January 13 2010A Muslim rights group has gone to court seeking to compel the government to produce controversial Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal.The chairman of the Muslim Human Rights Forum Mr Al Amin Kimanthi filed a suit at the High Court Wednesday to force the government to produce the cleric, who is on an international terror watch list for preaching hate messages.Also sought by the activist in suit papers is an order stopping the government from deporting the cleric before the application is heard and determined.Mr Kimanthi says the cleric entered the country lawfully and has not breached any laws to warrant either his detention nor deportation.Mr Kimanthi sued Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang, the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General.The cleric was first arrested by police at Nyali mosque in coastal town of Mombasa on December 31 and never allowed access to friends, says Mr Kimanthi.The decision to hold the cleric in custody for long, he says, contradicts rights provided for under the constitution and an international human rights convention.Mr Faisal arrived in Kenya on December 24 after travelling through Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland, Malawi and Tanzania. Mr al-Faisal, who had been deported to The Gambia last week on his way to Jamaica, was returned to Kenya on Sunday and has been held at the Industrial Area remand prison since.According to court papers, he is also declared a prohibited immigrant without having been accorded the opportunity to be heard.Mr Faisal says he was never presented before the immigrations department to answer any questions or even show cause why his immigration status as granted to him at the Lunga Lunga border point should not be revoked.Mr Kimanthi argues that the continued detention without preferring any charges amount to psychological torture of the cleric.He also accused the government of holding the man in question without any orders for his detention given by any court of law.It is alleged that Mr Faisal who was being held at Industrial area remand has been removed and taken to an unknown place.And unless the court intervenes, Mr Kimanthi believes, the cleric is bound to remain in indefinite incommunicado detention without any trial.
Monday, 04 January 2010The All island association of Jameitul Ulemas have commended the attempt made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to create brotherhood in the country. The representatives of the association held a special meeting with the President recently.They commended all measures taken by the President in connection with the Muslims living in the north and east. The President has been able to maintain goodwill with Islamic countries, they claimed.They stressed that their fullest support will be extended to the programme of the President. Expressing his views, the President said that he was focusing on improving the education of Muslims.The President pointed out that the aim of the government is to protect the local business community.
The Islamic Council of Zambia has encouraged the Muslim community and other religious leaders to work with the government of the day in promoting peace and unity in the country.ZANIS Ndola reports that the Islamic Council of Zambia Deputy Mufti (Chief Priest) Sheikh Isaa Bonomali said this during a one-day Leaders’ workshop aimed at seeking a new beginning among Muslims in Zambia.The workshop was aimed at based upon mutual interest and respect for all religions.Sheikh Bonomali said the core interest of all religious leaders and politicians was to ensure that the people they lead had unity and peace.The deputy chief priest further observed that there was need for religions in the country to work together and not compete since they share common principles of justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of human beings.He explained that there was a misconception by people that Islam was a violent religion just because of few individuals that were engaging into violent activities.He explained that Islam was not a violent religion but a peaceful one and that it was not competing with any other religion.Sheikh Bonomali further said Islam had a proud tradition of tolerance, which was evidenced by Muslims’ participation in interfaith meetings in the country.He said Muslim community has been participating in candlelight memorial services, which are held in churches on the eve of December 1 every year to commemorate the World AIDS day.Sheikh Bonomali further praised government for creating providing freedom of worship among different religions in the country.He further called upon the Muslim community to be good citizens and abide by the laws of the present government.He said the Islamic Council would not protect any Muslims who will break the law of the land but would instead urge government to take stern action against those found wanting.
A group of 20 Chinese Uighurs who had fled to Cambodia after ethnic riots in the city of Xinjiang in July will be expelled, an Cambodian official says.He said they had to be expelled because they had entered Cambodia illegally.The decision follows intense pressure by China, which has referred to the group as criminals.A US-based Uighur rights body said that as members of a Muslim minority, the group were likely to face persecution in China.Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said: "I can't say where they will be sent but I assume their final destination will be China, the place where they come from."Death sentencesA protest by Uighurs in Urumqi erupted into violence in July, leaving at least 197 people dead.Shops were smashed and vehicles set alight and passers-by set upon by Uighur rioters in the city, whose population is mostly from China's dominant Han group.Groups of Han later went looking for revenge as police struggled to restore order.Most of those killed in the unrest were Han, according to officials, and Urumqi's Han population had demanded swift justice.Twelve people were sentenced to death after the riots.Tensions between the mainly-Muslim Uighurs of Xinjiang and Han have been growing in recent years. Millions of Han have moved to the region in recent decades.Many Uighurs want more autonomy and rights for their culture and religion than is allowed by Beijing's strict rule.
New Delhi: About 700 Muslim girls in Munger yesterday were given cheques worth Rs 2500 each and certificates after they successfully completed one-year vocational training program through Bihar government’s Hunar (skill) scheme launched last year in collaboration with Rahmani Foundation.At a simple program yesterday in Munger the successful students of the district were jointly handed over the cheques and certificates by Munger District Magistrate Arvind Kumar Singh and Rahmani Foundation Chairman Maulana Muhammad Wali Rahmani.The Rahmani Foundation implemented the Hunar scheme in 10 districts of the state. In total 3748 Muslim girls from these districts got enrolled in the program but only 2684 could successfully complete it. Of successful candidates 700 are from Munger. Similar checque and distribution programs will be held in other districts.Addressing the gathering Munger DM Arvind Kumar Singh admitted that such schemes are not new but the high rate of success of this scheme is because of the involvement of Rahmani Foundation. He appreciated the activities of the Foundation.In his speech, Maulana Rahmani urged the girls to buy machines with the amount and execute their training. He also said that the district will soon see a centre where girls will get training in embroidery and designing.The Hunar was launched by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on July 2, 2008 for providing vocational training to Muslim girls in the state.In the first phase about 12,000 Muslim girl students were aimed to get vocational training, while the second phase over 50,000 students would benefit from it.
By Mumtaz Alam FalahiNew Delhi, (TwoCircles): In a move that may dilute the whole campaign for reservation for entire Muslims as the most backward minority community entity, the All India Shia Personal Law Board Sunday demanded separate reservation for Shias in assemblies and Parliament claiming that they constitute 5 crore of the Muslim population in India, and yet have been unrepresented in legislative bodies. “The major problem our community is facing is political wilderness. We are ignored everywhere, be it membership of Parliament and state assemblies, appointments on key Govt. positions, nomination to different Boards and Corporations or selection in armed forces and the police. It is very surprising that a community which numbers around five crore in the country is being ignored in such a way as it has no existence in this country,” said Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar, president, All India Shia Personal Law Board, in his presidential speech at the Annual Session of the Board at Aiwan-e-Ghalib in New Delhi today. The Board has demanded Shia representation in Parliament and state assemblies by reserving some seats for Shias. “This Annual Session of the All India Shia Personal Law Board demands the Government that to ensure Shia representation in Parliament and state assemblies, reserve some seats for Shias with the same spirit as was shown in the case of Dalits and women,” the Board resolved at the end of the session. The Board has also demanded representation of Shias in the Union Cabinet. Demanding separate management of Shia wakf properties, All India Shia Personal Law Board urged the central government to constitute a statutory Wakf Protection Commission on the pattern of Minority Commission or Human Rights Commission, having judicial powers to keep a watch on Shia wakf properties. The Board also demanded constitution of Shia wakf boards in all states like those in Bihar and UP. Like Haj subsidy, the Board demanded subsidy for Shia pilgrims going to Shia holy places in countries like Iran and Iraq. The Shias in India were availing the subsidy till 1970. “The subsidy which was given to the pilgrims to Iran and Iraq till 1970 should immediately be restored,” demanded the Board. Also, they demanded the Indian government to ensure that Shia Hajis who go to Saudi Arabia through Central Haj Committee perform Haj according to Shia Fiqh. Besides these issues, in his 30-minute speech Board president Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar put across Board’s views on different national and international issues. On proposed Central Madrasa Board, Maulana Athar said: “We are opposed to government madrasa board and do not want any interference in the running of madrasas.” But he called upon the community to do madrasa reform on their own. “We want that people who are running madrasas sit together and formulate their own syllabus and do necessary reforms in their systems which are the need of the hour,” said the Maulana. Talking on Kashmir issue, he condemned Organization of Islamic Countries for appointing their envoy in Kashmir saying that “external suggestions can only aggravate our problems and not solve them.” “We should be aware of the conspiracies which are being hatched by some hostile countries to defame India by presenting a pathetic picture of Indian Muslims as an excuse to interfere in our internal matters. We should be worry of organisations like OIC. We have to unite our ranks and solve our problems internally.” At the end of his speech Maulana Athar read out the three-point national policy of the Board: Love the human beings, love your religion and love your country – protect humanity, protect your faith and protect your motherland. While condemning terrorism he appealed to “all heads of Muslim countries and responsible ulema of all sects of Islam to raise their voices against extremism, religious coursing and killing of innocent people so that the demon of terrorism could be contained.” The All India Shia Personal Law Board was formed in January 2005 on the ground that Shias were poorly represented in the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. The Board has since been holding annual convention in different cities. However, four years after its formation the big question the Board is facing today is: how much representative it is of the Shia community in India. Can it be said the chief representative body of Shias in India? “Not at all,” said Hasan Ali Rajani, a founder member of the Board, adding the Board leadership could not bring stalwarts of Shia community to the Board. Rajani belongs to Khoja, a section of Shias in India, and hails from Ahmedabad. “Look at this program. While they are holding convention in Delhi, they could not gather even 500 people. This exposes how much grip they have on the community,” he said talking to TwoCircles.net on the sidelines. Rajani was earlier one of the listed speakers of the Board but no more. He also alleged that the Board leadership is now more focused on promoting their self interests rather than that of the community. Rajani also blasted out the Board’s claim that there are 5 crore Shias in India. “They could be around 60-70 lakh,” he suggests. Are the claim of 5 crore strength and demand for reservation inter-related? “Yes,” he says, “and this is just to advance their own interest.” Some from the audience noted with pain that the Shia Personal Law Board was little talking about personal laws of the Shia community and how endangered or safe they are. “It is surprising that that the All India Shia Personal Law Board is all focused on politics, and is little talking about personal laws,” pointed out Yogindar Sikand, eminent writer and columnist. Another missing point was absence of women in the convention. There was no Shia woman on the stage (among leaders) or in the audience. The Board was formed with the basic demand of representation but it did little care about representation of women its meetings and programs.
New Delhi: Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari yesterday released Urdu translation of a pioneering work in Fiqh, Fiqh Encyclopedia, in a solemn ceremony organized at India Islamic Cultural Centre under auspices of Islamic Fiqh Academy (India) (IFA).Addressing the audience, V-P Hamid Ansari, “India’s relations with Kuwait are very old and friendly. A new link got added in it today because Urdu translation of the seminal work on Fiqh originating in Kuwait is delivered today to Indians. This is a great achievement that will benefit Madrasa and university students.”Mr. Hamid Ansari further said, “Fiqh has great relevance in a Muslim’s life. ‘Alim and Faqeeh jointly accomplish the task of solving the problems of life.” He added, “In as much as it is a religious requirement to be a good Muslim, being a good citizen of country where one lives is also necessary because we cannot remain aloof of the society.”“Today’s world has seen many changes and Muslims are now present in all parts of the world”, Mr. Hamid continued, “Now the big question is how to retrieve from Fiqh some answer to newer queries raised by this age of technology. This assigns greater responsibilities on today’s Faqeeh.” The vice president hoped that the encyclopedia will help further improve our relations with Kuwait.Earlier, IFA general secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani introduced the work to the audience. He told that three volumes of the translation have been published while 12 volumes are in press. A DVD of all 15 volumes was also released in today’s ceremony.The idea to compile a Fiqh Encyclopedia comprising the opinions of all four Sunni schools of Fiqh on each issue germinated in Egypt and Syria. Egyptian and Syrian governments even initiated the work but could mature the task. Finally, the ministry of Awkaf of Kuwait started the project in 1968 under supervision of eminent Syrian scholar Dr. Mustafa Zarqa.The work spread over 17,000 pages in 45 volumes was completed a few years ago. IFA started Urdu translation in 1998 under patronage of late Maulana Mujahidul Islam Qasimi and was completed in one and a half years’ time under supervision of IFA’s Dr. Fahim Akhtar Nadvi and Maulana Safdar Zubair Nadvi.Commenting on the encyclopedia, president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Jalaluddin Umri said, “Various opinions have been arranged in it at one place. This will facilitate the common man as well as students and scholars in reaching at appropriate conclusion. ” All topics are arranged alphabetically in this encyclopedia.
By John OyukeFCB Capital— a subsidiary of Family Community Bank— has been licensed as an investment bank.Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has allowed the bank to undertake Sharia compliant investment banking activities in the country and region. FCB Capital Chief Executive Mr Nathif Adam said the Bank is fully capitalised in line with CMA requirements and plans to make a thrust into untapped investment opportunities. "This is yet another quick "first" for us and a confirmation of our commitment to deliver value to the community and our country," he noted.He said through FCB Capital, the group aims to deliver a full choice of alternative investment opportunities, enabling Sharia-compliant investors to construct balanced portfolios.Adam said the bank’s products and services would cover a wide range of Sharia-compliant investment activities, including Islamic Bonds (Sukuk) and Sharia compliant stocks.It also plans to cover property Investment Funds including Real Estate Investment Trusts and mutual funds. Others are Public-Private Partnership projects through the issuance of Sukuk (bonds) such as Municipality Sukuk, among others.These, Adam added, would be in addition to offering structured Product Funds, such as trade finance portfolios, venture Capital and Private Equity, pension Products, Corporate Advisory and Sharia Advisory.Adam believes that there is a clear market need for a bank such as FCB Capital. Trade Finance"We several inquiries from Kenyan and regional investors seeking our expertise" he noted.He explained that through its business approach which works on an equity syndication model, the bank is confident it would play a pivotal role of directing profit-seeking capital to important niche investment opportunities. Adam said the bank also expects through its links with the Islamic finance fraternity globally, to be a new fund raising channel in the form of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).Adam said the FDIs would be reasonably priced and include long-term financing suitable for infrastructure projects.
New Delhi, (United News of India): The UPA Government should make mandatory reservation for Muslims and implement concrete efforts to bring the community into the mainstream, a voluntary Muslim Organisation demanded today. Rashtriya Momin Conference president Mohammad Humayun Ansari also urged that the Centre should adopt the Sachar and Ranganath Mishra Commission recommendations, amending Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution to list Muslims in the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. ''Indian Muslims are poorer, working in small businesses and at a lower level of literacy. The Government should make efforts to bring them more into the mainstream,'' Mr Ansari said, protesting to press their demands at Jantar Mantar here. He also demanded that the Muslim community be able to avail the minority small business loan at easy terms so that ''the community can start giving more employment to the youth and make them less likely to get into trouble.'' ''Such concrete steps will reduce religious tensions in the country,'' he maintained. Mr Ansari said the Conference would also submit their charter of demands to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the evening.
A leading Muslim spokesman has criticised new New South Wales laws that enshrine the rights of staff to refuse to work on Christian-orientated public holidays. The state government is banning most shops from opening on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Easter Sunday and Good Friday unless their owners can prove compelling demand from the local community. Shops will also only be able to open for half a day on ANZAC day. The new law prevents shop owners forcing staff to work on those days. Sydney-based Muslim community spokesman Keysar Trad said workers of all faiths were entitled to a break and called for the two main Muslim public holidays to be recognised as well. "It does give the impression that we are a solely Christian nation and it raises the issue of other religions too, whether you are Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim," he told AAP on Saturday. "I know Muslim workers face problems asking for their public holidays off work at the moment. "There are only two Muslim public holidays, so it is not a lot to ask." He cited the example of Lebanon where Christian and Muslim public holidays are widely celebrated by members of both faiths. "Productivity in Lebanon has not been hurt by the way they do things. Celebrating other faith's public holidays, actually, is excellent for community relations." Shops in Sydney CBD, Newcastle CBD and in Cabramatta are exempt from the new law, as are small businesses. NSW Minister for Industrial Relations John Hatzistergos introduced the legislation to Parliament on Friday in a bid to allow shop workers to spend the major Christian public holidays with their families. A spokesman for Mr Hatzistergos admitted the days involved were Christian-orientated, but said the new law, which is supported by opposition ministers, was not about religion. "It's about allowing workers to spend time with their families," he told AAP. "It's not about enshrining something for religious reasons, it's about protecting workers rights." The law has been applauded by unions, some major retailers and veteran groups. AAP
France, (AP): Local officials say eight graves of Muslim soldiers who died for France in World War II have been desecrated in a village cemetery. Maurice Duhamel, mayor of Montjoie-Saint-Martin, says he is filing suit after Nazi symbols were discovered Wednesday on the eight graves of Muslim soldiers in France's 2nd Armored Division. President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday denounced the "particularly odious racist acts" and asked that those responsible be found and severely punished. Last week, the French Council for the Muslim Faith complained that those responsible for the desecration in December of some 500 Muslim soldiers' graves in Arras, in the north, have yet to be identified. It was the third time Muslim graves there had been desecrated.