العدد 1875- الإثنين  27 ذو الحجة  1425 هـ  إسلامية-أسبوعية- جامعة NO 1875 MON 27 Dhul Hijjah  1425H  07 Feb 2005

 

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Kuwait MPs Pass Arms Seizure Law

KUWAIT - Kuwait's parliament passed a law giving police wide powers to search for and seize illegal weapons to tackle a wave of al Qaeda-linked violence.

Kuwaiti security forces on Monday killed five al Qaeda militants and captured three, including a suspected leader, in the fourth clash with militants bent on destabilising the oil-rich U.S. ally.

"Parliament unanimously passed this law on weapons collection, which is valid for two years," lawmaker Abdullah al-Roumi told Reuters.

After militant violence in early January, a government draft was rushed through procedures that often take months. Parliament, which dedicated Tuesday's session to debating the security situation, said in a statement it backed the crackdown on extremists "until the complete eradication of this tyrannical faction and uprooting it from existence."

Kuwait passed a similar law in 1992 to deal with a jump in gun ownership after the 1990-1 Iraqi occupation. Lawmakers refused to extend that law in 1994, saying possession of weapons was a right.

The new law makes it easier for police to obtain a warrant to search a private house for illegal weapons - at present; they can get a warrant only after extensive investigations. The law also allows women inspectors to search women's quarters in private homes, off limits to men because of Islamic rules.

Under the new law, the prosecutor or a deputy "can allow police in writing to search persons, houses and public or private places and transport facilities in a specified area in a specified period of time," for illegal weapons or ammunitions. Kuwait, which has one- tenth of global oil reserves, has stepped up security around oil installations after militants tried to launch an attack near its largest oil refinery and a U.S. military camp in southern Kuwait last month.

Last week, the U.S. and British embassies warned there could be more attacks in Kuwait, which rounded up al Qaeda militants after two officers and two gunmen were killed in clashes. Kuwait was the launch pad for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. - Reuters

 

 

الأولى العالم هذا الأسبوعحوارات مراسلونإقتصادأوراق ثقافيةندواتطبالأسرةأقلياتالهجرةالدعوةالخطبالإنجليزيةالأخيرة

 

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IN BRIEF

Director of Tokyo Islamic Centre Thanks Saudi Government

MAKKAH - The Director of Tokyo Islamic Centre Dr. Salih Mahdi Alsamarraee, who is also leader of Japan's Hajj mission, thanked the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the efforts it was exerting for the comfort of pilgrims in general and Japanese pilgrims in particular.

During a meeting here today with the Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulmohsin Alturki, Dr. Alsamarraee also lauded the call of Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard, to hold an extraordinary Islamic summit in Makkah to tackle the reasons of the current weakness of the Islamic nation. He hoped that such a meeting would achieve the demands of Islamic peoples and minorities of the unity of Muslims all over the world.

OIC Praises Muslim Countries, Organisations

JEDDAH - The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has disclosed new information on the extent of aid from Muslim countries to the victims of the tsunami disaster in south and southeast Asia, following an appeal by the OIC chief, Prof. Akmaluddin Ihsan Oglu, the secretary-general to the member countries and to the organs affiliated to the OIC.

Some of the donor countries have even sent details and particulars of the extent of their aid to the victims.

In a statement, the OIC said it appreciates all the efforts on the part of Muslim countries and organizations, and hopes that the aid will continue to flow, in the spirit of Islamic solidarity and compassion. - IINA

 

Islamic Da'awa and Relief Council Holds Extraordinary Meeting

AMMAN - The Relief Committee of the World Islamic Council for Da'awa and Relief has held an emergency extraordinary meeting here, to discuss the situation in the areas of southeast Asia that have been affected by the earthquake and the resultant tsunami disaster.

The committee will also discuss ways and means of ensuring coordination of the relief aid. The secretary-general of the Jeddah-based International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), Dr. Adnan Khalil Basha, who is chairman of the committee, said the meeting has been hastily convened in response to the appeals made by the victims in the affected areas, adding that the material damage is great. He said the aid, which has been extended to the victims at the start of the disaster was US$ 6.910 billion.

For his part, Sheikh Yusuf Jassim Hijji deputy chairman of the Council, said that the holding of the meeting was an expression of the feeling of responsibility and keenness to help "our brother Muslims and others," in this hour of their need.

 

Media Bias Against Muslims Deplored

ALIGARH (India) - 'The Western media is presenting Muslims in bad light while the Indian media, due to ignorance of Muslim issues and problems, has lost its balance in presenting Muslims', it was the view of the speakers at a one-day seminar on 'Muslims' image of media' at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). They urged the media to have contact with Muslim intellectuals and youths. While they also observed that it was also incumbent on Muslims to express their views in national press. It is the responsibility of educated people of the community to write for newspapers and journals about Muslim problems.

Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, editor of English fortnightly Milli Gazette, said that the national media paid total indifference towards the Muslim issues. He said Muslim's participation in media was very low and thus they should adopt media as a profession.

 

Kashmiris Assist Tsunami Victims

SRINAGAR (India) - The Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), organised a blood donation camp to help the victims of the tsunami. There was a long queue of donors outside its headquarters. Another separatist party leader Shabir Shah urged the people to assist the victims. The Jamaat-e-Islami (J&K) also appealed to the people to donate generously for the tsunami victims.

 

English Introduced in the Shariah College

CAIRO - The Council of the College of Shari'ah and Law at the Azhar University here has approved the setting up of a special unit at the college, for teaching Shari'ah syllabus in English. While Arabic will also be used, the English content would not be less than sixty percent.

The Dean of the Shari'a and Law College, Dr. Hamid Abu Talib said one of the conditions for acceptance at this unit of the college is that a student must have gained not less than 80 percent at the Azhar Secondary, and 85 percent marks in the English language. Fifty percent of the seats at this unit have been allocated to foreign students. -IINA

 

Supreme Islamic Council Meeting in April

CAIRO - The 17th Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs will be held here from April 17 - 20, and the theme this time will be "The Humanitarian Aspect of Islamic Civilization". A number of Arab and Muslim countries are expected to participate, said, Dr. Mahmoud Zaqzouq, Egypt's Minister of Endowments.

 

Number of Reverts in Kuwait Increases

KUWAIT CITY - A report published by Kuwait's Ministry of Justice has revealed that 2002-2003 and the first half of 2004 witnessed an increasing number of reverts to Islam. The statistical report from the Central Bureau of Statistics at the ministry shows that in 2002 there were 1,711 people who embraced Islam in this emirate, while in 2003 there were 2,564, an increase of 49.9 percent. The report says most reverts to Islam are Asians, the majority being Filipinos, followed by Sri Lankans and Indians. The report concludes that the year 2004 will eventually indicate an increase also in the number of those who have embraced this faith.

 

 

الأولى العالم هذا الأسبوعحوارات مراسلونإقتصادأوراق ثقافيةندواتطبالأسرةأقلياتالهجرةالدعوةالخطبالإنجليزيةالأخيرة

 

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WAMY Continues Relief in Banda Aceh

MAKKAH - In line with the Saudi relief campaign for helping the Tsunami victims in countries of South and Southern Asia, The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) has continued its humanitarian efforts. WAMY's distribution of foodstuff such as rice, oil and sugar as well as clothes has covered so far six villages around the Indonesian town of Banda Aceh. WAMY representative in the area said that three thousand families have benefited from the urgent relief programme, which will continue for one month.

WAMY has contributed from the first days of the disaster an amount of SR. 300,000 ($80,000) to support the Tsunami relief efforts.

Meanwhile, WAMY has distributed quantities of food supplies, made up of rice, dates, sugar, oil and flour to more than 300 families of the orphans in Somalia. This was announced by the organisation's Mogadishu outlet Manager Abdul Qadir Qutub. He also said that his office had distributed 2000 free meals for poor students.

Qutub said WAMY organised a Qur'an memorization contest, attended by 33 students aged between 12-18 years of whom 14 contestants were chosen as winners.

 

 

الأولى العالم هذا الأسبوعحوارات مراسلونإقتصادأوراق ثقافيةندواتطبالأسرةأقلياتالهجرةالدعوةالخطبالإنجليزيةالأخيرة

 

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Iraq President Says Shiite Will Lead New Government

BAGHDAD - Interim President Ghazi al-Yawar said a Shiite Muslim would almost certainly head Iraq's next government but said he was opposed to any permanent division of top posts between rival ethnic groups.

The current interim administration has a Shiite Muslim prime minister, Iyad Allawi, a Sunni Muslim president, Yawar, and Shiite and Kurdish vice presidents, Ibrahim Jaafari and Rowsch Shaways, respectively. Yawar said he believed the ethnic shareout would "remain the same" for the post- election government that must oversee the drawing up of a new constitution, with the Kurds also being given the post of national assembly speaker.

"This is my hunch for the time being during the transitional parliament," Yawar told a press conference, while insisting it should not become a permanent arrangement.

"I hope this will not be the case in the permanent constitution because this would be really shameful in a country like Iraq to have division like this." Yawar said he believed a general consensus existed on the matter despite rumblings among the Kurds that they wanted the premier slot or the presidency.

He added that he did not think the new government line- up would be announced before the end of February or first week of March. Jaafari, a powerbroker in the main Shiite alliance, which contested the elections, has also suggested top posts could be shared along ethnic lines.

"It is most likely that the next prime minister would be a Shiite, while the president and the speaker of the parliament would be a Sunni and a Kurd," he told AFP in an interview.

But a leading Kurdish official said that the community would not be fobbed off with the speakership but expected the post of prime minister.

If not, "we will not be able to continue working together," warned Asso Ali, a senior official of one of the two main Kurdish factions, the Patrotic Union of Kurdistan. Ali added that he expected the leader of his own faction, Jalal Talabani, to be the Kurds' choice for the premiership. - AFP

 

 

الأولى العالم هذا الأسبوعحوارات مراسلونإقتصادأوراق ثقافيةندواتطبالأسرةأقلياتالهجرةالدعوةالخطبالإنجليزيةالأخيرة

 

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WAMY Organises Camp for Students in South Korea

MAKKAH - In cooperation with Korea Muslim Federation, the Riyadh based WAMY has conducted a five-day educational youth camp in South Korea, which was attended by 80 students. Dr. Abdul Wahab Noorwali, Assistant Secretary General of WAMY said the camp, which took place at KoCham Training Centre had featured educational and cultural topics as well as recreation and sports including football and mountain climbing.

As many as eight lectures were delivered in this event including "Introduction to Islam", "Religion and My Life", "Brotherhood in Islam", "The way I see Islam" and "The Qur'an and Science". The participants also engaged in open discussions focused on themes such as "Religion and my Life" and "The way I see Islam" and watched a 50-minute video show on the "Miracle of Human Creation".

Dr. Noorwali pointed out that the organisation of the camp came within the framework of WAMY's programmes that aim at spreading awareness among Muslims and non-Muslims, developing their potentials and directing their efforts for the service of their communities.

 

 

الأولى العالم هذا الأسبوعحوارات مراسلونإقتصادأوراق ثقافيةندواتطبالأسرةأقلياتالهجرةالدعوةالخطبالإنجليزيةالأخيرة

 

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Most Dutch See Muslims as Threat

AMSTERDAM - A large majority of Dutch people are afraid of Muslims, according to a poll taken after the murder of a Dutch filmmaker critical of Islam.

The poll, conducted by TNS NIPO in the Netherlands, as well as in Spain and Italy, since the November murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected radical Islamist, showed only 19 percent of Dutch people do not see the presence of Muslims in the country as a threat.

Home to almost one million Muslims or 6 percent of the population, the Netherlands' reputation for tolerance and social harmony has been shattered by the murder and a wave of attacks on mosques and churches and death threats against politicians.

Racial tensions surfaced again this week after a Dutch woman killed a youth with Moroccan roots after he stole her bag. Highlights of the poll, to be launched formally tomorrow, were published by De Volkskrant daily yesterday.

The newspaper said the results were surprising given that Spain and Italy were much more frequently confronted with illegal immigration of Muslims from North Africa than the Dutch.

The survey showed 67 percent of Dutch people had no contact with Muslims and 65 percent hardly know anything about Islam in spite of broad coverage in the media. Those who see Muslims as a threat say they are afraid they will eventually have to live under Islamic religious rules. Those living outside big cities, women and the well educated were more likely to have negative views, the newspaper said.

Half the Dutch polled said they would move house if their neighborhood became more dominated by immigrants and the same proportion said they were afraid women would no longer be able to move about freely in public because of Muslims.

- Reuters

 

 

الأولى العالم هذا الأسبوعحوارات مراسلونإقتصادأوراق ثقافيةندواتطبالأسرةأقلياتالهجرةالدعوةالخطبالإنجليزيةالأخيرة

 

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Holy Qur'an, 22:11

"There are among men some who serve Allah, as it were, on the verge: if good befalls them, they are, therewith, well content; but if a trial comes to them, they turn on their faces: they lose both this world and the Hereafter: that is loss for all to see"

 

 

الأولى العالم هذا الأسبوعحوارات مراسلونإقتصادأوراق ثقافيةندواتطبالأسرةأقلياتالهجرةالدعوةالخطبالإنجليزيةالأخيرة

 

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Sahih Bukhari

Narrated Abdullah bin Amr: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And a Muhajir (emigrant) is the one who gives up all what Allah has forbidden."

 

الأولى العالم هذا الأسبوعحوارات مراسلونإقتصادأوراق ثقافيةندواتطبالأسرةأقلياتالهجرةالدعوةالخطبالإنجليزيةالأخيرة

 العدد 1875- الإثنين  27 ذو الحجة  1425 هـ  إسلامية-أسبوعية- جامعة NO 1875 MON 27 Dhul Hijjah  1425H  07 Feb 2005

 

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Palestinians Furious at Israeli Killing of Schoolgirl

GAZA - Palestinian resistance factions threatened to resume attacks against Israel unless occupation forces immediately stopped their aggressions against the Palestinian people. The threat came just hours after a ten-year old Palestinian girl was shot dead by the Israeli forces at a United Nations-run school in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

Reacting to Israel's killing of a Palestinian girl at a UN-run school in Gaza, Ezz Edeen Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, fired mortars at Neve Dekalim Settlement. The southern Gaza Strip settlement, like all others, is illegal under international law and Israeli soldiers often open fire on Khan Younis from its sniper towers. Qassam or any other factions had not conducted any acts of armed resistance in the past 10 days in good faith, despite the continuing occupation and its ensuing brutality.

"Eight resistance groups will resume their attacks against Israel if the Israeli aggression does not stop," a spokesman for the Hamas said before launching mortar attacks. The statement, signed by eight armed factions, was issued in response to the shooting to death of Nuran Dib by the occupation forces while she was walking inside her school in the Brazil neighborhood of the Rafah refugee camp.

The Palestinian girl was struck in the head; one witness was quoted by the BBC News Online as saying. "She suddenly screamed and fell to the ground, bleeding. The girls started to run everywhere."

The dead girl's mother told journalists: "We heard talk about a ceasefire. But it seems there is nothing like that on the ground," the BBC News Online said.

"My daughter was lovely. Today she went to school earlier than usual. She said she wanted to play with her schoolmates before class." Another girl was wounded in the hand.

Nuran's death is the second such fatality in the area in two days. A 65- year-old Palestinian man was killed by the Israeli occupation forces as he was walking near an army post Sunday, January 30.

In their statement, the resistance factions accused the Israeli government of violating a fragile ceasefire negotiated by the Palestinian leader.

"We, the armed wings of the resistance factions, declare that we are running out of patience. The enemy (Israel) is meeting our truce with continuous aggression. We cannot allow the Zionist enemy to continue its aggression and daily violations without an answer," the statement read.

Despite the 11-day quiet period observed by the resistance factions, Israel had shot dead 22 Palestinians, half of them were children, and injured another 47 across the occupied territories, the statement added, accusing the Israeli army of carrying out 33 incursions and detaining 196 people. Israel had also continued construction of its controversial West Bank separation barrier, and blocked roads and checkpoints, it added.

"Any hudna (ceasefire) cannot be successful without a clear answer from the enemy to all our conditions, which include an end to the aggressions and the release of all prisoners." "We will answer all its aggressions," the statement read.

The statement was signed by the Ezz Edeen Al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas), Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (affiliated to Fatah), Abu Al-Reesh Brigades (Fatah), Fatah Falcons (Fatah), Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - PFLP), National Resistance Brigades (Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine -DFLP), Saladin Brigades (Popular Resistance Committees), and Ahmed Jibriel Brigades (PFLP- General Command). Saraya Al-Quds, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, did not sign the statement. However, Abu Islam, a Jihad leader, told IOL that the movement supports the stance of the Palestinian factions.

Following a series of marathon talks with leaders of major resistance factions in Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas (Abu Mazen) told the Palestinian television that an agreement concerning a ceasefire with Israel was "very soon."

From January 21, Palestinian security forces started deploying across northern Gaza in a bid to prevent the resistance factions from launching mortar attacks against Israel.

- Agencies

 

 

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Islamophobia Spiralling in N. Ireland: Expert

BELFAST - Racist attacks against the 4,000-strong Muslim community in Northern Ireland have been on the rise since the September attacks on the US, a leading Muslim academic has said.

"Since 9/11, the Muslim community in Northern Ireland has felt that they are in the spotlight - that they have got to be careful," Javaid Rehman, a law professor at the University of Ulster's Magee campus, as quoted as saying by the Scotsman newspaper.

He regretted that hate crimes against Muslims in Northern Ireland have been worse than in any other place worldwide, the BBC News Online reported Thursday, January 27.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Muslims in several world countries, particularly in the West, complained of being discriminated against simply because of their faith. A May 2004 report released by the US Senate Office Of Research concluded that Arab Americans and the Muslim community in the US have taken the brunt of the Patriot Act and other federal powers applied in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Rehman, a member of the International Law Association's Committee on Islamic Law and International Law, lamented "Islamophobia is a worrying development not just in Great Britain but also in Northern Ireland."

Praising people in Northern Ireland as "loving" and warm, he said they "must be careful not to adopt wrong notions about Muslims, and to consider that community's sensitivities."

He cited attacks of violence "against Asian communities and problems about giving planning permission for mosques."

According to the Irish police statistics, there were 226 racist incidents in 2003, many targeting Pakistani families, including pregnant women. Many Muslim families have fled their homes in Country Armagh under the yoke of such racist attacks.

Rehman regretted the lack of any effective response to prejudice against Northern Ireland's Muslim community. "That is what Asians and Muslims, in particular, feel. They feel that they need some protection and understanding."

A survey by the University of Ulster showed significant levels of racism and anti-traveller prejudice among the Irish citizens. Two-thirds of the polled said they would not work with members of the travelling community, more than half would not accept travellers as neighbours and more than a third said they would not like to work with Asian, Afro-Caribbean or Chinese people.

On December 16, the results of a survey by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) showed that four out of five British Muslims have experienced discrimination in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the US. Britain's Muslims are estimated to be some 2.5 million out of the 60 million populations.

Rehman blamed mounting Islamophobic practices in Northern Ireland on erroneous interpretations of Islam by non-Muslims who usually associate Islam with terrorism and violence.

"Islamic law is not pro-terrorism and does not encourage violence or terrorism," said the expert, who is a co-organizer of a major London conference in March, which will examine the operation of Islamic states' legal frameworks and how Islamic law deals with issues such as human rights and terrorism.

"The interpretation that is often demonstrated in United States foreign policy is distorted." Addressing the recent UN-sponsored "Confronting Islamophobia: Education for Tolerance and Understanding", UN Chief Kofi Annan said, "Islam's tenets are frequently distorted and taken out of context."

"Some claim that Islam is incompatible with democracy, or irrevocably hostile to modernity and the rights of women. And in too many circles, disparaging remarks about Muslims are allowed to pass without censure, with the result that prejudice acquires a veneer of acceptability," Annan added. - IOL

 

 

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UN Says No Genocide In Darfur

UNITED NATIONS - The Sudanese government and allied militia have systematically abused civilians in Darfur, a U.N.-appointed commission says, but Khartoum has not pursued genocide as Washington contends.

The report by international legal experts, however, said that some individuals, including government officials, may have committed "acts with genocidal intent" in the western Sudan region and said the attacks continued in recent months.

The report recommended the U.N. Security Council refer cases to the International Criminal Court, the first permanent global criminal tribunal, for trial. The Bush administration vehemently opposes that court, which Europeans support, and wants to set up a new court in Tanzania.

"International offences such as the crimes against humanity and war crimes that have been committed in Darfur may be no less serious and heinous than genocide," the report said.

The Security Council asked Secretary-General Kofi Annan in October to set up a commission of legal experts to probe human rights violations in Darfur, determine whether genocide had occurred and identify perpetrators. Tens of thousands of people have died and 1.8 million are homeless.

The conflict erupted after rebel groups took up arms in February 2003, accusing Khartoum of neglect. The government retaliated by deploying Arab militias.

The 1948 convention on genocide, to which Sudan is a party, obliges signatories to punish offenders and stop the carnage. It defines genocide as the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group".

It said the government contended that any attacks were for counter- insurgency purposes. The United States last year called the violence genocide. In Abuja, Nigeria, Sudan's foreign minister, who had received an advance copy of the report, noted the commission undermined the U.S. claims of genocide.

"We have a copy of that report and they didn't say that there is a genocide," Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said on the sidelines of an African Union summit.

- Reuters

 

 

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Germany to Deport Hundreds of Islamists: Report

BERLIN - German officials are drawing up lists of hundreds of "Islamists" to be deported from the country under a new immigration law, according to a leading German magazine. The authorities have dubbed the blacklisting operation "Aktion Kehraus" ("Action Sweep Out"), said Der Spiegel in its new issue. The new immigration law, which went into effect with the beginning of the year, specifically includes a provision to expel foreigners posing a threat to national security, a policy forcefully argued by both Interior Minister Otto Schily and the conservative Christian Democratic opposition party during debates in parliament.

Schily "welcomes all efforts by the regional states to apply the new regulations," an interior ministry spokesman said.

Under the new legislation, a special panel of the Federal Administrative Court will take charge of handling potential deportation cases, estimated to number 2,000 a year. Once a verdict is made, the deportees will not be able to legally challenge the expulsion order, Der Spiegel said.

The deportation can be sought by authorities in the 16 regional states or by federal authorities in the capital Berlin if Germany's domestic intelligence agency provides evidence causing strong suspicion of terrorist links, the weekly added.

The new immigration law will also make it easier to expel leaders of banned organizations, terrorist sympathizers and persons deemed to be preaching hate.

Der Spiegel's article followed press reports that many foreigners in the country had their German citizenship withdrawn in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Seven citizenships were withdrawn in Hessen state by the Interior Ministry, which accused their holders of being linked to "anti- constitution" groups. In Saarland, the citizenship of two foreigners were annulled over security considerations.

Furthermore, citizenship withdrawals have regularly occurred in the Rhein and Baden- Wuerttemberg states.

Immigration and citizenship departments in the 16 states have asked domestic intelligence services to draw up detailed reports on every foreigner applying for the German citizenship.

MPs of the Christian Democratic and Christian Socialist parties have also pressed for withdrawing the citizenship of any foreigner posing a threat to national security.

A study conducted by the University of Bielefeld's Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence had shown that Islamophobia was on the rise in Germany. Anti-Muslim voices spoke louder than ever in 2004 as dealing with the Muslim community became the overriding concern of German officials and the right- wing parties.

Interior Minister in the state of Bavaria Guenter Beekstein was in the vanguard of officials attacking Muslims, accusing the sizable Turkish community of living in "parallel societies" with their own cultural and social activities. - IOL

 

 

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Austrian Muslims Gave Udhiyah Money to Tsunami Victims

VIENNA - Austrian Muslims donated the equivalent of this `Eid udhiyah (sacrifice) to millions of people made homeless in south and southeast Asia by last month's monstrous tidal waves.

"I allocated the money of sacrifice this `Eid to the tsunami-hit Asians," Abtel Matin Mahmut, of Turkish origin, told IslamOnline.net.

The massive sea surges, spawned by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, claimed the lives of more than 175,000 people and displaced millions others.

Austrian mosques put at 100 euros the price of the sacrifice sheep this year, urging the Muslim community to give generously to their fellow Muslims in the devastated areas.

A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or a cow as an act of worship during the feast.

Imams said Austrian Muslims are duty bound to save Asian Muslims from Christian missionary groups pouring into their countries under the aid guise.

On Thursday, January 13, The Washington Post reported that a US missionary group plans to Christianize 300 Muslim children from the Indonesian province of Aceh, worst hit by the tsunami.

Muslim organizations worldwide rushed to counter the missionary activities in the poor devastated areas. Some Muslim groups started arriving in the province within days while donations from Muslims around the world were sent to the disastrous areas.

Muslim groups in Britain are to build children's villages in devastated areas to counter proselytizing schemes.

Grief-stricken Palestinians and Iraqis are also high on the charity list of the Austrian Muslim community. Iraq Relief Agency in Vienna throws on January 23 a charity party to provide for the Iraqi children in their distress. A UN report said in November that Iraqi children were paying the silent cost of the US-led occupation with malnutrition rates exceeding by far those in the world's poorest and disease-plagued countries. The Palestine League will similarly raise funds for the down-trodden Palestinians.

Islam, which was officially acknowledged in Austria in 1908, is considered the second religion in the country after Catholic Christianity. Muslims, estimated at nearly half a million, make up some 6 per cent of the country's eight-million population. - IOL

 

 

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Bosnian Premier to Negotiate Release of  Guantanamo Prisoners

SARAJEVO - Bosnia-Herzegovina's Prime Minister Adnan Terzic said he would start negotiations with the United States for the release of Bosnian citizens detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Six Bosnians of Algerian origin were arrested in Bosnia in October 2001 on suspicion of possible terrorist activities and threatening U.S. and British diplomatic missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A Bosnian court released them for lack of evidence, but Bosnian authorities handed them over to U.S. authorities in January 2002. Lawyers hired by relatives have been unable to make contact with the prisoners since then. They were immediately transported to Guantanamo Bay - a U.S. naval base that has been used as a prison for Islamic fighters since the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

The Bosnian justice ministry would start a separate procedure for their extradition. Several hundred people from Islamic countries are believed to have travelled to Bosnia-Herzegovina during the country's 1992-1995 war to help Bosnian Muslims fight Bosnian Croats and Serbs. Most stayed in the country and were given Bosnian citizenship. - DPA