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Sharia News Watch 55

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 55 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] The Sharia News Watch provides a weekly update of news
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 55 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*]

      The Sharia News Watch provides a weekly update of news quotes on
      Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as provided by major news
      search engines.

      all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
      Subscribe: shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


      Woman seeks death for husband's killer - 30 May 03
      A woman is contesting a court ruling sentencing a man who killed her
      husband to 15 years in prison and ordering him to pay Dh150,000 in
      blood money, and instead is demanding the death sentence under Sharia
      The court referred the case to the Criminal Court, where the victim's
      wife, a Hindu, requested the killer, a Muslim, be sentenced to death
      under Sharia Law, irrespective of his religion.
      The wife took her case to the Federal Supreme Court, seeking a death
      sentence and rejecting the prison sentence, claiming it contradicted
      Islamic Sharia, which does not differentiate between Muslim and
      non-Muslim in murder cases.
      The case was returned to the Court of Appeal which in turn referred it
      to another judicial authority, where another ruling based on Islamic
      Sharia is expected to be issued. The Federal Supreme Court, meanwhile,
      has issued a landmark ruling on equality between Muslims and
      non-Muslims in capital punishment. It stipulates that capital
      punishment applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims. Also, both are
      equal in paying blood money, as per the Abu Haneefa religious


      Government ready to deploy 100,000 religious teacher - 31 May 03
      Minister of Religious Affairs Said Agiel Munawar says the government
      is ready to deploy 30,000 additional teachers in order to anticipate a
      shortage in the case that the education bill now being deliberated by
      the House of Representatives (DPR) is passed into law.

      Chapter 13 of the education bill requires both state-owned and private
      schools to provide teachers of religion for every faith represented by
      their students. The minister said the government would provide Muslim
      teachers for non-Muslim schools.
      Meanwhile, the legislative council of the National Awakening Party
      (PKB) demanded that Chapter 13 be omitted, on the grounds that it had
      created a public uproar. "According to Islamic law (fiqh), any issue
      that could cause conflict should be omitted for the benefit of all,"
      said deputy secretary of the council Noer Iskandar Al-Barsany.
      PKB, the fourth biggest party, voices the interests of the Nadhlatul
      Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization in the country with around
      40 million members. NU also runs a large number of Islamic schools in
      rural areas.

      Disdain for Jakarta's sharia olive branch in Aceh - 01 June 03
      Whether to pray, get married, seek advice from clerics or merely idle
      by the fish ponds in the vast grounds, the religious heart of Aceh's
      capital [Baiturrahman Mosque] is a magnet for those seeking peace and
      quiet, especially now that a fresh Indonesian military offensive is
      into its third week. It is here then, among old men puffing away on
      pungent clove cigarettes and the students skipping classes, that one
      might expect to find support for Jakarta's offer of Islamic sharia law
      as a way to ease tension in the war-torn province. Instead, there is
      little but disdain.
      Devout Muslims, Acehnese had already been formally practicing sharia
      law in daily life for decades in areas such as marriage, divorce,
      dress regulations and bans on alcohol. But they also largely reject
      strict punishments such as the amputation of hands for theft that
      sharia in theory can dispense.

      To many, waving sharia like an olive branch had shown how little
      Jakarta understands their way of life and also their needs for not
      sharia law, but any law that did away with impunity and brought
      soldiers to justice for rights abuses. "If there's no order, what is
      sharia?" said Islamic cleric and academic Yusny Saby.
      Even after making the sharia offer, Jakarta has yet to go much
      further. Last March, Islamic courts for criminals matters opened, but
      have yet to hear cases because regulations have not been drawn up and
      officials do not seem to know when they will. In any case, Acehnese
      say their own more benign interpretation will remain the cornerstone
      of sharia law here.
      But while Aceh has a reputation for stricter Islam, the reality is not
      too different from elsewhere in Indonesia, another reason sharia is
      unlikely to be a magic solution for Jakarta. An obligation for women
      to cover their heads with what Indonesians call a jilbab has sparked
      the term "half jilbab women" to describe those who wear a headscarf
      along with jeans or tight-fitting shirts. And a nearby cinema is
      screening a film of dubious moral standing - "Speaking of Sex".


      Iran, Sudan review expansion of ties - 29 May 03
      Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail conferred here on
      Thursday with President Mohammad Khatami on issues of mutual
      interests. President Khatami [said] .. The Islamic states should be
      accountable for the performance of Islamic Sharia.


      [On May 21, 2003 the US Institute of Peace hosted a symposium on
      religious politics in Iraq]

      Anti-American Sentiment Continues To Simmer In Sunni Stronghold
      .. - 29 May 03
      Al-Fallujah has been the site of sporadic violence since the U.S.-led
      war in Iraq began. At least 17 people were killed and dozens more
      injured during clashes in late April between anti-American
      demonstrators and U.S. troops. In the weeks that followed, banners
      reading "USA leave our country" and threatening to kick out "U.S.
      killers" could be seen hanging over roadways and near former Ba'ath
      Party buildings.

      What makes this town of 500,000 people so restless? Zyiiad Makhlaf
      al-Arar, the deputy mayor of Al-Fallujah, says it's because it is
      Iraq's spiritual center of Sunni Islam. With nearly 200 mosques in the
      city and surrounding villages, he says, Al-Fallujah is called the
      "holy city of mosques." He continues: "Al-Fallujah has a religious
      heritage and tribal laws. It abides both to Sharia [Islamic] laws and
      civil laws."
      The city was home to many senior Ba'ath Party officials and was
      traditionally loyal to deposed leader Saddam Hussein. Even so, al-Arar
      says, even the Iraqi leader himself could not control the city the way
      he could control other Ba'ath strongholds like Tikrit.
      Sheikh Fawzi Abdala al-Kubaysi, the imam of Al-Fallujah's Al-Kidya
      mosque, says U.S. troops failed to heed repeated warnings from
      spiritual and tribal leaders to base themselves outside the city. The
      U.S. military headquarters in Al-Fallujah now occupy the city's former
      Ba'ath Party offices. Al-Kubaysi says he and other Sunnis feel
      insulted by the presence of foreign troops, and that violence in
      Al-Fallujah is likely to continue as long as U.S. troops are there.
      One city administration employee said some 24 Iraqis have been killed
      in the Al-Fallujah violence, and that the families have received no
      compensation or even visits from U.S. troops - something he says is a
      strict violation of tribal law. He says the anti-American sentiment is
      only likely to grow worse with time.

      [Bagdad] Militants cracking down on booze and breasts - 01 Jun 03

      Baghdad Clerics Want Strict Islamic Laws - 02 Jun 03
      Beside exhorting women to take the hijab - the Islamic dress code that
      requires covering the entire body except the face and hands - Iraqis
      are told in flyers, graffiti and sermons to consult Muslim clerics on
      "everything, big and small." In recent weeks, some liquor stores have
      closed after being attacked or threatened. Cinemas showing soft-porn
      movies have been told to stop - or else. Some heeded the warning,
      showing action films instead; others just made their film posters less
      provocative with black paint.
      At the heart of the movement, however, is the conviction propagated by
      clerics that al-Hawza al-Ilmiyah, the supreme Shiite learning center
      in the holy city of Najaf, is the strongest and most popular authority
      in Iraq today.

      [Lebanon] A Muslim cleric's advice to Bush - 30 May 03
      It is a strange irony of history that a potential ally for America in
      stabilizing postwar Iraq may be Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, the
      Shiite Muslim cleric [in Lebanon] who was the target of an
      American-backed assassination effort nearly 20 years ago.
      Fadlallah is important to the future of Iraq because he is the
      spiritual leader of the Daawa Party, which probably is the strongest
      political network among Iraqi Shiites. As an Arab Shiite, Fadlallah
      has opposed efforts by Iranian-backed mullahs such as Mohammed Bakir
      Hakim to take advantage of the current power vacuum in Iraq and push
      for an Iranian-style Islamic republic.

      Fadlallah has advised his followers in the Daawa Party to cooperate
      with the Americans in rebuilding Iraq, while opposing any prolonged
      U.S. military occupation. He wants to avoid any violent confrontation
      with the United States, which he believes would only benefit the
      Iranians and other outsiders.
      Fadlallah said he has issued several fatwas, or religious rulings,
      urging stability in Iraq during this transition. For example, he said
      he has admonished Iraqi Shiites against looting – not simply of
      private property, but of government buildings as well. "I have
      especially emphasized in a fatwa that no person has the right to take
      the law into his own hands, or to take revenge against Saddam
      Hussein's people. They should use the courts."

      Fadlallah's relatively moderate tone reflects positions he has taken
      in recent years, even though it contrasts sharply with his alleged
      support for terrorism in the early 1980s.
      But in recent years, Fadlallah has been seen as a voice of reason and
      restraint in the Islamic world. He was the first prominent Muslim
      cleric to condemn the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. And he fought
      what was ultimately a losing battle to keep the Lebanese Shiite
      militia, Hezbollah, independent of Iranian control.

      His power today comes from the fact that Shiites throughout the Arab
      world respect his religious authority. This process of Shiite
      leadership is something of a populist phenomenon – mullahs are
      powerful only if they have followers – and it helps explain why
      have political clout.


      Group urges muftis to issue fatwa against ISA - 30 May 03
      The Anti-ISA Movement (AIM) has urged muftis nationwide to issue a
      fatwa (religious edict) on the cruelty of the Internal Security Act,
      which allows detention without trial. The movement's deputy
      chairperson Zahir Hassan said they have so far met state religious
      leaders from Kedah, Terengganu and the Federal Territory to press the
      muftis to take a bold stand against the controversial law. In our
      meetings with the muftis, we have submitted arguments why we think
      that there should be a fatwa declaring the ISA as unIslamic.

      Drawing Muslim leaders into fight against AIDS - 01 June 03
      "People want answers from their religious leaders. These leaders must
      come down to the ground. Otherwise, people will get the perception
      that the ulamas are uncaring." In Malaysia, says Marina, the response
      to the epidemic has been slower than in African countries, partly
      because the country is at least 10 years behind in infection levels,
      and partly because it is still invisible, so people don't realise the
      importance of setting up a comprehensive response.

      At least one heartening sign from the IMLC [International Muslim
      Leaders Consultation] was that the event was coorganised by MAC and
      the Islamic Development Department (Jakim). Yet even with such a solid
      new partner, it will not be easy to change the perceptions that many
      people have of the disease. Foremost in the minds of some religious
      leaders are issues of sexual orientation, illicit sex, condoms,
      needles and the "guilt" or "innocence" of an HIV/AIDS sufferer.
      The belief is that "the ends can never justify the means". Even when a
      condom is used for health safety reasons, in an illegal sexual
      relationship, which is completely forbidden in Islam, it is haram.
      "That's because they don't want to be seen as bersubahat (abetting the
      crime), and that's completely understandable," says Khartini Slamah, a
      consultant on HIV/AIDS specialising in sex workers.

      NGO officials like Khartini know that it would be too much to expect
      religious organisations or leaders to push for condom use in
      non-marital relationships. Or even for imams and ulamas themselves to
      give it out (to married couples).
      Because of the high rate of drug users and infection through
      contaminated needles in Malaysia, there is actually a consideration to
      supply the needles. "As the situation is rather grave here, and as
      there is no solution in sight to the drug problem, the strategy to
      supply clean needles can be seriously looked into," says National
      Fatwa Council chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim.

      Yet, drug use in Islam is haram. How can this be so, unless drugs are
      not seen as a "moral issue"? Some religious people at the IMLC even
      refused to discuss the issue of other sexual orientations (lesbians,
      bi-sexuals, gays and trans-genders) because they felt that as such
      activities were wrong, they shouldn't be discussed.
      "Talking at the mimbar (pulpit) of the mosque is not good enough,"
      says Dr Faisal. "It's all very well to say that Islam has the answer,
      but Muslims so far do not provide solutions." Dr Faisal believes
      religious organisations should look after the welfare of the AIDS
      orphans, and the wives and children of men who have died of AIDS.
      "We look after the medical side, but when they leave the hospital,
      society must provide a support system," he says.

      Religious leaders should also put pressure on pharmaceutical companies
      to reduce the price of HIV/AIDS medication, and arrange for Baitulmal
      and zakat money to be made available to people who need AIDS
      medication, which costs RM950 per month. Marina says the Paediatrics
      AIDS Fund gets a lot of money because people think that children are
      innocent victims but people are less willing to give to adult
      sufferers because they are not seen as "innocent".
      And if religious leaders are failing in their duty, then lay people
      should question their ulamas to account for the neglect, says Marina.
      "Preserving life is preserving religion."

      Loans for small businesses available soon - 30 May 03
      Small-scale businessmen may start borrowing from the Government's
      micro credit fund as early as June 3 from Bank Pertanian Malaysia and
      Bank Simpanan Nasional. The maximum loan offered is RM20,000.[EUR
      4.500,-] But, the lenders will also look at the applications on a
      case-bycase basis and may be willing to offer as high as RM50,000. All
      loans are free from collateral, without the need for guarantors and
      come with a promise of speedy approval time — as fast as 24 hours.
      Interest charged by both institutions will be as low as four per cent.
      Bank Pertanian will offer two types of loan: a four-per cent interest
      conventional loan and another based on the Islamic Syariah principles.


      Obasanjo: The burden of leadership - 01 June 03
      Full implementation of sharia legal system appears to be the obsession
      of the Northwest with states like Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi and
      Kaduna at the forefront. But how well the zone will continue to
      operate the Islamic legal code without upstaging the overall interest
      of the country remains a daunting task. But beyond sharia law
      implementation, the lot of an average man needs to be improved. It is
      on record that poverty, ignorance and diseases reek to high heavens in
      states where sharia law is enforced. Specifically, ignorance and
      unbridled fanaticism were the major factors responsible for
      sharia-induced violence witnessed in the affected states at the
      inception of this democracy.

      She Shouldn't Be Stoned to Death. None of Us Should - 01 Jun 03
      Lawal's fate could be decided on Tuesday, when the Katsina State
      Sharia Court of Appeal hears her challenge of a lower court decision.
      That court invoked sharia, or Islamic law, and sentenced her to death
      by stoning. If the court fails to overturn her sentence, Lawal can
      appeal to Nigeria's federal Sharia Court of Appeal and then to its
      Supreme Court. If the earlier decision is upheld, she will be buried
      up to her shoulders and pelted in the head with stones until she dies.

      Shari'ah battle continues - 02 Jun 03
      Three Nigerians sentenced to be stoned to death for having sex outside
      marriage will appeal before Islamic courts this week, turning the
      spotlight back on a bitter battle over Shari'ah law.

      In the best known case, 33-year-old mother-of-three Amina Lawal will
      on Tuesday begin her second appeal against her conviction for adultery
      at the Shari'ah Appeal Court in the northern city of Katsina.

      And on Wednesday, judges in the central city of Minna are expected to
      hear the start of the first appeal of Fatima Usman and Ahmadu Ibrahim,
      former lovers who were caught and sentenced last year.

      No final rulings are expected this week, and all three defendants will
      be able to appeal to federal courts if they lose at this stage. None
      of the accused are in custody, and are living in their home villages.

      Buhari's supporters demonstrate in Kano - 30 May 03
      Dozens of youths turned the venue of the swering-in of the new
      governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau to a theatre of
      protest as they sang songs in support of the presidential candidate of
      the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and carried placards protesting
      the April 19 elections.
      Security agents had some difficulty controlling the enthusiastic crowd
      but were helped by the hisba (a sort of police force for implementing
      Sharia) who formed a human chain that kept the crowd beyond the main


      (Federal) Shariat Court fails to hear pleas - 02 Jun 03
      For the last four months, criminal appeals against death penalties
      awarded to various appellants, including some juvenile offenders and
      women, could not be heard by the Federal Shariat Court due to shortage
      of judges. At present, only two judges have been functioning in the
      FSC whereas under the Constitution maximum eight judges could be
      appointed there.Apart from criminal appeals carrying sentences of
      death, important Shariat petitions could also not be fixed for hearing
      due to non-availability of the required number of judges.

      Under the FSC rules, a Shariat petition could only be heard by a bench
      of three judges or more. Similarly, appeals against verdicts of the
      sessions court in cases of capital punishment and amputation of limbs
      could only be heard by a bench consisting of not less than three
      judges. It is learnt that about 30 criminal appeals could not be taken
      up for hearing due to shortage of judges.
      Under Article 203C, sub-clause 2 of the Constitution, the Shariat
      court shall consist of not more than eight Muslim judges, including
      the chief justice, to be appointed by the president.
      Now, only two of the judges - Justice Ijaz Yousaf, who was appointed
      chief justice last month, and Justice Dr Fida Mohammad - are left in
      the Shariat court.

      Give us sharia or quit, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party to Musharraf
      http://www.dawn.com/2003/05/30/welcome.htm - 30 May 03
      A key Islamic party today offered to back down on demands that
      President Pervez Musharraf step down and undergo an election process,
      if he agreed to quit the army and make Islamic law supreme nation
      wide. "We are ready to give General Musharraf some concessions if our
      demands that sharia be made supreme law, today be declared a holiday
      and the recommendations of the Islamic Ideology Council are
      implemented," Hafiz Hussain Ahmed of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party
      told AFP. Interest would also have to be abolished from banking. The
      JUI could then endorse General Musharraf's presidency without forcing
      him to undergo a standard election by the lower house of parliament,
      Ahmed said, as JUI's coalition partners and other opposition parties
      demand. However the JUI would still expect Musharraf to commit to a
      deadline for shedding his army uniform, Ahmed said.

      US okays MMA, Musharraf alliance - 02 Jun 03
      The US, it was learnt, has no objection to Islamisation if the rights
      of the minorities were protected. "Sharia is not the issue but the
      style of implementation, which may lead to injustice in the
      the diplomat said referring to the Taliban-style of governance in
      Washington supports Musharraf's decision to keep controversial
      Presidential powers, acquired through LFO, under his belt, as an
      assurance against any possible Talibanisation of the governance
      system. But the US is unlikely to back the decision to pack up
      assemblies. "It will hurt Pakistan if short-term measures, such
      as the
      dissolution of assemblies, are taken due to political
      expediency," the
      sources said.
      At present there are three options being discussed: First, bring the
      MMA on board with Q League; Second, dissolve the national assembly and
      retain the senate and the provincial assemblies; Third, pack up the
      whole system.
      The US, President, Q-League, and other pro-Musharraf parties support
      the first option but all depends on the MMA. Despite its reservations
      about MMA, Washington believes that the first option would help
      strengthen democratic system in Pakistan.
      The second option is being lobbied by President Musharraf's legal
      who believes that he does not need to go to the Parliament for the
      approval of amendments made through LFO. Everyone, however, is ruling
      out the third option.

      Attack against Shiite Muslims in Pakistan leaves one dead- 31 May 03
      Gunmen ambushed a car carrying a Shiite Muslim leader in southwestern
      Pakistan on Saturday, wounding him and killing his son. The attack,
      which also wounded their driver, occurred as Ghulam Nabi, the local
      Shiite leader, was on his way home to Quetta, the capital of
      Baluchistan province, police said.
      The motive for the attack was not immediately known. However,
      religious violence has long been a problem between Pakistan's majority
      Sunnis and minority Shiites. Such attacks often involve Sunni
      extremist groups targeting Shiites. The assailants usually escape
      without being caught.

      Hearing of plea by heirs of Khanji put off - 01 Jun 03
      A division bench of the Sindh High Court on Friday adjourned the
      hearing of a writ petition filed by 21 legal heirs of the late Nawab
      of Junagadh, Sir Mahabat Khanji, for distribution of his movable and
      immovable property in accordance with the Muslim law of inheritance.
      A notification was issued on May 20, 1963, which declared the late
      ruler's personal property to be his state property and vested the
      whole of it in the new ruler, Nawab Dilawar Khanji, under the
      customary law of primogeniture [the right of the eldest child,
      especially the eldest son, to inherit the entire estate of one or both

      The notification was manifestly violative of the West Pakistan Muslim
      Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1962. The enactment declared
      that "notwithstanding any custom or usage, in all questions regarding
      succession, whether testate or intestate, special property of females,
      betrothal, marriage, divorce, dower, adoption, guardianship, minority,
      legitimacy or bastardy, family relations, wills, legacies, gifts,
      religious usages or institutions, including waqf, trust and trust
      properties, the rule of decision, subject to the provision of any
      enactment for the time being in force, shall be Muslim personal law
      (Shariat) in cases where the parties are Muslims."
      No property of the state of Junagadh, they asserted, became a part of
      Pakistan and the entire personal assets of the late ruler were liable
      to be distributed among his heirs in accordance with the Hanafi
      personal law, which they subscribed to. While the eldest son could
      succeed Sir Mahabat Khanji as "ruler", he could not inherit all his
      property under the Muslim law. The petition came up before a bench,
      comprising Chief Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad and Justice Ghulam
      Rabbani, but was adjourned at the request of the petitioners' counsel,
      Barrister Naeemur Rahman.

      MMA to table Shariat bill in Balochistan Assembly - 01 Jun 03
      The provincial chief of the Muttahida Majlis- i-Amal and MNA, Maulana
      Mohammad Khan Sherani, has said Shariat bill will be tabled in the
      Balochistan Assembly within the parameter of the Constitution and
      recommendations of the Islamic Ideology Council. Talking to Dawn at
      the MPA hostel on Saturday he said that tabling a Shariat bill was
      part of the agreement signed between the PML-Q and MMA leadership on
      the eve of formation of a coalition government in the province.
      Replying to a question he said that the Shariat bill would be like the
      one adopted by the NWFP Assembly.

      [Kashmir] Muzaffarabad : Diyat sentence awarded - 31 May 03
      The AJK Shariat Court here on Thursday sentenced an accused to Diyat
      [blood money] besides two-years rigorous imprisonment for causing
      death to a person by rash and negligent driving in a southern AJK
      district nearly nine years ago.
      Sentencing the accused to Diyat under section 9, the CJ ordered that
      he and his legal heirs shall pay 2,916 Tolas and 3 Masha silver or
      Pakistani rupees equal to its market value to the heirs of the
      deceased in equal instalments in three years. The accused was also
      sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment under section 279 of the
      Penal Code for rash and negligent driving.

      [NWFP] Depts told to ensure prayer arrangements - 01 Jun 03
      The NWFP government has issued directives to heads of all provincial
      departments to make arrangements for prayers at their respective
      departments in line with the implementation of Shariat Law in the
      province , said a notification issued here on May 31.
      The notification has exhorted heads of all provincial departments to
      perform prayers themselves during the office timings and also make
      elaborate arrangements for the performance of prayers by their
      subordinates. It has also directed that the departments concerned
      should observe a 30-minute break from 1:00pm to 1:30pm in order to
      enable all employees and students in the educational institutions to
      perform their Zohr prayers.

      The departments have also been asked to provide space for prayers and
      arrange for waters and bathrooms in the premises of the departments
      for ablution. To inculcate a sense of spirit and strengthen the faith
      of the staff, five minutes should be reserved for teaching the meaning
      of the Quranic verses and Hadith after Zohr prayers.
      It has also directed the officials concerned to make arrangements for
      pasting of notice boards and banners, inscribed with such writings
      that could create the fear of God and enhance the spirit of morality
      among the people. For such writings, the department concerned should
      contact the Shariat Council to seek its guidance.

      Likewise, it said, the Urdu translations of the Quranic verses and
      Hadith be prominently displayed at all Chowks, intersections and busy
      places, like bus stands and airports and on the road from Peshawar to
      Attock bridge. Advertisement companies should be contacted to replace
      vulgar signboards by the Quranic injunctions and take special care
      that women were not portrayed in negative sense.

      Prayers made compulsory in NWFP - 03 Jun 03
      The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal government in the NWFP has made the
      offering of prayers compulsory with warnings of action against
      violators. The government issued a notification on Saturday asking all
      Muslims to leave their shops, offices, school and work and offer
      prayers at the time of calling.

      [NWFP] Pakistani Province May Enact Taliban-like Restrictions - 29 May
      Women's groups in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP)
      bordering Afghanistan are reacting sharply to a proposed bill calling
      for the enforcement of strict Islamic law. The legislation, which
      places Sharia law above secular provincial law, paves the way for
      provincial leaders to "[follow] in the footsteps of the Taliban," the
      groups caution, according to the BBC. While members of NWFP's Islamic
      coalition insist the law would "curb obscenity and protect human
      decency," many women fear new restrictions will ban them from working
      for foreign non-profit groups. "The way the Islamic parties have
      started imposing laws in the NWFP we feel will deprive many people of
      their basic rights," Kamla Hayyat of the Human Rights Commission of
      Pakistan told the BBC.

      [NWFP] 'Centre will disallow Hisbah Bill' - 31 May 03
      The federal government may move the Supreme Court against the
      Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government in the North West Frontier
      Province (NWFP) as the controversial Hisbah Bill that critics allege
      will 'introduce the Taliban-style' rule in the province
      Talking to Daily Times via phone from Islamabad, Mr Khan [PML-QA] said
      the Frontier province did not need another such bill as in the 1973
      Constitution Islamic laws were protected. "We don't need new laws.
      What we need is implementation of the existing laws," he argued to
      reject the MMA-tabled Shariah Bill 2003 in the Frontier Assembly on
      He said the Hisbah Bill clashed with the Constitution. In the bill,
      all courts were barred from challenging vice and virtue department
      decisions and no court could stay its decisions.
      National Awami Party (ANP), the opposition in the North-West Frontier
      Province assembly vowed to move Supreme Court of Pakistan if MMA
      dominated assembly if approves Sharia bill.

      Benazir asks Durrani govt to review passage of Sharia Bill - 31 May
      Pakistan People Party Chairperson Benazir Bhutto has called on the
      NWFP government to review its decision to secure the passage of the
      Shariat Bill in the Assembly, saying the move not undermined
      rights but could also damage Pakistan's image in the world.
      Ms Bhutto said the presentation of the Bill could undermine
      rights and inculcate a spirit of insecurity among them, adding the
      Bill could also hurt Pakistan's image overseas. She called on the
      government to review the decision.

      [NWFP] Shariat Bill termed replica of old one - 30 May 03
      The NWFP Shariat Bill, 2003, tabled by the provincial government in
      the NWFP Assembly is a reproduction of the Enforcement of Shariat Act,
      1991, enacted by the then Nawaz Sharif's government, claimed legal

      The bill was introduced in the assembly with slight modification,
      keeping in view the powers of the NWFP government, as the Shariat Act
      of 1991 was meant for the entire country and the proposed bill, if
      passed by the assembly, would be applicable only to the province.

      Instead of the words "Pakistan" and "federal government" used in the
      1991 Act, the provincial government has used the words "NWFP" and
      "provincial government" in the proposed law. Moreover, unlike the 1991
      Act which is in English, the Shariat Bill is drafted in Urdu.

      "Even the preambles of the Shariat Act and the proposed law are almost
      identical," said a local lawyer.The Enforcement of the Shariat Act,
      1991 (Act X of 1991), was passed by the parliament and it received the
      assent of the President of Pakistan on June 5, 1991. Under section 2
      of that Act Shariat means the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the
      Holy Quran and Sunnah. The same section has been incorporated in the
      proposed NWFP Shariat Act.

      The drafts of both these documents - the 1991 Shariat Act and the
      proposed NWFP Shariat Act, 2003 - are identical up to section 13,
      except some slight changes. In the proposed law there are 15 sections
      whereas in the 1991 Act there are 22 sections.

      Interestingly, those sections of the 1991 Act have not been included
      in the proposed Bill which are not in accordance with the policy of
      the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal's government.

      Under the Shariat Act the state shall take administrative and
      legislative measures to protect the honour and reputation of the
      citizens against false imputations, character assassination and
      violation of privacy. Similarly, the rights of women as guaranteed by
      the constitution should not be affected. However, these provisions are
      not included in the proposed law by the provincial government.

      Under both the documents the concerned governments have to establish
      an education commission and an economic reforms commission for putting
      forward recommendations regarding Islamisation of the educational and
      economic systems in the country and the province, respectively.

      A deviation in the proposed act is a provision about the establishment
      of a Judicial Reforms Commission, which would give recommendations for
      bringing the judicial system in the Provincially Administered Tribal
      Areas (Pata) in line with the Islamic injunctions.


      Saudi opposition announces killing of two scholars in al-Madina
      .. - 29 May 03
      Al-Faqih whose movement takes London as a headquarters said that the
      two Sheikhs Ali al-Khadeir and Ahmad al-Khalidi were killed on Monday
      in a breaking in operations by several members of members of the Saudi
      special forces of the house they were hiding with many of their
      students, one of the students was also killed in the same explosion.

      The two killed scholar, however, are known for issuing Fatwas
      supporting "Jihad against the crusaders." they joined Sheikh Naser Bin
      Hamad al-Fahad in the decision to disappear before the beginning of
      the war against Iraq. From their hiding, the two sheikhs continued
      issuing Fatwa criticizing the Saudi leaders who gave military
      facilitation to the Americans and the Britons.

      Legacy of cleric: Three followers accused in terror case - 31 May 03
      Sixteen months after his death, Saudi authorities still grapple with
      the legacy of a blind cleric who preached that the United States was
      the enemy of Muslims and that those allied with the West were
      nonbelievers. This past week, the interior minister said three
      prominent followers of Sheik Hammoud bin Oqla al-Shuaibi were arrested
      during the investigation into the May 12 Riyadh terror attacks that
      killed 34 people, including eight Americans. The trio apparently is
      not suspected of making bombs or firing weapons, but of wielding
      Terror suspects Ali al-Khudair, in his fifties; Nasser al-Fahd, in his
      forties; and Ahmad al-Khalidi, in his thirties, were drawn together by
      their belief in the ideas of al-Shuaibi, who made his base in
      Buraydah, a town famous for its strict piety. Throughout most of
      Saudi Arabia, women can appear in public only in enveloping robes and
      headscarves. Buraydah is one of the conservative places where they
      also must cover their faces.
      Al-Shuaibi was one of the first to issue fatwas, or religious rulings,
      calling on Muslims to support the foreign mujahedeen, or holy
      warriors, helping Afghans fight the Soviets. In 1995, al-Shuaibi was
      among several clerics arrested for criticizing the Saudi royal
      family's pro-Western policies around the 1990 Gulf War, said Saad
      al-Fagih, a London-based Saudi dissident who tracks Islamic
      fundamentalism in the kingdom.
      Al-Khudair, al-Fahd and al-Khalidi, who traveled the kingdom and used
      the Internet to spread al-Shuaibi's ideas, were among many who
      congregated in Buraydah after the September 11 attacks fearing they
      would become targets of the West. The three began working closely
      together, often signing joint statements outlining their religious
      reasoning and attitude toward current affairs.
      The trio then released a statement on the Internet praising 19 men
      Saudi authorities identified as militants wanted in connection with a
      weapons cache found in Riyadh on May 6. Saudi authorities said then
      the 19 were believed to be receiving orders directly from Osama bin
      Laden and may have been planning to use the arms to attack Saudi royal
      family members and U.S. and British interests.

      Movie by Saudi Woman Debuts on Internet - 31 May 03
      The film is only seven minutes long. It was shot with a video camera,
      cost $1,000 to make and can only be seen on the Internet. And it is
      remarkable. "Who...?" was filmed by Haifaa Al-Mansour in this country,
      which has no movie industry or even theaters. Haifaa is believed to be
      the only active female Saudi director. She was inspired to make
      "Who...?" by rumors that spread a few months ago in Riyadh and

      There were whispers of a serial killer roaming the streets targeting
      women. The rumors were so strong, officials denied the killer's
      existence in statements carried by local papers. "The film shows that
      people were frightened by something," said Haifaa, who declined to
      give her age but appears to be in her late 20s. "It's their story
      brought back to them."

      "Who...?" was screened last month at a film festival in the United
      Arab Emirates, where it won a lot of encouragement but no prize. "The
      film was very good. I would have given her a prize because the movie
      had the potential of being turned into a long feature film," said
      Mohammed Rida, a movie critic for two Arab dailies who is based in Los
      Angeles. .. "Who...?" can be viewed at
      http://www.haifaa.com/Films.html [broken link to movie].


      Demands to do away with Shari'ah will delay peace process - official
      .. [report by Sudanese newspaper Al-Khartoum on 29 May]
      The secretary-general of the [governing] National Congress, Prof
      Ibrahim Ahmad Umr, has said that he considers discussions on
      secularization of the capital a source of delay for the peace process
      and [implementation of] agreements governing the country.

      In a press statement released yesterday, he said that the Machakos
      [Kenya] talks made clear the nature of the capital in the north as far
      as the implementation of the Islamic law [Shari'ah] is concerned. He
      also said that the publication of a statement calling for the removal
      of Shari'a was unacceptable.

      Prof Umr said that exclusion of the capital from the Shari'ah meant
      that all political and economic institutions in the capital, which
      accounts for 90 per cent [of them], would not adhere to the Shari'a.
      He said that this would lead to complex moral collapse in Sudanese
      society and that this was not acceptable.


      [HIV/AIDS] Uganda's success story through the mufti - 01 Jun 03
      Realising the need for a Muslim community-based response to the
      epidemic, the Islamic Medical Association of Uganda (IMAU) mobilised
      the top Muslim leadership, and this resulted in a declaration of the
      jihad on AIDS by the mufti in 1989. The struggle against AIDS was seen
      as the struggle of the soul to control behaviour.

      Unlike in Malaysia, there is only one mufti in Uganda, and he is the
      highest-ranking Muslim leader in the country. Below him are district
      kadis; below them are the county sheikhs; and below the sheikhs are
      the imams, who lead the mosques.

      This centralised structure was advantageous in the fight against AIDS
      because it enabled the Muslims of Uganda to mount an organised
      national Muslim response. Providing technical assistance, IMAU
      designed a project, Family AIDS Education and Prevention Through
      Imams, and provided training to 850 imams and 6,800 assistants, who
      then reached 100,000 families. The prime example and pride of all this
      is the Rayaat Mosque, where the imam, Sheikh Bukenya, leads the
      community in addressing HIV/AIDS.
      For most of the Malaysian delegates from Jakim, Syariah Courts and
      religious departments, the Second International Muslim Leaders
      Consultation (IMLC) was a good exposure to the problem of HIV/AIDS.
      The conference started with an introductory session on HIV/AIDS for
      local delegates, giving basic explanations of what was HIV/AIDS,
      upto-date statistics, and talks by doctors and HIV positive people.
      Exposure to talks given by Drs M. Khoiron Su'aib, a religious leader
      in Indonesia, was also an eye-opener for many. Khoiron, together with
      his wife and children, lives in a street populated by sex workers in
      Bangunsari, Surabaya. The sex workers pray with the family, and come
      to them for advice.


      Livestock producers look to halal deal - 29 May 03
      Midland livestock producers could soon be supplying the Muslim
      population with halal meat if moves to create a national certification
      scheme are approved.


      A trip to the DMV inspires debate on Islamic law - 28 May 03
      Freeman, 35, sued the Florida highway department in 2002 after her
      driver's license was revoked when she refused to take an unveiled
      photograph to replace the veiled picture on her 2001 license.
      an expert on Islamic law called by the state said he thought the
      rigorous code of Sharia allowed exceptions to the rule that Muslim
      women must cover their faces, including a driver's license photo.
      "According to Islamic law, it is not the type of situation in which we
      worry about fitna — enticement, allurement," said UCLA law
      Khaled Abou El Fadl. The state's request to remove the veil "is not an
      ongoing demand ... It is defined for a limited purpose with a certain
      objective in mind." Among the exceptions to the veil rule, said El
      Fadl, are medical necessity, readying for marriage, writing wills and
      identifying the dead before burial. According to El Fadl, the
      accommodations offered by the state — having the photo taken in
      private by a woman — would "absolutely" satisfy Islamic law.


      Facts and Figures: The work of Amnesty International 2002


      Bahrain mulls investment in Pak securities, leasing - 30 May 03
      Deputy Governor of Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) Khalid A Al-Bassam
      has said the BMA is seriously considering criss-cross listing of blue
      chip companies of Pakistan's stock exchanges and Bahrain's capital
      BMA was the first central bank to issue Islamic asset-backed
      securities, he said, adding both short and medium-term "Sukuks, Sukuk
      al Salam and Sukuk al Ijarah" had been extremely successful in the
      Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets. BMA and SBP would be
      cooperating in developing a similar system in Pakistan, he added.

      He said BMA would also seek cooperation of the State Bank in human
      resource and training of bankers. In the sector of insurance, he said,
      BMA was ready to start reinsurance business and Takaful, a type of
      life insurance based on Sharia regulations. He said Pakistan's
      insurance expertise could attract a lot of investment from Bahrain and
      Gulf countries, thus both sides would benefit from the increased
      volume of insurance business.

      Demutualisation of KLSE a catalyst for growth in Msian capital mart
      .. - 31 May 03
      In an environment of intensifying competition, SC said traditional
      mutual member-owned [security] exchanges increasingly found it
      necessary to be nimble in responding to fast-changing customer needs
      and competitive challenges.
      In another development, Security Commission have provided guidelines
      to enhance the quality of management and administration of Islamic
      Practice note no 18, requires among others for syariah committee or
      syariah consultant for Islamic fund to prepare a report certifying
      whether the fund has been managed and administered in accordance with
      Syariah principles.
      Practice note 19, on the other hand, was introduced to facilitate the
      approval process relating to the appointment of Syariah committee
      members and Syariah consultants.
      The objective of the registration procedures is to provide a more
      efficient and expedient framework for the appointment of Syariah
      committee members or Syariah consultants by Islamic funds.

      Afghanistan invites Pak banks to start business - 01 Jun 03
      Da Afghanistan Bank, central bank of the war-ravaged country has
      invited eight Pakistani banks including both government and private to
      start banking and commercial activities in Kabul.
      At present, the central bank of Afghanistan is acting freely without
      any control of the ministry of finance. It has taken monetary and
      currency related decisions independently and without any interference
      from the government, he informed. The law on the establishment of
      Afghan central bank, which ensures the bank's independence, is at
      present pending with Afghan justice ministry, he said.
      He said, "We have historical and emotional relations with Pakistan so
      we are seeking the help of central bank of Pakistan for the full
      restoration of entire banking sector of Afghanistan." About start of
      Islamic banking in Afghanistan, he said "We are quite familiar with
      Modaraba and other Sharia compliant banking and trading and in this
      regard we would definitely be seeking the help of SBP."

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