Islamic Culture & Photo Blog – Muslim Blog

Islamic groups back burqa removal law

women in hijab 480x285 Islamic groups back burqa removal law

A new law requiring Muslim women wearing burqas or niqabs in New South Wales to show their faces to police if required has been accepted by Islamic organisations and may be followed in other states.

The law, which extends to all forms of covering including motorcycle helmets, will give police power to establish identity by insisting faces be exposed during routine traffic operations such as licence checks and random breath tests. Continue Reading →

Nigeria licenses first Islamic bank

July 4th, 2011
by Sufia

Central bank nigeria 300x235 Nigeria licenses first Islamic bankThe most revealing thing about the latest new guidelines for non-interest banking issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on June 21; the provisional license given to Jaiz International to launch the country’s first Islamic bank subject to fulfilling the bank authorization requirements; and the revelation that the Nigerian Treasury’s Debt Management Office is studying the possibility of the country issuing its debut sovereign sukuk within the next year or so, is not the provisions of the above developments but the reaction of Nigerians (presumably) commenting on the websites of local newspapers and other such outlets.

Disturbingly these ranged from vitriolic Islamophobic rants which linked Islamic finance to terrorism financing and forebodes the transformation of Nigeria into a new Jihadist haven, to flattering admiration for Mallam Lamido Sanusi, the governor of CBN, for rising above the critics and facilitating the introduction of Islamic finance under financial inclusion policy. The few voices that saw Islamic banking as an alternative form of financial management to the interest-based capitalist conventional system and more connected to the real economy and with a potential to contribute to development in Africa’s most populous country for the benefit of all Nigerians, hardly had a look in.

It would be unfair to draw generalizations from such a sample of comments, but in relation to recent statements from various groups and the sensitivity of the CBN over the matter, it becomes apparent that under the surface Nigeria is a highly sectarian society, which is further fuelled by the constant reinforcement of stereotypes on all sides of the ethnic and religious divides. Nigeria has a population of about 170 million which is roughly half Muslim and half Christian.

This is unfortunate because Nigeria in general is a highly educated society but with huge developmental challenges because of governance shortcomings in which the military have had a pervasive influence since independence, endemic corruption and economic mismanagement.

In June, the Dioceses in the Church of the Nigeria Anglican Communion appealed to the country’s House of Representatives and the Senate not to pass any legislation to facilitate Islamic banking in the country on the grounds that it would pose a serious threat to the unity of the federation; it would violate the country’s secular constitution; and favor one particular religious group.

Predictably, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) of Nigeria weighed in, stressing the constitution guarantees freedom of religion to all Nigerians and that denying the establishment of Islamic banks would deny some Nigerians the right to have access to financial services based on their faith tradition, or alternatively force them to become unbanked or to use interest-based banking.

Continue Reading….

Prophet sketch: PM asks Kapil Sibal to take action

July 4th, 2011
by Sufia

Prophet Muhammad Logo1 480x800 Prophet sketch: PM asks Kapil Sibal to take action

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the human resource development ministry to urgently intervene after a textbook allegedly depicting Prophet Mohammed provoked protests in Uttar Pradesh, triggering concerns over its impact on national security. National security adviser Shiv Shankar

Menon has written a letter to HRD minister Kapil Sibal, informing him that the PM has sought urgent “remedial” action after meeting key Muslim leaders, top government sources told HT.

The concerns surround a Class 4 moral science textbook that was recommended as reading material by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) for schools affiliated to it.

A chapter titled Being Good and Gentle depicts the Prophet, violating a fundamental tenet of Islam which is against all forms of idol worship, local Muslim groups in Lucknow alleged 10 days ago while launching protests and burning Sibal’s effigies.

The HRD ministry has asked the CISCE — an autonomous, central board — for a status report. CISCE chief executive officer Gerry Arathoon could not be reached for comments.

A series of senior Muslim leaders like Jamiat-i-Ulema-e-Hind leader Mahmood Madani have communicated concerns to the PM and NSA.

Veteran Muslim leaders are concerned that the incident, fuelled by protests, could escalate into a controversy similar to the Danish cartoons of the Prophet in 2005 — unless the government acts promptly.

A Danish newspaper published 50 cartoons of the Prophet and then argued that its freedom of speech and expression entitled it to publish the images while apologising for hurting any sentiments. But the cartoons and the newspaper’s defence of the publication provoked protests by Muslims across the world.


Feminism, Islamic style

June 30th, 2011
by Sufia

Feminism Islamic style 480x332 Feminism, Islamic styleThe elaborate hoax of a lesbian girl in Damascus has shocked the world. For many it was impossible to conceive that a woman, let alone a lesbian, would be able to express themselves politically and socially in an Islamic country like Syria.

The irresponsible hoax however has diverted attention away from the real human rights abuses currently occurring in the country. The blog (inaccurately) tried to characterise Syrian women generally as afraid to stand up and speak out. Continue Reading →

Muslim Woman Sues Abercrombie & Fitch After Alleged Firing Over Hijab

June 30th, 2011
by Sufia

abercrombie headscarf firin 204x300 Muslim Woman Sues Abercrombie & Fitch After Alleged Firing Over HijabDoes this mean a khaki hijab won’t appear in catalogs anytime soon?

Hani Khan, a former stockroom employee for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. who says she was illegally fired for refusing to remove her Muslim headscarf, sued the clothing retailer in federal court on Monday, The Associated Press reports.

When Khan was hired to work in the San Mateo, Calif., branch of Hollister Co.—a brand owned by Abercrombie that caters to teens—she was wearing her hijab. The manager of the store reportedly said she could wear the headscarf while on the clock, so long as it was in company colors. (Which raises the question: What are those colors exactly? Distressed denim?) But Khan alleges that in subsequent months, managers constantly asked her to remove her hijab while working, and that she was later suspended, then fired for refusing. Continue Reading →

For Muslim weightlifter, clothing rules are changed

June 30th, 2011
by Sufia

Weightlifting’s world governing body agreed Wednesday to modify its clothing rules to accommodate a female Muslim competitor from the US.

Kulsoom Abdullah was barred from entering higher-level US competitions because her faith requires that she covers her arms, legs and head, violating international rules governing weightlifting attire.

USA Weightlifting took her case to the International Weightlifting Federation, which agreed to change the rules after its technical committee reviewed the proposal. Continue Reading →

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