Sharia News Watch 67
- Sharia News Watch 67 : 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 appearing on the major
news search engines. All editions :
Afghans 'live in climate of fear' - 29 Jul 03
In a new report, Human Rights Watch says the US-led coalition's
support for warlords in Afghanistan is destabilising the country and
could threaten next year's elections. Human Rights Watch also
highlights abuses carried out by army and police, some of them working
to senior ministers in President Hamid Karzai's government. The
report comes a day after a provincial governor called on US-led
coalition forces to mount military operations to target resurgent
"Human rights abuses in Afghanistan are being committed by gunmen and
warlords who were propelled into power by the United States and its
coalition partners after the Taleban fell in 2001," he said. "The
United States and the United Kingdom in particular need to decide
whether they are with President Karzai and other reformers in Kabul or
with the warlords."
The abuses are being carried out by police working under senior
officials, including cabinet ministers and provincial governors, the
report claims. In some parts of the country, the atmosphere of
intimidation means that women are not leaving their homes and girls
are not going to school.
Safety Net - 28 Jul 03
Tens of thousands of workers in Bahrain could benefit under proposals
to expand the national social insurance scheme. Plans are under study
to expand the General Organisation of Social Insurance coverage to
include workers in companies which employ10 people or less. This would
bring all the country's non-government workers under the protection of
the Gosi umbrella.
IOJ asks PM to scrap HC fatwa order! - 29 Jul 03
A faction of Islami Oikya Jote, led by Moulana Azizul Haq, on Monday
submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia that carried a
plea for taking step to lift the ban on fatwa. Giving fatwa by clerics
having no legal authority has been proscribed by a High Court
judgement, at a time when incidents of unauthorised punishment of
women under such edicts increased alarmingly across the country.
Sources at the Prime Minister's Office said the IOJ leaders, while
handing over the memo to the PM at her office, argued that scrapping
of the judgement would help eradicate corruption.
[The Prime Minister] advised the leaders of the Islamic group, a
partner of the ruling coalition, to come up with specific allegations
of corruption and assured them of effective steps against specific
cases. The IOJ demands also included withdrawal of 'anti-Islamic'
books as well as those authored by Syed Abul Aala Moududi from the
list of textbooks for schools, colleges and madrasas. It also sought
withdrawal of 'false' cases against the party's leaders and activists,
filed during the Awami League regime, expansion of the 'learning
Quran' programme and involving the IOJ leaders in government
activities up to the grassroots level.
[Dr. John L. Esposito] Islam: Basic belief and practice - 01 Aug 03
Laws must be published before they are enforced - 27 Jul 03
New legislation will come into effect only after it is published,
rather than as soon as it has been issued. The legal guideline has
been set by the Federal Supreme Court in accordance with Islamic
Sharia, as well as the UAE's general constitutional rules and
international law. Originally, decisions took effect once they were
issued, but now all bodies and parties concerned must be made aware of
any changes. Any newly-established legislation must be published in
local newspapers and announced in the media to give every opportunity
for the authorities and the public to be informed of their provisions
and texts. Laws shall not be enforced in retrospect, and people shall
be informed first before being asked to adhere to them.
88,000 Mosques, One Sermon - 31 Jul 03
The same official sermon will be delivered in 88,000 mosques across
Egypt from this week. The government move is a part of extensive new
censorship, and penalization for mosques and preachers that do not toe
the official line.
As of Friday this week, no preacher will be free to deliver his own
sermon, according to a statement from the Awaqaf (religious
endowments) ministry. Friday is the holy congregation day at mosques
when preachers give their views on religious and political issues.
The sermon will now be written and distributed by officials from the
regime of President Hosni Mubarak. The regime has been fighting
Islamic groups trying to topple his secular pro-Western rule for the
past 15 years.
"Preachers who do not stick to the text (provided every Friday) would
be deprived of bonuses and will be subject to an investigation by the
legal affairs department at the ministry," according to the statement
from the Awaqaf ministry. The plan also provides for removing
independent preachers and replacing them with imams paid for and
appointed by the regime. Preachers at all newly appropriated mosques
will be asked to attend state-run religious indoctrination courses.
Preachers will only be appointed after clearing an examination and
passing a security test.
[President Mubarak] has been working particularly to control all
Islamic outlets including the prestigious al-Azhar University,
originally a bastion of Islamic learning. The President appoints the
Grand Imam of al-Azhar usually from the pro- government ranks of the
preachers. The deans of Islamic colleges are handpicked by the
government on the recommendations of the security apparatus.
State-controlled media has reduced its religious programming to less
than five percent. The shows that remain are devoted to non-political
issues like the pilgrimage to Mecca, fasting during the holy month of
Ramadan, and personal matters.
some critics say that confining the space for religious freedom could
backfire as it may drive people into the arms of non-official
religious groups. Critics say also that the government needs to take
the deteriorating economic situation into account in order to fight
extremism. Young men turn to violence not because they go to mosques
but due to official atrocities and the poor economy.
President Jammeh's July 22nd Speech Causes More Confusion
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280644.html - 28 Jul 03
.. [The Independent - Banjul]
Turning to the controversy over the use of the veil in some Christian
mission schools, which he alluded to in his speech, rather than
resolving the issue, he seems to have provoked more controversy and
confusion. By imposing a blanket ban on the use of the veil in the
schools by next September, he has caused more confusion amongst the
people. He seems to have either forgotten or disregarded the fact that
there already exist schools where the veil is part of their uniform.
Even though The Gambia is supposed to be a secular state, but since
the assumption of power by the AFPRC/APRC administration, the regime
has become too much involved in religious affairs. They started with
the construction of a mosque at State House; the most important symbol
of the state, culminating in the appointment of a religious affairs
ministry, the construction of mosques in all public institutions and
the inscription of Quranic verses on all public buildings. In
addition, President Jammeh and some members of his cabinet also always
begin their official speeches with recitations from the Quran. All
that certainly makes a complete mockery of the secularity of the
On the veil issue, it was quite wrong for the government to issue a
press release in May instructing the acceptance of the veil in all
schools in the country, only for President Jammeh to now turn around
and ban its use in September. This is yet another clear manifestation
of the inconsistencies and contradictions that have become the
hallmarks of this regime. It is wrong for him to say one thing to day
only to contradict it a few days later. It is not even within his
purview or that of the government to determine what type of uniforms
students in private schools should put on. That is the sole
prerogative of the school administrators and proprietors to determine.
It was even wrong in the first place for the government to issue that
press release without even consulting with the proprietors of the
What's a uniform civil code? - 28 Jul 03
Divorced women lost in common code din - 27 Jul 03
The Supreme Court's advice to the government on Wednesday to explore
possibilities of enforcing a uniform civil code has rekindled a debate
on the continuation of personal laws in civil matters like marriage,
divorce and inheritance. But in the din, the focus on one of the most
neglected sections of society divorced Muslim women has been lost
It has been 17 years since the Rajiv Gandhi government passed the
controversial Muslim Woman Protection Bill in 1986 to overturn the
apex court's judgment in the Shah Bano case, in which the court
granted her maintenance.
The act was passed after Muslim leaders, mainly the All India Muslim
Personal Law Board, convinced Rajiv that Islamic laws did not permit
former husbands to pay maintenance beyond iddat, the three-month
period after divorce.
The act said cash-rich state Waqf boards would provide maintenance if
Muslim divorced women were unable to sustain themselves. But till
date, not a single woman has succeeded in getting Rs 500 a month as
maintenance as envisaged by the act.
The destitute women failed to get monetary support because successive
regimes at the Centre never got time to amend the Waqf act to make the
new law operational. The Union ministry of social justice and
empowerment, which has a supervisory role over the Central Waqf
Council and state Waqf boards, somehow never got time or the political
will to direct the state boards to ensure implementation of the law.
The law board, never short of raising issues like Ayodhya, privately
admitted that women were in a legal limbo since the Shah Bano case but
sought to blame the "social conditions" by saying that even the
so-called liberal sections were indifferent. "That is our argument for
the reforms from within. Mere enactment of laws would not change
things. The society per se must be ready for reforms," a board member
said. Meanwhile, the agony of the likes of Shah Bano continues.
M.J. Akbar: How personal do Indian Muslims feel about the law?
.. - 28 Jul 03
Who said Indian Muslims must "reinterpret the foundational legal
principles in the light of their own experience and the altered
conditions of modern life"? Not the Supreme Court of India, or the
prime Minister or the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The answer might shock some of the hardliners who have become
self-appointed arbiters of the destiny of Indian Muslims. This was the
view of a philosopher-poet, a knight who stirred Muslims as no one
before had done and presided over the Allahabad session of the All
India Muslim League in 1930 where he proposed that "Punjab, North-West
Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan be amalgamated into a single
state". No one would call Sir Mohammed Iqbal a kafir. When he died in
Lahore on April 21, 1938 he was honoured with a tomb in the compound
of the famous Badshahi mosque built by Aurangzeb. It is a myth that
Islamic law is not amenable to re-interpretation.
Islamic law is based on the injunctions of the Holy Quran, and the
practice of the Prophet (PBUH), who was both a messenger of Allah and
a ruler of men. But this canon has been subject to seven yardsticks:
Ijma (consensus), Ijtihad (judgement), Qiyas (analogy), Istihsan
(equity), Istislal (public interest), Urf (custom) and Istidal (legal
reasoning). Each of these is a parameter of change, without sacrifice
of any basic principle.
The social purpose of law is to curb the evil, not torture the
individual. This is not the way the All-India Muslim Personal Law
Board, which has become the first and last word in Muslim affairs,
sees either law or life.
It gave to itself veto rights on Islamic law; its continual slogan was
"Islam is in danger!"; and its mission was to herd an insecure
community into a vote bank that it would deliver to those who were
ready to recognise its sole spokesman role for the Indian Muslim
Its attitude towards social reform is best summed by the position it
took on family planning. Political parties ideologically close to the
Board supported the imposition of the Emergency by Indira Gandhi in
But what might be called the "Muslim Parivar" changed tack when Indira
Gandhi used the Emergency to push some overdue social programmes like
family planning. At an extraordinary meeting held on April 17-18,
1976, the Board declared that sterilisation was haram or prohibited.
In all matters of family law the Board has taken a male-oriented view.
Its most dramatic success was the blackmail of an inexperienced Rajiv
Gandhi over the Supreme Court decision in the Shah Bano case.
The Board mobilised Muslims and forced Rajiv Gandhi to deny a poor,
ageing divorcee minimal maintenance from her estranged husband.
It seems if only Muslims women were thieves, the Board would have
demanded their hands be cut off. However, the Board has not suggested
that Muslim thieves should be awarded the Quranic punishment,
irrespective of how Indian law treats non-Muslim thieves. It accepts
reform for thieves, but not for divorcees.
A great tragedy of Indian democracy has been the manner in which
secular parties have insulted Indian Muslims by handing them over to
mullahs. It is a travesty to treat Indian Muslims as single-dimension
voters. As in so much else, this was first done by the Congress; but
the non-Congress parties have been no better. The Personal Law Board
became a serious political player after Shah Bano.
[Haryana] SC upholds two-child norm - 31 Jul 03
The Supreme Court today upheld a Haryana Government law prohibiting a
person from contesting or holding the post of 'sarpanch' or 'panch' in
the panchayat [village counsel] institutions in the State if he/she
had more than two children. A three-Judge Bench, comprising Justice
R.C. Lahoti, Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice Arun Kumar, observed that
"disqualification on the right to contest an election for having more
than two living children does not contravene any fundamental right nor
does it cross the limits of reasonability. Rather, it is a
disqualification conceptually devised in the national interest".
On the contention that the provision was against the Muslim personal
law, which permitted marrying four women, the Bench said the "personal
law nowhere mandates or dictates it as a duty to perform four
Further, the freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution (freedom to
profess and practise one's religion) "is subject of public order,
morality and health. The Articles itself permits legislation in the
interest of social welfare and reforms, which are part of public
order, national morality and collective health of the nation's
The judges said that "no religious scripture or authority has been
brought to our notice which provides that marrying less than four
women or abstaining from procreating a child from each and every wife
in the case of permitted bigamy or polygamy would be irreligious or
offensive to the dictates of the religion".
Second opinion: Our perception of Indian Muslims - 29 Jul 03
ARY (3 July 2003) interviewed a member of the Indian Muslim Personal
Law Board who happened to be a Shia scholar. The interviewer was
clueless and presumed that in India the Muslims had no rights under
personal law. The guest explained with great patience that in India
the Muslims lived under the Muslim Personal Law and that an effort to
impose a "uniform code" had failed earlier.
The ignorance of the host about Muslim Personal Law in India was
unforgivable. While the Uniform Code has been rejected, there is a
growing number of progressive Muslims who think that their community
would benefit from it. Property laws pertaining to Muslim women remain
backward in India after Nehru in 1956 gave full rights to Hindu women
who had none earlier under the Shastras.
Finally it was the Indian Muslim leader's assessment of the Muslim
society that was important and supports Intizar Hussain's assertion
that a truly Islamic society was growing up only in India. He
pointedly added that in India there was no Shia-Sunni trouble as in
Pakistan. He could have added that no Indian Muslim has been caught
doing international terrorism. Indian Muslim man of letters Al-e-Ahmad
Saroor used to insult anyone who asked him about the plight of Muslims
in India. He did it especially because he felt betrayed by what the
"pure" homeland of the Muslims, Pakistan, was doing to itself after
its birth in 1947.
'Most Indonesian Muslims reject Islamic law' - 31 Jul 03
Any talk about an Islamic state, [Mr Badrus Sholeh] added, invariably
brings to mind the issue of the hudud, a part of the syariah law that
prescribes stoning for adulterers and the amputation of limbs for
thieves, as applied in the Middle East.
'Indonesian Muslims generally reject the enforcement of the syariah
law based on the Middle Eastern model.' They have reservations over
the hudud as there is no consensus among Muslim theologians about
certain punishments under the religious penal code, he said.
He believes the hudud, as practised in the Middle East, is based on
the interpretation of Ibn Taimiyah, the 13th century Muslim scholar
from Arabia, and to a certain extent, the ideas of Maududi, the 20th
century Muslim thinker from Pakistan. 'We should differentiate between
what is syariah and what is Middle Eastern culture,' he said.
Stressing that many Indonesian Muslims did not support the hudud, he
recalled that local Muslims were afraid when the radical Islamic group
Laskar Jihad stoned an adulterer to death in Ambon in 2001. 'Local
Muslims saw it as an act of violence and of being inhuman,' he later
told The Straits Times.
MMI to push for sharia at congress [Jakarta Post] - 30 Jul 03
The Indonesian Mujahidin Assembly (MMI), an extremist Muslim group
headed by terror suspect Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, will convene its second
congress next month in an attempt to pursue the enforcement of Islamic
sharia law in the predominantly Muslim country.
The group was one of those behind demands the People's Consultative
Assembly (MPR) include the Jakarta Charter in the 1945 Constitution
during the Annual Session in 2002. Most MPR factions rejected
including Islamic law in the Constitution.
MMI chairman Irfan S. Awwas said on Tuesday that the upcoming congress
would focus on creating concrete programs to ensure sharia was
implemented in Indonesia. "We have made up our mind not to move a bit
from our ultimate goal of establishing Islamic law in the country,''
he told a news conference in Yogyakarta.
The three-day congress will be held from Aug. 10 to Aug. 12, 2003, in
the Central Java city of Surakarta. Its main agenda also includes
hearing Ba'asyir's accountability speech and to elect new members of
the MMI's Ahlul Hali wal-Aqdi (board of experts).
The Surakarta-based MMI was established in 2000 with the main
objective of establishing sharia in Indonesia, home to some 220
million people, more than 85 percent of whom are Muslims. The group
held its first congress in Yogyakarta and agreed that the first step
towards achieving its goal was to educate the public about Islamic
law. The education programs included organizing seminars and dialogs,
and publishing MMI's own version of the sharia-based constitution,
The MMI claims to have established 38 executive boards in regencies
and municipalities, and 10 others in provinces across the country,
namely West Nusa Tenggara, Bali, East Java, Central Java, West Java,
Jakarta, Yogyakarta, South Sumatra, North Sumatra and South Sulawesi.
Syariah investment seen rising in RI - 28 Jul 03
Islamic syariah investment, which was initially thought to be
"complicated", has now created a new market in the country, led by
rising demand for alternative investment options and the anticipation
of "hot money" inflow from the Middle East. This year, syariah
investment portfolios in the form of bonds, mutual funds and stocks is
estimated to grow by more than 150 percent to around Rp 4 trillion (US
$470 million) from just Rp 500 billion last year, said syariah expert
Adiwarman Karim of Karim Business Consulting.
Karim gave an example of syariah bonds, of which their yield would be
decided based on the revenue obtained by the companies issuing the
bonds; if the companies failed to book profits, then investors would
not receive any yield. Under such a system, he said, only high-profile
companies could issue syariah bonds since they had a reliable profit
According to the National Syariah Council, out of the 333 companies
listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange, only 59 are forbidden under
syariah. Another factor that has prompted the rise in syariah
investment here is the inflow of money from the Middle East, as most
Arab sheiks had avoided parking their money in the United States after
the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Karim said this "hot money" was
currently stored in Europe, but now the sheiks were moving them to
Malaysia and Singapore. The two countries had the appropriate
infrastructure for making syariah investments while providing higher
yields than European assets, he said.
Karim said most of the capital had not entered Indonesia due to the
lack of reliable syariah investment infrastructure. But foreign-based
financial institutions such as HSBC and ABN Amro are now gearing up to
take advantage of the business opportunity. Chief executive officer of
HSBC Asia-Pacific Aman Mehta said that HSBC Indonesia would soon
launch its syariah investment services by establishing a new syariah
Uday, Qusay should be given full Muslim funeral: Cleric - 26 Jul 03
The detested sons of Saddam, killed by US forces in a shootout in the
northern town of Mosul on Tuesday, have the right to be buried
according to Islamic ritual, whatever crimes they may have committed
in their lifetimes, according to Ayatollah Bashir Hussein al-Najafi.
The Ayatollah, one of the four leading Shiite religious authorities in
Iraq, believes "anyone who professes to be a Muslim must be buried
with Islamic ritual, whether they are innocent or a criminal," the
Ayatollah's son, Ali Bashir al-Najafi, told AFP in Najaf, south of
Baghdad, on Friday. "It is a proof of the greatness of Islam and of
its spirit of justice," Najafi added.
[Najaf] New female judge blocked in Najaf - 30 Jul 03
A group of angry protesters scuttled a quiet, cake-and-coffee
reception to honor Najaf lawyer Nadal Nasser Hussein, who was to be
sworn in Wednesday as the first female judge the city has ever had.
Around 40 men, most of them lawyers at the courthouse and some
clutching a copy of a June 5 religious decree, chanted "No woman
judge" in English outside a paneled conference room. Nadal, 44, sat
impassively inside, ringed by judges, her would-be colleagues. She has
seen this before. It will pass, she says.
Sestani is Najaf's grand ayatollah and his opinion has great weight.
He issued a fatwa - or decree -- on June 5 declaring that alcohol in
perfume does not violate the law against drinking. He also said only
men can be judges because the job requires not just intellect and
sanity, but also masculinity.
"That's wrong, Islam doesn't say 'the prophet says no women judges,' "
Nadal says through an interpreter, another female lawyer named Rahab
Mahmoud, 33. Both women are fully covered in black cloaks and colorful
scarves, but they eschew the head to toe abaya worn by most religious
"We're going to postpone it for now," says Lt. Col. Christopher
Conlin, commander of the 1st Battalion 7th Marines. Conlin has been
huddling with the chief justice and several lawyers and judges. He
crosses the room to Nadal and pulls up a chair for Spc. Rachel Roe,
29, the apple-cheeked Harvard-educated, Arabic-speaking Wisconsin
lawyer who has overseen the resurrection of the criminal courts.
There are thousands of widows and children in the city whose cases
would be better made before a female judge, but no one will be
required to appear before Nadal. In Iraq, attorneys can shop their
case to any judge they think will be friendly.
But as Conlin has learned from three months working here, Shiism
asserts itself in unexpected ways. No one objected when a woman was
appointed to the city council. No one batted an eye at the school
board elections that were run by a Shiite woman. Moreover, the chief
justice of Najaf was Nadal's first employer and he supported her
appointment, as did about a dozen of the 29 judges in the city. There
are 12 open judgeships, vacated by Baath Party members who have fled
Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein prohibited women from entering the
judicial institute - a requirement for judges - in 1980, but there
were already women judges at work then. There have been none since, at
least until now. All of Saddam's dictates have been cancelled, and the
U.S.-backed Coalition Provisional Authority will open the judicial
institute again next month in Baghdad. Women will be included in the
first class, Roe said.
[Conlin] will talk to the city council and to the clerics, and see if
he can get Sestani to clarify or change his fatwa. Sestani makes a
habit of keeping out of municipal affairs that do not directly involve
the mosque, and Conlin suspects - or hopes - he may have been only
addressing the requirements of being a judge in Islamic religious
courts, not the city courts. "There are some real requirements to
having a woman judge," he says. "It's a predominant issue. ... we
simply have to address some concerns."
"You know, they are now using a word they've never used before," she
muses. "'Judge,' with a feminine ending. 'Khadiya,' instead of
'Khadi.' I don't know everything about Arabic, but I've never heard
that word before."
A follower had asked the grand ayatollah [Sistani] two written
questions - whether perfume was permissible to wear, given its alcohol
content, and whether women could be judges. Although Islam forbids
drinking alcohol, wearing perfume is fine, the grand ayatollah ruled,
and as for judges, they had to be mature, sane and masculine.
Another fatwa was issued by Sheik Moktada al-Sadr, whose decisions
carry virtually no theocratic weight because he is a 30-year-old
seminary student. But he commands a mass popular following because of
love for his late father, an ayatollah who opposed Saddam Hussein and
was assassinated. The young sheik wrote that filing a case before the
female judge was forbidden.
"This will cause big, big problems in all governorates, in all
cities," said Iltifad Abdul Sadeh, one of the female lawyers opposed
to the idea. "It will lead to confrontations." She then got into a
brief spat with Ms. Hussein about the basis on which Islam bars women
from being judges. It is not in the Koran, religious officials say,
but it is mentioned among the sayings of Muhammad, which some consider
open to interpretation.
[Dawa] Political activism emerges en masse - 30 Jul 03
"All our lives we lived without democracy but now there are many
parties, from us communists to the Islamists who want to install
Shariah law." The Islamic Dawa party is one such group. Its banner,
strung out at its offices in the former Culture Ministry's youth club,
reads: "The will of Allah rules." "We hope to have a Shariah law,"
said a spokesman who declined to be named yesterday, admitting that
such a move would see Iraq's recent political flowering wither.
"There won't be any political parties when we have Shariah," he said.
"It's not that Islam is against democracy, it's just that it is
different here than in the West."
Islamists forced to retake constitutional oath at the parliament
.. - 29 Jul 03
Islamic parliamentarians at the Jordanian parliament were obliged
yesterday to retake their constitutional oath, after an arbitrary
judicial council approved a decision that the oath they took upon the
convening the first session of the parliament and related their
loyalty to the King and the homeland by "obedience to the God and his
prophet" was not constitutional.
Malaysia to ban divorce via SMS - 31 Jul 03
Malaysia plans to outlaw divorce via mobile phone text messaging
after a row erupted over an Islamic court ruling that it was
acceptable, local media reported Thursday.
[the New Straits Times] said the government planned to pass new laws
to prevent divorce pronouncements through SMS and other electronic
media such as email and fax.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3112151.stm - 31 Jul 03
The government says it will consider increasing the fines and jail
sentences for men who pronounce the talak - or declaration of divorce
- by electronic means, such as e-mail, fax or text message. Men who
declare divorce outside a court already face up to three years in
jail. .. just over half of Malaysians are also Muslims and bound by
Islamic sharia law, rooted in scriptures 1,400 years old.
Non-Muslims not spared punishment - 01 Aug 03
Disciplinary action can be taken against non-Muslim civil servants
caught for khalwat and adultery with their Muslim partners. While
penalties for the latter come under the jurisdiction of the syariah
courts, non-Muslim civil servants could face the music from
disciplinary boards, headed by the State secretary in each State, for
tarnishing the good image of the civil service.
Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Jamaluddin Ahmad
Damanhuri said action could be taken against them for contravening the
Aku Janji pledge. "It is not to humiliate or punish them but as a
lesson so that they do not repeat the mistake," he said after the
Eighth Conference on Public Service Commission here today.
He had been asked whether action could be taken against non-Muslim
civil servants for offences under the syariah with their Muslim
partners. Since last June, Muslims convicted of any offence by the
Syariah Court have to also face the disciplinary board.
Demography makes talk of syariah academic: PAS - 31 Jul 03
Demography makes talk of imposing Islamic law 'academic' because only
57 per cent of Malaysians are Muslims, said Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad,
director of the PAS Research Centre in Kuala Lumpur. The votes of the
substantial minority mean their wishes have to be taken into
consideration. However, Muslims are expected to form more than 70 per
cent of the population by 2020, he told The Straits Times in an
interview after a seminar on Monday.
He said taking account of Malaysia's demographic realities and its
federal system of government, PAS has a two-tier strategy for the next
general election, expected by early next year: It will fight for Islam
in states where 'citizens clamour for it' and for democracy at the
He outlined the strategy in the interview and at the seminar on the
Islamic state in Indonesia and Malaysia, organised by the Institute of
South-east Asian Studies. Speaking of the PAS-controlled states of
Kelantan and Terengganu, he said implementing syariah there would
prove that Islam is 'compatible with 21st-century democracy'. The two
states have enacted hudud laws which allow for the hands of thieves to
be chopped off and adulterers to be stoned to death.
(Radio) Contest runs contrary to Islam, says minister - 29 Jul 03
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid
Zainal Abidin has voiced regrets that a private English radio station
is airing a contest that is contrary to Islam. The contest which
posed the question "If you could be a God, what would you do?" strayed
from Islamic convictions as it equated man with God, he said.
"Although the question is hypothetical, it cannot be trivialised as we
cannot equate ourselves with God Almighty even as a joke," he told
reporters yesterday after presenting designs of the dais for the 45th
International Quran recital competition here.
"If the contest is still being held, I would ask that it be stopped
immediately," he said when commenting on the contest which was held as
a run-up to the screening of 'Bruce Almighty' in cinemas.
Abdul Hamid said the Film Censorship Board should refer to the Islamic
Affairs Department over the film in which a man was given the power to
be God for a week. "It's not appropriate to show the film in this
country. I don't know how far the Film Censorship Board has taken
action," he said.
King of Morocco outlaws Islamic parties on fourth anniversary of reign
.. - 01 Aug 03
King Mohammed of Morocco has declared that Islamic parties will be
banned, insisting he is the North African country's only
representative of Islam.
Parties with a "religious, ethnic or regional base" would be outlawed,
he said on Wednesday. "No one can use Islam as a trampoline to power
in the name of religion, or to perpetrate terrorist acts," he said.
Trials resumed nationwide yesterday of hundreds of suspected Islamic
fundamentalists terrorists, including many not linked with the
attacks. The King said that he would rush a law through parliament to
ban "parties or groups claiming to monopolise Islam". The measure
[would] close down the Justice and Development Party, a moderate
Islamic party opposed to violence, which has become the country's
third strongest party.
IFJ Demands That 'Fatwa' On Publisher And Journalist Be Cancelled
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307310030.html - 30 Jul 03
The International Federation of Journalists today condemned a recent
affirmation of a "fatwa" (death sentence) issued by a Committee of the
Jama'atul Nasril Islam (JNI), against two Nigerian journalists in the
northern State of Kaduna.
On July 21, the JNI Secretary-General, Justice Abdulkadir Orire,
included the "fatwa" in the publication of its yearly report. The
"fatwa" on Nduka Obiagbena, a publisher for ThisDay, and Isioma
Daniel, a former reporter for ThisDay, stands as a continuation of an
initial "fatwa" on Daniel subsequent to a controversial article she
published on November 16, 2002.
Shari'ah body urges government to suspend use of oral polio vaccine
.. [Daily Trust website] - 28 Jul 03
The Supreme Council for Shari'ah in Nigeria (SCSN) has called on the
federal government to immediately suspend the use of oral polio
vaccine because of evidence that it contained anti-fertility agents.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna on several national issues on
Saturday, SCSN president, Dr Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, said the vaccination
should be suspended until it is fully investigated by the competent
authorities and found to be safe.
He said investigations by the SCSN shows that the government of the
United States government has as a national policy promoted the
depopulation of Third World and Muslim countries since 1975 and that
recently declassified US documents showed that the World Health
Organization (WHO) had introduced human chorionic genadotropin (HCG),
a naturally occurring hormone essential for maintaining pregnancy in
women, through massive anti-tetanus health campaigns in Nicaragua,
Mexico, Philippines, Nigeria and Tanzania.
"Furthermore, WHO has been actively involved for more than 20 years in
the development of anti-fertility vaccines using HCG tied to tetanus
toxoid as a carrier," Dr Datti said adding that other agencies
collaborating with WHO in this regard are UN Fund for Population
Activities (UNFPA), UNPP, NIH and UNICEF, the World Bank and the
He said SCSN was not opposed to any programme for the eradication of
all childhood and other communicable diseases including polio, but
"the council harbours strong reservations on the safety of our
population not only because of our recent experience in the Pfizer
scandal, when our people were used as guinea pigs with the approval of
the federal ministry of health and the approval of all the relevant UN
He said statistics showed that only 140 cases of polio were recorded
since 2002, and that actual killers of Nigerian children were malaria,
measles, meningitis, cholera and typhoid but for unfathomable reasons
billions of naira and millions of dollars are spent on polio
[Kashmir] Thousands being recruited for 'jihad' - 28 Jul 03
Despite official pledges of action to stop militancy, the 'jihad'
movement in the country seems to be growing. This appears to be
especially true in the Punjab and also the NWFP, where it is said
"more people have linked up to jihadi forces in the post-Iraq war
scenario than at any other time in years."
"Jihad is spreading like wildfire in Pakistan," claims an official in
the country's Interior Ministry. He says that according to several
jihadi publications between January and June 2003, Islamic groups
recruited over 7,000 young boys aged between 18 and 25.
"Some of the largest separatist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claim to have recruited more than 3,350 and
2,235 boys respectively during this period," says the official.
Jihadi groups are finding the Pakistani environment particularly
receptive after the U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. They use
publications, web sites, local prayer leaders, cassettes, CDs, and
souvenirs like file covers, badges,T-shirts and so on to lure
Millions of pamphlets featuring ballads, speeches, interviews and
profiles of young jihadis are distributed free by these organisations.
For his part, Pakistan Interior Minister Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat
maintains, "The government is monitoring the activities of these
jihadi groups and will take stern action if it got any proof or
substantial evidence. But we cannot proceed against them without any
evidence. The government also can't ban them unless they are really
involved in anti-state activities."
Adds a senior Interior Ministry official, "We simply cannot penalise
people for donating their children for jihad or stop boys from joining
the jihadi outfits, as all this takes place secretly. There is no
Significantly, as the member of a prominent separatist group remarks,
"The vast majority of boys who join the radicals consist of runaways."
He says 60 per cent of them are high school dropouts. "People's
passions are stirred when the jihadis are presented as heroes of
Islam," says psychologist Dr Minhas.
In his Friday sermon at the Al-Raza mosque in the north town of
Rawalpindi, prayer leader Maulana Yousaf exhorts the assembly to
"Contact me if you want to donate your sons for Kashmir jihad." He
boasts, "My speeches have motivated hundreds of people to donate their
sons. I have raised an army of 300 holy warriors within four months."
[Punjab] Adult girls can opt for marriage of will: LHC - 28 Jul 03
The Lahore High Court Monday ruled that country's constitution does
not impose any bar on adult girls to marry according to their own
will. LHC Justice Raja Muhammad Sabir, who dismissed a "Hudood" case
against a couple recently made a love marriage, remarked that girls
could be stopped from taking rebellious steps if their will was
considered at the time of marriage.
[Punjab] PA rejects MMA bill making weddings at mosques compulsory
The Punjab Assembly (PA) on Thursday rejected a marriage bill
introduced by a Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) legislator that sought
to make compulsory the holding of nikah and barat ceremonies in
mosques. The Punjab Marriage Functions (Prohibition of Ostentatious
Displays and Wasteful Expense) Amendment Bill 2003 introduced by the
MMA's Ehsanullah Waqas also stated that if there were no mosque within
a reasonable distance, the ceremonies should be held at the house of
the bride. Punjab Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja opposed the
bill, saying the barat ceremony was "beneath a mosque's dignity". He
said there was nothing wrong with the nikah ceremony being held in a
mosque, but the government could not force the general public to host
marriage ceremonies in a mosque.
Deputy Speaker Sardar Shaukat Hussain Mazari forwarded two other bills
to standing committees and asked them to submit reports on them within
a month. Humaira Awais of the Millat Party introduced the Punjab
Prohibition of Private Money Lending Bill 2003. She said money lending
for the purpose of earning interest is prohibited under the Sharia. Ms
Awais said private moneylenders "loot" borrowers by charging them
compound interest rates and so it was necessary that the government
make rules to stop private money lending.
The house also rejected the Punjab Prohibition of Dangerous Kite
Flying Activities (Amendment) Bill 2003, introduced by Rubina Nazar
Sulehri. She stated that the government should allow kite-flying
during Basant every year. The law minister opposed the bill, saying
the Lahore district government ban on kite-flying should not be
Muslim Convert Butchered - 29 Jul 03
The man left his friends and family almost two weeks ago heading into
a mountainous region of the Palestinian Authority area. He took
Christian materials including cassettes, videos and Bibles with him.
After approximately ten days during which his friends and family
received no word from him, his body was returned to them. He had been
brutally killed and his body carved into four pieces as a warning to
other converts. He leaves behind a wife and two small children. The
names and further details of those involved are being withheld by
Barnabas Fund for their own safety.
Reforms in Saudi Arabia fail to placate US neo-conservatives
http://www.dawn.com/2003/07/30/int18.htm - 30 Jul 03
Bangladeshi Put on Trial for Screening Porn Movies - 23 Jul 03
A Shariah court in Alkhobar province is looking into the case of a
Bangladeshi national who turned an apartment into a mini theater for
pornographic movies for his fellow Bangladeshi workers. According to a
source following the case in court, the Commission for the Promotion
of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Alkhobar received information
that a foreigner,20, was screening pornographic movies to foreign
workers. The young man was charging SR 60 [EUR 14,-] to show a porn
movie in a large room in the furnished apartments of the firm that
employed him. The fee was shared between the viewers.
Mosque drama cleared by watchdogs - 31 Jul 03
A controversial episode of BBC spy drama Spooks which attracted nearly
1,000 complaints over its portrayal of Muslims was yesterday cleared
by TV watchdogs. Muslim leaders denounced the programme, which
featured a radical cleric who used a fictional Birmingham mosque as a
recruiting ground for suicide bombers. The episode, screened on BBC1
in June, became the most complained about programme of the year.
" The commission also acknowledged the concern felt by many British
Muslims at the excessive emphasis on the tiny minority advocating
violence in the name of Islam and the dearth of wider representations
of Muslims in broadcast output. " However the commission, whilst
expressing sympathy with the complainants' concerns, considered that
this programme had been clearly presented as a drama, rather than as a
[Internet] Your guide to Halal eating http://www.zabihah.com/
Islamic Finance: Sharia screening works to protect investors
[UK] Fyshe launches broking for Muslims - 28 Jul 03
Fyshe Group will today become the first stockbroking company to launch
an advisory broking service for Britain's 1.8m Muslims, adding to the
growing range of Sharia-compliant products being offered by financial
services companies. Fyshe Crestar, a subsidiary group, will advise
clients on whether or not well-known companies, such as AstraZeneca,
Shell, Johnson & Johnson and Volkswagen, adhere to Sharia investment
"Offering stockbroking services or mortgages to Muslims is just the
tip of the iceberg - the market is also demanding a whole range of
savings products. These have been available in the wholesale market
for some time, but only now are companies looking at how to deliver
them to the retail investor." Earlier this month HSBC became the first
high street bank to launch an Islamic mortgage.
Iqbal Asaria, chairman of the Business and Economics Committee of the
Muslim Council of Britain, welcomed the news: "Any new product or
service is welcome. Over 50 per cent of the Muslim community in the UK
is under 24 years old, so they are a lot of new consumers and
investors coming on the market.
Malaysia's first Gold Dinar available to public next week - 29 Jul 03
The Royal Mint of Malaysia has launched Malaysia's first Gold Dinar,
which will be available to the public next month in the ¼ and 1 Dinar
types, priced at RM 51 and RM 181. [EUR 12 - 41] .. The value of the
Dinar was minted to resemble those used during the reign of Caliph
Umar-Al-Khatab in Arab and would follow the market price of gold.
[Malaysia] BIMB plans RM400m financing via Wahdah - 26 Jul 03
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB) expects to extend RM 400 million [EUR
94 mill.] financing in the current financial year through its latest
product Wahdah. BIMB general manager for consumer banking Wan Ismail
Wan Jusoh said the amount is about 25 per cent of the total targeted
consumer financing for the financial year ending June 2004.
"Wahdah is a comprehensive consumer financing product designed to
lessen an individual's financial commitment and fulfil cash needs
through home refinancing," he told a new conference after the
launching of Wahdah by Second Finance Minister Datuk Dr Jamaludin
Jarjis in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
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