Sunday, November 26, 2006

OIC appeals for halt to Sunni-Shiite bloodbath in Iraq

Jeddah, Nov 25 -The Organisation of the IslamicConference called today for a halt to the Sunni-Shiitebloodbath in Iraq, reminding Iraqi religious leaders of theirpledge to prohibit the shedding of Muslim blood.Meanwhile, an Arab League official in Cairo said foreignministers from the 22-member organisation are expected to meetin Cairo on December 5 to call on Iraqi factions to end the"cascades of blood in Iraq."OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed"deep concern and sorrow at the heinous acts of violence inIraq, the abhorrent sectarian fighting and the repugnantmassacres among the brothers in faith," said a statementissued at the pan-Islamic body's headquarters in Jeddah.Ihsanoglu urged "all Iraqis, Muslim scholars and theirreligious authorities to fear God in their faith, people andcountry (and) to refrain from committing these prohibitedgrave sins."He was issuing his appeal "in his capacity as thearchitect of the Mecca Document, which was signed and endorsedby the senior religious authorities and Muslim scholars in Iraq, both Shiite and Sunni, who vowed to God in front of theblessed Kaaba (holy stone in Mecca) not to violate thesanctity of Muslim blood and to incriminate those who shed(it)."Ihsanoglu was referring to a 10-point document endorsedby 29 Iraqi Sunni and Shiite clerics in the Muslim holy cityof Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in which they appealed for an end tosectarian killings and declared that the spilling of Muslimblood was forbidden.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Bombing onslaught on Shiite enclave in Baghdad kills 161

Baghdad, Nov 24 - Funeral processions began today forthe more than 160 people who were killed by car bombs andmortars in Baghdad's largest Shiite district. Hundreds of men,women and children beat their chests, chanted and cried asthey walked beside vehicles carrying the caskets of theirloved ones.The rest of Baghdad remained under a 24-hour curfew aimedat stopping widespread sectarian violence in the capital. ButIraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, himself a Shiite,ordered police to guard the processions carrying victims ofyesterday's attacks by Sunni Muslim insurgents in Sadr City toNajaf, the holy Shiite city where they will be buried."God is great. There is no God but Allah. Mohammed is themessenger of Allah," about 300 mourners chanted, as they beattheir chests while walking through the Sadr City slumalongside slow moving cars and minivans carrying 16 woodencaskets tied to the rooftops. Some of the men and womenrepeatedly touched the sides of the vehicles or the caskets inan effort to say a final farewell to their relatives orfriends.Once the processions reached the edge of Sadr City innortheastern Baghdad, the cars and minivans left most of themourners behind for the 160-kilometre drive south to Najaf, atreacherous journey that passes through many checkpoints andareas controlled by Sunni militants in Iraq's so-called"Triangle of Death."In yesterday's well-coordinated attack, Sunni insurgentsblew up five car bombs and fired mortars in Sadr City, killingat least 161 people and wounding 257 in a dramatic attack thatsent the US ambassador racing to meet with Iraqi leaders in aneffort to contain the growing sectarian war.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Muslim woman lawyer refuses to take off veil

London, Nov 8 - Amid raging controversy over theissue of veil, a senior judge in the UK has been asked by animmigration tribunal to decide whether a female Muslimadvocate may wear the 'hijab' in court.The question was referred to Justice Sir Henry Hodge,president of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, by animmigration judge at Hanley, who had difficulty in hearinglegal executive Shabnam Mughal, dressed completely in blackwith a full-face veil.The judge, George Glossop, asked Mughal yesterday if shewould "kindly remove her veil to assist with communication",the Daily Telegraph reported today."It will allow me to see your face and I cannot hear youas well as I would like," he told her.She declined to do so and Immigration Judge Glossopbriefly adjourned the case. Later in the day, he againg askedher to remove the veil.When Mughal again refused to remove her veil, the judgeadjourned the case until next Monday, pending consultationswith Justice Hodge.Mughal, in her twenties, who was representing a Sikhbusinessman challenging the government's refusal to permithis nephew to visit Britain, was not taking media calls.Javid Hussain, practice manager at the Law Partnershipin Coventry, where Mughal works, said she had worn her veilwhile appearing before tribunals in different parts of thecountry for at least past two years.In recent weeks, the veil has become the centre ofcontroversy in the UK after Jack Straw, leader of the Houseof Commons, said the 'hijab' was a barrier to communication.Prime Minister Tony Blair had termed the full-face veil as a"mark of separation" between communities.