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JANUARY 2000

MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-01 No:157    *   JANUARY 2000 / Shawwal 1420H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

REPORT ON CHECHNYA


'Russia must stop Chechnya Genocide'
Yemen Speaker Flays World Community Over Chechnya
Disease and Death Stalk Kosovar, Chechen Refugee Camps
Massive Response to Saudi TV's Chechnya Relief Campaign
Give Your Zakat to Chechens: Qaradhawi
$3M Kuwaiti Aid for Chechens
1717 Billion Japanese Yen Aid for Palestine
Muslim Help for Taiwan Quake Victims
Saudi Gesture for Bosnian Refugees

'Russia must stop Chechnya Genocide'

By Mohammed Javed

Bangalore: The Indian government has been urged to bring pressure on Russia for calling off its incessant bombing and destruction of Chechnya. “The government of India, using its friendly relations with Russia, must stop the carnage and violent campaign in Chechnya.”

Representatives of 46 Muslim organisations, NGOs and civil rights forums passed a resolution at a public meeting here calling for immediate cessation of the massacre of Chechen population. The meeting was organised by ‘Save Chechnya Forum’, Bangalore, as part of its protest against Russia’s campaign in Chechnya.

“This meeting condemns in the strongest possible words the barbaric and naked aggression unleashed by Russia on the innocent and unarmed civilians of Chechnya,” said the resolution.

The protest comes in the wake of the recent Russian attack on Chechnya which has driven out its entire population from their homes. The unarmed civilians are starving for food and convoys of those who left Grozny on the assurance of their safe passage are being attacked and eliminated.

The meeting took serious exception to the United Nation’s indifference and inaction in handling the Chechen crisis and came down heavily on the international community for maintaining silence over Russia’s blatant crimes against humanity. The Muslim countries also have been criticised for keeping mum. The Russian army has even taken over capital Grozny, the last stronghold of the Chechen fights. “This is why, there is an urgent need to bring pressure on Russia to stop the genocide of defenceless Chechens,” said Karnataka Jamaat-e-Islami chief Maulana Iqbal Mulla.

Mufti Mohammed Ashraf Ali who presided over the meeting said, “it is our moral duty to wake up the world against such oppression”. Members of the Forum also held a token protest on Thursday in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on M G Road in the city.

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Yemen Speaker Flays World Community Over Chechnya

Sana’a (IINA): Sheikh Abdullah Hussein Al-Ahmar, Speaker of the Yemeni National Assembly, has expressed his deep anguish at the suffering of Muslims in Chechnya. The Speaker condemned the in different stand taken by the international community in tacking the genocide in Chechnya. Addressing a meeting at the university campus in the Yemeni capital, he congratulated the Chechen people for being so tenaciously attached to Islam despite all the vicissitudes that they are facing. He urged the US government to translate its slogans of human rights and self-determination into practical terms by expressing solidarity with the people of Chechenya and support their independence. Sheikh Al-Ahmar also appealed to the well-to-do in society to contribute generously toward the rescue of their brethren in Chechnya, adding that this is the least they are asking for, and it is “our duty toward them.”

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Disease and Death Stalk Kosovar, Chechen Refugee Camps

Grozny (IINA): Reports reaching the Saudi Joint Committee for the Relief of Kosovars and Chechens indicate that the health situation of the refugee is worsening by the day. Illnesses, such as respiratory diseases, have become common, while 80 percent of the children are suffering from aenemia, due to malnutrition. The reports also indicate that there is an acute shortage of accommodation, and with the onslaught of winter this is going to make the situation immensely pathetic. What the refugees need most are winter wear, shoes, blankets, and medicines, in addition to foodstuffs and cleaning agents. On the other hand the residents of the besieged city of Grozny, many of whom are elderly, are in hideouts, but without food, or any source of heating in such freezing winter conditions.

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Massive Response to Saudi TV's Chechnya Relief Campaign

Makkah (IINA): The Saudi Television Station organised a marathon donation campaign for the people of Chechnya.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, donated US$5,000,000, while Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz, the Interior Minister, donated US$ 1,000,000. The total collection made as a result of the television campaign was SR 45,000,000, with the Emir of Riyadh, Prince Sultan, donating a million Saudi Riyals, and a similar amount by Prince Waleed bin Talal, while an unknown Saudi benefactor donated SR 10,000,000.

The marathon went on throughout the night, with many Saudis actively participating with their donations and contributions. Many women donated their jewellery, while one livestock keeper donated 14 camels, and another one donated ten Jeeps. Scholars and other religious leaders urged the people to donate generously for the salvation of the brethren in Chechnya, who are now going through the most excruciating time of their lives.

Foremost among the scholars who made appeals for donations was the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Aal-Alsheikh.

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Give Your Zakat to Chechens: Qaradhawi

Doha (IINA): Sheikh Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi ha s issued a fatwa to the effect that Zakat money could be utilised in providing relief aid to the refugees of Chechnya, for they are, to all intents and purposes poor and needy, and that is one of the conditions for payment of Zakat. The written fatwa was sent to the Sheikh Eid bin Muhammad Al-Thani Charitable Foundation in Qatar, and it added that not caring about them in this hour of their crisis and need is to abandoning them to their enemies.

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$3M Kuwaiti Aid for Chechens

Kuwait City : The Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Shaikh Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, has ordered more than $3 million in aid money to be sent to Chechens, Al Watan daily reported . Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sulaiman Majed Al Shaheen, told parliament that the money was the first instalment of humanitarian aid to fellow Muslims in Chechnya.

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1717 Billion Japanese Yen Aid for Palestine

Cairo: The Japanese government pledged to present donations in shape of aid to the Palestinian government worth 1717 billion Japanese yen to be specified for financing projects to develop and improve water distribution networks in the northern areas of the West Bank. The Japanese embassy in Cairo said the two sides exchanged in Gaza the memorandums concerning all details regarding these donations. The total volume of aid presented by Japan to the Palestinian government since the beginning of the peace process in the Middle East in 1993 has reached nearly $491 million US. Japan also said this week that it would give 800 million yen in food aid to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). There are more than 3.6 million Palestinian refugin the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, in addition to the West Bank and the Gaza strip, and the poor refugees are facing a serious food shortage, a Japanese Foreign Ministry release said, adding that Japan has been supplying food aid to the refugees since 1970. The Japanese ambassador Jordan, Koichi Matsumoto, exchanged notes in Amman with UNRWA Commissioner General Peter Hensen pledging the aid.

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Muslim Help for Taiwan Quake Victims

Taipie (IINA): The Muslims of Taiwan have donated a sum of $ one million to the 921 victims of the recent earthquake there. The President of the Muslim Association in Taipei, Haj Mashika presented the cheque for this amount, to the director of the Office of Civil Defence of Taipei city authorities. A reception was held for this purpose and was attended by representatives from Muslim countries and some local Muslim personalities.

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Saudi Gesture for Bosnian Refugees

Sarajevo (IINA): Over 500,000 Bosnian families have benefited from aid sent by Saudi Arabia, with a sum of SR18 billion having been spent in payment of rents for these houses occupied by these families, including utility bills and cash advances to the families. Saudi Arabia also sent thousands of tons of clothes, foodstuffs and medicines, and sponsored 8000 orphans, and set up 105 Qur’an memorisation circles. Saudi Arabia also took care of 18 refugee camps in Croatia, Turkey and Hungary, in all of which there were 160,000 Bosnians.

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