Sharia News Watch 73 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
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 :
Theological 'Iron Curtain' Descending in Afghanistan - 16 Sep 03
D.C.-based human rights expert Nina Shea .. worries that in addition
to investing in the political and economic reconstruction of
Afghanistan, the U.S. is overseeing the creation of hard-line Islamic
jurisprudence. Shea continued, "There is a theological iron curtain
descending on Afghanistan under our auspices. We are spending billions
of dollars to reconstruct this country but yet we are poised to
promote a constitution that would install a 7th century version of
Islam." A kind of law where those who dissent or criticize Islam are
subject to blasphemy or apostasy charges, "which can carry the death
penalty in Islamic jurisprudence," she said.
According to Shea, [Chief Justice Mullah Fazul] Shinwari recently
spoke with a U.S. delegation of religious freedom advocates. Shea says
he told them, "We will no longer have public spectacles in the sport
stadium of people being flogged and stoned to death, that will be done
Afghanistan to Unveil Constitution Draft - 28 Sep 03
A draft of Afghanistan's proposed constitution declares the country a
Muslim state but does not impose Islamic Shariah law - the topic of
heated debate, an official said Sunday. .. The document's preamble
declares, "Afghanistan is an Islamic state'' and says its laws must be
in accordance with Islam, but it stops short of imposing Shariah, the
Even though the 35 members of the Constitutional Review Commission
have finally agreed to the wording of the text, it is far from certain
whether members of the loya jirga [grand council] will reach a
consensus. Many of the council's members are warlords and may feel
their authority will be undermined by a strong national constitution.
Afghan Insurgents Burn Down Girls' School - 28 Sep 03
The single-story Shaga Primary School was left in ruins after the
arson attack late Saturday in the Dara-e-Noor district of Nangarhar
province, information ministry official Zubair Khaksar said in a
telephone interview from the province's capital of Jalalabad. The
attackers tied up the school's guard and set the building on fire
before fleeing, Khaksar said. "This is the work of the Taliban," he
said. "Nobody else burns schools."
Fighters from Hezb-e-Islami, the Taliban and al-Qaida are believed to
have stepped up attacks against government troops, aid workers and
schools, especially in the east and south of Afghanistan where the
country borders Pakistan. On Wednesday, an Afghan aid worker was
killed and his driver was wounded in an ambush in the southern
province of Helmand. Earlier this month, suspected Taliban fighters
burned down an elementary school for boys and girls in Mughal Khil,
south of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Two tents housing schools for girls in the Charar Bolak district in
Balkh province were destroyed in the blaze late on Sunday, said Abdul
Sabur Khan, a local military official. It is the first such attack in
the Balkh province, considered a stronghold of the anti-Taliban
northern alliance that helped an American-led force oust the hardline
Taliban militia and their al-Qaeda allies in 2001.
Kylie rides Kabul airwaves - 28 Sep 03
Two years ago, Massood Sanjer was reading the news in English for the
Taliban's Radio Shariat. Today he is one of Kabul's hippest disc
jockeys, broadcasting from a studio adorned with posters of Shakira
and Destiny's Child. Sanjer works for Arman FM, the nearest thing the
Afghan capital has to MTV, with a mix of music, chat and jokes. For a
country starved of entertainment through years of war and repressive
Taliban rule, Arman FM is like a breath of fresh air.
But what makes Arman FM even more exceptional in this conservative
Muslim land is that half its presenters are women -- Sanjer shares his
morning show with Zarlasht Madad, a soft-spoken young women recently
voted the station's most popular.
The Mohsenis put up half of the $500,000 (315,000 pounds) to launch
Arman -- the name means Hope in the Dari language. The other half was
supplied by USAID, the development arm of the U.S. government.
In the early days, Arman was criticised because some of its presenters
used the slang Dari of the streets rather than the formal language
used by broadcasters in the past. Its irreverent attitude and jokey
manner also alienated some people. "The criticism is like a drop in
the ocean," Sanjer insists. "It was the first time Afghans listened to
a radio station with men and women chatting and laughing, but now they
have got used to it. We don't get criticised any more."
Close watch on banned sect - 23 Sep 03
Relevant authorities in Brunei will continue to keep a close watch on
any religious deviationist movement, including the banned Al-Arqam*)
group in the country.
The relevant authorities, including the Akidah and Syariah Control
Unit, a kind of religious police tasked to safeguard the eminence and
purity of the Islamic faith, are however keeping a close watch on any
telltale sign of the existence of these undesirable elements.
Malaysia is reportedly taking the opportunity to seek cooperation from
member countries of MABIMS, including the Islamic leaders from
Thailand and the Philippines to curb an attempt banned Al-Arqam group
to revive the Malaysian-grown religious movement.
Brunei, a strong proponent of the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jemaah is
particularly very strict on monitoring such kind of religious
*) Ethnicity And Religious Issues: Experiences from Brunei Darussalam
In fact Brunei Darussalam was the first country in the region to ban
the spread of 'Jemaah Al-Arqam' which originated in Malaysia. The
teaching of 'Jemaah Al-Arqam' clearly created conflict and
confrontation within the family members on what actually is the real
teachings of Islam. According to the Kadhi Court and Islamic
Religious Council Enactment, those who teach or conduct activities
against the teachings of Islam in public would face a fine of B$2000
[EUR 1.000,-] or three months imprisonment. In an effort to curb
undesirable public lectures or illegal religious activities, a free
lance religious missionary (Pendakwah Bebas) must first get approval
from the Islamic Religious Council before being allowed to preach or
organize religious activities.
Al-Arqam Controversy - 03 Aug 94
Muslim student's expulsion prompts human-rights probe - 23 Sep 03
The Quebec Human Rights Commission said Tuesday it has launched an
investigation after a private school expelled a 16-year-old Muslim
student who refused to remove her Islamic head scarf. The commission
says it's not yet clear whether Charlemagne College's expulsion of
Irene Waseem, 16, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Waseem
was barred from the secular private school on Sept. 2 after she showed
up wearing the scarf, called a hijab. She had chosen not to wear the
hijab to school in previous years. Waseem was told the scarf violated
the west-end school's dress code.
The commission will decide whether the right to religious expression
overrides the right of private schools to impose a dress code. The
commission ruled in 1995 that public-school dress codes which ban the
hijab violate the charter. But l'Heureux said private schools may not
be similarly bound. "The charter opens a door to the idea that (some)
associations can adopt certain regulations that would otherwise be
discriminatory," said l'Heureux.
Toronto Shariah Program - Brothers Program / Sister's Program
- 19 Sep 03
The Toronto Shariah Program offers, for the first time in North
America, a traditional course of instruction in the Shariah sciences
aimed at English speakers. Using classical texts in their original
Arabic, and based on the proven Dars Nizaamie curriculum in use at
madrassas worldwide, the 5 year course is aimed at anybody desiring an
in-depth introduction to the Shariah which will allow them to practice
their deen correctly and open the doors to more advanced study.
Although the language of instruction is English, the texts employed
are all studied in their original Arabic. Thus the emphasis in the
initial 5 months is on mastering the fundamentals of Arabic grammer,
morphology and vocabulary that is needed to understand the texts. Only
then does the course move on to the Fiqh, Aqidah, Hadith, Tafseer and
other Shariah sciences.
- 01 Sep 03
The Part-Time Course in Uloom ash Shariah (PTCUS) is designed to make
available .. the content of the world famous Dars Nizaamie course
operating in thousands of madrasahs world wide.
China set to crack down on Muslim northwest - 24 Sep 03
China's Uighur Muslims Feel Alienated - 28 Sep 03
A few years ago, a brief nude scene in "American Beauty"...- 28 Sep 03
A few years ago, a brief nude scene in "American Beauty" that made it
past Egypt's censors prompted some moviegoers to stand up and shout in
protest. So theater owners cut the scene themselves. With Egyptians
becoming increasingly religious - and socially conservative - it's not
just government officials who see censorship as necessary. Even some
artists, who traditionally bemoan infringements on their creativity,
say censorship may be the only way to cope with conservative Islam.
What happens here has far-reaching repercussions. Egypt is home to the
Middle East's biggest film industry and countries all over the region
show Egyptian movies and TV shows. It's not just sexual themes that
draw attention. In June, censors banned the international hit "The
Matrix Reloaded," saying it questions the nature of God. The movie's
setting in a fictional place known as Zion may have been a factor, too
- the first Matrix film was shown in Egypt but was criticized by some
Islamic newspapers that claimed it espoused Zionism. The Arab
confrontation with Israel often is portrayed as a moral issue by
Islamic conservatives. A passing reference to Israel was snipped from
Mel Gibson's "What Women Want."
Egypt's censors - and its people - were not always so uptight. In the
1960s and '70s, movies shot here were much more daring, often
featuring scantily clad women and more overt references to sex.
"Until around 1975 there was a high degree of freedom," said Ali Abu
Shadi, former head of the Egyptian Censorship Board. "But then
religious fundamentalism set in ... and things really have not changed
much since then. In the back of every censor's mind is society. The
state itself seems to be unable to deal with society right now. The
level of conservatism is very high."
In this climate, Egyptian newspapers have been quick to criticize
overt sensuality and intimacy in movies, with columnists and critics
castigating actresses who dare to appear on screen in bikinis and
other attire that challenge Islam's requirement of female modesty.
The result has been many moviemakers avoiding risque material and
producing what has become known as "clean cinema." Foreign movies are
readily available uncut on satellite TV, over the Internet or as
bootleg videos or DVDs on the streets of Cairo. But few Egyptians can
Veil Saga Still Refuses to Die [The Independent - Banjul]
- 19 Sep 03
Students of The Gambia Senior Secondary School who are at the heart of
the veil controversy earlier this week stormed the offices of The
Independent, saying the school's authorities are threatening them with
expulsion if they ever enter the school ground dressed in veils. The
students who appear both jittery and angry, said that this was a case
of discrimination and injustice, which needed to be addressed before
the school year begins in earnest.
The school authorities referred the students to pronouncements by
President Jammeh, which they said put pay to the long running
controversy over the veil. The president had declared in a July
statement that the veil should not be worn in school. In a later
pronouncement to religious leaders at State House, Jammeh had changed
tack, saying that the veil cannot be worn in Christian mission
Muslim Teacher Wins Headscarf Case - 25 Sep 03
Muslim women in Germany have had a legal win after the country's
highest court ruled that a female teacher has the right to wear a
traditional headscarf at school. School authorities in Stuttgart had
barred Afghan-born Freshta Ludin from a teaching job in 1998.
However, the Constitutional Court on Thursday found that wearing a
hijab in the classroom, would not violate laws requiring religious
However, the court pointed out that individual states may pass new
laws to outlaw religious dress in public schools. .. The Central
Council of Muslims in Germany - which represents more than 3-million
Muslims - blasted the decision as opening the door for states to issue
blanket bans on teachers wearing headscarves.
Ludin's case was the second the constitutional court has handled in as
many months. In August, it ruled that Muslim shop assistants could not
be fired for wearing a headscarf, despite managers' complaints that
they put off customers.
[Andhra Pradesh] A fatwa for women, by women - 28 Sep 03
Dar-ul-Iftah, a collegium of muftias (women muftis or religious
teachers) [jurisconsults] formed for the first time in the country in
Hyderabad this week, has issued a fatwa, stating that patronising
beauty parlours is un-Islamic. They declared that while the Shariat
permits women to wear make-up to look beautiful, it does not allow
them to remove hair by waxing or bleaching and wear men's clothes or
coloured contact lenses. They issued the fatwa after a woman, Juveria
Fathima, sought their "guidance" on fashion trends.
The muftias, armed with a reference library and a PC with Internet
access, are available for consultation two hours a day. They can also
be reached on www.jamiatul-mominath.com, an Urdu website what will be
up soon. Queries are trickling in. A young woman wants to know if she
can cut her nails during her periods. Another wants to know if Islam
permits test-tube babies.
But can they enforce fatwas? Replies a muftia: "We give guidance and
it's up to people to implement it. This is not an Islamic country,
where violation of a fatwa invites reprisals. Allah will punish them
for their sins."
Iran to stop executions of 15-18 year-olds-reports - 28 Sep 03
Iran's judiciary has drafted a bill which would raise the minimum age
for death sentences to 18 from 15, newspapers reported on Sunday. The
proposed bill, which will be sent shortly to parliament, also excludes
under-18s from receiving life jail terms or lashes, newspapers quoted
Alireza Jamshidi, secretary of the Supreme Council for Judicial
An Iranian newspaper reported last year that Tehran had stopped the
use of stoning as a form of capital punishment, in an apparent bid to
ease European Union concerns over human rights in Iran and to
facilitate talks on a trade deal.
US troops face discipline for bloody flag incident in Baghdad - 26 Sep
US soldiers are facing disciplinary action for an incident last month
when a helicopter tried to remove a religious flag here and triggered
a clash that left an Iraqi dead, the US military said Friday. A
statement issued in reply to a query by AFP said an investigation into
the August 13 incident in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of
Baghdad concluded that "poor judgment was employed by those soldiers
implicated in the action."
American-sponsored group discusses new Iraqi constitution in Bahrain
- 22 Sep 03
The Iraqi group included judges, lawyers and representatives of
several non-governmental organisations, he said. In addition to
officials from the ABA [American Bar Association] and the embassy,
legal experts from Germany and Austria also took part in the
discussion, Al Shibli said. A statement issued by the US Embassy said
the participants were not playing an official role nor did they engage
in drafting an Iraqi constitution.
He said the participants in the meeting have "anonymously" agreed that
the constitution would stipulate that Islam is the "state religion"
and that the Islamic Sharia is "a main source of legislating."
Najaf's Spirituality Gives Way to Strife - 22 Sep 03
For more than a week afterward [the car bombing], Najaf appeared to
teeter on the brink of civil strife. Hundreds of armed militiamen from
rival Shiite factions took over the city, manning checkpoints and
patrolling the streets. They attacked suspected members of Saddam's
Baath party and Sunni extremists. That convinced U.S. officials to
help create the new police force - the only one of its kind in Iraq -
with members picked by local tribal leaders to maintain law and order
in and around the shrine.
Constitutional Review - Kadhis' courts retained in draft - 23 Sep 03
Delegates defeated a motion seeking to remove the proposal to protect
kadhis' courts in the draft constitution. Members of the Judiciary
committee voted to retain the courts in the draft after a heated
Going after promoters of get-rich-quick scams - 23 Sep 03
A Bill aimed at penalising the promoters of get-rich-quick schemes
will be tabled in Parliament soon and once passed, would help protect
the interest of consumers. Domestic Trade and Consu-mer Affairs
parliamentary secretary Wong Kam Hoong said the Government was
concerned about consumers falling victims to such scams.
He was commenting on Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai's statement in a Chinese
daily over the re-issuing of the licence of a company promoting a
pyramid sales system. He said the new management of the company had
asked the Government to allow it to continue its operations to repay
customers who have invested in the company.
Wong said that the Government was aware that direct selling companies
were a major contributor to the economy and had encouraged these
companies and given tax exemptions to some who export their products,
especially halal goods to Indonesia and the middle-east countries.
"There were more than 1,300 companies operating under the pyramid
sales system. However we have got rid of those who have deviated and
have reduced it to about 400," he added.
Proposal for prenuptial courses for non-Muslims - 23 Sep 03
The Government will study whether to make it compulsory for non-Muslim
couples to attend courses before allowing them to register their
"New provisions in the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976,
which regulates non-Muslims marriages, also need to be included,"
[Women and Family Development Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Datuk
Mastika Junaidah Husin] said at the Parliament lobby. Mastika said it
was already a must for Muslim couples to attend courses before their
marriages could be solemnised.
"Islam is a State matter and the religious authorities make it
prerequisite for couples to attend such programme." Earlier during a
question-and-answer session, Mastika told the House that there were
3,793 divorce cases among non-Muslims last year, up from 1,613 cases
in 2000. Among the Muslims, she said the number of divorces were
11,004 last year, down from 13,536 cases in 2000.
Kelantan's move to prevent the exploitation of women in advertising
.. - 24 Sep 03
Malaysia's Kelantan state has introduced a new ruling effective next
year, that bans women from being depicted on billboards and TV
commercials. Parti Islam SeMalaysia, or PAS, the fundamentalist
Islamic party that rules Kelantan, has said that the reason for the
move is to prevent the exploitation of women in advertising.
The latest ruling, described by the state opposition Umno party as
'rubbish', replaces a decree by the Kota Baru Municipal Council last
year that made it compulsory for billboards to show only women who
The rules will also apply to cinema advertisements, with the new
guidelines specifying that only text can be used in any form of
advertisement, apparently to prevent women from being shown.
For small advertising posters, such as beer ads sometimes seen in
Chinese restaurants, specific guidelines have been introduced which
prevent the display of women in tight or thin clothing, or women with
their thighs or hands exposed. Pictures of women standing next to men
are also out.
However, he added the rules would not prevent women from being
depicted in advertisements that promote family values and culture.
[Kelantan] Admit error, Pas leaders urged - 25 Sep 03
.. [New Straits Times]
PAS leaders must admit that the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment 11
is defective because there is no provision to act against husbands who
sodomise their wives. Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister's
Department Datuk Noh Omar said Pas MPs were now claiming that the
State could rely on the Syariah Criminal Enactment 1, which was passed
in 1985 when the Barisan Nasional was in power. "Pas criticised the
old law when it was in the Opposition. Now their leaders claim any
shortcomings in the new law can be cured by relying on the 1985
legislation," he said at the lobby.
Terengganu to gazette hudud law next month - 27 Sep 03
The Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment (Hudud and Qisas) will be
gazetted next month and enforced immediately, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri
Abdul Hadi Awang said Friday.
He said the state government was restructuring the courts, including
making new appointments and giving training to syariah judges in
foreign countries on the implementation of the enactment.
On the enforcement aspect, Hadi said the police would be vested with
the powers to investigate and assist the People's Consultative
Committee in carrying out operations.
Whipping, stoning, amputation - Terengganu to go ahead - 28 Sep 03
Datuk Abdul Hadi reminded Muslim journalists pointedly that it would
be a sin to spread negative remarks about the laws, the New Straits
Times reported. 'Going against the law is like criticising the true
teachings of Islam,' he said.
Court seeks death penalty for two extremist Muslim preachers
.. - 24 Sep 03
The state prosecutor at the trial of two Muslim preachers implicated
in the deadly May suicide bombings in Casablanca demanded the death
sentence early Wednesday for the defendants, calling them the
"brains'' behind the attacks. Hassan Kettani and Abdelwaheb Rafiki,
also known as Abu Hafs, have been portrayed during the trial as
ideologists of the Salafiya Jihadia, a clandestine Muslim extremist
movement which the Interior Ministry says has "organizational links''
to the al Qaida terror network.
The defendants were on trial on a series of charges, including
attacking state security, inciting hate and violence, constituting a
criminal band and acts of sabotage. Defense lawyers abruptly bowed out
of the case on Tuesday, claiming the prosecution had failed to show
material evidence linking the defendants' with the suicide bombings
and considering the trial a charade.
- 26 Sep 03
a court has given long jail sentences to two men described as
"theoreticians" of the Islamist group, Salafia Jihadia, which has been
blamed for the May bombings.
Salafi Jihad http://rantburg.com/thugburg/dOrg.asp?ID=125
[Bauchi] Sharia Court Sentences Man to Death By Stoning - 25 Sep 03
[Daily Trust Abuja]
A forty-three-year-old man, Jibrin Babaji has been sentenced to death
by stoning, following his conviction by a Sharia court sitting in
Bauchi for sodomy in contravention of section 133 of the Sharia penal
code Bauchi, and chapter 11 verse 82 of the Holy Qur'an [and section
354 of the Hadith]. The judge, Mallam Sani Jibrin Darazo while
delivering the judgment explained that the conviction of Mallam Babaji
was sequel to his acceptance of the offence by admitting publicly to
the police and the court.
After listening to the prosecution witnesses and asking the convict
whether what was said was the truth, which he answered in the
affirmative, the judge further asked him whether he was a Muslim and
he also said yes. The judge then ruled that he was convinced that
Babaji commited the offence since he accepted his guilt, and his
confession was superior to any witnesses' testimony and ruled that he
should be stoned to death.
The judge sentenced the victims to six strokes of the cane each for
accepting the N10 [7 EURO-cent] the convict had offered them, pointing
out that all the convicts had a right to appeal within 30 days of the
ruling. Mallam Babaji was the second man to be sentenced to death
since Sharia legal system was introduced in Bauchi State two years
ago. The first was a Mallam Rafin Kiyawa who was sentence to death by
stoning following his conviction for eloping with a married woman in
[Bauchi] Sharia Commission Moves to Decongest Prisons - 22 Sep 03
Chairman, Bauchi State Sharia Commission, Alhaji Mukhtar Ahmed, has
disclosed that the commission was working out modalities that would
help decongest prisons in the state soon. Ahmed, .. said that the
commission had concluded arrangements to hold dialogue and
consultation with judges, magistrates and sharia court judges as well
as stakeholders with the aim of releasing some inmates who were on the
awaiting trial list.
According to him, "efforts would also be made to free inmates who were
unjustly detained and those with good character who are about
completing their prison terms," stressing that "we are working out
modalities to decongest prisons in the state." He stressed that
prisons were supposed to serve as reform homes but, however, regretted
that "due to their deplorable condition, they have become breeding
ground for hardened criminals."
In his speech, the state Controller of Prisons, Mr J. P. Joshua, said
the number of inmates awaiting trial, almost doubled those that had
been convicted, and therefore, enjoined the authorities to address the
[Kaduna] Police Keep Vigil on ABU Campus - 29 Sep 03
The Kaduna State Police Command has deployed a detachment of anti-riot
policemen to the Samaru main campus of the Ahmadu Bello University
(ABU), Zaria following an aborted religious conflict in the school on
Tuesday. THISDAY checks in Zaria indicated that two female students
had engaged in a discussion over religion when one of them (a
Christian) allegedly uttered words said to be uncomplimentary to
Islam. According to eye-witness accounts, the news had spread like
wild fire with the muslim community in the school protesting the
However, it took the intervention of the Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji
Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, to restore order. Makarfi, along with the Emir
of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris as well as the Commissioner of Police (CP),
Mohammed Yesufu, had to pay an unscheduled visit to the school, to
calm the students. Confirming the incident in his office in Kaduna,
the CP said, "we were able to avert another religious crisis in Zaria.
Thing have normalised now and I have deployed policemen to the school
[Katsina] Sharia Court Frees Amina Lawal - 26 Sep 03
[Daily Trust - Abuja]
In upholding Amina's appeal, the four Khadis, whose (majority)
decision was read by Honourable Khadi Ibrahim Mai'unguwa Umar, agreed
with her counsel who faulted the judgement of the two lower courts on
the three grounds of: withdrawal of confession by accused; illegality
of the trial by only one Khadi at the Bakori Sharia Court and the
problem of delayed pregnancy (Kwantacchen ciki) suffered by the
The majority decision of the Sharia Court of Appeal supported the
argument of the Aliyu Musa Yauri led team of Amina's lawyers that the
Bakori Sharia Court, in accepting her confession, did not give her a
chance to consider the implication of her confession and that the
court ought to have considered her withdrawal of the confession.
They also faulted the judgements of the Bakori Sharia court and the
Funtua Upper Sharia court on the ground that only one Khadi tried the
case at the lower court without the assistance of at least two other
Khadis as provided by the Katsina State Sharia law.
They also agreed with Amina's counsel that the lower courts in Bakori
and Funtua failed to take into account the problem of delayed
pregnancy suffered by Amina, who was divorced two years before the
pregnancy and the fact that the Islamic legal system recognised that
it was still possible for a woman to give birth for the husband she
left even five years after being divorced.
Quoting copiously from the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith (sayings of the
Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.O.H.) as well as the Sharia law of Katsina
State, Khadi Mai'unguwa Umar, who described the case as a problematic
one also faulted the prosecution for its inability to prove its case
convincingly. He questioned why the police who reported the illicit
sexual liaison between Amina and Yahaya Mohammed (who denied the
allegation) did not report the matter until 11 months after even
though they claimed to know about the affair all along.
But in his minority report, the dissenting judge, Khadi Sule Sada
Kofar Sauri dismissed the appeal of Amina against the sentence of
death passed on her by the Bakori Sharia court and upheld by the
Funtua Upper Court on the grounds that up to two grounds for
conviction were fully established when only one of three grounds was
sufficient. He argued that Amina's wilful confession of committing
the illicit sexual act with Yahaya Mohammed and the fact of the
pregnancy and the subsequent delivery of a baby girl (now 20 months
old) were sufficient grounds to condemn Amina to death by stoning
(Haddi) even without the support of the evidence of three eye
witnesses to the commitment of the act.
Amina Lawal : Sex, Pregnacy and Muslim Law By Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
* Hudood punishements in northern Nigeria A Muslim Criticism by Sanusi
[Photo] Alhaji Aminu Katsina (R), the Grand Kadi and top Islamic legal
authority in Katsina state leads the way with other Kadis towards the
courtroom of the Katsina State Sharia Court.
Sharia still wrenches Nigeria - 29 Sep 03
In elections held earlier this year and undermined by allegations of
widespread ballot-rigging, Olusegun Obasanjo, the reelected president,
scored heavily in the country's south but saw his share of the vote
dip below 25 percent in several sharia states. His Peoples Democratic
Party lost the governorship of the northern heartland state of Kano to
Ibrahim Shekarau of the All Nigeria People's party, who is seen as an
enthusiast for strict Islamic law. The governors' emphasis on sharia
and law-and-order issues has a street-level appeal in a country
suffering from mass poverty, entrenched corruption, and a federal
judicial system notorious for its slowness and unfairness.
In the minds of many observers, the new sharia punishments are seen as
particularly stark and brutal manifestations of the huge inequalities
and abuses of power that exist throughout Nigerian society.
Federal Shariat Court dismisses appeal - 23 Sep 03
A three-member bench of Federal Shariat Court, comprising Chief
Justice Chuadhary Aijaz Yousuf, Justice Dr Fida Muhammad Khan and
Justice Saeedur Rehman Farrukh, dismissed appeal of Amjad Pervez in
dacoity [gang robbery] case and converted Hudood sentence into 10
years rigorous imprisonment (RI).
The appellant had been punished with imputation of right hand from
wrist and left foot from ankle under section 17(3) EOH 1979 by
additional district and session judge on charge of committing dacoity
on March 3, 2003. .. The court while dismissing the appeal converted
Hudood sentence into Tazir under section 397 Pakistan Penal Code and
sentenced appellant to 10 years RI.
[Northern Areas] Gilgit: Students block Karakoram highway - 27 Sep 03
Hundreds of students and teachers belonging to different Madaris in
Diamer district blocked the Karakoram Highway on Thursday at Thour
Nalah against the construction of Diamer (Bhasha) dam , NGOs and
proposed plan for change in the existing curriculum, police sources
said on Friday. They said that over 500 students belonging to Sunni
Madaris took out a rally in Thour Nallah, 200kms south of Gilgit, and
blocked the Karakoram Highway for half an hour.
The sources said the protesters were demanding to roll back the
projects of International Fund for Agriculture Developlment (IFAD) and
UNDP in Diamer which they termed haram (prohibited) to utilize their
funds according to their school of thought. They also chanted slogans
against the construction of Bhasha dam as the chairman of Water and
Power Development Authority Lt Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan (Rtd) arrived at
the scene. The protesters contended that a large chunk of Diamer
district would be inundated with the construction of Bhasha dam due to
its upstream and its royalty would go to the people of NWFP.
Judicial body discusses ways to clear cases - 28 Sep 03
The meeting approved various measures to strengthen the capacity of
courts, including an increase in the number of judges, the provision
of necessary equipment, court staff and judicial reforms to speed up
trials. .. It also considered a proposal put forward by the Ministry
of Information and Technology to provide computers to district courts
and district bar associations. It said district judiciary and members
of the bars would be offered free Internet service to compile judicial
data in a digital format.
Permission to narrate: Edward Said, Palestine, and the Internet
- 26 Sep 03
Indians help compatriot pay blood money to Afghan's kin - 25 Sep 03
Murugan Mani, an Indian expatriate who was charged by the Shariah
Court for his involvement in the accidental death of an Afghan worker
early last year, has paid the blood money of QR100,000 [EUR 24.000] to
the relatives of the deceased. Murugan, a Tamilian, and the deceased,
Sangi Gul Ilm Gul, are employed by the Sky Trading and Contracting
Company in Qatar. The court had set September 15 as the deadline for
paying the blood money. The Qatar Tamizhar Sangham (QTS), an
organisation of expatriates from India's Tamil Nadu state, had
launched a campaign to raise donations for Murugan. A special account
was opened at the Qatar Islamic Bank to collect donations.
[Photo] Demonstration for Amina Lawal - 18 Sep 03
Members of the African National Congress Women's League protest in
Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2003. The women are
calling for the South African government to intervene to save Nigerian
Amina Lawal, on poster, top left and right, who is sentenced to die by
stoning for adultery. The Sharia Court of Appeal in Katsina, Nigeria,
is expected to announce its verdict next week.
Sri Lankan Muslims To Fight For Their Rights - 26 Sep 03
Swedish TV says YES to Islamic veil - 22 Sep 03
A Muslim veiled woman has been successfully able to work as a TV
announcer in Sweden and appear in her Islamic clothing before millions
without fearing discrimination or harassment of any sort, such as what
Egyptian announcers are currently going through. This followed the
official Swedish TV decision that has been taken recently to the
effect that Sweden respects cultures and religions and that religious
freedom is guaranteed to all under the Swedish law.
Nadia Gabriel, a Swedish woman of Palestinian origin, worked on
Swedish TV with the "Mosaic" program team, which focuses on issues of
expatriates living in the Swedish community. Gabriel had fought for
her right to wear the traditional hijab, and eventually, the young
woman got what she wanted.
According to Swedish laws, any veiled woman, who is exposed to any
racial or religious discrimination due to her veil, shall have the
right to sue her employer who treated her badly because of it. It
should be noted, in addition, that Swedish and non-Swedish women have
the right to get official passports and identity cards, without having
to remove their veils, as all government levels accept veiled women in
Sweden without any problems.
CIA paid mullahs to spread moderate message, says book - 23 Sep 03
The CIA paid mullahs and created fake Islamic religious leaders to
preach a moderate message and counter anti-American sentiment in the
Arab world after the September 11 attacks, a new book said on Monday.
In 'The CIA at War', Ronald Kessler, an investigative reporter and
author of several books about the CIA and the FBI, also detailed
espionage activity in Iraq that supported the March invasion that
toppled President Saddam Hussein.
"In Islam, as in many other religions, anyone can call himself a
religious leader," he said in the book. "So, besides paying mullahs,
the CIA created fake mullahs -- recruited agents who would proclaim
themselves clerics and take a more moderate position about non
believers." "We are taking over radio stations and supporting
clerics," a CIA source was quoted as saying. "It's back to propaganda.
We are creating moderate Muslims." Kessler said the CIA also paid for
mullahs to issue fatwas, or religious edicts, urging Iraqis not to
resist American forces. He did not specify the countries this took
Kessler said the CIA used operatives from intelligence services in
Arab countries including Jordan, Syria, and Egypt to infiltrate Al
Qaeda, develop intelligence, but also sow suspicion so members of the
network would kill each other, the book said. Al Qaeda was blamed for
Arrest prompts new request for probe of clerics - 23 Sep 03
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Monday renewed his request for an
investigation into two institutes that train Islamic chaplains for the
military in light of the Sept. 10 arrest of Army Capt. James "Yousef"
Yee, an imam who ministered to detainees held at the U.S. Navy base in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Six months ago, Schumer asked the Pentagon to
launch an internal review of the way the military determines the
reliability of Muslim clerics in the armed services, but so far no
such effort has been undertaken, officials said Monday.
Two Pakistani American sisters making waves - 25 Sep 03
A young Pakistani-American woman is making waves with the opening
earlier this month of her play 'Barriers' in San Francisco after a
successful run in New York. Rehana Mirza's play is about the 9/11
tragedy and how it affected the lives of Muslims in America. She says
her play's themes grief and loss and how families deal with them
go beyond the events of September 11. Her sister Rohi Mirza is the
Barbie given a run for her money - 25 Sep 03
At first glance, this new girl on the block wouldn't give Barbie much
of a run for her money. After all, Barbie is everything Razanne is not
- curvaceous, flashy and loaded with sex appeal. But that's exactly
why many Muslim Americans prefer the newer doll. With her long-sleeved
dresses, hijab or Muslim head scarf and, by her creator Ammar Saadeh's
own admission, a less-than-flattering bust-line, Razanne is all about
modesty and piety.
The Michigan-based company, founded about seven years ago, sells the
Razanne doll and a number of other toys geared toward Muslim children.
While barbie has a curvaceous figure, Razanne was designed with the
body of a preteen. Her aspirations are those of a modern Muslim woman.
On the drawing board for future dolls are Dr Razanne and possibly even
astronaut Razanne. There's also Muslim Girl Scout Razanne, complete
with a cassette recording of the Muslim Scout's oath.
Laila, the Arab League's answer to Barbie, offered girls of the
league's 22-member states a culturally acceptable alternative to
Barbie's lifestyle. But she never made it to store shelves. Sara and
Dara were launched a couple of years ago - Iran's version of Barbie
and her beau, Ken. The two were offshoots of a children's cartoon in
Iran. But Saadeh said those dolls are more "cultural and don't have
mass appeal in the Middle East."
In the United States, Mattel, which makes Barbie, markets a Moroccan
Barbie and sells a collector's piece named Leyla in the Girls From
Around the World collection. Leyla's elaborate costume and tale of
being taken as a slave in the court of a Turkish sultan are intended
to convey the trials and tribulations of one Muslim girl in the 1720s.
Razanne's launch five years ago met with success, Saadeh said. While
declining to give specific sales figures, he said the doll is marketed
and sold throughout the United States, Canada, Singapore and Germany
and soon will be sold in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab
Emirates and Bahrain.
Controversial Fatwa Seeks Easier Life For Muslim Lovers - 18 Sep 03
The fatwa in effect gives young Muslims living in Europe and the
United States the option of a boyfriend and girlfriend living under
the same roof as a married couple.
Sheikh Abdul-Majeed Al-Zindani, head of the al-Eman religious
university in Yemen, and head of the Shura (consultation council) of
the Islamic party Islah, says his fatwa comes in response to a call
from Arab communities living in the West who are seeing their children
adopt a "boyfriend and girlfriend" culture.
The fatwa means a young Muslim going out with another can marry, but
continue to stay with their parents. They can, of course, meet freely.
Under Islamic requirements, an unmarried woman is not allowed to be
alone with a man who is not her father, grandfather, brother or uncle.
"Why don't we make 'married friends' instead of 'girlfriends' and
'boyfriends'," al-Zindani says in his fatwa. The present conditions
for Muslims living in the West are "unpleasant", he said, because they
find it difficult to hold strictly to their religion and traditions.
Clerics at al-Azhar have strongly condemned the fatwa. "Through the
issuance of such a fatwa, al-Zindani is calling for the enjoyment of
all the benefits of marriage according to Shariah, but in a temporary
form," says Dr Abdul-Sabour Shahin from al-Azhar. He accuses
al-Zindani of failing to finish his studies at al- Azhar. Dr Nasser
Farid Wasel, the former head mufti in Egypt said al-Zindani's fatwah
is illegitimate. "Allah legalises marriage for humans as a solid and
sacred relationship between man and woman, a relationship that is
based on stable and perpetual love and mercy," he said.
"The Islamic Shariah law is comprehensive, timeless and universal," he
said, "and so it has no exceptions whatsoever, and a Muslim must not
abandon Islamic teachings whenever and wherever he or she might be.
Such a marriage would lead to demoralisation, the mixing up of
kinship, infringing on the Shariah and committing immoral crimes and
Al-Zindani defended his fatwa against such charges. "The fatwa aims at
saving progeny and keeping oneself away from sins," he said at a press
conference. "Moreover it is an initiative to solve a critical and
ethical problem facing Muslims in America and Europe." The fatwa is
based on the regular pillars of marriage, he said, namely two
witnesses, a marriage contract and agreed dowry. "It is for the period
of unavailability of a residence, which is temporary, until the
husband is ready to maintain a new home," he said.
Many see this as a solution to the practice of secret marriages
spreading in the Arab world. Secret marriages are considered
un-Islamic, and do not guarantee women's rights as provided by Islam.
A man could walk out on his wife and the wife could hardly go to court
because the marriage itself would be considered illegal.
Those who have married like this blame parents for making huge money
demands a precondition to marriage. "Society and family say secret
marriages are against Islamic rules," says Adel Abdulmalik, 32 and
single. "Yes, they are, but they never admit that they make marriages
so expensive. That also is against Islamic rules."
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