CAIRO: Rector of Azhar Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi has set up a committee comprising top scholars from the Islamic Research complex to study the issue of cloning.
The Committee will present a comprehensive report containing the opinions of the Muslim scholars, Doctors and specialists with a view to issuing a Fatwa (An Islamic Ruling) on the subject. On the basis of this Fatwa, the complex will issue a statement which will represent the official stand of the Azhar vis-a-vis, the issue of cloning.
The statement will be distributed widely among the Imams of mosques and the preachers of the Azhar in order to enlighten the public about the Azharís attitude regarding the issue. (IINA)
ANKARA: The Turkish Government has decided to close down all the Gambling clubs in the country. The decision to this effect, approved recently by the Council of Ministers, will be sent to the parliament for endorsement. Under the decision, all the 76 gambling clubs in Turkey will be closed down in six months. (IINA)
KARACHI: Pakistan has become the second largest exporter of Dates in the world with its production increasing by 16 percent between the years 1990-1994.
The value of Pakistanís exports of dates was USD 25 million in 1990 which increased to more than USD 39 million in 1994.
At the present, the share of Pakistan in the International market for dates is 14 percent and it ranks among the top exporters of dates which are Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt. (IINA)
CAIRO: A computer company calling itself "Exerosoft" has produced diskettes containing incorrect recordings of the holy Qur'an, press reports here said.
According to the reports, the recording contained more than 70 deliberate mistakes where many verses have been changed and words substituted by other words bearing different meanings.
The reports said to further misguide people, the Company has used correct Tafsir which has been approved by the Azhar.
They said checking the name of the company on the Diskettes revealed that no such company exists. (IINA)
JAKARTA: The Indonesian Government will punish private companies which refuse to employ the disabled by six months imprisonment or a fine of USD 84,000 under a parliament legislation recently issued here.
The legislation was aimed at protecting the rights of the disabled Indonesians who number between six million and 10 million. The legislation also ensures the disabled with education opportunities and social welfare. It gives special incentives to the individuals and private companies which employ the disabled.
NEWYORK : Hundreds of American Prisoners in the Raikers which is the largest prison in the United States, have embraced Islam 900 of the 3000 inmates in the prison are Muslims.
Some Prisoners did not only convert to Islam but have become preachers for the religion. They included Abdul Hadi Hamid who changed from the World of crime and violence to the realm of repentance and good deeds.
He was first imprisoned in 1956 when he was 16 years old but in 1974 he converted to Islam and has become a good citizen eversince. Sheikh Saleh Jaber; the Imam of the Prisoners said an Islamic School was established inside the Prison to teach the inmates the Islamic Culture. (IINP)
ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan has made Quran a Compulsory Subject in all Schools in the Country. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the Ministry of Education to include Qurían in the syllbuses taught in the levels from grade six to grade 10 covering ages between 11 and 15 years.
RANGOON : Muslim communities in Bruma quietly marked a delayed Eid Al Adha Yesterday with prayers and other activities centred around their Mosques.
After violence last month which saw Buddist monks attacking Mosques, Muslim leaders ordered that Eid be postponed by one day so as not to coincide with the New Year celebrations of Burmaís Buddhist majority.
The sacrifice of livestock for the festival was cancelled, and the money which would have been used for livestock purchases was to be donated to the poor, Muslim sources said.
TEHERAN : A woman for the first time in Iraninan history is announcing her candidacy for the presidency, the newspaper Iran reported.
The paper said Azam Taleqani, daughter of a late religious leader, plans to run in the May 23 presidential election. She is the 12th person to announce for the race, and more are expected.
The council in the past has rejected all but the stunchest supporters of Iranís religious leadership. The constitution does not ban women from running, but Iranís leadership is wholly male.
There are several women serving in the Majlis, or parliament. Azam Taleqani, who is in her 50s, is the head of the Islamic Womenís Society and a campaigner for womenís rights in Iran. She also directs the publication of Hajal, a womenís magazine.
She is the daughter of Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleqani, a liberal-minded clerical leader who died shortly after Iranís 1979 Isalmic revolution. (AP).
KUWAIT : Kuwaiti pilgirms were saved from the huge fire that destroyed pilgrims tents near the holy Saudi city of Makkah by a religious decree, the official Kuna new agency reported. It said a Saudi religious scholar, Sheikh Mohammed ibn Saleh Al Uthaimin, issued a fatwa, or decree, ordering the Kuwaitis not to spend the night at Mina.
Washington D.C : The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has reported decrease in anti-Muslim violence in the United States in 1996, the second year for which the Annual Report on the American Muslim Experience was released recently. But bias, harassment, stereotyping, discrimination, and women being fired from jobs due to wearing of headscarves increased three fold, the report added. It reported 19 incidents of unfair treatment of Muslim air travellers. But it also indicated that Muslims grew assertive and were more willing to defend their cases in the past year. It said Muslims established precedents for religious diversity in the workplace, in schools, in government, and even in military. In one case a Muslim worker was awarded almost $ three million for discrimination in workplace by a court. In majority of cases(53%) the difference in behaviour such as prayers, dress etc became the basis of bias, discrimination and unfair treatment. Ethnicity and identification with the Muslim community were responsible for such incidents in 14 percent of cases.
Cair researchers say negative portrayals of Islam in the media were a major factor in perpetuating bias against Muslims. Dr. Muhammad Nimar, director of the CAIR Research Centre said media stereotyping and distorted images of Muslims and Islam in popular culture were often cited as reason for anit-Muslim discrimination.(IINA)
MOSCOW: The Russian movie film "The Muslim" has secured a number of awards including one from the Russian Government itself.
The film tells a story of a Russian Soldier who embraced Islam while he was in captivity in Afghanistan and his new life as a Muslim among the Russian society when he returned to his country.
The Grand Mufti and the Head of the religious administration in Russia hailed the film which gives the Russian people an idea about the principles of Islam and its effects on the life and behaviour of man.
The IFTA Home in Russia will give a special award to the film next May. The Russian actor who played the role of the Muslim soldier had to memorize some verses of the Qur'an and learn some Arabic words to be able to play the role. (IINA)
BEIJING : A contest in preaching among Imams of Mosques in China was recently organized here with a view to further qualifying the Imams in the art of sermon delivering which is considered one of the effective methods of Dawah.
The art of sermon delivering requires skills in imparting information so that they reach everyone.
More than 135 Imams of Mosques took part in the contest of whom 46 were picked up to be the best.
The contenders were asked to speak about Tawheed, Shariah, Tafsir, Hadith, Prophet's Sheera(Pbuh) and other Islamic Topics. The first three winners received feasible awards.
ISTANBUL: The International Commission for the preservation of Islamic Legacy will organize the fourth International contest in Islamic caligraphy under the name of the famous Islamic caligraphist Sheikh Hamadullah Al-Amasi who lived between 1429-1520.
Secretary General of the commission, Dr. Ekmeliddin Ihsanoglu, told IINA that the contest will cover all the types of the Islamic caligraphy.
The commission was set up by the Jeddah-based organization of Islamic conference (OIC) in a bid to preserve the Islamic heritage. The secretary general said the last date for Registration in the contest is next July while the last date for entries is December. The results will be announced in March 1998. He said more than USD42,000 will be given away as awards to the winners.
HONG KONG : The turn over of Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997, will not affect the Islamic Dawah activities in the Island according to its Muslims.
There are about 35,000 Muslims in Hong Kong of whom the local Chinese Muslims represent about 55 percent. Other Muslims in the Island have originated from various parts of the world including India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the middle East.
Hon Kong has been a free world of international contacts and the people enjoy real freedom of religion. There are no pressures for the assimilation of the Muslim Culture with that of the majority.
BUENOS AIRES : The Argentinian National Council (Parliament) has approved a draft resolution allowing Muslim civilians and Militarymen working for the Government to take two hours off every Friday to do the Juma Prayer.
The Government has endorsed the resolution which has become effective immediately.
This is the first law in the History of Argentina of an agreement to recognize the right of the Muslims in doing their religious rituals during their working hours.
There are more than 600,000 Muslims in Argentina who have set up their own Islamic Organizations and Institutions (IINA)
KULALUMPUR : The International University Malaysia (IIUM) has launched Psychology Newsletter with the aim of developing communications amongst Muslim psychologists from within and outside Malaysia.
The Newsletter aims at discussing Psychological issues from the Islamic perspective. It invites articles, and views from Muslim Psychologists and scholars from worldover.
Further information could be had from Dr. Amber Haque, Editor, IIUM Psychology Newletter, POB 70, Jalan Sultan, 46700, petaling Jaya, Selangore, MALAYSIA. Fax: 03-7579598.
JEDDAH : Islamic Economic Studies (IES) invites papers from scholars working in the areas of its specialization. The original unpublished papers making some noticeable contribution to Islamic economics may be sent in English, Arabic or French.
IES publishers a bi-annual Journal on specialized topics covering Islamic economic, banking, finance and the economic development of member countries of the IDB from an Islamic perspective.
Two copies of the papers not exceeding 6000 words with an abstract of no more than 150 words should be sent to,
The Editor, Islamic Economic Studies, POB-9201, JEDDAH-21413, Saudi Arabia.
MEDINA : The Amir-ul-Hajj of the Iranian Pilgrims Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Mohammadi Rayshahri said here that promotion of bilateral relations between Islamic Iran and Saudi Arabia will be not only in the interests of Islam and Muslim Communities, but also against global arrogance and the enemies of Islam.
In his talks with the Arabic radio service of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Rayshahri said closer relations between Islamic countries will be against the arrogant powers and this is the reason behind the conspiracies to sow discord among Islamic States.
"We believe if the adherents of the different schools of Islamic thought observe Hajj freely and according to their own discernment it will pave the way for closer relations. The Muslims would feel that the house of God (Kaabah) and the place of revelation belongs to all the Ummah, and the Saudi Government, as the servant of Kaabah, would make efforts to strengthen Islamic unity", he said.
"Our expectations are that Saudi Arabia should co-ordinate views with the Islamic Republic of Iran and should help efforts for bringing Muslims closer and for proximity between Islamic schools in order to strengthen the Islamic world and expose the enemies," said the leader of the Iranian Hajj Pilgrims. (IRNA)
MADINA : Iran and Saudi Arabia have signed a memorandum of understanding on expansion of co-operation in the field of aviation, it was announced recently.
The mou was signed by Ali Abd Ar-Rahman Al-Khalaf, President of Saudi Arabian Civil Aviation Organization and his visiting Iranian counterpart Ali Shahcheraghi.
According to the agreement, there will be regular flights between Tehran and Jeddah soon and the two countries will establish closer connection for broadening of aviation co-operation.
MANCHESTER : The Safeway Store here has reinstated Shamma Ahmed, an 18-year old staff member to her previous job after finding that it did not hinder her professional duties. Shamma told The Muslim News that the Safewayís Health and Safety people found it was safe for her to work with the till (chest for valuables) with headscarf.
Shamma from Old Trafford said the manager of the Safeway Stores had suspended her when she took to sporting Hijab claiming it violated the rules on uniform. She said she decided to wear Hijab last Ramadan after getting convinced that it was integral to Islamic dress code.
Shamma said Hijab gave her confidence and an identity. She said one of the positive outcome of the incident was that another Muslim girl working at the same shop, began wearing the Hijab.
LONDON : More than 17000 Christian missionaries are operating in the Islamic Countries. This represents nearly two percent of the total number of missionaries all over the world.
According to Joseph Smith who specializes in Christian missionary work among Muslims said the Christians were holding intensive dialogues with Muslim students in Britain with a view to converting them. He said the Christian missionaries were now using Internet to spread their call.
CAIRO : The Al Azhar University here has strongly condemned the tendency to deny girls their share in inheritance in some Muslim societies. Sheikh Attiyah Saqr of the Fatwa Committee said it was sheer injustice to deprive the females of their rights to legacy and inheritance. He advised the Muslim women to fight for their right to inheritance.
SANAA : Old copies of the handwritten Quran which were discovered here from a room of the Grand Mosque were repaired with finances from German Foreign Ministry. The room was destroyed during rains and flood that hit Yemen in 1971. The copies were written on paper and animal hides. The pages of each copy contained five to seven lines. It is believed that the copies were brought to Yemen from Makkah and Madinah in second Hijrah century.
WASHINGTON D.C.: The McDonald Group of Restaurants has reprimanded and initiated disciplinary action against workers who harassed and mocked at a female Muslim employee donning Hijab. The Council for American-Islamic Relations (CIAR) took up her case with the McDonald Management which is the largest chain of food retailers. It has 19,200 restaurants in 95 countries.
The Muslim woman employee was harassed in an Ohio outlet. The management conducted the investigation and said it did not tolerate discrimination based on race, religion or national origin.
ANKARA : Turkey has 70,000 Mosques, according to Sheikh Mohammad Nuri Yilmaz, head of the Turkish Religious Administration. He said the Mosques are being used for teaching shariah, Quran, Arabic language, hadiths and fiqh.