Sharia News Watch 62
- 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
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,
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
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
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 
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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