Sharia News Watch 56
- 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
this edition : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/message/55
per email : email@example.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
"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
According to the Post, these violent Islamist schoolbooks, which
"served...as the Afghan school system's core curriculum" produced
"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
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
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
* 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
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
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
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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