Flashes from the Muslim World

INDIA

Indian Muslims fall prey to politics

Muslims in India have a bleak outlook on the future. The vice-president of the Indian National League (INL) told Arab News. The Muslim voice is getting weakened by the dirty politics of the state because of the absence of a strong leadership in the community, together with a general pall of gloom, which is manifest in their backwardness in the areas of education and economy. The INL vice-president pinned hope on democratic institutions like the judiciary and media, who support the movement. ‘We are uniting our ranks, but our morale has been boosted by growing support from various Hindu organizations,’ he said.

INDONESIA

Cap on pilgrim numbers cost dearly

Indonesia has incurred losses of SR200 million for this year’s Haj due to the 20% reduction in the quota of Haj pilgrims. There were previously 211,000 registered pilgrims of whom only 168,000 can now perform Haj. Financial losses were sustained due to advance payments being made for accommodation and other logistical services for the original number of pilgrims. The Indonesian consul said that his government is considering purchasing aircraft exclusively for the transportation of Haj pilgrims.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Dubai Qur’an award

A student at the Charitable Society for the Memorization of the Holy Qur’an in Madinah achieved first place in the Dubai International Holy Qur’an Award and received a cash prize of AED250,000/-. He came first amongst 90 contestants from all over the world. The award was held under the auspices of the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates. The competition was highly organized and extremely competitive. The Chairman of the Society said that it is a triumph that is not new to the children of the Kingdom, in general, and the sons of Madinah, in particular.

SAUDI ARABIA

Don’t use Assad’s savagery

The Imam and Khateeb at the Grand Mosque recently urged the international community to jointly come to the rescue of the people of Syria and not use the Assad regime’s crimes against humanity to settle political scores at the expense of moral principles. He attributed the crisis in Muslim countries to false reformers who reduce Islam and its noble ideals to borrowed labels to promote intellectual terrorism and deviance. That has led to armed terror and distance from the truth and confining the truth on the single idea of terrorism. He said that the world community lauded the stance taken by Saudi Arabia against terror and its support for the International Center to Combat Terror.

 

Hundreds of mosques under renovation

The renovation of 647 mosques is currently under way, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments and Call. Priorities are determined as per technical, architectural and engineering studies of mosques across cities and villages. The budget allocated for the region was distributed based on the needs of each area and on categories determined by a committee.

Hajis urged to support Adahi project

Haj pilgrims have been urged to make use of the Kingdom’s sacrificial meat utilization program, which is aimed at helping the faithful perform their sacrifices in an orderly and hygienic manner in order to prevent environmental pollution at the holy sites of Mina and Makkah. The meat for this year’s sacrificial animals will be distributed among the poor in 28 countries as well as in different parts of Saudi Arabia. This year the Islamic Development Bank has fixed the price of a single sacrificial sheep at SR 490 (131 USD or 99 Euro).

OIC opens new mediation unit

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has established a new unit called ‘Peace, Security and Mediation’ Unit. It was established in March this year and is beginning to function. The existing cooperation between the United Nations and the OIC helped a three-member team to visit the head office of the OIC. They held talks with the unit, and shared perspectives, experiences and consultation regarding mediation, best practices and process design.

Group conducts Qur’an lessons by telephone

A local religious organization in Jeddah provides women Qur’anic lessons over the telephone. The Qur’an Memorization Society started the service because women in local neighborhoods have transport problems. As per the society, it is said that they have four telephone lines for women to call and talk to teachers. They have to give their names and say what they want to learn. The teacher will give them a certain time to call. In this way, they can stay at home and still learn. They even have an internet service where people can learn the Qur’an. The organization has classes at 45 mosques and 120 learning centers in Jeddah. This year 120,000 women students enrolled in the classes.

Saudia’s Zamzam gesture to Hajis

Saudi Arabian Airlines will air-lift gallons of Zamzam water for Haj pilgrims ahead of their return to their home-countries for the first time this year, said a top airline official. We have made arrangements to collect and distribute 200,000 gallons of Zamzam water during this Haj season. Pilgrims will be given a gallon of water each on arrival at airports. Zamzam gallons would be transported to ten Saudia stations in India, three in Indonesia and one in Malaysia.

64 Saudis = USD 204 bn

Saudi Arabia tops the list of the Middle East’s billionaries, with 64 highly wealthy individuals possessing USD204 billion in 2013, the Wealth X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report said. There are 1, 360 rich people in the Kingdom with a total wealth of USD 285 billion, the report pointed out. The UAE came second with 1,050 billionaires with a total wealth of USD190 billion, followed by Kuwait with 845 wealthy persons having USD145 billion.

TANZANIA

OIC warns against Islamophobia

The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has warned against the rise of Islamophobia which seeks to defame Islam and Muslims. In a statement to the fifth International Conference on Islamic Civilization in Zanzibar, Tanzania, he said that he firmly believed that ‘with a proper understanding of Islam and its values and the dissemination of the true image of Islam, the agenda of intolerance to cultural diversity and religious beliefs can be countered peacefully to safeguard our common values which we share with the whole of humanity.’ Islam entered into East Africa during the first migration of Muslims from Makkah to Abyssinia, followed by Muslim traders and preachers.

AUSTRALIA

No beer logo for cricketer

Cricket Australia has agreed to a request by a Muslim leg-spinner not to wear the sponsorship logo of beer brand VB because of his faith’s ban on alcohol. The Pakistan-born Muslim, who became an Australian citizen in July 2013, after his application was fast-tracked, did not have the brewer’s logo on his shirt during his international debut in last week’s T20 matches against England.

CANADA

Setting example for others

Imagine a man who hated Muslims and Islam, but who, today, is one of Canada’s biggest preachers of Islam.  Recently Suhail Kapoor narrated his transition from his original faith to what he refers to as the ‘Faith of Truth,’ and exhorted Muslims to become true believers. A true Muslim is he who loves everyone regardless of one’s faith, remembers God without fail and never hurts others. Calling Muslims to live a life in accordance with the principles of Islam, he said that Muslims have divinely-ordained responsibilities and that ‘we have to ask ourselves if we are fulfilling our responsibilities.’ There was a time when Muslims presented their Islamic model in China and today, the country has 80 million Muslims, he said. According to him, the Muslims, like any other nation, are running after worldly gain while money is just a means and not an end in itself. He has been preaching Islam in Canada for the last thirteen years and is also engaged in other forms of social work, like, for example, performing funeral rituals, including the bathing of the dead. His greatest hobby is to call Adhan in each mosque he visits for prayers.

FRANCE

French Imams to meet Pope

A group of French Imams will meet the Pope in the latest sign of rapprochement between the Vatican and the Muslim world. The meeting has been organized by a French author known for promoting religious tolerance who has organized similar initiatives in the past. The Pope can reconcile Christianity with Islam, said the author. Relations between the Vatican and the Muslim world were strained in recent years and Al Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s (Cairo-based) highest seat of learning had broken off ties with Pope Francis’ predecessor.