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Sharia Watch 77

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 77 : a collection newsquotes on Shariah, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 21, 2003
      Sharia News Watch 77 : a collection newsquotes on Shariah, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:

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


      Raw Data: Excerpts From Tape - 18 Oct 03
      .. Excerpts from the purported Bin Laden tape broadcast Saturday on
      the Al-Jazeera television station: [..]

      Taliban make a return, punish the beardless - 19 Oct 03
      The operation was carried out late Friday by a group of 50 Taliban on
      a road linking the western part of Khost province with Gardez,
      provincial capital of adjoining Paktia, the Pakistan-based Afghan
      Islamic Press (AIP) reported. Quoting unidentified sources in the
      area, the private news agency said the fighters set up a picket,
      raised their flag and searched vehicles. Some clean shaven drivers
      were punished with three strokes of a stick for violating the
      Taliban's ultra-orthodox interpretation of Islamic Sharia laws
      insist all men grow beards, it said. They also snatched and smashed
      music cassettes and gave drivers pamphlets warning of harsh penalties
      for breaches of Sharia, ordering they be distributed on their routes,
      it added. After maintaining the picket for several hours the group
      retreated to their mountain hideouts.


      Izetbegovic: Symbol of a Muslim struggle - 19 Oct 03


      Brunei To Sight New Moon On Saturday Marking Fasting Month - 21 Oct 03
      Brunei will sight the new moon of Ramadhan on Saturday the 25th of
      October. Syarie judges and officials of the Syariah courts, as well as
      officials from the state Judiciary Department, the Ministry of
      Religious Affairs and the Survey Department will be at vantage points
      throughout the country on that day to sight the new moon. ..The first
      day of Ramadhan will be announced over Radio Television Brunei as soon
      as the result of sighting the new moon is confirmed. Meanwhile, by the
      command of His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei, working hours in all
      government ministries and departments during the fasting month will be
      from 8 am to 2 pm.


      Ramadan working hours for govt institutions - 21 Oct 03
      The Ministry of State for Cabinet Affairs has released a circular on
      the official working hours during the holy month of Ramadan for
      ministries and other federal government institutions. According to the
      circular, ministries and federal government institutions will open at
      9 am and close at 2 pm.


      Muslims urged to look for appearance of the new moon - 18 Oct 03
      The Office of the National Chief Imam and the Ameer and Missionary
      In-Charge of the Ahmadiyya Mission in Ghana, on Saturday urged Muslims
      to look out for the new moon on Friday October 24 2003.
      Currently, Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah have their weekend holiday
      on Friday. In Alor Star, Kedah Religious Affairs Committee chairman
      Fadzil Hanafi said that Islam never designated any particular day as a
      holiday and when to carry out worldly affairs. "If a state has a
      holiday on Friday but its people don't pray and perform religious
      obligations, it is also not right because Islam states that we must
      work after we pray, not sit around holidaying," he said.


      [Gujarat] Now, maulvis' fatwa spins out of control - 20 Oct 03
      A recent fatwa issued by two Muslim clerics has created problems for
      Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) vice-president Kadeer
      Peerzada. The fatwa, issued by Imam of Hazrat Khwaja Dana Saheb Mufti
      Mohammed Murtazakhan Razwi of the Sunni sect and Mufti Ismail Wadiwala
      of the Tablique sect, states: "Idol worship is against Islam. Any
      Muslim found worshipping idols should be boycotted from the community.
      If he has to return to the community, he should remarry and apologise
      to the Almighty." The similarity in both the fatwas is striking and
      they both do not name anyone.

      However, why it means trouble for Peerzada is because he was shown
      holding a puja thali at a Navratri function on October 2. Copies of
      the fatwas and newspaper cuttings carrying Peerzada's photograph are
      being widely circulated among Muslims in the city. But the two clerics
      claim they were tricked into issuing the fatwas. Mufti Razwi said a
      person had asked him a written question on what Islam has to say about
      a Muslim found worshipping an idol, to which he had given a written
      answer, which was the fatwa. He said: "Though the fatwa is binding on
      Muslims, I neither knew the purpose for asking the question nor the
      man who has being targeted for political gains. I did not name
      Peerzada said: "I have not performed any puja. I was only holding the
      prasad plate. My detractors have done this to malign my image in
      society." But, at a meeting in Patni Colony on Wednesday, about 5,000
      Muslims, including religious leaders, condemned the way Peerzada was
      maligned and lauded him for attempting to bring about communal

      We'll abide by court verdict: Muslim panel - 20 Oct 03
      The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Sunday reiterated its stand
      that only the court verdict on the Babri Masjid would be acceptable to
      it. The Board expressed its satisfaction over the way the Mulayam
      Singh Yadav government in UP handled the "tension created by the Sangh
      Parivar and its affiliate Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)" on the issue
      last week. On the question of Uniform Civil Code (UCC), the Board
      said it has no problem with most aspects of the UCC, but it would not
      compromise with matters relating to family law. "The executive
      committee has called upon Muslims to abide by the rules of Shariat in
      their life and to solve and settle their family disputes according to
      the Shariat law," Board secretary A R Qureshi said.


      Shirin Ebadi epitomizes women's jihad [Jakarta Post] - 17 Oct 03
      Yet Muslim women have been playing a great role in jihad, not in its
      military-like associations, but in the struggle against
      discrimination, domestic violence and social injustice. This type of
      jihad involves the struggle for basic women's rights both in the
      domestic and the public spheres. Muslim women have demonstrated
      multiple voices of jihad, but most have emphasized the moral and
      spiritual struggle against backwardness, poverty and social injustice.
      Muslim women also believe in the universal applicability of jihad and
      agree on the high status of women accorded by Islam, but they
      interpret and implement jihad according to different perspectives in
      their local contexts.

      Aisyiah, the women's wing of the Muslim organization Muhammadiyyah,
      and Muslimat, that of Nahdlatul Ulama, have been among the active
      Indonesian women's organizations in such "gender jihads''. Both
      organizations engage in religious propagation, and educational and
      political activities. They run orphanages, maternity clinics,
      hospitals and day-care centers. They are actively involved in
      establishing cooperatives in villages. Most of their activities are
      conducted in rural areas where they attempt to help eradicate
      illiteracy and to encourage women to be more independent.

      Other, more recently established organizations, such as Rahima, Puan
      Hayati, Cut Nyak Dien and the Liberal Islam Network, involve many
      young and educated Muslim women working in groups and developing
      networks in pursuit of their goals. They have raised various issues
      such as domestic violence, unequal domestic relations (including the
      issue of polygamy), a greater role for women in politics, and economic
      independence. In dealing with such issues, Muslim women have attempted
      to use different channels and means, including the media, the
      Internet, publications, workshops, and advocacy. They never use
      violent, military means to promote their ideas. Some join
      demonstrations, but every time women are involved, demonstrations turn
      out to be peaceful, including demonstrations involving Muslim and
      non-Muslim women demanding an end to the violence in Maluku.

      Ramadhan crackdown on nightspots - 21 Oct 03
      Indonesia's Islamic authority urged the government on Monday to close
      nightspots and ban television shows featuring pornography and violence
      during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan. "We call on the
      government to close all entertainment spots and put in order
      television shows which exhibit pornography and violence," the
      Indonesian Council of Ulemas (Muslim scholars) said in a statement.
      .. Local soap operas featuring violence and romantic intrigue are
      popular among Indonesians.
      Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second largest Islamic organisation, has
      announced that Ramadhan will start on October 27. The largest
      organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, has not yet announced a start date. The
      two organisations -- which claim tens of millions of members --
      traditionally differ on when the month should begin.


      Iraqis to celebrate first post-Saddam Ramadan - 21 Oct 03
      "It is the first Ramadan celebrated in freedom," said Sheikh al-Araji,
      a cleric at Al-Kazem, the most important Shiite Muslim mosque in
      Baghdad. .. "The mosque is ready to receive close to a million
      people a day," said Araji. But security concerns are ever-present in
      the war-shattered country where violence remains rampant six months
      after the overthrow of Saddam.
      Sunni Sheikh Abdel Salam al-Kubaissi is less upbeat about Ramadan
      2003. "This year there's a new element. It is the first Ramadan under
      the occupation. The country is occupied by an enemy who is not easily
      evicted," said Kubaissi, a member of the council of leading Sunni
      clerics formed after the former regime collapsed on April 9. He says
      this is the time for Sunnis and Shiites - whose differences usually
      include the day that Ramadan starts - "to bridge the gap that
      separates them." Unity is needed "to face the enemies and the invaders
      who play on the differences in faith," he said.

      Question of Iraq's future dogs Islamic summit to end - 18 Oct 03
      Leaders of the world's largest Islamic organization [OIC] watered down
      a proposed statement yesterday that had urged a quick end to the U.S.
      occupation of Iraq, after the country's U.S.-picked government
      insisted the withdrawal of American troops anytime soon would be a

      Top Iraqi cleric urges crackdown on spread of wepaons - 21 Oct 03
      Iraq's most influential Shiite Muslim cleric warned of "grave
      problems'' if nothing is done to stem the proliferation of firearms in
      the country and blamed clashes between his supporters and followers of
      a radical cleric on the weakness of Iraq's U.S.-backed authorities.
      In written comments given Sunday to The Associated Press, Grand
      Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani, spiritual leader of most of Iraq's
      Shiite majority, also said there could be "no substitute'' for a
      general election to choose delegates to a convention to draft a new
      constitution despite U.S. demands for a quicker selection process. The
      U.S.-led coalition has repeatedly stated its preference for a faster
      method to choose the delegates -- such as having the U.S.-appointed
      Iraqi Governing Council select from a list of legal experts put
      forward by tribal and other leaders. Coalition officials believe
      choosing them by general election would take too long.
      Al-Sistani's demand for measures against illegal arms possession
      appeared to be a call on U.S. and Iraqi authorities to take action
      against the Imam al-Mahdi Army, a militia set up by firebrand cleric
      Muqtada al-Sadr, whose members fought nightlong battles against
      al-Sistani's supporters a week ago in the holy Shiite city of Karbala.
      Elaborating on an earlier edict, al-Sistani said there was not one
      party or authority in Iraq that can select delegates to a
      constitutional conference in a way that would ensure fair
      representation of all segments of society. "Furthermore, it is certain
      that personal, party, religious and ethnic interests will interfere
      one way or another in the selection process, rendering the conference
      illegitimate,'' he said. "There is no substitute for a general
      election to choose members of a constitutional conference.''


      Secrets of the Ringera Report - 19 Oct 03
      Like fictional crime based on the actitivies under world, Justice
      Aaron Ringera's report on corruption and the misconduct of judicial
      officers is a compelling mixture of dark humour and cruel betrayal by
      custodians of justice, we can now reveal. Although none of the 23
      judges suspended from their duties pending investigations by two
      tribunals has admitted being notified of their misdeed, few are likely
      to survive a full hearing if they contest allegations against them.
      The corruption and unethical conduct enumerated in Ringera's "dragon"
      range from the shocking to the preposterous. Some judges are accused
      of openly taking sides in cases before them. Others allegedly took it
      upon themselves to advice litigants to change advocates if they hoped
      to win. In the more macabre cases, some judges openly solicited
      bribes, which they personally went to fetch from their victims in
      parking bays and lobbies of Five-Star hotels in the wee hours of the
      Constitutional Review Officials On Law Society of Kenya List for New
      Judges http://allafrica.com/stories/200310200688.html - 20 Oct 03
      Yesterday, the Chief Kadhi, Sheikh Hammad Kassim, defended the Ringera
      report against accusations that it was not fair, saying it was a
      credible record of the state of the judiciary. Urging those named to
      resign or face the tribunals set up last week, Sheikh Kassim said the
      spotlight should now be turned on lawyers and other judicial officers.
      He said graft in the judiciary would only be eliminated if the
      campaign targeted all those in the justice system, including lawyers
      and the police. "It is not only judges and magistrates who are corrupt
      but also lawyers and prosecutors. The government should target all
      these people to effectively deal with the problem of graft in the
      judiciary." The Chief Kadhi said academic achievement should not be
      the only qualification necessary in the selection of those to serve in
      the judiciary.

      Muslims Slow in War On AIDS, Laments Don - 20 Oct 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200310200646.html [The Nation - Nairobi]
      The chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, Prof
      Abdulghafour El-Busaidy, said Muslims had a misplaced belief that the
      scourge was not an Islamic problem. Contrary to the belief, he said,
      Aids was ravaging the worshippers and there was need to come up with
      strategies to fight it. Prof El-Busaidy said it was unfortunate that
      their response had remained slow, limited, fragmented and
      uncoordinated while the problem was taking root in the community.
      "As you are all aware, Islam as a faith and a way of life has a very
      strong component of preventative health, destigmatisation and care of
      the sick and orphans in general situations as well as HIV/Aids," he
      said. He said mosques, madrassas (Islamic classes), imams, teachers
      and other service organisations had not been fully tapped as potential
      media for communication to the Muslim community.


      Kuwait panel inaugurates two mosques in Kosovo - 21 Oct 03
      Secretary General of the Kuwaiti Joint Relief Committee Faisal
      Al-Mugahwi inaugurated two new mosques financed by Kuwaiti donors, in
      two villages of the Frizai province. .. He added that the committee's
      aid covered several aspects, including offering foodstuff and cloths,
      in addition to building houses and new mosques, which spread all over
      Kosovo, as well as rebuilding the ones destroyed during the war.
      The number of mosques in Kosovo will reach 31 by the end of this year.
      The committee will inaugurate ten mosques on several stages throughout
      this year; in addition to that it will provide health services for the
      people of Kosovo through the Kuwaiti Medical Centre, which was
      inaugurated last year.


      Lebanon To Mark Ramadan On October27 : Shiite Scholar - 21 Oct 03
      Lebanon's grand Shiite authority Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah announced
      that Monday, October 27, will be the first day of the Muslims holy
      fasting month of Ramadan. "It has been ascertained to us, in
      accordance with accurate astrological calculations and the possible
      sighting of the lunar crescent, that Sunday, October26 , completes the
      month of Shaban," said the veteran Shiite scholar in a statement, a
      copy of which was received by IslamOnline.net Tuesday, October21 .

      Moon sighting has always been a controversial issue among Muslim
      countries, and even scholars seem at odds over the issue. While one
      group of scholars sees that Muslims in other regions and countries are
      to follow this sighting as long as these countries share one part of
      the night, another states that Muslims everywhere should abide by the
      lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.

      A third, however, disputes both views, arguing that Islam is against
      division and disunity, since Muslims, for instance, are not allowed to
      hold two congregational prayers in one mosque at the same time.
      This group believes that the authority in charge of ascertaining the
      sighting of the moon in a given country (such as Egypt's Dar al-Iftaa
      [House of Fatwa]) announces the sighting of the new moon, then Muslims
      in the country should all abide by this.


      Harmonising Syariah and Civil Laws must be done through proper process
      .. - 21 Oct 03
      Chief Justice Tan Sri Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim Monday said any
      changes made in the effort to harmonise the Syariah and Civil laws
      must be done through a proper democratic process. He said whatever
      deliberations made and conclusions reached at the International
      Conference on the Harmonisation of the Syariah and Civil Laws must be
      made or reached within the existing framework of the Federal
      Constitution, especially on provisions relating to fundamental
      liberties, such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and
      freedom of religion. "We must always remember that the roles that
      fundamental liberties play are many and no less important in shaping a
      democratic society.
      The conference is organised by the Harmonisation Unit and Law Centre
      of the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyah of Law of the International Islamic
      University of Malaysia (IIUM). "I understand that this is the first
      international conference of its kind wherein special emphasis will be
      given towards harmonising the Syariah and Civil laws in Malaysia with
      the hope that it will be a major contributory factor towards the
      realisation of our very own common law based on local values."
      Meanwhile, the Dean of the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyah of Laws, Prof Dr Nik
      Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod, said the objective of the conference was to
      present the findings of researches undertaken by specialists of their
      disciplines and to share their expertise with others involved in the
      related fields. "The conference will focus on the formulation of
      theoretical guidelines and methodology on the Islamisation of human
      science in general and the harmonisation of Shariah and Civil laws in
      particular," he said. He said in making the guidelines, the areas of
      agreement and conflict between the principles and dogmas of Islam and
      particular disciplines were to be ascertained.

      The question still is: Do Jews control the world? - 18 Oct 03
      However, singling out Jews here may not go down well with those in the
      West as any remark or statement that has a negative connotation may
      result in those making the remark being labelled anti-Semitic, a
      racist or even being equated with Adolf Hitler. Those were the labels
      Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad received for saying that
      "Jews controlled the world". Forget about the fact that his statement
      was taken out of context.
      It is accepted among Third World nations that Jews in the US control
      the country's foreign policies, hence the reason why the US has always
      vetoed resolutions in the United Nations that favour Palestinians,
      even though the majority of members support them.
      Malaysia says: Jews are smarter than Muslims - 17 Oct 03

      Kelantan to maintain Friday weekend holiday - 18 Oct 03
      Kelantan will maintain Friday as a weekend holiday despite suggestions
      to have it reverted to Sunday, Berita Harian reported. .. Currently,
      Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah have their weekend holiday on Friday.


      Morocco to stage all-out information campaign on family code reforms
      .. - 18 Oct 03
      The Moroccan government is to stage an all-out campaign to explain to
      the public the nature of the amendments brought to the "Mudawana
      (Family Code)" announced last Friday by King Mohammed VI at the
      opening of the Parliament fall. The awareness campaign will be
      conducted in two steps, announced Moroccan minister of Habous
      (endowments) and Islamic affairs, Ahmed Taoufiq, during a cabinet
      meeting held here Thursday. The first step, prior to the adoption of
      this new Code by the parliament, will be carried out by Ulemas (Muslim
      theologians) who will explain the effort of Fiqh's (Islamic Law)
      interpretation implied by the proposed reforms, through their
      participation in debates including in the media. The second step
      consists in associating qualified preachers to this process once the
      draft Code is adopted by the parliament. They will explain to the
      public in mosques the positive contribution of this Code to the
      stability and serenity of the society, bearing in mind the guarantees
      offered by the Muslim religion.


      Lawyer in Sharia Death Case Makes US Circuit - 21 Oct 03
      The lead defense counsel in the globally publicized Sharia death case
      of Amina Lawal in Nigeria has been making the circuits in the United
      States. Hauwa Ibrahim successfully led a team of lawyers for the
      acquittal of Amina by the Sharia Appellate Court in the Nigerian State
      of Katsina.
      "I was born, bred and have lived as a Muslim," Defense Counsel Hauwa
      Ibrahim says, pointing out however that her major objective is to see
      the triumph of the rule of law and due process. She says her campaign
      is not one of anti-Sharia, anti-Muslim, or anti-tradition. "My humble
      desire is to use legal skills to help the voiceless, the illiterate,
      the poor, and the vulnerable." Hauwa has worked in 47 Sharia cases
      without pay, and she says most of the accused fall in the category of
      the vulnerable and voiceless she is committed to helping.
      In her remarks at the program, Hauwa Ibrahim said the ruling of the
      Sharia Appellate Court in the Amina Lawal case would be remembered for
      a number of precedents in Nigerian Sharia law and practice. She said
      while the lower courts refused to make any reference to the Nigerian
      Constitution, the appellate court recognized the Constitution in its
      ruling. She said also important was the appellate court's shifting of
      the burden of proof of guilt to the prosecutor from the accused. The
      court also ruled that the duty of the police was not going into homes
      to search for alleged adulterers and bringing them to court, Hauwa

      [Jigawa] Removal of Religious Studies in Schools Irks Parents - 21 Oct
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200310210242.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      Parents in Jigawa State have kicked against the state's new education
      policy which removes the teaching of religious studies from the normal
      schools timetable. Some parents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
      in Dutse at the weekend that it is inconceivable that a government
      could adopt Sharia and then remove the teaching of religious studies
      in schools. The new education policy has removed teaching of religious
      studies from the normal lesson hours and placed it between 2 p.m. and
      4 p.m.
      [Speaker of the state assembly, Alhaji Mujitafa Malan] insisted that
      the two-hour period set aside for the lesson was not abnormal but was
      unable to say how the government intended to woo students back to
      school after the normal academic period.


      Elaborate arrangements to facilitate Pakistani Hajjaj during ensuing
      Hajj season http://www.nni-news.com/current/main/news-05.htm

      [Urdu Press Review] The tragedy of the Muslim woman - 17 Oct 03
      Writing in "Insaf" (26 September 2003) Maulana Abdur Rasheed Arshad
      said that a judge of the Sindh High Court had recently passed a
      judgement giving equal share in inheritance to a woman while there is
      a clear edict (nas) in the Quran that she should receive half a share.
      He said the judge while quoting the UN human rights charter violated
      the charter of the Quran. He said the UN was a "londi" (slave girl) of
      the Jews and could not be in favour of the Muslims. He added that the
      Lahore High Court too had applied a new reasoning to a case of love
      marriage between two Christians which was wrong.
      According to "Nawa-e-Waqt" (26 September 2003) one Nasima Bibi of
      Shadbagh who was accused of insulting the Quran died in jail in Lahore
      after being bailed out by the High Court in June with Rs 50,000 [EUR
      750,-] bond for her and her two sons who were also arrested. No one
      came forward to stand bail for them and the mother died. The sons then
      prayed to the court that they be allowed to leave and bury their
      mother as no one was willing to stand bail for them. They said their
      mother was wrongfully accused by a man to get hold of her house. She
      was a God-fearing person and could not think of insulting the Quran.
      The court let the sons below 18 years of age go on a bail of Rs 5,000.

      [Punjab] Legislator Fights Pakistan's 'Blood' Marriages - 20 Oct 03
      Humaira Awais Shahid's campaign to outlaw forced marriages of women in
      Pakistan began with a letter from an illiterate girl named Sitara
      Isakhel. A tribal jirga, or council, last year sentenced the 17-year
      old and her 8-year old sister, Sameera, to marry members of a more
      powerful tribe after their brother was accused of impregnating a woman
      he was not married to.
      Vinni, which comes from the Pashtun word for blood, vanay, is a
      centuries-old practice in Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan of giving
      women into marriage as compensation in cases of murder, territorial
      disputes or other serious disagreements. The "aggrieved" party
      normally seeks young, beautiful, virgin girls to assuage their need
      for revenge and in the process forever damaging the reputation of the
      "guilty" family. The custom is also known as swara in the northern
      areas of Pakistan. It is common in three of the four Pakistan
      provinces, including the Northwest Frontier, Sindh and Punjab.
      In exchange, the accused parties--almost exclusively male--escape
      further punishment. "The councils play a major role in this, as the
      decisions are taken and implemented by them," Shahid tells Women's
      eNews in an interview. "And in most cases, no matter the evidence, the
      panchayat (tribal elders) rule in favor of the more influential
      party." Standard rates do apply. One girl above the age of 7, or two
      girls younger than 7, is viewed as commonly acceptable compensation
      for murder.
      the politically inexperienced Shahid pushed forward, presenting a
      resolution last February calling on the federal government to enact
      legislation against vinni, setting a five-year imprisonment for any
      person involved in ordering or carrying out a sentence issued by the
      tribal elders. The resolution passed unanimously. "Truth be told, half
      of them didn't even know what they were voting on," she recalls with a
      laugh. "For weeks after, other members came up to ask me what
      precisely vinni is and, to their credit, once I explained, they gave
      me full support."

      Over the ensuing three months, Shahid enlisted the help of lawyers,
      human-rights activists and politicians to create a draft bill, which
      wound its way through the Punjab Law Department and then the Home
      Department and has now landed with the Federal Interior Ministry for
      approval. Once the ministry signs off on the draft, Shahid will have
      to persuade a member of the National Assembly to sponsor the bill and
      press for a final vote.
      Confident her vinni bill will pass, Shahid has already begun looking
      at other inhumane practices to tackle during her five-year tenure as a
      provincial legislator. In August, she put forth a resolution calling
      on the federal government to amend the Pakistan Penal Code to classify
      throwing acid as attempted murder. The practice is widespread and can
      permanently scar a woman. Again, her resolution passed unanimously.

      [Balochistan] Draft Shariat Bill ready: minister - 19 Oct 03
      Senior Balochistan Minister Maulana Abdul Wasay said on Saturday that
      the Nifaz-i-Shariat committee had finalized the draft Shariat bill,
      that would be reviewed in a provincial Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal meeting
      before being submitted to the cabinet for approval. Talking to this
      correspondent, he said the finalization of the bill was delayed to
      include the recommendations of religious scholars of different schools
      of thought in it.

      [NWFP] NWFP governor objects to Hisba Act - 20 Oct 03
      Governor Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah said on Thursday he had sent the
      Hisba Act back to the provincial government with objections and
      received a reply on Wednesday. "I returned the Hisba Act with
      objections, or whatever you call it, comprising four pages, and on
      Wednesday the government side sent a reply I haven't received
      the governor told reporters after a seminar called "Role of Media
      Vision 2020 Pakistan" organised by the Pakistan National
      Committee for
      Prevention of Blindness, at a hotel.

      [NWFP] Islamic bank approved in Pakistan - 21 Oct 03
      Pakistan's central bank has authorised a government-owned bank in the
      conservative North West Frontier Province to begin interest-free
      banking in accordance with strict Islamic law, the provincial finance
      minister said yesterday. Sirajul Haq, the province's finance minister,
      said Pakistan's State Bank was allowing the Khyber Bank, owned by the
      provincial government, to work according to Islamic principles of not
      giving or taking interest. The first branch to offer Islamic banking
      will open in about one month, fulfilling a promise by the coalition of
      religious-based parties that won provincial elections last October to
      extend the policy to government-controlled lenders. Previously, only
      private banks adhered to the policy.

      [NWFP] Barbers announce to stay away from shearing beard
      http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=41973 - 18 Oct 03
      Barbers community of this hilly town [Basham] has pledged to
      relinquish the shaving job with announcing penalty of Rs. 20,000 [EUR
      300] and sealing off shop for a term of six month for violators of the
      pledge. The move initiated by the barbers association is having
      backing from local police so that no injustice is done to any barber.
      The association has set up public committee representing all walks of
      life for mustering the support of masses for their initiative. Talking
      to Online a group of people vehemently opposed this move saying that
      such campaign can obstruct the process of enforcement of Sharia in the
      country in the wake of evolving global situation when the
      international media is focusing on Pakistan particularly frontier
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3207848.stm - 20 Oct 03
      The ban on shaving beards is not expected to affect the locals in a
      town where almost all men can boast bushy facial hair. But Bisham has
      also been a popular stopping-point for tourists from Pakistan's
      cities, who come seeking the mountain air. The clean-shaven amongst
      them may now have trouble maintaining a stubble-free appearance,
      according to Jehanzada, a local man. Sher Ali of the Bisham Barbers'
      Association says the ban is the result of "an ongoing debate about our
      work". "There were concerns that our earnings from shaving beards were
      un-Islamic and tainted - so we have decided to stop." The town's
      barbers will continue to trim men's hair, massage scalps and groom
      those who use the public baths. They are reportedly considering a
      further ban on "Western-style" haircuts. .. The fall of the Taleban
      in 2001 was followed by a barber shop boom in the Afghan capital,
      Kabul, as thousands of men flocked to be shorn of their regulation
      facial hair.


      Boom Time for Business as Ramadan Approaches - 21 Oct 03
      Businesses are gearing up to meet consumer demand during Ramadan,
      which starts on Sunday or Monday, amid complaints that some are taking
      advantage of the shopping season to put up their prices. Ramadan means
      big business for traders, and according to an estimate the total
      turnover of the Eastern Province market during Ramadan last year was
      nearly SR 1.3 billion [EUR 296 m]. Projections for this year are that
      it could reach SR 1.8 billion. Fast-moving consumer goods have the
      largest share of the market, amounting to almost 40 percent, followed
      by garments, textiles, electronic goods, furniture and jewelry.

      Saudi opposition site interviews "wanted" Saudi security suspect
      .. One of nineteen Saudis wanted by the authorities has denied
      fighting in Iraq, according to an interview with an opposition web
      site. Abd-al-Aziz al-Muqrin said that his aim was to "purge" Saudi
      Arabia of non-Muslims, the web site said. In the interview Al- Muqrin
      discusses previous operations in Afghanistan and Algeria. The
      following is the text of the report of first of two part interview
      with Al-Muqrin; by unidentified interviewer; place and date not given;
      entitled "Interview with Abd-al-Aziz al-Muqrin, one of 19 wanted
      Saudis", published by London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in
      Arabia web site on 13 October. [..]

      Saudi Arabia: too little, too late - 16 Oct 03
      Proposals to introduce a modicum of local democracy in Saudi Arabia
      have been announced against the backdrop of mounting internal
      discontent within the Kingdom. JID has asked a leading expert on the
      Gulf region to analyse the latest developments and to assess whether
      these will be sufficient to stem the tide of opposition to the House
      of Saud.
      However, although growing numbers of Saudi citizens are deeply
      dissatisfied with the present system of royal government, in reality
      there is very little support for a Western-style democracy which, it
      is feared, would undermine the country's Sharia code of Islamic law.
      Opposition groups in Saudi - and many of the émigré
      which operate abroad - are not pursuing a vision of Western democracy,
      but an even more rigid interpretation of Sunni Sharia and the ousting
      of those sections of the royal family which they regard as having been
      corrupted by association with the West. These are not the sort of
      people with whom Washington - or Western human rights campaigners -
      will be comfortable doing business.

      Government Cracks Down as Beggary Turns Big Business - 19 Oct 03
      With expatriate beggars remitting an estimated SR250 million [EUR 57m]
      annually, the government is cracking down on begging ahead of Ramadan.
      The campaign started last Thursday under the slogan "Not Every Beggar
      Is in Need," Okaz newspaper reported, but already officials from the
      Anti-Beggary Department in the last two months arrested some 1,100
      beggars, most of them overstayers.
      The slogan of the campaign in borne out by a study conducted by the
      Anti-Beggary Department. "The annual income of a beggar ranges between
      SR18,000 [Eur 4.000,-] and SR35,000 [Eur 8.000,-]," the study said.
      "More than 7,000 beggars including women and children were arrested in
      the recent past in Jeddah alone, of which the majority were African
      The total number of beggars in the Kingdom is estimated at about
      100,000, with an average individual daily income of about SR50 [Eur11]
      . The situation is not helped by the fact that there are about half a
      million unemployed expatriates in Saudi Arabia. But Saudi nationals
      too are involved in the profession. Another survey conducted by Dr.
      Abdullah Al-Yousif of Imam Muhammad ibn Saud University, says 69
      percent of child beggars in Riyadh are Saudis, including 56.6 percent
      of them girls.


      What 'mujahideen' means in Arabic - 20 Oct 03
      'Mujahideen' is the plural of the word 'mujahid'. A 'mujahid' is
      anyone who struggles for a noble cause against enemies, tyranny,
      oppression or bad desires in order to regain honour, freedom or
      personal upliftment. 'Jihad' comes from the root word 'jahada', which
      means to endeavour, to strive or to work hard. In Islam, 'jihad' means
      to strive in the name of God, by disciplining oneself against desires
      such as greed, anger or lust. Jihad can also mean to defend one's
      country or religion against aggressors. The words 'mujahideen' and
      'jihad' were included in the glossary of Islamic terms issued by Muis
      in October 2001.


      Somali War Children Explore Life Without Guns - 08 Oct 03

      Somali bodyguards arrested over thwarted VIP trip - 12 Oct 03
      Officials of Mogadishu's Islamic courts arrested 10 bodyguards after
      they stopped a former Somali president they once protected from flying
      overseas in a row over pay, aides and city residents said on Sunday.


      'Madrassas' a concern in South Africa - 16 Oct 03
      The information officer at the Pakistani Embassy in Pretoria said his
      government is concerned about the flow of illegal immigrants from
      Pakistan to South Africa via Mozambique, but that the office was
      working closely with South African authorities to combat the problem.
      Muslim officials in South Africa say there has been a surge in the
      construction of madrassas in the country in recent years to deal with
      the influx of foreign students barred from schools in Pakistan and the
      Middle East. The majority of the new schools are located in Cape Town,
      with others in Johannesburg and Durban. Ihsaan Hendriks, deputy
      chairman of South Africa's Muslim Judicial Council, recently told the
      Agence France-Presse news service: "Several Islamic colleges have been
      established in South Africa for local Muslim communities and for
      Muslims in neighboring countries." Mufti Muhammad Jamil, spokesman
      for the Pakistan-based Federation of Madrassas, told the news service
      last month that some 500 foreign students who had been in Pakistani
      Islamic schools have relocated to South Africa.


      Statement by Embassy of Sudan; 'Making Money out of Conflict: Francis
      Bok and 'Slavery' in Sudan' - 17 Oct 03

      Freed Sudanese Islamist calls for elections - 18 Oct 03
      Turabi, who heads the Popular National Congress Party and was once the
      ideologue for Bashir's government, said elections were key to
      preventing secession of the south. "Elections should be as soon as
      possible," the 70-year-old told Reuters and Sudan's daily Al-Khartoum
      at his home in the capital. He said government in Sudan should be
      decentralized. "Sudan is too big to be governed from one center," he

      He said Bashir's government had warped his ideas on implementing
      sharia, saying most laws -- including those on freedom of worship and
      alcohol consumption -- should be determined by individuals, not the
      state. "Family laws, personal laws ... what you drink, the way you
      dress, the way you associate with people ... Those laws have to be
      personalized. Other laws have to be local. Each federated state
      parliament should develop its own laws," he said.
      Turabi's release was seen as a government attempt to rally support
      from Turabi's northern support base for any peace deal with the SPLA,
      which is seeking more autonomy for the south. For many southerners,
      Turabi is a symbol of Khartoum's attempt to impose Arabic and Islam in
      the south.


      General issues apology for religious war comments - 18 Oct 03
      An Army general who has been widely criticized by framing U.S. battles
      against Islamic militants in religious terms said Friday that he was
      "not anti-Islam or any other religion" and apologized to "those who
      have been offended by my statements." In a short statement aimed at
      quieting calls for his removal, Lt. Gen. William Boykin said he does
      not regard the war on terrorism as a war between Islam and
      Christianity. He said the main point of his church speeches has been
      to urge Americans to pray for their leaders.
      News reports this week quoted several instances over the past two
      years in which Boykin, appearing in uniform before evangelical
      Christian groups, portrayed the war on terrorism as a religious
      struggle. In one videotape he was shown saying "the enemy that has
      come against our nation is a spiritual enemy" named Satan. In another,
      he said President Bush "is in the White House because God put him
      there." And discussing a 1993 battle with a Muslim militia leader in
      Somalia, he said: "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that
      my God was a real God, and his was an idol."

      Implications of Islamic values in the public workplace - 01 Oct 03
      .. To help public managers better understand issues of religious
      practice in the workforce, we begin with a brief review of the place
      of religion in the United States and its workforce. We follow that
      with an explanation of Islamic religious practices and the
      constitutional and legal principles that allow religious practice in
      the workplace. We then review current case law that illuminates some
      of the problems and resolutions to accommodating Muslim employees.


      Yemeni cleric sees militants splitting Muslims - 18 Oct 03
      A moderate Yemeni cleric is leading a campaign to fight Islamic
      extremism with a message of peace and tolerance in one of the worst
      hotbeds of religious militancy. Omar Bin Hafidh is one of the five
      leading scholars in Yemen, the ancestral home of Osama Bin Laden,
      helping a government drive to "re-educate" militants, mainly prisoners
      held for planning attacks on Western and Yemeni targets. Hafidh, who
      teaches at the Dar Al-Mustafa Centre for Islamic Research in the
      eastern Yemeni town of Tarim, said Islam has greatly suffered from
      acts of religious extremism such as the September 11 hijacked plane
      attacks on US cities.
      Government officials say some 20 people have been released after
      "re-education", while some 60 suspects remain in jail. Amnesty
      International and the UN Human Rights Committee have criticized the
      arrests, saying suspects were held on unclear charges or outside the
      legal framework. Hafidh said the "re-education" campaign employed
      tapes and other media to persuade militants to abandon violence, as
      well as discussions about the interpretation of the Koran.


      Main elements of OIC communique - 17 Oct 03

      [Africa] Time to abolish the death penalty - 10 Oct 03


      [World Bank] Jakarta banks vulnerable to corruption - 20 Oct 03

      [Qatar] Finance Ministry signs deal for $700mn Islamic bond
      http://www.gulf-times.com/2003/10/11/finance.htm - 11 Oct 03
      The Ministry of Finance on Thursday signed an agreement with a special
      purpose company - Qatar Global Sukuk (QGS) - to raise $ 700mn through
      the seven year Islamic bond (Sukuk al-Ijara). The company that was
      formed on Wednesday represents 45 major investors who are
      participating in the issue.
      The A3/A+ rated Sukuk al-Ijara follows Islamic-compliant bonds from
      Malaysia, Bahrain and the Islamic Development Bank, he said. The
      minister said Sukuk al-Ijara is the largest Islamic bond issued so
      far. Region-wise the bond has been distributed as follows: Middle East
      72%, Asia 14%, Europe 13% and US offshore 1%. The distribution in
      terms of investors is: Islamic banks and funds 52%, conventional banks
      24%, central banks and government authorities 13%, fund managers 10%
      and private banks 1%.
      The entry of the Saudi Ministry of Finance would be a major
      psychological boost for the Islamic capital market. The Kingdom is by
      far the largest market for liquidity. It would also signify a vote of
      confidence by the Saudi authorities for the Islamic bond market. Iran,
      which is contemplating going to the Eurobond market with two new
      issues, could contribute by issuing an Islamic Eurobond. An Iraqi
      reconstruction bond issue, underwritten and guaranteed by the IDB,
      could also go a long way in adding market depth and political
      credibility. Malaysia set the ball rolling last year with its $600
      million Malaysia Global Sukuk, the first Islamic bond to be issued. It
      was rated BBB and Baa2 by S&P and Moody's respectively. The
      Development Bank (IDB) in June this year launched an Islamic bond, a
      $400 million sukuk al-ijara, which was rated AAA and AA by S&P and

      The reasons why the sukuks al-ijara seem to be so successful are many.
      They are new and there is behind-the-scene pressure put on domestic
      subscribers. But above all, there is a dearth of investment
      opportunities with varying maturity profiles for Islamic financial
      institutions, awash with liquidity especially short-term investments.
      The result is that there is a serious mismatch between their
      short-term deposits and their long-term assets. Thus, the need for
      tradable instruments that can be liquidated easily when cash is
      required becomes paramount. The Malaysia Global Sukuk is listed on the
      Labuan International Financial Exchange and the Luxembourg Stock
      Exchange. In the first six months after issue, the sukuk saw only two
      trades on the Labuan exchange. It was only listed on the Bahrain Stock
      Exchange three weeks ago, becoming the first Malaysian bond to be
      listed on a stock exchange in MENA countries. Qatar aims to use some
      funds raised from its sukuk to finance the construction of the $450
      million Hamad Medical City in Doha, which will initially be used as
      the athletes' village for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
      The challenge for Islamic bond structurers also is to come up with a
      more varied profile of issues, beyond the bai-salam sukuk and the
      sukuk al-ijara. These would include al-istisna bonds, mudaraba bonds,
      and musharaka bonds. Even seasoned Islamic bankers agree that to add
      depth to the market, the innovators will have to get their thinking
      caps on. After all the sukuks-al-ijara depend on quality assets which
      are then securitized. The Muslim world does not have that depth of
      quality assets. Furthermore, these assets have to be acceptable from a
      Shariah compliance point of view; and have to have proven rental and
      other income streams to effectively guarantee the securitization

      Central Bank Watch: Malaysia As Islamic Banking Center - 20 Oct 03
      In July, the Islamic Development Bank issued a $300 million Sukuk
      securitizing a mixed portfolio of leased assets and receivables, and
      Malaysia may well be studying it as a model for its next Sukuk issue
      expected sometime in 2004, industry participants said. On Friday,
      Islamic Development Bank President Ahmad Mohammad Ali said the IDB
      will tap the market for more funds, following the success of the
      issue, national news agency Bernama news reported.
      Islamic issues are fast gaining popularity in the domestic market as
      well. In 2002, Islamic debt issuance in Malaysia amounted to $3.6
      billion, or 52% of total private debt securities. That is the first
      time the amount of Islamic issues surpassed conventional market
      issues. At the OIC business summit Thursday, industry leaders called
      for a broader ownership base for Islamic banking products to better
      tap the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. But the market participants
      said that the success of these ventures isn't dependent on Muslim
      investors alone. Around 70% of the IDB's Sukuk that went to market in
      July was bought by conventional institutional investors, Saad Ashraf,
      head of Citigroup Islamic in the U.K., said at the summit.

      The prospects for takaful products also are bright. Malaysia was the
      first country in Asia to provide Islamic insurance, beginning in 1984,
      and now controls close to 40% of the global market, Mohd Fadzli Yusof,
      the chief executive of Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd., said at the OIC
      summit Thursday. He noted that there is big potential for growth in
      this sector, given low market penetration. While Muslims make up
      around 14% of the world population, Muslim countries account for only
      about 5% of total insurance premiums. Over the last five years in
      Malaysia, takaful insurance has grown at an average of about 30% a
      year, compared with just 10% for conventional insurance.

      [Bahrain] More Arab investors opt for Islamic banking - 16 Oct 03
      "The region is witnessing a rapid improvement in real estate ­
      about a
      40 percent increase in the last year alone ­ and stock markets are
      also booming.These are indications of high liquidity available for
      investment in the area after being repatriated from abroad," Saeed
      Fahim,the Chairman of Al-Fahim Group of the United Arab Emirates said
      this week. Fahim was speaking on Monday after announcing the
      establishment of a new Islamic investment bank ­ International
      Investment Bank (IIB) in Bahrain ­ in which his group will own 24
      percent. Forty-five investors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United
      Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar will own the bank which will focus on
      real estate in Gulf Arab states and Europe as well as direct
      investment in successful companies. IIB Chief Executive Aabed Zeera of
      Bahrain said a European investment firm was negotiating to have a
      stake in the $43 million bank.

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