Faisal Award for Bosnia Relief Body
Rebuild Babri Mosque: OIC
Israel Accused of Racism
Eid Mubarak Stamp by US
Congress of French Muslims
Bahrain Opting for Parliament
Demand Growing for Sharia Banks
NJ Senate Starts with Islamic Prayers
Nuremberg Style Law in US
Seminar on Islam and Sciences
Sheikh Bin Baz Website
Islamic Center in Stockholm
Sharia in 9th Nigerian Province
Riyadh: The King Faisal Award for the Islamic Services for the year 2001 has been given to the Saudi Arabian High Commission for Donations to Bosnia-Herzegovina for relief work for Bosnia. The King Faisal Ward for Medicine has been jointly awarded to Dr. Prof. Sir Roy Yorke Calne of Britain and Norman Edward Shumway and Prof. Thomas Earl Starzl of the USA for organ transplantation. The King Faisal Award for Science has been jointly bagged by Dr. Sajeev O. John of Canada and Prof. Chen Ning Yang of the US. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Saafin of Jordan and Dr. Mansour I-Al-Hazimi of Saudi Arabia have shared the King Faisal Award for Arabic Literature.
The Award announcement was made by Governor of the Central Province Prince Khalid Al Faisal here last fortnight at the King Faisal Foundation. The Foundation did not announce any names for the King Faisal Award for the Islamic Studies for the year.
Jeddah : The secretary-general of the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has noted “with deep concern the recent statements of the Indian leadership which encourage the construction of a temple at the site of the destroyed Babri Mosque.”
He reiterated his several appeals to the Indian Government to prevent any violation of the sanctity of the Mosque, and called upon the Government of India to take immediate steps to implement its solemn commitment to reconstruct the Babri Mosque on its original site and to remove the makeshift Hindu temple.
The secretary-general expressed the hope that India will ensure the sanctity of the five-century-old Babri Mosque and would also protect other Islamic holy places.
Israel Accused of Racism
Jerusalem : The Jewish writer Amirah Haas has criticised the Israeli government’s dealing with the Palestinians in the in the occupied territories in the Israeli daily Haartez.
In his article, Haas says it has become habitual to confine the 40,000 residents of Hebron to their homes, just so that the 500 Jewish settlers could be comfortable and enjoy security, adding that it has also become natural for Israelis to keep silent about such things and pretend that they don’t know anything about them. He goes on to say that it has also become fashionable to close 34 schools meant for thousands of Palestinian children for over a month while confining the students to their threatened homes, yet make it possible for Jewish children play around in a very normal way in the streets, among soldiers.
Haas deplored the racist behaviour of Israelis against unarmed Palestinians, by taking advantage of their military superiority in their aim of inflicting maximum inconvenience to the Palestinians. Haas wrote at length about the suffering of the Palestinian people in summers when the water supply to their areas is interrupted and Palestinians have to face problems in search of water as their movements are restricted and regulated. He compared the scarcity of water in the Palestinian territories with the abundant availability of water in the Jewish areas. He said the latter have water in excess of their essential needs, and they utilize the balance in watering their gardens, just so that they could become greener. He said when it comes to movement, the Israelis’ movements are not in any way restricted and they move about with gay abandon, with some of their nicely paved roads on land that had been confiscated from the Palestinians.
Haas concluded his write-up by saying: “The new Intifada, in its popular and quasi-military form, is a final attempt in telling the Israelis: Look at yourselves, and see the type of racists that you have become.”
Washington D.C.: The US Post has issued a postage stamp in commemoration of Eid-ul-Fitr. Though the postage stamp with calligraphed Eid Mubarak has been displayed widely, it will be issued for use only during Ramazan 2001. The calligraphy has been done by Mohammad Zakariya, an American who had converted to Islam after a trip to Morocco.
The Postage stamp is considered a symbolic recognition of presence of nearly seven million Muslims in the United States.
Paris : French Muslims will be holding a general Congress of all Muslim organizations in July 2001 to explore the possibilities of forming an all-representative body to represent Muslim affairs at the government level. According to Dr. Fouad Al-Alawi, secretary general of Federation of Islamic Organizations the Muslims in France are divided among themselves, and even in the matter of fasting each group starts the fast of Ramadan following the country from which it originally came.
Dr. Fuad Al-Alawi has stressed that the number of Muslims in France has reached the five million mark, yet they still do not have any official representation vis-à-vis the French Government, as other, numerically inferior religious communities do. He said this has led to the marginalization of Islam’s existence in the country.
Dr. Alawi said that in France there are 1,200 mosques, and 250 Islamic organizations.
Manama : Bahrain has disclosed plans to democratize the governance by setting up a 2-chamber Parliament and holding the municipality polls. The two chamber Parliament will have a Council with its members elected directly and freely by the citizens to carry out legislative duties and a Shura (consultative) council made up of a experienced and professional members of to give advice.
The announcement came from Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Amir of Bahrain on the eve of the Bahraini national day on December 16.
Jakarta : Several major banks are planning to open Shari’a Divisions as of next year, because demand for Shari’a compliant banking services is on the increase among Indonesians.
After two state-owned banks, namely Bank BNI and Bank Mandiri, had successfully run their Shari’a Divisions, at least four major conventional banks are expected to follow suit. They are Bank Danamon, Bank Bukopin, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, and Bank Niaga.
Dody Bachtiar, deputy director of Bank Muamalat, the country’s first Islamic Shari’a Bank, said here that when the economic crisis began to engulf the country three years ago, some circles blamed the capitalist system for the economic failure, forcing many bankers and people to switch to Shari’a-based economic system.
Trenton (New Jersy): The Senate of the State of New Jersy in US began its winter session with Islamic prayers on December 16. Islamic scholar Mohammad Qarnani led the house in a prayer at the start of the session here. The prayers were organized coinciding with the Holy Month of Ramadan and in recognition of nearly 400,000 Muslims in the state. Qarnani leads the Islamic Center at the Pesic county in the state.
Attorney Suhail Mohammad who is trustee and legal advisor for the local organization American Muslim Union welcomed the Senate gesture. President of the Union Mr. Yunus also held the event as a significant one in the history of the state.
Washington : Legislation recently introduced in the US House of Representatives would require the Justice Department to set up a special office exclusively targeting Palestinians, according to a report by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
CAIR has described the Justice for American Victims of Terrorism Act of 2000 as “Nuremberg-style legislation, such as those that existed in Nazi Germany and targeted the Jews in that country from 1935 to the end of World War II.
Kuwait City : The Kuwait-based Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences will hold a seminar on “Sciences in Islam”, at its headquarters on January 23 - 25, 2001. The secretary-general of the organization, Dr. Ahmed Rajai Al-Jundy, said that 40 prominent Muslim personalities have been invited from various parts of the Arab and Muslim world, as well as from the West. Dr. Jundy said the objective of the seminar is to discuss and obtain the opinion of scholars in the field of Islamic sciences, because there are two schools of thought on this topic. One school maintains that by sciences it is meant the Shari’a sciences, to the exclusion of other secular sciences, such as medicine, pharmacology, astronomy, mathematics, nature, chemistry, and the like. Whereas the other maintains the opposite.
Riyadh : An Internet website for the late Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz has been constructed carrying his Fatwas, books, discourses, sermons, and other data concerning the late Mufti of Saudi Arabia. The website also contains a lot of useful information on Islam. The Saudi Government has also approved the formation of the Abdul Aziz bin Baz Charitable Foundation, whose main objectives would be to spread Islamic knowledge, and also care for the poor, the orphaned, and the building of mosques. IINA however did not provide the website address.
Stockholm : A new Islamic center has been inaugurated in the Swedish capital, and so far about 20,000 people have visited it, and expressed their desire to learn more about Islam.
The new center is the largest in the Scandinavian countries. The five-story center has separate areas for men and women, two lecture halls, a public library, an Islamic bookshop, a gym, a conference hall, administrative offices, a computer center, a modern abattoir (for Islamic slaughter of animals), a restaurant, and other facilities.
Kano : The Governor of Kebi State in Northwest Nigeria has announced the immediate implementation of the Islamic Shari’a. This is the ninth state in Nigeria to implement the Shari’a.