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Kuwait court rules Woman MPs can shun hijab! PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 December 2009 07:40
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Male, female mingling fatwa hit

‘Iran near breakthrough on N-bomb’

Egypt presents Arabic domain names

Muslim countries seek blasphemy ban

Islamic Bank to open in Germany

 

Kuwait court rules Woman MPs can shun hijab !!!

[ Kuwait does not enforce any dress code on women in the general public because of the constitutional guarantee of personal freedom.

Two of the four women who became Kuwait's first female MPs in May refuse to wear the hijab, which has also been spurned by the only woman appointed as a minister in the Kuwaiti government following the May election.

The voters said the two MPs had flouted a clause in an election law stipulating that women voters and candidates must comply with Islamic Shariah regulations, including wearing the hijab.]

Kuwait City: Kuwait's constitutional court has rejected a petition brought by four voters to declare invalid the election of two women MPs because they refuse to wear the hijab or headscarf.

The decision of the court, whose rulings are final, was announced to reporters by the chairman of the court, Yussef Ghanam Al Rashid.

Two of the four women who became Kuwait's first female MPs in May refuse to wear the hijab, which has also been spurned by the only woman appointed as a minister in the Kuwaiti government following the May election.

The voters said the two MPs had flouted a clause in an election law stipulating that women voters and candidates must comply with Islamic Shariah regulations, including wearing the hijab.

Explaining its decision in a written verdict, the court said the election law fails to specify the type of regulations women must adhere to or whether that included wearing the hijab.

It also pointed out that the constitution, which is higher than any law,
( !!!!!!! ) guarantees personal freedom and freedom of faith and does not discriminate between people over their religion or sex.

Kuwait does not enforce any dress code on women in the general public because of the constitutional guarantee of personal freedom.

 

Male, female mingling fatwa hit

[ In a statement issued by the persons who disapprove of the fatwa, it has been said the person who issued it has leaned on a feeble Hadith that has not been accurately conveyed.

It is believed that the consequences of this mingling are severe, as it leads to looking at the private areas of a woman’s body, shaking hands and exchanging smiles, all of which are instinctive and need to be curbed.]

KUWAIT CITY: A number of religious scholars and professors of the Sharia Faculty have condemned the fatwa issued by the Chairman of The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Makkah Sheikh Dr Ahmed bin Qasim Al-Ghamdi, in which he declared that mingling between males and females is allowed, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.

Among those who oppose the fatwa is Chairman of the GCC Sharia Scholars Association and former Dean of the Sharia Faculty at Kuwait University Dr Ojail Al-Nashmi, who said the fatwa does not meet with the approval of any of the four well-known Islamic doctrines.

In a statement issued by the persons who disapprove of the fatwa, it has been said the person who issued it has leaned on a feeble Hadith that has not been accurately conveyed. The statement also mentioned that while it is acceptable for males and females to mingle during worship or when performing their pilgrimage, the issuer of the fatwa wants to apply this policy at universities as well, forgetting the Hadith that calls women the first source of seduction.

It is believed that the consequences of this mingling are severe, as it leads to looking at the private areas of a woman’s body, shaking hands and exchanging smiles, all of which are instinctive and need to be curbed. Furthermore, the statement rejected this fatwa as it is completely contrary to the teachings of a majority of Islamic scholars. The statement concluded that the issuer of the fatwa will be the one who will carry the sins of those who decide to follow this directive.

Source: arabtimes

 

‘Iran near breakthrough on N-bomb’

[ Israel and many Western countries believe Iran is racing to develop a nuclear weapons program. Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for energy production. ]

JERUSALEM (Agencies): Israel’s military intelligence chief says Iran is close to a "technological breakthrough" that would enable it to build nuclear weapons.

Maj Gen Amos Yadlin says Iran has enough nuclear material for a warhead and is close to being able to build one. He doesn’t specify the new technology or say when he expects Iran to reach such a capability.

The assessment, made in a speech Tuesday, matched similar observations Yadlin has given in closed briefings to Israeli leaders. However, he rarely speaks in public, and the comments reflected Israel’s deep concerns about Iran.

Israel and many Western countries believe Iran is racing to develop a nuclear weapons program. Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for energy production.

Iran on Tuesday dismissed as a "scenario" hatched by Western powers a report alleging that it is working on a key component of a nuclear bomb.

"Some countries are angry that our people defend their nuclear rights," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.

When Western powers "want to pressure us they craft such scenarios which is unacceptable," he said.

"This claim has political aims and it is psychological warfare which has no basis at the International Atomic Energy Agency," he added.

He was reacting to a report in the British newspaper The Times which said on Monday it had obtained notes describing a four-year plan by Iran to test a neutron initiator, the component of a nuclear bomb which triggers an explosion.

The Times reported that foreign intelligence agencies dated the documents to early 2007 — four years after US agencies had previously assessed Iran had suspended efforts to produce a weapons.

It said the documents detailed a plan to test whether the device works — without leaving traces of uranium that the outside world could detect.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely for civilian purposes and rejects Western suspicions that it is covertly trying to develop a bomb.

Iran is under three sets of UN sanctions for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment and risks a further round after rejecting a UN-brokered deal to send its low enriched uranium abroad to be further refined into fuel for a research reactor.

Its enrichment work lies at the centre of Western concerns about its intentions as the process can produce fuel for nuclear reactors but in highly extended form can also be used to make the fissile core of an atomic bomb.

Attack

Islamist militant groups will fight alongside Iran if the country is attacked by Israel, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Tuesday.

Israel has not ruled out military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to end a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme, which the United States and its allies suspect is aimed at building an atomic bomb. Iran denies such an ambition, saying it wants to generate electricity using nuclear power.

"All Islamist militant groups will form a united front with Iran against Israel if it attacks Iran," Meshaal, visiting Iran, told a news conference broadcast live on state television.

"We are all parts of the same body ... We all should fight against the mutual enemy. But how, the leaders will decide, based on our capacities."

Israeli officials have warned they could try to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities in the same way that Israel bombed Iraq’s Osiraq nuclear reactor in 1981.

Iran has said it will retaliate if attacked, and security analysts believe it would mobilise militant allies such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah in its response.

Meshaal said Israel was a danger for the Middle East region. "God willing, a regional resistance has the capacity to confront this danger," Meshaal said.

Israeli and US officials have accused Iran of providing weapons, cash and training to Hamas and another Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad. Iran insists it only gives them moral and political support.

Missile

Meanwhile, the United States will test its core missile defenses for the first time in January against a simulated long-range Iranian attack, a top Pentagon official said on Monday, amid tensions with Tehran.

Source: arabtimes, kuwait

 

Egypt presents Arabic domain names

[ With the introduction of "internationalised" domain names, scripts such as Chinese, Korean or Arabic will eventually be usable in the last part of an address name — the part after the dot, as in .com and .org. At present, all domain names end in letters from the Latin alphabet.]

Cairo: Following approval of new multilingual address system by the global regulatory body, Egypt has become the first Muslim country to introduce domain name ending with Misr (the Arabic name of Egypt) after the final dot.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced an end to the exclusive use of Latin characters for website addresses. With the introduction of "internationalised" domain names, scripts such as Chinese, Korean or Arabic will eventually be usable in the last part of an address name — the part after the dot, as in .com and .org. At present, all domain names end in letters from the Latin alphabet.

 

Muslim countries seek blasphemy ban

[ The countries that form the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference are now lobbying a little-known Geneva-based U.N. committee to agree that a treaty protecting religions is necessary.

The move would be a first step toward drafting an international protocol that would eventually be put before the General Assembly — a process that could take a decade or more.]

Geneva: Four years after blasphemous cartoons on the Holy Prophet set off violent protests across the Muslim world, Islamic nations are mounting a campaign for an international treaty to protect religious symbols and beliefs from mockery — essentially a ban on blasphemy that would put them on a collision course with free speech laws in the West.

Documents obtained by AP show that Algeria and Pakistan have taken the lead in lobbying to eventually bring the proposal to a vote in the U.N. General Assembly.

If ratified in countries that enshrine freedom of expression as a fundamental right, such a treaty would require them to limit free speech if it risks seriously offending religious believers. The process, though, will take years and no showdown is imminent.

The proposal faces stiff resistance from Western countries, including the United States, which in the past has brushed aside other U.N. treaties, such as one on the protection of migrant workers.

Experts say the bid stands some chance of eventual success if Muslim countries persist. And whatever the outcome, the campaign risks reigniting tensions between Muslims and the West that President Barack Obama has pledged to heal, reviving fears of a "clash of civilizations."

Four years ago, Danish newspaper Jylland Posten published cartoons lampooning the Prophet, prompting angry mobs to attack Western embassies in Muslim countries, including Lebanon, Iran and Indonesia. In a countermovement, several European newspapers reprinted the images.

The countries that form the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference are now lobbying a little-known Geneva-based U.N. committee to agree that a treaty protecting religions is necessary.

The move would be a first step toward drafting an international protocol that would eventually be put before the General Assembly — a process that could take a decade or more.

The proposal may have some support in the General Assembly. For several years the Islamic Conference has successfully passed a non-binding resolution at the General Assembly condemning "defamation of religions."

If the treaty was approved, any of the U.N.'s 192 member states that ratified it would be bound by its provisions. Other countries could face criticism for refusing to join.

Just last month, the Obama administration came out strongly against efforts by Islamic nations to bar the defamation of religions, saying the moves would restrict free speech.

"Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called anti-defamation policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. "I strongly disagree."

But there are signs the U.S. is worried by the Islamic Conference campaign. Behind the scenes it has been lobbying hard to quash the proposal, dispatching a senior U.S. diplomat to Geneva last month for talks described as akin to trench warfare.

"The U.S. presence can be significant in determining the whole destiny of the process," said Lukas Machon, who represents the International Commission of Jurists at the U.N.

From a legal point of view, "the whole exercise is dangerous from A-Z because it's a departure from the practice and concept of human rights," Machon said. "It adds only restrictions."

In a letter obtained by the AP, Pakistan said insults against religion were on the increase.

The Islamic Conference "believes that the attack on beliefs held sacred and the defamation of religions, religious symbols, personalities and dogmas impinge on the enjoyment of human rights of followers of those religions," the letter said. It was sent last month to members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Complementary Standards, a temporary committee created to consider a previous anti-racism treaty.

It's not clear who would decide what is considered grossly abusive, but each country's criminal courts would likely have initial jurisdiction over that decision, according to Marghoob Saleem Butt, a Pakistani diplomat in Geneva who confirmed the campaign's existence and has lobbied for the ban. "There has to be a balance between freedom of expression and respect for others," Butt said in a telephone interview.

"Taking the symbol of a whole religion and portraying him as a terrorist," said Butt, referring to the Muhammad cartoons, "that is where we draw the line."

In Egypt, blasphemy laws have been used to suppress dissidents, said Moataz el-Fegiery, executive director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. Abdel Kareem Nabil, a blogger, was sentenced in February 2007 to four years in prison for insulting Islam and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

He said reformists who reinterpret traditional Islamic texts have also become the target of blasphemy accusations.

More broadly, introducing laws to protect religions from criticism would weaken the whole notion of human rights, said Sweden's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Hans Dahlgren.

"Religions as such do not have rights — it's people who have rights," he said, adding that the European Union, whose presidency Sweden currently holds, would oppose attempts to limit freedom of speech.

The treaty goes against the grain of recent efforts by Western and Muslim countries to find common ground on human rights.

Failure to agree on a treaty would boost extremists in the Arab world, said Jazairy, a former envoy to Washington now considered a key player in the U.N.'s human rights forum.

"If we keep hitting this glass wall and say there's nothing you can do about Islamophobia — you can do something about anti-Semitism but Islamophobia is out of bounds — you give an ideal platform for recruitment of suicide bombers," he said.

How could ban on blasphemy restrict the freedom of expression when banning anti-semitism in the US and denial of Holocaust in Germany and Austria does not restrict the freedom of speech?

source: islamicvoice

 

Islamic Bank to open in Germany

[ Worldwide, assets worth well over $700 billion are now being managed in accordance with Islamic principles. In Germany, on the other hand, virtually no banks have so far even addressed this market. ]

Bonn: Early next year, the first Islamic bank in Germany offering products that are in compliance with Sharia law will open its doors. The bank, Kuveyt Türk Beteiligungsbank, will open a branch in the downtown area of Mannheim, a city in western Germany, and its branches in other cities.

The regulators with Germany's Federal Financial Services Authority, known as BaFin, recently issued a limited license to the subsidiary of a Turkish-Kuwaiti bank. It is only permitted to collect funds that are transferred to accounts in Turkey that conform to Islamic rules.

In other countries, the banking industry initially catered to Muslims on an equally small scale. But less than 10 years after first entering the market, all major banks in Great Britain now have Islamic divisions, and there are also five Islamic banks in the country.

Worldwide, assets worth well over $700 billion are now being managed in accordance with Islamic principles. In Germany, on the other hand, virtually no banks have so far even addressed this market.

The underlying concept of the Islamic banking business is the prohibition of interest. Like Jesus in the New Testament, Prophet Muhammad took action against the usurers of his time, who exploited their contemporaries by charging them exorbitant interest, sometimes well over 100 percent. Since the 1970s, Islamic banks have sought to satisfy this requirement by offering their customers financial services on the basis of interest-free transactions. Instead of interest, customers are promised a share in the profits of the bank. However, commercial activities can also be financed in which the Islamic saver collects a surcharge at a level similar to conventional interest.

Instead of taking out a loan to build a new factory, for example, a company would offer its investors a share of its profits. The important aspect of all of these transactions is that they are in fact based on a real exchange of goods or services. "The connection to reality must be clear," says Michael Saleh Gassner, a financial expert with the Central Council of Muslims in Germany.

Since the financial crisis, the principles of Islamic investors have also attracted the interest of conservative Christian investors. After all, the underlying concept seems so pleasantly removed from the speculative greed of Western financial executives.

Besides, the stock indexes that contain companies selected according to Islamic principles have sometimes outperformed comparable indexes without the religious association. Sharia-compliant banking transactions are "in a position to assume a global leadership role," says Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of the world's most populous Islamic country, Indonesia.

Islam-compliant real estate financing arrangements are considered particularly promising. In these situations, banks and customers purchase real estate together, with the customer contributing a share corresponding to his equity. The bank pays rent for the rest, gradually acquiring the remaining shares. As a result, no interest accrues, but the property acquisition tax is charged twice.

The same problem used to exist in the UK. Then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was finance minister at the time, insightfully abolished the double tax burden. The Central Council for Muslims is now calling for similar measures to be taken in Germany.

(Source: Spiegel Online)

 

''Jazaakallaahu khairan'' ( NEWS Digest) Posted by : Umar Farook, kuwait