Women's Soccer Banned in Nigeria
High Panel to Phase out Riba from Pak System
18,000 Muslims in US Army
Republican Party Still Harbours Muslim Bashers
365,000 Eritrea Muslims Displaced, Plead for Aid
Muslims oppose Tanzanian Laws on Inheritance
UAE Award for its Sultan
Evangelists Targeting Mauritania
African Nations to Adopt Common Islamic Calender
New Mosques in Madagascar
Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi's Book on Prophet's Intercession
US Girl Prevented from saying 'Bismillah'
Muslim Viewpoint at Davos
Holy Quran in Maldivian Language
Cairo Book Fair is Second Largest in the World, Attracts 3,000 Publishers
1,40,000 Pilgrims from West
First Church in Qatar
Nobel Scientist to help Egypt Establish Science Varsity
Azan to be Allowed in Norway
US Media urged to Balance its Approach
Islamic Newsletter in Braille
LABOS (IINA): The Nigerian northwest state of Zamfara, that recently declared its adherence to the Muslim Sharia, has outlawed female football, since it is un-Islamic for a woman to expose her body. The announcement was made by a sports official, Shehu Gusau, who added that the sport "is against the teachings of Islam. In a related development, Gusau said the government would also soon build another stadium specially designed to have separate stands for men and women. Other northern states of Nigeria have also announced their intention to introduce the Islamic Sharia (law).
KARACHI (IINA): Pakistan has set up a high-level commission that would supervise a phased long-term process of Islamising the country's financial system, according to senior officials. The move comes in the wake of a verdict by the country's Supreme Court which, in December outlawed the charging of interest, and laid down guidelines for restructuring the economy by June 2001, they explained.
WASHINGTON (IINA): There are 18,000 Muslims in the US army, eight thousand of whom are in the navy, many of them embraced Islam after joining the army and are getting acquainted with the Muslims who were already there. The US Navy has therefore changed its coat of arms and added the symbol representing Islam, namely the Crescent to the existing cross and the Star of David. The Navy's Muslim Chaplain, Yahya Hindi, told Al-Yamamah magazine that many of the doctors and engineers in the navy are Muslims, and some heads of medical units in some of the military hospitals are also Muslims, many of them holding very senior positions. Some of the Muslims in the army have received commendations and decorations for best performance, and this has made many in the army want to learn more about Islam. Yahya said that among the main problems facing Islam in the US is ignorance about it, not only by the non-Muslims, but even on the part of the Muslims themselves.
WASHINGTON (IINA): The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group has expressed concern over the scheduled appearance of a "Muslim basher" at a House sub-committee hearing this week. Steven Emerson, a self-styled "terrorism expert," testified before Rep. Lamar Smith's Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims hearing on "Terrorist Threats to the United States." Emerson is best known for his controversial 1994 PBS programme "Jihad in America." Muslims say he has a long history of defamatory and inaccurate attacks on the Muslim community in the United States.
ASMARA (IINA): There are about 365,000 displaced people living on the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and also in the south and south-west of Eritrea, as a result of the conflict between the two countries. These people are in dire need of food and other relief aid, such as tents and medicines. The Mufti of Eritrea has appealed to Muslims to help these people. As a result of his meeting in Jeddah with the Secretary-General of the International Islamic Relief Organisation (IIRO), it has been agreed that three containers of dates, milk and blankets would be on their way to the area very soon.
DAR-ES-SALAM (IINA): The Tanzanian Government has decided to set up a government organ for the distribution of inheritance among surviving heirs, but this decision has been denounced by the Islamic organisations in the country. The reason is that in Islam the distribution of inheritance is enjoined by Allah in the Holy Book and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Pbuh), and is therefore not subject to any change or amendment or interference by the state under any circumstances.
DUBAI: In a brazen show of self glorification the Government of United Arab Emirates has chosen its own President and King Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nayhan as the "Islamic Personality of the Year" and given him the Dubai International Qur'an Award for his efforts to bring about Islamic Solidarity. Maulana Ali Miyan had been nominated for the Award during 1998. The UAE is a sheikhdom and is headed by the king. The awarding of the second prize to its own king is likely to erode the credibility of this award.
NAUAKCHOTT (IINA): A report has revealed that there are several non-governmental organisations operating in Mauritania, and their main focus is on Christian missionary work. The report indicates that these organisations concentrate their activities On the ethnic minorities, particularly the black Africans who are poor. The missionaries tell them that they are endangered, and would therefore be saved by Jesus Christ (May Allah bless him). The report says these organizations go about distributing copies of the Bible and audiocassettes in which there are lessons in the local dialects and they also organise courses for their activists in the country. One of the most dangerous aims of these organizations is to obliterate the Arabic language as it is, and replace it with one written in the Latinic script. This is being done through a branch of one of the organisations that is operating in Senegal, where there is a small ethnic minority of Mauritanian origin. They are preparing the programme for teaching Arabic in Latin characters.
DAKAR (IINA): Six African countries have decided to unify their Islamic calendar. These are Senegal, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Ivory Coast, and Guinea-Conakry. The agreement came following a meeting of Shari'a and Astronomy scholars in the Senegalese capital, Dakar. Their meeting was also attended by scholars from Al-Azhar, who were invited to act as observers. The six nations are longitudinally close to one another, and the agreement will, therefore, make it possible for them to observe Islamic festivals, such as Ramadhan and Eid, simultaneously. Thus it would now be possible for the six nations to observe the advent of such occasions without the necessity of sighting the new crescent by each and every one of them, and also make use of the available technology for this purpose.
(IINA): The Kuwait-based Africa Muslim Agency has inaugurated a mosque that it built in the Manakari Region of Madagascar. The ceremony was attended by several prominent officials from the region, including the Governor of Fuhindafa, who only recently embraced Islam. Another four mosques were opened in 1999 in different villages, also in the Manakari Region.
CAIRO (IINA): A new book by the Muslim intellectual Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi has been published in Cairo. It deals with the question of the Prophet's intercession during the Day of Judgement, and is a rejoinder to what Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud "maintains that there is no such thing as intercession by the Prophet (Pbuh).
WASHINGTON (IINA): The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, recently called on the Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to allow a Muslim student to mention God in the classroom.
The student was prevented from making an Islamic religious reference at the beginning of one of her class presentations. Before the students could begin that presentation, the instructor handed her a letter stating that she could not utter the common Islamic phrase in the name of God, most Merciful, most Gracious, (Bismillah) as she had on a previous occasion.
JAKARTA (IINA): President Abdurrahman Wahid of Indonesia has said that he and the leaders of three other Muslim countries would present Muslim point of view at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Austria, toward the end of January, 2000. The others are Malaysian Prime Minster, Mahathir Muhammad, King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Husni Mubarak of Egypt. Wahid will first visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, before he flies on to Davos for the January 30 meeting.
MALE (IINA): The Maldivian Muslim Scholars Committee has translated the meanings of the Holy Qur'an into the Maldivian language. The committee was formed at the request of the country's President Maamun Abdul Qayyum, and the translated version would soon be printed and distributed to the Muslims of Maldives.
CAIRO (IINA): The Cairo International Book Exhibition was inaugurated here on January 26, 2000, and will continue until February 6. Eighty countries are participating in the exhibition, and are represented by 3,000 Egyptian, Arab and international publishers.
There is a special wing for Islamic books. Speaking to IINA, Dr. Samir Sarhan, said the volume of sales last year was 450 million Egyptian Pounds, while the exhibition was visited by around eight million.
He said Egypt was placed second, after the Frankfurt International Exhibition last year, according to the Director of International Exhibition, and, he added, "God willing, this year we expect to be placed first. Dr. Sarhan said Egypt is now trying to expand its participation in international shows, and has therefore decided to take part in at least 20 international exhibitions that would be held this month and the next in France, New Delhi, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon.
JEDDAH: It is expected that 140,000 Muslims from Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Turkey will perform this year's Haj, and there will be 5000 Mutawifs attached to the Tawafa Establishments who will render them various services. Also to guide them on various matters relating to the correct performance of Haj rituals will be a team of university students, who will also show the pilgrims films on how the various rituals are performed.
DOHA: The Government of Qatar has granted permission to build the country's first church, the Italian Ambassador Igzazio Di Pace told. Some 60,000 Catholics and 10,000 orthodox Christians live in the Gulf state which has a population of 522,000, four-fifths of whom are expatriates. Church leaders in the region have said it would be the first church in Qatar in 1300 years.
CAIRO: Egypt will establish a science and high technology university, Nobel prize winning Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed Zewail said after meeting president Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak's approval of the university is part of his attempt to create a new base for technological research in Egypt, said Zewail, who was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize for chemistry. The university's location has not been selected yet, but Zewail has been asked by Mubarak to select the faculty and its team, the chemist added.
OSLO (IINA): The city authorities of Oslo have taken a step nearer to allowing the Azan to be sounded from the city's 18 mosques, it has been reported on the Internet. The head of the Norwegian capital's Urban Planning Department, Grete Horntvedt, has ruled that the five-times-a-day calls to prayer do not contravene noise reduction regulations. A final decision authorising the prayer call rests with councilors within the various city districts, the report said.
WASHINGTON (IINA): Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has urged media people in the US to use one standard in dealing with any topic connected with terrorism, be it on the local or international level. The council expressed its anxiety at the way the media in the US lacks a balanced approach when Muslims are alleged to be involved in any terrorist activity.
RIYADH (IINA): The King Fahd Qur'an Printing Complex publishes an Islamic newsletter in Braille. Titled "Al-Fajar", (meaning Dawn), it is distributed free of cost to organisations and individuals, said IINA. So far the monthly newsletter's 310 issues have come out, Braille is a language of embossed dots meant for blind persons. The king Fahd Qur'an Printing complex also distributes Qur'an in Braille which is printed in 54 volumes.