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Islamic Voice Logo
MONTHLY    *    Vol 11-01 No:121    *  JANUARY 1997/ RAMADAN 1417H
email: editor@islamicvoice.com

News from Islamic World

France to Host Congress on "Islam and the West"
First Regional Midwest Islamic-Catholic Dialogue in USA.
London Mosque appoints new director-general
Book fair unifies US Muslims
UK Muslims to monitor media
Dawah Year Book
Palestine establishes Al-Quds Prize
Conference calls for attention to Islamic arts and literature
Laraki is New OIC Chief
Finland Muslim Cemetery
Zakat for Hospitals and Prisoners
Egypt's New Mufti
Muslim rights in U.K
ISESCO publishes book on Ibn Battuta
Tunnel Torpedoes West Asia Peace Process
Need for an Islamic T.V




France to Host Congress on "Islam and the West"


PARIS: The OIC and the "Islam and the West" will jointly organise the "World Congress Islam and the West" here on January 8 and 9. The theme of the conference will be "Islam, France and Europe: How to build our common future". The Congress will be held at Palais des Congress Grand Auditorium and is likely to draw participation of top representatives of 50 Islamic Governments and European nations.

The subject of main discussions are "Islam, Civilisation of Universality", "Universalism of Islam", "Islam and the West: two interdependent worlds" and "the Dynamics of exchange between Islam and the West."
"Islam and the West" is a non-Government organisation created in Paris in 1981. More information can be had from

"Islam et Occident", 147 Blv Raspail,  

75006 PARIS, France, 

Phones 01 - 46347629,  Fax: 01 - 43547288

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First Regional Midwest Islamic-Catholic Dialogue in USA.

INDIANAPOLIS: For centuries, Muslim and Catholics have met primarily in debates and sometimes on battleground; however, this was an occasion in which Muslim and Catholic leaders from the Midwest of the United States met in a secluded Our Lady of Fatima Retret in October 96, discussing areas and strategies for cooperation.'
The programme was held in Indianapolis city of Indiana State of USA and hosted by Father Thomas Murphy of Archdiocese and Dr. Shahid Athar on the Muslim side.
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London Mosque appoints new director-general

LONDON : The trustees of the Central London Mosque and the Islamic Centre in Regents Park have appointed Hamad Bin Abdullah Al-Majid as the new director-general. Hamad Al-Majid worked at the centre as an assistant to the director in 1986 and was appointed deputy director-general in 1994. Trustees of the London Islamic Centre are drawn from Muslim diplomatic missions - mostly ambassadors - based in London.

Al-Majid is a graduate of Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh and holds an M.A. from California. Currently he is working towards his doctoral degree at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.

Al-Majid is currently the chairman of Islamic schools in Manchester and the Exeter Islamic Cultural Centre.
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Book fair unifies US Muslims

PHILADELPHIA: The 4th Annual Islamic and Arabic book fair was held in Philadelphia. The book fair hosted exhibitors from America as well as from all over the Arab and Islamic world. The president of the committee and the original driving force behind the fairs was Ism Masri. This book fair was a result of his tireless work.

It was first held in 1993. Participating publishers came from 12 countries. At the start, only the Government of Kuwait appeared as a participating country. This year Kuwait was joined by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Pakistan, Singapore, Qatar, Syria, Lebanon, Malaysia, Iran and the United States.

The fair placed the emphasis on Muslim families by having books, lectures by scholars, Islamic software and activities for children.

The funds are donated to Masajid in the city, to provide legal assistance to the community and help supply some institutions with publications needed to broaden students' horizons. This year, most if not all, of the proceeds was put aside toward establishing an Islamic Cultural Centre in Philadelphia. The objective of the fair was to facilitate a better understanding and appreciation of the Arab and Islamic communities in America. The fair served to bring the Muslim communities in the US together by keeping the communities in touch and establish cultural centres in all areas where such communities exist.
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UK Muslims to monitor media

LONDON : The Muslims in Britain have set up a special committee to monitor the picture drawn for them in the British newspapers and to discuss the root-causes behind the rising fear of Islam in Europe.

The committee, chaired by Professor Jordan Konowaih, the deputy vice-chancellor of Sussex University, will gather information about treatment of Muslims in the country with a special emphasis on school students.

Professor Konowaih said the animosity against Muslims in Britain is a very serious problem. "When we discuss this cause and closely monitor what is being said about Muslims in the newspapers and radio and TV, we will notice a clear antagonism against Muslims in the country," he said. He however, said it was difficult to know whether these anti-Muslim sentiments are attributable to racism or religious reasons.(IINA)
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Dawah Year Book

ISLAMABAD: The Dawah Academy, International Islamic University, is publishing a series of Dawah Year Books. Islamic organisations and Dawah personalities engaged in Dawah work are requested to send the required information to the Resource Centre of the Dawah Academy for inclusion in the Year Book, which would facilitate the Muslim Scholars and Dawah workers to perform their noble duties in a more effective manner through communication and exchange of information. Please send the details to

Research Centre, Dawah Academy, 

International Islamic University, 

POB.1485, Islamabad, Pakistan.

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Palestine establishes Al-Quds Prize

The Palestinian Information Ministry has recently established an international award to be given annually to the best work of art and the best historic research about the Holy City. The prize, known as Al-Quds Prize, will consist of cash money of $10,000 and a merit certificate. It will be distributed among the historians, researchers, painters and photographers who produce the best literary, historic, artistic or photographic work about the Holy City. The ministry said the award will further confirm the Arab and Islamic nature of Al-Quds. (IINA)
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Conference calls for attention to Islamic arts and literature

ISTANBUL: The fourth annual conference of the international League of Islamic Literature has called for more attention to Islamic arts and literature here in October.

Famous Indian scholar Sheikh Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi, the chairman of the league's office in India, opened the conference with a speech, urging Muslims to give more care and concern to the Islamic literature.

The conference asked for spreading Islamic literature through collaboration with the Arab and Islamic universities and the sections for Eastern languages in Western Universities. It also called for making use of the modern information means to augment Islamic literature and highlight the Islamic cultural activities.

The conference also called for organising competitions among Muslim women scholars.
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Laraki is New OIC Chief

JAKARTA: Azzeddine Laraki, a former Prime Minister of Morocco was elected unanimously as the new Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) at the conference of the foreign ministers of the OIC members. He replaces Hamid Al-Gabid who completed his tenure.
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Finland Muslim Cemetery

FINLAND: The Finish government has purchased a piece of land for marking it out as the first Muslim cemetery for burying the dead. The government paid Us $three lakhs for the purpose. The Muslims, who number 20,000 in Finland, have thanked the government for this gesture, said the IINA.
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Zakat for Hospitals and Prisoners

CAIRO: The zakat committee of a food factory here has built a hospital out of zakath funds in the Al-Munirah residential districts here. It cost Egyptian pounds five million and is manned by 100 doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff. The zakat committee will also pay the medical bills of the poor patients.

According to the IINA, the Kuwait Zakat House has set up a special fund to help take care of the families of the prisoners. The fund pays the school fees of the children and medical bills of the members of the families. So far 2162 families have been helped thus.
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Egypt's New Mufti

CAIRO: Egypt has appointed an Islamic Law Professor Nasr Fareed Mohamed Wasel as the Mufti, the country's highest religious authority, a presidential degree said.

Nasr Fareed Mohamed Wasel, an Al-Azhar University Professor succeeds Sayyed Tantawi, who was recently been appointed as head of Al-Azhar.

The Mufti, in Egypt issues fatwas, or legal opinions, on issues ranging from family life to economic practice.
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Muslim rights in U.K

LONDON : The Union of Islamic Organizations in Britain held its 26th annual Congress here recently and urged the British Government to ensure complete religious freedom for Muslims in the country. The Congress discussed the violations of human rights in Chechnya, Cyprus, Palestine, Kashmir and Bosnia. It urged the United Nations to protect the human rights of Muslims in these countries. (IINA)
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ISESCO publishes book on Ibn Battuta

RABAT: The Rabat-based Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) has published a book on the famous Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta. The French and English versions of the book, written by a Moroccan, Abdullah Guennoun, former member of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco and former secretary general of the League of Moroccan Scholars, have been published by ISESCO in a single edition. (IINA)
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Tunnel Torpedoes West Asia Peace Process

By Abdullah Al-Ahsan
The Middle East peace process seems to be on a reverse course after the latest violence that killed about 70 people, mostly Palestinians, which was provoked by Israel's opening of a tourist tunnel under the Aqsa Mosque. After Mr. Netanyahu declined Mr. Mubarak's invitation to settle the issue through negotiations, President Clinton has taken the initiative to invite Mr. Arafat and Mr. Netanyahu to Washington for discussion. However, Mr. Netanyahu has already declared that the tunnel under the Mosque will not be closed under any circumstances. The US government will now try to understand why Israel is not willing to compromise on this issue. Keeping in view the US government's records, it may be assumed that it will ask the Palestians also to understand the Israeli position and to compromise with Israeli demands.

The Israeli government had undertaken the project of archaeological excavations in the area several years ago with the hope of finding remains of Israelis of the pre-Christian era. But to their extreme disappointment they have only found Islamic remains so far. Yet they are trying to establish that historical Jerusalem belonged to the Jews by falsifying documents and by interviewing "American tourists" who went to visit the tunnel (29 September 1996) through pro-Israeli western media. Some of these tourists got the smell of four thousand years of Jewish History through that tunnel. Such interviews were broadcast by the BBC. Will the world community accept this? The issue of the tunnel concerns not only the Palestinians, but also Muslims and Christians elsewhere, and indeed every human being with clear conscience and knowledge of history all over the world. It is this understanding that is reflected in numerous resolutions adopted by the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) ever since its inception nearly three decades ago. What can the OIC do under the circumstances?

In our opinion it can do the following with immediate effect:

1. Sever diplomatic ties with Israel and expel all Israeli diplomats from all OIC countries.

2. Create pressure on all world bodies to expel Israel and express clearly that Israel has to learn civilised behaviour in order to be a part of the world community.

3. Disqualify all business companies having ties with Israel from business dealings in all OIC countries. This should include individual business executives visiting Israel. Palestinians and other Arab and Muslim countries have been engaged in political negotiations for some time. This has been proved to be ineffective. Now the policy of diplomatic boycott and economic pressure should be given a chance.

Just World Trust (Dr. Abdullah Al-Ahsan is an academic living in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.)
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Need for an Islamic T.V

Dr. Abdul Qadr Tash,
Editor-in-Chief, Arab News.


Newspapers reported recently that the Ahmadiya International Television in Britain has increased its duration of transmission. It now telecasts its programmes 24 hours a day. The Ahmadiya T.V also telecasts programmes daily for three hours to other parts of Europe and for 12 hours to Asian countries. The main objective of this television is to spread wrong information about Islam because it belonged to a deviated group. Launched in 1991, the Ahmadiya T.V achieved tremendous progress in a short span.

Instead of condemning the Qadiyanis for this venture, we have to blame ourselves because we Muslims have failed to make use of modern information media like satellite television for disseminating the message of Islam and highlighting its great teachings.

Despite the calls for setting up an Islamic satellite television channel for the last several years, we don't see any concrete result on the ground. We are not short of right methods or intelligent opinions to translate those calls into a reality. Also we are not short of people, expertise and resources to take up this challenge. What we need today is strong determination to go ahead with this vital project. We should not make any more delay in this regard, for others will not wait for us. Look at the Qadiyanis who are a negligible minority in the world and have put us far behind in the media field. We are just watching these developments. Do the Muslim governments, official establishments and charitable organisations realise this fact? Do businessmen and philanthropists in the Islamic world have the courage to invest in this important project?

Nowadays most of our charitable organizations are interested in putting their money in traditional projects such as construction of Mosques, relief work and supporting the poor. They rarely come forward to undertake Islamic education and information projects. They have to understand the fact that the Muslim world is badly in need of a strong media organ to counter the distortions and attacks against Islam and Muslims. We are in need of a bold decision from Muslim governments to implement this Islamic channel project. Muslim businessmen and philanthropists should also shoulder their responsibility toward the project which is essential to take the message of Islam to a larger number of people around the world.
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