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Sharia News Watch 70

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 70 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 10, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 70 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/messsage/70

      The Sharia Newswatch provides a weekly update of news quotes on
      Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
      news- searchengines. All editions :
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/

      AFGHANISTAN

      Taliban reviving, recruiting in Afghanistan - 09 Sep 03
      http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=24528#compstory
      ..
      According to the report from Kandahar region of Afghanistan, students
      from religious seminaries across the border in the Pakistani province
      of Baluchistan have joined the war within Afghanistan, and are ready
      to take part in suicide missions, the report in The Telegraph said.
      The scarcity of reconstruction work in Afghanistan's southern regions,
      where people lack healthcare, education or even wells for drinking
      water, has boosted the Taliban's recruitment drive, the report said.
      While hundreds have already joined the fight, Taliban leaders claim
      that many more religious students from Pakistan are ready to go.

      BANGLADESH

      The politics of accommodation : Bangladesh experience - 04 Sep 03
      http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/publish/article_4562.shtml
      ..
      The ulama chiefly became unhappy over the AL[Awami League] government
      because of the cut down of grant to the madrashas (religious school).
      The people were highly critical of police overdoing in the National
      Mosque Baitul Mukarram, particularly Police entering the mosque with
      their boots on to arrest political opponents that took sanctuary
      within the mosque premise to evade arrest. At this time, six persons
      got killed in Brahmanbaria because of police firing on the peaceful
      procession of the ulama who were demonstrating against the court
      verdict to curtail their right to issue Fatwa. The ulama became
      furious at being the target of AL government vengeance when they were
      arrested and tortured for every bomb blast in the country, notably the
      Ramna Botomul, Udichi Jessore, Narayangonj and Kotlipara. The ulama
      also disliked pro-government media playing caricature with beard and
      cap, the symbol of Muslim identity that is highly regarded in the
      society.
      ..
      Political analysts believe that it is important that the present
      alliance between the nationalist and Islamic forces is maintained, for
      any setback of the alliance will bring AL to power which is thoroughly
      secular and widely suspected for its link with India.

      EGYPT

      Muslim writer: Jerusalem not sacred - 04 Sep 03
      http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34411
      [Official Egyptian weekly reinterprets Muhammad's 'Night Journey']

      Egypt TV 'bans veiled presenters' - 06 Sep 03
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3087220.stm
      ..
      The issue of Islamic dress code has long been controversial in Egypt
      and now the conflict is taking place against a quietly changing social
      landscape in Egypt with more and more professional women deciding to
      wear the veil. The presenters say they are being denied the right to
      choose and nothing in their contract with the state broadcaster bans
      them from wearing the veil. Strictly speaking what they wear is not a
      veil, but a headscarf that covers their hair.

      Al-Azhar on air - 09 Sep 03
      http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2003/654/eg3.htm
      ..
      Al-Azhar University is studying the possibility of launching a new
      religious satellite channel sometime in the near future. .. The idea
      for the new channel seems to fit snugly into the framework of
      increased government interest in promoting a modern and tolerant
      Islamic discourse, as well as controlling messages conveyed through
      religious channels. .. According to Cairo University mass
      communications professor Safwat El-Alem, there are already too many
      government-owned channels on air. Al-Azhar University, he suggested,
      should make use of existing satellite channels such as Nile TV and
      Al-Tanweer instead of launching into the business themselves.

      FRANCE

      First Muslim [private High] School Opens in France - 03 Sep 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=31314&d=3&m=9&y=2003
      ..
      The private Lycee Averroes, named after a prominent 12 th-century
      Islamic philosopher from Spain, welcomed a dozen teenagers - six boys
      and six girls - in its five-room premises above a mosque in the
      northern city of Lille. "Our teaching is in French, the teachers are
      all accredited, the program is the same as elsewhere, the class is
      co-ed and wearing the veil is allowed for girls but not obligatory,"
      said Makhlouf Mameche, deputy principal of the school. The school,
      which hopes to expand in coming years and is open to non-Muslims as
      well, is financed mostly by donations from the faithful "without any
      foreign support," he added.

      GHANA

      Sheikh Nuamah Chalks Another Feat - 02 Sep 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200309020860.html [Accra Mail - Accra]
      ..
      Sheikh Ishaak Nuamah is a popular TV personality whose Islamic
      evangelism especially on marriage counseling attracts audience from
      both great religions as manifested by callers into the programme. At
      the Teachers' Hall last Saturday he launched his video and audio
      cassettes on the vexed subject of marriage and how to sustain it.
      ..
      Sheikh Nuamah's work is a major departure from what can pass for a
      normal practice in the Islamic community especially, Accra and Kumasi
      where sermons and preaching are done in Hausa. His works on the video
      and audio cassettes are in Twi, a clear message about the universality
      of the Islamic religion.

      Hajj 2003: Kebbi Pilgrims to Undergo Screening - 29 Aug 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200308290848.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      ..
      This year's intending pilgrims in Kebbi State have to undergo series
      of screening to ascertain their knowledge on the performance of
      pilgrimage in the Holy Land. Governor Adamu Aliero who dropped the
      hint while receiving the report on the conduct of last year's hajj
      operation by the 2002 Hajj Committee at the Government House,
      Birnin-Kebbi, said henceforth all intending pilgrims from the state
      have to be enlightened on the conduct of the hajj. He added that in
      previous years there were reported cases of display of ignorance by
      the pilgrims. According to him, Islamic scholars would be recruited to
      educate pilgrims while in camp to achieve the desired objective.

      INDIA

      Court refuses to let Advani off the hook in Babri Mosque Case
      http://www.timespk.com/2003/september/02/top9.htm - 02 Sep 03
      ..
      India's Supreme Court Monday refused to stay proceedings against
      Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani and others accused of
      involvement in the demolition of a mosque [Ayodhya] in northern India
      [Uttar Pradesh], a report said. The court also issued notices to
      Advani, Human Resources Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi and
      federal detectives probing the controversial demolition, asking why
      they had sought to drop conspiracy charges in the case, an Indian news
      agency reported. Advani, Joshi and other Hindu hardliners are accused
      of inciting thousands of Hindu zealots to pull down the 16th century
      Babri mosque in 1992, saying it was built after a temple to their
      mythological warrior god Ram was destroyed.

      NC condemns J&K Govt's takeover of Muslim Auqaf Trust - 09 Sep 03
      http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_368678,0008.htm
      ..
      Strongly condemning the Jammu and Kashmir government's takeover of the
      Muslim Auqaf Trust, the National Conference, which controlled the
      body, on Tuesday described the move as "vindictive" and said it would
      fight this politically and legally. "We strongly condemn the
      vindictive action of the Mufti government. Attempts to harm the Muslim
      Auqaf Trust have been made in the past too but they have failed," an
      NC statement said in Srinagar.
      ..
      Mufti takes keys to trust in charge of key J&K shrines - 08 Sep 03
      http://www.indian-express.com/full_story.php?content_id=31228
      ..
      So far run by the National Conference, the [Muslim Auqaf Trust] owns
      properties worth crores across the Valley and wields considerable
      political clout because of its control over shrines like Hazratbal,
      always at the centrestage of Kashmir politics.

      INDONESIA

      Baashir gets four years in plot to overthrow government - 02 Sep 03
      http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2003
      &dt=0903&pub=Utusan_Express&sec=World&pg=wo_01.htm
      ..
      The alleged spiritual leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) regional
      terror network, Abu Bakar Baashir, was Tuesday sentenced to four years
      jail after the Jakarta Central Court found him guilty of taking part
      in a plot to topple the government of the world's most populous Muslim
      nation. .. The cleric had denied the charges, saying that the trial
      was carried out to satisfy the United States and other "infidel
      enemies" of Islam in an attempt to foil his struggle to introduce
      syariah in the country. He even denied that JI did exist at all,
      saying that the so-called clandestine organisation was the concoction
      of the US to go after him. The court also found him guilty of two
      immigration offences, by falsifying his presence in Indonesia when he
      was actually living in Malaysia between 1985 and 1999, and failure to
      report to the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur then.
      ..
      Obscure cleric who dreamed of regional Islamic rule - 03 Sep 03
      http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/02/1062403518268.html
      ..[The story of how Bashir rose from an obscure cleric to embody the
      militant Islamic movement in South-East Asia goes back to the 1970s].
      ..
      Indonesian court sentences Imam Samudra to death for Bali bombing
      http://www.iii.co.uk/shares/?type=news&articleid=4
      741384&action=article
      .. - 10 Sep 03
      An Indonesian court sentenced Islamic militant Imam Samudra to death
      for masterminding the Bali bombings which killed 202 people last
      October. "We sentence the defendant...to the death penalty," said
      chief judge Wayan Sugawa, saying Samudra had been proven guilty of all
      four charges against him.

      Radicalism atypical of Indonesian 'pesantren' - 05 Sep 03
      http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?
      fileid=20030905.B04&irec=3
      ..
      When questioned on the religious justification for their openness to
      outsiders - including non-Muslims - santri [Islamic boarding school-
      students] immediately refer to the Prophet Muhammad's saying, that
      whoever believes in God and in the hereafter must respect his guests.
      This prophetic saying (hadith) is a strong basis indeed for the
      santri's hospitality and does not limit such inclusion to Muslims
      only. A limitation applies only in terms of time - three days -
      whereby if a guest stays longer than this period, the host is not
      obliged to treat them specially.

      The teaching of "brotherhood" in santri - that is prevalent among
      members or followers of Nahdlatul Ulama, or NU, (literally "the
      resurgence of ulema") the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia -
      can also be referred to. The teaching advocates three levels of
      brotherhood that should be embraced in the pursuit of the peaceful
      coexistence of humankind. First is brotherhood among Muslims (ukhuwwah
      Islamiyah); second, brotherhood among people of the same nation
      (ukhuwwah wathoniyah), and third, brotherhood among all human beings
      (ukhuwwah basyariyah) - regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or
      nationality.
      ..
      One unique characteristic of moderate pesantren [Islamic boarding
      school], enabling them to produce tolerant and pluralistic people, is
      their balance in teaching Islamic legal aspects (fikih) and
      spirituality (sufism). This approach derives from the nine saints
      (wali songo) who spread Islam in Java. The spiritual dimension is
      probably what is missing from radical pesantren that prefer to stand
      in a binary position: Right-wrong, halal-haram, me-the other,
      heaven-hell, etc.

      [Drug Addiction] From Jungkies to Jihad - 02 Sep 03
      http://www.worldpress.org/Asia/1487.cfm
      ..
      Proactive movements have widespread public support, but all take a
      militant stance in managing what the authorities obviously cannot.
      GERAM (the People's Anti-Addiction Movement) is comprised of 400
      martial-arts fighters "ready to fight to the death in the jihad
      against drugs." GANAS (the Anti-Narcotics Movement) monitors court
      hearings and decorates the proceedings with antidrug banners. Both of
      these grass roots organisations take threatening acronyms for their
      names: GERAM means "furious" or "raging" and GANAS means "" cruel,"
      "wild," "savage," or "vicious." Much larger than GERAM or GANAS is
      GRANAT (the National Anti-Narcotics Movement), which in Indonesian
      means "grenade." GRANAT was founded by Henry Yosodiningrat, a former
      lawyer, who spent three years attempting to help his son overcome his
      addiction to putauw. When his attempts failed, Henry lashed out
      against dealers and suppliers as a one-man army. .. With thousands of
      volunteers, GRANAT searches out drug activity and sets up posts where
      residents can report suspicious activity.

      The most militant of all such vigilante groups are the Islamic groups.
      Fundamentalist Islamic forces claim the drug epidemic is caused by "an
      attack on freedom by the ideologies of the capitalist-secularist
      Western nations." In their view, drug dealers are greedy capitalists
      lusting after ever-increasing profits. But drug dealing also
      strategically weakens a generation of young Muslims. "With damaged
      lifestyles, bodies, minds, intellects, and with their social skills
      weakened, capitalist nations can easily enslave Muslim societies in
      the future." Any self-respecting Muslim, they claim, can not sit in
      silence and witness the destruction of the younger generation.
      ..
      the lack of political will and the general state of social breakdown
      lead to such a proliferation of excesses: emotional responses and
      violence on the one hand and helplessness, silence, and prayer on the
      other. Public dialogues emphasize the problems, never the solutions.

      'Regional autonomy on the wrong track' - 10 Sep 03
      http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?
      fileid=20030910.A01&irec=1
      ..
      The implementation of regional autonomy has turned both provincial and
      regental legislatures into oligarchic entities eager to fight for
      their own interests, a survey says. A five-year survey chaired by
      noted sociologist Daniel Sparringa [Airlangga University, Surabaya]
      showed that local legislatures were also prone to anarchy. "There are
      five big groups of people's perceptions to regional councillors,"
      Daniel Sparingga said on the sidelines of the VIII National Congress
      of Science 2003.
      ..
      Another image was that regional councillors in most cases were
      becoming free-floating elite as they were not attached to the
      community they were supposed to represent. "They become insensitive
      and careless with many real problems faced by the people in their
      regions." He also said that local councillors were prone to becoming
      "moral brokers" as they were forcing certain value among the people,
      although the values were not wanted by the community. As an example,
      he mentioned the tendency of some regional councillors to close
      amusement places during the fasting month and establishing sharia law.

      IRAN

      Towards an Understanding of the Shiite Authoritative Sources - 10 Sep
      http://www.islam-online.net/English/artculture/2003/09/article03.shtml

      IRAQ

      USIP rapport : Islamist Politics in Iraq after Saddam Hussein
      http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr108.html - Aug 03

      In Iraq, women fight a separate war for freedom - 09 Sep 03
      http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/world/6728062.htm

      [Badr] Once-outlawed group patrols Iraqi holy city - 07 Sep 03
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=41485444
      .. [The Columbian]
      Militiamen carrying assault rifles and wearing arm bands of a
      once-outlawed Islamic group patrolled in the holy city of Najaf on
      Saturday, a week after a key Shiite cleric was killed in a bombing
      followers blamed on the failure of U.S. security efforts. In a major
      if temporary policy shift, the top U.S. civilian administrator in
      Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, said the armed Iraqis have the blessing of the
      American occupation force. .. most of the armed men in Najaf wore
      black arm bands emblazoned with the word "Badr" identifying them as
      members of the Shiite Badr Brigade Militia [Supreme Council for the
      Islamic Revolution in Iraq].

      Al Azhar Fatwa regarding council ''shameful'', politically motivated
      http://www.albawaba.com/news/index.php3?sid=257322
      .. - 28 Aug 03
      Iraqi parties blasted al Azhar - Islam's most revered authority - at
      the backdrop of its Fatwa (religious ruling) banning Arab and Islamic
      countries from dealing with the Iraqi Governing Council, calling the
      US- backed body illegitimate. The Iraqi parties have also rejected the
      decree from the Arab-world's highest-ranking Sunni Muslim institution,
      describing it as a "shame". They suggested that it would be more
      useful for al Azhar not to indulge in political issues that concerned
      Iraqis.

      Ansar Media: Mala Krekar is sacked by Ansar Al- Islam -10 Sep 03
      http://www.kurdmedia.com/news.asp?id=4271
      ..
      Mala Krekar , the founder of the Islamic extremist group, Ansar
      Al-Islam has been dismissed from the group, an Ansar Al-Islam media
      chief announced. The news was announced on one of Ansar Al-Islams
      websites on 8th of September 2003. The announcement is dated to 15th
      of August 2003.

      The announcement says that Mala Krekar publishes from time to time,
      declarations and meetings in the media under the name leader of Ansar
      al-Islam. These comments contained faults to the Sharia law,
      infidelity comments and directions which opposed the prospects and the
      program of Ansar Al-Islam. The alleged announcement confirms that the
      members of Ansar Islam Shura have signed on the sacking of Mala Krekar
      in the end of the second month (February) of 2003. The announcement
      continues and says that the reason for this action is because Krekar
      has violated the agreed terms such as, not publishing any declarations
      to the media. .. It is not known whether this is a trick by Ansar
      Islam to release pressure on Krekar in Norway or a serious matter.

      ISRAEL

      Israel must end its policy of closures and restriction of movement
      http://news.amnesty.org/mavp/news.nsf/VwDocid/26FC
      810647A7ED1B80256D810045F098
      .. - 08 Sep 03
      "Israel must put an end to the imposition of disproportionate and
      discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians' movement in the Occupied
      Territories which have crippled the Palestinian economy and caused
      widespread poverty, unemployment and increasing health problems,"
      Amnesty International said in a report published today. Closures,
      blockades, checkpoints, curfews and a barrage of other restrictions
      imposed by the Israeli army on Palestinians have made even short
      journeys between towns and villages difficult, dangerous and often
      impossible - effectively confining some three and a half million
      Palestinians to a form of town arrest.

      The report Surviving under siege - The impact of movement restrictions
      on the right to work, examines the impact of these restrictions :
      http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE150642003 [summary]
      http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE150012003 [rapport]

      Board criticizes treatment of Arab Israelis in 2000 protest - 02 Sep
      http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/ny-w
      omide023438218sep02,0,1122239.story
      ..
      An Israeli commission has found the government and police guilty of
      negligence and brutality during Arab Israeli protests that left 14
      people dead in October 2000.
      ..
      In the report, the panel of two judges and an academic criticized the
      prime minister in 2000, Ehud Barak, and his public security minister.
      It said: "The state and its various governments failed in dealing with
      ... the problems of a large [Arab] minority within the Jewish
      majority. The government treatment of the Arab sector was
      characterized by prejudice and neglect." The panel said Sharon must
      improve the lives of Israel's Arabs through more equal budgetary
      allocations for education, housing and job creation.

      MALAYSIA

      At The Dewan Rakyat Yesterday: No out-of-court divorce - 04 Sep 03
      http://www.emedia.com.my/Current_News/NST/Thursday
      /National/20030904075243/Article/
      ..
      The Government has directed all religious departments to prosecute
      Muslim men who divorce their wives outside the court, including via
      the short messaging service. Only after action was taken could the
      divorce certification (surat cerai) be issued, said Parliamentary
      Secretary in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Noh Omar. He said
      the days when husbands were able to get away scot-free after divorcing
      their wives without per-mission of the court were over.
      ..
      Those found guilty can be fined a maximum of RM 1,000 [EUR 235,-] or
      six months' jail, or both, as provided under the Islamic Family Law.
      Noh said the decision to prosecute was reached at a meeting last month
      between the Islamic Development Department and Syariah Judiciary
      Department following an outcry after a syariah court affirmed a
      divorce declaration made via the SMS. Asked when the directive would
      be enforced, he said it would be applicable to couples wanting to
      certify their divorce which had been made out of court.

      Syariah Advisory Council For Uniform Views On Takaful And Islamic
      http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news.php?id=14090 - 02 Sep 03
      ..
      The setting up of a Syariah Advisory Council as the sole adviser on
      issues relating to the Islamic or Syariah Law is important to ensure
      uniform views on Takaful and Islamic banking sector.
      ..
      The council would be the highest authority on the Syariah Law,
      advising not only the Central Bank but also all Islamic banking
      institutions in the country, he said.

      Earlier when tabling the amendment bill in the Dewan Rakyat, [Finance
      Ministry Parliamentary Secretary] Hashim said the setting up of the
      council would further streamline the Syariah and legal framework for
      the Islamic financing and banking sector as well as expanding the
      scope of Central Bank's activities. In addition, he said the Central
      Bank would also be empowered to issue written instructions to
      financial institutions on issues relating to the Syariah Law after
      referring them to the council.

      Ex-Terengganu police chief defends the force - 07 Sep 03
      http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/9/
      7/nation/6225787&sec=nation
      ..
      Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Othman Talib has defended the
      police force following an accusation by the Terengganu Mentri Besar
      Datuk Hadi Awang.
      ..
      Othman said he regretted that the PAS state government was still
      nursing a grudge against Terengganu police for not co-operating in the
      enforcing of the Hudud and Qisas bill passed in the state assembly in
      July last year. He said the police could not enforce a law which was
      believed to be ultra vires the Federal Constitution. "They (state
      government) have yet to gazette the Hudud and Qisas which means that
      the two are not laws yet," he said.
      ..
      Othman, who was Terengganu Chief Police Officer for 18 months, said:
      "Instead of splitting hairs on whether Hudud is legal or not, let
      someone take the case to the Federal Court to see whether it is ultra
      vires the Federal Constitution."

      Benchmark: When non-Muslims are affected by syariah courts
      http://www.emedia.com.my/Current_News/NST/Thursday
      /Columns/20030904075726/Article/
      .. - 03 Sep 03
      Another conflict of the law following conversion, is that under
      Islamic Law the wife who did not convert to Islam is not entitled to
      inherit the estate of the deceased Muslim husband. The civil courts,
      however, have held that if the marriage remains subsisting under the
      1976 Act, the widow is entitled to the husband's derivative pension.
      What then of the rights of the Muslim widow to the pension? Under the
      Federal Constitution, the syariah courts "shall have jurisdiction only
      over persons professing the religion of Islam and in respect only of
      any of the matters included" in paragraph 1 of the State List
      (legislative powers of the States). Under Islamic law, all persons
      whether Muslim or non-Muslim have right of access to the syariah
      courts. This was so even in this country for 400 years before the
      advent of the British who marginalised the syariah courts.

      It is submitted that this restriction of the syariah court to Muslims
      only should be removed because there are occasions when non-Muslims
      may be affected by decisions of the syariah courts especially with
      regard to family matters.

      Malaysia exports its Islamic Family Law expertise - 07 Sep 03
      http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2003
      &dt=0907&pub=Utusan_Express&sec=Home_News&pg=hn_02.htm
      ..
      Malaysia's Islamic Family Law is gaining popularity to the extent that
      even Muslims in South Africa are keen to adopt the system.
      International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)'s Law Faculty Dean
      Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal said the South African Muslim Personal Law
      Board had seeked Malaysia's expertise in the field.

      "Their (South African) parliament is debating on the Family Laws and
      the board has asked for our assistance to train their lawyers, court
      officers and judges. They want our help to implement the laws once
      they are passed," Dr Nik told reporters after the presentation of
      diplomas and certificates to law graduates of the IIUM here Saturday.
      "The Islamic laws are not implemented and they are still relying on
      civil laws. They don't have the expertise to operate the Syariah
      courts and they need to train the kadi and counsellors," he said.
      ..
      Besides South Africa, other Muslim nations like Oman and Maldives had
      also requested IIUM's assistance to train their legal officers.

      Master English, Syariah judges told - 09 Sep 03
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=41496835
      ..
      Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said this was
      important as they might need to make references to law books written
      in English when handling cases. He said by mastering the language,
      they would be able to increase their general knowledge, especially
      since the world was heading towards globalisation. "You should keep up
      with current affairs as it will help when you are dealing with certain
      cases," he said at the opening of the fifth annual conference of
      Syariah court officials today. Samsuddin said the same applied to
      prosecutors, lawyers, research officers and others involved in the
      Syariah courts. [New Straits Times]

      National Fatwa Council bans teachings of Azhar Wahab Group
      http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2003
      &dt=0904&pub=Utusan_Express&sec=Home_News&pg=hn_01.htm
      ..
      The National Fatwa Council has banned the teachings of the Azhar Wahab
      Group which was found to have continued to promote the teachings of
      the disbanded Al-Arqam Group.
      ..
      Azhar Wahab, in his 30's, is said to be a founder of a company
      involved in the practice of traditional medicine. It has been
      operational throughout the country since 1998. Among the practices of
      the group found to be against the teachings of Islam is the reciting
      of verses which contained words contrary to Islam before a reflexology
      session. Shahir said that Azhar Wahab, who was a member of the
      Al-Arqam before it was banned several years ago, is also said to have
      supernatural powers and his followers were required to obey all his
      decisions and instructions.

      NIGERIA

      Islam respects human rights – Asghar Ali - 03 Sep 03
      http://www.mtrustonline.com/dailytrust/islam030920 XXX 03.htm
      [!--contaminated with HTML.Redlof.A -virus - since 03 sep 03--]

      Jigawa Traditional Ruler Supports Polio Vaccination - 02 Sep 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200309020787.html [This Day - Lagos]
      ..
      Just as traditional rulers in some states in collaboration with the
      Supreme Council on Sharia have directed muslims to disallow their
      children from taking the polio vaccine, a traditional ruler in the
      Hadejia Emirate of Jigawa State had urged his people to give the
      forthcoming exercise their total support.
      ..
      Mai-Shahada said that, traditional rulers have a role to play in the
      success of the programe. He directed all village and ward heads in the
      area to embark on the enlightenment campaign on the importance of the
      exercise. Also, the district head proised that all village heads under
      his domain willbe involved during the exercise to ensure wider
      coverage. However, polio vaccines have bcome controversial especially
      in the muslim populated areas inthe country. The sharia council had
      recently directed that muslims should boycott the vaccines immediately
      for what it called recent finding about the vaccines being poisonous.
      ..
      National Assembly Tells JNI, SCSN to Investigate Polio Vaccine
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200309090668.html - 09 Sep 03
      .. [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      Worried by the growing controversies surrounding the polio vaccine in
      the country, the National Assembly has called on the Jama'atul
      Nasril-Islam and the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN) to
      engage independent scientists to investigate the efficiency of the
      polio vaccine in the country.
      ..
      The committee, he added, has met with traditional rulers, ulamas and
      governments of Bauchi and Jigawa States and will be meeting Katsina
      and Kano governments to find ways of taking the nation out of the
      present controversy.

      [BBC] Q&A: Sharia in Zamfara state - 02 Sep 03
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3201339.stm
      .. [Zamfara governor:]
      " the essence of Sharia law itself is to deter people from committing
      offences. That is why there a lot of provisions in the law for appeals
      and if proper procedures are followed, you hardly find any people
      given such sentences. .. For example, it is the responsibility of the
      government and the society at large to ensure the basic needs of the
      people are provided. And once you provide society with basic needs,
      you will hardly find anybody stealing.
      ..
      Muslims believe that the holy crime is supreme and once there is any
      problem associated with the killing of a human being, the penalty is
      death for those who have killed other people. "

      PAKISTAN

      [TNSM] Defunct outfit vows to fight for enforcement of Islamic law
      http://infobrix.yellowbrix.com/pages/infobrix/Stor
      y.nsp?story_id=41460529

      Two shoemakers held on blasphemy charges in Lahore - 05 Sep 03
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_6-9-2003_pg7_10
      ..
      Police on late Thursday arrested two shoemakers in Badami Bagh late
      Thursday on charges of blasphemy because the shoes they sold bore
      decorations which resembled the word "Allah."
      ..
      On the complaint of Bhatti Gate resident Shabbir Hussain, a police
      team headed by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), City Division
      Dr Tahir Chohan raided a shoe-manufacturing factory in Badami Bagh
      late Thursday night and arrested factory owner Munir Chawala and his
      nephew Azim Chawala. The complainant said the shoes he bought from
      Shah Alam Market had a shape like the word "Allah." "God's name was on
      the shoes and therefore it hurt my feelings and I reported the matter
      to the police," a police official quoted Mr Hussain as saying. Mr
      Hussain is illiterate and earns a living as a kiosk food seller.
      ..
      Maulana Mufti from the Jamia Ashrafia said four clerics gave the
      'Fatwa' (edict), adding the shoes did not have clear imprints of the
      word "Allah" and therefore the Jamia declared the two men innocent.
      He said it was necessary to seek clerics' advice in such matters
      because only they could decide the innocence or guilt of the accused.
      ..
      Calligraphers' opinion sought in blasphemy case - 07 Sep 03
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_7-9-2003_pg7_18
      ..
      The investigators of a blasphemy case who took Fatwas (edicts) from
      four clerics of different sects who declared the accused innocent,
      have contacted calligraphers now, Daily Times learnt on Saturday.

      Muslim cleric accused of blasphemy killed in Pakistan - 07 Sep 03
      http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_365607,0005.htm
      ..
      Maulana Sanullah Dogar, 38, died instantly when four attackers shot
      him on Saturday near a court in the town of Kasur, about 45 kilometres
      Southeast of Lahore, said Babar Bajwa, a deputy superintendent of
      police. Dogar was released on bail about five months ago after being
      arrested last year when another cleric reported to police that he had
      allegedly "used abusive words" against the Prophet Muhammad, Bajwa
      said. .. It was not known exactly what Dogar said. Dogar, who
      belonged to a small political party of Sunni Muslims, Jamaat
      Ahle-Sunnat, was walking to the court for an appearance in connection
      with the trial when he was attacked, Bajwa said.

      [editorial] Yet another Women's Commission - 03 Sep 03
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_2-9-2003_pg3_1
      ..
      The National Commission on the Status of Women under the chairmanship
      of Justice Majida Rizvi has once again recommended that the Hudood Law
      be repealed as it degraded women, deprived them of their full rights
      and made the law of evidence iniquitous. Two members of the Commission
      - one of them is understandably Dr S.M. Zaman from the Council of
      Islamic Ideology - have not agreed to the recommendations as against
      16 members who have backed them. .. The Commission has recommended
      not only the repeal of the Hudood laws but also repeal of sections of
      the Penal Code that carry enabling provisions.
      ..
      The most unjust provisions against women exist within the ambit of
      Criminal Law because under it women attract the mischief of the FIR.
      In cases where a woman is witness to murder, her testimony is half
      that of a man's under 'hadd'. If the same case is heard under
      'tazir',
      the judge can impose maximum punishment without reducing her testimony
      to half. Logic (qiyas) and 'ihsan' (human sympathy) say that 'tazir'
      is a better mode of Islamic adjudication than 'hadd' wherein the judge
      is bound by the law of 'shahadat' (witness) and can't use his
      discretion to maintain justice.

      If a woman is raped she is under obligation to bring four male pious
      eye-witnesses to prove her charge. Rape is equated with fornication
      whereunder Islam wants to prevent wrongful accusation. If the victim
      can't prove rape she is punished under 'qazf' (wrongful accusation).
      This really means that a raped woman is ill-advised to make an
      accusation under the Zina Ordinance.
      ..
      The relevant 'ayat' compensates for the totally un-Quranic way the
      husband is allowed under Islam to divorce his wife with three
      simultaneous pronouncements of 'talaq'. The state should also stop the
      current malpractice in the courts to demand evidence from women asking
      for 'khula' (divorce), which the Quran forbids. 'Ijtehad' on two
      well-known Quranic references to polygamy, including the one which
      says, 'Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women even if
      it is your ardent desire', (Nisa:129) is urgently needed. This
      interpretation has been made the basis of the ban on polygamy in
      Tunisia and Turkey.
      ..
      Women Don't Want Islamic Law to Be Repealed - 07 Sep 03
      http://www.aljazeerah.info/News%20archives/2003%20
      News%20archives/September/6%20n/Women%20Dont%20Wan
      t%20Islamic%20Law%20to%20Be%20Repealed.htm
      ..
      About 100 women activists demonstrated in Islamabad yesterday against
      the repeal of the Islamic Hudood law which is considered by some as
      oppressive to women. They assembled outside the Parliament building
      and condemned the Commission on the Status of Women for recommending
      the repeal of the law. .. An editorial in the country's liberal
      newspaper Dawn said the number of female prisoners in Pakistan's jails
      suddenly shot up in the years following the introduction of Hudood
      law. More than half of them were in prison on the charge of "zina"
      (illegal sex), the editorial said. Rapists often escape punishment as
      it requires a female victim to produce four eyewitnesses to her
      ordeal.
      ..
      NGOs demands repeal of Hudood ordinance - 11 Sep 03
      http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/newsviewsdetails.php?newsid=188
      ..
      The various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and progressive
      elements in the society Monday strongly reiterated their support for
      the Pakistan National Commission on the status of Women (NCSW).
      They commended the findings and recommendations of the Review
      Committee regarding repeal of the Hudood including Zina Ordinance and
      NCSW's subsequent endorsement by an overwhelming majority. The
      supporters of the repeal of the ordinance lead by various
      womenorganizations were flanked by MPs of all the parties except MMA.
      ..
      Assuring the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the present
      Government's oft-repeated pledge to make Pakistan a modern and
      progressive, enlightened state and society in the 21st century
      requires the abolition of discriminatory laws.

      SAUDI ARABIA

      Faced with evidence of Sampson's torture, Ottawa stayed quiet - 10 Sep
      http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?id=2CD
      AC48F-E569-4C42-8A6A-5EAB96BD33EC
      The William Sampson story: a timeline of events - 14 Aug 03
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/sampson_william.html

      [comment] Women Driving: Not Any Time Soon - 10 Sep 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7§ion=0&article=
      31725&d=10&m=9&y=2003
      ..
      Al-Riyadh newspaper published last month a survey about women driving
      in Saudi Arabia. The paper closed the survey after 90 percent of the
      total 33,000 votes turned out to be against.
      ..
      Even if a law permitted women to drive, cultural barriers would kill
      it instantly. Take the issue of driving licenses. For security reasons
      there has to be a photo to identify the driver. But how would an
      officer of the law be able to perform his duty? Would he ask the
      veiled Saudi woman to uncover her face to identify her at a
      checkpoint, for example? The small percentage of Saudi women who
      uncover their faces would not have a problem with that, but what about
      the majority of Saudis - both male and female - who believe that a
      woman must never uncover her face to a man, even for security reasons?
      ..
      Another option is for us to change deeply entrenched beliefs and draw
      clear distinctions between customs and traditions on the one hand and
      religion on the other. And that will take generations to do, provided
      there are enough Saudis who believe that it should be done at all.

      UGANDA

      MP Byamukama Calls for Legal Sharia Courts - 02 Sep 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200309021058.html [New Vision - Kampala]
      ..
      Mwenge South MP Dora Byamukama has called for the establishment,
      through legislation, of proper Khadhi courts to administer Sharia Law
      in Uganda, saying the current ones that administer Sharia do it
      illegally. Byamukama was yesterday presenting the preliminary findings
      on the Law and Advocacy for Women (LAW-Uganda) Mpigi sample district
      baseline survey of the Khadhi Court system at Nile Hotel in Kampala.
      She said the 1995 Constitution provides for the creation of an
      enabling legislation to regulate the administration of Sharia but
      Parliament has not yet enacted the appropriate statute.
      ..
      "It means Khadi courts, which are mandated to handle issues central
      and critical to women's rights such as marriage, divorce, inheritance
      of property and guardianship, as provided for in the Koran, have
      continued to operate informally," she said.

      UK

      Group hails 9/11 'Magnificent 19' - 10 Sep 03
      http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/europe/09/10/sept.11.ukposter/index.html
      ..
      Al-Muhajiroun leader discusses upcoming 11 September conference
      http://infobrix.yellowbrix.com/pages/infobrix/Stor
      y.nsp?story_id=41470618
      .. [BBC Monitoring Middle East] - 08 Sep 03
      Full Text of report by Muhammad al-Shafi'i in London entitled:
      "Inclination to freeze fundamentalist 'Al-Muhajiroun' movement in
      Britain," published by London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat.

      Muslim female comedians steal the show at Edinburgh - 10 Sep 03
      http://www.dailystar.com.lb/features/10_09_03_d.asp
      .. last month's Edinburgh Festival dealing with the Middle East.
      ..
      The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has become renowned for showcasing up
      and coming stand-up comedy, and among the most popular shows this year
      were two examples of that rarest of breeds, the Muslim female stand-up
      comic, namely Shazia Mirza and Shappi Khorsandi. Mirza, a practicing
      Muslim who always appears on stage with her headscarf, has won growing
      attention, particularly in the United States, where she shot to
      prominence after Sept. 11, 2001 when she introduced herself to the
      audience as Shazia Mirza, before adding, "at least that's what it says
      on my pilot's license."
      ..
      A group of particularly irate and bearded gentlemen jumped on stage
      during one performance and accused her of blasphemy and indecency.
      She spoke entertainingly on the growing prejudices which Muslims are
      facing in Western countries. "Muslims are the new blacks. We're blamed
      for everything now … My dad's name is Mohammed but he's
      abbreviated it
      to Bob." She was at least able to find one practical advantage to
      wearing the veil: "All the women in my family use the same bus pass."

      Khorsandi, an Anglo-Iranian, was also on hand to joke about the
      political crises in the Middle East, particularly the war in Iraq.
      Ridiculing the assertion of Saddam Hussein's ability to launch a
      missile strike within 45 minutes, she quipped, "Come on, any Middle
      Easterner tells you he can do something in 45 minutes you know you've
      got at least a week."

      [Surrey] 10,000 set for new mosque opening - 10 Sep 03
      http://www.thisislondon.com/news/londonnews/articl
      es/PA_LONRELIGIONMosquetu12bigmosq
      ..
      The largest mosque complex in Western Europe, holding up to 10,000
      worshippers, is to be unveiled in London next month, officials said.
      The Ahmadi Muslims, who built the first London Mosque nearly 80 years
      ago in Putney, are opening the massive architectural landmark in
      Morden, Surrey.

      USA

      [Indiana] IU Eases Policy On Muslim Head Scarves - 09 Sep 03
      http://www.theindychannel.com/education/2465479/detail.html
      .. Women Can Wear Scarves For Student ID Photos.
      Indiana University has eased a policy that required Muslim women to
      remove their head scarves for student identification photos. IU
      revised the 7-year-old policy after receiving complaints from four
      female students, said Dean of Students Richard McKaig. All four women,
      who wear the head scarves, or hijabs, for religious reasons, said they
      were asked to remove the traditional Muslim garments when they tried
      to obtain their student ID cards.

      [California] Trend-Setting Outfits For Muslim Women - 08 Sep 03
      http://www.bharattextile.com/newsitems/1985200
      ..
      The fashion show held at the Santa Clara Marriott On Sept 7 showcased
      outfits for the traditional Muslim woman, for whom shopping in secular
      society is a drag. The show will ease the pain for those hunting for
      trend-setting outfits that don't violate Islamic rules of modesty.
      A new Silicon Valley company, Flippant, headed by a trio of Muslim
      women, is offering its line to an untapped niche: second-generation
      Muslim hipsters hungry to dress in something more than floor-length
      robes.
      ..
      Flippant - a purposely edgy and not-so-Muslim-sounding name - is the
      brainchild of Shaikh and her mother, Kwon Shaikh of Cupertino, who
      have Pakistani and Chinese backgrounds. The mother-daughter duo teamed
      up with Reshma Farooqui, 30, of San Jose - the lead designer - who
      owned a boutique in Mumbai, India. The three, who know each other from
      Santa Clara County's largest mosque, the Muslim Community Association,
      started their business plan in spring. For now, Flippant will feature
      its line at exhibitions and fashion shows. Soon, the women say, it
      will offer a catalog and online fashions. Clothes will be custom-
      fitted, and turnaround should take two weeks to a month, including
      shipping from India, where the clothes will be sewn. Prices range from
      $50 to $200 per outfit.

      WORLD

      ISESCO calls Islamic countries to firmly address illiteracy - 09 Sep
      http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/030909/2003090920.html
      ..
      The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO/
      based in Rabat) called Islamic countries' governments, Ngo's and
      national institutions to address the plague of illiteracy with
      firmness.
      ..
      "There can be no renaissance in any field as long as illiteracy is
      still widely spread in the Islamic world at rates that range between
      60 and 70%, or even 80% among women, particularly in the country side,
      villages and remote areas," the ISESCO message reads.

      [South Korea] LG Unveils Mobile Phone for Islamic World - 09 Sep 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=6§ion=0&article=31691&d=9&m=9&y=2003
      ..
      Equipped with location tracking software, the phone's wide screen can
      be used as a normal compass but is especially intended for Muslims who
      pray five times a day facing Makkah.

      FINANCE

      HSBC to open Islam-based banking service in Indonesia - 08 Sep 03
      http://infobrix.yellowbrix.com/pages/infobrix/Stor
      y.nsp?story_id=41467078

      BNP Paribas launches Bahrain-based Islamic banking unit - 09 Sep 03
      http://www.menareport.com/story/TheNews.php3?sid=258120

      Qatar Plans to Sell Seven-Year Islamic Bonds in Dollars - 09 Sep 03
      http://www.arabia.com/business/news/article/englis
      h/0,14688,1352,00.html

      [Pakistan] MCB starts Islamic banking - 02 Sep 03
      http://jang.com.pk/thenews/sep2003-daily/02-09-2003/business/b2.htm
      ..
      The Chairman Board of Directors, Muslim Commercial Bank Limited (MCB),
      Mian Mohammed Mansha, said on Monday that now that Islamic banking has
      been introduced by the MCB, it soon would launch Sharia housing
      finance and export finance in the very near future too. While
      inaugurating the opening of the MCB's first Islamic banking branch at
      the Shaheen Complex, he said that Islamic banking would be totally
      different from the current form of normal banking.

      [Saudi] First Islamic hedge fund launched - 03 Sep 03
      http://www.sundaytimes.co.za/zones/sundaytimes/bus
      iness/business1062592849.asp
      ..
      The Saudi Economic and Development Company (SEDCO) has launched the
      world's first-ever hedge fund compliant with Islamic (Sharia'h) law.
      ..
      As Khayat explained, derivatives in general, where one is transferring
      risk for payment of something to another person, seem to fall
      literally within the prohibitions of the Koran. .. Options,
      meanwhile, encompass payment for a future "right" to do something, but
      such a right, without obligation, makes it dependent upon future
      events and therefore creates uncertainty, an element also forbidden
      under Islamic law.

      SEDCO has been working around these constraints, Khayat said,
      examining possible alternatives such as "stipulated options", under
      which a buyer makes an advanced partial payment for a good at a later
      date, and if he decides not to buy this later, the seller keeps the
      advance--this is the closest analogy in Islamic finance to an option.

      It has also been researching the "Salam Sale", where one sells a
      commodity to a buyer against full up-front payment for delivery at a
      future date. An investor can hedge their downside risk by selling
      stocks as a Salam Sale, with the same economic result as short-selling
      but no borrowing element involved. The Salam sale price includes the
      time value of money, but early delivery will not cause a fall in the
      price, and no refund is allowed.

      [Philippines] R.P. mulls $300-M Islamic borrowing - 05 Sep 03
      http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/abs_news_flash_article.asp?FlashOID=11204
      ..
      The Philippine government appears to be leaning toward a modest
      dollar-denominated Islamic debt offering, among various proposals on
      the table, to meet the remainder of its funding requirement for the
      year, people familiar with the plan said Thursday. A Department of
      Finance official said the government has not made a decision, but
      confirmed it is considering a proposal [Deutsche Bank] for an Islamic
      bond or loan of between $200 million to $300 million with a maturity
      of three, four or five years. "An investment bank has proposed to
      arrange either a syndication or a bond float. The target market will
      be Islamic institutional investors [in Middle East]," said the
      official. "It's a special arrangement called Sukuk structure."

      Philippines Eyes Brunei Backing For Al-Amanah Islamic Bank - 04 Sep 03
      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/dow
      jones/20030904/bs_dowjones/200309040535000614
      ..
      [President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo] said that during her meeting with
      Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in Brunei Wednesday, Bolkiah agreed to
      look into the feasibility of the Islamic Bank of Brunei boosting the
      capital of the Philippines' Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank.
      ..
      Al-Amanah is the only Philippine bank authorized to perform banking,
      financing and investment operations based on the Islamic banking
      system. .. Al-Amanah has nine branches in southern Philippines, but
      its network isn't fully operational due to a lack of capital.

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