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Sharia News Watch 62

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 62 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 62 : a collection news quotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:

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


      Two Afghan Journalists Go Into Hiding - 03 Jul 03
      Two Afghan journalists accused of blasphemy have gone into hiding,
      authorities said on Thursday, as protesters in the capital Kabul
      demanded the pair be punished.
      The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press agency said one had taken
      refuge in a U.N. office in Kabul, while the other appeared to have
      left the country, probably to neighboring Pakistan. Mir Hussein
      Mehdavi, chief editor of the Aftaab weekly, and his Iranian deputy,
      Ali Reza, were detained for over a week last month because of articles
      deemed by the government to be a slur on Islam.
      Earlier on Thursday, about 150 people demonstrated to demand the
      journalists be punished under Sharia law, which demands the death
      sentence for offending Islam. "Salman Rushdies should be executed!"
      said one slogan, referring to the British author who had a fatwa
      issued against him by Iran's late Islamic leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah
      Khomeini, following the publication of his novel "The Satanic Verses."
      The demonstrators, most of them young men, said the United Nations
      should not interfere in Afghanistan's affairs and criticized the
      United States for trying to force change.

      Afghan independent paper says no-one should insult Islam - 04 Jul 03
      .. [Afghan newspaper Mojahed on 25 June]
      Closing down of Aftab publication and detaining its editor in chief
      and secretary general last week after they published two articles and
      a picture created a major controversy in Afghanistan and in the world.
      Although the language and statement of Aftab with regards to the
      socio-political issues did not differ much with its articles in its
      previous issues, by reiterating its statements not stated very clearly
      in the previous issues, it naturally create a crisis. [Articles under
      the] Titles such as The Sacred Fascism and Religion + Government =
      Dictatorship and the photo which portrayed the idea of Darwin's cycle
      of human development were the most interesting of all other articles.
      In Afghanistan, Islam is considered religion, belief, Shari'ah,
      culture and history and the security and national interests of this
      country are tied to it. Insult to Islamic values and principles might
      be considered right to the freedom of speech and right to the freedom
      of religion in other countries, but in Afghanistan it does not fall
      under the freedom of expression and, on the contrary, is considered as
      an attack on the rights of the society.

      [Kandahar] scholars seize books deemed offensive to Shar'iah - 03 Jul
      The ulema council in [the southern] Kandahar Province has issued an
      order to collect all books from book shops. The reason behind the
      collection of books is the publication of editions which are a slur on
      Shar'iah and [a few words indistinct]. Among the confiscated books,
      there is a book written by a well- known Taleban judge, Abdol Aziz
      Dewbandi. [Iranian radio from Mashhad]

      [Kandahar] 15 arrested over killing of anti-Taliban Afghan prayer
      leader - 04 Jul 03
      Fifteen people have been arrested in the main southern Afghan city of
      Kandahar over the assassination of an anti-Taliban prayer leader in
      his mosque. .. The prayer leader, who worked for the provincial
      government, had preached against Taliban calls for jihad (holy war)
      against President Hamid Karzai's government and foreigners. Security
      has been tight in Kandahar since the killing and a bomb blast in a
      Kandahar mosque on Monday in which 17 were injured.


      Authorities try to block reports of FIS releases by pressuring
      journalists http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=7448 - 03 Jul
      Reporters Without Borders condemned the attempts of the Algerian
      authorities to censor news coverage of the release today of two
      historic leaders of the banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), Abassi
      Madani and Ali Belhadj, on completion of their prison sentences.
      Warnings issued in telephone calls by the Algerian communication
      ministry and threats to withdraw the accreditation of foreign
      journalists were "crude and archaic methods," Ménard said. It was
      illusory of the Algerian authorities to imagine they could prevent all
      news of the releases getting out, he added.
      Algeria ordered reporters from France's top television networks out of
      the country on Thursday after banning foreign news organisations from
      covering the release of leaders of an outlawed Islamist militant
      Authorities on Wednesday banned foreign journalists from covering the
      release of Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) chief Abassi Madani and
      deputy Ali Belhadj or seeking interviews with them. The verbal order
      was made on behalf of the Algerian state hours after the two men were
      set free.

      Who is Ali Belhadj? - 02 Jul 03
      Ali Belhadj, a leader of the banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS)
      party freed Wednesday after more than a decade in jail, erupted on
      Algeria's political scene in the 1980s as a fiery orator in the
      mosques of Algiers. Belhadj, who is blamed by many Algerians for
      being the main culprit in the radicalisation of Islam in the north
      African country and the subsequent descent into a decade of bloodshed
      that has left more than 100,000 dead, called in his speeches for a
      theocratic state based on Islamic law, or Sharia, to be set up. The
      47-year-old, number two in the FIS was jailed by a military court in
      1992 for threatening state security.
      Belhadj, bespectacled, unbearded and always dressed in a long Islamic
      robe, was one of the founders of the FIS in 1988. The party was
      officially recognised in 1989. He was a pupil of Sheikh Abdellatif
      Soltani, seen as the father of Algerian Islamic fundamentalism.
      Belhadj came to prominence in the early 1980s due to his impassioned
      sermons in the mosques of Algiers, where armed Islamic extremism was
      beginning to take root. He was arrested in 1983 and reportedly
      tortured before being sent to live under house arrest in Ouargla in
      Algeria's desert south.
      His release Wednesday from prison came with a ban that prevents him
      from engaging in any political activity and bars him from resuming the
      fiery speeches that helped forge his political career.


      Bahrain adjourns journalists' trial - 05 Jul 03
      The case against Anwar Abdulrahman, editor-in-chief of Akhbar
      al-Khaleej; a reporter, two lawyers and three activists was adjourned
      to September 23 to give lawyers more time to prepare, lawyers said.
      The 10 sharia judges accuse the men of "tainting their reputation" in
      newspaper reports on a mother who went on a hunger strike to protest
      against a ruling that gave her husband custody of her two young
      In another case, the editor-in-chief of Alwasat newspaper, Mansoor
      al-Jamri, and a reporter at the daily, Hussain Khalaf, faced a
      criminal court last week on charges of breaking a prosecutor's ban on
      publishing information about a suspected "terror" cell. That trial was
      also postponed to September.


      [Ningxia] First Group of University-degree Imams Emerge in Ningxia
      Lin and his 40 classmates, all of them Moslems, also became the first
      group of Islamic theology students to be honored with a bachelor's
      degree in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China, where
      nearly one fourth of the entire Chinese Moslem population are located.
      Founded in 1985, the Islamic theology institute where Lin and his
      classmates spent four full years is the second of its kind in China.
      Originally a place for advanced studies by Islamic religious figures,
      the institute began to formally enroll studentsseeking bachelor's
      degrees in theological studies in 1999.
      Though Moslems make up about one third of Ningxia's population,never
      before had they had an Imam with a bachelor's degree. Traditionally,
      many Moslem families would send their boys to mosques at an early age
      to receive lessons from teachers, who would use an archaic Chinese
      language originally used to translatetheir sacred book, the Koran,
      from Arabic.
      Some of Lin's classmates will go to work in Jordan, Libya, Syria and
      other Arab countries, and some others have found jobs in Guangdong,
      Zhejiang and other economically advanced coastal areas. "Some of the
      graduates, however, have given up their high-income jobs and joined
      Chinese medical teams to central Asian countries to help the needy
      Islamic followers," said Yan. "They are the pride of our institute."


      [South-West] Irresponsible parents deserve to be flogged - Magistrate
      http://www.ghanaian-chronicle.com/230701/page2o.htm - 01 Jul 03
      A magistrate of the Dunkwa District Court, Mr. Robert Adjei Djan, has
      urged parents not to shirk their parental responsibilities since the
      neglect of their wards would breed indiscipline. According to the
      magistrate, the current spate of armed robbery is a function of
      neglect of children by parents.
      According to Magistrate Adjei Djan it is sheer wickedness on the part
      of parents to neglect their children and expect to see a better
      society devoid of crimes. He suggested that parents who shirk their
      parental obligations be flogged publicly in line with Sharia law.
      "Some parents deserve to be whipped," he suggested and wished that
      Parliament could do something about this.


      [Ayodhya] MP - For whom the bells toll - 05 Jul 03
      A truly peaceful and permanent solution of the dispute in Ayodhya,
      Kashi and Mathura [temples] is available right in the ayats of the
      Koran and the Hadis itself. All the four schools of Muslim
      jurisprudence are unanimous that no mosque can be built on any land
      that is disputed - irrespective of whether the dispute was prior to
      the building of the mosque or subsequent to it. Mosques can be built
      only on waqf land. In the light of the Shariat, therefore, these
      mosques were ab-initio void.

      Second, no mosque can be ground-specific. The Taariq-e-Islam records
      an instance of the year 100 Hijri. A mosque in Damishk under the
      orders of Khalifa Omar-bin-Abdul Aziz was demolished and the land was
      returned to the younger brother when it was found that the elder
      brother had 'waqfed' the jointly held land for the mosque without
      obtaining the consent of the younger brother.

      Finally, the Shariat categorically states that no namaaz [prayer]
      performed at any disputed site is acceptable to Allah. The mosques
      built after half-demolishing temples at Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura
      became inherently disputed sites because at no point of time, despite
      passage of centuries, did the Hindus ever give up their claim to pray
      on those spots where the temples stood - notwithstanding the
      cheek-to-cheek presence of the respective mosques in all the three

      When the prayers offered at these mosques are declared infructuous, no
      real religious purpose can possibly be fulfilled by holding on to
      them. The Ummas and the most exalted Muslim religious authorities of
      the country need to come together and take a decision that the edicts
      of Shariat have to be respected both in letter and spirit. They shall
      then inevitably come to the same conclusion that Khalifa Omar-bin-
      Abdul Aziz had reached in the year 100 Hijri and do as he had done.

      [Gujarat] police arrest eight Saudis for preaching militant Islam
      http://www.dailynews.lk/2003/07/04/wor03.html - 04 Jul 03
      Indian police said they arrested eight Saudis and one Sudanese for
      allegedly preaching militant Islam in the riot-scarred western state
      of Gujarat. Amarsingh Vasavda, superintendent of police in Gujarat's
      Bharuch district, said the foreigners, all in India on tourist visas,
      belonged to the hardline Muslim Tabligh-e-Jamaat and were probably on
      a recruitment drive.
      Rajeev Topno, a senior Bharuch district administrator, said Gujarat
      state took visa violations very seriously. "The religious propaganda
      activities of the foreigners was not in consonance with India's
      Foreigners Act under which they had got tourist visas," said Topna.
      "Although we have not found any links with these foreigners and any
      international terrorist group, we are sending a recommendation to the
      Government of India to bar their entry into India in the future."

      [Kerala] Pubescent minor Muslim girl can marry: court - 03 Jul 03
      The Kerala High Court has held that a Muslim girl, even if she is a
      minor as per the Indian Majority Act, can enter into a valid marriage
      agreement if she has attained puberty and her husband was legally
      bound to provide maintenance to her.
      Raihanath's plea [for maintenance] was rejected by the Family Court on
      the ground that she had not attained the age of 18 and was not a major
      and thus could not enter into a valid marriage contract which would
      confer the status of husband and wife to the couple. Thus Rahaman was
      not entitled to provide maintenance to her. Challenging this verdict,
      Raihanath moved the High Court. Justice Basanth, in a recent ruling,
      held that Muslim marriage was essentially a contract unlike the Hindu
      and Christian marriages, which had to be solemnised.


      Sunni leader says US presence in Iraq necessary - 03 Jul 03
      .. [Iraqi newspaper Al-Alam Bayn Yadayk on 30 Jun 03 ]
      Al-Kubaysi was loudly addressing the gathering [of the Iraqi Ulema
      Society], saying: You are now part of any calculations that the
      Americans make when they form any new government. Therefore you should
      hold a demonstration. Demonstrating is the Shari'ah-imposed individual
      duty of each one of you. His words aroused astonishment and sometimes
      disagreement. In the same way, his very return to the country in these
      circumstances was astonishing. Many groups now speak in the name of
      Iraq's Sunni Muslims. For example there is a League of Shari'ah Ulema
      and there is a Society of Iraqi Ulema. Each group professes to be the
      foremost Sunni authority.
      Al-Kubaysi replied: The society is a grouping of ulema, but the party
      is for all Iraqis. We have proclaimed the establishment of the Iraqi
      Unified National Movement. This party is not religion-based. It seeks
      to build the Iraq of the future. First of all we need to recreate the
      Iraq that we formerly lost. Afterwards we can agree on a permanent
      course of action. Al-Kubaysi added: There is no ideology involved
      here, no Islamist leaning, nor a leaning in the opposite direction. We
      are looking for a civilian Iraq that will enshrine justice.

      I asked: Nevertheless, you intentionally mixed between the ulema
      society and the political party when you told the clerics in your
      speech that they should become part of the US calculations in any
      future government makeup. You urged them to demonstrate. Are the ulema
      members of the party?

      He answered: The ulema are members of the party. Any of them who
      wishes to join the party is welcome to do so. If they wish to join
      another political party, I have no objection. As to demonstrating,
      everyone has the legal right to demonstrate. I urged to ulema to show
      their numbers by joining the demonstrations to make the Americans
      aware of their popular presence and treat them with respect. Their
      presence is necessary.
      I pointed out that he was disregarding some of his own previous
      religious rulings [fatwas], when he used to declare for example, prior
      to the US victory, that anyone who cooperated with the Americans was
      an apostate. I urged him to explain this contradiction and he said:
      Everyone who cooperated with the Americans during the war is an
      apostate. I said this everywhere and there are several Koranic verses
      that corroborate this view.

      He added: Now, however, there is no government and therefore it is not
      our duty to fight. The rules of Shari'ah apply to a Muslim living in
      an existing state that is resisting occupation. However, someone who
      has no state of his own should deal with the occupier in a different
      way. We are now dealing with the occupiers. The Germans did this with
      the American occupiers and the Palestinians did it with the Israelis.

      Al-Kubaysi explained: Now we do not have a religious institution that
      we can regard as an ultimate source of authority. We have no imam. If
      another Saddam emerges who establishes a new government, we will fight
      behind him. If the Americans impose a ruler, we might follow him but
      we will still consider him an infidel, and in that case it will be
      permissible to rebel against him. We need to have a religious
      institution that we can regard as a source of ultimate authority that
      we can obey.

      C A V E A T by CR Irani - The Rake's progress! - 06 Jul 03
      Index on Censorship reports that in a recent fatwa of Paul Bremmer
      III, the world's leading democracy has decreed nine prohibited
      activities. They include:-
      1) Support for the banned pre-war Ba'ath Party by word or deed;
      2) Material calculated to provoke opposition to the Occupation
      3) Undermining legitimate processes towards self-government.

      Shiites to Dominate New Iraqi Council - 05 Jul 03


      Muslim body closes Jerusalem holy site to prevent entry of
      'extremists' [Palestinian news agency Wafa web site] - 01 Jul 03
      The Islamic Awqaf [religious endowments] in the holy city of Jerusalem
      has decided to close all doors inside Al- Haram al-Sharif [Jerusalem
      sanctuary enclosing Al-Aqsa Mosque] to prevent Jewish settlers and
      extremists from desecrating this sacred place. This decision was made
      after the Israeli occupation forces allowed the Jewish settlers and
      extremists to enter Al-Haram.

      Police Impose Age Restrictions On Islamic Prayer Services - 04 Jul 03
      Seeking to avoid violence, police have set a minimum age of 40 for
      Islamic male worshipers attending this afternoon's Friday prayer
      services on the Temple Mount [Al- Haram al-Sharif]. Entry will also
      be restricted to persons carrying an Israeli identity card. There are
      no age restrictions for women.


      [Divorce] Judges work out khuloe mechanisms - 02 Jul 03
      Sharia judges from across the country met Tuesday to discuss
      difficulties facing them in cases involving a law that allows women to
      divorce their husbands, known as the Khuloe Law, the Jordan News
      Agency, Petra, said.
      President of the Sharia Higher Judicial Council and Chief of the
      Sharia Court of Appeal Naji Arabi said that one difficulty facing a
      Sharia court was how best to determine what a woman seeking divorce
      should pay her husband in compensation. According to the law, which
      took effect in December 2001, women filing divorce must return to
      their husbands any money or jewellery given to them by their husbands
      before the wedding and forsake any right to alimony.

      But in Tuesday's meeting judges made it clear that husbands could not
      - under any circumstance - claim compensation for expenses spent on
      their wives for things such as food and clothing. They created a clear
      mechanism for calculating the compensation divorced husbands could
      claim. In 2001, the government scrapped a section of the Divorce Law
      that stipulated women could not divorce without their husband's
      consent. The amendments, introduced via a temporary law, do not oblige
      a woman filing for divorce to provide any justification for her
      decision. If the judge cannot reconcile the couple, the woman is
      granted a divorce.


      Clerics Say No to Gay Marriages - 02 Jul 03
      Religious leaders in Mombasa yesterday warned the Government against
      allowing gay marriages in Kenya. The leaders, who spoke to the East
      African Standard, said homosexuality was unacceptable and that the
      Government should not even contemplate allowing unions between gay
      couples. They gave the warning after an announcement that Britain may
      allow marriages among gay couples as announced by that country's
      Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, Jacqui Smith.
      Under the new arrangement, same-sex couples would have joint rights to
      pensions, death benefits and alimony. The couples would make a formal
      legal commitments to each other by registering their relationship as a
      "Civil Partnership."

      Gay couples would also have the option of taking parental
      responsibility for each other's children and might be obliged to
      maintain each other financially, the Government said. "Both the Bible
      and Koran are clear on this matter. It was always meant to be an Adam
      and Eve affair and that is as it should be," Sheikh Mohammed Dor, the
      Secretary-General of the Council of Imam Preachers of Kenya (CIPK)


      [Elections] Liberals punished as pillars fall - 06 Jul 03
      Muslim fundamentalists (Sunni and Shiite) and candidates backed by
      Islamist movements won almost one-third of the 50 seats in the
      country's10 th National Assembly, final results confirmed Saturday.
      The Islamist bloc, however, despite winning over 17 seats, may not be
      able to prevent the passage of a long-awaited bill to grant Kuwaiti
      women their political rights in a largely pro-government parliament.
      The tepid victory by fundamentalists fell below expectations, since
      Kuwait's political culture heavily favors the tribal leaders who owe
      allegiance to the ruling Al-Sabah family. A large section of
      candidates, mainly backed by Islamist blocs, come from tribal
      backgrounds mainly concentrated on the outskirts of the Capital.

      Six major Fatwa projects underway in Kuwait - 06 Jul 03
      .. [Middle East News Online]
      Six projects that deal with linking the Fatwa and legislation
      department with other governmental organisations are underway, Sheikh
      Mohammad Mohammad Al-Salman Al-Sabah, the head of the project said
      yesterday. Explaining the nature of these six projects, Sheikh
      Mohammed said that they include a law encyclopaedia project, the
      follow-up of Fatwa and legislation and state cases files, joining with
      the council of ministers system so as to receive up to date
      information, coordinating with the ministry of justice system, a
      "paper-less" project in tandem with the higher administration and a
      system for organizing official visits of employees at the department
      of Fatwa and legislation.

      On the encyclopaedia project, Sheikh Mohammad considered this project
      the most critical of all the tasks currently being implemented by the
      department. The project is being supervised by the information centre,
      and uses an image processing system that enables users to store and
      retrieve files. The encyclopaedia will soon be translated into
      English, he said. In addition, it has been placed on the internet in
      order to allow its access by Kuwaiti students abroad and foreign
      embassies in Kuwait, Sheikh Mohammad added.


      Iranian top ulama to attend Islamic conference next week - 03 Jul 03
      Iran's prominent clerics will attend the World Conference of the
      Islamic Scholars here along with scholars from other 38 countries on
      July 9 and 12. Organizing committee chairman Mohamad Nakhaie Ahmad
      said Iranian ulama, among 70 Islamic scholars from 38 foreign nations,
      are expected to attend the conference which would see the tabling of
      over 20 working papers from Islamic scholars worldwide including those
      from Europe and United States.
      He said the conference, to be opened by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir
      Mohamad, will serve as a platform for ulama to discuss challenges
      faced by Muslims in the globalization era. .. He said the objective of
      conference was to provide the true understanding of Islam which had
      been frequently misinterpreted by non-Muslims.
      "Focus will also be given to the management of Muslims' life as
      this was usually neglected and not seen as a religious duty. We will
      have to correct this perception," he said.


      [Human Rights Watch] HRW Letter to President Obasanjo - 03 Jul 03
      Since several northern states introduced Sharia-based criminal codes
      over the last three years, we have been concerned about a number of
      legal provisions and practices that violate human rights. Human Rights
      Watch does not oppose the Sharia system or any other legal system as
      such. However, there are aspects of the legislation introduced in
      these states that do not conform to international human rights
      standards and that violate Nigeria's obligations under international
      human rights law. These include punishments that constitute torture
      and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, such as floggings,
      amputations, and death by stoning. Minors (persons under the age of
      eighteen) have been among those receiving flogging and amputation
      sentences, some of which have been carried out. We are also
      particularly concerned at the absence of respect for due process in
      many trials in Sharia courts, and the fact that defendants have been
      sentenced to death and other cruel punishments after trials that were
      blatantly unfair. Defendants have frequently not had legal
      representation and have not been informed about their rights and legal
      procedures. Trials and judgments have been affected by corruption of
      the judiciary and lack of training of judges. Some of the problems
      noted above are not limited to the Sharia jurisdictions.
      While we are aware of the sensitivities surrounding the question of
      Sharia in Nigeria, we encourage your government to take the necessary
      steps to ensure that the legislation introduced in the last three
      years is amended to conform to Nigeria's human rights obligations. We
      also urge you to eliminate provisions for punishments that constitute
      cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, rather than prolonging
      suffering and uncertainty for defendants by waiting for each
      individual case to make its way through the appeal system, and to
      ensure that due process is respected in all trials. We also urge you
      to abolish the death penalty throughout Nigeria.

      Shekarau unfolds vision for rapid development in Kano - 05 Jul 03
      http://www.gamji.com/shekarau05072003.htm [Weekly Trust]
      It will be leadership under the dictates of Sharia. The out gone
      administration paid lip service to the implementation of Sharia to the
      chagrin of the people. The [newly elected] Shekarau administration
      seeks to satisfy the yearnings of the people to truly run their
      affairs on the basis of Sharia, to prove to the world that Sharia is
      the most suitable legal system for mankind and it goes beyond caning
      and amputation of arms.
      Malam [Shekarau] has followed it up by appointing and inaugurating on
      13 June a Sharia implementation committee headed by Sheikh Isa Waziri,
      the Wazirin Kano and charged with studying and formulating the
      successful implementation of the Islamic legal system in the state.
      On water supply, the new governor acknowledged the perennial water
      shortage faced by people in the state and promised to develop a
      well-articulated resource development and management policy that will
      ensure adequate and sustainable water supply for the entire population
      and restore a normal, steady and sustainable supply of potable water
      in Kano metropolis and environs.
      An innovative landmark of the new era as outlined by the chief
      executive in his inaugural address is the introduction of a discussion
      forum to be known as Dandalin Tattaunawa [interactive forum] through
      which the government and the people would interact in the city and
      rural areas.

      Workers' strike paralyse court proceedings in Kaduna - 05 Jul 03
      A survey conducted by Weekly Trust in Kaduna metropolis has shown that
      the nation-wide strike action embarked upon by workers this week has
      adversely affected the dispensation of cases in the courts, as most of
      the pending cases have been adjourned.
      Investigations at the Upper Sharia Court Magajin Gari, which is the
      heart of the metropolis revealed that the court only conducted
      skeletal activities as the few mentioned for hearing were adjourned.
      On Tuesday July 1, 2003, which was the second day of the strike, a low
      turnout of the various parties to the pending cases was noticed at
      Sharia Court, in Kawo as a result of which the judge conducted the
      proceedings in his chamber instead of the courtroom.

      Is your spouse your best friend?(II) As a protective garment - 05 Jul
      http://www.gamji.com/friendx05072003.htm [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]


      Measures to promote relations with Al Azhar - 06 Jul 03
      Sheikh Ahmed bin Saud Al Siyabi, secretary general of the Ifta office
      at the Awqaf and Religious Affairs Ministry, expressed his delight
      with the outcome of the second meeting of the joint cooperation
      committee between the ministry and Al Azhar Al Shareef in Egypt.
      He said it was also agreed to send Omani preachers on special courses
      at Al Azhar and to hold courses for the graduates of the Sharia
      Sciences Institute. The Egyptian side would provide the ministry with
      detailed plans of the Holy Quran teaching curricula to be utilised in
      Holy Quran and religious education in the Sultanate. Siyabi, who led
      the Omani side at the committee meeting, said it was agreed upon
      conducting exchange visits among the teaching staff of the Sharia
      Sciences Institute and Al Azhar University and to admit the institute
      graduates for the M.A. and PhD. programmes at Al Azhar University.


      [Baluchistan] Death toll in Pakistan mosque attack rises to 20 [50]
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s895374.htm - 04 Jul 03
      The death toll from a militant attack on a mosque in the Pakistani
      city of Quetta is rising rapidly. Pakistani authorities now say more
      than 20 people have been killed and more than 40 wounded.
      It is a pattern of attack which has become typical in Pakistan.
      Militant Muslims from either the majority Sunni or minority Shi'ite
      sects attacking each other with hand grenades or automatic rifles.
      .. It is the second attack in less than a month directed against
      ethnic Hazara Shi'ite Muslims in Quetta.
      Though history of sectarian violence in Pakistan dates back to early
      eighties, no one believes Friday's mosque attack, one of the worse in
      two decade of religious violence, was related to religion.
      "Islam does not allow violence" Hamid Ali Mausvi, leader of the Shiite
      group TNFJ said adding attack on the Shiite mosque was part a Zionist
      plot to divide Muslims and destabilize Pakistan. Another Shiite
      leader, Allama Sajid Naqvi also expressed views that there is no place
      for killers of a Muslim in heavens, whatever sect he may belong to.
      "These are wild terrorists and not religious people from any sect",
      Naqvi said, rejecting impressions that the mosque attack was conducted
      by some fundamentalist Sunnis.
      Friday's attack was the first of its kind in the history of religious
      violence in Pakistan. Since 1980s over 430 incidents of religious
      violence have been reported in the country in which thousands of
      innocent people lost their lives. These attacks were blamed on Shiite
      and Sunni hardliner groups. Government taking cognizant of increase in
      this religious crimes, banned seven religious groups belonging to both
      Commentators have suggested that the mosque bombing may be linked to
      neighbouring Afghanistan, because Quetta is close to the border and
      sectarian killings in the past have tended to be concentrated in the
      cities of Karachi and Multan.

      [NWFP] Op-ed: Re-ordering the new dispensation? - 05 Jul 03
      .. the fate of the elected members of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal
      (MMA), which also happens to be a key element of the opposition
      coalition protesting against the Legal Framework Order (LFO) in
      Even before Musharraf's return, the election of one MNA of the MMA
      Mufti Ibrar Sultan had been declared void on the technical grounds
      that his certificate or 'sanad' of Wafaqul Madaris was not the
      equivalent of a BA degree which was the minimum required qualification
      under the amended rules for contesting the national and provincial
      assembly elections in 2002.
      The attorney general assisting the court had emphasised that the
      'sanad' had been recognised only for the purpose of teaching and that
      too only for teaching theology. Further, that the University Grants
      Commission (UGC) had overstepped its authority in declaring the
      'sanads' as being equivalent to graduation. Mufti Ibrar, however,
      continues to maintain that the chief election commissioner during the
      scrutiny of the nomination papers had allowed them to contest the
      elections, accepting the 'sanads' of Wafaqul Madaris and Tanzeemul
      Madaris as equivalent to BA and MA.
      a petition has already been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a
      judicial order to restrain those MMA MNAs whose educational
      qualifications have been challenged in court from casting their votes
      in the no-trust motion against the NA Deputy Speaker on July 7.
      The JUI-F has a lot more to lose than the JI from an adverse Supreme
      Court verdict given that almost all the MNAs with madrassa 'sanads'
      belong to it.
      By suggesting that the MMA might consider dropping many of its key
      demands regarding the LFO if the government were to accede to its
      Islamisation drive the MMA seeks to go beyond the issue of democracy.
      now, having moved the goal posts to include 'Islamisation' of the NWFP
      the MMA will find it difficult to reach a compromise unless it can
      secure some face-saving concession from the government on the issue.


      Saudi says school books not to blame for violence - 02 Jul 03
      Saudi Arabia's schools are no more responsible for the September11,
      2001, attacks than American teachers were guilty of the 1995 Oklahoma
      bombing, a senior educational official said on Wednesday. Fifteen of
      the 19 hijackers in the attacks on U.S. targets two years ago were
      from Saudi Arabia. Western critics and some Saudi reformers say
      schools must shoulder some of the blame for fostering extremism.
      Khalid al-Awwad, undersecretary in the conservative Muslim kingdom's
      Education Ministry, said Saudi Arabia is revising its school
      curriculum to stress "peace and tolerance" but that accusations its
      text books promote violence are unfounded.
      Hamad al-Turki, a Saudi writer, told Reuters one example he had seen
      was a secondary school maths book with a question starting: "If you
      have five mujahideen (holy warriors), and you want to choose three to
      conduct a courageous operation..."
      Opponents say there is still much to change. Turki said religious
      studies took up 40 percent of the school curriculum, and focused
      heavily on jihad (holy war) and early Islamic military conquests.
      Academic Hamza al-Mozainy recently wrote in a Saudi newspaper
      criticising an exhibition at his son's school about death, which he
      said could encourage suicide bombers. His article was published just
      weeks before triple suicide attacks in Riyadh on May12 killed 35
      people, including nine Americans. Awwad said schools in Saudi Arabia,
      the birthplace of Islam where austere Wahhabi clerics hold sway,
      should teach all of Prophet Mohammad's sayings. "Islamically, we
      should teach all of the hadith (sayings) of the Prophet. We teach it
      because it is our culture."

      [Opinion] Women Rights Revisited! - 06 Jul 03
      Covering faces and wearing black cloaks are not required of women in
      Islam. These customs developed on the basis of the general "sad
      althara'a" principle in order to avoid temptations that might lead to
      improper relations. Other things that resulted from this principle
      include not opening up the country to very much-needed foreign
      investment, foreign expertise and tourism.
      Fears of the corrupting influence of Western culture on Islamic and
      Arabic values has led to the closing of many windows of opportunity
      which might have led to good reforms and improvements in our society,
      economy and education.
      If someone is in some confusion about the "sad althara'a" principle,
      he or she ought to refer the matter to a council of authorized and
      specialized Islamic scholars representing all regions and all Islamic
      schools of thought. Those scholars should investigate all related
      dimensions and issues while consulting with all concerned parties.
      They must make sure the perceived dangers are real and that the
      benefits realized will exceed the possible harm. Only after doing so
      can we accept the rule.


      Sudanese authorities detains opposition figure Ghazi Suleiman - 03 Jul
      The Sudanese security forces yesterday arrested opposition member
      Ghazi Suleiman, less than two hours from a press conference for the
      opposition which aimed at broadcasting the "Khartoum declaration,"
      according to his family.
      Suleiman is the chairman of the Democratic Front forces and chairman
      of the Sudanese group for human rights.
      The family said that arresting Suleiman two hours before the press
      conference at his office was presumed to include all opposition
      northern parties in order to broadcast the "Khartoum declaration"
      which is considered a reaction to the "Cairo declaration." The
      people's party for the liberation of Sudan, the Umma party, and the
      Democratic Federation signed in May the "Cairo declaration " which
      demands making Khartoum a national capital not subjected to the
      Islamic Sharia. The Cairo declaration also supported the call to end
      the rule of the "one party" system and to form a provisional
      government supervising holding general elections.


      [HSBC] Bank's new products for Muslims - 05 Jul 03


      Banks Allegedly Blacklisting Muslims - 02 Jul 03
      American financial institutions are using extreme interpretations of
      the U.S.A. Patriot Act to justify blacklisting Muslim account holders,
      reports An-Nahar, an Arabic weekly based in Southern California in its
      recent issue ending July 2.

      According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR,
      Muslims are complaining that some of the biggest banks and credit
      agencies in the United States, such as American Express, HSBC, Fleet
      Bank, and Western Union, are canceling accounts and making intrusive
      demands for private information.

      Many of the cancellations seem to be inspired by the similarity of the
      account holder's name to names that appear on a Treasury Department
      list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Individuals (SDN).
      "This is just another indication that the Patriot Act is being misused
      to infringe on the rights of law-abiding Americans, particularly
      American Muslims," said CAIR Legal Adviser Khurram Wahid. "A system
      must be set up to allow those who are unfairly targeted to clear their
      names and continue making financial transactions."


      Removing the veil of false impressions - 03 Jul 03
      Contrary to popular belief, covering the face is not a common form of
      veiling in the Muslim world. In fact, Muhammad Sayid Tantaw, the
      highest cleric in the theology school of the University of Al-Azhar in
      Egypt, the oldest and most respected Islamic seminary in the world,
      states that the covering of a woman's face with a veil is not a
      requirement of Islam. According to the mufti, 'wearing a face veil or
      covering the hands with gloves are not required by Islam, but we will
      not discourage those women who chose to do so'.
      The law, to an extent, can reasonably accommodate personal religious
      beliefs. But a good citizen must likewise accommodate certain laws
      that clearly benefit all while not violating fundamental religious
      obligations. Unfortunately, many Westerners are under the impression
      that Saudi Arabia, where face-veiling is a cultural tradition, is
      typical of Muslim societies. The Saudi practice is not. Furthermore,
      veiling of the body and face predates Islam. It was a cultural
      tradition of pre-Islamic eras in Arabia.
      And being a good Muslim does not necessarily mean adopting the Saudi
      Arabian culture, inclusive of the native dress code. Islam is in the
      heart of the believer, not in the piece of cloth wrapped in various
      fashions based on cultural practices. It should be noted that even in
      Saudi Arabia, women's faces are unveiled on their passports, for the
      same reasons given by the lawyers for the state of Florida.

      Muslims embrace brave new world of IVF - 01 Jul 03
      IVF procedures are spreading rapidly in the Muslim world, as both
      Sunnis and Shi'ites embrace assisted reproductive technology as a
      means of overcoming the suffering caused by fertility, an
      international conference of fertility experts heard today (Tuesday 1

      Medical anthropologist, Dr Marcia Inhorn, told the annual meeting of
      the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that legal
      adoption was not allowed in Middle Eastern Muslim countries, although
      children were loved and valued. As a result, IVF remained many
      couples' last hope of having children, and IVF centres have opened in
      nearly 20 nations in the Muslim Middle East, ranging from small,
      oil-rich Bahrain and Qatar to larger but less prosperous Morocco and

      However, Dr Inhorn, from the University of Michigan, US, told the
      conference that local and religious differences are affecting the way
      IVF is implemented in these countries. She has identified major
      differences in cultural attitudes toward reproductive technologies
      between Shi'ite Muslims in Lebanon and Sunni Muslims in Egypt. The
      uptake of IVF has been profoundly influenced by Islamic fatwa

      Dr Inhorn, .. said that a number of Sunni Islamic fatwas, issued as
      early as 1980 from Egypt's famed Al-Azhar University, suggest that IVF
      and similar therapies are permissible so long as they do not involve
      any form of third-party donation of either sperm, eggs, embryos, or
      uteruses. "The reasoning goes that since marriage is a contract
      between husband and wife, no third party should intrude into the
      marital functions of sex and procreation. A third party donor –
      whether providing sperm, eggs, embryos, or a uterus – would be
      considered tantamount to zina, or adultery," explained Dr Inhorn.
      Artificial insemination or IVF with the husband's own semen, however,
      is allowed in Sunni Islam, and the resulting child considered the
      legal offspring of the couple.
      within the last five years, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, the successor to
      Iran's Ayatollah Khomenei and the current spiritual leader of
      Lebanon's Hizbollah movement, has permitted donor egg technologies and
      even donor sperm to be used under certain conditions. " So, unlike
      Sunni Muslims, the Shi'ites are entering into a brave new era of
      third-party donation and surrogacy, thereby allowing middle-aged
      infertile couples to maintain their marriages and create new families
      through the use of donor technologies," said Dr Inhorn.


      Zambian police raid secret Muslim school - 04 Jul 03
      Police in Zambia have stormed a secret Muslim school in which hundreds
      of children were allegedly confined in cages and forced to study
      military tactics. Police say the 280 teenage boys were incarcerated at
      the school in a populous suburb of Lusaka. Iqbal Patel of Asian origin
      and Boyd Kanyanta, a Congolese, were charged with child abuse and
      failing to provide the children with life's basic necessities. The
      government has placed the school under security and is carrying out

      Officials confirmed that the two directors planned to ship the boys
      out of the country after they had attained a certain level of Islamic
      education and fluency in the English language. The boys were
      apparently lured from rural areas by a promise that they would be sent
      abroad after they had received training at the school. Police say some
      of the teenagers were very sick and unable to walk.
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200307030501.html [Times of Zambia]
      [Minister Gladys Nyirongo] .. said there were reports that the plan
      was for the children to be sent out of Zambia at some time when they
      had attained a level of Islamic education and fluency in an Eastern
      The children also said they were not allowed to speak any local
      language while in school and a breach of the rule attracted capital
      punishment from their instructors. They complained that they were
      subjected to Islamic teachings, caged in small rooms and made to eat
      food kept in a man-hole once they strayed from the Islamic teachings.
      Four inmates were made to sleep on one a single mattresses in a
      crammed room of 12.


      [Dubai] DIB signs Islamic leasing deal with General Electric - 03 Jul
      Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), in partnership with ABC Islamic Asset
      Management of London, has signed a leasing transaction agreement with
      the AAA-rated General Electric (GE) of the United States. The
      transaction involves the purchase of machines and engineering
      equipment by DIB and ABC and leased under Sharia principles to General
      "This is a landmark deal. If General Electric is prepared to go the
      Islamic financing route, then it's hard to see how similar
      multinationals will not avail themselves of this excellent financing
      facility in the future. This will give the Islamic industry a
      tremendous boost," Duncan Smith, ABC Islamic Asset Management's CEO,

      [Kuwait] Set rules for Islamic banks - 03 Jul 04
      In an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) [Professor of
      Commercial Law] Dr Al-Hayyan said, the Kuwaiti Islamic banks
      experience goes back to the 70s with the launching of the Kuwait
      Finance House, but no law has been issued yet on Islamic banking. He
      added, due to the increase in Islamic banks and the need for
      competition on offering the best services, the government and the
      National Assembly agreed to issue special laws to organise these

      Al-Hayyan said concerning the government and parliamentary
      initiatives, the government proposes allowing conventional commercial
      banks to open special Islamic banking branches, whereas the
      parliamentary initiative proposes issue of a special law for Islamic
      banks. He said that the government proposal requires Central Bank
      supervision of Islamic banks, but the Parliament believes that such
      supervision would restrict the Islamic banks' activities.

      He also said that the government proposal sets rates for real estate
      ownerships by the Islamic banks. "The National Assembly in its final
      discussions on the issue, reviewed the parliamentary proposal on
      permitting Islamic banks to freely handle direct investments, trade
      and industrial issues, besides adding an article to the law 32/1968 on
      Islamic banks, to be monitored by the Central Bank," Al-Hayyan said.

      Dr Abdullah Al-Hayyan further explained in detail some articles of the
      law approved recently. Article 86 stipulates that "Islamic banks are
      those practicing banking in accordance with Islamic jurisprudence, and
      accept all types of deposits, in addition to term investment accounts,
      various term financing according to different contracts such as
      Murabaha, Musharaka (sharing) and Speculation."

      Pak bank launches Islamic advisory plan - 03 Jul 03
      A Pakistani bank has launched an Islamic banking financial advisory
      programme to assist financial institutions conduct business according
      to the tenets of the Quran. The programme entails a comprehensive
      knowledge transfer enshrining all the Islamic modes of financing,
      complete corporate and consumer product detail, relevant operational
      and service processes, systems development, as well as staff training.
      Meezan Bank Ltd, which launched the programme on Wednesday, is
      Pakistan's first fully licensed Islamic commercial bank. Its first
      client for the programme is the Bank of Khyber, headquartered in the
      North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The NWFP is the first Pakistani
      province to have mandated the Shariat law.

      Bahrain opens doors to global Islamic investors - 06 Jul 03
      The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) and the London Metal Exchange (LME)
      have signed co-operation agreement aimed at further advancing the
      fast-growing global Islamic banking industry.
      Under the terms of the agreement the LME will help the BMA to develop
      contracts and documents that can be used by Islamic financial
      institutions (IFIs) for conducting transactions in metals also traded
      on the LME. Standardisation of such contracts and documents will help
      trading by IFIs, which manage assets in excess of $ 230billion, of
      which approximately 80 per cent is invested in commodities.

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