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Sharia News Watch 84

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  • Enzo Picardie
    Sharia News Watch 84 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2003
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      Sharia News Watch 84 : a collection newsquotes on Sharia, for
      research & educational purposes only. [*] Shortcut URL:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/message/84 The Sharia
      Newswatch provides an almost weekly update of news quotes on Sharia
      (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
      news- searchengines. All editions :
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shariawatch/

      AFGHANISTAN

      Did Americans die so the new Afghan constitution could be an official
      Islamic republic? http://www.phxnews.com/fullstory.php?article=7614
      .. - 17 Nov 03
      Contrary to reports in major news sources that the constitution makes
      no mention of shariah, the legal code based on the Quran, Article 130
      says that, in the absence of an explicit statute or constitutional
      limit, the Supreme Court should decide "in accord with Hanafi
      jurisprudence" – one of the four main Sunni schools of sharia.
      ..
      Approval for Constitution's Islamic Content - 13 Nov 03
      http://www.worldpress.org/Asia/1680.cfm
      ..
      Unlike the 1964 constitution, the new document allows Shiite law to be
      applied in cases that are not already subject to the written body of
      law, and where both parties belong to the minority community. For the
      majority Sunni population, cases where there is no specific law on the
      rulebooks will be judged by Islamic law according to the mainstream
      Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Mohammad Daud Bakhtiari, director of
      research and studies at the supreme court and a Shiite himself,
      pointed out that in a number of areas there is little difference
      between Shiite and Hanafi law anyway.
      ..
      Final Draft Constitution of Afghanistan - 03 Nov 03
      http://wwww.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/0/87B0C503278975D1C1256DD4005CB775

      AUSTRALIA

      Sheep shipment 'sabotaged' - 20 Nov 03
      http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,7921342%255E=
      421,00.html
      ..
      A shipment of 70,000 live sheep bound for the Middle East has been
      blocked from leaving Australia today while quarantine officials
      conduct an urgent inquiry into claims by animal activists that they
      contaminated the sheep by feeding them pig meat.
      ..
      One of Australia's leading halal butchers said, however, that the
      sheep could still be acceptable to Muslims, even though they had been
      fed an unclean substance. "All you have to do is leave the sheep for
      three days until the items they have been fed leave their bodies,"
      said Mohamed El-Mouelhy, chairman of the Halal Certification
      Authority. "As far as Muslims are concerned, it makes no difference
      because it is not a religious breach whatsoever. "It might be a breach
      of local health requirements, but they should do more homework on
      halal dietary laws before they do this."
      ..
      Export permit for sheep refused after ham found - 20 Nov 03
      http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/11/20/1069027247507.html
      ..
      Quarantine officials are refusing to issue an export licence for
      70,000 sheep bound for the Middle East amid confirmation that animal
      liberationists contaminated their feed with pork products. Shredded
      ham was today found in one of two Portland feedlots, backing claims by
      Animal Liberation activists who said they had contaminated the feed.

      BAHRAIN

      Council sacking draws protests - 16 Nov 03
      http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Articles.asp?Article=66868&Sn=BNEW-invalid
      ..
      Human rights activists may take up the case of a Bahrain University
      Student Council member expelled from his seat for allegedly taking
      part in an unauthorised celebration on the Sakhir campus. Youth
      leaders are also organising a joint complaint to the university over
      the treatment of Sayed Mohammed Hassan. .. The 22-year old appeared
      before a disciplinary committee made up of university officials, after
      taking part last month in celebrations at the College of Arts
      building, to mark the birthday of Imam Hussain, grandson of the
      Prophet Mohammed. University officials said the student gathering was
      unauthorised and Mr Hassan received a letter last Tuesday dismissing
      him from the council. .. University officials said earlier that Mr
      Hassan broke the university rules, when he should have been setting an
      example for others.

      BANGLADESH

      [central] Newsman gets bail - 16 Nov 03
      http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/nov/16/16112003ct.htm#A5
      ..
      The Judge of Rajshahi District Judge's court Abu Bakar Siddik granted
      bail of arrested Photo journalist Selim Jahangir on November 10 noon.
      .. Selim Jahangir was arrested on November 1 by police when he tried
      to take snapshots of a mobile court being conducted at busy Shaheb
      Bazaar Square by blocking the road during the time of Iftar.

      BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

      Buying & selling during Ramadhan - 15 Nov 03
      http://www.brunei-online.com/weekend/news/nov15f5.htm
      ..
      Year in, year out, Ramadhan is when business people would come out and
      promote their products and service. Even those who are not so
      business-savvy would try to find additional income during this festive
      season. Some have a go at selling clothes or biscuits and cakes to
      their friends and colleagues. "Gerais" or stalls are also seen set up
      in designated areas nationwide. Anything purposeful that one sells
      during this month is almost always sold out, for the reason that most
      people wouldn't mind spending so much on the items during this fasting
      month.

      Students caught violating fast - 20 Nov 03
      http://www.brudirect.com/DailyInfo/News/Archive/Nov03/201103/bb01.htm
      ..
      Seven secondary students, all under 15 years old, were caught by an
      official from the Religious Enforcement Section for eating in public
      during fasting hours. The Secondary 1 and 2 students, including 4
      girls, will be brought to court for committing the offence under
      Section 173, Chapter 77 of the Islamic Religious Council and Kadi
      Court Acts. Upon tip-off, the students were caught red-handed eating
      near a Shell Station at Jalan Mabohai by an enforcement officer from
      the Operations Implementation Unit under the Religious Enforcement
      Section yesterday.
      ..
      In a separate incident, a Muslim local male was also caught eating in
      public along with an Indonesian waitress who served him food at a
      restaurant located in the commercial area of Kg Kiulap. It was part of
      a routine check by enforcement officials at the area, covering some 50
      restaurants. Both were charged under the Section 173, Chapter 77 of
      the Islamic Religious Council and Kadi Court Acts for eating in public
      during Ramadhan.

      More than 78,000 Muslims fail to pay zakat - 17 Nov 03
      http://www.brunei-online.com/bb/tue/nov18h3.htm
      ..
      Out of more than 300,000 Muslims in this country who are obliged to
      pay the Zakat Fitrah, nearly 80,000 people failed to do so, Haji Naidi
      Haji Mohd Noor from the Tithe Collection and Distribution Unit said.
      ..
      Under the Religious Court and Kadhi Courts Act Chapter 77, Section 192
      (1) whoever, having been lawfully assessed as liable to pay any zakat
      and having failed to procure by appeal or otherwise cancellation or
      modification of such assessment, shall refuse or willfully fail to pay
      the same, the penalty is imprisonment for 14 days or fine of $1,000.
      Zakat Fitrah or tithe is paid based on the staple food in a country,
      which in Brunei Darussalam is rice. There are two types of rice
      normally eaten in this country and the prices of these two types have
      been fixed by the government of His Majesty. For this year the zakat
      or tithe for every Muslim in this country is two kilos and 268 grammes
      equivalent to $2.84 for fragrant rice and $1.93 for Siamese rice. It
      is 'wajib' or an obligation to pay the tithes between the eve of Aidil
      Fitri and before the imam performs the Aidil Fitri prayers. And it is
      'harus' to pay the tithes during the fasting month.

      FRANCE

      MPs urge French ban on religious symbols [The Guardian] - 14 Nov 03
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=43697810

      [Tariq Ramadan] A Muslim Scholar Raises Hackles in France - 16 Nov 03
      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/16/international/europe/16RAMA.html

      French Muslims Reject Conditions on Mosque Subsidy - 20 Nov 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=35320&d=20&m=11&y=2003
      ..
      The French city of Strasbourg has angered local Muslim leaders by
      insisting they stop preaching in Arabic and help fight juvenile
      delinquency if they want a subsidy to help build a mosque. Mayor
      Fabienne Keller informed Muslim leaders last week that the municipal
      subsidy also required that they preach a "French Islam", guarantee
      women's rights and inform City Hall about their view on whether Muslim
      girls should wear head scarves. The association planning the Grand
      Mosque of Strasbourg rejected the demand and said it would rather
      forego the subsidy - amounting to 10 percent of the six million euro
      ($ 7.16 million) overall cost - than go along with the city's demands.

      [football] The dilemma of Ramadan - 18 Nov 03
      http://www.uefa.com/trainingground/news/Kind=8/newsId=127096.html
      ..
      For the large number of practising Muslims playing professional
      football in France, the month of Ramadan poses a dilemma. While all
      are keen to respect Ramadan - and therefore not drink, eat or smoke
      while the sun is up - most accept that fasting on the day of a match
      prevents them from performing at their best and can also compromise
      their safety on the pitch.

      INDONESIA

      Survey finds Muslim voters favor pluralism [Jakarta Post] - 19 Nov 03
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=43884291
      ..
      The survey was conducted by the LSI between Aug. 1 and Aug. 20 and
      involved 2,240 respondents, of which 89.1 percent, or 1,996, were
      Muslim. Of the Muslim respondents, 49.8 percent, or 994, categorized
      themselves as devout. Over 51 percent of the devout Muslims said in
      the 2004 elections they would vote for secular, nationalist-oriented
      parties, represented by Golkar (34.6 percent) and the Indonesian
      Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) (14 percent), while
      21.4 percent preferred parties that are steadfast in struggling for
      sharia, namely the United Development Party (PPP), the Crescent and
      Star Party (PBB) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

      Controversial Chocolate Mosque By Indonesians - 17 Nov 03
      http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2003-11/17/article10.shtml
      ..
      Some Indonesian Muslims still have a peculiar way of celebrating
      Ramadan, making life-sized replicas of a mosque and a Qur'an in
      chocolate. Long believed to be a vestige of the pre-Islamic past, the
      tradition has drawn a mixed reaction in the largest world Islamic
      country, with some arguing that it is not against Islamic belief to
      eat the two highly-respected items - even symbolically.
      ..
      The [mosque] replica, measuring five meters tall, 3.02 meters wide and
      4.07 meters long, has broken the Indonesian Record Museum record for
      replicas this year, Vivi, one of the participants in the gala, told
      IslamOnline.net. A hotel manager told the Jakarta Post that the
      replica was intended to be a unique decoration for the commercial
      hotel, in order to greet the holy month of Ramadhan and Idul Fitri.
      The replica is now being displayed in the lobby of Santika Hotel, and
      every guest and spectator is actually allowed to eat a portion of the
      giant chocolate replica. In the past, Indonesians took all the trouble
      to build a life candy mosque that was life size and attracted a lot of
      visitors only to be eaten out by hungry children, recalled one of the
      participants in the record breaking event.
      ..
      In the tiny island of Bengkalis, the last ten days of Ramadan is being
      celebrated this year with an unprecedented display of lights turned
      into replicas of mosques, buildings, birds and even fiery animals to
      amuse the children and create an atmosphere of joy. The replicas are
      displayed all over the Island which is larger than Singapore Island,
      and it is the varied colors that attract thousands from other islands
      to Bengkalis for Eid Al-Fitr, Eid of breaking the fast) to be
      celebrated on the 25th of November in Indonesia

      How will an increased use of syariah banks affect Indonesia's economy?
      http://rsi.com.sg/english/newsline/view/2003111716086/1/.html
      .. - 17 Nov 03
      In Indonesia, the number of syariah banks has increased, in the last
      four years. And now, the country's highest Islamic body, the Indonesia
      Council of Ulamas or M-U-I, intends to ban Muslims from banking with
      conventional institutions with a fatwa, or religious decree.
      ..
      [Dr Aris Ananta, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies,Singapore]:
      The Islamic society of Indonesia is a very good business target now,
      and their income is higher now so they can spend more. So everything
      is related to Islam is good business in Indonesia, including the
      banking system. .. I have the results of a survey done several years
      ago. It may be out of date, but some people choose the syariah banks
      because they feel that its more Islamic, but some others choose one
      because the location is very accessible, and because if the quality
      and so on. I think just let the market do what they want. If the
      market wants that, then just follow it, without any regulation that
      Muslims should only bank at syariah banks and not other banks. If they
      do that, it's not good for the Muslim society itself because it will
      have a lesser ability to compete with others, because they don't have
      the choice.
      Q: The plan does not seem to have the support of Indonesia's two
      largest Islamic organisations, Muhammadiyah and Nadhlatul Ulama,
      saying that non-syariah banks are not necessarily haram (contrary to
      Islamic beliefs). If the move does not have the support of these two,
      can the fatwa be justified?
      AA: I don't know about that, but if the two groups oppose that, they
      will try to block the fatwa. I think they've been trying to issue that
      fatwa for a long time, but they're always failed, and I think it will
      fail again this time, but it depends on the Indonesian people. The
      status quo should continue. Some people prefer syariah banks as good
      and accessible to the lower, middles and higher classes. Many
      businesses also find it very lucrative to start a syariah bank.

      IRAN

      Remembering a night of Ramadan prayer in Iran - 15 Nov 03
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=43739097

      Alarming spiral of human rights violations in Iran mar positive steps
      http://www.kurdmedia.com/news.asp?id=4443 - 20 Nov 03
      ..
      Amnesty International recommends that judicial authorities commute the
      death sentences with the aim of identifying an alternative punishment
      as requested by the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud
      Shahroudi. The organization is equally concerned about the reported
      sentencing of seven women to 50 lashes in Shiraz who allegedly showed
      disrespect during the month of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting
      which started on 25 October.

      IRAQ

      Shiite clerics stand in constitution's path - 17 Nov 03
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/a/2003/11/17/MNGB633=
      LAH1.DTL
      ..
      Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, a relative moderate based in the Iraqi
      city of Najaf, and his chief rival, Grand Ayatollah Kadim Haeri, a
      hard-liner in the Iranian city of Qom, almost never speak to the
      media, have avoided almost all contact with U.S. officials and rarely
      leave the hushed confines of the religious seminaries where they
      teach. Sistani has quietly urged patience among his followers, but it
      was his insistence -- in addition to the upsurge in anti-U.S. violence
      and American dissatisfaction with the hand-picked Iraqi Governing
      Council -- that contributed to the administration's decision to
      abandon its plans to rule Iraq until a new constitution and democratic
      system were in place and instead to set up a quasi-elected provisional
      government by June. And it is Haeri's uncompromising stance that has
      inspired Shiite radicals in Baghdad's slums to overtly challenge the
      Americans while threatening to join the Sunni Muslim fighters who are
      waging a guerrilla campaign against U.S. [..]
      ..
      Haeri said Sunday that the latest U.S. plan is unacceptable and only a
      strict Islamic government would do. "The Iraqi constitution should be
      drafted only under supervision of the just mushtahids," he said, using
      a term for the holiest religious scholars. "It must be an Islamic
      government. Other forms of government are not Islamic. They may be
      elected by people or anything, but they are not accepted."
      ..
      Haeri's religious lineage makes him a highly influential authority for
      millions of Iraqi Shiites. In 1999, when then-leader Grand Ayatollah
      Muhammed Sadr died, he designated Haeri to take over his mantle.
      Haeri, in turn, has designated Sadr's son, Muqtada, as his
      representative in Iraq.
      ..
      Haeri's position in Qom is almost a mirror image of the role played by
      Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who turned Iran into a fundamentalist
      theocracy after the 1979 Iranian revolution. During much of the 1960s
      and 1970s, Khomeini lived in exile in Najaf, presiding over a seminary
      that helped him spread his radical vision to the streams of Iranian
      students and pilgrims who visited Najaf, traditionally regarded as one
      of the Shiites' holiest cities. In Qom, the center of Iran's
      conservative Shiite establishment, Haeri's seminary is the focal point
      for the throngs of Iraqi Shiites who come to pray and study -- and
      then take his teachings home to Iraq.
      ..
      "Haeri is very conservative, very much one of the leading hard-liners
      here," said Fazal Miboudi, a pro-reform mullah who is professor of
      political science at Mofid University in Qom.
      ..
      Shiites impatient for vote in Iraq - 17 Nov 03
      http://www.msnbc.com/news/994414.asp
      ..
      In a religious ruling issued this summer and repeated several times
      since, [Sistani] demanded that a constitutional convention be elected.
      Sitting in his office, where tribal leaders kissed his hand as he
      entered, Musawi, a cheerful, energetic man, rifled through stacks of
      petitions. Some were piled in manila folders, others in clear plastic
      sheaths. They listed thousands of signatures — of doctors, lawyers,
      engineers, tribal sheiks and clergy — insisting that Sistani's edict
      be obeyed. They were delivered to the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing
      Council, whose Shiite members were loath to oppose Sistani's order and
      instead searched for an alternative. The decision by the United States
      to endorse an elected constitutional convention marked a stunning
      victory for Sistani, perhaps the clearest sign yet of his power in
      postwar Iraq.

      ISRAEL

      Israel Deprives Palestinians From Ramadan Umrah - 18 Nov 03
      http://www.jihadunspun.com/intheatre_internal.php?article=84210&list=/home.=
      php&
      ..
      In an annually repeated manner, Israeli occupation forces deprived
      tens of thousands of Palestinian youths, women and elderly people from
      traveling to Makkah, Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage)
      during Ramadan, as a repressive collective measure targeting the
      besieged people. "The officer in charge of Al-Karama bridge told me
      that I should return as I am not allowed to travel without providing
      any justifiable reason," said Nablus Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Shubash, who
      was refused to pass through King Hussein's bridge.
      ..
      "Since the start of the Intifada, occupation authorities tighten their
      control over bridges and accurately check passengers' papers for fear
      Palestinians sneak and perform hostilities against Israel," Sheikh
      Mohsen Abu Ghalion, director of Al-Abrar office for pilgrimage, told
      IslamOnline.net. "These are not logical reasons, as most passengers
      are ordinary people who aim at visiting relatives abroad, studying or
      perform pilgrimage or Umrah," Abu Ghalion added. He affirmed that in
      some cases youths are detained on the bridge and moved to Israeli
      jails, causing confusion and worries among their family members and
      doing them injustice, particularly in case they intend to join
      universities abroad. It is worth noting that Israeli occupation forces
      have prevented tens of Palestinians from performing pilgrimage in
      2002, through resorting to arbitrary measures against them, as some
      pilgrims were detained and others returned home

      KENYA

      Scientists Plan Re-Ignites Debate On Lab Babies - 17 Nov 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200311170877.html
      ..
      Recently, three Kenyan scientists, Dr Okello Agina, Dr Leah Kirumba,
      and Dr A. Kibwana, embarked on an ambitious project to develop the
      technology locally. The idea was to help those who may have difficulty
      in conceiving a baby, achieve this throught the test tube method at a
      reduced cost.
      ..
      A Muslim faithful at the Chief Kadhi's office in Nairobi, who spoke to
      AANA on condition of anonymity, expressed similar sentiments, pointing
      out that the Koran is against human manipulation of the process of
      procreation. He asserted that families are made through procreation as
      commanded by Allah, and not through scientific methods. "It is Allah
      who decides what to give to an individual, and so, to some people,
      Allah gives many children, yet others are never given," said the
      Muslim faithful. He explained that it was Allah's exclusive
      prerogative to make things the way they appear. "We cannot use science
      to nullify that," he stressed. However, the three scientists working
      on the project maintain that while the procedure may be inappropriate
      for people who have religious or moral reasons against it, it should
      not be denied to those who are willing.

      KYRGYZSTAN

      Touching base - 15 Nov 03
      http://atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/EK15Ag01.html
      ..
      With the economic situation deteriorating and political opposition
      growing, [president] Akayev's only possible exit strategy was to turn
      from democrat to autocrat. Faced with the threat of a mass exodus by
      the Russians, Akayev set up a Slavic University in Bishkek (there is
      also an American University), and in 1999 named Russian as a second
      national language. [Uzbekistan's [p.m.] Karimov forced Akayev to
      repress Islamic fundamentalism: Akayev arrested dozens of people and
      forced all mosques and religious schools to be state-registered. China
      for its part forced Akayev to repress Uighurs. And so the Kyrgyz dream
      of religious and political tolerance came to an abrupt end - largely
      by pressure from its undemocratic neighbors. But ironically it was
      thanks to the activities of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,
      closely aligned with the Taliban, and which considers Karimov its bete
      noire, that Akayev managed to achieve one of his cherished goals: a
      greater economic cooperation between Russia and Central Asia (Karimov
      was always against it). As a side effect of the "war on terror",
      Kyrgyzstan has become a de facto key pawn for Russia, the US and China
      in the New Great Game. Thus the American base at Manas, the Russian
      base at Kant, and the Chinese base somewhere in the future.

      MALAYSIA

      Pas should withdraw fatwa, says Zainuddin - 18 Nov 03
      http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2003&dt=1118&pub=Utusan_Expre=
      ss&sec=Home_News&pg=hn_01.htm
      ..
      Pas should first withdraw its fatwa branding UMNO members and
      supporters as infidels before it can even think of inviting all
      political party chiefs in the country to discuss its Islamic State
      blueprint launched last Wednesday. Deputy Information Minister Datuk
      Zainuddin Maidin said Pas President Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang who issued
      the edict should have no problem in the withdrawal if the party was
      sincere.
      ..
      Zainuddin said it was important for the fatwa to be withdrawn to
      prevent the party from using it to further accuse UMNO of not adhering
      to the teachings of Islam if the document were to be rejected. Pas
      Information Chief Datuk Dr Harun Din had already stated in the
      Harakah, the opposition party's political organ, that he would tell
      the people that UMNO had rejected Islam. The invitation to discuss the
      document was nothing but a show because the editorial in the English
      version of Harakah had reminded Pas leaders not to sit at the same
      table with those deemed as unbelievers, he said.

      Unified syariah to help single mothers [New Straits Times]- 18 Nov 03
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=43819989
      ..
      The Women and Family Development Ministry is preparing a document
      outlining strategies to unify the enforcement of syariah for the
      benefit of single mothers. The document, which will be presented to
      the Council of Rulers, will contain measures to unify enforcement of
      syariah in all States to ensure that divorced parents remain equally
      responsible for the welfare of their children, regardless of which
      State they may be in. Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said
      today single mothers were often burdened with raising their children
      when their husbands defaulted on alimony payment. "The man usually
      hides in another State and the woman is left with the task of raising
      their children. "Since a syariah sentence pronounced in one State
      cannot be enforced in another, the man will not be bound by law to
      carry out his obligations," she said.

      [opinion] Crucial questions unanswered in PAS memo - 17 Nov 03
      http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200311170035682.php
      ..
      The long awaited PAS Islamic state memo is out. But unfortunately it
      cannot be called a blueprint as all since details are sadly missing.
      While the nice general descriptions in the memo may cause some to feel
      good, others may find that they still do not know what the Islamic
      State is all about. .. Further questions that begs answers are:
      ..
      How will rapists be charged in court? Hadi has declared DNA technique
      unacceptable. Will four Muslim witnesses of good character still be
      required? The impossibility of charging rapists in court will be an
      injustice to all women. How about other hudud laws concerning theft
      and robberies involving Muslims and non-Muslims - are non-Muslims
      allowed to be witnesses against Muslims? Will modern forensic evidence
      be allowed now that the DNA technique is declared unacceptable?

      NIGERIA

      [Jigawa] Man, 45, Charged With Sodomy - 19 Nov 03
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200311190294.html [Daily Trust - Abuja]
      ..
      The man who was arraigned before Khadi Abbas Sani Abubakar by
      Prosecuting Police Officer, Idris Dahiru was reportedly arrested by a
      passerby for alleged sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old boy at his
      farm in Bi Bigidan. According to Police First Information Report
      (FIR), the suspected Sodomist was said to have been convicted three
      times for the same offence in Kano State. The court was told that the
      public was attracted by the screening of the victim, and he was
      rescued from the suspect. The boy according to the police had
      sustained injuries in his anus and was treated at the Birnin-Kudu
      general hospital. The suspected sodomist had however, denied the
      allegation after he was told that the act contravened section 130 of
      the state penal code and punishable with death. The court had
      adjourned further hearing to December 2, 2003.

      [Kano] Muslim rioters burn 13 churches in north Nigeria - 20 Nov 03
      http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L06376353.htm
      ..
      Islamic militants burned to the ground thirteen churches and several
      houses in a remote northern Nigerian town after a Christian student
      was accused of blasphemy, police said on Thursday. Irate youths
      torched churches, houses and shops late on Tuesday in Kazaure, some 80
      km (50 miles) north of Kano, a northern provincial capital where
      hundreds have died in religious clashes in the past three years. The
      dispute began when a Christian student was accused of insulting the
      Prophet Mohammad and a group of Muslims were not satisfied with the
      response of school authorities. .. The violence came after three
      students were killed and more than 30 injured in fighting between
      Muslims and Christians at a university in northeastern city of
      Maiduguri earlier this month.

      [Zamfara] Governor Sani Goes Tough On Sharia Implementation
      http://allafrica.com/stories/200311170996.html [Vanguard - Lagos]
      .. - 17 Nov 03
      Goevernor Ahmed Sani of Zamfara has directed the state sharia
      implementation commission (HISBA) to ensure strict enforcement of the
      law which prohibits indecent dressing in the state. .. According to
      him, since the law banning indecent dressing among women is still in
      force in the state, it is the duty of the commission to ensure
      compliance with the provisions of the law.

      [Zamfara] Traditional Rulers, Government Officials Retard Sharia
      Implementation http://allafrica.com/stories/200311200339.html
      .. [Daily Trust - Abuja] - 20 Nov 03
      Top government officials and traditional rulers in Zamfara State have
      been accused of interfering with the progress of the Sharia legal
      system in the state. Briefing the state executive council on the
      activities of the state Sharia implementation commission at the
      government house, Gusau, the commission's chairman, Barrister Bello
      Kucheri said traditional rulers had on several occasions destabilised
      the efforts of the judges toward passing judgement against accused
      persons. The chairman explained that there were many complaints by
      the judges against the royal fathers for refusing to cooperate with
      them (the judges) whenever they had interest in the case. Barrister
      Bello further said some top government officials had also formed the
      habit of writing notes and complementary cards to the Sharia court
      judges seeking for some favour on behalf of their accused relation. An
      action which he described as seriously crippling the Sharia
      implementation.
      ..
      Alhaji Sani Muh'd Bakori, the state attorney general and commissioner
      of justice while responding on the issue, told the chairman of the
      commission that the era of favourism in Sharia has gone, pointing out
      that he had already met with all the Sharia court judges in the state
      in respect of favourism. The attorney general said it would be an
      offence for any judge to respect and act on any note written by
      anybody whoever he is in the society. He therefore directed all the
      judges in the state to report anybody to him who sought for any
      favour. It would be recalled that series of complaints had been lodged
      to the government in respect of the alleged intervention of some big
      men in the activities of the Sharia implementation in the state but
      yet nothing has been tangibly done.

      NORWAY

      In Norway, a comedian brings Islam to the West - 17 Nov 03
      http://beta.yellowbrix.com/pages/beta/Story.nsp?story_id=43786855
      .. [International Herald Tribune]
      A hush falls over the audience at the Ibsen House theater here when
      Shabana Rehman takes the stage to stand motionless in a black burka
      that conceals everything but her dark eyes. Then, as loud Norwegian
      folk music breaks the silence, she breaks into a frantic jig. The
      effect is hilarious but, the stand-up comedian hopes, instructive,
      too.
      ..
      She is both Muslim and Norwegian, an unsettling combination to many
      people in this Nordic kingdom, which, like the rest of Europe, is
      struggling to absorb an immigrant community imported during a labor
      shortage decades ago. Her ribald and impolitic act skewers prejudices
      on both sides of the divide between traditional Norwegians and the
      country's newer Muslim citizens. Rehman is one of a handful of Muslim
      comics enlivening the debate across Europe about how quickly or
      completely the continent's new immigrants should assimilate. Many
      Muslims have resisted absorption into what they regard as corrupt,
      heretical cultures, while Europe's once largely monochromatic
      societies have been slow to accept people from different racial and
      religious backgrounds.
      ..
      Her act quickly drew attention and she began writing columns that gave
      a wider forum to the debate inspired by her humor. Soon she found
      herself under fire from both sides. Liberals, whom she calls halal
      hippies, criticized her insensitivity toward the attitudes of
      immigrant Muslims. Conservative Muslims complained that she was
      denigrating their religion. She even received death threats, she said,
      mostly from young immigrants. Some people don't want change, even if
      they're living in ghettos, Rehman said. In response to the growing
      controversy, she gave a lengthy interview to a popular political
      magazine and posed both in traditional Pakistani clothes and in the
      nude with the Norwegian flag painted on her body. Her point, she
      explained, was that both identities were external to her and that she
      alone could choose what to be.
      ..
      Her act, meanwhile, matured into her current show, Skiing Across
      Greenland, a reference to the famed feat by a Norwegian national hero,
      Fridtjof Nansen, who traversed the Greenland ice shelf on skis in the
      1890's. Greenland is also the name of Oslo's most heavily populated
      immigrant neighborhood. After her shrouded jig, Rehman sheds the burka
      to reveal herself in a bright red dress and proceeds to keep the
      audience laughing at everything from Islamic Shariah law to honor
      killings the murder of Muslim women by their male family members for
      infidelity or promiscuity.

      OMAN

      ROP warns against use of crackers during Eid - 18 Nov 03
      http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2003/N=
      ovember/middleeast_November357.xml§ion=middleeast&col=
      ..
      With Eid just a few days away, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) has once
      again warned against the growing habit of bursting firecrackers among
      children, also pointing out that the custom had 'nothing to do with
      Islam'. Muslim scholars, ROP added, had always advised against it.

      PAKISTAN

      Confusion over Aitekaf and Eid - 16 Nov 03
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_16-11-2003_pg7_12
      ..
      Many people sat to observe Aitekaf on Saturday evening in the Lahore
      mosques, while the rest will observe the religious practice on Sunday
      (today) after the Deobandi ulema's fatwa (decree) that the Markazi
      Ruet-e-Hilal Committee's decision about the Ramazan moon sighting was
      wrong. People remained divided over Aitekaf because Deobandi Ulema
      issued a decree on November 13 that the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee had
      announced the Ramazan moon sighting without proper evidence and now
      people who started fasting on October 27 should offer a fast after Eid
      as "Qaza" (compensation) and also start Aitekaf on November 15
      (Saturday).

      The Sunni ulema opposed the decree, saying the people must start
      Aitekaf on November 16 (Sunday) evening. Commenting on the issue,
      Ameer Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Maulana Riaz Hussain Shah said, "The moon
      sighting controversy could lead to three Eids in Pakistan for the
      first time in history." He said, "Usually in the tribal areas Eid is
      celebrated in line with Saudi Arabia's decision. If Saudi Arabia
      observed Eid on November 25 and the moon was not sighted on that day
      in Pakistan, they will observe Eid before the proper time. If the
      Deobandi ulema will not follow the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee decision,
      then a major part of population will observe Eid on November 26 and
      the rest on November 27." He suggested people follow the Ruet-e-Hilal
      Committee decision.
      ..
      Maulana Abdul Rehman Ashrafi, principal Jamia Ashrafia Lahore, said
      the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee had ignored the authentic evidence and
      followed Islamabad on such an important matter. "Now people should
      observe Aitekaf on November 15 and follow the ulema to celebrate Eid,
      ignoring the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee decision".
      ..
      Shias have already started observing the religious practice as their
      Aitekaf days begin on Ramazan 18. They devote three days, five days
      and ten days for Aitekaf in different days from Ramazan 18 to 29.
      ..
      Aitekaf starts on the evening of 20th of Ramazan and ends at sighting
      the Eidul Fitr moon.

      Shia leader held over killing - 16 Nov 03
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3274693.stm
      ..
      Police in Pakistan have arrested a Shia Muslim leader in connection
      with the assassination of a rival Sunni lawmaker last month, amid a
      crackdown on several Islamic groups. Interior Ministry officials say
      they arrested Allama Sajid Naqvi in connection with the murder of a
      Maulana Azam Tariq, a leader of an extremist group from Pakistan's
      Sunni majority. .. Mr Nakvi leads the Shia militant group
      Tehreek-i-Islami Pakistan, which is one of several organisations
      banned by President Musharraf on Saturday.
      ..
      The authorities closed the offices of a number of banned groups in
      cities across the country and have moved to expel thousands of
      foreigners from Pakistan's religious schools, or madrasas.
      ..
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_20-11-2003_pg7_41
      ..
      Shia clerics have strongly condemned the ban on the Tehrik-e-Islami
      Pakistan and termed it an unjust and unfair step by the government.
      More than 500 religious scholars from southern Punjab met on Wednesday
      with Tehrik-e-Islami Chief Maulana Syed Ali Raza Naqvi. "We are
      struggling to preach Islam in the country and we have never been
      involved in any terrorist activities. We preach tolerance and
      brotherhood," said Mr Naqvi. "More than 2,000 of our people, including
      high-ranking officers, have been killed since the Ziaul Haq's era
      which promoted sectarianism," he added. Scholars addressed a press
      conference and vowed to continue their protest until Sajid Naqvi was
      released and restrictions on the Tehrik-e-Islami Pakistan were lifted.

      4 Terrorists Sentenced to Death - 16 Nov 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=35161&d=16&m=11&y=2003
      ..
      Four members of a banned Islamic militant group were convicted and
      sentenced to death in Pakistan yesterday for the murder of a minority
      Shiite trader in a terrorist attack, a prosecutor said. They also were
      found guilty of injuring the trader's two employees. .. The four
      belonged to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group, which has been accused of
      dozens of terrorist attacks against Pakistan's minority Shiites and
      assaults on Christian churches.

      [NWFP] Opposition in NWFP Assembly insists MMA doing poorly
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_15-11-2003_pg7_40
      ..
      [Opposition leader Shahzada Gustasip Khan] said the Sharia Bill was
      passed nearly five months ago but that had not been implemented. "To
      hide its incompetence, the government says Sharia cannot be
      implemented unless the Hisba Act is passed," he said. Sharia had
      nothing to do with the Hisba Act, he added.

      [Sindh] SHC orders inquiry against two SHOs - 16 Nov 03
      http://www.dawn.com/2003/11/16/local37.htm
      ..
      The Sindh High Court, Hyderabad circuit bench, on Thursday appointed
      the sessions judge, Dadu, as an inquiry officer to take action against
      police officials if they were found guilty of keeping a man in illegal
      detention. The inquiry was ordered during the course of hearing of a
      criminal miscellaneous application, filed by Bibi Birhamani, seeking
      recovery of her son. .. The habeas corpus application was filed by
      the woman on the ground that her son, Sher Mohammad, had married
      Shabana and she had sworn an affidavit to this effect. She said that
      later relations got strained between the parties and a heavy
      contingent of police took away her son on the instance of Shabana's
      father on Oct 26, and added that the detenu was being kept in wrongful
      detention and being tortured. She prayed the court to issue a rule
      nisi for recovery of her son. .. The SHO, Wadah Chachar police
      station, however, told the court that a crime No8/03 was lodged
      against the detenu under sections 11/16 of the Zina Hudood Ordinance,
      343 PPC on the complaint of one Shahid Ali, and added that he had
      handed over the FIR to the investigation wing.

      QATAR

      Divorce rates among young Qataris disturbing - 15 Nov 03
      http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/features/featuredetail.asp?file=novemberfe=
      atures512003.xml
      ..
      While Planning Council figures show that there were 732 cases of
      divorce in 2002 (Constituting 31 per cent of the marriages that year),
      the Shariah Court statistics speak of 547 cases until August this
      year. It is all the more worrying to know that the divorce cases are
      concentrated in the age group of 20-34 years and that a little less
      that half of them take place within a year of marriage.
      ..
      Divorce is of three categories: raj'i (returnable), baynounah soghra
      (minor separation) or baynounah kobra (major separation).
      In case divorce happens through the husband, he can take his wife back
      within three months. This is without any legal procedures, if they
      decide it – like they regret their rushing in divorce. In this case,
      the divorce is termed as raj'i or returnable divorce. But in case of
      khul', which is the second category, the husband can't remarry his
      divorcée till all the legal procedures are done, all over again, and
      the husband pays new dowry for her. Divorce happens three times in the
      couple's lifetime. The third divorce falls in the third category,
      because they cannot go back to one another, till after the wife
      'happens' to marry someone else, then 'happens' to get divorced by
      him. In this case, she can go back to her first husband. Such a tough
      rule was made as a punishment and a way of preventing people from
      misusing this tolerant ruling of permitting divorce.

      RUSSIA

      Russian Mosques Come Under Arson Attacks - 17 Nov 03
      http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2003-11/17/article08.shtml
      ..
      A number of mosques in Russia were burnt out by arsonists since the
      beginning of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, sounding alarm bells
      over a potential sectarian violence in the East European country, a
      press report said. On Thursday, November13 , two mosques were set
      ablaze in western Russia, causing130,000 rubles ($3,000) worth damage,
      Kappa newspaper reported Saturday, November15 . A number of anonymous
      people threw explosive devices at one mosque building in Irkutsk
      governorate, and then set fire to it.
      ..
      The Thursday attack came a few days after an attempted arson of a
      mosque in a nearby city of the governorate, members of the Central
      Authority for Russian Muslims told IslamOnline.net.
      ..
      Muslims had earlier complained that the local authorities in the
      Krasnodar region in southern Russia have prevented the construction
      of a mosque for the Muslims in the city which has no mosques.

      SAUDI ARABIA

      Saudi woman broke law to save life - 17 Nov 03
      http://iafrica.com/news/worldnews/285938.htm
      ..
      A Saudi woman saved at least one life when she broke the law to drive
      seven people wounded in the suicide bombing of a housing compound in
      the capital to hospital, a newspaper said on Monday. Saba Abu Lisan,
      was in the al-Muhaya compound at the time of the November 8 attack and
      defied Saudi legislation which prohibits women from driving, said the
      Saudi daily Al Watan. In an interview with the newspaper, Abu Lisan's
      father, whose car she took, said security authorities stopped his
      daughter on her way out of the compound but were understanding of the
      circumstances, acknowledged she was acting for humanitarian reasons
      and escorted her all the way to the hospital.

      Khudair Repents Supporting Terror Attacks - 18 Nov 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=35266&d=18&m=11&y=2003
      ..
      Sheikh Ali Al-Khudair, a well-known Saudi scholar who was arrested in
      Madinah for supporting terrorist attacks, has repented. He also
      denounced the terrorist attacks in Makkah and Riyadh. In an interview
      with Saudi television, the scholar said the militants carried out the
      explosions because of their ignorance of Islamic teachings. "The life
      and property of non-Muslims in the Kingdom are under state protection
      and must not be attacked," he added.
      ..
      He also withdrew fatwas he had issued declaring infidel Saudi thinkers
      Turki Al-Hamad, Mansour Al-Naqeedan and Abdullah Abusamh.
      ..
      He had also praised the 19 terror suspects wanted by Saudi security
      authorities and acknowledged his relation with some of them. In the
      interview, Al-Khudair declared only rulers were in a position to
      declare jihad. "It is not allowed to rise up against rulers unless
      they commit flagrant violations against Shariah," he said.

      Woman Sentenced to 500 Lashes for Immoral Conduct - 18 Nov 03
      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=35241&d=18&m=11&y=2003
      ..
      A Jizan court has sentenced a young woman to 500 lashes for allegedly
      spending time alone with a young man and marrying him hours after
      divorcing her former husband, Al-Madinah reported on Sunday. According
      to the court ruling, the groom will also get 500 lashes while the
      mazoun who married them will get 30 lashes for violating Shariah
      rules. The woman was on bad terms with her former husband and entered
      into a romantic relationship with the young man. But under Shariah,
      she was required to wait for three months before marrying another man.

      Saudi academic slams Islamic Affairs Minister - 16 Nov 03
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s989979.htm
      ..
      A leading Saudi academic has called for the resignation of the Islamic
      Affairs Minister, a week after a devastating suicide bomb attack in
      the capital, Riyadh, killed at least 17 people. Dr Halil al Halil
      accused Shaikh Saleh bin Abdulaziz Al-Ashaikh of allowing mosques to
      be used against Saudi society. Dr al Halil said that the religious
      establishment has failed to fight against extremist mullahs who had
      hijacked Islam. He called for a sweeping review of the religious
      bodies in the country, saying that under the Minister, radical imams
      had long been allowed to preach a message of extremist violence.
      In a society where open political dissent has been ferociously
      discouraged, this highly public and unusual attack on a powerful
      minister is a measure of the debate now threatening to split Saudi
      Arabia.

      Rigid Islamic sect's global influence fuels concern - 15 Nov 03
      http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/world/story/0,4386,220040,00.html
      ..
      [Arab News' editor-in-chief Khalid Al-Maena]: Highlighting the close
      ties, he said arrested JI militant Agus Dwikarna - who is in prison in
      the Philippines after being convicted for possessing explosives and
      suspected of being involved in bombings there - was the regional field
      officer for Indonesian Islamic charity Kompak's office in Makassar.
      Kompak received funding from at least two Saudi charities, the Al-
      Haramain Foundation and the Islamic International Relief Organisation.
      And its founder Aris Munandar, the former right-hand man of Islamic
      cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, was a 'very senior official' with the
      Al-Hara-main Foundation.

      TURKEY

      Turkey blasts: Real suspects silent - 18 Nov 03
      http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EK18Ak01.html
      ..
      The responsibility for the blasts has been claimed by an indigenous
      organization called the Turkish Great Eastern Islamic Raiders Front
      (IBDA-C), which advocates an Islamic rule based on the Sharia in
      Turkey and a leftist economic ideology. A telephone call from an
      individual claiming to be from this organization is reported to have
      said: "The reason [for the attacks] is to stop the oppression of the
      Muslims ... Our acts will continue." In the past, there were
      allegations of its having had links at different times with the
      intelligence agencies of Greece, the erstwhile Soviet Union and Iran.
      Though Turkish officials have been treating this organization as a
      terrorist one and have been unsuccessfully pressing the European Union
      to declare it so too, they say that they do not take seriously, for
      the present, its claims of having organized the November 15 blasts. It
      was not known to have the kind of expertise required for this purpose,
      or to have at its disposal volunteers for suicide terrorism. While
      Turkish officials have been pointing the needle of suspicion at
      al-Qaeda, some Israeli analysts seem to suspect a possible role by the
      Iran-backed Hezbollah and/or the Iraq-based Kurdish extremist group
      called the Ansar al-Islam, which the United States has accused, with
      no satisfactory evidence, of having links with al-Qaeda.

      USA

      Charities deny bankrolling terror - 16 Nov 03
      http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/1103/16terrorweb.html

      'Paranoid' US security push threatens future of transatlantic flights
      http://ww1.sundayherald.com/38062 - 16 Nov 03
      ..
      Talks between the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the
      European Union broke down last month because the US is demanding that
      incoming passengers should have a passenger name record (PNR)
      containing 39 key pieces of information, such as how the passenger
      paid for their ticket and whether they ordered a halal meal for their
      flight, seen as indicators for potential terrorists.
      ..
      In handing over that level of information, however, UK airlines would
      breach strict EU data protection laws and be subject to hefty fines.
      The commissioner in charge of data protection, Frits Bolkestein, left
      talks in Washington last month without making any concessions to the
      US, a move which was applauded by member countries but which has left
      airlines adrift.
      ..
      The US is storming ahead with the development of a complete data file
      on everyone coming into the country, using a new generation of their
      Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System. CAPPS II will take
      passenger names and then analyse data, from credit card accounts to
      outstanding arrest warrants, and hotel and car hire reservations, in
      order to get a complete picture of each person's lifestyle. The US is
      insisting that it keeps the data on file for 50 years, while the EU
      says three years is a reasonable maximum. Sources at the EU have told
      the Sunday Herald that the US will "categorically" not succeed in its
      quest to compile extensive data lists. One source said: "The US's
      efforts have widely been seen as paranoia, overkill and a very quick
      way to damage tourism. If America doesn't back down before Christmas
      there could be serious diplomatic repercussions and the cost of flying
      may rise dramatically. America as Big Brother has to stop somewhere."

      US Sets Terms for Freeing Guantanamo - Swede-Report - 16 Nov 03
      http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/US/reuters20031116_46.html
      ..
      Swedish foreign ministry spokesman Jan Janonius said negotiations
      about Mehdi-Muhammed Ghezali, a 24-year-old Swede held captive for
      almost two years at the U.S. military base in Cuba, were under way,
      but that Washington had not yet come up with any concrete proposal.
      The daily Svenska Dagbladet quoted an unnamed senior U.S. official as
      saying Washington wanted to set in motion a process that would see
      Sweden take responsibility for Ghezali -- one of some 660 prisoners
      captured mostly during the war in Afghanistan and held without charge
      or access to lawyers.
      ..
      Ghezali's father, a Muslim of Algerian origin, has repeatedly urged
      the Swedish government to do more to secure his son's release, saying
      he was in Pakistan to study Islam and had nothing to do with al Qaeda.
      Spain, a supporter of the U.S. war on terror, criticized its ally last
      week for the open-ended detention of prisoners. Britain has also
      complained about Britons held without trial at Guantanamo Bay. Bush,
      who visits Britain this week, told the BBC on Sunday: "I'm working
      closely with Tony (British Prime Minister Blair) to come up with a
      solution that he is comfortable with." The diplomat told Reuters:
      "Also inside the United States there has been growing criticism about
      the Guantanamo Bay prisoners because they have been left outside any
      legal arrangements, international law or the prisoners of war Geneva
      convention. Definitely there is a need for them to get this thing over
      with and this is maybe the beginning of the process."

      [Stanford] New Islamic Studies program inaugurated - 18 Nov 03
      http://daily.stanford.org/tempo?page=content&id=12444&repository=0001_artic=
      le
      ..
      The program, the result of a post-Sept. 11 surge of student demand for
      courses about the Muslim world, seeks to expand Stanford's curriculum
      in Islamic Studies, though it will not grant degrees. It will also
      sponsor research, academic conferences and public lectures, like the
      one given by Esposito.
      ..
      Esposito described the struggle as mostly mainstream, involving
      liberals, conservatives and "every shade" in between. However, he said
      that the debate is hindered by radical extremists and authoritarian
      regimes. According to Esposito, many Americans know of Islam only
      through reading explosive headlines about those extremists and
      authoritarian regimes, instead of interacting with Muslims as
      neighbors and coworkers. Addressing the violence in the Muslim world,
      Esposito pointed out that most Muslim countries are younger than he
      is, with many of them forming in the post World War II era. Esposito
      said that in viewing Islam, often Americans compare their ideals to
      the realities of the Muslim world and draw conclusions from there.
      ..
      The Abbasi Program is made possible through the donations of Sohaib
      Abbasi, a former Oracle Corp. executive, and Lysbeth Warren, an alumna
      and member of the Humanities and Sciences Council at Stanford. Their
      respective gifts of $2.5 million and $2 million were matched by the
      William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for a total endowment of $9
      million. The University is currently in the process of filling one
      endowed professorship and is looking towards creating more
      professorships within the program.

      FINANCE

      Asia's First Islamic Private Equity Fund - 18 Nov 03
      http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_business.php?id=30272

      Lebanon's first Islamic bank to open for business by year's end
      http://www.menareport.com/story/TheNews.php3?action=story&sid=263636&lang=e=
      &dir=mena

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