Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Shaban 1424 H
October 2003
Volume 16-10 No : 202
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News from Islamic World


Increase in Anti-Muslim Incidents
France Opens First High School for Muslims
Middle East Offers Mecca Cola
Ahmadiyya Leader in Germany Embraces Islam
Pak Couple Donates $ 2.5 Million for Islamic Studies in Stanford University
Veiled Women Face No Problem in Sweden
Urdupoint at Emirates
Canadian Imams Denied Entry into US
Tipu's Sword Fetches 175,000 Pounds

Increase in Anti-Muslim Incidents

California: Anti-Muslim incidents increased by 15 per cent over the last year, according to a new report. The Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) report, covering January to December 2002, counts direct acts of anti-Muslim discrimination and violence as having risen from 525 to 602 confirmed incidents.

The report says California, Florida, Virginia, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, and Maryland lead the pack in anti-Muslim incidents. Muslims are increasingly suffering from negative responses in the public arena, says the report’s author, CAIR Research Director Dr. Mohamed Nimer. “More than any other year, the daily experiences of Muslims in schools, the workplace, airports, and in encounters with the courts, police and other government agencies included incidents in which they were singled out because of actual or perceived religious and ethnic identity.”

CAIR executive director Nihad Awad called on the federal government to combat discrimination though he says “the report indicates government policies are part of the problem.” But the conservative Front Page magazine, which has often attacked CAIR, contended that on the same day the report was released, the Attorney General of California released the state’s eighth annual report on hate crimes, revealing that crimes against Muslims in California had decreased by 54 percent. While California only counts official complaints to police departments, CAIR includes unofficial complaints made by phone or email. Writing in Front Page, Evan McCormick says, “There is a gaping disconnect between the institutional discrimination that CAIR summarizes in its report, and the cases of individual hardship that it cites as evidence.”

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France Opens First High School for Muslims

Lille (France): The head-mistress stood at the front of the room on the first day of school and told her 10th graders to write legibly, refrain from idle chatter and avoid crazy stunts that could cause accidents. But this was no ordinary school opening. The students were taking part in a historic educational experiment-the opening of Lycee Averroes, the first Muslim high school in France. The goal of the school is to provide Muslims with an alternative to public school education, like those that French Catholics, Protestants and Jews have long enjoyed. Sylvie Taleb, the headmistress is a French-born convert to Islam and she assumed the post after teaching French at a local Catholic school for 17 years. The high school in Lille, named after a 12th century Spanish-Arabian philosopher, consists of three classrooms and a science laboratory on the third floor of Al Imane Mosque. The tuition fee is $1,100 a year.

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Middle East Offers Mecca Cola

Dubai: Mecca Cola Middle East is planning to invest Dh35 million in a factory in Jebel Ali Free Zone to produce the new Arabic-French alternative to the existing colas in the market. The plant which will manufacture 16,000 boxes of 24 cans per day is expected to be operational in 12 to 14 months time from now. While Mecca Cola was launched in Dubai recently, according to Dr. Khaleed Amin Al-Mahamid, manager, Europe and Middle East, Mecca Cola Middle East, currently Mecca Cola cans are bottled in a factory in Jebel Ali while family-size bottles are filled in France. The credit for this Arabic-French project goes to its founder and organizer Tawfiq Al Mathluthi. The importance of the project is supported by the fact that 10 per cent of the net profit will go to local charities and another 10 per cent to Palestinian children. To reach this aim, Mecca Cola Middle East office was established in the UAE-the gateway to the Middle-East. The new product will soon be available in the rest of the Gulf countries, where Mecca Cola Middle East is currently negotiating with potential distributors as well as Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan and India, where the company will build factories.

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Ahmadiyya Leader in Germany Embraces Islam

Ofenbach: (Germany) One of the central leaders of the Ahmadiyya/Qadiani Jamaat, Shaikh Raheel Ahmad embraced Islam in Masjid Tawheed Islamic Center, alongwith his son-in-law and nine other members of his family. Shaikh Raheel Ahmad said, “I was a born Qadiani (Ahmadi) and after studying for several years and pondering over it, I have come to the conclusion that the Jamaat of Ahmadiyya Qadiani group is not a sect of Islam, rather it is a corporation which collects money in the name of religion. I have held several posts in the Jamaat for a long time, and for this reason several things have come into my knowledge, due to which I thought it more appropriate that I should leave this Jamaat and break my relation with this system of exploitation in the name of religion and come into the fold of true service of the holy Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). He also invited the present Qadiani leader, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, and the entire Qadiani Jamaat to embrace Islam. (Reported in Daily Ummat, Karachi, Pakistan, 27.8.2003)

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Pak Couple Donates $ 2.5 Million for Islamic Studies in Stanford University

Washington, D.C: A Pakistani-American couple has donated $250,0000 for the establishment of Islamic Studies department in the prestigious Stanford University. It was announced last fortnight.

The donation was announced by computer experts Suhaib Abbasi and Sarah Abbasi who have even earlier donated money to various universities.

The Islamic Studies department would be headed by Prof. Robert Greig, head of the Religious Affairs department of the Stanford University.

Abbasis said interest in Islamic studies and culture had increased in the United States since the Sept. 11 attack on WTC Towers, but there were not enough courses in the US Universities.

Suhaib Abbasi heads a department of Oracle computers firm in an American city while Sarah Abbasi has been into charitable work. She has been instrumental in setting up 200 schools in Pakistan since 1997.

According to Dr. John Esposito, of Georgetown University, US has less than a dozen professors in Islamic Studies.

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Veiled Women Face No Problem in Sweden

Stockholm: In an unprecedented incident, a Muslim veiled woman has managed to work as a TV announcer in Sweden and appear in her Islamic apparel before millions of viewers, talking to them about different programs, without fearing discrimination or harassment.

This followed the official Swedish TV decision that has been taken lately to the effect that Sweden respects cultures and religions and that religious freedom is guaranteed to all under the Swedish law.

With this move, the Swedish TV becomes the first western media organization that allows a Muslim veiled woman to be an announcer dealing with Christian audience and talking to them in their language and tackle subjects related to their lives.

It is worth noting that the official Swedish TV is far more conservative than other media organisations, as porno movies are forbidden and publicity for different kinds of alcohol is prohibited. Nadia Gabriel, a Swedish of Palestinian origin, worked in the Swedish TV with the team of “Mosaic” program that deals with the issues of expatriates living in the Swedish community, before some reference to her veil was made. Yet, she fought until her veil was recognized in the Swedish TV by virtue of the latest decision. In an interview with IslamOnline.net, she said that she is happy with the decision and that she is committed towards her veil. According to the laws applicable in Sweden, any veiled woman, who is exposed to any racial or religious discrimination due to her veil, shall have the right to sue her employer who treated her badly because of her veil.

Swedish and non-Swedish women have the right to get official passports and identity cards, without having to remove their veils, as all government circles accept veiled women in Sweden without the least annoyance. (IslamOnline.net)

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Urdupoint at Emirates

Sharjah: Urdu language speakers in the UAE can now log on to www.urdupoint.com, one of the largest website which offers a wide range of reading material. Surfers can access information on Islam, Urdu poetry, literature, health and women’s issues, cookery tips, sports, greeting cards and email. “ It is the first Urdu website which offers online newspapers as well,” said Sajid Amjad Sajid, representative of the Urdu portal in the UAE. “We have launched our membership campaign in the UAE to register those who speak and read Urdu,” he said. The Membership called the “Urdupoint Family Members” will provide many benefits like free entries to musical shows, mushairahs, concerts for children, programmes for women, lunch with their favourite personalities, free tickets, discounts on books in Urdu and a lot more. The membership card costs Dh55.

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Canadian Imams Denied Entry into US

Fort, Lauderdale Fla: Two Imams from Toronto were denied entry into the United States after being detained for 16 hours at an airport by federal agents who told they picked the wrong day - September 11, to fly. Ahmed Kutty, 59, and Sheik Abdul Hamid, 37, were detained at the Broward County Jail, said Altaf Ali, executive director of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. They were denied entry into the United States and were booked for an afternoon flight back to Toronto. “I’m totally flabbergasted,” Ali said. “I’ve heard some crazy things in the past about people being detained, but this beats them all.” FBI agents interviewed the two Imams at the request of U.S. Customs officials, but did not charge them with any crime or order them to remain detained. The imams were flying through Fort Lauderdale to Orlando where they planned to raise money for an Islamic school in Canada. They were stopped and searched at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and agents found a business card for an Islamic organization on one of the men. “One of the agents told them, ‘You guys have picked the wrong time to fly,”

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Tipu's Sword Fetches 175,000 Pounds

London: A sword of Tipu Sultan that was taken away from him in 1799 has fetched 175,000 pounds in an auction in London. Estimated between 150,000 and 250,000 pounds, the auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb said the price was one of the highest paid for such an item. The sword was taken by Colonel Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, of the British 33rd Regiment from the Tiger of Mysore's bedchamber and presented shortly afterwards to his Scottish general David Baird. General Baird commanded the British storming party in the Battle of Srirangapatnam in which Tipu was killed at the end of a heroic fight. The auctioneers had hoped for an Indian interest in the sword, but none was forthcoming. "We had considered sending someone across to Delhi, but it did not seem very useful," said David Erskine Hill, an expert at Dix Noonan Web.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Muslim Community Series Amanath Bank Episode Opinion Face to Face Muslim Perspectives Colours of Harmony Islam and Science Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Zakir Naik Interview Question Hour Guide Lines Islam And Astronomy Living Islam Success Stories Islamic History Journey To Islam View Point Matrimonial
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