Sharia News Watch 80
- 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
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).
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,"
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.
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