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
all editions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/
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
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
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
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
- 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
dissolution of assemblies, are taken due to political
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
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
[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
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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