Islamic plan unveiled for Malaysia
Malaysia's main opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), has unveiled its plans for an Islamic state, ahead of elections expected within a year.
The document includes plans for implementing strict Islamic Sharia law, but also commits the party to ending restrictive internal security laws.
PAS has said that non-Muslims would not be answerable to Sharia law.
The Islamic code includes such punishment as amputations and stoning.
The party leader Abdul Hadi Awang said that his party offered the alternative to Western-style democracy, which had led only to "endemic social decadences and rampant injustices".
He said PAS would amend the federal constitution to create an Islamic state, if it wins power in the next election, which Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is expected to call in early 2004.
Taken From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3263785.stm
Islam and the West
Islam stands at a crossroads, say Peter G. Riddell and Peter Cotterell. Will Muslims advance down the road of peace or will they increasingly veer toward the path of violence?
Avoiding stereotypes and generalizations, Riddell and Cotterell (both with the Center for Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian Relations at LondonBible College) offer balanced summaries of different Muslim groups. But they don't shy away from acknowledging Muslim "Westophobia." Muslim antipathy, they write, "derives from a potent cocktail of ingredients that go far back in time, to the beginnings of Muslim-Christian historical contact and to the very Islamic texts themselves."
The authors also propose ways to resolve tensions between Christians and Muslims. That includes urging Muslim scholars to put verses of the Qur'an that advocate violence and demean women back into their original contexts.
Riddell and Cotterell familiarize readers with Islam's history and theology. The information provided is well organized, accessible and comprehensive, although the addition of a glossary would have been helpful.
Christians who desire a greater understanding of Islam and current events in the Middle East will find this lucid overview lends context to newspaper headlines.
Taken From: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/011/35.82.html
Ghana : Ramadhan sees more worshippers visiting mosques
The month of Ramadhan brings about changes in many of this country’s Muslims, including those who are not normally so devout. They patronize the mosques in large numbers, and recite the Holy Qur’an frequently and for longer periods during this holy month, in addition to attending religious sessions.
The wealthy among the Muslims become more generous during this month, and treat their compatriots with compassion. Many of the employers, including the non-Muslim, try to reduce the working hours of their Muslim employees, and allow them time to say their daily prayers.
In mosques, the imams and other sheikhs translate to their audiences the meanings of the Holy Qur’an, while in the evenings the audiences are treated to recitations of some verses of the Holy Book.
Muslims inGhana make up 30 percent of the population of 19 million. Muslim presence in Ghana started in the 16th century of the Gregorian calendar.
Among the most active Islamic organizations in Ghana are the Kuwait-base African Muslim Agency (AMA) and the Da’awa Association.
Islamic schools have been in existence in Ghana since the 18th century CE.
Taken From: http://www.islamicnews.org/english/en_daily.html