Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Jamadi Thani / Rajab 1425 H July 2004
Volume 17-07 No : 211
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News From Islamic World


Muslim World Condemns Killing of Paul Johnson
First Channel on Quran from Makkah
Matchmaking Websites Flood Saudi
Iraqis Get Another Channel
Blood Donation Campaign
Nigerian Muslims Mark 200 Years of Own 'Caliphate'
Call for Common Arab Market
Women Take Back Mosque Space
Panic Over Muslim Graduation Stoles
CAIR Completes Ten Years of Advocacy
Islamic Britain Lures Top People

Muslim World Condemns Killing of Paul Johnson

Riyadh: Islam strictly forbids the killing of safe non-Muslims who were not fighting the Muslims, said the Imam of Al-Masjid Al-Haram. "There is a few who want to shed blood of people of other faiths (Christians and Jews), as if they pay no heed to Qur’an or Sunnah," Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah told attentive worshippers in his sermon. The scholar cited verses from Qur’an and Hadith by Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) strictly forbidding the killing of non-Muslim civilians. Bin Abdullah launched a bitter attack on militants, dubbing their actions as "tantamount to spreading corruption on earth". He cited killing safe civilians, Muslims or non-Muslims, as the most wicked sin humans may commit. "Islam respects the human being, dead or alive, and cutting off the American's head was an act of mutilation forbidden by Islam," Ibrahim Al-Fayoumi, a member of Al-Azhar's Islamic Research Academy. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) had repeatedly urged his Companions to be kind to their war captives and treat them with clemency. Sheikh of Azhar in Cairo Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi has asserted that killing of expatriates who came to work in a country after signing contracts is contrary to the Islamic Sharia'h. He reaffirmed that Islam is showing no leniency with those who are shedding blood and causing destruction to the society. "Those, who claim that they become dearer to Allah through these crimes, are really doing evils that would strengthen only Satan," he said while terming that such crimes are terrorist acts. According to Dr. Tantawi, killing of the American hostage Paul M Johnson and severing of his head was a horrible crime, which is in total violation of the principles of Islamic Shariah.

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First Channel on Quran from Makkah

Riyadh:The first satellite channel on the holy Quran will be launched in August this year. The channel, which will be devoted exclusively for the recitation and study of the holy Qur'an and its sciences will be telecast from Makkah. The Qur'an channel will be aired from the Saudi satellite channel of Al Fajr through Nile Sat. The channel will be available in Arabic language worldwide. There will be translations of the meanings of the Quran in other languages, including English and French in future. It will also show the first visual copy of the Qur'an, besides video films describing the history of compiling the holy book, its manuscript and calligraphic copies, various sciences related with the Qur'an and the like.

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Matchmaking Websites Flood Saudi

Riyadh: Islam strictly forbids the killing of safe non-Muslims who were not fighting the Muslims, said the Imam of Al-Masjid Al-Haram. "There is a

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Iraqis Get Another Channel

Baghdad: Sa’ad Al-Bazzaz, Iraqi media tycoon and owner of the Az-Zaman daily from Baghdad launched the ‘Ash-Sharqiya’ televsion channel as a rival to Al-Jazeera on June 11. It will initially begin transmission of news and features from Iraq to 90 countries and aims ‘to capture audience with political and social satire’. Its initial budget is $30 million and plans to air only Iraqi content. It may be recalled that the US-funded Al-Hurra had launched the Al-Hurra Iraq TV channel from Washington a few months ago. With the new channel, Iraqis have four choices of TV channels, the other two being Al-Arabiyya, and Al-Jazeera.

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Blood Donation Campaign

Doha: In unison with the world’s efforts to secure adequate quantities of safe blood for those that need it, IslamOnline.net launched its first-ever blood donation campaign, titled “Save a Life – Save Mankind” recently.. The campaign aims in particular at encouraging Islamic centers worldwide in becoming more active within their local communities, said Nadia El-Awady, the campaign’s manager.”Muslims, especially those living in non-Muslim countries, are seen by many to be living in their own closed worlds,” said El-Awady. “They probably are in many cases. They need to be gently nudged out of their cocoons.” Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, senior lecturer and Imam at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, explained that Muslims need to establish their credibility in the communities in which they reside. “We are part of this community,” he said, “and we should be proactive.” Dr. Maher Hathout, from the Islamic Center of Southern California,USA, stated that blood donations are the closest act to the verse in the Noble Quran that states, “and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind” (5:32).

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Nigerian Muslims Mark 200 Years of Own 'Caliphate'

Abuja: Nigerian Muslims marked the 200th anniversary last month, of the creation of Sokoto Caliphate, which had unified Muslim-populated areas in the north under a central Islamic authority in 1804. The caliphate was a pioneering example for re-instating the principles of justice in governance, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo highlighted in a speech during the celebrations. The principles established by the founders of the caliphate are still suitable for the circumstances of our age, Obasanjo said in the speech, read by Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Bukhari Janeed, the current minister of Sokoto, called on Nigerian Muslims to remain loyal to the principles of the defunct caliphate, saying the experience imbued Muslims in the African country with power and influence. “The caliphate played an effective role in reviving the Arab culture in West Africa region, setting a good example of the African experience in administering an Islamic country adopting Shair’ah and using Arabic as its official language,” said Janeed.

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Call for Common Arab Market

Beirut: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri called on Arab nations to follow Europe’s lead and at last form a common market able to face future challenges. Hariri, addressing the opening session of the 10th Arab Invesment and Capital Markets conference in Beirut, said the common market had yet to be achieved - even though the idea was as old as that of the European Common Market. Hariri said Arab economies would have to create 100 million new jobs by 2025. “Unemployment is the primary problem that faces the nation. No Arab country can say it is excluded,” he said. Hariri cited the economic miracle in Dubai that emerged as the region’s business hub in recent years, as an example of what the Arabs could do. General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence, said that although Arab world was a huge market, the volume of trade among Arab countries amounted to between six and eight per cent of the total.

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Women Take Back Mosque Space

Morgantown: Asra Nomani, the outspoken columnist and author based in the US, made waves recently after she took over the main prayer hall of her Morgantown, WV mosque, reclaiming for herself and all Muslim women a right that they clearly had in the 7th century. (Mosque leaders had told women to enter through a back door and pray in a balcony; the board has since reversed its position but has not enforced the ruling.) She noted that the problem of physical separation of genders in US mosques (usually in unequal circumstances) had increased from 52 percent in 1994 to nearly 66 percent in 2000, mainly because few dare to oppose conservative backers of the practice. This is all despite the fact that the Fiqh Council of North America opposes gender separation. “It is perfectly Islamic to hold meetings of men and women inside the masjid,” says Muzammil H. Siddiqi, a Fiqh Council member. He adds that this is true “whether for prayers or for any other Islamic purpose, without separating them with a curtain, partition or wall.” Recently, in the style and tradition of the civil rights movement, Nomani and several other women turned that event into a programme for action, marching on the Morgantown mosque and creating a national organisation (Daughters of Hajar) to facilitate similar actions elsewhere.

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Panic Over Muslim Graduation Stoles

California: You’d think that after years of all-Islam, all-the-time news reporting, of people studying Islam both formally and informally, and so many self-styled “Islam experts” plying the radio and TV talk shows, that critics of Islam would know at least the basics about the religion. Last fortnight’s “controversy” over Muslim graduation stoles at the University of California, Irvine reveals how fear can warp the truth. Seems that some Jewish students were upset about the green, Arabic-covered stoles, finding too much of a similarity between them and green headbands Hamas militants use. It’s understandable, since the students in question can’t read Arabic and their only exposure to Arabic written on green cloth (the shahada, or Muslim declaration of faith, was printed on one side of the stole; the other said “Oh, God, increase my knowledge”) was what they see on their TV screens What is baffling, though, is that nearly every news outlet said that the word “shahada” was on the stoles (it wasn’t - the phrase “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger” that makes up the shahada was) and that the American Jewish Congress said that the word “shahada” that they think is on the stole translated to “suicide bomber”. The AJC also called the shahada an “expression of hate” that was a “demonstration in favour of terrorists”. Thankfully, UC Irvine officials backed the 20 Muslim students who wore the stoles without incident at their commencement ceremonies, and plan to in the future. (www.alt.muslim.com)

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CAIR Completes Ten Years of Advocacy

Washington: Well before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 put American Muslims in the center of a political and religious melee, two men opened a small office in Washington, D.C. Their mission was to advocate for civil and political liberties for the nation’s Muslim community. Founded 10 years ago on June 1, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has become the leading Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group in the nation. With 26 regional offices in Florida, New Jersey, California, Arizona, Kentucky, Texas and Ohio, among other states, and a D.C-based staff of 25, the group is in a unique position to track discrimination against Arabs and Muslims, and educate the American public about the world’s second-largest religion. When a major event happens that involves the Muslim community, from terrorism to an impingement on religious freedom, the 40,000-member CAIR is there with action alerts, media releases, public service announcements and a public-relations style that aims to get the word out.

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Islamic Britain Lures Top People

London: More than 14,000 white Britons have converted to Islam after becoming disillusioned with western values, according to the first authoritative study of the phenomenon. Some of Britain’s top landowners, celebrities and the offspring of senior Establishment figures have embraced the strict tenets of the Muslim faith. The trend is being encouraged by Muslim leaders who are convinced that the conversion of prominent society figures will help protect a community stigmatised by terrorism and fundamentalism. Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Imams and Mosques Council, said: “The community has been unfairly targeted and these developments encourage it in a time of difficulty.” The new study by Yahya (formerly Jonathan) Birt, son of Lord Birt, former director-general of the BBC, provides the first reliable data on the sensitive subject of the movement of Christians into Islam. He uses a breakdown of the latest census figures to conclude that there are now 14,200 white converts in Britain.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Men, Missions and Machines Community Initiative Discover Yourself Trends Jeddah Diary
Special Report Opinion Children's Corner Miscellany Back Fire Our Dialogue Facts on Faith Religion Hadith Quran and Science Journey to Islam
Women in Islam Guide Lines Issues Sould Talk Ads & Ideas Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

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