2. Islam is not the Enemy: Western power elite always need a public enemy to maintain their grip on political and economic systems to manipulate nations and to generate huge profits by Elias Akleh
4. Afghan leader pledges to protect Taliban from US by Ben Farmer in
5. There Is No Mac Counter-Terrorism': It requires enormous patience and painstaking work by B. RAMAN
6. Fatwa call centre sets minds at rest: A husband is allowed to beat his wife by Graeme Baker
8. French court overturns Muslim virgin marriage
9. Malaysian Islamic party to open up to non-Muslims
10. Muslims and modernity
Compiled by Syed Asadullah
How Sharia Law Punishes Raped Women: Death of 13-yr- old girl Aisha Duhulowa
By Hasan Mahmud,
November 17, 2008
On October 30, 2008, the United Nations condemned the stoning to death of Aisha Duhulowa, a 13-year-old girl who had been gang-raped and then sentenced to death by a Sharia court for fornication (Zina). She was screaming and begging for mercy, but when some family members attempted to intervene, shots were fired by the Islamic militia and a baby was killed.
Local Sharia courts in
You might think that such horrific barbarity cannot be the real Sharia law; that it is a misapplication of the law by ignorant clergy. Sadly, neither is true.
There is a traceable dynamic in Sharia Law that is bound to lead to this barbarity. And unless we abandon these laws we will never be able to emerge from this barbarity. It was a blunder that Muslim jurists included rape in the Hudood section of Sharia Law that deals with murder, bodily harm, apostasy, drinking, defamation, theft, adultery and highway robbery. But anyone who tried to change these laws ended up banging their heads against the wall. Mawdudi, the founding father of modern Political Islam, claims that even if all the world’s Muslims together wanted to make the slightest change in these laws, they would not be allowed to do so.
But change is necessary.
Another key element of these laws is that only eye-witnesses are acceptable and no circumstantial evidence can be accepted. Rape is included in the Dyat (monetary compensation for bodily harm) section of Sharia Law because it is considered as "Bodily Harm” or “Robbing Property" (chastity). This classification led jurists to create these laws:
* A rapist is obliged to pay the victim the amount typically received as marriage payment to similar brides. 
* “If the rapist cannot be punished for any reason he will pay the victim the amount equal to bride-money.”
As no other punishment is mentioned, the punishment of rape can be only financial compensation. But Jurists missed the point that rape is a crime of its own kind. It has a devastating psychological and social impact on raped women. They are shamed to death, socially outcast, unsuitable for marriage, bring shame on the family and in some countries become the victims of honour killing. Many raped women commit suicide in Muslim countries.
The Quranic word “Zina” means sexual relation between a man and woman not married to each other. It is called adultery for married persons and fornication for unmarried ones. The Quran severely prohibits Zina. Muslim jurists also included rape in the category of Zina because in rape cases such sexual relations “between a man and woman not married to each other,” even though forced on the victim, have taken place. As rape is not mentioned in the Quran, the death sentence for rapists originated from the Prophet’s example: “Narrated Wa'il ibn Hujr: When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for prayer, a man attacked her and overpowered (raped) her. …..he said: Stone him to death”. 
The laws are so clear about defining rape and the requirement for proof of rape that a judge has no option but punish the rape victims.
When rape is caught or reported, “sex between a man and woman not married to each other” can be proven by testimony, physical evidences of bodily scars/bruises, torn clothing or pregnancy of the victim. Then the Sharia laws are enforced.
Sharia Law: The rapist will be punished to death if force on the victim is proven. 
Clear enough. But exactly how can “force on the victim” be proven? The answer must surely rank as one of the most insane and sexist laws in human history.
(A) "Proof of Zina (adultery) or Zina Bil-Jabr (rape) liable to Hadd shall be one of the following:
(a) The accused makes confession or
(b) There are at least four Muslim adult male witnesses” 
(B) "Proof of adultery or rape liable to Hadd shall be one of the following:
(a) The accused makes confession, or
(b) There are at least four Muslim adult male witnesses.”
(C) “Punishment will take place when Zina or rape has been proved by witness.”
(D) Sharia Law rejects the witness of women in Hudood cases.
(E) “The evidence of women is originally inadmissible on account of their weakness of understanding, want of memory and incapacity of governing.”
Because such “proofs” are almost impossible to obtain and because circumstantial evidence is not accepted, a rape cannot be proved as rape in a Sharia court. Instead, “sex outside marriage” is proved for the woman by her complaint or physical scars or torn cloths or pregnancy etc. Then the law of “Punishment for Sex Outside Marriage” i.e. stoning to death for married adulterers and flogging and exile for unmarried adulterers are applied to the rape-victims. On the other hand, a rapist has simply to deny the crime and go Scott free. As the
But DNA tests have no place in Hudood Laws either. The BBC reported that Zafran Bibi of
This is how Sharia Law punishes raped women. The sources of these laws span the period from the 7th century to recent times. Some Muslim countries have withdrawn from the application of these laws, but these laws are still alive and active in many Muslim societies. Many Muslims talk about it, but there has never been a concerted effort to end this barbarity. It is true that many, including the UN’s Children Fund, have expressed alarm over the plight of Aisha Duhulowa, but history tells us that merely condemning these acts or calling on the humanity of the perpetrators has never stopped the violent soldiers of God. The solution can only been found by raising the awareness and opposition of the entire world, irrespective of religion.
Muslims must reject this barbarity or risk Islam being seen as the criminal. The screams of little Aisha Duhulowa will echo around the world until this is done.
 The Daily Star on 04 April 2006
 “Rape Law in Islamic Societies” by Julie Norman, CSID 6th Annual Conference
 Annual report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, May 2004 – Ref - National Commission on the Status of Women in
 Islamic Law and Constitution - page 140.
 Codified Islamic Law Vol 2 page 600
 Shafi'i Law Reliance of the Traveler -# m.8.10
 Codified Islamic Law Vol 1 page 301
 Abu Dawood Book 38, Hadis# Number 4366
 Codified Islami Law Volume 1 Law#134, Shafi’i law Reliance of the Traveler – o.7.3
 Pakistan Hudood Ordinance VII of 1979 amended by Ordinance XX of 1980
 Codified Islami Law Volume 1 Law#133 Ibid Law #135
 Hanafi Law-Page 176, 353, Shafi’i Law- page 638 Law#o.24.9, Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World –page 251, The Penal Law of Islam – Kazi Publications Lahore- page 44, 45, Tafsir of Translation of the Qura’an by Muhiuddin Khan pages 239 and 928
 The Penal Law of Islam – Kazi Publications Lahore- page 44 – 45
 Hanafi Law Hedaya 178, Codified Islamic Law#129 Vol 1, Sunan Abu Dawood Book 38,4451& 4423
 http://www.dawn.com/2005/05/21/top4.htm Hasan Mahmud is the Director of Sharia Law of the Muslim Canadian Congress. He played a vital role in the successful movement against the
Islam is not the Enemy: Western power elite always need a public enemy to maintain their grip on political and economic systems to manipulate nations and to generate huge profits
By Elias Akleh
The Western power elite, especially American (military industries, security agencies, financial institutions, and oil corporations) always need a public enemy in order to maintain their grip on political and economical systems to manipulate nations and to generate huge profits. They always create new enemies by stressing differences between groups of people and inciting hatred among them.
With the collapse of communist
The attacks of 9/11 were orchestrated and Al-Qaeda was accused of the act. The needed new public enemy was thus created.
Al-Qaeda, the base in Arabic, was established, armed, and financed by Texan CIA operative Charlie Wilson to fight the Soviet troops in
To keep the military industry cranking there was a need to widen the conflict. The Western power elites and their mouthpiece media took the fact that Al-Qaeda leaders were mainly Islamic and associated the terror accusation to Islam. Thus Islamic terror and Islamic terrorist groups became new terminologies used to brainwash the populace. This relatively small Islamic Al-Qaeda group was inflated to become the new super global power, richer and more powerful than the rest of the global super powers. It was portrayed as a global threat used to justify any government’s oppression of dissenting groups, who could be labeled as terrorists.
Political clergy joined in the act of demonizing Islam. Pastors of televangelist Zionist Christians and Christians United for
Those American so-called Christian pastors are aggressively inciting hatred and enmity against Muslims with the attitude of “Our way is God’s way and if you don’t accept our beliefs then we will kill you in the name of God.” They are advocating the murder of all “heathen” Muslims, the destruction of their cities, the nuking of their holy places, and the “conversion of all Muslims to Christianity to become human beings” like what happened in Spain in 1492, after the 800 years of Reconquista wars, when defeated Muslims and Jews of Spain were ordered to convert to Christianity or face persecution.
Such pastors are poisoning the psyche of their naïve followers with warring themes such as “America as a bastion against Islam”, “America’s historical conflict with Islam”, “Cleansing the Holy Land from all Muslim heathens”, “Crusading holy wars”, and “Islam: the greatest religious enemy of our (American) civilization”. It seems that these pastors do not prescribe to a God of love and peace, but to a god of war and destruction. Apparently, theirs is a criminal god with a religion of death.
What makes them more dangerous is that many politicians in the American administration, and even the defeated presidential candidate John McCain supported by his Republican party, proclaim these pastors as “spiritual guides”, “great leaders of America”, and “moral compass of America”.
On top of all those, we see the Zionist Israeli terrorist state claiming that the most ruthless enemy of the world is Islam, calling the religion “enemy of civilization”, “ oppressor of women”, “hater of peace”, “opponent to democracy”, “terrorist Jihadis”, and “foe of humanity”. In an attempt to cover their terror and to justify ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs, the Israelis claim that they are the victims of global Islamic terror, and are the spearhead of morality and evolution, which are courageously fighting this Islamic ghoul to save the rest of the civilized world.
Unfortunately the average American person of the street in general, and even many who consider themselves educated and with critical thinking, who are panting heavily in their attempt to acquire the loaf of bread for their families, who worry about paying the bills; taxes, mortgages, insurance and many others, do not have the interest nor enough energy to seek the truth. The majority of them collapse on the couch at the end of the day, passively watching their TV sets, and taking in the meta-messages sent to their unconscious by puppet politicians and false clergy. Through repetition lies become realities
Albert Einstein once said: “Condemnation without investigation is the highest ignorance.” So let us do a little investigation. Let us refer to the holy texts (1) themselves rather than just listen to the misleading, hate-evoking, warmongering and poisoning words of the political clergy, special interest politicians, and their media mouth piece.
Islam is a wide spread religion in many different cultures and traditions. Islam is a religion and not a culture. Almost one third of the world populations are Muslims. There are hundreds of thousands of volumes written about Islam. Reading some of these volumes we discover that the Islamic prophet was a humble and an ascetic man. He did not live in luxurious homes, rather in a very humble one like any other citizen. He did not own gold and silver rather he was poor. He did not wear silky and colourful clothes, but had only one rough garment. He did not stuff his stomach with fatty rich meals, but mostly rice and milk. Those, who accuse Prophet Muhammad of being a womanizer, should read the Old Testament to learn about womanizing prophets; Abraham and Moses had multiple wives, Jacob married two sisters Rachel and Leah and their maids Bilhah and Zilbah. Solomon had a hundred wives (that is a real womanizer).
Mohammad was not incestuous unlike Abraham, who married his sister, or
Preaching monotheism and acknowledging all previous prophets starting from Adam down to Jesus, Mohammad attracted the attention of Jewish Arabs (many Arabs adopted Judaism) of the city of
Islam, in its core, is a peaceful religion. The word “Islam” means total surrender to God’s will. Sufism, a life dedication to meditation and praying to recognize God, is the ultimate form of Islam. Muslims believe in all the prophets starting with Adam down to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, and all the way to Jesus Christ and talk about all of them venerably unlike the Old Testament that describe many of these prophets as womanizers, incestuous, murderers, and warmongers. One needs only read the Qur’an to realize this fact. Every chapter (
Contrary to the claims of politicians and political clergy, Muslims do not strive to forcibly convert people to their religion. Islam respects, and calls all Muslims to respect, true Jews and Christians calling them “people of the book”. Islam states “no coercion in religion”. Only through dialogue religion can be spread (Surat Spider 46). Islam considers true Jewish God, Christian God and Muslim God as one and same God. On the other hand we read in Judaic Hilchoth Melachim, c.viii, 4 that Talmud commands the Jews to convert the heathens to Judaism by the power of the sword and to murder all who refuse and to take away their children.
Unlike political Judaism that describes Virgin Mary as a whore (Sanhedrin 106a and Shabbath 104b) Islam reveres Jesus’ mother, Virgin Mary, and dedicates a long chapter in the Qur’an with her name; Surat Miriam. Unlike Judaic false Rabbis, who hate and insult Jesus Christ, Islam recognizes Him as a divine messenger (Surat Imran 45, Surat Women 170). Muslims venerate Jesus and call him “The Word of God”, “Logos”, “Messiah the prophet” and a “Messenger of God” (Surat Imran 35, Surat Al-Ma’idah 47,49 & 78, Surat Cow 87 among many others). False Rabbis, especially Orthodox Jewish Hasidic Lubavitch group, insult Christ and describe him as a sorcerer, sexually immoral, a dangerous prophet, and call for his murder according to their god’s commands. (www.noahide.com/yeshu.htm).
In the Judaic Avodat Kochavim, Maimonides stated that “It is a mitzvah (religious duty) to murder Jesus and his followers, and all non-Jews”. Moses Maimonide, a rabbinic law codifier and philosopher in Jewish history, wrote the “Mishneh Torah”, considered the Second Torah, in which he taught that Christians and Muslims should be murdered when Talmudists are dominant over gentiles (Avodat Kochavim, chapter 10). Avodah Zarah 17a states that Christians are allied with hell, and Christianity is worse than incest. Going to prostitutes is the same as becoming a Christian. Shabbat 116a states “The books of Christians may not be saved from a fire, but must be burnt in their place”. The Israelis followed this commandment to the letter when they burned hundreds of Bibles in Occupied Palestine on March 23rd, 1980, and again on May 20th, 2008 (Assoc. Press 5/20/2008 & Israeli Maariv newspaper). Jewish Israeli hatred of Jesus is expressed in the Jewish anti-Gospel “Toledoth Eshu”, revived and reprinted by the biggest Israeli tabloid Yedioth Aharnoth in 2000. Jews referred to Jesus by the name of “Yeshu” meaning “Perish his name”.
The status of women under Islam is one of the most intentionally misrepresented and falsely exaggerated issues by Western politicians and their political clergy cronies. Islam had liberated women long before women’s liberation movements in the West even began. I had lived in Islamic, Israeli and American societies, and have found higher percentage of Israeli and American women being abused, enslaved and victimized under the flag of so called Western women liberation movements, freedom and democracy. Women prostitution slave-trade, in its many forms, is very common within these two societies. One needs only to watch televised news and reads local newspapers to recognize this fact.
Islam respects and cherishes women as mothers, wives, daughters and sisters and grants them all human and legal rights. Mohammad’s wife was a very successful business woman. The Qur’an dedicates a long chapter for women (Surat Women). Islam stopped female infanticide, gives women the right to inherit parents, husband and siblings, assigns married women dowry and divorced women alimony and child support, forbids arranged marriages and gives women the right to refuse marriage (Surat Nur 23), and gives women freedom to become contributing members to society in every form. Muslim women in all Islamic countries, even the most economically impoverished, are involved in every aspect of life even though some of these countries barely provide such chances for men themselves. One needs to watch televised broadcasts and listen to radio stations of these Islamic countries to recognize the contributions of Muslim women to media, art, music, social services, politics, education, business, finance and industry.
The West points to the veil, a fashion of Muslim women’s head dress, as some kind of a proof of Islamic retardation. Unlike many Western women, who wear provocative clothing exposing their sexual body parts, Islam requires men and women to dress conservatively in respect for their bodies, and it happened that the veil was a common dress at the time. This dress requirement is common to the three religions, where we find fundamentalist Christian women and nuns covering all parts of their body, and fundamentalist Jewish women having to wear a hair piece to cover their hair (Shulchan Aruch 2:153:8 and Mishnah Berurah 75:13) . Although a gradually disappearing fashion, as we could tell by watching Muslim televised broadcasts, the veil is still a sign of religious practice. Unfortunately, to incite hatred, politicians use the media to show the exceptions to the rules that exist into every religion and not just in Islam.
Women’s status in Islamic Qur’an is a whole lot better than theirs in non-Islamic holy books. Judaic “holy” texts consider women impure and filthy. There is a Judaic obsession with women’s menstrual blood and the shades of its colour, and consider it very toxic. There are numerous strict rules that menstruating women have to observe, including segregation from community, or face divine punishment (see Halachos of Niddah – Laws of Menstruation in the Shulchan Aruch: Yoreh De’ah 14a). Since women are considered impure, it is forbidden to teach them the Law (BT Kiddushin 29b), and they are not allowed to write a Torah scroll or read the Torah because it is a disgrace to the congregation (Berakhot 24a and BT Gittin 45b). Because rabbinic sages regard Jewish women as “sacks of excrements” (Shabbat 152b), and “meat from a butcher shop” (Nedarim 20b) they are banned until today from Talmud study.
Texts such as BT Sanhedrin 54b and 69b allow homosexuality, child molestation, incest and sodomy with a child under 9 years old. It is permissible to sexually molest a 3 years old girl as documented in “Classic Guide to Jewish Law” V.2, P 1023 (Metsudah Publication, 1996) and in BT Ketubot 11b. Maimonide agreed to this law.
Hasidim women are considered the most oppressed women in the world. It is a common knowledge that arranged marriages are common practice among the ultra-Orthodox Jews. In the Hassidic
Orthodox Judaic women are segregated in synagogues in what is known as “ezrat nashim” section, and on buses they have to sit in the back of the bus, much like the Negro women in the old segregated American South. On November 24th, 2006 Miriam Shear, an American Israeli woman, was kicked in the face and violently beaten by ultra-Orthodox (Haredi/Hasidic) men for refusing to move to the rear of an Israeli Egged bus in Jerusalem ( Haaretz Dec. 17, 2006). Similarly, Iris Yoffe, an Israeli student, although sitting in the women’s section of the bus, faces all kinds of abuse from ultra-Orthodox Jews because she wears trousers, June 15, 2008 (www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1417054320080115).
The claim that Islam is a terrorist religion of death is a great sin. The Qur’an states that war is the most hated act to God (Surat Imran 216), but since war is inevitable and is forced onto Muslims then they have to defend themselves (Surat Imran 195). Prophet Mohammad forbade Muslim soldiers from killing civilians; children, women, elderly, and non-combatant. He forbade them from torching homes, from cutting trees, from poisoning water wells and from burning crops. He ordered them to take good care of prisoners, and to release them if they could not care for them. The Islamic call for “Jihad” is greatly misunderstood and distorted concept. Jihad for God means exerting mental efforts against bodily desires through meditation and prayer (Sufism) in order to recognize God. One should realize that for at least the last 300 hundred years none of the Islamic countries had attacked any Western Christian country. The opposite is true. The Western Christian countries have been attacking and destroying the Islamic world. Under the guise of war against global terror, and the lies of spreading freedom and democracy the Western armies are daily massacring Muslims in Africa (Somalia & Sudan), in the Middle East (Palestine, Lebanon & Iraq), and in Southeast Asia (Afghanistan & Pakistan)
Judaic prophets and Rabbis have done the exact opposite. According their god’s wish they ordered ancient Israelite, and present-day Israelis, to kill all their enemies including children, women, and elderly, to kill all their farm animals, to burn and demolish their homes, to poison their water-wells, to cut their fruit trees and to wipe off all their towns and villages. Samuel, the god’s chosen Israelite prophet, had ordered king Saul, upon god’s request, to attack Amalek, “… kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (Samuel I 15:2-9). The Old Testament is full of such incidents where Israelite prophets ordered their people to commit genocide. Even Moses, the giver of the Law “Thou shalt not kill” had ordered his people to annihilate Goyims and take their land.
Such terrorism and genocide is considered a religious duty in the Judaic texts. Moses Maimonide’s Mishnah Torah chapter 10 p.184 considers these atrocities a “Mitzvah” : a religious duty. He decreed that any non-Jewish nation “… not subject to our jurisdiction (tahat yadeinu) will be the target of Jewish Holy War” (Hilkhot Melakhim 8:9-10, 10:11. also see Gerald J. Blidstein, “Holy War in Maimonide’s Law”, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press 1991). Rabbi Simon ben Yachai, highly revered by both Khazar and Sephardic Jews, encouraged such genocide in his Soferim 15, Rule 10 stating that “… even the best of the gentiles should all be killed”. Yosef Obadia, Israeli chief Rabbi, calls on Israeli army and all settlers to kill all Palestinians because they are just cockroaches.
Such “Mitzvahs” are conducted daily by the terrorist Israeli army, whose snipers target innocent defenceless Palestinian children. The Israeli army and Israeli extremist settlers attack Palestinian civilians, demolishing and burning their cities and homes, poisoning their water-wells, burning their crops, cutting down thousands-years-old olive and fruit trees, killing their farm animals, razing their fertile soil, and imprisoning their whole communities within a high cement wall. The genocidal crimes (Mitzvahs) of the Israelis are numerous to count here.
The Palestinians, with its Muslim majority, backed by the neighbouring Arab countries, also with their Muslim majority, sought peaceful solutions with
Zionist Israeli Rabbis, shamelessly, tour the Western World, advocating such genocide. In 1994 Baruch Goldstein murdered 40 Muslim Palestinian worshippers while kneeling in prayer in the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque. After his death Israelis built a shrine for him in the colony of Keryat Arba’ and called him a saint. Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsbergh went out on a lecture tour in
These examples are just a drop of an ocean. It is not the Islamic holy Qur’an, but the Judaic “holy texts” that call for terrorism, genocide, oppression and destruction; a holy war against all non-Jews based on prejudiced god with divine racist ideology of “God’s chosen people in God’s promised land”. It is not the Islamic madrassas (schools) but the Judaic Yeshivas (Talmudic Academies) that teach racism, terrorism, genocide, and a religion of death to disillusioned Israeli students.
He Holy Qur’an, The Holy Bible
Michael Hoffman II, “Judaism’s Strange Gods” [Independent
Michael Hoffman II, “Judaism Discovered” [Independent
Elias Akleh a contributing editor to MWC is an Arab writer from a Palestinian descent born in the town of
By Farooq A Ganai
Bandipora - A seven-phase local election started on Monday, November 17, in India-controlled
"Voting is our democratic right and we are voting to choose those who represent us," Mohammed Afzal, a retired teacher, told IslamOnline.net after casting his ballot in Bandipora town.
"We cast our vote to strengthen the democracy and develop the infrastructure of the state."
The state government in Muslim-majority
Voting was held Monday in ten constituencies out of the total 87 assembly segments.
The elections are being staggered over seven phases, with the last scheduled for December 24 in
"Having faced a lot of problems and lacking proper infrastructure in the district which remained neglected during previous years we wish to vote for a candidate who can at least take care of the developmental aspect of the area," said Ghulam Hassan, 44.
Chief electoral officer B.R. Sharma said the turnout in the
"We have recorded over all 55 percent of polling in ten constituencies which went to poll today," he told reporters.
Higher voting numbers were recorded in Hindu-majority
The Himalayan region of Kashmir is divided into two parts and ruled by
With many Muslims like Afzal and Hassan were enthusiastic about exercising their right to vote, others strongly disagreed.
"We want a solution not elections," said Iftikhar Ahmad, a government employee.
He said they voted in previous years with the hope that one day the
"But all that was a waste. See how many people died during the struggle and those who become widows cannot get back their husbands," he lamented.
Ahmad said mothers who lost their sons want a solution and are awaiting the day when the sacrifice they made will pay back.
Mimuna, a 38-year-old woman, said elections can not return lost loved ones.
"We denounce such elections which are forced on us."
She said that hundreds of women are still waiting for their husbands who vanished in thin air.
Mimuna joined an anti-election protest in Bandipora where police fired teargas and used batons to disperse the protesters.
Six demonstrators, including two women, were hurt.
But a defiant Mimuna said the government's use of force can’t stop Kashmiris from boycotting.
"We are facing brutalities and killings by Indian sponsored security agencies so under such circumstances we feel that voting is meaningless for us," said Zahoor Ahmad, a student.
He said seven youths from his village were killed by security forces while taking part in a pro-freedom demonstration.
"To vote for the people who actually become our killers is not possible and we want freedom from such sponsored governments."
The government has launched a massive crackdown against the leaders of all groups opposed the vote.
"All senior leaders supporting the boycott call were either arrested and sent to jails or kept under house arrest," said Mohammed Sultan, a Bandipora resident.
He noted that even Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who holds a very important religious post was not spared and was placed under house arrest just because he did not support the elections.
"One can not expect freedom of rights when he is forced to vote."
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he will personally protect the former head of
By Ben Farmer in
Last Updated: 10:02AM GMT 17 Nov 2008
Afghan leader Hamid Karzai is willing to hold talks with any groups which recognise the country's constitution, including the Taliban Photo: GETTY
Mr Karzai said he would go "to any length" to protect Mullah Mohammad Omar, who has a $10 million price on his head from the
He challenged his Western backers to leave the country or remove him if they disagreed.
After three years of an increasingly violent insurgency, the Afghan government has said it is willing to hold talks with any groups which recognise the country's constitution. Government representatives and former members of the Taliban are said to have met in
"If I hear from him that he is willing to come to
"If I say I want protection for Mullah Omar, the international community has two choices – remove me or leave if they disagree," he said.
Omar has been in hiding since his regime was toppled by the
Mr Karzai said the Taliban leadership still had to prove it wanted peace. "We are not in that stage yet. Right now, I have to hear it from the Taliban leadership, that they are willing to have peace in
A Taliban representative last week said the group would never negotiate with Afghan or Western officials while foreign troops remained in the country.
FROM THE TELEGRAPH.CO.UK
'There Is No Mac Counter-Terrorism': Counter-terrorism requires enormous patience and painstaking work
Nov 17, 2008
It is going to take time for the Indian Police and other counter-terrorism forces to understand the full ramifications of this phenomenon and come to grips with it. I am confident they will. Counter-terrorism requires enormous patience and painstaking work.
By B. RAMAN
(This article incorporates my extempore remarks and subsequent interventions during a four-day conference on terrorism held at Tokyo from November 11 to 14, 2008, under the joint auspices of the Institute of Defence Analyses (IDA) of Washington DC and the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX) of the Japan Science and Technology Agency)
Insurgents seek territorial control and try to establish the paraphernalia of a state such as an army with professional ranks, an administrative set-up in the territory controlled by them etc. They fight like a conventional army in classical set-piece formations as well as like a guerrilla army. This requires large cadre strength.
Terrorists, on the other hand, avoid territorial control and the paraphernalia of a state. They use unconventional methods of struggle. The avoidance of territorial control and state paraphernalia enables them to spread death and destruction with a small cadre strength organised into penetration-proof cells. The smaller the strength of a terrorist organisation, the more difficult for the intelligence agencies to penetrate it.
Insurgent organisations prefer a hierarchical structure with a pyramid similar to that of the state. Terrorists prefer a cellular structure with no pyramid like organisation.
In the past, the world saw organisations, which either operated as insurgents or as terrorists. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of
Dealing with such organisations with dual structures and capabilities requires a two-in-one strategy on the part of the state actor-- a counter-insurgency strategy to meet the conventional capability of the non-state actor and a counter-terrorism strategy to meet the unconventional threat posed by them--with both the strategies enmeshed appropriately. It is the failure of the
Jihadi terrorism in the
Dealing with terrorists using IEDs requires a different kind of technique than with terrorists using hand-held weapons. Unfortunately, in
Improving one's capability to deal with IEDs requires a close interaction between the world of counter-terrorism and the world of science and technology. It requires considerable investment in research related to improving one's capability to deal with IEDs. Interest in this subject is lacking in the Indian state-- in the counter-terrorism community as well as in the scientific community. No sustained effort has been made to promote research to find out whether it would be possible to devise a way of remotely de-activating an IED carried by a suicide bomber on his person or in a vehicle.
A study of the large number of instances of suicide terrorism in
Whenever I pose this question of the possible development of a technology for remote de-activation, I get a reply from Indian as well as American scientists that this won't be possible. We should not take no for an answer from a sceptic scientific community. If a man can visit the moon and send probes to Mars, I find it difficult to accept that we cannot devise a technology for the remote de-activation of an IED carried by a suicide bomber.
The wave of serial blasts carried out by some jihadi terrorists identified as the Indian Mujahideen (IM) since November, 2007, has received considerable attention from counter-terrorism communities all over the world. I am not yet convinced that there is a single organisation calling itself the IM operating under a common command and control. The Indian Police in the states, which had witnessed the serial blasts, have successfully identified many of the individual perpetrators and arrested them, but they still do not have an idea of the contours of the IM. Is it a single organisation or a united front of many autonomous groups motivated by local anger in different areas identifying themselves as the Indian Mujahideen just as in the 1980s different Afghan groups headed by Gulbuddin Heckmatyar, Burhanuddin Rabbani, Ahmed Shah Masood and others identified themselves collectively as the Afghan Mujajhideen? I am inclined to feel for the present that the new crop of home-grown jihadis from the Indian Muslim community has been following the Afghan pattern of different groups projecting a common identity.
It is going to take time for the Indian Police and other counter-terrorism forces to understand the full ramifications of this phenomenon and come to grips with it .I am confident they will. Counter-terrorism requires enormous patience and painstaking work. There is no Mac Counter-terrorism.
The most visible improvement in Indo-US co-operation is with reference to maritime counter-terrorism in
The co-operation between
There are misgivings in
After the Al Qaeda strikes in
The possibility of jihadi terrorists acquiring a dirty bomb capability from
In 2002, the Pakistani authorities, at the instance of the
The Pakistani authorities continue to evade Indian requests for the arrest and handing-over of Dawood Ibrahim, the mafia leader living in
The likely impact of the present economic crisis on the terrorism ground situation and on the counter-terrorism capabilities of states needs to be closely monitored. The severe economic difficulties of
The comfort level between the political leaderships of
B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India,
Fatwa call centre sets minds at rest: A husband is allowed to beat his wife
Graeme Baker, Nov 17, 2008
Is it against the teachings of Islam to use Viagra? Is it dishonest to "piggyback" on your neighbour's wireless internet connection? Can you use diet patches while fasting during Ramadan?
These are just three of the thousands of questions posed to the
For centuries, Muslims have taken religious dilemmas to the imam at the local mosque. But now, with a free phone call or an email, they can receive answers from qualified muftis, or religious scholars, and settle worries about how to live an observant life under the Koran in modern society.
Muftis will either make an on-the-spot pronouncement or text message or email back after careful consideration. Questions can be posed in English, Arabic and Urdu.
The 24-hour daily free service run from offices of the capital Abu Dhabi has proved so popular that managers at the country's Islamic Affairs Authority are considering doubling its 48-strong team due to overwork. Its 14 telephone lines are fielding almost four times the 1000 questions a day they were designed to handle.
Fatwas gained a bad image in the West due to the death sentence issued by
But the vast majority of fatwas deal with every day situations. Many questions revolve around sex and the relationships between men and women.
Asked about using diet patches to suppress hunger during the Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam, a mufti at the centre said: "If you use it on the outside around your body, it is not a problem. It's like using a cream or a lotion. Anything external is fine, as long as it's not entering via the mouth."
Nicotine patches are also permissible during Ramadan, and smokers often use the holy month to quit.
The fatwa went against other advice, including that of the rival Dubai Islamic Affairs Department, which said that any form of nutrient entering the body voided the fast.
Using someone else's wi-fi connection was akin to theft. "A Muslim's money or property is not for the taking unless there are explicit blessings from the owner."
More controversially, the UAE earlier this month appeared to disagree with muftis in
On Viagra, the centre ruled: "There is no problem with taking medicine to remedy a sexual dysfunction, as it is permitted to take medicine for ailment. In addition, there is no shame in your weakness to meet your wife's desire, as it is out of your hands."
Dubai: New bank branch caters to women only
Khaled Hijab in
In a first of its kind,
The Emirates Islamic Bank newest branch in the
“Catering to the individual needs of our customers has always been a core part of our business model, and opening an exclusive Al Reem branch is an extension of that belief,” said Faisal Aqil, an official at Emirates Islamic Bank told the daily Gulf News.
"'We understand and value the role of women in today's society and have carefully tailored services and special offers to provide them with all they need to fulfill their personal dreams and ambitions," he said.
But some wonder whether such "innovations" are signs of progress, showing Arab women's increasing involvement in the world of business, or a dreary sign of increased gender segregation in the
— Khaled Hijab in
P.S. Get news from the
French court overturns Muslim virgin marriage
President Nicolas Sarkozy's government had asked the appeal court in
The decision meant that the marriage sealed in a civil ceremony in July 2006 in the small northern town of
The couples have two months to decide whether they want to launch a higher appeal.
"This ruling is very worrying," the husband's lawyer Xavier Labbee said. "Our individual liberties are seriously threatened."
The husband, a computer expert in his 30s whose name was not made public, sought the annulment after realising his bride was not a virgin on the night of their marriage.
His suspected that his new bride, also a Muslim, was not a virgin on their wedding night because the bed sheets were not stained with blood.
His wife, a nurse in her 20s, admitted to him she had had pre-marital sex.
A tribunal in the northern city of
It said he had been misled about an "essential quality" of his bride-to-be.
Under French law, a marriage can be annulled if there has been "an error about the person or the essential qualities of the person."
Monday's ruling stated that the "absence" of virginity "had no bearing on the marriage," therefore quashing the right to annul.
The original ruling drew furious protests from rights groups, who slammed it as a victory for religious fundamentalists and a blow to the emancipation of women that set a dangerous legal precedent.
Urban affairs minister Fadela Amera, born in
Some 150 European parliament members wrote to French Justice Minister Rachida Dati, denouncing it as an unacceptable encroachment of religion in the public sphere.
Dati finally ordered an appeal in the face of strong protest, but she continued to insist the ruling was legally sound, based on a breach of trust between the pair, not the issue of virginity itself.
Lawyers for both parties had requested at a hearing in September that the annulment be maintained.
The wife, who had initially opposed the annulment, told the court she had reversed her stance.
State prosecutors had said they were not against allowing the split if it were possible to replace the "discriminatory motive" of loss of virginity with a more general one, such as mistaken identity.
The couple, of Moroccan origin, have since moved away from northern
The justice minister also warned the case should not be used to stigmatise
Malaysian Islamic party to open up to non-Muslims
November 17, 2008
Many political parties represent particular ethnic groups in the racially diverse country. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, has long been the ruling United Malays National Organization's chief rival for the support of the ethnic Malay Muslim majority.
PAS plans to change its constitution to allow non-Muslim members in an effort to become racially inclusive and prove that its ideology does not conflict with the rights of minorities, said Mujahid Yusof Rawa, chairman of the party's national unity bureau.
"There should not be race-based politics anymore," Mujahid said.
"We feel that the stigma that has haunted (non-Muslims) about PAS is fading," he said. "We want to open up to transform our party into a multiracial party."
Non-Muslim members are expected to be barred from holding key leadership posts, although some officials have said they will be allowed to run as party candidates in general elections.
Nevertheless, many minority voters supported PAS candidates who joined a three-party opposition coalition in March general elections because of concern over how the government had handled recent racial and religious disputes.
The opposition made unprecedented electoral gains in the elections, depriving the ruling coalition of a two-thirds parliamentary majority.
PAS leaders say that while their goal still is to establish an Islamic state, it doesn't mean that they want to take away the constitutional rights of minorities to practice their religions freely.
The top three government parties are race based, but PAS is the only opposition party that is limited to members of one religion. The other two opposition parties — opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's People's Justice Party and the Democratic Action Party — are multiracial.
The planned changes in PAS are expected to be approved at the party's annual congress next June, enabling nearly 20,000 non-Muslims who are now in the party's so-called "Supporters Club" to become members, Mujahid said.
Muslims and modernity
November 17, 2008
At Talk Islam, a great discussion has ensured (as tends to happen over there) about analogizing between Islam and other religions, especially when talking about "reformations" or about labels. Abu Noor points out,
those both within and without Islam that call for "reformation" are not really calling at all for anything like the Protestant reformation of Christianity but are in fact calling for a Reform Islam movement that would resemble Reform Judaism.
He also proposes the term "Orthodox Muslim" as a better label for those Muslims attempting to engage in such a process. The debate turns to the fact that Jews can also be thought of as an ethnic group in addition to a religious one, whereas that’s not the case for Muslims in the