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Sharia News Watch 80

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 80 : a collection newsquotes on Shariah, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2003
      Sharia News Watch 80 : 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/


      Draft declares Islamic nation - 04 Nov 03
      "The religion of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam.
      Followers of other religions are free to perform their religious
      ceremonies within the limits of the provisions of law," the draft
      states, according to an English translation provided by the
      government. While avoiding direct mention of the Islamic holy law
      known as sharia, the draft states that "in Afghanistan, no law can be
      contrary to the sacred religion of Islam and the values of this
      The document encompasses 160 articles related to the fundamental
      rights of citizens, the creation of a national government based in the
      capital Kabul, and economic priorities of the impoverished nation.
      Islam's stamp runs through the document, from a mandate that political
      parties not operate against the "principles'' of the religion, to
      declarations that Islam is the national religion and the curriculum in
      schools is based on the faith.
      The constitution would grant "equal rights'' to all Afghan citizens,
      including the right to vote and be elected for office. "Any kind of
      discrimination and privilege between the citizens of Afghanistan are
      prohibited,'' article 22 reads. People are free to practice religions
      other than Islam "within the limits of the provisions of law,''
      according to another provision.
      Final Draft Constitution [English, Unofficial translation, Word.doc]
      ("Please refer to official Pashtu and Dari texts for accuracy").

      Afghanistan condemns beauty pageants - 30 Oct 03
      Afghanistan's Supreme Court has condemned beauty contests as
      un-Islamic after a US-based Afghan woman paraded in a bikini as Miss
      Afghanistan in an international beauty pageant in Manila, state media
      reported. "The Supreme Court in its session announced that appearing
      naked in beauty contests is totally un-Islamic, is against Afghan
      tradition, human honour and dignity," state news agency Bhakter
      A 25-year-old Afghan woman, Vida Samadzai who lives in United States,
      paraded in a red bikini last week at Miss Earth competition in the
      Philippines during a public appearance. She is the first Afghan woman
      in 30 years to participate in the Miss World contest. But she has
      incurred the wrath of the few Afghans who have seen her photos or read
      the international news stories.


      Algerian women want change to family law - 30 Oct 03
      The greater part of the Algerian dailies considered that revision of
      the family law few months before the presidential elections in the
      spring of 2004 is an electoral maneuver aimed at benefiting from
      women's vote who often constitute a greater part of those who abstain
      from voting. The Algerian daily al- Watan front-paged "women, are an
      election link," while the Algerian daily "Le Tantic" questioned "to
      what extent the government will go?" The Algerian dailies considered
      that the mere idea of amending the said law aimed basically at
      Islamists who oppose the abrogation of this law or changes in the law
      that target principles such as polygamy, divorce, etc.

      However, women defense societies, do not see in this amendment only an
      attempt to alleviate the burden of certain laws which anger women,
      rejected by most societies and consequently call for the end of what
      they called "the shame law." First statements by officials said that
      this amendment might end forcing women to leave the "marriage house"
      after divorce. The issues of polygamy and divorce were not touched
      upon. Several female teachers in one secondary school said that under
      their pretext that the opposition to changing this laws want to stay
      "in compliance with the Islamic Sharia law," this means that "they
      will not change any of the enforced norms and principles, which
      constitute the major obstacle to liberation of any woman." Most of
      these societies reject to amend this law which is greatly inspired
      from the Islamic Sharia and was adopted in 1984 under the rule of the
      National Liberation Front, the only party. It considers woman
      "immature for life " and is obliged to stay under the "control of


      Muslim spiritual leader pleads for end to Sydney violence - 01 Nov 03
      The spiritual leader of Sydney's Lebanese Muslim community has pleaded
      with his people to stop the violence which has led to the recent
      deaths of four people in Sydney's south-west.


      Raid on dubious Ramadhan stalls - 04 Nov 03
      Officers from the religious law enforcement agency yesterday afternoon
      conducted a surprise visit to Ramadhan food stalls in the vicinity of
      the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium to look for any dubious food
      sold like chicken and meat, RTB reported. Officers from the Halal
      Permit Importation Board reminded the stall operators not to just
      ensure that their food is clean and safe for consumption but also
      halal. .. During the inspection, many of the stall operators were able
      to produce their receipts of purchase of chicken and meat, RTB said.


      The adventures of young Moslem radical - 03 Nov 03


      Briton acquitted of defamation charges - 30 Oct 03
      The Dubai Appeals Court yesterday upheld an earlier lower court ruling
      issued against Jim M., a 32-year-old Briton and Dubai Central Jail
      inmate, which acquitted the defendant on charges of defaming Islam.
      The defendant had been acquitted by the Dubai Court of First Instance
      earlier this year. The public prosecution filed an objection to the
      ruling and the case was referred to the appeal court. The defendant
      had been involved in a fight with a fellow prison inmate when he
      referred to Islam as a religion of terrorism. [Khaleej Times Online]


      Egypt working on unified Islamic calendar - 01 Nov 03
      The annual dispute about the start of Ramazan could cease next year if
      Islamic scholars proceed with a planned satellite project aimed at
      establishing a unified calendar. The new Mufti of Egypt told a
      London-based newspaper that the Egyptian religious authority for
      issuing Fatwa had taken steps to speed up the satellite project as
      soon as possible. The satellite - which is being funded with 250,000
      dollars from donations - will allow the broadcast to all Muslim
      countries about the official beginning of Ramazan, as dictated by
      scientific moon readings. "We signed an agreement with the Space
      Studies and Research Centre at Cairo University to implement the
      project" the Mufti said.


      Security Measures Against Foreign Extremists Still Necessary - 04 Nov
      More than 30,000 Muslims living in Germany can be classified as
      Islamic extremists, with 4,000 living in Berlin alone, estimates the
      Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution. At a weekend
      symposium on Islam, the head of the Berlin office, Claudia Schmid,
      said that while there have not been any attacks by Islamic extremists
      in Germany, the danger of Islamic terrorism continues to pose a threat
      which must be closely monitored.

      Two thirds of foreign extremists living in Berlin are Islamists, and
      two thirds of them, in turn, are Turkish Islamists, many of whom
      belong to the country's largest Islamic fundamentalist group, Milli
      Görüs. The organization promotes adoption of the Sharia, a strict
      interpretation of the Islamic law, and wants its views to be taught in
      public schools.

      Despite Berlin's high concentration of foreign extremists, the
      majority are not violent, Schmid said in an interview with the
      Berliner Morgenpost newspaper. "The 2,900 Turkish Islamists can not be
      seen as violence-oriented," she said. "But there are about 1,000 Arab
      Islamists living in Berlin who belong to terrorist organisations such
      as the Palestinian group Hamas or the Lebanese Hizbollah. Still, their
      activities are concentrated on trying to achieve change in their
      homelands, not in Germany. When they demonstrate in Berlin, they do so


      Haj Becomes Cheaper for Indian Pilgrims - 03 Nov 03
      The upcoming Haj has become cheaper for Indians. "Pilgrims traveling
      from India will pay 2,000 to 2,500 Indian rupees [EUR 40-47] less
      compared to last year," Consul General Syed Akbaruddin said here
      yesterday. "The drop in the Haj cost per pilgrim depends on the
      category he is placed. The main reason, however, is the rupee gaining
      in value against the dollar," he told a press conference. According to
      him, the cost per pilgrim this time is around 69,996 rupees [EUR
      1.328,- ] in the first category, 65,698 rupees [EUR 1.247,- ] in the
      second category and 62,014 rupees [EUR 1.176,-] in the third category.
      The categories are based on the distance of buildings from the Holy
      Haram. The Central Haj Committee (CHC) pays pilgrims about SR 2,000
      [EUR 460,-] each for their in-Kingdom expenses at the time of their


      Brothel in boys' high school shut down - 28 Oct 03
      Three brothels, including one set up in a school, have been shut down
      near the Iranian capital by members of the Islamist Basij militia, the
      student news agency Isna reported on Tuesday.

      Nuclear weapons unholy, Iran says - 31 Oct 03
      Led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the nation's "supreme leader," Iranian
      clerics have repeatedly declared that Islam forbids the development
      and use of all weapons of mass destruction.
      These and other statements from senior Iranian clerics appear to have
      bolstered domestic support for an agreement signed Oct. 21 with
      Britain, France and Germany that will allow international inspections
      of the country's nuclear program.
      "It was surprising that the supreme leader cast it in religious
      terms," said Fazal Miboudi, a mullah who is professor of political
      science at Mofid University in Qom. "It showed that the threat was too
      much, the danger that the country would be brought before the U.N.
      Security Council and punished. He had to get involved, and that is how
      he could justify his involvement." Miboudi and several diplomats said
      that the mullahs' anti-nuclear line emerged in the summer, when the
      mullahs took over negotiations with the Europeans from the elected
      government of reformist President Mohamed Khatami. The Iranian
      delegation was led by Hassan Rowhani, a cleric who is chairman of the
      National Security Council and who reports directly to Khamenei.
      Asked whether the ayatollahs could simply rip up their fatwa one day
      and issue a new ruling blessing the development of nuclear weapons,
      Miboudi said any reversal of such a high-profile issue would require
      years of awkward theological maneuvering. "There is room for maneuver
      in Islam. Things can be haram (forbidden) one day and halal
      (acceptable) later on. But this takes time," he said.


      Ramadan in Iraq: Chaos, Occupation and a Rising Cost of Living
      .. - 30 Oct 03
      The Taraweeh prayer (unique to the month or Ramadan) used to be held
      in tens of mosques in Baghdad. Now, however, many people prefer to
      pray at home given the continuous power outages, and few venture to
      pray at the mosques for fear of being targeted by robbers.
      Iraqi Muslims have openly differed with regard to the start of the
      holy month this year: while the IGC issued a statement that was
      broadcast through the Iraqi Media Network stating that Monday would be
      the first day of Ramadan in accordance with a legal ruling issued by
      the Moon-Sighting Committee of the House of Fatwa and Teaching at the
      Al-Nida mosque, the Society of Muslim Scholars, based at the mosque of
      Abi-Haneefah Al-Nu'man, regarded Sunday as the first day of Ramadan.
      Differences could also be seen among the various mosques: some Iraqis
      believe that the Taraweeh prayer will differ from one mosque to
      another owing to the absence of the annual edict from the Ministry of
      Endowment, which used to define the number of rak'aat (prayer units)*)
      of the Taraweeh prayer.

      Several Sunni scholars, including Shaikh Hasan Al-Hadeethi and Shaikh
      Muhannad Abdullah Al-A'thami, stress that they have not departed from
      their usual path - they followed the edict of the Scientific Council
      of the Ministry of Endowment (which includes all Sunni scholars and
      jurists). The edict set the number of rak'aat at 11 (eight rak'aat for
      the Taraweeh prayer and three rak'aat for the Witr prayer), which is
      in line with the Sunnah (the way) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be
      upon him). And since most mosques in Iraq followed the Hanafi mathhab
      (school of thought), which regards obedience to the Sultan - whether
      or not he is a just ruler - as a legal duty, they abided by this edict
      to avoid division and to unite Muslims in prayer.

      Iraqis are facing a sharp increase in the prices of foodstuffs at a
      time when unemployment is rife. Thus, preparing meals for Iftaar
      (breaking of the fast) has become a source of embarrassment for many
      housewives, whose efforts in this regard are hampered by rising costs.
      For example, the price of one kilogram of meat has rocketed to 7,500
      dinars (equivalent to 37.5 US dollars). Iraqis expect further price
      increases in the coming days - an unfortunate situation which they
      have gotten used to. They blame traders for taking advantage of the
      advent of Ramadan to raise their prices to unreasonable levels. The
      costs of fruits and vegetables have reached double the prices a few
      days prior to Ramadan. This has led to rising discontent among Iraqis
      despite the IGC's attempt to alleviate their hardship through granting
      every government employee a 6,000-dinar Ramadan bonus (equivalent to
      30 US dollars).
      *) [Rak'aat]
      After the Tarawih, there is the Witr Prayer of three rak'ahs. In
      Ramadan, these can be performed in congregation and aloud. In a
      mosque, short surahs are usually recited during these rak'ahs. After
      the ruku' (bowing) of the last rak'ah, it is a Sunnah for the imam to
      supplicate aloud before prostrating. The congregation should answer
      "ameen" after each line of the du'aa' (supplication). This
      supplication after ruku' is known as qunoot.

      Romeo and Juliet, Baghdad-style - 29 Oct 03
      American soldiers have struck up relationships with Iraqi women, much
      to the distress of military command, writes Gerard Wright. Like every
      other story out of Iraq, the tale of the brides of Baghdad is a
      complicated one, with no certain ending. The story includes newlyweds
      who have not laid eyes on each other since the day of the ceremony
      that joined them for life, on August 17, a mother who hasn't heard
      from her son in nearly four weeks, and a soldier, newly converted to
      Islam, whose tenuous grasp of civilian life could be measured in
      weeks. The brides have no names. They are Iraqi women in their
      mid-20s, well educated, and in at least one case, well travelled.
      Unhappily married: Sergeant Sean Blackwell with his Iraqi wife (who
      did not want to be identified) on their wedding day. Their marriage to
      two American soldiers, Sergeant Sean Blackwell, 27, and Corporal Brett
      Dagen, 37, has not been well-received in Baghdad or the wider Arab
      "We are accomplishing a mission on the street and protecting our
      forces," said Captain Jack McClellan, the Baghdad-based spokesman for
      the Florida National Guard. "We cannot develop relationships with the
      locals unless they are mission-related."

      So when Blackwell and Dagen left their base on foot patrol on the
      baking hot morning of August 17, clutching M16 rifles, and encased in
      bullet-proof vests, it had to appear like service as usual. What
      happened next was witnessed by Larry Kaplow, a journalist with the
      American Cox News Service, from whose reporting some of this account
      is based. The families of the brides had met, as arranged, at a
      street corner. There, they were met by an Iraqi intermediary, who took
      them to a place along the route of their future husbands' patrol.
      After the groups met, they were ushered into the courtyard of a
      restaurant, where an Iraqi judge married them under Muslim law, a
      process that took 30 minutes. Rings were exchanged and documents were
      signed, then the couples were separated and the foot patrol resumed.
      Blackwell had wed once before, when he was 19. The marriage produced
      two daughters before it ended.

      [Sunni] Muslim Clerics Caution Against Collaborating with Americans
      http://www.beliefnet.com/story/135/story_13521_1.html - 31 Oct 03
      An association of Sunni Muslim clerics on Friday urged Iraqis to shun
      contacts with Americans as much as possible, saying that their
      religion prohibited cooperation with the occupation authorities.
      "Beware of supporting the occupiers and know that contacting them,
      without a legitimate necessity is sinful," the Association of Muslim
      Scholars in Iraq said in a statement read to worshippers. "Supporting
      them is apostasy...and animosity to Muslims."

      The grouping of clerics and religious leaders is one of several formed
      in Iraq after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime. Its leaders,
      who have adopted an attitude of hardline opposition to the U.S.
      presence in Iraq, say their aim is to unite the country's Muslims.
      "Cooperating with the occupiers against the people ... angers God and
      represents a betrayal of religion," said the statement read after
      Friday prayers at Mosul's al-Haj Sedeeq Rashan mosque. It said it was
      acceptable for Muslims to join the U.S.-sponsored police force in
      order to protect Iraqi lives, honor and property, but warned policemen
      not to exceed these duties and help in defending the occupation. "We
      call upon you ... not to violate the sanctities of Muslims by
      confronting them or by reporting on those who do not commit a crime in
      the eyes of God."

      Two Iraqi clerics call for cooperation with US forces - 03 Nov 03
      .. (Text of Unattributed Report entitled "Al-Mudarrisi: Resisting the
      occupation is linked to ulema's fatwa" published by London-based
      newspaper Al-Hayat on 3 November).

      Shi'i source of emulation Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi al-Mudarisi has
      emphasized the role of the ulema in establishing security and
      stability, adding that without a fatwa by the ulema calling for
      resisting the occupation, the people will not carry out resistance.
      In statements distributed by his media office, Al-Mudarrisi said that
      without the ulema's role, any incident that occurred between the
      people and the occupiers would have deteriorated into an explosive
      situation. He added that the Shi'i position towards the occupation was
      based on the view that it happened under unusual circumstances and
      that it would end when these circumstances end.

      Al-Mudarrisi said that the US administration's policy adapted to
      changes rather than being consistent. He added: We have to work with
      the Americans to realize the mechanism that they have put in place for
      their departure from Iraq and this could take place by establishing a
      constitution, institutions and carrying out free elections in order to
      establish security and stability.


      Israel curbs Ramadan travel to Jerusalem - 01 Nov 03
      Israeli troops scuffled Friday with Muslim worshippers making their
      way to Jerusalem from the West Bank for special prayers during the
      holy month of Ramadan, injuring one Palestinian. The trouble came as
      Israel imposed tight rules on who could attend the prayers, which are
      held at a disputed site known as the Temple Mount to Jews and Haram
      as-Sharif to Muslims. Authorities put age restrictions in place to
      weed out the young. About 175,000 Palestinians flocked to the sacred
      hilltop plaza for Ramadan prayers, while others were turned away at
      army checkpoints. Control over the site, revered by Muslims and Jews,
      is one of the most hotly contested issues in the Israeli-Palestinian


      Zakat-el-fitr estimated at JD 0.65 - 31 Oct 03
      The Fatwa Council announced on Thursday that it estimated the
      zakat-el-fitr for this Ramadan at JD 0.65 [EUR 0,79], the Jordan News
      Agency, Petra, reported. This kind of zakat, or alms, is different
      from the regular zakat, i.e., a specified percentage of cash and other
      assets paid annually to the poor. The zakat-el-fitr is paid in Ramadan
      by each Muslim till the sunrise of Eid Al Fitr, on the first day of
      the lunar month of Shawwal. This zakat was originally paid in wheat,
      dates and other kinds of food. But modern Islamic jurisprudence
      authorities have agreed that it can be paid in cash. The Fatwa Council
      said in its statement that cash zakat is easier for the poor to use
      for their needs.
      Scholars estimate the cash value of the zakat to be equivalent to the
      price of a "saa" of wheat: An old measurement equivalent to 2.75 kg.

      Ramadan Charities In Jordan Mobile-oriented - 01 Nov 03
      The country's two giant mobile operators have already launched a
      Ramadan campaign in cooperation with Jordan's only cancer treatment
      center, Al-Hussein, to raise funds for cancer patients. "By sending an
      SMS, one dinar [EUR 1,21] goes directly to cancer patients," read an
      ad portraying one of the many children stricken by the disease.
      "You can also dial up a special number and donate one dinar for every
      minute on line, while listening to useful information about the
      earnest efforts made to combat cancer."


      New PM shows his Islamic credentials - 04 Nov 03
      Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ended his first full day as Prime
      Minister of Malaysia yesterday prayerfully - breaking fast with about
      700 of the country's key multiracial leaders. He also led the Muslim
      leaders present in prayers, underlining his credentials as the son of
      an Islamic scholar.
      A verse from the Quran that Datuk Seri Abdullah recited during the
      prayers is one well-known to Muslims. It says: 'You cannot force
      another person to accept your religion.' .. The Premier also
      performed the tarawih prayers with the elected Muslim representatives
      for about an hour.

      Shahrizat: a policy to allow women to work from home - 03 Nov 03
      The Women and Family Development Ministry will discuss with the
      Cabinet a proposal to introduce a policy that allows women in certain
      sectors to work from the home. Minister Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil
      said Monday that there was a need to promote a better environment for
      women to work from the home using the small home office concept.
      The ministry was currently collecting data on the matter and hoped to
      discuss it in the Cabinet by early next year, she told reporters after
      launching a one-day international conference on "Science Uphold Faith"
      at the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) here.
      She said the notion that women failed to pursue higher education
      because of the teaching of Islam was wrong as Islam did not prohibit
      women from acquiring knowledge and education. She said that although
      there was no institutional bar to the entry of Muslim women into
      academic programmes, be it science or humanities, women should not be
      complacent with their achievement.

      [Kedah] Banned deviant group makes comeback - 30 Oct 03
      A banned deviant group that conducts religious chanting sessions which
      causes members to "dance" uncontrollably and reach "heights of
      pleasure", has re-emerged. Kedah Religious Affairs committee chairman
      Fadzil Hanafi said the Aurad Ismailiah group now had about 100 members
      in Kedah, with branches in Tioman, Negri Sembilan and Perak. The
      group, based at the madrasah Nurul-Iman at Batu 5, Sik, was banned by
      the Kedah Islamic Council's Fatwa committee in 1979 for deviant
      practices but had re-emerged since April this year.
      The VCD depicted the group conducting its zikir in Sik and Tioman this
      year. Members, consisting of men from various age groups ranging from
      those in their 30s to 60s, were seen dressed in white robes and pointy
      turbans, dancing and moving about wildly in groups while shouting
      unintelligible words. The minutes to the 1979 committee meeting
      meanwhile also noted similar actions, such as how the zikir sessions
      would cause members to dance uncontrollably, in some cases causing
      "their sarong to come loose." Movement leader Mahmud Abd. Rahman had
      told the committee during its 1979 probe that "the more uncontrollable
      the movements the more sins the follower had," but the investigators
      found the explanation suspect. This was because the members who fell
      into the trance-like state had told investigators that they were, when
      dancing in the zikir, "reaching the heights of pleasure."
      Fadzil said the committee was examining what action to take against
      Mahmud. He said section 161 and 166A of the Kedah Islamic
      Administration Laws 1992 had provisions for those found disobeying a
      fatwa or holding public religious lectures or ceremonies which
      deviated from the religion. Both offences are punishable by a maximum
      six-month jail term of RM 1,000 [EUR 225,-] fine or both, upon

      [Sabah] Extra wife: Court gets 10 requests monthly - 28 Oct 03
      The Syariah Court here is handling an average of 10 applications
      monthly from male Muslim spouses seeking permission to marry again.
      Syariah High Court Judge Ustza Ahmad Lakim said the majority of
      applications concern requests to take a second wife. Muslim husbands
      who wish to practise polygamy must get written consent from the Judge
      of Syariah Court as provided under Section 23(1) of the Sabah Muslim
      Family Law Enactment (Eukins) 1992.
      "Another popular reason is they want to avoid committing sinful acts
      with their potential new wife if they are not allowed to marry again."
      Ustaz Ahmad said the wife's infertility is seldom used by the Muslim
      husband as a reason to seek consent for polygamy. "Although the wife's
      consent for polygamy is not needed, it is nevertheless compulsory
      provided under Eukins that the existing wife must be informed of the
      husband's application to practice polygamy. "Under Section 23(3) of
      Eukins, the application notice for polygamy must be duly served to the
      applicant's existing wife and she must attend the hearing if she
      objects. "Then, the wife should present evidence that her husband is
      incompetent to practise polygamy in a closed door hearing. The Syariah
      Court will scrutinise all evidence presented by the existing wife and
      the applicant before coming up with a decision," he said.

      As allowed in the Syariah Civil Procedure Enactment, Ustaz Ahmad said
      if the wife is dissatisfied with the Syariah Court's decision which
      gives consent to the husband's application for polygamy, then she can
      file an appeal to the Syariah Court within 14 days. The Syariah
      Court's decision to allow the applicant to practice polygamy can be
      suspended when the wife files in the petition, he added.

      [Terrenganu] State Government says it has not suspended Penal Code
      .. - 30 Oct 03
      The Terengganu State Government has denied that it has suspended the
      Penal Code after gazetting its hudud on Monday. "There is nothing in
      the Terengganu Syariah Criminal Enactment that says this,'' said State
      Local Government, Housing, Environment, and Public Administration
      Committee chairman Datuk Wan Abdul Muttalib Embong today. Neither, he
      said, did it mean that all Muslims who committed crimes such as theft,
      robbery, apostasy or consensual illicit sex would be prosecuted under
      Pas' hudud. "That depends on the prosecutor,'' said Wan Muttalib, who
      was responding to questions asked yesterday by Sisters in Islam
      executive director Zainah Anwar. [New Straits Times- Managament Times]


      [Borno] Attorney-General Blames Police for Sharia Failure - 29 Oct 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200310290673.html [P.M.News - Lagos]
      The Borno State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr
      Mohammed Monguno, has blamed the police command for the failure of
      Sharia introduced in the state in 2001. .. He said that the previous
      administration lacked the political will to ensure full implementation
      of the Islamic law because the people were not favourably disposed to
      it. Monguno said although the present administration had put in place
      all that was required to make the law a reality, the police,
      constitutionally empowered to enforce the law, had refused to live up
      to its responsibility.
      "It was in this regard that I paid a visit to the Commissioner of
      Police during which I urged him to close down all brothels and beer
      parlours but these places have continued to flourish, even in the
      state capital." The commissioner explained, however, that in spite of
      the odds, the state government was prepared to ensure a successful
      implementation of the law. He said a committee had been set up to
      re-examine the situation with a view to ensure the gradual
      implementation of the legal code. Beer parlous and brothels were
      banned earlier, but popular "joints" in the state capital have resumed

      Ramadan: Kano Earmarks N54m for Feeding of Indigent Believers
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200311030937.html - 03 Nov 03
      .. [Vanguard - Lagos]
      Kano State government has budgeted N54 miillion Naira [EUR 340.000,-]
      for the feeding of the poor during the on-going Ramadam, Chairman of
      the scheme, Alhaji Nura Sani Hanga has said. Alhaji Hanga who is also
      the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning said the amount would
      be spent on the purchase of foodstuff, plastic materials, logistics
      and allowances for adhoc staff recruited for the exercise throughout
      the fasting period.
      Alhaji Hanga further disclosed that the state government had also
      directed all the 44 local government to set aside N100,000 [EUR 630,-]
      daily for the implementation of the feeding scheme throughout the
      fasting period in their various councils. And explained that the
      metropolitan councils are expected to boost the scheme by ensuring
      that widows and aged women who are banned from collecting the food
      from the collection centres get it at their doorsteps.


      Legislators support repeal of Hudood laws - 29 Oct 03
      Parliamentarians representing various political parties except for MMA
      unanimously agreed on Tuesday with the National Commission on the
      Status of Women (NCSW) that the Hudood Ordinances must be repealed.
      In this regard a discussion with the parliamentarians on
      "Discriminatory Laws Against Women" was organised by the Aurat
      Foundation, an NGO, here. The participants of the discussion
      unanimously agreed that Hudood Ordinances were the brain-child of
      former military dictator Ziaul Haq, which he had promulgated to please
      a certain constituency. They also acknowledged that successive
      democratic governments had also failed to reach some consensus to get
      rid of the most controversial set of laws that had virtually put women
      at the receiving end for the last over two decades.
      During the presentation, [NSCW chariperson Majida Rizvi] referred to
      Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid's report back in 1997 that Hudood laws
      should be repealed with immediate affect, as these had been
      promulgated with malafide intention. She also said that pronouncement
      of two opposite judgments in the famous Huzoor Bux case (1983) on the
      issue of Rajam had made it immensely clear that these laws were
      controversial. Challenging the provision of women witness in the law
      whereby four women were required to testify in some case, she said,
      when Hazrat Usman Ghani (RA) was murdered, the witness of a women was
      accepted as legal and the murderer was given the punishment. "It is
      ridiculous that a women victim who is raped should produce four male
      witnesses to testify that she has been raped," she criticised while
      referring to the Zina Ordinance. She also told the participants that
      women witness had been excluded from all the four ordinances,
      therefore, there was no justification for accepting the Hudood
      Ordinances as rational laws.


      Saudi Muslims Mark the Start of Ramadan - 03 Nov 03
      Some 18 million mobile phone text messages in Saudi Arabia wished
      Muslims happiness at the start of their holiest time of year, the
      fasting month of Ramadan. The ancient traditions of Ramadan, now in
      its second week, have a modern flavor in the birthplace of Islam --
      and it's not just a matter of mobile phones.
      It's also a month that underlines disunity among Arabs. This year,
      some countries, like Egypt, began fasting on Oct. 26. Saudi Arabia
      started a day later because clerics here insist the new month begins
      not when scientists determine, but when the crescent moon should be
      seen with the naked eye.
      The government-run national carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines, has
      introduced a special channel on its in-flight entertainment program
      that includes readings from the Quran, Islam's holy book, and
      religious lectures. Al-Eqtisadiyah daily, an economic newspaper,
      reported that 18 million text messages were sent on the eve of Ramadan
      and 55 million the week before Ramadan started.

      Live English translation of Taraweeh in Makkah on TV - 30 Oct 03
      The Saudi Ministry for Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Dawa and Guidance
      has launched the first ever live English translation of 'Taraweeh' *)
      prayers from TV studios at the Sacred Mosque in Makkah.
      The translators work at a television studio at the Grand Mosque in
      Makkah. The ministry described the project as "historic", adding that
      "the unique English translation has been noted for its clarity and
      adherence to the correct universally recognised interpretations of
      Islamic teachings." The English translation was developed by experts
      in both translation and Quranic recitation with great precision,
      automating the Arabic to English translation process without loss of
      accuracy with the help of computers and CG equipment. The TV feed of
      the new translation is being broadcast via Saudi TV Channel 1 to
      various international satellite channels covering Ramadan prayers from
      Makkah for millions of viewers around the world.
      *) [Taraweeh] http://islam.about.com/cs/ramadan/a/taraweeh.htm
      The prayer can be very long (well over an hour), during which one
      stands upright to read from the Qur'an and performs many cycles of
      movement (standing, bowing, prostrating, sitting). After each four
      cycles, one sits for a brief period of rest before continuing -- this
      is where the name taraweeh ("rest prayer") comes from. During the
      standing portions of the prayer, long sections of the Qur'an are read.
      The Qur'an is divided into equal parts (called juz) for the purpose of
      reading sections of equal length during each of the Ramadan nights.
      Thus, 1/30 of the Qur'an is read on successive evenings, so that by
      the end of the month the entire Qur'an has been completed. It is
      recommended that Muslims attend the taraweeh prayers in the mosque
      (after 'Isha, the last evening prayer), to pray in congregation. This
      is true for both men and women. However, one may also perform the
      prayers individually at home. These prayers are voluntary, but are
      strongly recommended and widely practiced.

      Saudi women want full citizens' rights - 03 Nov 03
      Current laws based on sharia "should be re-read and refined in light
      of contemporary needs," she said. Abu Khaled, a university professor
      and newspaper columnist who holds a PhD in political sociology from
      Salford University, England, said it was "surrealistic" to speak of
      women's enfranchisement when Saudi men have yet to be granted the
      right to vote or run for public office. "In any case, it is not our
      priority. Our priority is to win recognition as full-fledged citizens.
      We got separate IDs only two years ago, but they are still not
      recognised in most government departments, which require the document
      containing details about the entire family before processing
      formalities," she explained. Another issue of utmost concern to Saudi
      women is to be able to study what they want rather than continuing to
      be barred from major fields, such as law, engineering, architecture
      and mass communications, she added. And up until now, a Saudi woman
      cannot study or take up a job without the explicit approval of her
      closest male relative.

      A Husband's Authority in Islam - 31 Oct 03
      Q. My husband insists that I should obey him whatever he tells me, and
      he imposes on me a very strict code, requiring me to wear hijab in
      front of other women who are even related to me. He speaks ill of my
      mother, which I find very hard. If I am ill and need to see a doctor,
      he says that only when he feels that I should see a doctor, he will
      take me to see one. He says that my parents have nothing to do with me
      any more, because, now that I am married, everything is deferred to
      him. No one else has any business with me.
      A. God describes marriage as a solemn pledge given by men to women.
      This is clearly stated in Verse 21 of surah 4. He uses the same words
      in describing the pledge He takes from His senior messengers: Noah,
      Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). The
      pledge in the case of marriage requires men to take good care of women
      and to look after them well, ensuring their well-being.

      Experts See Fall in Umrah Traffic - 01 Nov 03
      Experts predict that the number of pilgrims coming from abroad for
      Umrah this Ramadan will decline by 30 percent compared to last year,
      when more than three million pilgrims came from various parts of the
      Islamic world. Khaleel Abdul Rahman Bahadur, a member of the Haj and
      Umrah Committee at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told
      Arab News that he feared Umrah traffic from abroad would decrease
      because the validity of the visa period has been reduced from three
      months to one. "This is the first time they have reduced the visa
      period. Earlier people had three months after getting the visa to
      prepare for travel. Now they have got only one month and many people
      who got a visa will not be able to make the journey because the period
      is so short," he said.

      Another reason, according to Bahadur, for the fall in Umrah traffic is
      the government decision not to issue Umrah visas during Ramadan.
      "Saudi missions stop giving Umrah visas by the end of Shaaban. Many
      people decide to perform Umrah during Ramadan, but now they will not
      get a visa as a result of the decision," he said. A survey has shown
      that a large number of people decide to perform Umrah during Ramadan,
      when their religious sentiments reach a peak, Bahadur said. The new
      Umrah law insists that pilgrims pay SR 3,000 [EUR 690,-] as security.
      "This condition has negatively affected the inflow of Umrah pilgrims,"
      he said. The law affects pilgrims from Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and
      Pakistan and some other Asian and African countries and is designed to
      discourage them from staying on illegally after their visa expires.
      He also pointed out that the period of stay of pilgrims in Makkah and
      Madinah has increased compared to past years as many foreign companies
      organize Umrah packages for 20 to 30 days. He said hotel prices would
      go up accordingly, especially in central Makkah near the holy Haram.
      Bahadur, the owner of White Palace hotels group in central Makkah,
      estimates the average charge for hotel rooms in the area at SR 150
      [EUR 35,-] to SR1,000 [EUR 230,-] during Ramadan. "The prices will go
      up tenfold during the last 10 days of the holy month," he added.


      Bombings would be blamed on Muslims: Boeremag - 31 Oct 03
      Rightwingers planning a coup d'etat believed their terrorist deeds
      would be blamed on Muslim fundamentalists, the Pretoria High Court
      Boeremag treason trial heard today. The main coup planners discussed
      on September 13, 2001 what type of terrorist deeds they needed to
      carry out in furtherance of their goal, Johannes Coenraad Smit, a
      police informer, testified. They opted for assassinations and bomb
      blasts, among other things. Those attending the meeting said they
      believed the time was right for such acts, as they would most likely
      be blamed on the country's Muslim community, Smit said. The meeting
      was held two days after the attacks on New York's World Trade Centre,
      which was blamed on Muslim fundamentalists. Smit said the meeting
      considered ways of plunging the country into chaos to prompt blacks to
      rise up and attack whites, who would then be in a position to act
      "defensively". Terrorist deeds formed part of this "trigger" phase of
      the coup plot.


      Youth may lose hand, foot after robbery - 03 Nov 03
      A Sudanese boy is to have his right hand and left foot amputated by
      order of the courts. This is his punishment for robbery. Human rights
      campaigners have denounced the penalty as barbaric. Launching an
      appeal on behalf of Mohamed Hassan Hamden (16), Amnesty International
      yesterday said the penalty, known as "cross amputation", was
      tantamount to torture. .. But even by the standards of the special
      courts, criticised for drastic penalties, this case stands out because
      of the boy's age. The youth was arrested in August along with five
      adults on suspicion of involvement in an armed attack in Darfur. They
      were charged with armed robbery. All six pleaded not guilty but only
      Hamden was convicted. Amnesty said the trial was conducted in an
      emergency court that did not respect international standards for fair
      trials. Hamden is awaiting the outcome of the appeal from a prison
      Amnesty said the sentence should be commuted because it contravenes
      international human rights standards ratified by Sudan. The boy is an
      ethnic Arab from Darfur, a region known as the "Wild West" for its
      lawlessness. Fighting between rebels and the government led to the
      declaration of a state of emergency in the area in 2001. Darfur's
      special courts were set up as part of Khartoum's emergency measures,
      to try summarily cases involving possession of arms and killings.
      Human Rights Watch says Sudan's special tribunals, composed of one
      civil judge and two military judges, do not meet basic fair trial
      standards as they restrict legal representation and appeals. Hamdan is
      in Nyala prison awaiting the outcome of an appeal. If his appeal in a
      local court fails, his lawyers can apply to the Supreme Court in
      Khartoum. If upheld, the sentence could be carried out at any time.

      [Nuba Mountains] Peace evades Sudan - 30 Oct 03
      The Khartoum regime has consistenly presented the civil war as a
      religious conflict, telling the Arab League it was an attempt by
      Christians to destroy the Islam way of life in Sudan. Ironically the
      people of the Nuba Mountains, who have taken up arms against the
      government, are Muslim. "I myself am a Muslim. Fighting along with
      other Muslims against the Islamic government," says Ahmed Saeed, an
      SPLA/M negotiator. "Am I fighting against my own religion? No! I am a
      devout Muslim, fighting a cruel regime, that just happens to be
      controlled by Muslims, but one that discriminates against blacks -
      whether they be Muslim, Christian or whateverother religion."

      Nuba Mountains governor Abdul Aziz Hilu is a veteran of the guerilla
      war and is a former eastern front SPLA commander. "The Muslims here do
      not want sharia. Those laws have had serious consequences for the
      Nuba: the regime has amputated our people's limbs, and whipped and
      flogged women," he says. "Nuba society is diverse, multi-religious and
      multi-cultural. So we want sharia to be lifted here.


      Entire Turkish ruling party boycotts president's reception
      http://www.dailystar.com.lb/31_10_03/art24.asp - 31 Oct 03
      The first rumblings began two weeks ago when Turkey's President Ahmet
      Necdet Sezer sent out invitations to his annual reception. Opposition
      deputies were invited to bring their spouses, but male members of the
      Justice and Development Party (AKP) government were asked to come
      alone. From Sezer's perspective, there was no alternative.
      While the Republican People's Party, founded by Ataturk, is a pillar
      of Turkey's Westernized and staunchly pro-secular elite, AKP has its
      roots in political Islam. More seriously, most of its MPs' wives wear
      head-scarves, banned by law from universities and public offices
      around the country. For the first time in Turkey's republican history,
      almost the entire ruling party boycotted the reception, angered by
      what one deputy described as Sezer's "bias and discrimination."
      the secularist elite's real gripe is with the tight-fitting headscarf,
      usually brightly colored, that women fold under their chins. "The
      fashion took off in the 1970s, an offshoot of political Islamic ideas
      imported mainly from Egypt," explains US-based Turkish Islam expert
      Hakan Yavuz. "It's most popular among the conservative middle-class
      empowered by 1980s liberalization." "For me it's proof you stand
      against Ataturk's efforts to pull this country out of the Middle
      Ages," says Gulay Ertekin, "and it belittles the women who wear it."
      Such attitudes irk Leyla Hanioglu, an Istanbul dentist who has worn a
      head-scarf since she was eighteen. "How can a country that bans the
      majority of its women from public service call itself modern?" she

      Turkish army generals sue Islamist writer for defamation - 31 Oct 03
      More than 300 Turkish generals Friday sued an Islamist columnist for
      defamation after he described the army top brass as ostentatious and
      incompetent, the Anatolia news agency reported. In a collective
      application, 312 generals - among them the heads of the land and air
      forces, the navy and paramilitary forces - demanded 624 billion
      Turkish lira (422,000 dollars, 360,000 euros) from Asim Yenihaber and
      the Vakit newspaper for which he writes.
      According to excerpts from the August 25 article quoted in the
      application, Yenihaber wrote: "There is nothing to show that they are
      generals apart from the stars on their shoulders." He also allegedly
      said: "There is no place for them neither in the army, nor in this
      country ... They will be powerless in the face of a real enemy, they
      will be swept away." Turkey's Islamists and the powerful army, the
      self-declared guardians of the Muslim nation's secular system, have
      been arch-enemies for decades. The military, which sees political
      Islam as a major threat to Turkey's stability, has restlessly cracked
      down on Islamist movements and in 1997 ousted from power the country's
      first Islamist-led government.


      Islamic preachers should speak English - Blunkett - 31 Oct 03
      David Blunkett made a provocative call last night for more Islamic
      preachers to learn English to help combat the "clash of cultures"
      suffered by young British Muslims. The Home Secretary argued it was
      crucial, in the interest of race relations, for teachers and community
      leaders who shape youngsters' attitudes to help them identify with the
      country. Mr Blunkett said that 60 per cent of Muslim preachers in
      France did not speak that country's language and warned Britain should
      not "go down the same road". Last year he provoked anger when he
      called for Asian parents to speak English at home to prevent
      "schizophrenia" between the generations.


      Muslim Troops' Loyalty a Delicate Question - 02 Nov 03


      A Role For Islam In EU Constitution - 02 Nov 03
      A leading Roman Catholic bishop has said he would not object to a
      reference to other religions - including Islam - in the European
      Union's upcoming constitutional treaty.
      Bishop Josef Homeyer of Hildesheim, president of the Catholic Church's
      EU liaison group COMECE, said he was seeking a reference to Europe's
      religious history in the EU constitution rather than a declaration of
      religious belief. "Religious heritage does not exclude a reference to
      other religious history. I would have nothing against a reference
      to...Muslim heritage. It's just a recognition of a historical truth,"
      Homeyer said.
      In recent months, Pope John Paul II has waged a campaign to put God,
      and specifically Christianity, into the constitution. Spain, Poland,
      Portugal, Ireland, Malta, Slovakia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic
      all support a reference to Europe's Christian heritage in the preamble
      to the EU's constitutional treaty, which is scheduled to be decided in
      December. The Czech Republic was the only state to support a reference
      to other cultural influences as well.
      Homeyer stressed a reference to religion in the EU's constitution -
      aimed at streamlining institutions before 10 new member states enter
      in May 2004 - should be historical rather than devotional.

      The west and Islam in Indonesia and the true jihad - 04 Nov 03
      .. [Juwono Sudarsono, Indonesian Ambassador, United Kingdom, London]
      .. The extremist versions of Islam further maintain that it is the
      duty of the purist to go on the path of jihad against those
      governments that do not adopt the sharia as state identity and that
      these despicable regimes should therefore be overthrown by violent
      means. In the Declaration of War against the Americans in 1996, Osama
      bin Laden saw himself as having common cause with members of the
      Islamic Jihad in Egypt whose members had been involved in the
      assassination of president Anwar Sadat in October 1981. Both groups
      viewed members of the Egyptian government and the Saudi royal family
      as having renounced Islam both by refusing to apply al-Qaeda's view of
      the sharia as the basis for political life and because of their
      dependence on American economic patronage and military protection.


      Bahrain firm to launch first Islamic retail bank in Britain- 03 Nov 03
      A company established in Bahrain last year expects to launch the UK's
      first Islamic retail bank by the end of next March. The Islamic House
      of Britain has already submitted a licence request to the Financial
      Services Authority (FSA) in the UK. It is now preparing to open three
      branches and a head office before commencing operations.

      [*] Copyright: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 -
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      distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. If
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      go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
      owner. [USA: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html%5d
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