFRICA

      [Durban] Hindu woman refused use of 'Muslims only' toilet - 04 May 03
      http://www.suntimes.co.za/2003/05/04/news/durban/ndbn05.asp
      ..
      A hindu woman was barred from using a locked toilet at a popular
      fast-food restaurant [Winpy] because it was allegedly reserved for
      Muslim patrons.
      ..
      Binstead told Sunday Times Extra that Wimpy did not condone the
      segregation of toilets for its customers.

      USA

      US using democracy against Muslims and Islam - 04 May 03
      http://www.mediamonitors.net/iqbalsiddiqui26.html
      ..
      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
      http://www.mnsun.com/story.asp?city=Bloomington&story=112566
      ..
      "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
      http://www.americandaily.com/item/539
      ..
      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
      anti-American behavior.

      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
      Muslim thought."

      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
      Muslims." http://www.historytextbooks.org/islam.htm

      YEMEN

      Yemeni gets death for killing three US missionaries - 10 May 03
      http://www.sabcnews.com/world/other/0,1009,58392,00.html
      ..
      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.

      WORLD

      [comment] Men of Religion in Politics - 10 May 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=26051
      ..
      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.

      FINANCE

      Islamic Finance: Asset securitisation under Sharia - 05 May 03
      http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=86551

      [USA] Morgan Stanley Launches Islamic Investment Fund - 06 May 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=25869
      ..
      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
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