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Sharia News Watch 78

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 78 : a collection newsquotes on Shariah, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 25, 2003
      Sharia News Watch 78 : 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/


      Afghan SC issues fatwa, allowing women to re-marry - 24 Oct 03
      Afghanistan's supreme court has issued a major ruling, or fatwa,
      allowing women to re-marry if their husbands are officially missing
      for four or more years. The ruling voids current Afghan law that
      requires a woman to wait 70 years before remarrying.

      Karzai calls 'jihad for reconstruction' - 25 Oct 03
      President Hamid Karzai launched a ground-breaking campaign yesterday
      to demobilise 100,000 Afghan soldiers, calling on the first disbanded
      fighters to take up a new 'jihad' for reconstruction. "Today we are
      lucky to start a jihad (holy struggle) for peace, a jihad for
      reconstruction, a jihad for disarmament," Karzai said before a formal
      disbandment parade in a village square of Kunduz. Nearly 1,000 former
      anti-Soviet and anti-Taleban fighters have handed in their guns here
      in the past five days, in the pilot phase of an ambitious three year
      project that will ultimately go nationwide.


      Ramadan shows lined up on TV - 24 Oct 03
      Bahrain Television Channel 55 will be transmitted via satellite,
      beginning on the first day or Ramadan. The channel will broadcast
      several local shows, programmes and dramas in addition to well-known
      mini-series, shows and movies. Channel director Sami Hijris said many
      local social, news and entertainment shows are lined up during

      Statute court to hear Rabea case - 22 Oct 03
      A case in which 11 Sharia (religious) judges claim that they were
      defamed in Press reports following a family custody ruling was passed
      from the High Criminal Court to the Constitutional Court yesterday. It
      is understood the Constitutional Court will give a final verdict after
      examining the rights of the media in publishing such reports.
      The Sharia judges claim their characters were stained by Akhbar Al
      Khaleej's coverage last April following a hunger strike by Badriya
      Rabea, who was protesting against a decision to award custody of her
      children to her ex-husband.


      Security to be tightened during Ramadan in Bangladesh - 24 Oct 03
      Extensive security measures to maintain law and order will be taken
      during Ramadan in Bangladesh, reported the Daily Star Friday. State
      Minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar announced the decision
      Thursday at a meeting of law enforcing agencies to check mugging,
      extortion and other criminal activities in the country.

      Officials at the meeting said 15 summary court led by magistrates will
      be set up in Dhaka to try the accused like muggers and extortionists
      on the spot. Besides, 40 patrol teams of the Bangladesh Rifles,
      police, ansars (militia) and the Armed Police Battalion will be
      deployed as strike forces in the capital city to swing into quick
      action. As shopping gets momentum during Ramadan, police will be
      patrolling in all markets to check criminal acts like mugging,
      hijacking and robbery. Security forces will be on duty on highways and
      at launch and bus terminals to protect home-bound passengers. The home
      ministry meeting also identified at least 20 points inthe capital
      where traffic jam is a common feature particularly during Ramadan.
      Special forces of police are being deployed in these areas to ease
      traffic congestion and facilitate the movementof fasting people.


      Brunei To Sight New Moon Of Ramadhan This Afternoon - 26 Oct 03
      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 to sight the new moon. .. The first day of Ramadhan will be
      announced over Radio Television Brunei (RTB) as soon as the result of
      the sighting of the new moon is confirmed.


      Muslims stock up on dates and nuts for Ramadan holiday - 24 Oct 03
      Muslims across the Middle East are rushing to stock up on dates, dried
      fruit, pistachios and other delicacies for the holy month of Ramadan
      but price increases in several countries are making shopping harder.
      Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and abstain from eating,
      drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours, begins with the
      sighting of the first sliver of the new moon, probably Sunday or
      Monday in most countries in the region.

      In Egypt, the mufti said a cloud of pollution blamed on the burning of
      rice chaff would make the job of sighting the crescent moon difficult.
      Average Egyptians are complaining meanwhile that they are having
      trouble paying for the food, which is served at the evening iftar, or
      breakfast, and "sorhour," the last meal before dawn. "People can no
      longer afford it with the price increases," said Ahmed, who sells
      dried fruit in the Rod al-Farag market in Cairo. In the last four
      years, an economic crisis has deepened in Egypt, with the steady
      devaluation of the Egyptian pound against the dollar, which causes
      inflation because many foodstuffs must be imported.
      at Rod al-Farag, the main market for dates and dried fruit, vendors
      said prices for food eaten during Ramadan have shot up almost 50
      percent since last year. "Because of the price increases, I reduced my
      orders by two-thirds over last year," Ahmed told AFP. A kilogram (2.2
      pounds) of hazelnuts doubled from 23 pounds last year to 46 pounds
      [EUR 6,35] this year, while the same quantity of pistachios shot up
      from 46 pounds to 58 pounds and almonds went from 37 pounds per kilo
      to 50 pounds, he said. Most of these commodities are imported. Even
      Egyptian dates have shot up in price.


      Muslim Panel To Determine Ramadan Start In France - 25 Oct 03
      For the first time in France , a Muslim committee is scheduled to
      convene late on Saturday, October 25 , to settle on the first day of
      the holy fasting month of Ramadan. "The committee, which was set up by
      the French Muslim Council, will depend mainly on astrological
      calculations to determine the first day of the dawn-to-dusk fasting
      month, which is expected to fall on Monday, October 27 ," Ahmad
      Gaballah, imam of the Union of Islamic Organizations in France's
      (UIOF's) mosque, told IslamOnline.net. "We were until very recently
      determining the first day of Ramadan according to Muslim countries."


      Muslims to begin Ramadan fasting on Sunday - 25 Oct 03
      Sunday October 26, has been declared as the first day of the Ramadan
      fasting for all Muslims in the country. A statement signed by Sheikh
      M. M. Gedel, Chairman of the National Hilal Committee said as late as
      2200 hours on Friday Oct. 24, which is the 29th Sha'ban, no report had
      been received from anywhere in the country about the sighting of the
      Ramadan new moon. "However, since Saturday October 25, is the 30th day
      of Sha'ban, the National Chief Imam and the Ameer and Missionary in
      Charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslims Mission have authorised the National
      Hilal Committee to declare Sunday October 26, as the first day of
      Ramadan," the statement said.


      Greece plans to improve Muslim rights - 24 Oct 03
      Tilemachos Chytiris, a spokesman for Prime Minister Costas Simitis
      said on Thursday that the Greek cabinet in the coming weeks will
      consider allowing the Muslim minority to elect representatives who run
      mosque's property. The proposed election is to replace the current
      procedure of appointments.
      The government is also mulling introducing Turkish as a second
      language in minority kindergartens and high schools, as well as
      expanding the current university entrant quota for Muslim Greeks to
      the country's polytechnics. The announcement came a day after a visit
      by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to Athens. Greek government
      sources put the number of northeastern Greece's Muslim minority,
      divided into Turkish and Bulgarian speakers, at around 100,000.


      Muslim leader criticizes US president's "interference" in schools
      .. [Text of report by newspaper Republika web site on 22 October]
      Din Syamsuddin, secretary-general of the Indonesian Ulemas [Muslim
      scholars] Council [MUI] , has said the opinion of US President George
      Bush that the curricula of Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia
      should be changed is a form of interference in the sovereignty of
      another country and projects him as an arrogant guest who came to
      dictate to the country. "That reinforces the MUI's previous statement
      that a meeting between Bush and Indonesian religious figures would be
      useless because not only did Bush refuse to listen to the advice and
      criticisms of the figures but he had even lectured them," Din said in
      Jakarta on Wednesday [22 October]. Din said thousands of Islamic
      boarding schools in Indonesia simply teach what should be taught in
      Islam such as the sharia [shari'ah - Islamic law], faith, or morality
      and do not preach a terrorist behaviour as alleged.

      Unemployment Hits 38.2 Million: Minister - 23 Oct 03
      The Consortium for Indonesian Migrant Workers Advocacy on Tuesday
      urged President Megawati Sukarnoputri to improve the protection of
      Indonesian female workers employed in the Middle East.
      Zaidy, an executive of the Nahdlatul Ulama Manpower Development
      Institution, held talks with legislators at the national parliament
      building to demand that Megawati seek accountability from the Middle
      East countries where Indonesian women have reportedly been subjected
      to assault, including rape. He said several Indonesian workers in
      Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia had been tortured or

      Tempo weekly newsmagazine this week reported that 19 female workers
      who recently returned from Kuwait had been inhumanely treated by their
      employers. The report said one of the women, Arsita (18), claimed to
      have been raped by her employer and three of his sons. She was also
      allegedly beaten unconscious when she complained to her employer's
      wife about the rapes. Arsita was reportedly ignored when she sought
      help from the Indonesian Embassy in Kuwait and later jailed when she
      reported the incidents to police because she failed to produce her
      passport, which was being held by her employer. Another of the women
      was allegedly raped by six police officers when she reported her
      employment problems to them.


      Nobel prize ridicules Islam, say scholars - 21 Oct 03
      A group of ulema and theology students from Iran's theology centre of
      Qom have hit out at the Nobel Peace Prize win of women's rights lawyer
      Shirin Ebadi saying it was part of a Western conspiracy against Islam.
      In a statement carried by the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper, the group from
      Qom's main seminary said: "The decision by the Western oppressive
      societies to award the prize to Ebadi was done in order to ridicule


      One day in Baghdad - 25 Oct 03
      "We are more afraid of kidnapping than the bombs," says a16-year-old
      named Saduus. Saduus's mother, who has come to pick her up, agrees.
      She's heard of a 15-year-old who was kidnapped on her way to the
      market, and wasn't found for 10 days. "Sometimes they sell the girls
      to the Gulf states for $ 200," she says. For sex? She nods darkly.
      There was no kidnapping (except by Saddam's agents) before the war.
      Now the abduction of a daughter is used as a means of taking revenge
      against old enemies. It's invariably a disaster for both the girl and
      her family; even if she hasn't been sexually assaulted everyone
      assumes she has. Her honour is ruined, and the family is disgraced.
      The loss of security is what every Iraqi mentions first about life
      here. A returning Iraqi-American explained to me that the security
      issue is not just a physical concern for life and property. It is
      profoundly psychological. Saddam functioned as the superego of an
      entire nation. He was the only person to whom people were accountable,
      and he was the only person who could punish. When he was overthrown,
      he left not just a lawless state, but also a moral vacuum. He was the
      law, the only law, and overnight the law vanished.

      Jordan paper profiles Iraq's radical Shi'i cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
      Text of report by Fatimah al-Samadi, entitled "Muqtada al-Sadr: Some
      consider him the Nasrallah of Iraq; A dilemma for the United States as
      well as the Al-Hawzah; A young man leading an army of 50,000 armed men
      talks about peaceful resistance; he has criticized everyone and
      described the religious authorities as the 'vocal' Al- Hawzah and the
      'silent' Al-Hawzah; a charismatic leader who is trying to imitate
      Khomeyni using the style of massive demonstrations that brought down
      the Shah's regime", published by Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab al-Yawm
      on 20 October. [..]

      U.S. use of sniffer dogs infuriates Muslim Iraqis - 22 Oct 03
      A sniffer dog search sparked an anti-U.S. protest in Baghdad on
      Tuesday amid accusations of American insensitivity to Islamic culture.
      "Down, down USA," shouted thousands of government employees angered by
      the detention of a woman who refused to be searched by U.S. soldiers
      using a sniffer dog at the Oil Ministry in Baghdad. Dogs are
      considered unclean in Islamic culture, but sniffer dogs are routinely
      used to search for explosives at government ministries to guard
      against bomb attacks.
      http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/ - 21 Oct 03
      Today, one of the women who work at the ministry, Amal, objected when
      the troops brought forward a dog to sniff her bag. She was carrying a
      Quran inside of it and to even handle a Quran, a Muslim has to be
      'clean' or under 'widhu'. 'Widhu' is the process of cleansing oneself
      for prayer or to read from the Quran. We simply wash the face, neck,
      arms up to the elbows and feet with clean water and say a few brief
      'prayers'. Muslims carry around small Qurans for protection and we've
      been doing it more often since the war- it gives many people a sense
      of security. It doesn't not mean the person is a 'fundamentalist' or
      'extremist'. As soon as Amal protested about letting the dog sniff
      her bag because of the Quran inside, the soldier grabbed the Quran,
      threw it out of the bag and proceeded to check it. The lady was
      horrified and the dozens of employees who were waiting to be checked
      moved forward in a rage at having the Quran thrown to the ground. Amal
      was put in hand-cuffs and taken away and the raging mob was greeted
      with the butts of rifles.


      Art historian extols the glory of Islam, but urges Arabs to do it
      themselves http://www.dailystar.com.lb/features/24_10_03_a.asp


      Mahabiofarma to produce halal vaccines, biological products - 23 Oct
      .. [Business Times - Kuala Lumpur]
      Mahabiofarma (M) Sdn Bhd will be producing halal vaccines and
      biological products, through a tie-up with an Egyptian concern, by
      2005. The company yesterday signed an agreement with Vacsera Egypt to
      form a joint venture for the purpose, which will cover technology
      transfer in the manufacturing of finished goods.
      "This is the first time Malaysia is producing halal vaccine products,"
      Dr Khir told reporters after the signing. Dr Sidek said the company
      had contacted government hospitals and clinics to market Vacsera
      Malaysia products. "We have received good response (from the
      hospitals)," he said. Vacsera has been manufacturing vaccines and
      other biological products for the Egyptian market. It now exports them
      to over 30 countries, mainlyin West Asia and Africa.

      TM-Touch is no more! - 22 Oct 03
      "Celcom is continuously looking at ways to give back to ours users,
      and in Salam we are not only giving back to the community but also
      helping our Muslim brothers and sisters fulfil their religious
      obligations to perform the hajj," said Ramli. As the holy month of
      Ramadan approaches, Salam is all the more relevant, he said. In
      addition to the rebate programme, subscribers will also receive the
      free Jakim-approved SMS Muslim info service, which offers a variety of
      information including interesting hadith (Islamic traditions)
      excerpts, facts on Islam, and tips to help them maintain a happy
      family. The monthly fee is RM30 [EUR 6,75]; users will also get free
      SIM cards upon registration.

      Abang Johari launches crusade against 'drink-violence' in Sarawak
      .. - 23 Oct 03
      Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Abang Johari Tun Openg dares to be
      unpopular in fighting the drink violence problem in the State. This
      son of a former Yang di-Pertua Negeri has initiated a anti-alcohol
      crusade by declaring specific villages "alcohol-free zones". For a
      start, villages to be gazetted are within Kuching City and in Satok,
      Abang Johari's state constituency. The others are in the Tupong,
      Santubong, Demak Laut, Pending, Matang and Batu Kawah constituencies.
      Once gazetted, it will be illegal for the people in these areas to
      sell and consume alcohol. These areas are multi-racial, with Malays
      being in the majority.
      Among the liquor favoured by drinkers here is langkau, a potent spirit
      made from rice. It appears that the local authorities are finally
      reacting to the fact that excessive alcohol consumption and its effect
      on society had reached a chronic stage. The declaration of
      alcohol-free zones will make it easier for the council to enforce the
      law against drunks. The police and the Sarawak Islamic Religious
      Department had on Saturday (Oct 17) jointly started ensuring Muslims
      did not patronise "watering holes" in the city. Twenty-three men and
      two women were arrested with 17 fined RM 2,500 [EUR 557,-] each by
      the Syariah Court for consumption of liquor.

      Govt confident Terengganu's Hudud cannot be implemented - 23 Oct 03
      The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Dr Rais
      Yatim, is confident that the controversial Terengganu Syariah Criminal
      Enactment (Hudud and Qisas) will not be implemented even if it is
      gazetted on Monday. This was because the Pas-led Terengganu Government
      did not have the capability to enforce the Enactment, he said.
      "Without the Royal Malaysian Police, which police will the Terengganu
      Government use to enforce the law?" he said after launching a book
      "The Law and Practice of Islamic Banking and Finance" at a hotel here

      He was asked to comment on the move by the Terengganu Government to
      gazette the Enactment on the first day of Ramadan, possibly next
      Monday. The Enactment, passed at the State Legislative Assembly in
      July last year and which applies to Muslims, introduces Quranic
      punishment for theft, robbery, illicit sex, false accusation of
      illicit sex, drinking liquor and apostasy. The punishment includes
      amputation of limbs and death by stoning.

      Rais reiterated the Federal Government's stand that the Enactment
      opposed the Federal Constitution as crimes came under the jurisdiction
      of Federal Law and Schedule 9 of the Federal Constitution. He said the
      Federal Government would wait for the outcome of the court hearing on
      the validity of the Enactment as the matter had been taken to court.

      Federal Court petitioned on Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment
      .. [Malay Mail] -22 Oct 03
      Lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim yesterday filed a petition at the Federal
      Court for leave to hear an application to determine whether the
      Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment (Hudud and Qisas) can be
      enforced or otherwise. He said the petition was filed because the
      Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment was opposed to Article 75 of the
      Federal Constitution which states that criminal laws come under
      Federal Government jurisdiction. "However, the enactment contains
      criminal laws for offences like robbery, rape and theft which are
      outside the State government's powers," he said in Kuala Lumpur
      yesterday. He said the enactment was not binding on all communities
      but only on Muslims which was contrary to the Constitution.

      [Hudud] It victimises women, no equal justice for offenders -25 Oct 03
      The punishment for zina is death by stoning for a married offender,
      while for an unmarried offender it is 100 lashes of the whip and one
      year's imprisonment. This, says [Sisters In Islam research manager]
      Nik Noriani, is a complete contradiction of the Islamic justice
      system. "The Quran clearly protects women from accusations of zina.
      Surah AnNur Verse Four states that no woman should be charged with
      zina unless there are four witnesses to prove so." Nik Noriani, a
      former legal officer, said Pas' hudud has removed the onus of proving
      the crime from the prosecutor to the woman, who has to prove that she
      did not commit zina, The four-witness rule, she added, was
      specifically to protect women from slander. In Islam, it is a sin to
      accuse a good woman of zina, and even the merest hint of this is

      The rule, by implication, includes men too. However, because usually
      the four witnesses cannot be produced, men are not charged since,
      unlike women, there is no physical evidence (such as pregnancy) to
      indicate extra-marital sex had occurred. Both the Pas states of
      Kelantan and Terengganu have enacted hudud, which were passed by the
      respective State Legislative Assemblies in 1993 (Kelantan) and 2002
      (Terengganu). However, the laws have yet to be implemented.
      Muhyiddin: Umno against Pas-formulated hudud - 25 Oct 03


      Nigerian Muslims Skeptical of Polio Plan - 25 Oct 03
      Three predominantly Muslim states in northern Nigeria - Kano, Kaduna
      and Zamfara - have either delayed or refused permission for the
      vaccination drive, with Zamfara demanding proof the vaccine is safe,
      something U.N. officials say has been repeatedly supplied.
      Polio usually infects children under the age of 5 through contaminated
      drinking water and attacks the central nervous system, causing
      paralysis, wasting muscles, deformation and, in some cases, death.
      Failure of previous vaccine initiatives in northern Nigeria have aided
      the disease's spread internationally, recently leading to the
      crippling of nearly a dozen children in at least four other West
      African nations - Ghana, Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso - according to
      the U.N. World Health Organization.
      International immunization campaigns have slashed the number of
      countries where poliovirus is still breeding to seven -- Nigeria,
      India, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Niger and Somalia. Ninety-nine
      percent of all new polio cases in the world are in Nigeria, Pakistan
      and India. The Nigerian outbreak started in Kano state during the
      summer. Experts blame insufficient coverage during mass polio
      campaigns and routine treatment.
      Nigerian Muslims have become increasingly suspicious of vaccine
      initiatives since 1996, when families in Kano accused New York-based
      Pfizer Inc. of using an experimental meningitis drug on patients
      without fully informing them of the risks. The company denied any
      wrongdoing in a subsequent U.S. federal lawsuit by 20 disabled
      Nigerians alleging to have taken part in the study. The case was
      dismissed, but a U.S. appeals court recently revived it. Rumors gained
      further strength in August after Datti Ahmed, a Nigerian physician
      leading a well-known Islamic fundamentalist pressure group, suggested
      WHO was covertly spreading anti-fertility drugs in its vaccines, an
      allegation the United Nations and Nigerian government have dismissed.
      In Kano, where state officials said Friday they were delaying the
      vaccine drive without explaining why, a group of men leaving the
      city's main mosque discussed the decision. "Allah knows better than
      all Western powers combined," said Ya'u Kabir, a 26-year-old Muslim
      theology student. "He has guided the Muslim community since the time
      of old. This he did without immunization. We do not need it."

      [Zamfara] School Dismisses Six Students for Holding Party - 24 Oct 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200310240420.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      The School of Health Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara State, has dismissed
      six students and suspended 46 others for organising a party to mark
      the country's independence anniversary in the school premises.
      a member of staff of the college, who pleaded anonymity, said the
      students were not dismissed or suspended for just organising the
      party, but for participating in an event which involved males and
      females. "This action of the students contravened the Sharia which is
      being implemented and practised in the state," he added.


      [Amnesty] Denial of basic rights for child prisoners - 23 Oct 03

      Govt. making efforts for betterment of women folk - 22 Oct 03
      Dr. Atia Inayatullah has said that the present government have chalked
      out a comprehensive women development policy after conducting a survey
      right from rural to upper level about the plight of women in Pakistan.
      She was talking to Voice of America about the participation in the
      International conference entitled "General and Human Security" which
      was held in Washington in the beginning of this month. Atia said the
      government of Gen. Musharraf has been successful so far to elevate the
      progress and dignity of women in the country.

      She said laws relating to Family courts Act have been amended keeping
      in view the difficulty being faced by women. "Earlier a woman was
      bound to seek court's assistance in every case separately. She was
      also bound to keep on following her every case throughout her life. We
      have amended this law and now such a case will be sent to the lower
      courts within six months and if the case will not be settled within
      this period, it will automatically be sent to the higher courts. The
      higher courts will announce verdict of case within one month," she
      said. "It was being demanded since long that the law stating if a
      Pakistani woman got married with a foreigner, her children would not
      be eligible to get Pakistan's nationality should be changed. So we
      have changed it," she said. "Besides, we took the measures the women
      will no more have separate cases rather the courts will hear all cases
      together, such as custody, maintenance and divorce etc under the
      family laws and give their verdict simultaneously," Atia asserted.
      Asked about the imprisonment of women involved in adultery cases,
      their deprivation from giving an equal status in the Law of Evidence
      and Haddod Ordinance and the problems which have been created for
      women in the Law of Diyat, Qisas and abortion, she replied that the
      government was sensitive to the issue and was taking steps in the
      right direction.

      Hudood Ord cannot be repealed: MMA - 22 Oct 03
      The Hudood Ordinance is strictly based on the teachings of Quran and
      Sunnah thus it cannot be repealed even on recommendations of the
      National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) , however, some
      procedural changes can be suggested and implemented where inevitable.
      These views were expressed by Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) member
      National Assembly and former member of the NCSW, Dr Fareeda Ahmed,
      while speaking at a news conference at the Parliament House on
      She told newsmen that she, as member of NCSW, had proposed a number of
      changes in procedure, including nomination of the accuser male so as
      the victim women could get him punished under Qazaf law. Moreover, she
      had suggested that in Islam there was no concept of putting women in
      prisons and hence the accused should be bailed out on personal surety.
      Dr Fareeda also proposed setting up of Qazi courts which should be
      bound to give verdicts within six months.
      This report, she said could only be termed of an individual's report.
      The female MNA contradicted portion of the report where it was alleged
      that 88 per cent of the women held in jails were charged under the
      Hudood Ordinance. According to a Karachi jail superintendent's report,
      only 80 out of 300 women in jail were held under the said ordinance
      whereas 50 were detained on narcotics related charges, 45 for theft,
      70 in murder cases and 55 on miscellaneous charges, she added.
      She said overall five categories of women were detained in jails,
      prostitutes, divorcees, second marriage, ran away, rape cases or those
      who were convicted on their husband's accusation of bad character.

      She totally rejected the objections of the NCSW that the punishment of
      'Rajam' (stoning to death) was un-Islamic since it was not in the Holy
      Quran and said it was part of the Sunnah. Similarly, she regretted
      that the champions of repealing of this ordinance instead of fighting
      the cause of women who did not get their heritage rights and many
      other ills were advocating waiving of 'punishment' for Zina (adultery)
      committed by youngsters under-18 years of age.

      Various soft drinks hit market - 23 Oct 03
      Various soft drinks under the name of Mecca Cola, Zamzama Cola, Amrit
      Cola, Zam Zam Cola, Al-Mecca Cola, etc., have now hit the market as an
      alternative option for the consumers who are not interested in
      drinking American brand soft drinks. The new players are offering soft
      drinks at Rs25-30 for a 1.5 litre bottle as compared to Rs35 [EUR
      0,52] offered by old players. After smelling the competition, the
      local producers of Coca Cola and Pepsi had to reduce their prices
      under a discount scheme of Rs5 to 10 on 1.5 litre bottle in order to
      maintain their market share.
      Many shopkeepers, interviewed by Dawn, appear totally ignorant about
      the whereabouts of any factory or bottling plants of these new
      entrants. They plainly refuse to give details, saying that a
      distributor comes and sells its product. Under such circumstances,
      many shopkeepers are also selling fake cola specially Mecca Cola.
      Shopkeepers, in connivance with the distributor, are claiming their
      originality, but actually they are cheating the consumers who buy
      these products for being cheap as compared to Pepsi and Coca Cola.

      Many shopkeepers, approached by Dawn, are also avoiding to give the
      name of the distribution company. They are not ready to reveal
      anything. "Distributors come after a week or fortnightly and we buy
      these new colas," a shopkeeper said. On the other hand, many new cola
      makers have given fake addresses of factories, websites besides not
      printing any phone numbers on the bottle label. Many bottlers have
      printed the details of cola in Arabic language. Some bottles do not
      carry expiry date of the product as well as contents of ingredients.
      It is an irony that price-conscious consumers, are opting for these
      products without realizing that the product may prove harmful for
      their health. Even shopkeepers, despite knowing the stark realities,
      are equally involved in this game of befooling the consumers. The fact
      that these products were launched without marketing campaign shows
      that many colas, selling in the markets, are fake and are evading
      taxes and duties. It is hard to set up an organised soft drink
      industry on the pattern of old players as organized sector has to pay
      12 per cent excise duty and 15 per cent sales besides other taxes and
      duties. Under these circumstances, genuine new players are now facing
      problems as some unscrupulous elements have already launched their
      brand name prior to launching of the original brand.

      [NWFP] PHC grants bail to adultery accused - 25 Oct 03
      The Peshawar High Court on Friday granted bail to a woman accused of
      adultery as she was in advance stage of her pregnancy. A single bench
      comprising Justice Malik Hamid Saeed ordered that she should be
      released after furnishing two sureties of Rs100,000 each [EUR 1.75,-].
      The applicant, Bukht Sultana, is also having a four-year daughter with
      her in prison. Sultana, mother of six, was accused by husband Mahmood
      Jan of eloping with a man identified as Sadiq Khan. An FIR was lodged
      with Dargai police in Malakand on April 8 and she was arrested on July
      5. Advocate Astaghfirullah, appearing for the applicant, said she was
      falsely implicated in the case. He contended that Sultana was having
      strained relations with her husband and had filed a suit for divorce.
      Referring to the charge by Sadiq Khan that Sultana's pregnancy was a
      proof of adultery, the lawyer contended that in the light of Federal
      Shariat Court's judgment in Zafran Bibi case last year pregnancy could
      not be considered a proof for commission of adultery or fornication.

      [NWFP] Islamists medical segregation hits women patients
      When Afghan refugee Sehr Jan died in childbirth in a camp near
      Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar she became the latest victim
      not only of the rigours of labour but of a hardline Islamic ban
      prohibiting male doctors from treating female patients.
      Sehr, 32, was the 10th mother to perish in childbirth and Laila's baby
      the 53rd infant mortality since August 30 when Islamist leaders in
      North West Frontier Province (NWFP), of which Peshawar is the main
      city, banned male doctors and technicians from attending to female
      "The lives of Sehr and Laila's baby could have been saved had the ban
      not been enforced," Dr Shaheena Khan, who works for non-governmental
      organisation (NGO) Bedari, told AFP. "I prescribed them ultrasound
      tests. They went to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar but the male
      doctors and technicians refused to attend them because of the ban,"
      she said. She said the hospital had told them to go to Islamabad, 145
      kilometers (90 miles) east of Peshawar, or other parts of the country,
      but neither was able to make the journey. "The ban took Sehr's and
      Laila's son's life," she said.
      "We have instructed all hospitals, nursing homes, and laboratories
      that male technicians must not conduct the ECG and ultrasound of
      females. Only the female technicians can do it," an official of the
      health department said speaking on condition of anonymity.
      "The ban effectively excludes all women from undergoing some crucial
      medical examinations as the province has only one female ECG
      technician and none trained in ultrasound. There used to be one but
      she has left the country for good," she said. A recent study on
      mother-child mortality by a sociologist at Peshawar University linked
      the ban to more than 100 mother-mortality and over 250 child-mortality
      Justifying such a prohibition, MMA's provincial general secretary
      Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan said the ruling was in line with Islamic
      teaching. "We think, men could derive sexual ecstasy from women's
      bodies while conducting ECG or ultrasound. Similarly, some women could
      lure the men under the ECG or ultrasound cover. "In both cases,
      perversion could prevail," he said.

      A doctor at the Lady Reading hospital, pointing to dismal health
      facilities in the deeply conservative province, said if doctors were
      compelled to follow the instructions, women patients would die on
      operation tables. "There is no female anesthesia technician, operation
      theatre and dispenser in NWFP. Even if female doctors operate women
      patients, assistance of male staff is indispensable specially during
      operations," said gynaecologist Farkhanda Mehmood.


      Riyadh warns against further protests - 23 Oct 03
      Protests "violate existing rules and anyone who takes part in them
      will be subjected to deterrent punishment meted out by the Islamic
      court," Thursday's newspapers quoted Interior Minister Prince Nayef
      bin Abdul Aziz as saying. The internal security chief issued his
      reminder that demonstrations are outlawed in the kingdom on Wednesday,
      shortly before his ministry said that 83 of the people arrested at
      last week's rally, including three women, were still in custody and
      would appear in court.

      Saudis block funds for terrorists - 23 Oct 03
      The Education Ministry has ordered an end to the collection of
      donations for charities in all government schools, the Asharq Al-Awsat
      newspaper reported yesterday. This follows a government ban on
      fund-raising in markets and shopping malls as part of a series of
      measures aimed at 'monitoring the flow of money and preventing funds
      from reaching activities described as terrorist', it said. The daily
      Al-Eqtisadiah reported that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and
      Religious Endowments had banned Islamic preaching bodies from running
      advertisements to solicit donations. 'The decision is part of a plan
      designed to limit the violations that occur during fund-raising for
      welfare projects,' a ministry source told the paper.

      Saudi school books under spotlight - 22 Oct 03
      Starting this academic year, Saudi Arabia has removed "intolerant and
      offensive" chapters from its text books, Saudi reformists, teachers
      and diplomats said. A whole theology text used by 13- and
      14-year-olds, which used to enjoin Muslims not to befriend Christians
      and Jews because "emulation of the infidels leads to loving them," has
      been taken out.
      Examination of standard school texts shows that across a range of
      subjects from theology to history, impressionable young Saudis have
      drilled into them the duty to loathe Christians and Jews as enemies of
      "One of the most important requirements in loathing the infidels and
      being their enemy is to stay away and disdain their rituals, the
      biggest of which is their feasts." For further measure, the text
      added: "It is forbidden for Muslims to share the infidels' mourning or
      joy because this might prove loyalty and love. It is not allowed to
      congratulate them on their joyful events or offer condolences in
      mourning. "Muslims should not imitate the infidels in music and art or
      frequenting theaters and cinemas. All these are frequented by the
      wayward and those who have strayed from earnest life. "Imitating the
      infidels is blasphemous to Islam." The text went as far as saying that
      "infidels" should not be given influential posts over Muslims or be
      appointed ministers or advisers. They must not be given access to
      secrets "because the infidel is deceitful and conceals wicked
      intentions". Even in standard Arabic classes, stereotypes and
      religious bigotry are blatant, reformists say. "Children are asked to
      fill out sentences with missing words, for example a sentence begins
      'God hates ...', and the correct answer will be 'God hates the
      infidels'. This is offensive," said one Saudi resident.
      Saudi reformists believe that any battle against "extremism" should
      start from the grassroots by changing the minds and hearts of people.
      They have stepped up their campaign demanding an end to the
      intervention of clerics in daily life and a change in the curriculum,
      which they say was reinforced xenophobia.


      Ramadan teaches discipline, empathy - 25 Oct 03

      Muslim scarf raises issues of security, religious rights - 25 Oct 03

      Conservatives defend general's religious statements about war
      http://cjonline.com/stories/102103/kan_general.shtml - 21 Oct 03
      Breaking with the White House, religious conservatives in Congress
      defended a Pentagon general who referred to the war on terror as a
      Christian fight against Satan.

      FBI urges vigilance during Muslim holy month - 24 Oct 03
      The FBI is urging extra vigilance for possible terror attacks and
      violence against Muslims during the upcoming Islamic holy month of
      Ramadan. In its weekly bulletin to 18,000 state and local law
      enforcement agencies, the FBI says it has no credible information that
      an attack is planned by al-Qaida or any other terror group during the
      period of fasting and reflection that begins next week. But attacks
      overseas have been timed in the past to coincide with symbolic dates,
      the FBI says, adding that "the possibility of such an attack in the
      United States cannot be discounted."

      Guantanamo guards embrace Islam - 23 Oct 03
      A number of the US troops guarding the 660 suspected al-Qaida and
      Taliban detainees in Guantanamo Bay have converted to Islam, according
      to an Algerian mediator. Hasan Aribi, who chairs his country's
      committee on the Guantanamo question, has negotiated the release of 18
      detainees from the heavily-guarded detention camp at the eastern tip
      of Cuba. He claimed that the freed detainees told him that some of
      their American guards had converted to Islam as a result of daily
      interaction with Muslim prisoners for the past two years. The US
      military refused to comment when contacted by Aljazeera.net .

      Muslim chaplain in strict confinement, despite only minor charges
      .. - 23 Oct 03
      The Muslim Army chaplain arrested as he left the Guantanamo prison
      camp has hired one of the top military lawyers in the country - who
      says the West Point graduate is being held incommunicado in maximum
      security. Despite being slapped with minor charges for disobeying
      orders, Capt. Yousef Yee is not allowed to read news accounts of his
      case and has only the Koran to read. He has had only brief phone
      contact with his family in Springfield, N.J., and meets his attorneys
      wearing leg irons, the Daily News has learned. Yee, who ministered to
      Muslim terror detainees at Camp Delta, was busted Sept. 10 in Florida,
      allegedly carrying classified documents from the prison. Two former
      translators at the prison also have been charged in the growing spy

      Prominent American Muslim indicted - 23 Oct 03
      A prominent member of the American Muslim community was indicted
      Thursday on charges he engaged in prohibited dealings with Libya,
      including accepting $340,000 in cash from the Libyan government,
      authorities said. Abdurahman Alamoudi, 51, a naturalized American
      citizen who has served as the president of the American Muslim
      Foundation, could face a maximum 105 years in prison and revocation of
      his U.S. citizenship if convicted. Authorities said he could be
      arraigned Friday afternoon or Monday.

      Court documents filed to supplement the indictment allege Alamoudi has
      ties to the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas and worked
      with the nephew of Osama bin Laden. The documents also paint Alamoudi
      as an extremely wealthy man, allegedly receiving more than $2.1
      million in his personal bank accounts from 1996 to 2002. None of that
      money was reported on tax returns, authorities said.

      U.S. Muslims Launch New Awareness Campaign In Ramadan - 23 Oct 03
      In the hope that the Muslim community will use it to educate others
      about the Muslims holy fasting month and its traditions, the Council
      on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Thursday, October23 , announced
      the release of its "Ramadan2003 Publicity Kit". The kit, now online,
      http://www.cair-net.org/ramkit/ramkit.pdf is designed to assist
      Muslim local communities in offering people of all faiths accurate
      information about Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr.

      One Imam Traces Path Of Islam In Black America - 24 Oct 03
      In the burgeoning world of Islam in America, Imam Siraj Wahhaj is a
      star. In 1991, he was the first Muslim ever to lead a prayer before
      the start of a session of the House of Representatives. Four years
      ago, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright hosted him and other
      Muslim notables at a State Department banquet of lamb, lentils and
      saffron rice to break the Ramadan fast. One of the country's most
      popular Muslim preachers, he travels widely, extolling the Quran to
      large crowds at immigrant Islamic centers, conventions and
      universities. But to his followers in Brooklyn's inner-city
      Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and elsewhere, the imam sometimes
      shows a different side. He has proclaimed that the "real terrorists"
      are the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence
      Agency. In another of his sermons, widely available for purchase on
      audiotape, he says, "In time, this so-called democracy will crumble,
      and there will be nothing. And the only thing that will remain will be

      Few religious leaders of any faith could rival Imam Wahhaj's
      combination of militant notoriety and mainstream honors -- a mix that
      says much about the complexity of Islam in the U.S. today. Over the
      past few decades, two powerful currents have come together in America:
      the black-separatist movement of the 1960s and 1970s and the training
      of Muslims, including Imam Wahhaj, in programs financed by Saudi
      Arabia. Today African-Americans are thought to make up about 30% of
      the fast-growing Muslim population of six to seven million in the U.S.
      (The higher approximations of the black Muslim population would make
      it about 5.6% of the 36 million blacks in the U.S.)
      he also praises Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric who
      visited the imam's mosque several years before he was was convicted in
      1995 of conspiring to bomb New York City landmarks. While decrying the
      events of Sept. 11, the imam takes great pains to remain neutral about
      Osama bin Laden. He says the al Qaeda leader's videotaped boasting
      about the attacks may have been a media ruse: "I'm just not so sure I
      want to be one of the ones who say, 'Yeah, he did it. He's a horrible
      man.' " He has told his followers that a society governed by strict
      Islamic law, in which adulterers would be stoned to death and thieves
      would have their hands cut off, would be superior to American
      democracy. Speaking of unnamed forces in the U.S. government and
      media, he has preached, "These people want the destruction of Islam."


      62 year old woman arrested for possessing Islamic leaflets - 24 Oct 03
      An Uzbek pensioner, Fotima Muqodirova, has been arrested by police [in
      Tashkent] on religious charges after leaflets of the outlawed Islamic
      party, Hezb-e Tahrir, were found at her domicile, Surat Ikromov, the
      head of the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Activists of
      Uzbekistan, has reported. The report says that criminal charges were
      brought against a 62 -year-old woman after she launched an
      appeal-campaign aimed at bringing to account those who were guilty of
      her son's death in prison.
      On 19 October Muqodirova's daughter-in-law said that at 1330 local
      time 0830 gmt as received eight officers from the department for
      fighting terrorism of the Tashkent city police directorate searched
      their house again and confiscated leaflets and religious books which
      had been bought five years ago in commercial stalls. "A total of 258
      leaflets, 195 books and great many manuscripts belonging to the Hezb-e
      Tahrir party were confiscated in Muqodirova's house, which is why she
      was taken into custody and is now being kept in the basement of the
      Tashkent city police directorate," Oleg Bichenov, the head of the
      department for fighting terrorism at the city police directorate said.


      Arab nations held back by 'growing knowledge gap' - 22 Oct 03
      Arab nations face a 'growing knowledge gap' with the rest of the world
      because of the political dominance of Islam, economic reliance on oil
      and anti-American feelings, a United Nations report said. Ms Rima
      Khalaf Hunaidi, a top UN official behind the team of Arab
      intellectuals who wrote the Arab Human Development Report 2003,
      http://www.undp.org/rbas/ahdr/english2003.html said anti-Arab
      sentiment in the West after the terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001 had
      helped to radicalise Arabs.
      The report covered 22 Arab countries with more than 280 million
      people. Written by 70 Arab scholars, it looked at the demand,
      production and dissemination of knowledge. In assessing the past year,
      it noted 'positive improvements' in Morocco and Bahrain, with
      legislative elections in both countries. But it found that 'the march
      of freedom continued to encounter obstacles' in most Arab nations,
      especially as their governments took a lead from the West in adopting
      'restrictive procedures' as part of the US-led war on terrorism.

      Some of the setbacks - including the Israeli occupation of Palestinian
      territories - are detailed in the report. Others - including the issue
      of civilians being tried in military or security courts in Egypt,
      Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, Lebanon and Palestine - are mentioned briefly.
      The report said Arab countries lagged in the dissemination of
      knowledge. Reading was limited, education dictated submission rather
      than critical thought, and the Arabic language was in crisis.
      The report, on Arabs by Arabs, cited wide censorship - from
      restricting Internet access to suppressing publication of material
      deemed encouraging to 'terrorism'. Non-governmental groups suffered
      more legal and practical constraints this year, it said. The move
      towards women's empowerment regressed in some countries but progressed
      slightly in others, the report noted.


      [Nigeria] Islamic Bank promoters shop for N2.5b - 23 Oct 03
      Promoters of Nigeria's first Islamic Bank, JAIZ International Plc are
      now shopping for N2.5 billion [EUR 16m] to establish the bank which is
      to be the first financial institution in the country to provide a
      wholly interest-free, profit sharing financial services to the public.
      JAIZ offer for subscription which was announced at the Completion
      Board Meeting in Abuja, yesterday, is to enable the group meet the N2
      billion paid up capital requirement of the Central Bank of Nigeria
      (CBN) before licensing a new bank. The net after deducting the N87.5
      million, estimated issuing cost, would be applied to building and
      renting the bank's head quarters and branches, information technology
      (IT) , pre-operational expenses and working capital.

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