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islamic voice logo

SEPTEMBER 2000

MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-09 No:165    *   SEPTEMBER 2000 / JAMADI-UL-THANI 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

NEWS FROM ISLAMIC WORLD


US Jury Slaps $ 745 m in Fine
Grozny, A Ghost City
15 Muslims in Queen's Honours List
Muslim Factor in US Elections
Israel Turns Mosques into Sheds
Swiss Muslims
Build Bridges with West : Erbakan
Ingushetia Bans Polygamy
Taif Airport for Haj Pilgrims?
Bangladesh Army to have Women Soldiers
Iran Educational Progress
Human Rights Seminar in Kyrgyz
Manar Islamic Centre
Ban on Cairo Daily
Computer Centre by UK Seerah Society
Meet on the Disabled
Nursery for Pilgrims' Kids
On Record

Rapes in Bosnia

US Jury Slaps $ 745 m in Fine

New York : A federal jury in Manhattan decided on August 10 that former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic should pay $ 745 million to Bosnian Muslim women who said they were raped and tortured under his orders said an AFP report.

The jury, after hearing a week’s testimony from the plaintiffs, determined that war crimes suspect at large Karadzic should pay 265 million in compensatory damages and 480 million in punitive damages.

Neither Karadzic nor his attorneys were in court nor at any point during the week-long trial.

Karadzic’s lawyer Ramsey Clark — a former US attorney general and lawyer who has defended Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind cleric convicted in a plot to blow up New York landmarks — declined to comment on the verdict.

The lawsuit was filed in 1993 by 12 women and three survivor organizations, and for at least four years, Karadzic participated in the defense.

In June, US District Court Judge Peter Leisure entered a default judgment against the former Bosnian Serb leader finding him liable for directing troops to terrorize the women of Bosnia and Herzegovina through an organized campaign of mass rape between 1991 and 1993.

Karadzic’s attorneys had originally appealed the plaintiffs’ right to bring the case to trial in the United States. But a federal appeals court ruled that it could be brought in US courts.

After that decision was made, Karadzic stopped participating in the case. Karadzic, who has been indicted for genocide by the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, has not been apprehended. He is believed to be hiding in Bosnia.

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Grozny, A Ghost City

Grozny : The UN High Commission for Refugees estimates that there are only 14,400 people living in the Chechnyan capital, most of them children and the elderly.

Russian government prevents any aid from reaching the refugees, except if it is through them or under their direct supervision. Grozny is now a ghost city, with nearly all the buildings in a dilapidated condition, following the two wars in Chechenya during the last ten years.

Grozny’s population stood at 500,000 at one time, and it is now obvious that the majority have been killed, and the remaining ones met with the harshest kind of treatment from the Russian soldiers.

The Chechen refugees have been living under extremely trying conditions, particularly the children, who have been badly traumatized by the continuous bombardments by Russian planes. For weeks on end they have been living their dark nights without any electricity.

The Russian government claims that it has so far killed 14,000 Chechen resistance fighters. About 250,000 Chechens have fled to neighboring Ingushetia, with thousand others having fled to neighbouring Georgia, while about 110,000 are still living in the mountains.

The conditions in the refugee camps in Georgia are pathetic, to say the least, in addition to the scarcity of food and drinking water. They also lack heating facilities to protect them in winter, while medical facilities are also very poor.

A few of the refugees were accommodated in old military barracks that were previously used by the Russian military during World War II, but the majority either live wherever they can, such as in carts and ship containers, or in the open. Their children cannot go to school, while mothers cannot breast-feed their infants because of lack of nourishments for themselves.

The Holy Land Foundation does its best in providing relief assistance for the Chechen refugees who are on the Chechen-Georgia border, and has distributed food and detergents to 1,700 families, under the supervision of the Russians. There are also hospitals and clinics that are staffed by Chechen female doctors and financed by charitable organizations, though they lack proper medical equipment that are necessary for their proper functioning.

However, there is still great need for food aid, because the majority of refugees are famished and need help. The only Islamic organization that is helping the refugees on the border areas is the Holy Land Foundation, and therefore the presence of other such and similar organizations has become an urgent necessity. IINA

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15 Muslims in Queen's Honours List

London: Twelve Muslims, 15 Hindus and Sikhs and 17 Jews figure in the Queen’s Birthday honours List for 2000. Among the Muslims two received the CBE ( .... of British Order), 5 OBE (Order of the British Empire) and 8 received the MBE (Member of British Empire).

The most notable name among the MBEs is Dr. Manazir Ahsan who is the Chairman of the Islamic Foundation at Markfield, Leicester. He was honoured for serving community relations and for international human rights. The list of honoured Muslims is as follows: Md. Surur Hoda for community relations; Rafeek Hosni Mahmood, medical director, Wirral Hospital NHS Trust for servical medical management; Malika Abdullah, Nottingham for community relations; Md. Manazir Ahsan for serving the Lambeth Group and the Millenium Dome; Mazrullah Awan for serving the vehicle repair industry; Masood Ul Hussain, founder Hani Cables for employment in Hartlepoor; Jawaid Mohammad Ishaq for serving community relations in South Humberside and North Lincolnshire; Ziaul Islam, project director, St.James Community and Advice Centre; Shaz Khan, Marketing Director, Kensal Ltd; Sabihar Qureshi, for serving community relations in Hounslow; Ghulam Rabbani for service to Pakistani community in Glasgow; Ayesha Vernon, for disability equality.

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Muslim Factor in US Elections

Washington : The President of the American Muslim Council (AMC), Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Amoody, has said that there are more than half a million American Muslims who are eligible for elective office, and their names are registered with the council. Only US born citizens are eligible for elective offices in the country. He said in his personal opinion the number is far larger than that, possibly a million.

He said this is a sizeable number as far as the US is concerned, adding that it is imperative that the Muslim community in the US should integrate into the political system, as this would not only serve their Interests, but also those of the wider Muslim world.

Amoody went onto say that there are more than seven Muslim preachers in the US armed forces, while the number of Muslims in the armed forces, as a whole has exceeded the 10,000 mark. Among them are Muslim sisters who wear the modest Muslim headgear, the Hijab. Also, he said, a number of American universities have appointed Muslim chaplains for their Muslim students, and the number of Muslim students on their roll continues to rise.

Talking about the financing of the AMC’s finances, Amoody said they are relatively meager, and depend largely on subscriptions and donations from members, though some Muslim countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, have been helping it in the financing of some of its projects. He added that the Council also has initiated some modest commercial undertakings.

The AMC President said his Council tries as much as it possibly could to erase the attitude in the minds of some that Islam and Muslim, were backward, and that Muslims are not inclined to progress. He said these are wrong notions about Islam and Muslims and should be discarded.

He said that in the last few years the Council has been improving its approach to Daawa work in the US, adding that some Muslim organizations have started to concern themselves with Issues that are relevant to them, particularly within the American body politic. He said they have started to take part in elections and to participate in the political process, and other activities that have a bearing on them.

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Israel Turns Mosques into Sheds

Jerusalem : A report by the Aqsa Society for Islamic Wakfs reveals that the Israeli authorities have transformed a number of mosques into livestock pens, temples, and cemeteries for Jews, and some have been turned into business premises.

The report that has been carried by the Palestine news agency Wafa says that numerous mosques that were left behind by the Palestinians in 1948 have been turned into nightclubs and business premises. These are the Ain Mosque, the New Mosque in Haifa, the Sak Mosque in Yaffa, the Majdal Askalan Mosque and the Maliha Mosque, both in Jerusalem, and the Hamma Mosque.

The mosques that have been turned into animal pens are the Bassa Mosque and Zaid mosque in Akka, the Ain Zaitun Mosque. The mosques that have been turned into business premises and offices are the Qala Mosque in Safad, the Burj Mosque in Akka, the Saghir Mosque in Bir Saba, the Ancient Mosque in Haifa, the Dar-al-Baidha Mosque in the village of Nin, in Nazareth, and the Tabiha Mosque in Tiberius.

As for mosques that have been turned into cemeteries for Jews are Yaqut Mosque in Tiberius, the Sakina Mosque in Tiberius, the Zuubiya Mosque in Bisan, the Afula Mosque and the Kafrita Mosque in Haifa, the Saman Mosque in Qalqiliya and the Qadha Mosque, also in Qalqiliya. IINA

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Swiss Muslims

Geneva : Sheikh Nazar Fakhury, the Mufti of the Muslims of Switzerland, has said that the Swiss people are keen to know more about Islam, and that Muslims are to be found in such cities as Geneva, Zurich, Lausanne, and Basle. He said there are 200,000 Muslim in Switzerland, and that in the last four months 1,500 indigenous Swiss embraced Islam.

In an interview with IINA, Sheikh Nazar said that Islam was known in Switzerland since the fourth century (321) of the Hijri calendar, when Muslims came to the country in order to ensure the safety and security of the Islamic state in Andalusia. The first Muslim presence was established then in Sangal, while the Arabs settled in such places as southern Switzerland. Their posterity still boast of their Arab ancestry.

He said in Zurich alone there are 30,000 Muslims. Sheikh Nazar said the Swiss authorities have given the Muslims their rights to set up their own schools and other religious establishments, and they also have their Supreme Council of Muslims, and a cemetery.

As for the position of Mufti which he is holding, Sheikh Nazar said: “I have been holding this position for the last three years, and the Dar-ul-Ifta is part of the Supreme Council of Muslims, with its headquarters in Zurich.” IINA

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Build Bridges with West : Erbakan

Cologne (Germany): Nearly 30,000 Turkish expatriates in Germany and German Muslims attended open air cultural programme of Islamic Community of Milli Gorus (ICMG). It was addressed by former Turkish prime minister Necmettin Erbakan (he was ousted by Turkish army in a coup).

Erbakan urged the Muslims to be the bridge between the West and the Muslim world. He criticised the West for doublespeak on human rights and said the West’s silence on Chechnya exposed its concern for violation of human rights.

IGMC is a non-govt organisation working in Germany for the last 35 years. It has 32 regional organisations and 2.5 lakh members throughout Europe.

Erbakan noted that during his brief tenure as prime minister of Turkey, he formed the D-8 Group with developing countries such as Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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Ingushetia Bans Polygamy

Ingushetia : Russian Republic Ingushetia’s apex court cancelled two articles of law to end the Islamic practice of polygamy, saying the articles contradicted Russia’s federal law.

Ingush leader Ruslan Aushev, had enacted the articles last July and asked Russian Parliament to approve the changes, which were based on as traditional Islamic practice. Reports said that 15 men had taken second or third wives since last year.

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Taif Airport for Haj Pilgrims?

Jeddah: The Saudi government is considering opening Taif airport for the aircraft carrying Haj and umrah pilgrims. A proposal to this effect has been forwarded to the Makkah governor Prince Abul Majeed bin Abdul Aziz. The proposal said Taif was closer to holy cities and sites than from Jeddah and could be used for reducing the load on Haj Terminal at Jeddah. It also moots proposal to use the Taif airport exclusively for the domestic pilgrims from Saudi Arabia.

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Bangladesh Army to have Women Soldiers

Dhaka : The Bangladeshi army has started to recruit women soldiers for the first time in the country’s history. They will then be trained as combat soldiers. The newly constituted 2,000-strong Women’s Brigade will have infantry and artillery units. Until now, women’s presence in the armed forces was confined to only medical and nursing units.

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Iran Educational Progress

Tehran: Iran has made a giant leap in education since the Islamic revolution which ended the oppressive regime of US-supported Reza Shah Pehlavi in 1978.

The number of students enrolled in school has gone up from 8 million in 1978 to 18.7 million in 1998. The number of schools has gone up from 45,000 to 110,000 in the period. During the Shah era the number of female students has gone up from 38 per cent to 48 per cent.

In 1976, Iran’s 52 per cent people were illiterate. Now only 20 percent are illiterate. The number of educational women then stood at 35 per cent while now 75 per cent of Iranian women are educated. 47 per cent of employees of education ministry are women. Shah’s Iran did not allow setting up of educational societies. But now there are 900 societies.

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Human Rights Seminar in Kyrgyz

Birmingham : A seminar on human rights in Islam will be held in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, in Central Asia, at the beginning of the next Hijri year.

This followed a meeting between the secretary-general of the Makkah-based Muslim World League Dr. Abdullah Saleh Al-Obeid, and the Kyrgyz Minister of Religious Affairs. Dr. Obeid said that the seminar would discuss all matters related to rights, as enunciated in the Holy Quran and the pronouncements of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh).

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Manar Islamic Centre

London: The Al-Manar Islamic Heritage Centre was opened hereby Imam of Kaabah Abdur Rahman Al-Sudeis on August 18. Sudies led the Friday congregation attended by several Muslim ambassadors. He advised Muslims to avoid friction and disunity. The centre will serve the Muslims in the West Kensigton area where Muslims constitute one-third of the population. Two imams, one from Morocco and another from an Asian country, have been appointed to lead the prayers.

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Ban on Cairo Daily

Cairo: Egyptian government has banned the publication of Daily As-Sahab only two days after a court had lifted the ban imposed in May. The press was asked to discontinue the printing after finding an article on a leader of the banned IKhwanul Muslimoon, the nations largest political party. As-Sahab is headed by editor Talat Rumi. The paper had been banned for publishing a newsitem reporting clashes between students and the police.

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Computer Centre by UK Seerah Society

London : The Seerah Society of London has inaugurated a computer centre at its headquarters in Paddington, Central London.

Dr. Farouq Shaheen told IINA that the center is open every day for anyone who wished to learn computing, adding that the technical staff at the center work on a voluntary basis.

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Meet on the Disabled

Khartoum : An Islamic conference would be held here between February 10-12, 2001, to discuss the plight of the disabled in the Muslim world and how to rehabilitate them. It will also discuss ways and means of helping them, and also the rights of the disabled.

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Nursery for Pilgrims' Kids

Makkah: Pilgrims and Umrah visitors can now leave their kids in the custody of nursery near Masjidul Haram here. The Makkah Charitable Society is setting up the nursery. The society will equip it with all facilities and appoint custodians to look after the children.

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On Record

Rao's Role in Demolition

Former prime minister Narasimha Rao also played a major role in the demolition of the mosque. He is, in fact, a truly devout Hindu. Without his missionary zeal, we would not have succeeded. When the demolition started he could have stopped it, but he didn't. 
For three days he allowed kar sewaks to build a makeshift temple on the ground where Babri Masjid once stood. He also helped acquire 67 acres of land for the construction of the Ram temple. Not to mention, majority of kar sewaks in the forefront of the demolition programme was from Andra Pradesh, which is Rao's state.

VHP supremo Ashok Singhal in an interview with Sunday Mid-day, Mumbai, dated July 16, 2000.


Xians in Jerusalem

When the Muslims captured Jerusalem in 638, they invited the Jews to return to the holy city and left the Christian shrines and residences undisturbed. Until the Crusades the city had a huge Christian majority and the three religions coexisted in relative harmony. The Muslims did not allow this simply because the Koran told them to respect the People of the Book, but because it made shrewd political sense.

Karen Armstrong in The New York Times


British Women Earn Less

In Britain, the women still earn less than the men doing the same job. The recently released report of the Office of the National Statistics (ONS) says: Average gross annual earnings for April 1999 show that men in full-time jobs earned about 23,000 UK pounds a year- 42 per cent more than the average 16,000 UK pounds a year earned by women.

Interestingly, women earn less than men despite girls doing better than boys at school with 50 per cent girls getting five or more good GCSE passes compared with only 40 per cent of boys.

Source: Guardian Unlimited online newspaper

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News from Islamic World | Community Roundup | Editorial | Reader's Comments | Community Initiative | Features | Book Review | Special Report | Investigation | Children's Corner | Understanding Quran | Hadith | Quran and Science | Muslim Women in Action | Our Dialogue | Religion | Why I Embraced Islam | Matrimonial | Search new | Subscription | Guest Room | Previous Issue | HOME | Islamic Links | Al-Nasr Exports | Preserve Flowers

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