Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine


RABI-UL-AWWAL / RABI - U - THANI
MAY 2004
Volume 17-05 No : 209
Camps/Workshops

News Community Roundup Editorial Letters Trends Exclusive Communal Harmony Men, Missions and Machines Opinion People Track Guidelines Muslim Perspectives Children's Corner Community Initiative Quran Speaks to You Hadith Travelogue Religion Question Hour Rabi-ul-Awwal Our Dialogue Reflections All About Life Women in Islam Journey to Islam Time Off Ads & Ideas Matrimonial
Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

Now you can pay your subscriptions online

News From Islamic World


Papal Council Chief Calls for Peace Force
Free Trade Zone
And Now, an Islamic Mobile Phone
$2 Billion Islamic Bank on Way
Loudspeakers in Hamtramck
National Symposium on Minority Jurisprudence
Islamic Meet on Ijtihad
Emancipating Saudi Women
Malaysia to Host 50,000 Foreign Students
British Muslim Women Exempted
First Muslim Film Festival
Website for King Fahd Qur'an Printing Complex
Eton School Gets First Muslim Teacher
More Mosques in the US
Iran to Manufacture Reconnaissance Plane

Papal Council Chief Calls for Peace Force

 

Vatican (Rome): A top official of Vatican has called for replacing of the US-led forces with the international peace force under the auspices of the United Nations in Iraq. Cardinal Rinato Raphael Martino, head of the Papal Council for the Affairs of Justice and Peace in Vatican, asserted that this is essential for ending the crisis in Iraq. He also highlighted the significance of continuing dialogue among religions, especially between Islam and Christianity. (IINA)

Top


Free Trade Zone

 

Putrajaya (Malaysia): The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) plans to set up a free trade zone among the member countries as part of the efforts to strengthen economic and trade co-operation. Hamid Al Bar, foreign minister of Malaysia, which is currently holding the chairmanship of OIC, said that the concerned countries are looking into the necessary steps and procedures to be taken to conclude a free trade zone agreement and customs union among the member countries. The plan would be implemented in several phases to promote trade and economic activities. (IINA)

Top


And Now, an Islamic Mobile Phone

Dubai : A Dubai-based firm has developed an Islamic cellular phone that 'Promises to connect you to your beliefs wherever you are,' said a Terranet.com report. This high-tech flip-phone does much more than just point devout users in the direction of the holy city of Makkah from 5,000 cities worldwide. It stores the entire Qur’an and has a Yamaha sound system which can be programmed to play the Azan up to five times per day. A -two-inch, 65,000-colour screen allows users to view the entire text of the Qur’an, with English meaning translations, a search engine, games, high-resolution photos and text messages. The dual screen also offers an Islamic Hijra calendar and 12 GPRS technology -- the latest in mobile Internet connectivity, said Terranet.com. Customers in Lebanon will be the first to be able to buy what is dubbed one of the biggest Islamic-related products since the prayer beads. It took the company – Ilkone, more than two years to develop. The phone- the i800 was manufactured in Korea and is Ilkone's first product. 'Ilkone' is Arabic for 'the universe'. The company is a majority Arab-owned and the first regional player to tap the Middle East's fast growing mobile phone market.The i800 will next be sold in Malaysia, Turkey and Indonesia. Ilkone aims to bag a major share of the world's estimated 1.3 billion Muslims through this product. The company is hoping that the i800, which lacks a few features of the latest mobile phones, is likely to do very well in Saudi Arabia where camera phones are banned. Al Azhar, one of the world's leading centers for Islamic scholarship, has reviewed and certified the Islamic phone. Ilkone is not limited to only phones with Islamic applications. The firm aims to become a global mobile player and is planning to launch three models, unrelated to the Islamic phone by the end of this year. (IINA)

Top


$2 Billion Islamic Bank on Way

Manama: Gulf investors plan to set up a $2 billion Islamic bank that would help develop Islamic capital markets."This will contribute towards enhancing the economies of Islamic countries and enhance the activities of the primary and secondary market," said Shaikh Saleh Kamel, chairman of General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions. He said the new bank would capitalise assets of companies and projects through securit-isation and innovative Islamic products and play the role of clearing house for Islamic banks. The bank's location is yet to be decided. (IINA)

Top


Loudspeakers in Hamtramck

Hamtramck: Along with pierogi and paczki, Hamtramck may soon be known for its Islamic calls to worship. The City Council is expected to pass a noise ordinance amendment permitting mosques to issue the traditional call to prayer over loud speakers. It is another sign of change in this traditionally Polish community of 23,000, which has become a magnet for immigrants of all colours and creeds in recent years. For decades, Hamtramck has been predominantly Polish. But in recent years, store signs in Polish have been joined by signs written in Bengali and Arabic. Now, the request by the Bangladeshi al-Islah mosque for permission to air the call to prayer via loudspeakers five times a day has revealed tensions among the groups. "They can believe whatever they want to, but I'm against them pushing their content into my head like brainwashing," said Joanne Golen, 68, a lifelong Hamtramck resident. Though the calls to worship are in Arabic, Golen said she's offended by words that praise Allah. "He's not my true God," Golen said. "I can't stay locked in my house with cotton in my ears every time they do it.” (IINA)

Top


National Symposium on Minority Jurisprudence

Colombo: The first national symposium on minority jurisprudence or Fiqhul Aqalliyat was held in Sri Lanka. Rauf Hakeem, Minister of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs, and leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress opened the meet in Katunayaka. The three-day event was organised by the Ministry of Eastern Development and Muslim Religious Affairs in coordination with Serendib Institute of Research and Development. The symposium discussed a number of topics concerning Muslim minorities, including Shariah ruling about Muslims living as minorities and their relationship with non-Muslims, and religious rights granted to Sri Lankan Muslims as a minority – a comparative study with that of other SAARC countries. More than 100 delegates representing various organisations in the country participated in the event. (IINA)

Top


Islamic Meet on Ijtihad

Damascus: The participants at the Islamic meet here on Ijtihad have urged the Muslim rulers, scholars, thinkers as well as the public to concentrate on the global view and outlook of Islam, its culture and values. In a statement issued at the end of the first Islamic meet on ijtihad, they stressed the need for exerting continuous efforts to protect the Muslim Ummah from perverted ideas and ideologies as well as to uphold the principle of maintaining balance in the education of Islamic Shariah. While denouncing the developments in Palestine and Iraq, the meet called for supporting the people of these countries. (IINA)

Top


Emancipating Saudi Women

Jeddah: The minister of commerce, Saudi Arabia has abolished a precondition requiring all women wishing to do business in the country to have a male guardian to represent them with the authorities. The minister was also reported to have scrapped another condition that women must have a financial guarantor who would be accountable in case the women failed to fulfill their financial obligations. The move has been greeted as a major development toward empowering Saudi women and encouraging them to play a more active role in the country's economy. It should also help release some estimated SR90 billion in money kept by Saudi women in local banks, a step that could give a big boost to business activity. The implications of the decision are not only confined to women playing a more prominent role in the national economy but also extend further to signal the freeing of women. The move should allow women to be able to work in sectors that have been off limits to them. They have traditionally been confined to teaching, overseeing tailoring businesses and beauty salons. Competition in so small a sector have mushroomed and it has become so intense that many have been forced out of business. The move to abolish the positions of guardian and guarantor was followed by another encouraging step. The Ministry of Commerce has licensed a number of women to engage in such activities as contracting, services and consultancy. More licenses are on the cards whereby women will work in translation, law and engineering. (IINA)

Top


Malaysia to Host 50,000 Foreign Students

Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian government has decided to give admission for nearly 50,000 foreign students in the country's higher educational institutions next year. This was announced by the deputy minister of higher education. He said that the ministry will implement the decision in coordination with the higher educational institutes in the country. (IINA)

Top


British Muslim Women Exempted

London: In a move to assure its Muslim community introduction of the first ID cards in Britain since the Second World War was not signaling them out, the government will reportedly exempt Muslim women from showing their faces on the controversial ID cards. British Home Secretary, David Blunkett is to unveil plans for a national pilot of bio-metric testing, the technology used in ID cards, as part of a draft Bill to crack down on identity fraud. As many as 10,000 volunteers will be recruited to have iris and facial scans taken, as well as fingerprints, at the UK Passport Service headquarters in London. As Blunkett came under severe attacks for not allowing enough debate over the ID cards introduction, British officials made it clear that if Muslim women do not want to reveal their faces in public, that would be respected. (IINA)

Top


First Muslim Film Festival

 

California: The first-ever US Muslim film series is currently travelling the campuses of California colleges and universities. According to Juveria Aleem, director of the festival, more than 400 people came to UC Berkeley, in northern California, for a one-day iewing of ten films by Muslim directors. She added that for the Muslim film festival, success came from “giving Muslims a sense of empowerment, inspiration, entertainment or joy in celebrating their Muslim identity.” From more than 30 international and US entries, ten films were chosen. And no films with gratuitous violence, nudity or profanity were allowed. Aleem was inspired by a film she made in college about wearing the hijab. “The film was widely and positively received by more than 7,000 people through a variety of showings across the country”, Aleem said. However, as Aleem was making plans to show the film to all the employees at Apple Computers, where she was doing an internship, the tragedy of 9/11 occurred. “After that there was such a need to know all things about Muslims that I felt the time was right to showcase Muslim films and features,” she said (IINA)

Top


Website for King Fahd Qur'an Printing Complex

Madinah: A new website for King Fahd Qur'an Printing Complex in Madinah will be launched on the Internet on May 4, 2004. The site www.qurancomplex.org will be available in six major languages in addition to Arabic. They are English, French, Spanish, Urdu, Indonesian and Hausa. This was announced by Dr. Muhammad Salem bin Shudaid Al Aufi, secretary general of the complex. He said that the site would provide comprehensive information regarding anything and everything concerned with the Holy Quran. It would contain electronic copy of the Qur'an in the formal Othman script followed by the complex, with topic search options, as well as morphology of words and meanings. There is also a database about the major interpretations and books written about the Qur'an as well as a database of replies for frequently asked questions. The site would also contain voice recording of the Holy Book by four renowned reciters belonging to the complex. (IINA)

Top


Eton School Gets First Muslim Teacher

London: Imam Munawwar Hussein has been appointed as a teacher at the prestigious British Eton School to teach the students Arabic language and Islamic culture. The Kareem Ridha Saeed Charitable Foundation has financed appointment of Munawwar, who has become the first Muslim to be appointed in a British public school. Eton School is one of the leading and prestigious schools in Britain, and it is noteworthy that 18 prime ministers of Britain had studied there. The appointment has given some 1290 students of the school an opportunity, for the first time, to learn Arabic language and study about the Islamic culture and the Muslim world. (IINA)

Top


More Mosques in the US

Washington: There are 1209 mosques in the United States of America. There has been an increase of 25 percent in the number of mosques during the period between 1994 and 2001. This data was recorded in the statistical report, prepared by the Hartford Institute for Religious Research in Connecticut State in cooperation with the major Islamic organisations in the country.

Top


Iran to Manufacture Reconnaissance Plane

Kuala Lumpur: Iran will be the first Muslim country to manufacture military reconnaissance and naval monitoring planes. Iran will start manufacturing the MB 140 model military plane in the beginning of 2005 or 2006. This was announced by Jaafar Zidfar, deputy director for the company affairs of the Iran Aircraft ompany (IINA)

Top


News Community Roundup Editorial Letters Trends Exclusive Communal Harmony Men, Missions and Machines Opinion People Track Guidelines Muslim Perspectives Children's Corner Community Initiative Quran Speaks to You Hadith Travelogue Religion Question Hour Rabi-ul-Awwal Our Dialogue Reflections All About Life Women in Islam Journey to Islam Time Off Ads & Ideas Matrimonial
Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

Al-Nasr Exports