Flashes from the Muslim World

PHILIPPINES

Calls for Law to End Muslim Revolt

Philippine President,Benigno Aquino, urged legislators to pass a draft law aimed at ending a decade-long Muslim revolt,citing the growing threat of global terrorism as one reason to do so. Aquino, who has been struggling to get the law passed before his term ends next year, told lawmakers it would break the cycle of violence and poverty that has stalled peace and progress, in the southern island of Mindanao. The law would create a Muslim autonomous area and grant a measure of self-rule to the minority in the South of the largely Christian nation.

BANGLADESH

Full Support behind Islamic Coalition

Bangladesh Ambassador, Golam Moshi, announced that his country has joined the 34-member Islamic Military Coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The envoy was speaking at the commemorative meeting of the 44th anniversary of the Victory Day of Bangladesh held at the Chancery premises in Riyadh. Gholam Moshi said that terror in all its forms should be eradicated for people to enjoy an independent life. We will cooperate with the coalition to combat the menace to society which has killed innocent people and caused severe damage to persons and properties.

BAHRAIN

Importance of Islamic Finance

The financial sector has entered a new phase following the global financial crisis. After the global financial crisis of 2008, the Islamic sector,including Islamic finance, has entered a different phase,Rasheed M. al-Maraj, governor of Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) said in his keynote address at the World Islamic Banking Conference which concluded recently in Manama, Bahrain. This year marks the 22nd World Islamic Banking Conference 2015 in Bahrain,a track-record which is, perhaps, unmatched in the 40-year young Islamic finance industry, al-Maraj said.  The International Monetary Fund’s decision to include Islamic finance within it surveillance program is a welcome development and yet another endorsement of the importance of Islamic finance worldwide, al Maraj said.

SAUDI ARABIA

Slams Racism against Muslim Refugees

The Kingdom has drawn the world’s attention again to the racist and inhuman rhetoric against Muslim refugees. It also called on all countries and humanitarian agencies, civil society organizations and the media to abandon any racist speeches and contribute to raising awareness and responsibility in order to boost protection for refugees who are fleeing brutal regimes and terrorists groups. The Syrian crisis is the biggest humanitarian tragedy of the 20th century, said Saad bin Abdullah al-Saad, deputy permanent representative of the Saudi delegation at the United Nations. The diplomat said that Saudi Arabia has received 2.5 million refugees since the beginning of the Syrian crisis. The Kingdom gave them complete freedom of movement and awarded those who wanted to stay in the Kingdom legal residence like the rest of expatriates. The number of Syrian students receiving free education totaled more than 100,000, he said.

Declare War on Deviant Thoughts

Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, has called on preachers in the Kingdom to fight deviant thoughts and values that are not Islamic. “This is in keeping with the significant role you play in contemporary Saudi society in view of various attempts to destabilize security and Islamic teachings and values,”al–Sheikh said. However, he also said, “While you go about your task in disseminating Islamic thoughts you are, at the same time, expected to exercise tolerance to achieve the desired goals.” He urged preachers to be focused and exercise patience in the pursuit of what is right and proper, and to keep their links and associations with scholars.

Expats Remit SR131bn in TenMonths

Foreign workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia transferred SR130.74 billion in remittances abroad during the ten- month period from January 2015 to October 2015, as compared to SR126.47 billion during the same period last year. During October alone, SR11.95 billion was transferred to accounts abroad, an increase from SR10.8 billion transferred during October 2014, but a decrease from SR12.02 billion transferred during September 2015.

Protecting Nation is Islamic Duty of Citizens

It is the Islamic duty of all citizens to protect the security of their nation, according to Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh. He said that scholars and preachers are required by Islamic law to address problems facing society, follow the directives of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and ignore the messages of other groups and individuals. Al Sheikh said that some of the great contributions preachers can make are to guide people onto the straight path and warn them about those trying to undermine the country’s security.

Al Ahsa Enters UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Al Ahsa in the Eastern province has become the first Gulf city to make it to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network list. It is now among 47 cities from 33 countries that are part of the network in seven creative fields – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music. Al Ahsa is known for handicrafts such as palm production, wood industry, leather works, sewing and iron works. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was launched in 2004 and comprise 116 member cities.

Mataf Bridge to be Removed After Three Months

The process of dismantling the Matafbridge encircling the Ka’aba will begin after three months and will be completed by Ramadan to make room for 105,000 pilgrims to perform Tawaf in one hour. Before the expansion, only 48,000 pilgrims could perform Tawaf in one hour. The final stages of the project are now underway. Around 15,000 laborers are working to expand the Mataf area to prepare it for around six million Umrah visitors expected this year. This project is the biggest in the history of the Grand Mosque expansion.

Teacher Breathes his Last while Giving Qur’an Lessons

Millions of citizens have joined Education Minister Azzamal-Dakheel in offering condolences and prayers for the Holy Qur’an teacher who took his last breath while teaching students in the classroom. “Teaching is not merely a job;rather, teachers carry and spread great message with utmost honesty and trust… rest in peace, our colleague,” the Minister tweeted. Fahad al-Hajji passed away at Hisham bin Hakeem Elementary School in Riyadh.

Saudi Student’s Discovery Wins Laurel

Saudi scholarship student,BasmaKhalifa, discovered a method that helps in the recovery of ascaris eggs from the sludge samples used as natural fertilizers in agriculture, the Saudi Cultural Mission (SACM) in Australia has announced. Her study has shown a new approach and showed the highest recovery rate, providing an easy, accurate and effective method to detect ascaris in sludge. The study aims to reduce the time required to stockpile bio-solids which will reduce storage costs and increase the nutrient value to agriculture. Basma, who is currently pursuing her PhD in biology and biotechnology at RMIT University in Australia, said that her research had been mentioned in an International Water Association (IWA) journal earlier this year.

TURKEY

Zuckerberg’s Defense of Muslims Floors Erdogan

Turkish President,RecepTayyip Erdogan, praised Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, for emphasizing the difference between Islam and terror, after the billionaire posted a message defending Muslims against discrimination. Erdogan, who once threatened to ban Facebook in his country,used his official page on the website to respond to Zuckerberg both in Turkish and in English. “I highly value Mark Zuckerberg’s message for pointing out the profound difference between Islam and terrorism since these two concepts are often mentioned in the same breath these days,” he wrote.

IRAN

Impounds Thousands of Cars

Iran has impounded tens of thousands of cars since March because women inside the vehicles had not properly covered their hair with a headscarf, Teheran’s traffic police said recently. Over the last eight months, more than 40,000 cases of bad hijab have been dealt with, said Brig. Gen. Teymour Hosseini, quoted by ISNA news agency. Police warned in November that women who fail to observe hijab, the mandatory dress code in Iran, while driving would have their cars impounded for a week. The measure is part of a wider traffic police crackdown that could also see male drivers targeted.

CANADA

Ready to Become Islamic Finance Hub

Canada, which is considered one of the most effective and safest banking systems in the world, according to the World Economic forum, is looking to position itself as the regional hub for Islamic finance in North America. Its main competitor in the region, the US, is a much larger market overall, but Canada has a proportionately larger Muslim population. This advantage is coupled with an arguably more favorable federal regulatory regime and an outward looking orientation that is potentially more favorable and conducive to the growth of Islamic finance. It has also been reported that Canada’s commercial ties with the countries of the OIC are growing fast. Canada is keen to explore ways to forge new partnerships and to create new opportunities for long term collective prosperity both in Canada and in the Muslim world.

GERMANY

Shariah Police Patrol in Western City

A German court has ruled that Muslims who patrolled a city’s streets as ‘Shariah Police’ did not break the law and will not be prosecuted, BBC reported. Nine were arrested in September 2014 after patrolling streets in Wuppertal, western Germany. They wore bright orange jackets with the words ‘Shariah Police.’ They told passersby not to frequent discos, casinos or bars. They demanded outlawing alcohol, drugs, gambling, music, and concerts, pornography and prostitution. Activists in the anti-Islam Pegida movement – campaigning to stop immigration to Germany – demonstrated in Wuppertal last year. They have staged regular anti-Muslim marches nationwide.

FRANCE

Imams Now Require License to Preach

France’s leading Muslim body called for Imams to require a permit to preach in a bid to root out extremists and for a new religious body to fight back against Jihadist propaganda. AnouarKhibech, President of the French Council for the Muslim Religion (CFCM), said the country’s Imams should be given a certificate – like a driving license – that ensured they promoted a tolerant and open Islam. The CFCM said it would hand out the permits by testing theological knowledge and adherence to French principles and make them sign an ‘Imams Charter’ in which they agreed to respect the laws of the Republic. “The time for action has come. The Muslims of France will play their part,” said Khibech. He further said that those who engaged in violence would never have the support of France’s Muslims.

AUSTRALIA

Abbott Joins List of Islamophobes

Former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, joined the list of Islamophobes and Islam-bashers by reiterating that Western culture is superior to that of Islam. In a Sydney Daily Telegraph, Abbott, a staunch Catholic wrote of a need to ‘modernize’ Islam, saying it propagates a culture that is inferior to that of the West. In September, Abbott suggested that the Daesh group was worse than the Nazis during World War II, angering members of the Jewish community. Abbott spent two years in office before being ousted in September by current Labour leader, Malcolm Turnbull in a Liberal Party Coup,but is still involved in politics.

UNITED KINGDOM

Anti-Muslim Crime Soars in Britain

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 300% in Britain in the week following the coordinated attacks in Paris, according to figures published recently. A vast and overwhelming majority of the 115 attacks were against Muslim women and girls aged between 14 and 45 who were wearing traditional Islamic dress, according to the findings reported in The Independentnewspaper. The figures comes from a report to a government working group on anti-Muslim hate compiled by Tell Mama, a helpline that records incidents  of physical and verbal attacks on mosques and Muslims. A large number of attacks occurred in public places such as buses and trains. The rise in attacks is in line with a similar increase that happened after the murder in South London of British soldier,Rigby, by Muslim extremists in 2013.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

NYC Officials Set Up Outreach to Muslims

In the aftermath of last month’s terror attacks in Paris, New York City Officials have bolstered security and quietly stepped up outreach efforts to Muslim residents, trying to calm fears of possible hate-filled retaliation while trying to extend government services to a community that often has felt neglected. Mayor, Bill de Blasio, recently delivered a speech at an Islamic community center, reaffirming that the city’s 800,000 Muslims have the same rights as all New Yorkers, while pledging protection from any hate crimes. De Blasio’s speech at the Jamaica Muslim Center, or Masjid al-Mamoor in Queens, is the most high profile move the administration has made to calm jittery Muslims.

Muslim Cabbie Awarded USD350K

A Muslim cab driver who said a passenger berated and physically attacked him over his religion was awarded USD350,000 in damages by a federal civil jury. The jury in Alexandria, Virginia, found that Ed Dahlberg assaulted Mohammed Salim in 2013 and that Dahlberg’s actions were motivated by animosity toward the cabbie’s religion. They awarded Salim USD100,000 in compensatory damages and USD250,000 in punitive damages.

 

[Compiled by: Syed NehalZaheer]