Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Shaban / Ramadan 1423 H
November 2002
Volume 15-11 No : 191
Camps \ Workshops

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News


More Americans turning to Islam after September 11
World's First Islamic Channel in English
Imam of Oldham Mosque Detained
Saudis Moot Merger of Recruitment Firms
Dangerous Doctor
Orthodox Jewish Family Embraces Islam
Back to the Suspicion Game
Islamic Home Loans in Australia
Dr. Abdullah named Islamic Personality of the Year 2002
Urdu Weekly from Abu Dhabi
"Save the Indian Muslim literature," says Dr Mahathir
"Jews Were Better Off Under Muslim Rule," says Swiss Expert
Prisoners Memorise the Quran
Taking Islam to the World in 80 Days
Islamic Manuscripts on Al Azhar Online
Mosques in Germany Set the Trend


More Americans turning 
to Islam after September 11

More Americans turning to Islam after September 11Washington D.C: Nearly 1,450 Americans, mostly women, have embraced Islam in the city of Oklahama during the last one year during which, Jewish-controlled US media launched its most feverish campaign against the so-called Islamic terrorism. This has been revealed in the report from Rehana Bastiwala in the Mumbai-based Urdu daily, Inquilab on her return from a trip to the United States. The burgeoning number only testifies the heightened interest in Islam following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11 last year. More people are now reaching for authentic literature on Islam and getting to know the religion from its original sources. Most of the new converts are under 40.

Oklahama has just five mosques and all mosques now impart Islamic teachings. Even the imam of the Ansar Mosque, is a black neo-convert to Islam, Suhaib. There are 10,000 Muslims in Oklahama. They are highly educated and most of them are professionals. Nabeel Khan is the deputy imam of the mosque. According to Khan, the American police establishment tightened vigil against Muslims after the September 11 incidents, but now things have quietened a bit, though several Arab students are still being denied immigration. Several prisoners studied Islam in prison libraries and embraced Islam.

However, Muslims are fear-stricken as several people who were taken for interrogation have not returned to their homes. Nothing is being told about their whereabouts. A Muslim taxi driver arrested from Washington D.C. has disappeared in similar circumstances. It is said his driving licence was issued coinciding with the driving licence of Atta Mohammad, the prime accused in the WTC bombing.

Civic freedoms have been severely circumscribed due to the new Public Law under which people could be arrested and taken to undisclosed destinations, could be tried for undisclosed charges in any court. The law makes it mandatory for the accused to consult with their lawyers in the presence of the police. Majority of Americans are opposed to restriction of such personal freedom, but people are afraid of raising their voice.

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World's First Islamic Channel in English

Al Majd 2, will begin transmissions this Ramadan from studios in Dubai Media City, Riyadh and Cairo.

Dubai: "There are approximately 100 million satellite TV households across the Islamic world. We realise that the Islamic world needs an international channel that can really inform this audience on related issues rather than only entertain in the plain sense. As the majority of the world's Muslims are non-Arabs, we felt it was natural to launch this channel in English," stated Wajdi Al Ghazzawi, CEO of Al Majd 2.

Al Majd Channel 2 will be launched on the very first day of Ramadan, in order to co-incide with the beginning of the holy Islamic month. The channel will implement a fully integrated marketing communications plan and has conducted a comprehensive study on the Islamic and social condition of the English speaking Muslims in Europe, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent and Far East to determine the best way of addressing them. There will be test transmissions in November on NileSat covering the entire Middle-East and Africa. This test transmission will include an initial eight hour broadcast of high quality TV programmes from midday to midnight, Makkah Local Time. Later, more satellite coverage will be added as the airtime grows. In addition, Al Majd 2 is conducting an online viewer survey via its official website ( www.almajdch2.tv ) to interact with viewers around the world from the very beginning of the broadcasts.

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Imam of Oldham Mosque Detained

Imam of Oldham Mosque, LondonLondon: The British Home Ministry has taken back the deportation orders against Maulana Shafiqur Rahman, imam of the Oldham Mosque. The imam had challenged the order served on him in 1997 in the Special Immigration Appeals Tribunal. The Home Ministry had charged him of collecting donations for terrorist activity in Kashmir and recruiting youth for such activities. Shafiq had challenged the order in the Tribunal. Shafiq had alleged that the order was served following his refusal to collect intelligence reports about the Muslim community in the area. The offer was made by the British internal intelligence agency, MI5. The Tribunal threw away the order in 1999 itself. Now it has been rejected by the Special Appeals Tribunal. The Tribunal said the British Government had not defined the “Internal Security”. Even the House of Lords had discussed the issue. Maulana Shafiqur Rahman refuted the charges of his sending funds to Dawatul Irshad, a wing of Lashkar Tayaba for terrorist activities. He however admitted that he collected funds for its school and hospital. He was detained at London’s airport while he was heading for Pakistan to attend a meeting of Dawatul Irshad. The detention was on the basis of recovery of a diary in which some weapons had been displayed in a photograph. The MI5 confessed that it wanted to use the imam as an informer among Muslims. Maulana Shafiqur Rahman lives in Oldham and is 31 years old. He came to Britain in 1993 from Pakistan and his parents are British nationals.

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Saudis Moot Merger of Recruitment Firms

Dubai: Nearly 440 manpower recruitment firms in Saudi Arabia are considering a draft for merger of the companies in order to regularise the import of labour and technically skilled persons from Asian countries. The merger is being planned in order to check the illegal employment of labourers, their un-informed exit and shift in jobs. The draft has been prepared by Abdullah Al-Mahmood, who hinted about this while talking to a Dubai based newspaper.

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Dangerous Doctor

Talahasee (Florida-US): The Florida State police has arrested a doctor who was planning to detonate 50 mosques and Islamic Centers in the southern state. The police has also recovered weapons, and explosive material hidden inside video cassettes and walkie talkie equipment like cases from the house of 37 year-old Dr. Robert Goldstein. A list of 50 mosques and Islamic centers which were to be targetted was recovered from his possession. Police sources said, Dr. Goldstein had a disturbed past.

It may be recalled that a Jewish terrorist had gunned down 50 Palestinians offering namaz in the Hebron mosque during the middle of the 90s. His name too was mentioned as Goldstein. However, the Western media had dubbed him a mentally deranged person, even while attributing stray cases of stone pelting from youth to ‘Palestinian terrorists’.

Some years ago, the American media had totally blacked out the planned bombing of Capitol building by another Jewish terrorist, Robonowitz during the Reagan era.

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Orthodox Jewish Family Embraces Islam

London: Scion of an orthodox Jewish family, Joseph Cohen and his wife have embraced Islam. According to Sunday Times, the family had affiliations with the extremist Jewish group, Shas, and had migrated to Israel a few years ago. They had even contributed generously for several Jewish and extremist causes. Joseph Cohen’s initiation into Islam began when he entered into an online chat with a Gulf Muslim intellectual identified as Zohedah, a few months ago. It was a chance encounter and the discussion grew to great heights. Joseph soon acquired a copy of the Qur’an and contacted Muslim intellectuals in East Jerusalem. Following deeper study of Islam, Joseph Cohen, his wife and son recited the shahadah. He took the name of Yusuf Al-Khattab and his son was named Abdul Aziz. Yusuf has urged the expansion of the Palestinian State from the Red Sea to Jordan and expulsion of Jewish usurpers of the land.

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Back to the Suspicion Game

Miami: The all-pervasive sense of suspicion against Muslims resulted in three Muslim medical students being denied permission to do their residency in Miami’s Larkin Hospital. The three students, Umar Chowdhury, Iman Ghyas and Qamees Butt were detained by police on the East West Highway in South Florida following a report lodged by a woman who found them whispering on the dining table in a restaurant. The police who pursued them also searched their car, but found no incriminating material and evidence. They were later set free on being found guiltless. Yet the mere fact of their detention led to denial of residency in the Larkin Hospital of Miami. It is said the Hospital received anonymous threatening calls against their being granted residency in the Hospital. While Umar and Iman are US born, Qamees was born in Iran.

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Islamic Home Loans in Australia

Sydney: The ‘Racy Home Loan’ company has introduced interest-free loans for housing. The primary target are three lakh Muslims of the continent who can avail of the loans under ‘Murabaha’ instrument. Under this, the borrower pays the cost of the house on a long term basis. The company is run by Malik Halway who is associated with several Islamic financial institutions. Australia’s mufti, Tajuddin Hilaly has permitted the operation of ‘Murabaha’ loans devised by the Islamic economist Sheikh Mohsin Laban. Malik Halway said the Company eyes half the Australian Muslims as its potential clientele.

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Dr. Abdullah named
Islamic Personality of the Year 2002

Dubai : Dr Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsen Al Turki, Secretary General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League, was named “Islamic Personality of the Year 2002”, by the Dubai International Holy Quran Awards Committee.

Dr Abdullah, a prominent Saudi scholar, will be awarded Dirhams one million at a ceremony to be held under the patronage of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince at the Dubai Airport Expo Centre during Ramadan.

Dr Abdullah was former Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance. Born in 1940, he got a B.A degree in Islamic Law from Sharia College in Riyadh in 1963.

He then obtained a M.A. Degree from the Higher Institute for Justice in Riyadh in 1969, and finally a Ph.D in Fundamentals of Islamic Jurisprudence from Al Azhar University, Cairo, in 1973. Dr Abdullah is a noted writer on Islamic issues. Some of his titles are: The Role of Islam in Building the Family, Responsibility of the Islamic Nation for Dawa (Call) to Allah and Islam and Human Rights.

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Urdu Weekly from Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: An Urdu weekly newspaper, Urdu Express International, printed and published from Abu Dhabi, has made its debut in the UAE. It is also available in neighbouring countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain as well as in India, Pakistan, UK and the US. The 12-page issue, printed in colour on glossy art paper, covers local, national and international news and views. Printed and published by a reputed and well-known family of Abu Dhabi, Urdu Express International will appear every Friday. There are over half a million Urdu speaking expatriates living in the UAE who are fortunate to have access to several Urdu publications from Pakistan and India. Irfan Akram, Editor of the paper is confident that the style and contents will appeal to the readers. “We have the resources and the means, right now we are busy setting up offices in major cities of Pakistan and India and appointing correspondents and reputed columnists to work for us,” said Akram.

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"Save the Indian Muslim literature,"
says Dr Mahathir

Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has stressed that Indian Muslim literature should be printed and distributed in schools so that the younger generation can refer to and understand the history of Islamic civilisation. The Prime Minister said Indian Muslim literature should be made available in all national, Chinese and Tamil schools. Launching the Malaysian Indian Muslim Literature Conference at the Putra World Trade Centre, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he knew of Tamil language scholars who rarely referred to the works of renowned Indian Muslim literary figures. According to him, Munshi Abdullah was an outstanding scholar of Indian-Muslim descent well-known for his writings. “It is my wish to see a person emerge, in this era, with the calibre of Munshi Abdullah, to record the development of Tamil-Islam literature in Malaysia for the perusal of generations to come,” he stated.

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"Jews Were Better Off Under Muslim Rule,"
says Swiss Expert

Professor Thomas Fleiner, Director of the Institute of Federalism, University of Freiburg, Switzerland, has said that his institute was actively focused on developing understanding among countries having multi-ethnic populations and committed to international peace. While accepting that he is no authority on some international issues like terrorism and the Arab-Israel conflict, he denounced the atrocities being committed by the Zionist on the Palestinians in the occupied territories. He said: “I do not believe in dividing the world into good and bad, neither do I follow the ‘axis of evil’ concepts and I do not believe in fighting terrorism by military force,” he noted. “It was shameful that the international community was acting one sidedly in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which has historical perspectives dating back to the time when European nations were unable to cooperate with the Jews”, he said. “Jews were better off under Islamic rule in the early 10th, 11th and 12th centuries,” he added.

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Prisoners Memorise the Quran

Dubai: Dubai recently cut the jail terms of 12 inmates by upto five years after they memorised parts of the Qur’an. According to Head of Prisons Mohammed al-Suweidi, some of the inmates facing a 25-year term, took advantage of a drive launched by Dubai to create religious awareness. Under the initiative, prisoners who memorise five of the 30 sections of the Qur’an, get their term cut by one year, while those memorising 10 sections get five years cut. Inmates memorising the whole Qur’an get 15 years off. The 12 prisoners were from the UAE, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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Taking Islam to the World in 80 Days

Romania: A Romanian couple who converted to Islam are going round the world in 80 days, but with a different mission - to improve their religion’s image, which has been tarnished after September, 11. Mohammed Stevan Licka and Nour Anna Maria said they will visit 33 countries, spanning America and Europe. Licka said: “There is a campaign to brand Muslims as terrorists and Islam as a religion of terrorists which encourages killing people. This is not Islam. Islam needs to be defended and the true picture must surface”. Licka, 41, a Ph.D in electronics from Romania, has dedicated his life to defending Islam. He and his wife converted to Islam in 1993 in Egypt. A sheikh of Al Azhar Mosque talked to him about Islam and gave him books so he could learn about the religion. “It is the duty of each and every Muslim to play a part in changing this image. Our slogan for the trip is ‘Islam is the religion of peace,”says Licka.

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Islamic Manuscripts on Al Azhar Online

Cairo: Thousands of ancient manuscripts from Al Azhar Library will soon be available on the Internet for purchase or for viewing under a pioneering Al Azhar Online project carried out and run by www.sheikhmohammed.co.ae, the official web site of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Minister of Defence. Under the project which will cost $5 million, about 125,000 publications, ranging from ancient manuscripts to modern published works, will be placed on www.alazharonline.org. The website in Arabic and English language features, in addition to the manuscripts and other publications of Al Azhar, a bank for Fatwa. The site will offer e-learning and virtual reality tours through which the visitor can go round various sections of the Al Azhar premises. The project will provide global access to the treasure of Islamic culture and heritage from the oldest university and religious institution worldwide, promoting Islamic values.

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Mosques in Germany Set the Trend

Bonn: It has come as a boon at a time when the image of Islam is being tarnished all over the world. Mosques in Germany now have non-Muslim Germans as visitors after Islamic Centres in the country announced that the doors of the mosques would be open to them to celebrate Unification Day. More than 100,000 people have visited the mosques. The intention behind this initiative has been to establish healthy relations and open up constructive dialogue between the Muslims and the non-Muslims and to acquaint the non-Muslim Germans with the teachings of Islam and its values of peace and tolerance. It is high time that mosques all over the world and in India too emulate this example by keeping the mosques open for non-Muslim visitors who are keen to know more about Islam.

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News| Community Roundup| Ramadan Special| Editorial| Readers Comments| Opinion| Men, Machines and Methods| Book Review Islam and The World| Living Islam| Globe Watch| Religion| Children's Corner| Quran Speaks to You| Hadith| Our Dialogue Matrimonial| Jobs| Archives| Feedback| Subscription| Links| Calendar| Contact Us

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