Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

November 2005
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The Islamic World

Islamic Summit in Makkah

World leaders will meet to tackle the tough issues facing the Muslim world in a two-day summit beginning in Makkah on December 7, 2005. The Extraordinary Islamic Summit, being held under the mantle of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,(OIC) offers Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah his first opportunity after ascending the throne to address the leaders of the 57 Muslim countries. The Summit follows a September meeting in Makkah where many of the world’s leading Muslim scholars and intellectuals helped formulate a new vision for the OIC and to set the agenda for the prestigious summit. Among their recommendations for discussion were Islamic solidarity and joint Islamic action, creation of a poverty fund, institutionalisation of Islamic good governance, conflict prevention and confidence-building, terrorism, dialogue and civilization, Islamophobia, political and human rights of Muslim minorities in non-OIC countries. “We at OIC are trying hard to represent moderation, to represent the real values of Islam,” says OIC Secretary-General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. Based in Jeddah, the OIC is the world’s largest Islamic organisation. Founded in 1969, it now represents 57 Muslim nations.

IRCICA Marks Silver Jubilee

IRCICA (The Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture), a wing of the OIC, will commemorate the 25th anniversary of its establishment with a series of cultural activities entitled “Islamic Countries Cultural Week”, to be held as a cultural festival of the OIC Member States representing their cultures, arts and traditional crafts. The week’s programme will be organised in conjunction with the 21st Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) to be held under the chairmanship of Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President of the Republic of Turkey, with the participation of the Ministerial delegations of the OIC Member States, and in presence of Prof. Ekmeleddin Ýhsanoðlu, Secretary General of the OIC, in Istanbul, from 22 November 2005.

Ummah Orange Chocolate Bar

London based, Ummah Foods announced the launch of the Ummah Orange Chocolate Bar. The Halal milk chocolate bar with an orange creme centre is the second of Ummah Foods’ products and will hit the stores after Ramadan 2005. Following on from the original Caramel bar, it will similarly be available in Islamic Book Shops, Newsagents, Grocers, Mosques, Hospitals and Universities reaching the ever increasing number of Muslim consumers in the UK. The launch of Ummah Orange is encapsulated by Ummah Foods’ new brand ethos “The Ummah is Changing”- the theme of all future branding and marketing exercises. Managing Director of Ummah Foods, K. Sharif, perceives the brand as an articulation of the “changing Muslim world and its culture.” Sharif reiterates, “Like all our products, the Ummah Orange will be halal and ten per cent of all net profits will go to Muslim and non-Muslim charities as well as community projects.”

First Saudi Cinema to Screen Cartoons

Saudi Arabia’s first cinema will open in Riyadh during the Eid Ul-Fitr holidays, but will show only cartoon films for women and children. The cinema will start screening on Eid Ul-Fitr day, November 3, at Inter-Continental Hotel in the capital, according to Kamal Al-Khateeb, head of the media committee at Riyadh Municipality. Al-Khateeb said that the 1,200-seat cinema will hold three one-hour shows to screen foreign cartoon films dubbed in Arabic every evening. The project is a prelude to the start of real cinema screenings for all in Saudi Arabia, given that cafes in main cities already show films, sports games and video clips on large television sets.

Muslim Anger at Danish Cartoons

The ambassadors of 10 Muslim countries including a number of Arab countries, Pakistan, Iran, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Indonesia. have complained to the Danish prime minister about a major newspaper’s cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). The cartoons published in Jyllands-Posten showed the Prophet as a stereotypical fundamentalist. The Jyllands-Posten reported that two illustrators who produced the cartoons had received death threats. “We hope there will be understanding of Muslims’ feelings about Muhammad (Pbuh) and we hope there will be an apology from Jyllands-Posten,” said Mascud Effendy Hutasuhut, counsellor at the Indonesian embassy in Denmark.

Qatar To Get First Church

An Anglican congregation plans to build Qatar’s first Christian church. Clive Handford, the Nicosia-based Anglican bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf, says construction will start in the Qatari capital of Doha on the 26-million Qatar riyal ($7 million) Church of the Epiphany, along with a conference centre and meeting rooms. Qatar now has 70,000 Christians, including some 7000 Anglicans and 50,000 Roman Catholics - largely from the Philippines, according to the World Christian Database. Qatar’s Anglican community is its oldest, dating to 1916, the database says. Qatar’s Amir Shaikh Hamad has donated the land for the church.

Storm Survivor
Reported by Amatullah Abdullah and Corey Habbas

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, September’s tragic natural disaster which left the city of New Orleans devastated, IQRA! Newspaper – with the determination of its founder-editor, Sister Cara-Karema Harpole, and some help from technology in the form of the Internet - emerged from the eye of the storm intact. As the people of New Orleans evacuated the flooded city, Cara took what she could carry with her - a computer and a few copies of IQRA! - and sought refuge, first in Baton Rouge, a Muslim village of Louisiana State University students, and later, within a local Muslim community in Houston, Texas, where she continued to work on the paper. Whilst IQRA! Newspaper had previously been the only newspaper serving the Muslim community in New Orleans, the paper has now taken on a new role for Muslims nationwide, uplifting the spirits of the local community and encouraging its readers, as well as providing a means by which Muslims can reconnect with their family and friends after the tragedy. Cara established IQRA! Newspaper in 2003, as part of her activities with the Muslim Students Association at the University of New Orleans

France Imams Against Translated Taraweeh

French imams have rejected calls by young French Muslims for monitors displaying French translation of Quranic verses recited during Taraweeh. “From the Shariah point of view, getting into prayers, whether Taraweeh or other prayers, requires reciting or listening to Quran in Arabic,” says Anis Qirqah, director of Fatwa department at the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF). Scholars have allowed holding and reading from the Qur’an during Taraweeh prayers, but only in Arabic. Dismissing the proposal as impractical, , Qirqah said if Muslim worshippers follow up translation of the Qur’anic verses on monitors this “might take them out of the prayer.” Secretary General of the French Council of Imams, Daw Meskine agreed saying that “using monitors with French sub-titling of the recited Qur’anic verses distracts the worshippers.” The French imams, instead, advised the young Muslims to learn Arabic, the language in which the Qur’an was revealed.

Nigerians Revert to Islam During Ramadan
Kano ( Nigeria)

Over 100 Nigerians in the northern state of Kano have reverted to Islam since the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. The reverts, mostly Christians, have registered with the municipality of Baghwa. “It was a result of the extensive dawah activities during Ramadan that those people embraced Islam,” says Sheikh Mohammad Qaribullah, leader of the Sufi Al-Qadiriya sect in Nigeria and West Africa.

Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa. About half of Nigeria’s population of 140 million are Muslims while the other half are Christians.


Sake Dean Mohammad who introduced the Indian Coffee and curries in England nearly 200 years ago has been honoured with Green Plaque by the Municipality of Westminster in Central London. Dean Mohammad had started a “Coffee House” in 1810 and introduced Indian cuisines in the area. Though the experiment did not succeed and Dean Mohammad had to close his restaurant in two years, the enterprise was marked as a notable contribution by the residents.

Dean Mohammad later shifted to Brighton and set up a bath house with ‘Champi’, the typical Indian massaging technique which uses Indian herbs and relieves pain. The ‘champi’ later got corrupted to Western ‘Shampoo’. Dean Mohammad had left his home (probably in West Bengal) and got employed with East India Company and climbed upto the post of Captain. He retired in 1782 and migrated to England two years later. He wrote his travelogue in Ireland and mentioned his experiences with East India Company. The book titled as ‘Travelogue of Dean Mohammad’ became the first ever book to be written in English by an Indian. ‘Champi’ the Indian style massaging services offered by his bath house in coastal city of Brighton took his fame far and wide. He was appointed the masseuse at the royal court and was designated as ‘Shampooing surgeon’.