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Sharia News Watch 60

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 60 : 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 25, 2003
      Sharia News Watch 60 : 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.

      Shortcut URL http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/messsage/59
      All Editions http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/


      Newspaper closed and editors arrested for offence against Islam
      http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=7288 - 19 Jun 03
      The Kabul supreme court's council of ulemas (religious leaders) voiced
      outrage at articles in Aftab's latest issue on 11 June. In a column
      headlined "Holy fascism," editor Sayeed Mirhassan Mahdawi criticised
      Islam as it is currently practised and linked the social and economic
      backwardness of Islamic societies to its archaic character. He also
      criticised ethnic crimes committed in Islam's name, especially by
      former mujahideen chiefs. Another article in the same issue said Islam
      as practised in Afghanistan was contrary to democracy and to its
      citizens' social and political rights. Calling the articles an
      "offence to Islam," the supreme court asked for Aftab to be closed and
      its editor to be prosecuted.
      With a circulation in Kabul of only several hundred, the Dari-language
      weekly is critical of the present government and the mujahideen
      chiefs. It has also often accused warlords and mujahideen of crimes.
      Mahdawi, who lived for a long time in Iran and comes from the Shiite
      minority, produces Aftab with the help of several Iranian journalists.
      He received death threats by telephone in April after publishing an
      article calling for a secular government in Afghanistan.
      In an interview with the Afghan Islamic Press [news agency] today, the
      Supreme Court chairman said: "We cannot accept anyone's demands in
      this regard. This is because, on the one hand, it is our religious
      duty and, on the other, the Bonn accords clearly declares that Islam
      is the religion of Afghans and of Afghanistan and the judiciary is
      free and independent. In view of the independence of the judiciary, we
      would take such measures which are in accordance with Shari'ah and the
      Bonn accords."
      Chairman of the Supreme Court said that Dar al-Efta [a body that
      issues religious edicts] would issue a fatwa in this regard and the
      file of the accused would be presented to the lower court of Kabul
      Province very soon.
      .. - 25 Jun 03
      Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday ordered the release on bail
      of two journalists detained for writing articles considered
      blasphemous against Islam, the chief justice said. Mawlavi Fazl Hadi
      Shinwari told Reuters Karzai's order came after Mir Hussein Mehdavi,
      chief of the Aftaab Weekly, and his deputy Ali Reza, an Iranian
      national, repented following their arrests last week.


      Sixteen killed in Algerian violence - 17 Jun 03
      A dozen Islamic insurgents were killed in eastern Algeria - 10 of them
      in bombing raids - and four police officers were killed by a bomb that
      exploded as their patrol passed, the media reported.
      The area east of Algiers, including Bouira, is the haunt of the
      Salafist Group for Call and Combat, one of two insurgency movements
      still working after more than a decade to topple the military-backed
      government. The Salafist group targets mainly police and soldiers and
      other representatives of the state.

      Le Matin also reported a firefight in the Boumerdes region, about 50
      km east of the capital in which two insurgents and a member of a
      civilian self-defence force were killed. In other violence, four
      police officers were killed yesterday in the Berber region east of
      Algiers when a bomb exploded as their patrol passed, the official APS
      news agency reported today without elaborating.


      Counselling can help bridge the differences - 21 Jun 03
      .. Bahraini women often lose out when they resort to the law to
      resolve family problems, says a top female lawyer.
      Even if they can get a lawyer, it is often difficult to prove that
      they have a right to divorce, custody of their children or financial
      support after a split, says attorney Zeenat Al Mansoori. The social
      stigma attached to airing family problems in public, particularly
      domestic violence, means that many choose to stay silent in court
      rather than reveal the trauma they have been through. This results in
      judgements which favour men. A comprehensive personal law is essential
      to ensure that women's rights are protected in court and more free
      legal advice should be made available to women in need.
      "If you go to court you will see that most women are without lawyers
      and they are not aware of how Sharia law works and what their rights
      are," she continued. "Their cases can stay in court for up to five
      years. With a lawyer, it will take a lot less time. "The judges try to
      help by suggesting that the women call witnesses and so on, but they
      cannot sway the hearing for one party or another because they are
      there to judge the case."

      A woman seeking a divorce must prove that her husband has been harming
      her, by verbal or physical abuse or through a failure to support her,
      or has not been sleeping with her. If she can prove this then she is
      entitled to support for her children and any clauses written into the
      marriage agreement must be honoured. Otherwise she must ask the court
      to agree to a divorce on the basis of her incompatibility with her
      husband. In this case the man can agree on the condition that she pays
      him and/or releases him from claims for financial support.
      "Statistics show that most of the families below the poverty line in
      Bahrain are led by women," she noted. "This means that they have
      either been divorced or widowed and most often they have been
      divorced. "The living standards of the family often drop once the
      husband has left, because the law doesn't consider the standard of
      living that the children are used to. .. "I hope in the future that
      the personal law will be approved by parliament to protect families."


      Egypt's religious leaders deny justification for female circumcision
      Egypt's Christian and Muslim religious leaders on Saturday denied that
      there is any religious justification for the practice of female
      genital mutilation.
      Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, grand sheik of Al-Azhar, the most prestigious
      Sunni Islamic institution .. [said] "There is no reliable statement in
      the Quran or Sunna, the two components of Islamic Sharia, that
      addresses this issue," he said. The Sunna is a compilation of the
      sayings and deeds of the prophet Muhammad. Tantawi said doctors have
      the right to decide on this issue.
      .. "The wall of silence has fallen. The national debate on female
      genital mutilation has started," Khattab said.
      On Wednesday, Egypt convened a two-day conference of international
      donors in a bid to raise millions of dollars for projects to eliminate
      female circumcision. The United States, Netherlands, Italy, Denmark,
      Sweden, Finland and Japan and many UN agencies were among those
      represented at the meeting organized by the United Nations Children's
      Fund and the Ford Foundation.


      Muslim woman allowed to wear veil - 22 Jun 03
      One of France's principal appeals court - the Cour d'appel de Paris -
      has authorized a young Muslim woman to wear her Islamic scarf at her
      place of work. The woman, Dallila Tahri had been fired in July 2002 by
      a tele-marketing firm, for insisting on wearing her scarf against the
      wishes of her employers who wanted her to wear a briefer veil which
      would have not covered her neck and ears.


      Islamic cleric says "hidden agenda" to link him to Bali trial - 19 Jun
      .. the trial for treason and immigration violations of Indonesian
      Mujahidin Council [MMI] Chairman Abu Bakar Ba'asyir.
      [Ba'asyir] The United States is afraid of my sermons. That is all. I
      have said that the implementation of Syariah [Shari'ah] Islam has to
      be in the nation. This is what the United States and other secular
      groups in Indonesia are afraid of. The secular groups in Indonesia get
      a bad headache because of my sermons. But the Koran teaches this. The
      United States does not like this. This situation has been around since
      the New Order [Suharto's regime], and this is an "old song".

      "Shariah law must be implemented by community, not state" - 18 Jun 03
      .. [Republika]
      Head of the NU [Nahdlatul Ulama] Hasyim Muzadi said that the NU
      association rules and regulations prescribe that Islamic Syariah [Law]
      must be carried out by the community and not just by the government.
      According to him, Islamic Syariah implemented by the state has no
      meaning, if the officials implementing it still continue to practice
      corruption, collusion and nepotism (KKN). "Although regional
      decentralisation (regional autonomy) has run according to Act No 22/
      1999, and regional Islamic Syariah needs implementation at the state
      level too, it will be useless because corrupt national officials are
      almost everywhere," he said again.


      Top Iranian cleric lashes out at rioters - 20 Jun 03
      "I ask the head of the judiciary and public prosecutors across Iran
      not to treat these people with compassion as they endangered the
      country's security. Islamic Sharia and our laws are explicit on what
      we should do with them," Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi said in a Friday
      prayers sermon. "The judiciary should deal with these people as
      Moharebs (those who fight Allah) and not as Mokhalef (those who oppose
      Allah)," he added, urging the courts to handle the detainees "quickly,
      meticulously, seriously and ruthlessly".

      The charge of being a Mohareb carries the death penalty in Iran. After
      student riots in 1999, one protestor was convicted of that charge and
      condemned to die, but the punishment was later commuted to 15 years
      imprisonment. Ayatollah Yazdi is an ultra-conservative former head of
      Iran's judiciary - a bastion of the religious right - and currently a
      prominent jurist sitting on both the Guardians Council and Expediency
      Council, Iran's two top political oversight bodies.

      Government slams 'crimes' of vigilantes, bans further protests
      http://www.payvand.com/news/03/jun/1139.html - 24 Jun 03
      A senior government official on Monday flayed vigilantes for 'crimes'
      committed during their recent raid of a university hostel west of
      Tehran, but said Iran had banned further demonstrations outside
      universities, IRNA reported from Tehran.
      Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh told reporters that he
      hoped the judiciary would "legally deal with all those who disrupted
      the public peace and security during recent riots".
      Press has said plain-clothes vigilantes had recently attacked a
      university dormitory in Tarasht, west of Tehran, and violently beaten
      up students, in addition to destroying their personal belonging.
      .. "For an event similar to what happened in Tarasht dormitory, no
      description other than crime can suffice," Ramezanzadeh said, adding
      the crimes seemed to be 'organized'


      US must not separate Mosque and State By Amitai Etzioni [..]

      Top Iraqi cleric rules Saddam men to be tried by Shari'ah courts
      .. [Iraqi newspaper Sawt Al-Tali'ah on 15 June]
      This column .. will also include rulings issued by other high
      religious authorities. This week we will start with the rulings by His
      Eminence Al-Sayyid Ayatollah al-Ozma Ali al-Sistani. We got these
      rulings through his deputy Shaykh Aqil al-fatlawi:
      In the name of God, punishment is the right of the family of the
      victim after the crime has been proven in a Shari'ah court. It is
      impermissible for others to mete out punishment. Moreover, there must
      not be any punishment before a Shari'ah judge has announced the
      It is not permissible to take the initiative to punish him. The matter
      must be deferred until the formation of a Shari'ah court to consider
      these cases. .. The case must be referred to the Shari'ah courts.
      We have to wait until the formation of the courts.

      Women raise their voices in new Iraq - 20 Jun 03
      Iraqi women say their status improved in the first two decades of
      Baathist rule, but things changed for the worse after the 1991 Gulf
      War. More than 12 years of UN sanctions impoverished all but a few
      privileged Iraqis. Many families favoured sons over daughters in areas
      such as education. "Women paid a heavy price after the sanctions.
      Education of women dropped from 92 percent in the mid-1980s to 69
      percent in the 1990s, which meant one in three women did not attend
      school," said Ghada Kachachi of the UN Children's Fund.
      Saddam, shaken by post-Gulf War revolts against him, sought to bolster
      his position by an "Islamisation" campaign, which included laws that
      struck at some fundamental women's rights. "We want to cancel some
      legislation. For instance, a 1992 law bans the foreign travel of a
      woman if she is not escorted by her father or husband. An Iraqi woman
      married to a non-Iraqi can't give her children her nationality,"
      Awatef al-Aswad, a woman who works in finance, told Reuters.
      Women said they had also suffered increasing job discrimination in
      government ministries in the 1990s, though exceptions were made for
      female Baath party members.
      Iraqi women had set up five committees to draft ideas for key areas in
      which they want a say - the constitution, education, health, economy
      and law. Some women were also talking to moderate Shi'ite Muslim
      clerics about how to secure the withdrawal of edicts on strict Islamic
      law issued by their militant colleagues.

      Choice returns to Baghdad's bookshops - 19 Jun 03
      Once forbidden books and posters are again on sale in Baghdad, whose
      reputation for intellectual and political life was throttled under
      Saddam Hussein's rule. Images of Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,
      executed Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim clerics and other opponents of the
      ousted dictator flutter from poster stalls in the capital.
      The Baath party banned independent literature, from academic tomes
      such as Hanna Batatu's "The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary
      Movements of Iraq" to communist literature and tracts by Shi'ite
      theologians in the holy city of Najaf.
      Also on sale are posters of Sadr, early Shi'ite martyrs Ali, Hussein
      and Abbas, as well as modern Iraqi leaders such as Abdelkarim Qassem,
      whom Saddam tried to assassinate in 1959.
      "Under the Ashes of a Stormy War" by Ala al-Mudares offers a somewhat
      fanciful account of the conflict, saying the Iraqi army killed 20,000
      invading soldiers before morale collapsed when the enemy broke into
      its communications and the United States dropped a tactical nuclear
      weapon on Baghdad airport.
      Just behind al-Mutanabbi street stands the charred remains of
      Baghdad's main public library, named after mediaeval Arab physicist
      Ibn al-Haitham and now wrecked by looters.

      Iraqis Fear Signing Away Islamic Identity - 20 Jun 03
      the latest affront to many Iraqis is one sentence in one document. All
      citizens who work for the government are required to sign a document
      that states, "I will obey the laws of Iraq and all proclamations,
      orders and instructions of the Coalition Provisional Authority." In an
      Islamic society where faith and state are intertwined, many fear this
      provision is designed to undermine their religion.
      The Coalition Provisional Authority, as the U.S.-led administration is
      known, is moving aggressively to assert itself as the sole legal
      authority in Iraq and to rub out any remnants of the former Baath
      Party regime. It has drawn a line in the sand, and in order for Iraqis
      to have a role in the running of their country, they must agree to the
      conditions laid down by civilian administrator L. Paul Bremer III.
      Shiite clerics in the south have issued fatwas, or religious edicts,
      instructing that the forms not be signed. Ali wanted his money, and he
      wanted his job, but he also wanted to be true to his faith. So he
      penciled in his own addendum: "But it should not contradict Islamic

      Shias Rally for Big Role in Iraq Councils - 22 Jun 03
      Demonstrators handed a petition to the administration, now based in a
      former presidential palace in Baghdad, demanding that the Hawza Shiite
      authority play a supervisory role in the rapid establishment of local
      The demonstration passed off peacefully, an AFP correspondent
      reported, in contrast with a protest at the compound Wednesday by
      former Iraqi soldiers furious at not being paid.
      In the southern city of Najaf, one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites,
      the Hawza seminary is charged not only with applying Sharia Islamic
      law, but with all aspects of daily life, from the political and social
      to the administrative.


      Legal Wheels Turn Against Islamic Movement Leaders - 19 Jun 03
      The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court extended the custody of five
      Israeli-Arab Islamic Movement leaders this afternoon. They are to be
      indicted on charges of contact with a foreign agent, laundering money,
      and giving financial aid to Hamas elements. .. The judge wrote in her
      ruling that there is room to suspect that the subjects harmed state
      security, and that the arrests are in no way merely "political."


      Seminar shelved after lecturers warned to stay away - 19 Jun 03
      An international seminar to discuss the Islamic syariah law has been
      postponed after nine of its key local participants withdrew following
      a stern warning from the government. Organiser of the meeting, Centre
      For Studies in Modernity and Civil Society (Cesmacs), said Deputy
      Education Minister Aziz Shamsudin had cautioned yesterday that
      lecturers who attend the event would face severe action, including
      http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/2003062100110906.php - 22 Jun
      Nine lecturers from three local educational institutions -
      International Islamic University, International Institute on Islamic
      Thought and Civilisation, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia -
      withdrew as speakers at the conference after being threatened with
      expulsion by their superiors.

      Jakim launches book on Fatwa decisions - 19 Jan 03
      The Islamic Advancement Department (Jakim) on Wednesday launched the
      "Keputusan Fatwa Kebangsaan" book which contains decisions made by the
      National Fatwa Council since 1970. .. the 59-page book would be
      distributed free to the public from Wednesday.
      Abdul Hamid said Jakim would publish another book which contained
      commentaries, reasoning and related information on the different
      fatwa. Contents of the "Keputusan Fatwa Kebangsaan" book are
      available at Jakim's website www.islam.gov.my .

      Treating IP works as tangible assets - 19 Jun 03
      The Government has been urged to take steps to recognise intellectual
      property (IP) works such as computer programs and software as a form
      of property, like any other tangible asset. Such a move will
      facilitate the country to generate revenue from intellectual assets
      and extract value from intellectual creations, said lawyer Mohamad
      Bustaman Abdullah, "This requires a change of mindset. Currently,
      there seems to be a lackadaisical attitude of the public's perception
      that piracy eradication and enforcement is for the benefit of foreign
      IP owners only,'' he told Computimes in Kuala Lumpur last week.
      The question is whether IP is part of the estate of a deceased person
      (the owner of the copyright work) both under the civil and syariah
      law. ''If it so, what are the rules of distribution that should apply
      to the estate. That being the case, can IP be included in a will of
      the copyright owner,'' Bustaman said. Secondly, specifically for
      computer programs, the question is what would happen to the IP if the
      copyright owner is declared a bankrupt or if it is a company, it's
      being wound up.

      Artiste in porn movie may face action - 20 Jun 03
      Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Abdul Hamid Zainal
      Abidin said various legal aspects need to be looked into before action
      can be taken against an artiste and her partner who were said to have
      acted in a pornographic movie.
      When asked whether the artiste concerned would be called up for
      investigation, he said: "Various actions can be taken (against the
      artiste) in terms of the Syariah law ..., this is within the power of
      the state (Religious Department and State Islamic Affairs Council)
      where it happened...," he said.

      [hate crime] Mahathir's pound of flesh, Malaysia's gallon of blood
      http://www.freeanwar.com/jan2003/articles230603.htm - 23 Jun 03
      At the recent Umno General Assembly, delegates were given free copies
      of the Bahasa Malaysia version of Henry Ford's anti-Semitic book "The
      International Jew" [1922]. At a news conference afterwards, Dr
      Mahathir said the distribution of the book had nothing to do with him
      and added, "I don't need that book to tell me what is right and what
      is wrong."
      What was the objective of this entire exercise? What has the Jews go
      to do with the Umno General Assembly? Is this the launch of a new hate
      campaign, this time targeted at the Jews?

      [NWFP] Durrani leads Shariat march - 25 Jun 03
      The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal government organized a Shariat rally in
      the provincial metropolis [Peshawar] to commemorate the passage of
      Shariat Act in the NWFP Assembly here on Tuesday evening. .. They
      carried banners and placards, shouted slogans in favour of the Shariat
      Act, and demanded of the government to implement Islamic laws in
      letter and in spirit.


      [Bauchi] Islamic Cleric Pleads for Government's Assistance
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200306170427.html - 17 Jun 03
      .. [This Day - Lagos]
      A renowned Islamic scholar in the state, Sheikh Ado Musa Tafawa
      Balewa, made the call on the state radio corporation yesterday in
      Bauchi. The cleric said that religious leaders play a significant role
      in the educational development of the state, and stressed the need for
      the state government to give them financial assistance.
      He called on the muslim ummah to encourage the propagation of the
      Islamic religion as well as join hands with the state's sharia
      commission for the full implementation of the sharia legal system in
      the state. The Islamic scholar enjoined wealthy muslims in the state
      to contribute to the Zakat Endowment Fund, give alms to the less-
      privileged, even as he charged them to assist in the building of
      Islamiya schools for the training of the children in the ways of islam
      and koranic education in the state.

      [Kano] Islamiyya, Qur'anic Schools Teachers to Receive Allowance
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200306180463.html - 18 Jun 03
      .. [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      Teachers of Islamiyya and Quranic Schools (Makarantar Allo) would soon
      smile as the Kano State Government resolved to introduce payment of
      allowances to the teachers monthly. The decision is meant to reduce
      the problem the schools face when carrying the activities. The
      allowances which would be paid to all Islamiyya and Quranic schools
      throughout the state would also assist the teachers to overcome some
      personal problems.

      [Katsina] Sharia Court Jails Man For Trespassing Into Girls Hostel
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200306240514.html - 24 Jun 03
      .. [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      The Upper Sharia Court in Dutsinma Local Government Area of Katsina
      State has sentenced a 45-year-old Mallam Abdu Rabe of Karofi village
      to two years imprisonment with no option of fine and 20 strokes of
      cane for illicit trespass into girls hostel.
      [Witness] said a watchman was attracted by a suspicious alarm raised
      by one of the students who was awoken by a strange touch over her body
      by the accused, a situation that resulted to a simultaneous alarm by
      other occupants of the dormitory upon seeing a strange man in the
      hostel. .. He pleaded guilty of the offence and was convicted under
      section 225 of the penal code.


      [Lahore] The religious reshaping of Pakistan - 20 Jun 03
      At Punjab University last month, professors of English literature were
      flabbergasted when they learned that a top administrator had ordered
      their curriculum reviewed for un-Islamic texts. Among the books deemed
      offensive to public morals: "Gulliver's Travels" and "Tess of the
      d'Urbervilles." "It was so absurd,"one of the professors recalled. "We
      didn't know whether to laugh or cry."
      But even in places where the fundamentalists do not hold formal
      political power, they are exercising major influence. Lahore is one of
      Pakistan's most cultured and cosmopolitan cities and capital of Punjab
      province, home to Pakistan's moderate mainstream culture and long
      known more for food and festivals than religious zealotry. Yet here
      student couples have been physically attacked on college campuses for
      holding hands. The bar association recently elected a lawyer from a
      fundamentalist party as its head. And on the streets lately,
      night-riding vigilantes have been splashing paint on billboard images
      of unveiled women. Clerics have mounted a partially successful
      campaign to curb the spread of pedestrian-friendly "food streets" in
      Lahore's historic walled city. Such amenities, the clerics say,
      promote mixing of the sexes and prostitution.
      "I think we are entering a new phase," said Ahmed Rashid, author of an
      international bestseller on the Taliban who makes his home in Lahore.
      "There's a cultural change happening. This is going to spread in [the
      frontier province] and spread in the whole country. It will certainly
      silence the voice of the liberals," people who favor a more secular
      state. Rashid places much of the responsibility for that on the
      military, which he says has fostered the fundamentalist groundswell as
      a bulwark against India and is now living with the consequences.
      But the political and cultural winds may be shifting in Lahore.
      Although it is not heavily represented in the provincial government,
      the religious alliance wields considerable street power in the city,
      which serves as the headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami. Youth
      organizations linked to the religious parties are deeply involved in
      campus politics, and are often accused by secular-minded faculty
      members of promoting an atmosphere of intolerance. At Punjab
      University last month, militant students used wooden clubs to beat a
      male and female student - both from Iran - after the two were
      discovered sitting together on a campus veranda, according to three
      Last month, the university's academic council engaged in heated debate
      over whether to drop English as a requirement, as fundamentalist
      groups have urged. And then there was the flap over English
      literature, which began when Haq ordered a member of the department,
      Shahbaz Arif, to scrutinize the curriculum for offensive material.

      Gender concerns and PRS [Poverty Reduction Strategy] - 20 Jun 03
      The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) is one of the key public
      documents, which seems to be in the process of completion forever. For
      the last three years the document has kept on being presented by the
      government in various forums including Pakistan Development Forum and
      number of consultative meetings held at the provincial and national
      levels as a draft PRSP.
      The radicals rejected PRSP on the ground that the document does not
      address the root causes of poverty, which are a growth oriented
      macro-economic framework, and an unequal distribution of resources.
      They argue that the overall framework of PRSP is within the
      neo-liberal paradigm that does not offer any opportunity to reduce or
      eliminate poverty. Within this context, the PRSP is simply a charity
      effort, which denies people's fundamental right to live in dignity.
      Poverty cannot be reduced on sustainable basis by dolling out Zakat
      fund or food stamps to poor and turning them into beggars. Religious
      conservatives attribute all ills of the society due to westernisation.
      Therefore, the introduction of Shariat and Islamisation of the economy
      is panacea for reducing poverty. Since they do not see any of this as
      part of the PRSP, therefore, they reject it as an un-Islamic document.

      For moderates .. the continuing greater emphasis on accelerating
      economic growth in the PRSP that assumes that the economic growth by
      itself will generate higher employment opportunities and subsequently
      people will be in a better position to take care of their social needs
      is misplaced. They assert that there is no causal relationship between
      the economic growth and poverty reduction which is currently reflected
      from the fact that lately the GNP per capita has registered a stronger
      growth rate while poverty continues to rise in Pakistan. They reject
      the PRSP because of its misplaced emphasis on economic growth rather
      than on human development.
      women rights activists are contesting PRSP for not going beyond the
      rhetoric of engendering growth and gender equity. The strategy seeks
      solutions and ways out of poverty trap while being rooted in the given
      socio-economic contexts which is based on gender exploitation and
      public-private dichotomy.

      [NWFP] ANP opposes Hisba Act - 21 Jun 03
      The Awami National Party has opposed the proposed Hisba Act, which is
      likely to be tabled by the provincial government before the Frontier
      assembly during its on- going session.
      The Hisba Act, [provincial chief Begum Nasim Wali Khan] said, was not
      meant to introduce Shariat but was aimed at implementing the MMA
      leaders' wishes by force. Accusing the MMA leadership of mimicking the
      Taliban regime in running government affairs, she said that the
      alliance had intentionally created an uncalled for situation in the

      [NWFP] Tabling Of Hasba Act In NWFP Assembly Soon - 20 Jun 03
      The NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani has said that Hasba act
      will be tabled on floor of provincial assembly after formal approval
      of the provincial governor.
      The Chief Minister said the copy of the Hasab act have been sent to
      Governor and added apparently there seemed no reason for any
      interference from the center in the affairs of province. He said after
      the establishment of ombudsmen offices rush on the courts will be
      reduced. No special force would be created under the act and police
      will be used. There was need to set up additional force, he
      categorically stated.
      He said the decision of introducing Shalwar Kamees [traditional
      clothing*] and replacing trousers as school uniform was flared up
      unnecessarily and unending debate on the dress as being Islamic or
      un-Islamic was started. He said in NWFP most of the people are poor
      and could not afford expensive uniform and the government decision was
      meant to remove the disparity between the poor and wealthy classes.
      *] http://www.seasonsindia.com/beauty/indianfashion_sea.htm
      .. Salwars are pajama-like trousers gathered at the waist and ankles,
      worn underneath a long, loose tunic known as a kameez.

      [comment] Islamic militants and Musharraf - 19 Jun 03
      By imposing Sharia and planning to establish a 'Hisba force' on the
      pattern of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Ministry of
      the Taliban, the MMA is trying to set up a parallel political,
      judicial and police infrastructure in direct opposition to Musharraf's
      military-dominated regime.
      Ironically, it was the Musharraf's military regime which promoted the
      MMA in order to sideline the mainstream political opposition. This
      strategy succeed in creating the spectre of a fundamentalist regime
      seizing power in nuclear capable Pakistan, a risk calculated to cause
      consternation among Western leaders who were, in turn, led to support
      Musharraf's undemocratic regime. Indeed, the general hailed MMA's
      electoral gains in October 2002 as a victory for his regime and its
      policies, as evidenced by the additional leverage he had gained with
      the US and its allies.
      JID [Jane's] sources indicate that the MMA has gained a significant
      support base within the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies,
      which are both opposed to Musharraf's support for the US-led war
      against terrorism.

      [NWFP] Apprehensions over Shariat Act debated - 25 Jun 03
      Speaking at a debate programme "Implications of Shariat and Hisba Act
      on the NWFP" organized by the NWFP Chapter of Liberal Forum Pakistan
      on Tuesday [Dr Attaur Rehman] said that successive governments in
      Pakistan had been making hollow claims to the people regarding the
      enforcement of Shariat laws in the country. ..
      Mr Attaur Rehman also defended the proposed Hisba Act saying that it
      would provide speedy justice to the people and end corruption in the
      government departments.
      Speaking on the occasion ANP leader Dr Mohammad Rehan said that the
      MMA government was wasting its energies by indulging in non-issues.
      He said that the provincial government should rather concentrate on
      the real problems of unemployment, poor law and order situation,
      price-hike, and poor standard of education to provide relief to the
      people. PPP's Abdul Akbar Khan criticized the federal government of
      making fuss over something that had been passed by the provincial

      [NWFP] [Open letter to Bush] (Pakistan Christian Post) - 20 Jun 03
      Under Pakistan's existing Hudood Ordinance, a woman who has been raped
      and wants the state to prosecute her case must have four Muslim men
      testify that they witnessed the assault. In the absence of these male
      witnesses, the rape victim has no case. Equally alarming, if a woman
      cannot prove the rape allegation she runs a very high risk of being
      charged with fornication or adultery, the criminal penalty for which
      is either a long prison sentence, including public whipping, or,
      though rare, death by stoning. The testimony of women carries half the
      weight of a man's under this ordinance. Further, the Qisas
      (retribution) and Diyat (compensation) Ordinance makes it possible for
      crimes of honor (such as the killing of women in the name of honor) to
      be pardoned by relatives of the victim and assesses monetary
      compensation for female victims at half the rate of male victims.
      These are just part of a set of "Islamic" penal laws introduced by the
      former military ruler, General Zia ul-Haq in 1979, which have been
      left intact by General Musharraf.

      In early June, the provincial legislature of the North West Frontier
      Province passed a resolution imposing "Sharia laws" in the province.
      Some aspects of this law will result in de jure discrimination against
      women, raising fears about Taliban-style polices towards women in this
      and other parts of the country. General Musharraf has publicly warned
      against this kind of extremism, but he and the Pakistani government
      should be urged to take concrete measures to protect the basic rights
      of women in conformity with international norms. [Brad Adams of HRW].


      Looking at Expatriate Women With Suspicion Is Not Doing Us Any Good
      the policeman informed me sharply that my maid had been arrested while
      out walking with a male companion. .. [She] was, as is her right,
      enjoying her weekend off with her husband, who works in a private
      company. .. I have often been met with a look of surprise mixed with
      distaste by those who have learned that my maid has all the freedom
      enjoyed by the rest of my family. .. Is it written in the contract
      that the employer is responsible for each step an employee takes? I am
      employed by a private company and spend more than half the day at
      work. Does that give my boss the right to interfere in my private life
      or to imprison me if I don't do as he wishes? .. We believe that women
      from other parts of the world are ill-mannered and lost and don't know
      right from wrong.

      Egyptian Journalist on the Connection Between Wahhabism and Terrorism
      http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD52603 - 20 Jun 03
      "We used to ask the Wahhabi sheikhs and the members of extremist
      Egyptian religious groups: 'You demand obedience to the Saudi ruler
      and refraining from rising up against him, while you call for Jihad
      against the ruler and toppling the regime in Egypt and in other Arab
      countries. What is the meaning of this contradiction?' Their answer
      was: 'The difference is that Islamic religious law is implemented in
      Saudi Arabia, and not implemented in the other Arab countries.' But
      the day came when Saudi youth accused the Saudi authorities too of
      heresy, called for [Jihad] against them, and accused them of defiling
      the places holy to Islam via the American forces. Anyone who adopts
      the Takfir ideology and uses it for his own interests will be burned
      in its fire, because no one can control it…" [..]

      Saudis ponder roots of violence Hate arises from ideology - 24 Jun 03
      Now a 33-year-old writer, [Mansour] al-Nougaidan is at the forefront
      of an emerging debate in Saudi society that asks whether Wahhabism is
      a root cause of militant Islamic violence around the world.
      "Many of today's radical groups draw at least part of their religious
      justifications from Wahhabi ideology," said al-Nougaidan.
      New debate over Wahhabism -- and other long-proscribed topics such as
      government corruption and democratic reforms -- poses a risk for this
      country's rulers .. Pressures are growing from inside and outside
      the kingdom on the House of Saud to limit its alliance with the
      Wahhabi establishment. But the monarchy has long rested its legitimacy
      on its religious credentials, and it is unclear how far the Saudis are
      willing to distance themselves from Wahhabi teachings
      Religion is not the only problem. Young Saudis are frustrated by
      falling living standards and their inability to find jobs. With half
      the 14-million native population under age 25, some estimates say
      unemployment among the young is as high as 30 percent.

      Mesyar: A Convenience or Contentious Issue - 22 Jun 03
      "Mesyar" or marriages of convenience are a contentious issue. Fatwa
      follows fatwa on the matter, some saying they are lawful, some saying
      they aren't. Despite these disagreements, they persist, with men
      preferring them over adultery and women prepared, for the sake of
      having a man at their side, to give up the right to a home, any claim
      to be kept in style, and sometimes even to have children.
      Saudi researcher Abdulmalik Al-Mutlaq carried out a detailed study of
      Mesyar marriages. Among his findings were that Mesyar marriages are a
      legal contract even if women choose to give up their right of housing
      and expenses. There are advantages to the arrangement. One is to help
      solve the problem of unmarried women. It also enables men in financial
      difficulties to get married. For men, it can be a marriage for
      pleasure only.
      Although not new to other Arab countries, the mesyar marriage was
      brought to the country [Egypt] by Egyptian men who had worked in the
      Gulf countries. This kind of marriage relieved them from any of the
      financial burdens or responsibilities of ordinary marriage.

      In the mesyar (traveler) marriage, men are not obliged to spend on
      their wives and children according to an agreement made between the
      couple. The mesyar's husband is free to travel and leave his wife and
      children for a long time, and she cannot ask for divorce because of
      his disappearance. Also, he can marry another woman in another country
      without informing his first wife. Since it is not a registered
      (official) marriage, the wife and children lose all their rights if
      the man divorces her.


      [Cape Town] More rights for Muslim spouses - 24 Jun 03
      Legislation which disinherited a bereaved spouse, married by Muslim
      rites, whose husband or wife died intestate, was unconstitutional, the
      Cape High Court ruled on Tuesday.
      "We welcome this decision which gives effect to the constitutional
      right not to be discriminated against unfairly on the basis of
      religion and culture," - Women's Legal Centre's (WLC)
      The case would now be referred to the Constitutional Court for
      confirmation, said WLC director Michelle O'Sullivan, who is also the
      attorney who dealt with the high court application. If the
      Constitutional Court confirmed the decision, the practical effect of
      this would be that Muslim spouses could inherit as intestate heirs
      from their spouses deceased estates and also claim maintenance from
      the estates if they were in a monogamous marriage, Johnson said in the
      However, the ruling was limited to the facts of the case and did not
      affect Muslims in polygamous marriages, or people married by, for
      example, Hindu or African customary rites, O'Sullivan said.

      The Cape High Court ruling stated that portions of the Intestate
      Succession Act (1987) and the Maintenance of Surviving Spouses Act
      (1990) were unconstitutional.
      Although many people who chose to marry according to Muslim rites knew
      that most Muslim officiants were not marriage officers in terms of
      South African law, they did not choose to marry without the provisions
      of the Marriage Act.


      [letter] Religious hate law under question - 23 Jun 03
      There are serious objections to passing from a law against "inciting
      racial hate" to one against "inciting religious hate". Race and
      religion are profoundly different in three respects. First, an
      individual is born with his race, and he cannot alter it. But religion
      is a personal commitment.
      race is not open to moral criticism but religions are because of the
      values they promote.
      Sharia is very widely accepted by Muslims as an essential expression
      of Islam, and it calls for death as the punishment for"blasphemy", and
      stoning to death for women who commit adultery. Sharia is Islamic, and
      morally unacceptable. This is a legitimate moral judgment. Creeping
      criminalisation must not inhibit our right, and responsibility, to say
      this. (Harry Stropes-Roe, Vice-President, British Humanist

      Watchdog urges ban on beefed-up chicken - 19 Jun 03
      Adding beef and pork proteins to chicken should be banned by the
      European Commission, the UK's food watchdog has urged. The warning
      follows recent surveys by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that found
      high levels of added water in chicken mainly destined for the catering
      Sir John Krebs, chairman of the FSA, said: "Under European law it is
      not illegal to add huge amounts of water or beef and pork proteins to
      chicken as long as this appears on the label. It may be legal but it
      doesn't make it acceptable. "The only reason to add proteins is to
      pump up the water to high levels - that's a recipe for ripping
      customers off. "
      The FSA's surveys found chicken pieces with high levels of added
      water, as much as 55% of the total weight in one case. The tests also
      found pork protein in half the catering chicken marked Halal -
      denoting food safe for Muslims to eat under Islamic law.

      [Newham] Butchers are raided in meat probe - 25 Jun 03
      Three butchers in Newham were raided last week as part of a nationwide
      operation investigating the meat trade. Environmental Health and
      Trading Standards officers from Newham Council stormed the halal meat
      outlets in Upton Park flanked by police with shields who were on hand
      to prevent breach of the peace or disorder. Meat seized included beef
      tripe, sheep carcasses, chickens, lamb brains and cows' feet.
      The operation, codenamed Lobster Pot, saw raids on 23 premises across
      England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
      The national operation – which involved the seizure of tons of meat –
      allegedly involved meat destined for pet food being purchased at
      abattoirs across the country which is believed to have been processed
      and packaged for re-introduction into the human food chain.

      There was also evidence gathered to suggest that chicken pieces
      showing discolouration due to putrefaction were systematically
      bleached with chemical agents to bring them back to the colour of
      healthy meat.

      [comment] Mahathir's pound of flesh, Malaysia's gallon of blood
      http://www.freeanwar.com/jan2003/articles230603.htm - 23 Jun 03
      [In London] The first shop I entered was a Lebanese Muslim shop. He
      sold halal meat that was stocked in the same freezer as the pork
      sausages. When I asked him why the pork sausages and halal meat were
      all stacked up in the same place, the shopkeeper replied that they are
      all wrapped in plastic and are not in contact with each other.
      When I further asked how he, as a Muslim, can sell haram (forbidden)
      products, he replied that he only sold them, he did not eat them.
      Muslim shop after Muslim shop, I met with the same response. Hours
      later I gave up and decided instead to shop in Selfridges that had a
      Jewish kosher food department.

      An Asian marriage custom reshaped - 23 Jun 03
      While couples were once introduced exclusively by relatives and
      friends, the Aunt Bijis, as Muslims call their matchmakers, are now
      being slowly nudged out by a boom in Asian marriage Web sites, chat
      rooms and personal advertisements. South Asian speed dating - Hindus
      one night, Muslims the next - is the latest phenomenon to hit London,
      with men and women meeting each other for just three minutes at
      restaurants and bars before moving on to the next potential mate.
      What the young Indians and Pakistanis of Britain have done, in effect,
      is to modernize practices that had evolved among the urban middle
      class in India in recent decades, allowing the prospective bride and
      groom a little more than one fleeting meeting to make up their minds.
      The relaxation that had crept in since the 1960s allowed the couple,
      after an initial meeting before their extended families, to meet alone
      several times, either with family members in another room or at a
      restaurant, before delivering a verdict. Now, the meetings take place
      in public venues without the family encounter first.

      "The term we use now is 'assisted' arranged marriage," said Maha Khan,
      a 23-year-old London Muslim woman. "The whole concept has changed a
      lot. Parents have become more open and more liberal in their concept
      of marriage and courtship."


      [WTO] Access to medicines - 23 Jun 03
      WTO trade ministers made some progress at their 'mini-Ministerial'
      meeting in Sharm-Al-Sheik (21-22 June) on the issue of access to
      medicines. .. Unofficial sources also reported that the US are no more
      pursuing their demand for a WTO solution to be limited to a short list
      of diseases.

      [Film] God's Whores - 25 Jun 03


      Islamic Finance: Emergence of Sharia-compliant securities indices
      .. - 23 Jun 03

      [Malaysia] Dow's Islamic index offer - 25 Jun 03
      A proposal to apply the Dow Jones Islamic Index to the KLSE [stock
      exchange] to complement Kuala Lumpur's efforts to be an Islamic
      financial centre was made yesterday by Dow Jones Indexes global
      director (Islamic group - business development) A. Rushdi Siddiqui.
      Harmonisation between Gulf and Malaysian standards was vital in
      attracting funds to the country, he pointed out.
      "At present, Gulf investors are of the opinion that Malaysian
      standards are too liberal," he told StarBiz on the sidelines of the
      conference on Future Trends in Islamic Equity and Bond in Kuala Lumpur
      yesterday. The KLSE has over 800 counters, of which 81% are deemed to
      be syariah compliant. The Dow Jones has 5,200 companies, but only 22%
      are syariah compliant.
      "After the 911 incident, between US$ 10 bil and US$ 15 bil of (Gulf)
      funds left the US for Swiss banks and European banks and to countries
      such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates," Rushdi said.

      Net asset value of syariah unit trust at RM3bil in 2002 - 25 Jun 03
      The net asset value (NAV) of syariah-based unit trust funds in
      Malaysia grew to RM3.21bil [EUR 730 mill.] in 2002 from RM2.42bil in
      2001, the number of management companies to 27 from 23, and the number
      of approved funds to 44 from 32. But, the percentage of NAV to the
      total industry was still small at 6% in 2002, up from 5.1% in 2001.

      [*] Copyright: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 -
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