Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rajab / Shaban 1423 H
October 2002
Volume 15-10 No:190

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News from Islamic World


Gujarat Officials Blocking Relief Aid for Riot Victims
Religious Lectures in Urdu, Bengali and Malayalam
Celebrating Peace with Poetry
Texans Protest against Film
Singapore Ministry Bars Malaysian Lawyer
British Library Unveils Digital Quran
Queen Elizabeth Visits Mosque
300-bed Hospital for Madinah
King Faisal Palace to become a University


Gujarat Officials Blocking
Relief Aid for Riot Victims

By A Staff Writer

Kandla Port at GujaratVancouver: The government of Gujarat is blocking the clearance of relief articles to the riot victims of Ahmedabad and surrounding areas. The consignment of articles worth $650,000 is lying on the Kandla port of Gujarat. The consignment has been sent to Hajiani Fatimah Education and Medical Trust in Ahmedabad by the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy in Canada. The organisation has appealed to the Canadian Foreign Minister Pettygreve to intervene in the matter and help secure clearance from the Port authorities for relief and rehabilitation of the riot victims. The consignment arrived at Kandla Port some three months ago and the Port authorities are collecting $70 per day towards demurrage. Hari Sharma, President of the Network has appealed to the Foreign Minister to get the relief consignment cleared as it was meant for relief. He said Gujarat officials were blocking the aid to the riot victims. The articles were collected by Human Concern International (HCI) based in Ottawa. The HCI had sent the relief items during the 2001 earthquake too. According to Kaleem Akhtar, the executive director of the HCI, the Port authorities had immediately cleared the relief items for quake victims, while now they were pointing out discrepancies in the documents.

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Religious Lectures in
Urdu, Bengali and Malayalam

Dubai: A number of Muslim scholars have been invited by the Dubai International Holy Quran Award to deliver a series of lectures organised on the sidelines of the International Quran Memorisation and Recitation Competition to take place in Ramadan this year. “The lectures will be addressed in Arabic, English and for the first time ever in Urdu, Bengali and Malayalam languages”, said Aref Jelfar, head of the activities committee of the award. According to Jelfar, a number of erstwhile artistes including actresses who gave up their careers and dedicated themselves for preaching Islam will be invited to share their experiences.

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Celebrating Peace with Poetry

Dubai: The first Kaifi Azmi International Award instituted in memory of the late Indian poet who preached love for the poor, human dignity and peace, was presented to Pakistani poet Ahmed Faraz at the Dubai Mega Mushaira 2002 held at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai.

“Ahmed Faraz has been chosen for this award because both poets shared the common ideals of human love and peace,” Kaifi’s daughter, celebrated film actress and member of the Parliament, Shabana Azmi, told the audience. The award has been instituted by A.S.H MAK Advertising and Marketing, organisers of the Mushaira, in recognition of Kaifi Azmi’s life-long devotion to progressive ideas and people’s causes.

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Texans Protest against Film

Montreal: Muslims in the Houston-area organised a protest outside an X-rated movie theatre that is currently screening a pornographic film titled The Sex Life of Prophet Muhammad. An advertisement for the film appeared in the Houston Press weekly newspaper. www.montrealmuslimnews.net

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Singapore Ministry Bars Malaysian Lawyer

Singapore: Singapore has barred a well-known Malaysian constitutional lawyer, who was to lead four local families in their fight against a government ban on Muslim headscarves, from working in the city. Four young Muslim girls were suspended from class recently for wearing headscarves after a highly publicised stand-off over the issues of religious freedom and Singapore’s concern for ethnic harmony and enforcement of a secular school dress code. Malaysian constitutional lawyer and opposition politician Karpal Singh, was engaged as lead counsel for the families of the four girls barred from class. He had applied to work in a Singapore law firm which has been handling the families’ case as “lawyer and consultant on constitutional matters”. “Karpal Singh’s application was rejected because there are grounds to conclude that his motive is to intervene in Singapore’s internal affairs,” the ministry said. Clad in headscarves and school uniforms, Nurul Nasihah, Nasser Siti, Farwizah Mohamad Kassim and Khairah Farouk were suspended after they flouted deadlines to comply with the policy outlawing the Malay Muslim “tudung” scarf and other non-standard clothing. The headscarf row comes at an uncomfortable time for Singapore, which has stressed social cohesion within its multi-racial population since the September 11 attacks on WTC.

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British Library Unveils Digital Quran

London:Using the latest digital technology, one of British Library’s most important Arabic treasures has been brought to a wider audience. Visitors to Britain’s national library can browse computerised pages of a 700-year-old Quran, on a screen. It is the first time the public has been given the chance to read the seven-volume manuscript, written in gold ink in the early 14th century. “This Quran is an object of beauty as well as faith,” said British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The library has used touch-screen technology, called “turning the pages,” to give people the impression of flicking through parts of the manuscript. Images from the work will be put on the library’s website and sold on CD-ROMs that can be used on home computers.

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Queen Elizabeth Visits Mosque

London: Queen Elizabeth, the monarch of United Kingdom visited the Scunthorpe Mosque in Lincolnshire recently as part of her Golden Jubilee tour of places of worship. Her tour is also a symbolic recognition of Britain as a multi-faith society. Scunthorpe Mosque is one of the largest mosques of that area. It was a target of attack after September 11, when vandals smashed its windows and wrote hateful graffiti. The Queen removed her shoes and asked the direction of Makkah. She met Muslim women who used the Mosque's IT centers.

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300-bed Hospital for Madinah

Riyadh: The Saudi German Hospital Group plans to open a 300-bed hospital in Madinah next year, according to Dr. Khaled Batterji, vice- chairman of the group. Efforts are under way to open another hospital in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. The group also intends to establish a research center to be named after Sheikh Abdul Jaleel Batterji. The estimated Saudi health insurance market is SR13 billion and has grown by 25 per cent. Studies conducted by the group calculated the private health sector’s turnover at SR4 billion.

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King Faisal Palace to become a University

Jeddah:Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the Governor of Asir Province and Director-General of the King Faisal Foundation (KFF), announced the establishment of Saudi Arabia’s first private university, the “Dar Al-Faisal University”. It will be located on the 32 acre site of Riyadh’s sprawling King Faisal Palace. The new world-class university project is in close collaboration with the Stevens Institute of Technology, the renowned private technological university founded in 1870 in New Jersey, USA. The $ 100 million university project is open to business investors. The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing Company is a founder member of the new university and is contributing a corporate support of 2.5 million US$. The Dar Al-Faisal University is expected to open in September 2003,for graduate students and a year later for undergraduates. It will offer undergraduate degrees in Engineering, Sciences and Business Technology.

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