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Sharia News Watch 56

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 56 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*]The Sharia News Watch provides a weekly update of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 56 : 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.

      this edition : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/message/55
      per email : shariawatch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


      Bush & the Media Cover-Up of the Jihad Schoolbook Scandal
      .. - 01 Jun 03
      Only one English-speaking newspaper we could find has investigated
      this issue: the Washington Post. According to Washington Post
      investigators, over the past twenty years the US has spent millions of
      dollars producing fanatical schoolbooks, which were then distributed
      in Afghanistan.

      "The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured
      drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then
      [i.e., since the violent destruction of the Afghan secular government
      in the early 1990s] as the Afghan school system's core curriculum.
      Even the Taliban used the American-produced books..." – Washington
      Post (3/23/2002)

      According to the Post, these violent Islamist schoolbooks, which
      "served...as the Afghan school system's core curriculum" produced
      "unintended consequences."
      "On Feb. 4, [Chris Brown, head of book revision for AID's Central Asia
      Task Force] arrived in Peshawar, the Pakistani border town in which
      the textbooks were to be printed, to oversee hasty revisions to the
      printing plates. Ten Afghan educators labored night and day,
      scrambling to replace rough drawings of weapons with sketches of
      pomegranates and oranges, Brown said." – Wash.Post (3/23/2002)


      Now Divorces Digital Style - 05 Jun 03
      Welcome to the era of SMS and digital divorces. A triple talaq - via
      SMS or email. Shocking,impersonal and near instantaneous, that's
      digital divorce for you. Recently, Afsana Mushtaq (name changed) in
      Delhi became the first Indian woman to be digitally divorced when her
      husband e-mailed her the triple talaq.Triple talaq is a way of
      divorcing a wife by proclaiming the word 'talaq' (divorce) thrice. It
      must be noted that all Muslims do not universally practice the triple
      talaq. Though this is a largely Sunni Muslim practice, even among
      Sunnis, only Hanafis and Shafis practice it. According to Asghar Ali
      Engineer of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai,
      Shias and all their sects do not accept the triple talaq. Malikis and
      Hanbalis as well as Ahl-e-hadith do not accept triple talaq in one
      In the UAE and in Malaysia, cell phones have been used to end
      marriages by SMS-ing 'talaq, talaq, talaq'. but then, this is not the
      first time technology has been used in officially terminating a
      relationship. Earlier, it was telephonic, postal and telegram
      divorces; now there are talaqs via e-mail and SMS.
      Meanwhile, the woman gets a period of three months response time -
      'iddat'- during which she can claim maintenance.Would SMS divorce be
      considered legal in India? Ahmed says it doesn't matter to which
      country you belong, and whether the man is using a telephone, e-mail
      or a mobile phone to communicate the message of divorce. The Sharia
      treats technology as a medium of communication, and once the message
      is communicated and authenticated, under the Sharia, it becomes legal.

      [opinion] The dowry scourge - 06 Jun 03
      One reason behind such considerations is that dowry functions as a
      form of moveable assets in a society where land has been the chief
      property resource. Parents, according to customs which operate even
      after the enactment of modern legislation, do not give their daughters
      a share in landed property. Instead, they prefer to given them
      tangible assets in the form of dowry. This becomes a source of
      bickering and bargain wherein each party ends up trying to negotiate
      the best bargain. The terms are negotiated on the estimate the groom's
      family has of the worth of the bride's family.
      If the much-flogged Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, was intended to curb
      the practice of dowry it should have not stopped at merely making the
      giving and taking of dowry a cognisable and non-bailable offence and
      providing for stringent punishment. It should have gone beyond
      tokenism and assailed the very social arrangements which constitute
      the backbone of this practice.
      Considerable historical and sociological evidence exists to show that
      the practice of dowry crept into Indian society out of the necessity
      to keep women out of property so that family wealth would remain
      within the patrilineal group. This is a universal stratagem societies
      have adopted to maintain the continuity and stability of the
      patrilineal group.

      Where the law allows women a share in the family property, other
      stratagems are adopted. For example, Muslim societies follow the
      principle of parallel-cousin marriages to keep family property within
      the patrilineal group because Muslim law allows women the right to
      inherit family assets including land. South Asia is an exception in
      this respect because the enactment of the Shariat Act, 1937,
      disallowed women a share in arable land.
      If the anti-dowry legislation was serious about curbing the practice
      of dowry, it should have ensured that women received a share in the
      family property, which continues to be denied to them even after
      substantial legal reforms were brought about. If women were guaranteed
      property rights there would be no reason for substantial marriage
      transactions as a woman's husband and his parents would know that at
      the appropriate time she would secure her share of the family
      property. Since the social arrangements in place at the moment deny
      women that right, a woman's in-laws demand a share of the family
      property in the form of dowry and many women themselves desire that
      they be given a good dowry.

      Academic research on women's rights on land shows that one of the
      reasons offered by women for not preferring a claim to the family
      property is that they feel that if they did so they would be demanding
      two shares, one at the time of their marriage and another after the
      death of their parents.


      Much more than self-esteem damaged by fake drugs - 06 Jun 03
      counterfeit drugs should include illicit drugs. Smuggled drugs,
      therefore, fall under illicit drugs. We view smuggled drugs to be
      dangerous for at least four reasons. Firstly, because they usually are
      made using porcine capsules, rendering them to be "haram" for Muslims.
      does it pay to cover up the real fact on counterfeit medicines? In
      Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, it was evidenced that
      33 percent of anti-malaria tablet in the market were found to be
      without active ingredient. In Nigeria, 50 percent of drugs found in
      the market were already expired nor damaged.


      Islamic Justice Taking Hold in Baghdad - 29 May 03
      It was 11 a.m., and Baghdad's first Islamic court was in session,
      Sheik Abbas Rubai presiding.
      At issue, they said, was whether seven tenants could remain in
      concrete and cinder-block shops built by the former Baath Party
      government on the property of a nearby mosque. The head of the mosque
      wanted them to make way for a religious school. The store owners, some
      of whom had been there for years, protested.
      The no-frills session lasted less than a half-hour; judgment was
      swift. No compensation, no compromise. On an envelope-size piece of
      paper, Rubai wrote his verdict: "We give the brothers who own the
      shops one month to evacuate."
      Rubai's court, complete with summonses featuring calligraphy and a
      letterhead, began delivering verdicts this month. Answering a call
      from a leading cleric last week, other clergy have set up committees
      "for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice" - traditional
      Islamic morals police.
      Rubai, a bald man in black sandals and black-rimmed glasses, entered
      inconspicuously but was soon pointed out. "Excuse me," Hamid said, "I
      need to ask you about a marriage certificate."

      The court session had begun. As with many legal questions, Rubai
      deferred to the Shiite Muslim seminary in the holy city of Najaf to
      which clergy look for guidance. "You can get it done in Najaf," Rubai
      said. "The judges there can arrange everything very properly and very
      clearly." "But I live in Baghdad," Hamid said, frustrated at the
      prospect of a long trip for a process once mundane. "It's far away. I
      can't take my sister and her fiance there."
      Since the notices went up this month announcing Baghdad's first
      Islamic court, Rubai has heard about 10 cases - a woman asking how
      much she should receive in alimony, people eager to reclaim homes
      confiscated under Hussein's government, an Iraqi who insisted his
      neighbors stole his AK-47 assault rifle and guards accused of stealing
      looted goods returned to a mosque.

      Under Islamic law, circumstantial evidence cannot convict someone, and
      Rubai complained that witnesses were not always forthcoming. "We can't
      take confessions by torture," he said with a knowing smile. Even more
      difficult, the 39-year-old judge said, was his lack of power to
      enforce decisions. He relies on the respect and reputation of the

      A Formidable Muslim Bloc Emerges - 27 May 03
      Shiites by contrast [to Sunnis] have no absolute fixed legal
      interpretations. In place of a fixed code, each believer chooses a
      spiritual leader — a "person worthy of emulation" — usually an
      ayatollah, who serves as a legal and spiritual guide.

      The Imam Ali Foundation, run by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, perhaps
      the most revered Shiite religious leader, provided the following
      explanation on the role of the spiritual leader: "You do what the
      [leader's] expert opinion says you should do, and refrain from what
      his expert opinion says you should refrain from, without any research
      on your part. It is as though you have placed the responsibility of
      your deeds squarely on his shoulders."

      A spiritual leader is also well financed by his followers. Most
      ayatollahs run extensive charitable organizations. The combination of
      financial resources and untrammeled influence over their followers
      makes the clerics very powerful men.

      Fortunately, most spiritual leaders are responsible to a fault because
      misuse of their authority is tantamount to blasphemy. The Hawza
      assembly called for by the Baghdad protesters is needed because
      ayatollahs are in competition for authority and influence. The council
      helps provide a unified voice for the community of believers.
      The [Bush] administration cannot seem to wean itself from the idea
      that states have primacy of power. Therefore it continually makes the
      conceptual error that if the Shiites become strong in Iraq they will
      be "controlled" by the established government in Iran. Nothing could
      be further from the truth.


      Tension Eases Over Kadhi Courts Dispute - 04 Jun 03
      .. [The East African - Nairobi]
      The Unresolved issue of the enhancement of the Kadhis' courts, which
      threatened to derail the national constitutional conference when the
      chapter on the judiciary came up for discussion two weeks ago, may
      after all, be settled through consensus at committee level.
      Last Thursday, lawyer Yusuf Mahmood Aboubakar, who chairs the
      [technical] committee [will discuss the chapter on the judiciary],
      said the confusion caused by the draft had created the impression that
      Muslims were keen on being given a parallel judicial system, with a
      number of Muslim and Christian delegates alleging that foreign forces
      had influenced argument on either side.
      as the conference prepared to adjourn on June 6, a consensus was
      emerging among Muslim delegates that they drop the demand for the
      expansion of the Kadhis' courts to handle commercial and civil
      disputes. Instead, they want the courts to concentrate on the
      administration of the succession law.
      While in the ordinary judicial system district and appellate courts
      are subordinate to the High Court, the Kadhis' district, provincial
      and appellate courts are subordinate to the Supreme Court in the
      envisaged constitution, said Aboubakar. In this case, the Kadhis and
      chief Kadhis have been given the same status as judges. He said that
      the contradiction could be sorted out by Muslims giving up provincial
      Kadhis' courts.

      The expansion of the jurisdiction of the Kadhis' courts in the draft
      Bill creates Kadhis' Courts of Appeal headed by a chief Kadhi, besides
      provincial and district Kadhis' courts being mandated to arbitrate
      commercial and civil disputes.
      The conflict results from article 10 of the draft, which provides:
      "State and religion shall be separate; there shall be no state
      religion; and the state shall treat all religions equally." Citing
      this provision, non-Muslim delegates argue that enhancement of the
      courts would create rival, rather than complimentary judicial systems.
      They want the Kadhis' courts to be covered under the family law and
      religion sections, in recognition of the unique Islamic values, which
      cannot be adequately, covered by common law.


      Move to enhance Islamic Justice Department - 04 Jun 03
      E-SYARIAH is expected to be implemented in 102 courts within the next
      three years. Some of the applications being developed as part of
      E-Syariah are:
      * Court case management system (CCMS). Designed to facilitate work
      processes of the Syariah Courts and provide features such as workflow
      management to streamline work processes, case tracking and monitoring
      and a reference base for court cases nationwide.
      * Syarie lawyers registration system. To facilitate the registration
      and management of Syarie lawyers as well as the application and
      renewal process for the licensing of lawyers.
      * E-Syariah portal. Serves as an information centre that offers
      services including announcement boards, online case status checking
      and online lawyer application.
      To date, the CCMS and the Office Automation System have been
      implemented in six pilot states (which consist of 29 sites). The six
      states are Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and
      Wilayah Persekutuan. The systems will be implemented in the remaining
      states by mid this year. [New Straits Times]

      Standard halal logo to be introduced - 05 Jun 03
      A standard logo for all halal food products manufactured in Malaysia
      would be introduced soon to avoid confusion among importing countries,
      International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said
      "The logo will be introduced once Jakim [Malaysia Islamic Development
      Department] and the respective State Islamic departments have agreed
      on its structure and implementation," she said at an investment
      seminar in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

      [Perak] Fine slapped on couples - 05 Jun 03
      Couples in the Malaysian city of Ipoh risk getting slapped with a fine
      if they hold hands in public. About 30 unmarried couples have been
      fined $7.90 for holding hands in a drive to keep the city "morally
      clean," but the campaign has been rapped by rights groups.
      Malaysia's official religion is Islam but the constitution allows
      freedom of religion among non-Muslims, who account for just less than
      half the population. None of the 30 couples fined in the campaign in
      Ipoh, Malaysia's third biggest city, were Muslims.
      Ipoh mayor Sirajuddin Salleh was unrepentant. "It is not the hobby of
      the city council to fine people for no apparent reason," he told a
      newspaper. The 400,000 people of Ipoh should keep the city "morally
      clean," he said.
      "It is a case of what is acceptable in society and what isn't. The
      acts of the officers ridicule the bylaw, which was probably enacted
      for a good reason. The term 'indecent behaviour' is too vague. Ipoh
      citizens, regardless of race or religion, should draft guidelines on
      what is indecent and how to implement the bylaw to avoid it being
      hijacked by overzealous officers."
      At Press time, enforcement of the city council's parks by-laws has
      been suspended to obtain feedback from the public.


      Arrest of Islamists, ulema continues in Mauritania - Algerian report
      .. [Text of report by Algerian radio on 3 June]
      The series of arrests among the ranks of the ulema [religious
      scholars] and the Islamists is continuing for the fourth consecutive
      week. These arrests have also included the lecturers and employees of
      the Arab and Islamic sciences academy in Mauritania. The authority for
      reviving the Sunnah [Prophet Muhammad's tradition], which belonged to
      the Salafi trend, and the youths association for building the homeland
      - headed by Mohamed Ould Abderrahmane and concerned with Islamic call
      and guidance - have also been closed.

      The Mauritanian press published today in the capital Nouakchott had
      dealt with the issue of arresting these imams and religious and
      political scholars, in addition to the strong criticism against the
      seizure of the weekly Al-Raya newspaper, a supporter of the Islamic
      trend, which dealt in very strong terms with the issue of the Muslim
      activists' arrest.
      Le Calame newspsper, it said in an article: It is true that the method
      of terrorism, killing and intimidation is rejected in accordance with
      the Islamic Shari'ah law and whoever practices it or calls for it is
      considered a criminal or a non- Muslim, but we have only borne witness
      to what we have known. The authorities have not produced one single
      piece of evidence to prove that these groups belonged actually to
      terrorist organizations which aimed at harming the state's security.


      [Amina Lawal] Stoning Death Appeal Postponed Again - 03 Jun 03
      .. [UN Integrated Regional Information Networks]
      The Sharia'h appeals court in Nigeria's northern Katsina State on
      Tuesday postponed for the third time hearing the appeal against a
      stoning death sentence on a 31-year-old mother. The court said there
      were not enough judges to form a quorum.

      Amina Lawal was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery in March
      2002 by a lower Sharia'h court after she had a child out of wedlock.
      The sentence was confirmed by an upper Sharia'h court last year,
      prompting her appeal to the regional appeals court. Katsina Sharia'h
      court registrar Dalhat Abubakar said Lawal's case was being postponed
      till 27 August because two of the four judges on the appeals panel
      were currently serving in election tribunals.
      Lawal, who was in court with her two-year-old daughter, expressed
      anxiety at the continuing delays over the case. "This is the third
      time we've been here and the court has not sat. Only God knows when it
      will be over," she told reporters
      One of those closely following the story is Wall Street Journal
      reporter Asra Nomani -- not from a professional point of view, but a
      personal one. While on assignment in Pakistan, Ms. Nomani, an
      Indian-born Muslim, fell in love with a Muslim man. However, she says
      he refused to marry her when she became pregnant. She says the Sharia
      penalty for pre-marital sex in Pakistan is 100 lashes. Rather than
      face that punishment, Ms. Nomani returned to the United States, to
      what she calls the loving support of her family.

      She says, "I always had a confrontation with oppressive elements of
      our culture and society when I've traveled. And I've had to struggle
      with them." She says she is lucky because she has parents "who have
      always been free thinkers, while embracing Islam." She says she grew
      up believing in the "humanity of Islam but none of the restraints that
      often times are stifling." However, she says she never thought it
      would become "so intimate."

      [Gombe] Assembly Suspends Bill On Sharia - 02 Jun 03
      Gombe State House of Assembly has referred an agendum for the full
      implementation of Sharia in the state to the new Danjuma Goje
      administration. "The bill that contained the agendum would therefore
      not be passed by the Assembly", he said.
      The laws are the establishment of Sharia Commission Zakat and
      Endorsement and other related acts, restriction of Liquor Licences and
      a law to repeal the Area Court Law cap 12 Revisited Law of Bauchi
      State 1991. Bayero said "we have decided at our meeting to leave
      these parts of the sharia bill to whoever is coming as governor,
      because this is not the real Sharia but its ingredients. He may need
      to change something or leave it the way it is". [This Day - Lagos]

      [Kano] Police Arrest Sharia Panel Member - 04 Jun 03
      Kano State Chairman of Hisbah Committee (sharia police) Malam Rabo
      Isa, was now in police net alongside 32 others, following an attempt
      to forcibly effect the release of one of the committee leaders in the
      state. THISDAY gathered that the police had arrested the Hisbah
      chieftain Sunday because of his alleged involvement in a violent
      disruption of a wedding ceremony in the state.

      According to the state Deputy Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Nuraini
      Sholabi, one Alhaji Abubakar Muhammed had on Sunday lodged a complaint
      with Hotoro Police Division, saying that his house was vandalised by
      the Hisbah members. The complainant told the police that the "sharia
      police" had invaded his house to disrupt a wedding ceremony,
      destroying musical instruments belonging to a politician in the
      process. He also noted that many people including women were also
      injured in the process. Acting on the complaint, the police from the
      Hotoro Division arrested the Hisbah chieftain, to aid them in their

      [Niger] Islamic Court Delays Appeal Hearing in Adultery Case
      .. - 04 Jun 03
      An Islamic appeals court in Nigeria has postponed a hearing for two
      former lovers who have been sentenced to death by stoning for
      adultery. The hearing of Fatima Usman and Ahmadu Ibrahim has been
      rescheduled for an unspecified date in late June. The court in central
      Nigeria said it postponed the hearing to allow justice ministry
      officials, who were not in court Wednesday, a chance to attend.


      4 judges appointed to Federal Shariat Court - 04 Jun 03
      The President on Tuesday appointed four more judges to the Federal
      Shariat Court, bringing its strength to seven. The Federal Shariat
      Court has been facing a number of problems for the last many months.
      The court had been without Chief Justice for a long time and after the
      appointment of Justice Ijaz Yousuf as the Chief Justice, it was left
      with only three judges.

      A test of Musharraf's muscle - 06 Jun 03
      The present judiciary was largely picked and chosen by him after he
      assumed office and has been systematically softened by him through
      various lollipops, such as extended tenure through increase in their
      retirement age, etc. Many of them thus owe their career and comforts
      to him and have found ways of standing by him whenever his decisions
      have been challenged before the courts.
      The visible signs of improvement in the economy marked by an increase
      in tax collection and foreign exchange reserves, rise in exports, a
      remarkably buoyant stock market, flood of external cash flow and the
      improved international image of Pakistan under Musharraf have had
      their impact on the attitude of the general public towards him.
      The MMA owed its remarkable success in the October elections to
      Musharraf's munificence. He ordered the withdrawal of the cases
      against many of their candidates from the anti-terrorism courts so
      that they were not disqualified by the Election Commission. He made
      the Election Commission pass an order giving the certificates in
      Islamic studies issued by the madrassas (religious schools) the
      equivalence of an university degree so that the newly-introduced
      electoral provision that only graduates can contest elections did not
      come in the way of the mullahs and their proteges contesting the
      polls. He broke the PML-N and the PPPP, thereby weakening their
      ability to counter the religious fundamentalist parties.
      There are some indications that Musharraf might already be
      contemplating some action. He has reportedly initiated some action
      against terrorist organizations, which are close to the constituents
      of the MMA. Examples are the reported action against the Hizbul
      Mujahideen of Kashmir, which is an appendage of the JEI, and the
      Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which are close to the
      Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. At the same time, he
      has avoided action against the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which has no
      association with any of the constituents of the MMA, so that he does
      not lose the services of this organization, the largest of the
      Pakistani terrorist organizations, in his proxy war against India.

      Suicides Spiral in Poverty Stricken Pakistan - 02 Jun 03
      Unable to bear the burden of poverty, growing numbers of Pakistan's
      teeming underclass are resorting to suicide, with 2,386 people ending
      their lives last year, averaging almost seven a day.
      Sharia, the Islamic code of conduct, considers suicide a graver sin
      than murder. And under Pakistani law, a suicide attempt is punishable
      by a one-year jail sentence and a fine of US $16.
      Observers say there is a spurt in suicides just before festivals when
      children ask their parents for new clothes. Cases abound of people
      taking their lives due to their inability to pay their children's
      school fees or meet hospitalization expenses.

      MMA links Musharraf's Presidency to Islamisation - 03 Jun 03
      MMA has expressed its readiness to accept President Pervez Musharraf
      in uniform, though time bar tagged to it, provided the government
      implements its 17-point Islamisation package. President PML (QA) Ch
      Shujat Hussain has accepted the MMA demands, though Presidency kept
      mum on the new demands of MMA.
      the MMA is pressing the government to amend article 2 of the
      Constitution to bring all laws in conformity with the Quran and Sunnah
      as per recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology and ensure that
      no legislation contrary to the Sharia is carried out in future.
      The MMA's package asked the government to remove the President's power
      to pardon a person sentenced by the High Courts in Hadood cases.
      They also asked to delete the article 89 of the constitution to stop
      legislation through ordinances, saying `it has made the parliament a
      rubber stamp. The Alliance also demanded of the government to review
      the article 248 to check abuse of power. This clause of the
      constitution is a hurdle in ensuring an effective and impartial role
      of the NAB, they maintains.
      In other demands MMA pressed the government to remove the condition of
      NOC of the Interior Ministry for the registration of religious
      societies. Madrassa ordinance should be repealed and they should be
      deleted from watch list. Media Policy should be revised in the light
      of Islamic values and culture.

      Islamiat and Deeniat should be included in the syllabus of school and
      colleges while Islamic Education system should be adopted. The
      co-education should be dismantled. Privatisation of the educational
      institutions should be stopped. The MMA also demanded of the
      government to implement the verdict of superior courts on Interest
      free economy.
      The Jamate Islami perhaps has not yet briefed its office bearers on
      the latest developments on LFO issue as Central Secretary General of
      the party Syed Munawar Hasan was not aware of the fact that 17-point
      presented to government was the unanimous decision of the MMA.
      When contacted the member of MMA dialogue team and Naib Amir of Jamate
      Islami Liaqat Baloch who admitted the points were unanimously approved
      by the MMA supreme council.

      Mass resignation by mayors in Pakistan's Islamist-rule northwest
      .. - 02 Jun 03
      All 24 mayors in Pakistan's Islamist-ruled North West Frontier
      Province (NWFP) resigned in protest at alleged victimisation by the
      ruling alliance of radical Islamic parties. "We have sent our
      resignations to President Pervez Musharraf in protest at the negative
      attitude of the provincial government," Azam Afridi, mayor of the NWFP
      capital Peshawar told AFP on Monday.
      Afridi said the MMA, which has no representation in NWFP's local
      government administrations, was victimising the mayors by witholding
      development funds and filing charges of embezzlement and nepotism
      against them. "The MMA government has curtailed all our powers in
      violation of local government laws," Afridi said. "They have stopped
      releasing development funds to district administrators and made them
      just rubber stamps." He said mayors had also been rendered powerless
      in appointments and transfers of police and officials.

      Federation to check NWFP moves - 03 Jun 03
      The federal government would give more administrative powers to the
      NWFP governor to check Talibanization of the Frontier province,
      official sources told Dawn.
      The sources said the federal government was also keeping an eye on the
      Islamization drive in the NWFP, specially the Shariat Bill adopted by
      the provincial assembly. They said the Shariat Bill might be referred
      to the Federal Shariat Court before its implementation in the

      The sources said the FSC judgment, declaring all forms of
      interest-based banking as Riba, had ceased to exist as the Supreme
      Court had set it aside.The apex court had sent the case back to the
      Federal Shariat Court to examine it afresh and consider more questions
      before making any declaration on interest-based banking.

      The sources said the FSC judgment which was being referred to by the
      MMA government was the work of only one man as many Islamic scholars
      held different views. The federal government had stated before the
      Supreme Court that the author of the Federal Shariat Court judgment
      and the Council of Islamic Ideology report on Riba was Justice
      Tanzilur Rehman. In his capacity as the CII chairman, he wrote the CII
      report, declaring all forms of interest-based banking as un-Islamic.
      The council [of Islamic Ideology] in its report states that after a
      careful scrutiny it was found that a large number of the federal and
      provincial laws were not contrary to Shariat.It said that a great
      number of existing laws needed no amendment from the Shariat point of

      SC moved against Shariat Bill - 05 Jun 03
      The Supreme Court was approached on Wednesday with a request that NWFP
      assembly should be restrained from passing any law in the name of
      Islam , as it is not competent to enact any law which was in
      derogation of the Constitution.

      The petitioner Dr Aslam Khaki, in his constitutional petition filed
      under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, contended that the
      Islamization of the laws were the matters which were within the
      legislative competence of parliament and related to the federation.
      The Islamization or enforcement of Shariat were matters covered by
      Federal Legislative List, he contended.

      He stated that Islamization of the laws was within the exclusive
      jurisdiction of Federal Shariat Court and there was no provision in
      the Constitution for the establishment of any parallel court or
      institution for the same purpose or any Provincial Shariat Court.

      [NWFP] Sharia law not extra-Constitutional - 05 Jun 03
      Senior Minister in the NWFP government, Sirajul Haq said on Tuesday
      the provincial assembly was authorised to pass the Sharia Bill and the
      effort on part of the MMA government in the province was not
      unconstitutional. In an interview with Radio Tehran, he said, "We have
      introduced this bill within the powers delegated to our province by
      the constitution. This is constitutional and not unconstitutional. We
      have not challenged the powers of the federal government, rather these
      are the powers enshrined in the 1973 Constitution." The opposition in
      the NWFP Assembly had called the Sharia Bill repugnant to the
      constitution saying only the federal Sharia court had the authority to
      interpret the Islamic clauses of the constitution. He said the
      enforcement of Sharia was the requirement of the constitution and the
      ideology of Pakistan. He said this was also the demand of the mandate
      given to the MMA by the masses in the last elections. "It is
      obligatory for us to get the Sharia Bill passed within constitutional
      powers and also take practical steps for its enforcement," he added.
      MMA leader said the Quran and Hadith had already set rules and
      regulation. "If an order lacks clarity, the judge is authorised to
      give his verdict in the light of Sharia on an issue. After the bill's
      introduction, every department has the authority to tackle the issues
      in accordance with the Sharia." When asked about the Ahle Sunnat Wal
      Jamaat and Shi'ites representation in drafting the bill, he said, "I
      think this is the only bill in the entire world signed by Deobandis,
      Barelvies, Ahle Hadith, Ahle Tash'ee and every school of thought.
      Therefore, it is a unique thing agreed upon by all sects." To a
      question about the opposition of the Hindu and Christian minorities,
      he said, "Representatives of the minorities were present in the
      Nifaz-e-Sharia Council meeting. This is for the first time in
      Pakistan's history that we invited the elected members of the
      minorities to the Nifaz-e-Sharia Council."
      Members of the Shi'ite Muslim minority in the NWFP also are concerned
      about their welfare under Sharia law in the Sunni-dominated province.
      Shi'ite community leader Allama Fakhrul Hassan Kararvi notes that
      while non-Muslims are exempt from the legislation, the present
      language of the Sharia Act is silent about the religious rights of
      Shi'ites. Kararvi says that in order to respect the basic rights of
      Shi'ite Muslims, the Sharia Act also must categorically state that the
      Shi'ites can have their own religious code.

      Islamisation drive in NWFP - By Dr Tariq Rahman - 05 Jun 03
      [The] argument, that this is the cleric's own version of Islam, merits
      more attention. There are at least three major interpretations of the
      Islamic law even in orthodox Sunni Pakistani Islam: the Ahl-i-Hadith;
      the Deobandis and the Barelvis. Moreover, the Shias have a different
      interpretation too. In addition to that there are modernists whose
      interpretation is different from all these sub-sects. Even in the
      NWFP, there are independent interpreters of Islam who have different
      views from the MMA leadership.
      With these differences in the interpretation of religion, it is unjust
      to impose any one version of Islam by the coercive apparatus of the
      As it is, the women of the NWFP are very disempowered. In Farida
      Shaheed's book called Imagined Citizenship (2002) published by Shirkat
      Gah a national survey of 1609 women was undertaken. [..]
      what is new is that women's restrictions and disempowerment will be
      institutionalised by law. This is worrying because whenever the law
      has been extended to any cultural or societal field -- as during the
      Ziaul Haq era -- no government has been able to reverse this trend.
      This brings me to witch hunting. It has been observed that whenever
      vigilante groups have been entrusted with the enforcement of values,
      what has happened is that an inquisition has been unleashed. This
      happened in China when the 'cultural revolution' [..] in Iran the
      Pasdaran-i-Inqilab [..] the Taliban.
      the Hisbah Act which creates a vigilante group, perhaps of young
      activists, will create more unpleasantness than virtue in the NWFP.
      By creating a parallel system of enforcement of the law (Hisbah), it
      is creating a para-military force. As poverty increases people will
      become more and more keen on a new order/

      Shariah Bill To Create Anarchy In NWFP: JAC - 05 Jun 03
      JAC, an organisation of government employees, in a seminar termed both
      the bill and act not only unlawful, unconstitutional but also
      un-Islamic. Speaking at the occasion Human Rights Commission of
      Pakistan (HRCP) Afrasiyab Khattak said both the Shariah and the Hasbah
      Acts greatly undermined human rights. He said the decision of the
      Ombudsmen could not be challenged in any court of law and this office
      would be used for human rights violation.
      Sher Afgan Advocate said the Shariah Bill empowered the provincial
      courts to interpret the Shariah, but the courts functioned under the
      jurisdiction of both the federal and the provincial governments.
      "Different courts in the province will interpret the Shariah laws
      according to different Fiqh which will not only cause confusion, but
      will also create religious disharmony," he said.

      Renowned Islamic scholar Dr Farooq said the Shariah Bill had given the
      power of interpretation of Islamic laws to the judges and the judges
      would give contradictory judgments He said the absolute powers given
      to an individual under the Hash Act was against the Islamic
      injunction. "In the days of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Khulfa-e-Rashideen
      no one was punished or forced to pray but the people were persuaded to
      do good and refrain from bad," he argued.

      PPP says Sharia and Sharia Bill are different things - 06 Jun 03
      The Pakistan People's Party believes that the Shariat and Shariat Bill
      "are two separate things and the two should not be confused with one
      "While the party supports the Constitutional position that no law is
      to be enacted against the injunctions of Islam, it is against the
      so-called bills in the name of Shariat. The party is against the
      exploitation of Islam and the law of God for partisan political ends."

      [NWFP] 80 stripes awarded under Qazf - 06 Jun 03
      An additional district and sessions judge convicted a person under the
      Qazf law for accusing his sister-in-law of fornication and sentenced
      him to whipping of 80 stripes.

      The court, presided over by Mr Tariq Khan Yousafzai, observed that the
      complainant had proved beyond any shadow of doubt that the
      accused-defendant, Dr Nazeer Ahmad, had levelled false and baseless
      allegations, which amounted to qazf under the Offence of Qazf
      (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979.

      The execution of the whipping sentence will be subject to confirmation
      by the Federal Shariat Court. Under the law the trial court will send
      a reference to the Shariat court for confirmation of the sentence.

      [Punjab] Toba Tek Singh : Ex-SHO's bail plea rejected - 04 Jun 03
      An Anti-Corruption court rejected on Tuesday the bail application of
      the former SHO of Pirmahal police. Malik Aslam was arrested about 20
      days ago on the order of district police officer for accepting Rs
      80,000 [Eur 1.200,-] bribe for the release of Inayat Husain in a Zina


      Saudi executioner story - 05 Jun 03
      Saudi Arabias leading executioner has lifted the veil on a taboo in
      the kingdom, revealing the gruesome reality of the daily beheading of
      men and women in the name of God.
      Male or female, it's all the same, added the executioner for the Red
      Sea city of Jeddah.
      He also shoots dead women found guilty under sharia, or Islamic law,
      which imposes the death penalty for murder, rape, apostasy, armed
      robbery, drug trafficking and repeated drug use. "It depends ...
      sometimes they ask me to use a sword and sometimes a gun. But most of
      the time I use the sword."
      Before an execution, he visits the victims family to ask for
      forgiveness for the criminal. The sword is "a gift from the
      government. I look after it and sharpen it once in a while, and I make
      sure to clean it of bloodstains." His children sometimes even help.
      "Its very sharp. People are amazed how fast it can separate the head
      from the body." His only conversation with the prisoner is to tell him
      to say the "shahada", an affirmation of Muslim faith.
      For amputations of hands and legs he uses a special knife. "When I cut
      off a hand I cut it from the joint. If it is a leg the authorities
      specify where it is to be taken off, so I follow that."

      Saudi webmaster of Al-Qa'idah's Internet site killed - 05 Jun 03
      BBC Monitoring Middle East - Political - Text of report by Muhammad
      al-Shafi'i published by London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat.
      They disclosed the death of the person running the "Al-Neda" web site,
      Al-Qa'idah's official Internet mouthpiece. They confirmed in their
      chats yesterday that Yusuf Bin-Salih al-Ayiri was in charge of
      Al-Qa'idah's web site. He was known by the nickname Abu-Muhammad or
      Abu-Mariyam and was No 10 on the Saudi Interior Ministry's list of 19
      wanted persons accused of involvement in last month's Riyadh bombings.
      Al-Ayiri was killed in an exchange of fire with the Saudi security
      forces in Ha'il on Saturday night [31 May].
      For his part, Egyptian fundamentalist Dr Hani al-Siba'i, director of
      the London-based Al-Maqrizi Centre for Historic Studies, said:
      "Al-Ayiri provided the shari'ah backing for Al-Qa'idah inside the Arab
      Gulf region." He added: "One of Al-Ayiri's most prominent publications
      was his book "The Crusades" that Al-Neda web site published more than
      a year ago. Another was his private message "answering the doubts
      about the [shari'ah] ruling on killing civilians at the World Trade
      Centre's two towers in New York." There was in addition his message
      defending Mola Mohammad Omar, which came under the title "The Taleban
      movement in the balance".
      .. [London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat web site]
      An unknown group calling itself "Al-Mujahidin" has threatened to
      escalate the situation in Saudi Arabia following the death of Yusuf
      al-Ayiri and the arrest of some of the so-called "jihad clerics" at
      the hands of the country's security forces.

      A statement released on the fundamentalist Al-Sahat web site ..
      pointed out that the treachery of one person was behind the arrest of
      the three inciters Al-Khudayr, Al-Fahd and Al- Khalidi and those who
      were with them. It said: "Al-Mujahidin's shari'ah committee is
      examining the penalty that he deserves in accordance with the Koran
      and the Sunna and is about to publish full details about him soon."
      The statement also criticized the Saudi shari'ah clerics and urged
      them either to support [the group] or stay neutral.


      Turkish fashion show unveils controversy - 06 Jun 03
      Fiercely defended by supporters who see wearing the scarf as a
      religious duty, officials view it as a symbol of political Islam and a
      bid to bring back Islamic rule, thereby a threat to the country's
      decades-old Western-orientation.

      But a recent nationwide survey suggests most people do not agree with
      the ruling secular elite's perception of the Islamic-style headscarf.

      According to the study, commissioned by the liberal Milliyet daily, a
      full 70 percent of those questioned, both men and women, said they did
      not see the headscarf as an anti-secular symbol.

      "The headscarf is the state's own problem," said Ali Carkoglu from
      Sabanci University, whose 1999 research for an influential think tank
      showed that a majority of Turks did not long to replace the civil code
      with Islamic rule, or Sharia.
      for the secular state, a headscarf is a headcsarf and such attire is
      strictly banned in public offices and universities. Every year,
      students donning the veil are systematically barred from university
      campuses under a tightly-enforced ban, forcing some to exchange
      headscarves for a hat or a wig just to be able to complete their


      Three arrested after desecration of Muslim woman's body with bacon
      .. - 03 June 2003
      Detectives investigating the desecration of a Muslim woman's body,
      which was found covered with bacon in a morgue, have arrested three
      men and discovered 2,000 photographs of corpses.
      Two of those arrested, a man aged 20 and another aged 30, are former
      mortuary workers who are now being investigated over the incident in
      January, in which the woman, a grandmother who was 65 when she died of
      cancer, was desecrated with bacon slices.


      JS rolls out Halal meat - 04 Jun 03
      Sainsbury is rolling out its own range of fresh Halal meat this month.
      Currently only available in 12 stores in the south east, it is
      planning to extend both coverage and the product range early in the
      summer. Approved by the Halal Food Authority, Sainsbury is the second
      of the major retailers to offer fresh Halal meat, following Safeway's
      introduction in October 2002.


      US money funding Uzbeki torture chambers - 27 May 03
      Independent human-rights groups estimate that there are more than 600
      politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500
      political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic
      report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners
      were even boiled to death.
      The US is funding those it once condemned. Last year Washington gave
      Uzbekistan US$500 million in aid. The police and intelligence services
      - which the US Department of State's Web site says use "torture as a
      routine investigation technique" has received US$ 79 million of this
      Critics argue that the US has overlooked human rights abuses to
      foster a police state whose borders give the Pentagon vantage points
      into Afghanistan and the other neighboring republics which are as rich
      in natural resources as they are in Islamist movements.

      The geographical hub of the US-Uzbek alliance is 350km south of the
      capital, Tashkent. Outside the town of Karshi lies the Khanabad
      military base, the platform for America's operations in Afghanistan.
      The town of Khanabad has been closed for months by the Uzbek
      government. Locals say the restrictions are compensated for by the
      highly paid work the base brings.
      The Ferghana valley has been a base for the Islamic Movement of
      Uzbekistan (IMU), which the US and the UK say has links with al-Qaeda.
      But the group is thought to have been crippled by the operations in
      Afghanistan. Analysts diss US claims that the IMU is targeting
      American military assets in the neighboring republic of Kyrgyzstan.
      A State Department spokesman said America's policy was "reform through
      engagement" and that Uzbekistan had "taken some positive steps,"
      including "registering a human-rights group and a new newspaper."


      [Malaysia] Muslim scholars to propose ulama secretariat - 04 Jun 03
      The World Conference of Islamic Scholars will propose the
      establishment of a world secretariat of ulama to act as a body to
      collect and disseminate the thoughts of the world's Islamic scholars,
      especially on the implementation of the Syariah aspects of the faith.
      The secretariat would also act to spread the true understanding of
      Islam to correct extremist and narrow interpretations of the religion,
      which have caused a mental and spiritual crisis among the Muslims.
      "We want the secretariat to act like a seminary where Islamic thinkers
      can come together and formulate solutions to the problems affecting
      Muslim countries, most notably in the areas of physical development
      and management, which are part of Syariah."
      On the conference, Hamid said it would be held here from July 9 to 12
      and 600 representatives from 40 Muslim and non-Muslim countries would
      take part. Sheikh Al-Azhar Dr Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi is scheduled to
      deliver a keynote address, while Dr Mahathir is scheduled to deliver a
      policy speech. The conference will be closed by Deputy Prime Minister
      Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Prominent scholars expected to
      attend the conference include those from Syria, Egypt, Indonesia,
      Lebanon, India, France, England and the United States.

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