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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

COLOGNE, Germany (AFP) — German police said tens of thousands of Cologne residents took to the streets Saturday in protest at an “anti-Islamisation” conference of European far-right leaders.

Carrying banners saying: “We are Cologne — Get rid of the Nazis!,” protesters gathered outside the city’s cathedral to demonstrate against the congress organised by the local far-right group Pro-Koeln (For Cologne).

Pro-Koeln began two days of seminars Friday during which speakers denounced an influx of Muslims to Germany and the construction of one of Europe’s largest mosques in the city.

Earlier Saturday, police banned a rally organised by far-right adherents in Cologne just as it was about to begin, following clashes with thousands of opponents.

Some 3,000 police, drafted in to control the protests and seal off part of the old city, used truncheons and water hoses to fend off violent “anti-fascist” leftist activists.

“It is a dictatorship!” said a Pro-Koeln member of the decision to ban the far-right rally.

Andreas Molzer, a member of the European Parliament and an Austrian far-right group who attended the congress, called the ban an “anti-democratic scandal.”

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Seattle Times religion reporter

The ads are simple and stark.

Running on the sides of several Metro buses, they merely say: “Q: Islam. A: You deserve to know,” with a phone number and Web site.

For Bilal Aijazi, a Bellevue software developer, the ads are meant to stir conversation and steer people toward information on Islam.

As a Muslim, Aijazi sometimes fields questions about his faith. Especially during Ramadan, which began about two weeks ago, people ask Aijazi why Muslims fast during this Islamic holy month.

Then there are the questions he gets other times of the year: Why some women wear head scarves; whether Muslims condone terrorism.

“We feel often Muslims don’t have a voice,” said Aijazi, one of about six people who helped coordinate the local effort to get the ads onto the outside of six Metro buses and the inside of about 25. About 10 local Muslims contributed to the nearly $5,000 campaign.

“This is just a way to present the community with a source of information about Islam that comes from Muslims themselves,” he said.

The ads, scheduled to run until November, were designed by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and direct people to a toll-free number and Web site sponsored by the group. ICNA is a New York-based nonprofit that seeks to educate people about Islam and has 22 U.S. chapters in the U.S.

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By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent
Last Updated: 10:55AM BST 16 Sep 2008

Five sharia courts have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester and Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The government has quietly sanctioned that their rulings are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court. Previously, the rulings were not binding and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

Lawyers have issued grave warnings about the dangers of a dual legal system and the disclosure drew criticism from Opposition leaders.

Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: “If it is true that these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute and must remain so.”

Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, added: “I think it’s appalling. I don’t think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state.”

Muslim tribunal courts started passing sharia judgments in August 2007. They have dealt with more than 100 cases that range from Muslim divorce and inheritance to nuisance neighbours.

It has also emerged that tribunal courts have settled six cases of domestic violence between married couples, working in tandem with the police investigations.

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DUSHANBE, September 8

The Times of Central Asia

Addressing a meeting dedicated to the 17th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Independence, President Emomali Rahmon announced that the year of 2009 will be Year of Imama Azam in Tajikistan.

The president noted that separation of Islam from Tajik national culture and separation of Tajik national culture from Islam is erroneous.

The Tajik head of state noted that 1,310 birthday anniversary of Al-Imam al-A’zam, “The Greatest Imam” Nu’man bin Thabit bin Zuta bin Mahan, better known by his kunya as Abu Ḥanīfah, who was the founder of the Sunni Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence.

Al-Imam al-A’zam, “The Greatest Imam” Nu’man bin Thabit bin Zuta bin Mahan, better known by his kunya as Abu Ḥanīfah, (699 — 767 CE / 80 — 148 AH) was the founder of the Sunni Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence.

Abu Hanifa was also one of the Tabi’een, the generation after the Sahaba, because he saw the Sahabi Anas ibn Malik, and transmitted hadiths from him and other Sahaba.

Abu Hanifa (699 — 767 CE / 80 — 148 AH) was born in Kufa, Iraq during the reign of the powerful Umayyad capilph Abdul Malik bin Marwan.  Acclaimed as Al-Imam al-A’zam, or Al-A’dham (the Great Imam), Nu’man bin Thabit bin Zuta bin Mah was better known by his kunya Abu Hanifa. It was not a true kunya, as he did not have a son called Hanifa, but an epithetical one meaning pure in monotheistic belief. His father, Thabit bin Zuta, a trader from Kabul, part of Khorasan in Persia, (the capital of modern day Afghanistan),was 40 years old at the time of Abu Hanifa’s birth.

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The Associated Press, The New York Times

Published: August 19, 2008

The city council of Cologne has voted to allow construction of what will be one of the largest mosques in Germany, a plan that has drawn protests from residents and Cologne’s Roman Catholic archbishop.The vote late Thursday by most of the city’s political parties cleared the way for the Ditib Turkish-Islamic umbrella group to build a new house of worship – complete with two 55-meter-tall, or 177-feet-tall, minarets – in the city’s Ehrenfeld district.

Sardi Arslan, the leader of Ditib, said Friday that construction of the mosque would begin immediately, and he expressed hope that it would facilitate communication between Muslims and non-Muslims. “We are building for all citizens of Cologne, not just for the Muslims,” Arslan said in a statement.

For the past 20 years, Ditib has used a converted warehouse as a house of worship. That will be torn down to make way for the new building, which the group hopes to finish by 2010.

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As Muslims we are always presented with the opportunity to give Dawah but few of us take up this great challenge. Why is this the case? Are we too afraid to propagate the truth, do we lack the correct knowledge or are we just in need of Dawah our selves? Insha Allah, no more can we accept excuses for not being at the forefront of Islamic propagation. Why? Shaykh Khalid Yasin, the worlds most eminent Daee in giving Dawah directly to the non-Muslim population and having been Blessed by Allah The All Giver, the gift of bringing many thousands of people to Islam, has now let us into his mind, his techniques and his motivation behind his success. This 4 seminar series is without doubt, not only the best, but also the only Dawah course available to Muslims living in non-Muslims environments. Clear your mind and open your heart to accept what Shaykh Khalid teachers and implement it to further your own Dawah objectives and increase your Imaan Insha Allah.

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Edited by M. Kabir Hassan, University of New Orleans, US and Mervyn K. Lewis, Professor of Banking and Finance, University of South Australia and Fellow, Academy of Social Sciences, Australia

“The Handbook of Islamic Banking” comprises 25 studies by leading international experts on Islamic banking and finance specially commissioned to analyze the various debates and the current state of play in the field.

From its origins thirty years ago, Islamic banking has expanded rapidly to become a distinctive and fast growing segment of the international banking and capital markets. Despite this expansion, Islamic banking still remains poorly understood in many parts of the Muslim world and continues to be a mystery in much of the West. This comprehensive Handbook provides a succinct analysis of the workings of Islamic banking and finance, accessible to a wide range of readers. At the same time, it seeks to bring the current research agenda and the main issues on Islamic banking before a wider audience. Islamic banking offers, as an alternative to conventional interest-based financing methods, a wide variety of financial instruments and investment vehicles based on profit-and-loss sharing arrangements.

These are all explored in detail along with other subjects such as governance and risk management, securities and investment, structured financing, accounting and regulation, economic development and globalization. M. Kabir Hassan, Mervyn Lewis and the other contributors have created an authoritative and original reference work, which will contribute to a wider understanding of Islamic banking as well as provoking further discussion and research. It will be invaluable to all scholars, researchers and policymakers with an interest in this subject.

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