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Islamic World News ( 9 Aug 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pro-Mousavi Iranians chant death to the dictator

Christians Oppose Muslim Push for Sharia in Kenya

Hijab in Kerala: the transformation from ignorance to knowledge

Malaysia: Muslims Should Assess How Pas Handles Alcohol Issue

Asia’s most wanted terrorist killed in Indonesia shoot-out

'U.S. digging itself out of a hole in Pak, Afghanistan'

London: Police arrest 33 after protests over Islam

Abbas re-elected to head Fatah Hisham Abu Taha

Nigerian city's streets calm after violence

Somalia: The Secret of a Happy Marriage

Pakistan to get $3.1 billion IMF loan

Haj Committee of India opens centre to train Muslim Civil Services aspirants

'Bigamy report aimed at Hindus'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Pro-Mousavi Iranians chant death to the dictator

August 07, 2009 08:53 AM


A protestor shouts during a demonstration against the re-election of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Berlin, August 4, 2009. REUTERS/Tobias SchwarzBy Parisa Hafezi


TEHRAN, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Hundreds of supporters of Iranian opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi chanted "death to the dictator" in Tehran on Thursday, a witness said, a day after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in as president.


The renewed protests come despite a heavy police presence and the mass trial of some 100 leading reformers accused of fomenting the unrest that has continued for eight weeks since disputed June 12 polls returned hardliner Ahmadinejad to office.


"Hundreds of people are in Vanak square, chanting 'death to the dictator'. Others are also honking car horns," said the witness. "Hundreds of riot police are there as well."


The witness said riot police tried to disperse protesters.


"They are telling protesters to leave the area or face being arrested," the witness said.


The election and protests that followed, some of them the biggest anti-government demonstrations the Islamic Republic has ever seen, have exposed deep divides among Iran's political and clerical elite.


Mousavi and the other defeated pro-reform candidate Mehdi Karoubi say the election was rigged and the next government will be illegitimate -- defying Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has formally endorsed Ahmadinejad.


Authorities say the vote was "the healthiest" election since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.


Leading reformists, who support Mousavi, boycotted Ahmadinejad's inauguration ceremony, defying Khamenei's call to preserve unity after the vote.


The Etemad-e Melli newspapers said on Thursday at least 55 moderate and several hardline lawmakers were also absent from the ceremony. Hundreds of pro-Mousavi supporters gathered near parliament, where the ceremony was held.




Ahmadinejad has been criticised by some hardliners angered by his initial choice of Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaie as his first vice-president. They were further upset when he took a week to obey Khamenei's order to dismiss Mashaie.


A few hours after Ahmadinejad took the oath of office, Karoubi said moderates would continue their "fight" over the vote, criticising the authorities for "suppressing street protests", his website Etemademelli reported.


U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of France, Britain, Italy and Germany have all decided not to congratulate Ahmadinejad on his re-election.


Ahmadinejad reacted angrily, saying "no one in Iran is waiting for your messages".


Iran accuses the West, particularly the United States and Britain, of fomenting vote protests to weaken the clerical establishment. They deny the charge.


A senior police official said on Thursday that 26 people had been killed since the June 12 election. Since the vote, hundreds have been arrested, including dozens of prominent moderate lawyers, politicians, journalists and campaigners.


Armed men raided and sealed the Tehran offices of the Association of Iranian Journalists late on Wednesday, said the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) which also called for Iran to free up to 42 reporters currently jailed.


A court opened the mass trial of more than 100 reformists on Saturday on charges of inciting the post-election unrests. Moderates called it a "show trial".


Ahmadinejad has two weeks to present a cabinet to parliament for approval but may get a rough ride from the conservatives who dominate the assembly, as well as from his moderate foes.

© REUTERS 2009


Christians Oppose Muslim Push for Sharia in Kenya

Washington, D.C. (August 7, 2009) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Muslim leaders are calling for Sharia to be enshrined in Kenya’s constitution. The move is opposed by Christian leaders who fear that it will lead to greater persecution, as it has in Sudan and Nigeria.

Islamic courts, known as Kadhi, have existed for a long time at district levels in Kenya. But they were limited to settling divorce, inheritance and marriage disputes among Muslims.

Kenya has drafted a new constitution which seeks to expand the power of the Islamic courts to include settlement of civil and commercial disputes. Kenyan Muslim leaders are also pushing to elevate the courts to the national level and give them the same privileges as the secular courts.

Christian leaders argue that recognizing Sharia courts in the constitution gives special privileges to Kenya’s Muslims. Rev. Dr. Wellington Mutiso, the general secretary of the evangelical alliance of Kenya, said in an interview with ICC, “We oppose the entrenching of Kahdi in the constitution of Kenya because religion and state should be kept separated in a secular state. Besides, the principles of Islamic laws are discriminatory to women’s right. Thus, entrenching Islamic principles in the Kenyan constitution violates constitutional principles of equality and non-discrimination.”



Hijab in Kerala: the transformation from ignorance to knowledge

By Najiya O, 8 August 2009

A few decades ago, if a Muslim woman from Malabar clad in a burqa had gone to Ernakulam, people would have looked at her astonished. Because, burqa or any such dress was unfamiliar in southern Kerala. But now, anyone can see women in burqa or girls wearing head-scarves walking through the busy streets of Ernakulam. Hijab is no more new in the work places, educational institutions and public functions in Kerala.

Salma of Kaloor, Ernakulam, tells us how it was to wear hijab at a time when no one wore it here. “I began wearing the hijab about 15 years ago, when I joined an Arabic College and learned Islam, its principles and the Holy Qur’an. That was in the late 1980s. No one in my place used to cover heads or wear full-sleeved blouses. When I adopted hijab, people began to mock at me. Every time I went out wearing the burqa, people would swarm around and call me names like ‘bear’.”

Salma recalls the first time when she returned home from hostel wearing a hijab. Her brother who was at the bus stop could not recognize her. She had to hold him by hand to make him understand.

That was in the past. Now burqa or head-scarf or any sort of hijab is not new to Ernakulam. Earlier only women coming from other places used to wear hijab. And the people of Ernakulam looked down upon them as traditional and anti-modern. Now the situation has changed altogether. Saliha and Assia are witness to this change.

Saliha and Assia are sisters. They hail from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. They came to Ernakulam around 30 years ago when their husbands came in search of jobs. They used to wear hijab in their native place. They wore purdah and head-scarf. But when they wore it in Ernakulam, people laughed at their dressing.

Saliha says, “People would come out of their houses and stand at the gates to see us walking wearing purdah. Children would run after us, pulling the end of scarf or shawl we wore. People would shout, ‘Look, crows are going!’ Then the street children would call out, ‘Crows! Crows!’ Then we stopped wearing purdah, and so we went out only very rarely.”

And now? Let’s go back to Saliha. “We began using the purdah permanently only about 15 years ago. By then,a sea-change had occurred in people’s attitude. Now you can see many people in the streets wearing burqa or any other sort of hijab. Earlier, only people who came from other districts wore hijab. Kochiites were always fashion-loving people. Kochi has really changed now. And now, burqa is fashionable.”


Indeed hijab is fashionable now. There are different types of burqas and head-scarfs. Now, women want to wear burqas of the most modern fashion. Many textile companies like the Hoorulyn are famous for their brand of burqas and head-scarves. They have different varieties and fashions of hijab. In these circumstances, won’t it be wise to look back to know how it was about fifty years ago?


Back to Malabar of the 1950s, and we can see only some women of Thangal (supposed to be of the lineage of Prophet p.b.u.h.) and moulvi families wearing the burqa which covered the whole body. Very few wore naqaab. They went out only at nights, that is, if they had to meet some of their relatives. Pitch dark night, black burqa, and above this they used black umbrellas too. They wore burqa mainly out of tradition. Their mothers and grandmothers had worn it, so they too. In other families, women wore dhoti (‘kachithuni’), full-sleeved loose blouse (‘penkuppayam’) and a shawl (‘thattam’). That was the sort of hijab they used. There was a minority which wore fashionable dresses. The educated few wore saris and matching blouses. They adopted the dressing style of the majority community, which was comparatively more educated.

In the 1960s, the women who wore burqa began to take it off. That was the age of communism in Kerala. Religion began to be considered anti-modern. The first communist government came to power in the state. Communism and atheism were rated high then.


In the 1970s, people began to go abroad in search of jobs. Many Muslims of Malabar went to the Gulf countries and saw the life style there. They saw women wearing hijab and going out in broad day light. Women wearing burqa were respected and admired there. When the men came back to Kerala, they brought dress materials from there for their wives and sisters. At first they brought a sort of turban that Arab women used to cover their heads. Then they brought head-scarf, and then gradually burqa. The burqa of the Arab countries was called as abaya by the people of Malabar. The abaya was very loose and big. Then came the purdah, which was of medium size and more comfortable. Purdah became very popular among the Gulf families. Others too began to adopt it as it grew to be a symbol of status and fashion. When the men working in Arab countries took their families abroad, the women had to wear the burqa. They brought it back when they came to Kerala.

Earlier there were not many organisations among the Muslims in Kerala. The ones that functioned had no women’s wings or youth wings. When organisations began to sprout and women’s and youth wings became active, women found the hijab system of burqa, purdah and head-scarves comfortable. When these organisations opened educational institutions, they made purdah and scarves the uniform for girls. Thus purdah and scarves became very popular among people. The organisations also imparted religious education among people. They taught people the Holy Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet. Translations of the Qur’an got published in Malayalam. This increased awareness of Islam also played its role in popularising hijab.

Mumtaz began to wear the purdah after she took to learning the Holy Qur’an. She recalls how her mother used to ask her to wear the dupatta/shawl covering the head when going out. But back then, when she was a young woman, she would not listen. However, she was interested in learning the Qur’an. Mumtaz says, “When I came to know that a teacher taught Qur’an in a nearby place, I joined the group of ladies there. I began to understand what is said in the Qur’an. Then I made a lot of changes in my life, including my dressing style. I began to wear the hijab. I have not taken it off since.”

Hafsa also began to dress the Islamic way after she attended religious classes. Those classes changed me, she said, I began to cover my head. Still, it was a revolution when she chose to wear full-sleeved blouses. Her husband who was a tailor said that he won’t stitch a full-sleeved blouse. So Hafsa had to go to another tailor. Hafsa and her co-sister wore full-sleeved blouses with sari for the wedding and that made a big talk then. Now Hafsa wears hijab always.

Hijab is now accepted by the people of Kerala. Earlier it was seen as a sign of oppression and people spoke against it due to superstitious beliefs. But now, the story of oppression has failed as more and more educated women are turning to the hijab. Still, there is opposition. But that comes out of fear. A fear of what would happen if women get to know and practice Islam well. The fear that traditional leaders have of the loss of their authority. However, women who wear the hijab feel safe, secure and confident. And that helps them to succeed.


Muslims Should Assess How Pas Handles Alcohol Issue

Aug 08, 2009

SUNGAI PETANI, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- Muslims should assess the way the Selangor government handles the issue concerning the sale of alcohol in Muslim-majority areas, Umno Vice-President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said.

The people should also take a closer look at how PAS was taking the latest development on the matter following yesterday's decision by the Selangor government not to ban the sale of alcohol in Muslim-majority areas.

"Being part of the state administration, let us see what PAS is going to do about it... this (sale of alcohol) is under the state's jurisdiction," he told reporters after opening the Sungai Petani Umno delegates' meeting here on Saturday.

As PAS is a partner in the Selangor administration, he said, the people would want to see if the party would condone the sale of alcohol in those areas.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announced yesterday that convenience stores would be allowed to practise self-regulation to prevent the sale of alcohol to Muslims and teenagers. For a start, the self-regulatory concept would be enforced in 52 premises and convenience stores in Shah Alam.




Asia’s most wanted terrorist killed in Indonesia shoot-out

Saturday, 08 Aug, 2009

BEJI: Asian terror suspect Noordin Mohammed Top was killed during a raid on his hideout by heavily armed counter-terrorism police in Indonesia on Saturday, Metro TV reported.

The television station did not disclose its sources and police have not confirmed the report.

Two body bags were seen being taken from the rural house in Central Java following a 17-hour siege involving repeated police gunfire and explosions.

Police surrounded the house in rural Central Java at 4:00 pm (on Friday after arresting two people at a nearby market who were reported to be relatives of the tenant of the property.

The end of the operation came after the arrests of Noordin accomplices in Jakarta and the death of two men recruited to be suicide bombers for his network during a raid on their safe house outside the capital, police said.

The two would-be bombers, accused of involvement in the 2004 attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta which killed 10 people, were shot dead by police as they prepared to throw home-made bombs during the raid early Saturday.

Malaysian Islamist Noordin is one of Asia’s most-wanted terror suspects and is accused of multiple attacks in Indonesia since 2003 which have killed around 50 people, including last month’s suicide blasts at luxury hotels in Jakarta. —AFP


Haj Committee of India opens centre to train Muslim Civil Services aspirants

8 August 2009


Mumbai: In a formal meeting held yesterday at Haj House in Mumbai, Haj Committee of India gave the final shape to the much awaited training center for Muslim aspirants of Indian Administrative Service examination at central Haj House building in Mumbai.

Around four months ago Haj Committee of India had decided to train those Muslim talented youths who are eager to crack the Indian Administrative Service examination but they are unable to clear the exam due to lack of money or means. So far the matter was under consideration but yesterday it was finalized. In Mumbai it will be the first Centre where free training will be available for poor Muslim students for IAS exam.

In yesterday’s meeting Mr. S.A.M Hashmi, ex-principal of Akber Peer Bhai College, Mumbai has been selected as a director of the training centre and four floors of Haj House building have been spared for the purpose which will be used as hostel rooms, class rooms and dining rooms for students while library will be on ground floor.


Police arrest 33 after protests over Islam

Aug 9, 2009

LONDON (Reuters) - Police arrested 33 people when violence erupted in the centre of Birmingham on Saturday after a protest against Islamic fundamentalism and a counter-demonstration.

"Officers were deployed throughout the city centre to manage the two separate protests which took place this afternoon. We can confirm 33 arrests have been made to date -- the majority for disorder," West Midlands Police said.

One person needed hospital treatment, a spokesman for the ambulance service said.

Police were unable to estimate the total number of demonstrators from either of the two groups involved, the English and Welsh Defence League, which was protesting against Islamic fundamentalism, and Unite against Fascism.


'Bigamy report aimed at Hindus'

August 09, 2009

NEW DELHI: The Law Commission report on bigamy was not so much on the Muslim law as on the need to amend the Hindu law in terms of a SC verdict, which ruled that conversion to Islam would not allow a man to have a second wife without divorcing the first. Law Commission member Tahir Mahmood clarified this in a bid to allay ‘‘grave misunderstandings’’ among Muslims on its report.

As evident from its title, ‘Preventing bigamy via conversion to Islam’, Mahmood said the report suggested an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act on the lines of the 1995 SC judgment in Sarla Mudgal’s case blocking Hindu men from using Islam as a licence to acquire a second wife without getting their first marriage dissolved.

The Law Commission recommended incorporation of Sarla Mudgal law in the Hindu Marriage Act as Hindus continued to marry under the cover of conversion to Islam despite the 1995 verdict. In a statement, Mahmood claimed, ‘‘The Muslim law on bigamy, or the state of bigamy among the Indian Muslims, was not at all the issue before the Commission.’’


Taliban say Baitullah Mehsud alive

August 09, 2009

Hakeemullah, Wali ‘killed in infighting’

* State TV says TTP leaders were killed during meeting on selection of new chief

* Rehman Malik confirms crossfire

* Taliban official claims govt has fabricated reports of infighting

LAHORE: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Hakeemullah Mehsud and Taliban commander Waliur Rehman have been killed in a gunbattle that erupted during a meeting to determine the future of the organisation, PTV reported on Saturday, a few hours after Hakeemullah claimed Baitullah Mehsud is “alive”.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Reuters the government had received reports that only one of the two rivals for the leadership of the Taliban was killed. “The infighting was between Waliur Rehman and Hakeemullah Mehsud,” he said, adding, “We have information that one of them has been killed. Who was killed we will be able to say after confirming.” According to PTV, Rehman killed Hakeemullah after the latter was appointed the new TTP chief.\08\09\story_9-8-2009_pg1_2


Abbas re-elected to head Fatah

Hisham Abu Taha

BETHLEHEM/GAZA CITY: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was re-elected to lead his Fatah movement Saturday at its first convention in two decades, giving him a new mandate for peace talks with Israel, if he can also heal divisions among his people.

Abbas, who succeeded iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after his death in 2004, was elected unopposed, but the movement itself has lost its shine over the past five years. Its old guard has been accused of rampant corruption and nepotism and it has suffered military humiliation at the hands of archrival Hamas.

Addressing the conference after the voting through a show of hands, Abbas promised change. “This convention must be a new beginning for the Fatah movement,” he said to thunderous applause. “In our history we’ve had many launches and setbacks. Sometimes we have reached the edge of the abyss, but we have always returned stronger.”

Hundreds of delegates cheered and clapped as senior Fatah official Tayib Abdul Rahim announced Abbas’ re-election.


Nigerian city's streets calm after violence


MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — The Associated Press Last updated on Saturday, Aug. 01, 2009 11:01AM EDT

Banks and markets have reopened in this northern Nigerian city after five days of fierce fighting between police and a radical Islamist sect.

The streets of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, have been cleared of bodies and the blood spilled during gun battles that left at least 200 people dead. Destruction was evident Saturday only in some areas of the city: The police building was in ruins and smoke still rose from the destroyed compound of the sect's leader. The compound was guarded by soldiers with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

A bloodied man, alleged to be a member of the sect, lay beneath a tree near the compound, his hands tied behind his back, guarded by the soldiers.


The Secret of a Happy Marriage

Hargeisa,Aug 01 (SomalilandPress)-Marriage is one of the precious assets that Allah has bestowed on human. It is a joint venture between two people (man & woman) who live as one; it is not two distinct corporations doing business under the same roof. The importance of marriage is clear to everyone, its building blocks are further and more important than just fulfilling biological needs but it is beyond that. Its horizons lie in peaceful and stable existence of relations and behaviours.

Therefore we want the home to be a haven of love where husband, wife and children live with a sense of security and a feeling of acceptance. With all the school shootings and societal violence outside the home, everyone needs a place in life where they are surrounded by peace and love, hence the home is the best place of emotional safety.

Every one who marries wants that kind of home, but a happy home doesn’t just happen. It is the result of two things:

1. Proper adjustment to each other

2. Incorporating into daily life the principles of marriage outlined by Allah in the Holy Qoran.

Most couples are so head over heels in love that they see only the good parts of their fiancé or fiancée. It doesn’t take much time after the honeymoon -a few days, a few weeks- before the novelty of being married wears off and each partner’s flaws become known. Every human being comes fully equipped with bucketful of weaknesses, though this news may come as a shock to naïve newly weds.

That is why it is so important for married couples to be gentle, patient; kind and self-controlled while adjusting to this new calculus. They must show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Personality conflicts may occur which are weaknesses in one partner that irritate the weakness in the other. Differences between partners also need not to be fatal! No disagreement is a threat to a marriage; it is what a couple does about those disagreements that determine the success or failure of a marriage.


Pakistan to get $3.1 billion IMF loan

IANS 8 August 2009

LAHORE: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will give a $3.1-billion loan to Pakistan, Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen has said.


Due to the delay in funding from Friends of Democratic Pakistan, the government has approached the IMF for financial assistance, the minister told reporters here on Friday.

Currently, the foreign exchange reserves of the country stood at $12 billion, while the inflation rate in June was 13 percent, Online news agency reported citing the Pakistani leader.

Pakistan has also asked for additional funds from the IMF for its insurance sector.


'U.S. digging itself out of a hole in Pak, Afghanistan'

Washington (IANS): Blaming the previous Bush administration for "a culture of poverty" that had starved the U.S. campaign against Taliban, the top U.S. military official says America is still digging its way "out of a hole" in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"I'm digging myself out of a hole in Pakistan and in Afghanistan," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Washington Times in an interview published on Thursday.

"So there's an argument to be made that I haven't gotten to year zero yet with respect to that long-term relationship, and then that gets reflected in how the people look at this. Which I understand completely," he said.

Adm. Mullen, who has visited Afghanistan 10 times, did not disagree with an assessment by Gilles Dorronsoro, a South Asia analyst, saying the Taliban has become more effective and sophisticated in recent years. He said the U.S. has 12 to 18 months "to start turning this thing around".