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Islamic World News ( 21 Aug 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Afghan election count under way

Al Jazeera's in depth look at the presidential poll

Afghan elections: Bombs on one hand, empty ballot boxes on the other

Residents of Jinnah's ancestral village seek apology from Jaswant Singh

Al-Qaeda groups say Hamas "abdicated from Islam"

Father Wants Public Caning for Malay Woman Over Beer By Ranjeetha Pakiam

KFU professor says Saudi women will have to combat anti-Islam forces

New Islamic terrorism threat emerges out of Africa

Deficiencies in racial profiling in US: Indian-American Muslims

Iraqi Islamic militia murdered hundreds of gay men

Veil and woman in France: It is wrong to force a woman to wear the veil—or to discard it.

This is a choice that should be hers alone to make By Salil Tripathi

Imams Getting Out the Vote in Afghanistan By Rahim Gul Sarwan

Muslim Center Vandalized with Pig Head, Swastikas

Call for portraying true picture of Islamic principles

Don't Miss Ramadan's First Night: When Allah Favorably Looks at His Servants By Wael Shihab

Banning the burqini

Denmark Debates Burqa Ban

Maulana Fazalullah, 10 others proclaimed offenders

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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Al Jazeera's in depth look at the presidential poll

Afghan election count under way

Security was tight after the Taliban threatened to attack voters and polling stations [Reuters]

Vote counting in Afghanistan's second-ever direct presidential election is under way after polls closed following an hour-long extension, officials have said.

The vote on Thursday was marred by a series of attacks across the country that left at least 26 people killed.

Hanif Atmar, the Afghan interior minister, and Abdul Rahim Wardak, the defence minister, told a news conference that nine civilians, nine policemen and eight soldiers were killed in 135 incidents on Thursday.

Atmar said that 28 other soldiers had been wounded and that security forces thwarted five suicide attacks.

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, said the election was conducted "successfully" throughout the country despite Taliban attacks that resulted in deaths of Afghan security forces and civilians.

"The Afghan people defied rockets, bombs and intimidation and came out to vote, that is great," Karzai - the frontrunner of the 30 candidates - told a news conference in his fortified palace.

"Despite problems and intimidation, the elections ended successfully," the president said, adding that armed groups conducted attacks in 15 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

Investigating irrigularities

Afghanistan's election authority, which extended the voting until 5pm Kabul time (12:30 GMT), said it was launching an investigation into complaints of irregularities.

Allegations from candidates included that ink used to mark voters' fingers could be scrubbed off and that election officials had told people to vote for the incumbent president, the election commission said.

Electoral workers count the ballots at a polling station in Herat [AFP] The main challenger, ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, released a statement detailing about 40 incidents of alleged irregularities, most saying that officials had pressured voters into choosing Karzai.

Ramazan Bashadost, another presidential candidate, said he had been able to remove the ink with cleaning fluid, Azizullah Lodin, the chief of Independent Election Commission (IEC), told reporters.

Lodin said he himself had tested the ink - used to avoid people voting more than once - but it remained fast.

"Still, this must be investigated and we must try to find out why some of the ink gets washed off and some doesn't," he said.

There were also some charges that voting centres did not have enough ballot papers, even though papers were allocated according to the number of voters registered.

Low turnout

Voter turnout appeared to be down during the morning, particularly in the south of the country. Government officials said voting had picked up in the afternoon.

Officials praised the turnout in many areas, with queues being reported despite sporadic mortar and rocket attacks, a number of which apparently targeted polling stations.

"The turnout is very good," Zekria Barakzai, deputy chief electoral officer, said.

Election observers seemed more pessimistic, though, suggesting that less than 50 per cent of the electorate may have taken part.

About 17 million people were eligible to vote in presidential and provincial elections, with 6,500 polling stations open in 364 districts across the country.

Kandahar challenges

Before the polls had closed, Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the Kandahar provincial council and brother of Hamid Karzai, said that there had been "a very good turnout" across the province.

"There were so many explosions last night and this morning before the polling stations opened," he told Al Jazeera.

"We had serious security challenges, but despite all the challenges we have had a very good turnout and the people of Kandahar came out bravely and voted.

"We are very happy and satisified with the results."

The government regained control of Kandahar city last year, but the south of Afghanistan is still the Taliban heartland.

In the north of the country, Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, said that officials there had also been postive about the turnout.

"We have spoken to election commission officials in different provinces of the north of Afghanistan and we were told that in six provinces out of the nine in the north voter turnout was really high," he said.

"The north of Afghanistan has been described as relatively calm ... and here in Mazar-e-Sharif we haven't seen any incidents so far."

Kabul, the capital, appeared quiet throughout Thursday with shops and businesses closed and police checking the few cars on the roads.

Full Report At:


Afghan elections: Bombs on one hand, empty ballot boxes on the other

Presidential poll day sees low turnout amid bombings, fraud claims and 'indelible' finger markings that wash off

The classrooms serving as polling stations across the relatively secure and prosperous plains north of the Afghan capital were crammed full of people – but precious few of them were there to cast their vote.

Election workers and campaign observers milled about with little either to do or to observe. In one school in Kalakan, a solitary presidential ballot paper sat in the bottom of the translucent voting box reserved for a nearby community of Kuchi nomads.

An election observer from the Philippines, touring a patch of polling stations in full body armour, said not enough had been done to transport such people from their far-flung homes or to educate them on their rights.

If demand warranted it, officials were permitted to extend voting beyond 4pm, but at a mosque in a busy part of eastern Kabul the officer in charge was preparing to close down on time and start counting ballots. "We haven't seen anyone for an hour," he said.

Most of the usually choked routes in and out of Kabul were almost empty, but on one baking, unpaved road in Kapisa province we came across a group of 10 men halfway through their two-hour walk to their nearest polling station in a distant village surrounded by uncleared minefields.

"We wouldn't have come if it was not a holiday today," said Mohamed Rasoul, who does backbreaking work at the local gravel mines.

Although they were just a few hours' drive from the capital, rural values ruled – none of their wives or female family members would be voting, they said.

In the southern badlands, observers and local people reported that the situation was far worse. Alex Strick van Linschoten, a Dutch academic who lives in Kandahar, said turnout in the city had been "extremely low".

One student who has been working in Kandahar as an election observer for the last two weeks said a constant barrage of explosions and rocket attacks into the city scared people off. "Until 10 o'clock people were coming, but about half as much as 2004. But later no one was coming as the situation got worse and worse," the young man, clearly shaken by a difficult day, told the Guardian by phone.

In Uruzgan, another southern province, a UN official said some districts had recorded "barely 100 voters".

The day started with the two leading candidates, Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, both going to their local high schools to vote. Abdullah, a former foreign minister, looked every inch the suave, modern politician when, dressed in jeans and a jacket, he arrived at the Nadeira high school with his wife and young son.

But even as he was pushing through the scrum of Afghan and international journalists to the giant upturned cardboard box turned voting booth, the wheels were coming off Afghanistan's second ever attempt to elect a leader.

In the tatty corridors of the school, Abdullah's bodyguard was showing off his hand to journalists – just half an hour earlier his right index finger had been dipped in supposedly indelible ink after he cast his vote. Now it was entirely stain-free. Soon, other recent voters were testing his technique, dipping their dark purple fingers into a bottle of domestic bathroom bleach and cleaning off the ink in just a couple of minutes.

Full Report At:


Residents of Jinnah's ancestral village seek apology from Jaswant Singh

By Suresh, Aug 20 09:55 PM

Rajkot (Gujarat), Aug.20 (ANI): Residents of Moti Paneli, an obscure village in Gujarat's Rajkot district, which is the ancestral place of Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah have sought apology from Jaswant Singh, the author of "Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence" for denigrating Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Though these villagers take pride in the fact that M.A.Jinnah belonged to their village and also married here, they find it intolerable to see Sardar Patel, who was also a Gujarati and remembered for his role in the unification of India, be denigrated by anyone.

These people have demanded an apology from BJP's ousted leader Jaswant Singh.

"Whatever Jaswant Singh has written is false. The allegations made by him against Sardar Patel are untrue. Sardar Patel was a great man and did some great things for India. Though Jinnah was from our village Paneli and we are proud of it... He grew up here and went to school...but Jaswant should apologise for whatever he has written," said Manubhai Bhalodiya, Sarpanch (head of town council) of Moti Paneli.

Villagers are agitated over BJP's ousted leader Jaswant Singh's reported remarks in his controversial book that put blame on Sardar Patel along with Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru for the partition of India.

"I have read all the books on independence, Mahatma Gandhi, etc and I found out that whatever Jaswant Singh has said about Nehru and Sardar Patel that they were the villains during the Partition, is not correct. My analysis says that Muhammad Jinnah was responsible for the Partition from the very start," said B. T. Bhalodiya, a local historian in Moti Paneli.

Some elderly residents in Moti Paneli feel the Jaswant's expulsion from the BJP was a right step and blamed the ousted leader for creating a controversy for publicity.

"I think this is a publicity stunt to increase the sale of his (Jaswant Singh) book and the decision made by Bharatiya Janata Party to expel him is right. The party has taught him a right lesson," said Bharat Bhai Hirani, a school teacher.

Though Moti Paneli village also has members of other communities other than the Patels but when it comes to Sardar the village, they are united for his respect.

As for Jinnah's ancestral abode in Moti Paneli, it was sold over five decades ago and today one Vaishnav family resides here.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expelled its senior leader Jaswant Singh from the party on Wednesday (August 19) since he praised Muhammad Ali Jinnah and denigrated Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, which it found was against the party line.

Sardar Patel played a major role in the country's struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation

As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Patel organised relief for refugees in Punjab and Delhi, and led efforts to restore peace across the nation during and after partition of the country. By Suresh Soni (ANI)


Al-Qaeda groups say Hamas "abdicated from Islam"

20/08/2009 13:44

A Hamas security officer in Gaza [MaanImages]

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Websites linked to Al-Qaeda criticized Hamas’ operation against the Salafi group Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers for God) in the Gaza Strip on Friday, accusing the de facto government of “abdicating from Islam,” CNN Arabic reported on Wednesday night.

The unnamed websites, which the report said were closely affiliated with Al-Qaeda, urged the group's followers to take action against Hamas. They specifically called on Osama Bin Laden and his assistant Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

A statement on the website from unnamed sources, groups expressed condolences for the death of Sheikh Abdul Latif Moussa, the leader of Jund Ansar Allah. Moussa lead hundreds of supporters to a Rafah mosque on Friday and declared the area an "Islamic emirate." Hamas-allied fe facto government police and members of Hamas' armed wing said they were forced to react to the group when shots were fired in a civilian area. Clashes broke out culminating in 24 dead including six government officers, six civilians including two young girls, and 12 Jund Ansar Allah gunmen.

The Al-Qaeda groups' statement called Moussa a “martyr,” saying he was killed by “the bullets and the rockets of Hamas government.” Hamas sources said the ultra-Islamist leader detonated explosives that were strapped to his body.

The statement linked the Hamas action, termed a “massacre” against Jund Ansar Allah, with clashes that took place last summer between Hamas police and members of another radical group, the Army of Islam, in the Ash-Shyjayyiah area of Gaza City.

Hamas was further accused of working against Islamic groups and “Serving the Jews who occupy Palestine, and the Christians who fight against Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia and Chechnya.”



Father Wants Public Caning for Malay Woman Over Beer

By Ranjeetha Pakiam, August 20, 2009

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The caning of a Malaysian mother for drinking a beer should be conducted in public if it is meant to set an example to fellow Muslims, her father said, days before the punishment is set to be carried out in a closed prison.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, faces six strokes of the cane after a Shariah court found the former model guilty of breaking a law that forbids all Muslims, including foreign visitors, from drinking alcohol. After deciding not to appeal, she may become the first woman to be caned in Malaysia.

The Shariah court in the eastern state of Pahang allowed 14 days from sentencing on July 20 for Kartika to appeal. After she declined, the court fixed Aug. 24 to 30 for the Prisons Department to conduct the sentence, said Mohamad Isa Abd Ralip, president of the Syariah Lawyers Association of Malaysia.

Kartika will be held for a week at the women’s prison in Kajang outside Kuala Lumpur, a decision that has puzzled her father, Shukarno Abdul Muttalib.

 “As a Muslim, I agree with her punishment, but I don’t agree that it should be done in jail, she is not a prisoner,” Shukarno, 60, told Bloomberg in an interview. “If the authorities want to use this as an example, then the caning should be done in public in Pahang.”

The businessman said it was embarrassing for his daughter to be brought to prison where criminals are held. If there was no alternative, Shukarno said he would ask the authorities to allow him and the media to attend the caning to ensure transparency.

Long Ordeal

Kartika, who is married to a Singaporean, said she wouldn’t appeal because she wants to get the ordeal over with and get on with her family life, the New Straits Times reported on July The mother of two, who also paid a fine of 5,000 ringgit ($1,420) for drinking in a hotel lounge in July last year, wants other people to learn from her experience.

 “When I received the news, I was relieved,” Kartika said in a telephone interview. “I want it to be over, rather than leave it hanging. I’m a bit afraid because I don’t know what to expect, but I’m prepared” to be punished.

Full Report At:


KFU professor says Saudi women will have to combat anti-Islam forces

By Mona Bawazir, 20 August 2009

DAMMAM – Muslim women in general and Saudi women in particular are facing a fierce war to encourage them to stop wearing veils, a call in opposition to Islamic teachings.

Dr. Mona Al-Abdullah, Assistant Professor at the Girls’ Science College at King Faisal University here, said in an educational lecture that these calls are in defiance of genuine Islamic principles decreed by Almighty Allah in the Holy Qur’an.

In this regard, she said the Holy Qur’an says, “Tell the faithful women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not display their beauty except what is apparent of it and to extend their scarf to cover their bosom.”

Thus the Holy Qur’an addresses “the faithful” women to shield their private parts and not to display their adornment with the exception of what is apparent of it, she pointed out.

Al-Abdullah said these calls, which the enemies of Islam raise from time to time on TV satellite channels and newspapers to satisfy their ulterior motives, are basically aimed to depict Saudi women as being helpless and subjected to the worst kind of oppression, suppression, injustice and tyranny, supposedly manifested in their being deprived of the right of driving cars.

Full Report At:


New Islamic terrorism threat emerges out of Africa

20 August 2009

The global reach of Islamic terrorism has been again underlined by the recent discovery that an extremist movement from a failed African nation served as the inspiration for a group of men in the suburbs of Melbourne to hatch a plan to kill innocent Australians. The extraordinary plot shows how easily the toxic philosophies of militant Islam can infect the minds of those who are susceptible to its call. In this case, it was a nondescript group of Somali and Lebanese labourers and taxi drivers who were seduced by the lure of the violent Somali extremist group al-Shabaab.

They were attracted to the group despite apparently having little understanding of Somali politics or theology. Al-Shabaab (meaning The Youth, in Arabic) is a shadowy militant organisation that has risen to prominence only since the overthrow in late 2006 of the hardline Islamic government in Somalia by US-based forces from Ethiopia. Western intelligence agencies are still learning about the fast-rising group, which they believe is closely aligned to al-Qa'ida. The US lists al-Shabaab as a terrorist organisation, but Australia does not. This case is likely to change that.

Since early 2007, al-Shabaab has become the face of Islamic resistance to the Western-backed government in Mogadishu. The group's success is partly due to its ability to market itself to hardline Islamists as a movement that seeks to impose the rule of Islam around the world, rather than as a narrow group seeking to gain power in a country that has been dysfunctional for the past 17 years. Sourcing money and arms from nearby Eritrea, al-Shabaab has signed up thousands of jihadist recruits in the past two years.

Its followers shun alcohol, cigarettes, music and videos, choosing an austere, violent interpretation of Islam. The group imposes strict sharia law and has carried out beheadings of its enemies, amputations of the limbs of thieves and the stoning of women accused of adultery. What also disturbs Western intelligence agencies is that the group has been remarkably successful in recruiting foreign fighters, who see its struggle in terms of global jihad. In Melbourne, several of those suspected of providing support to al-Shabaab are Lebanese.

Full Report At:


Deficiencies in racial profiling in US: Indian-American Muslims

18 August 2009

WASHINGTON: The Indian-American Muslim community on Tuesday said the detention of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan at the Newark airport last week

demonstrates the deficiencies and arbitrariness of racial profiling in the US.

"Frisking of India's former President APJ Abdul Kalam that happened in the recent past highlights the arbitrariness in profiling as it even failed to consider the importance of the office of presidency. Detention of Shahrukh Khan, an icon of Bollywood, is just another example of failure of the system," said Rasheed Ahmed, president of Indian Muslim Council-USA.

In a statement, Ahmed urged all civil societies to shun racial profiling and redefine controls in necessary security programmes to be fair and unbiased to all regardless of their religion, cast, creed and colour.

"Profiling, often based on grounds of religion and ethnicity, is ineffective and results in undue detention of innocent people," Ahmed added.

More Stories from this section



Iraqi Islamic militia murdered hundreds of gay men

August 19, 5:54 PM

According to the Human Rights Watch, militant Iraqi Muslims seek out, kidnap, torture and murder men who are suspected of being gay or who are considered to be effeminate, while Iraqi authorities do nothing to stave off the violence. A 67-page report entitled, "They Want Us Exterminated - Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq,"  notes that the killings began in February in Sadr City, a neighborhood in Baghdad and the location of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia. The murders have since moved into other cities in Iraq. Spokesmen for the Mahdi Army militia propogandized misconceptions about "the third sex" and the "feminization" of Iraqi men. They claim that a militia action is the solution to the problem. Witnesses have told the Human Rights Committee that Iraqi Security forces have joined in the murder spree instead of stemming the violence.

The militia grabs people from their homes or off the street without due process or judicial papers. The kidnapped men are accused of homosexuality and interrogated to obtain the names of new victims. These men are tortured and many are murdered in gruesome ways. Some of the recovered bodies are mutilated, a few with amputated genitalia.

Shariah (Islamic law) does not condone the killings as they are performed without trial or evidence. International human rights laws forbid murder, torture, inhuman treatment, and promotes the right to life. In Iraq, homosexuality between two consenting adults is stigmatized but not illegal; this is in contrast to surrounding Arab countries where homosexuality has been declared a crime by law. However, there is a provision that was added during the reign of Saddam Hussein that legalizes murder performed "with honorable motives." This provision has been used to clear gender and homophobic killings in the past.


Veil and woman in France: It is wrong to force a woman to wear the veil—or to discard it.

This is a choice that should be hers alone to make

By Salil Tripathi, Aug 19 2009

The man next to me in the lift in the Eiffel Tower was an Arab, but he was not wearing the thoub, the traditional white dress many Arab men wear. He was smiling as he looked at the woman staring at him; she was most likely his wife. I could not tell if she was smiling. She was clad entirely in a black burqa, or niqab, with only her eyes visible. He wore Western clothes; I don’t know if she had chosen to wear the burqa on one of the hottest evenings in Paris at summertime.

Unlike in the wealthy West Asia, most Parisian buildings are not air-conditioned. I can imagine she felt stuffy, sweaty and restricted in that attire. An Australian friend, who is a lawyer and has spent some time in Tehran, had to wear such an attire there, and she told me she experienced headaches, and felt like she was a prisoner.

Nicolas Sarkozy wants to prevent French Muslim women experiencing this restriction. He says that the burqa makes women “prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity”. Five years ago, France banned headscarves and other “conspicuous” religious symbols in state schools and by government employees. In an interview with Financial Times, Fadela Amara, a French minister, said: “The burqa represents not a piece of fabric but the political manipulation of a religion that enslaves women and disputes (equality), one of the founding principles of our republic.” France, she added, was a beacon for an enlightened Islam at ease with modernity, so it was necessary to fight the “gangrene, the cancer of radical Islam which completely distorts the message of Islam”. Elsewhere, she has said that after the ban on the headscarf, French Muslim women have felt empowered to challenge male-dominated orthodoxy within their communities.

How could these good-intentioned politicians help, so that women can confront the orthodoxy that keep them wrapped and shrouded?

Full Report At:


Imams Getting Out the Vote in Afghanistan

By Rahim Gul Sarwan, 20 August 2009

Nangahar Province, Afghanistan

An Afghan Imam speaking on the country's election

The people of Afghanistan vote Thursday in presidential and provincial elections. Throughout the country, which is officially known as the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, leaders of the Muslim clergy, imams, are doing their part to urge people to vote.

Worshippers at the Chaknori Mosque in Jalalabad, capital of Nangahar Province, are listening to a mix of religion and politics. In an officially Islamic country, there is nothing at all unusual about this. In fact, 156 imams are travelling throughout the country with the specific mission of talking to people about Thursday's election.

"We have paid special attention to the fact that religious and tribal leaders are very influential in our society and we appointed many of these people to encourage people to get involved in the political campaign and it has been quite successful," said Dr. Akhtar Mohammad, director of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission in Nangarhar Province.

Many of the imams are working in rural areas, where people are mostly illiterate and have little access to information. Imam Mawlawi Wali Ahmad and other civic educators have come to this village to talk with people about the importance of the election and the need to learn as much as they can about the candidates.

Teaching villagers about the Afghanistan election

Teaching villagers about the Afghanistan election

Full Report At:


Muslim Center Vandalized with Pig Head, Swastikas

August 20, 2009

Follow Israel news briefs on Twitter and Facebook.

 ( A Muslim prayer room in eastern France was discovered vandalized on Wednesday with a pig’s head hanging from the door and both swastikas and anti-Islamic graffiti covering the walls, European Jewish Press reported quoting police sources. A pedestrian passing by the prayer center, part of a north African community center on the outskirts of the town of Toul, alerted authorities.

Two young men in their twenties were arrested shortly following the incident after they were caught spraying swastikas onto the wall of a Middle Eastern restaurant in a nearby town. Estimated at five million Muslims, France is home to Europe's largest Muslim community, and has seen a rise in Islamophobic attacks in the past two years.


Call for portraying true picture of Islamic principles

August 20, 2009 Islamabad

Minister for Human Rights Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani has underlined the need to portray true picture of Islamic principles as the real teachings of Islam have been misinterpreted.

Addressing at the Foundation Day of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) here, he said in the backdrop of present international situation, the Muslim Ummah especially Pakistan are facing various challenges.

The minister said a positive change could be brought about in the society by implementing reports and recommendations of the Council in letter and spirit.

He said unluckily, intolerance is spreading fast in the society and stressed to give a patient hearing to the point of view of other people.

Earlier, three different reports published in connection with Foundation Day of the Council were inaugurated.

Chairman of the Council Dr. Muhammad Khalid Masood, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Justice (r) Syed Afzal Haider, Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Dr. Mohsin Muzaffar Naqvi were present.

Welcoming the distinguished guests, Dr. Khalid Masood said unfortunately, it is difficult to separate good and bad in our society and as a result, the trend of extremism and terrorism is increasing.

Islam is religion of peace and it does not teaches terror and abhorrence, he added.

Mushahid Hussain Syed pointed out that Council of Islamic Ideology gave useful recommendations after consultations with ambassadors of Islamic and Western countries based in Pakistan to the new US administration regarding problems being faced by Muslim Ummah.

The council also proposed to the US president to evolve a strategy for building relations with Muslims on basis of equality and mutual respect, he added.


Don't Miss Ramadan's First Night: When Allah Favorably Looks at His Servants By Wael Shihab

Aug. 17, 2009 Islamic Researcher— Egypt

With the approach of Ramadan every year, I always recall the following Prophetic hadith:

"My people (Ummah) are granted five gifts that no prophet before me had been given. First, when it is the first night of Ramadan, Allah looks at His servants. He will never punish those at whom He looks. Second, the smell of their mouths when night approaches is more pleasant [to Allah] than the scent of musk. Third, angels seek Allah's forgiveness for them everyday and night. Fourth, Allah commands Paradise saying, 'Be prepared and adorned for My servants; they are about to be relieved from the pains of the worldly life and move to My Home and Honor.' Fifth, when it is the last night (of Ramadan) Allah forgives the sins of all people." Thereupon, a man asked, "Is it the night of Qadr (Power)?" He (the Prophet) said, "No, don't you see that once workers finish their tasks, they take their wages?" (Ahmad and Al-Bazzar)

In addition to enjoying common merits of the nights of the blessed month, the first night of Ramadan is singled out with particular virtues. According to the above hadith, in Ramadan's first night Almighty Allah looks favorably at His servants and He, Most High, will never punish those at whom He looks.

Reflecting on the great divine gift that a Muslim, man or woman, could have in the first night of Ramadan, some questions came across my mind:

          Why the first blessed night of Ramadan is singled out with such a unique position over the other nights?

          At whom will Allah look in that blessed night?

          How could I — as well as my beloved Muslim brothers and sisters — be favored with Allah's look on that night?

Full Report At:


Banning the burqini - the latest idea from Europe

August 20, 11:26 AM


Banning the burqini seems to be the latest idea from Europe. The problem is that banning the burqini doesn't seem to meet any of the usual reasons we might use to justify making laws about how people clothe themselves in public places.

Yes, we can indeed say that people have to wear a minimum amount of clothing in public places: limiting the freedom to wave one's genitals around in public is not a violation of one's rights.

However, insisting that women do not dress modestly (as opposed to the insistence that they do, more so than just genitalia covering involves) cannot claim this justification.

The argument comes from the Mayor of an Italian town who intends to fine women wearing the burqini €500 (about $700) for doing so. That Mayor comes from the near fascist Northern League party:

    The sight of a 'masked woman' could disturb small children, not to mention problems of hygiene.

Frightening little children is not sufficient justification: there are a number of us who would never be allowed in public spaces if it were, however we were dressed.

    Imagine a western woman bathing in a bikini in a Muslim country. The consequences could be decapitation, prison or deportation. We are merely prohibiting the use of the burqini.

That repressive theocratic governments do not allow the freedoms which we ourselves enjoy is not a reason to limit our own freedoms.

So should we limit the wearing of the burqini ourselves? No, of course not, for we are not near fascists nor are we repressive theocrats.

Our Mayor has one more thing to say:

    We don't have to be tolerant all the time

He's not quite got the point of this freedom and liberty stuff as yet, has he?

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Denmark Debates Burqa Ban

August 19, 2009

The Danish Conservative Party is proposing to ban burqa and niqab attire as part of an integration initiative. The burqa is a head-to-toe garment worn by some Islamic women and the niqab is a similar garment that has an opening for the eyes. Conservative party officials have criticized the attire as being oppressive towards women and “un-Danish.”

Parliamentarian Naser Khader, the Conservative Party's spokesperson for integration issues, told a Danish newspaper, "We don't want to see burqas in Denmark. We simply can't accept that some of our citizens walk around with their faces covered," reported the Spiegel. Khader also said, "My view is that [the burqa] is not Islamic at all...The modern burqa was introduced by the Taliban when the movement came to power. So I associate the burqa with the Taliban."

Peter Christensen, political spokesperson for the Danish Liberal Party, disagrees and reportedly said, "It's going too far if we start legislating on what sort of clothes people can and cannot wear. The burqa and covered faces should not be allowed if you work with people in the public sector -- but that is where we draw the line," according to the Spiegel.

A poll by Politiken found that 56 percent of Danes support the introduction of "a general ban on wearing the burqa in [public spaces] in Denmark." Only 30 percent of those surveyed oppose a general burqa ban.

A similar debate was recently ignited in France when President Nicolas Sarkozy announced his opposition to the burqa in a speech to a joint session of the French Parliament in June. A Dutch immigration minister also proposed a burqa ban in the Netherlands in 2006.

Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire


Maulana Fazalullah, 10 others proclaimed offenders

By: Shamim Shahid August 20, 2009

PESHAWAR - Fazal Hayat, known as Maulana Fazalullah, chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Swat Chapter, was declared as Proclaimed Offender (PO) along with 10 others through press advertisements by an anti-terrorist court on Wednesday.

A number of local Urdu newspapers carried out the advertisements, asking Maulana Fazalullah and his 10 accomplices for surrender either before police or a court of law within seven days, otherwise stern action would be taken against them. The advertisements further said that if they did not surrender, the court would trial them in absentia.

Khalil Khan Khalil, Judge Anti-Terrorist Court Malakand Division at Gul Kada Swat had issued the advertisements under Section 10 of 19 Anti-Terrorist Act 1997.

Besides Maulana Fazalullah, other accused were Mohammad Rasool son of Maulvi, Mohammad Hussain son of Hazrat Ahmad, Tahir son of Qazi Del Aram, Qadir son of Fazal Rahim, Aziz son of Fazal Majeed, Sher Ali son of Feroz, Yousaf Khan son of Khalid Khan, Hadi Khan son of Habib Khan, Anwar Ali son of Jamshed and Ziaur Rehman son of Naseeb Zada. All the 11 persons belong to different villages of Kabal Tehsil.

The cases against all of them had been registered on March 31, 2008 in Kabal Police Station under different anti-terrorist acts. The Kabal Police Station had remained in the occupation of Taliban militants for a couple of months before the commencement of military action in the area.

It may be mentioned here that the anti-terrorist court would initiate their trial in accordance with Nizam-e-Adl Regulation.

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