Head of Saudi Religious Police: “Islamic sharia does not have a text forbidding women driving”

Head of Saudi Religious Police: “Islamic sharia does not have a text forbidding women driving”

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving is not mandated by any text in Sharia, the Islamic legal code which forms the basis for most Saudi law, the head of its morality police told Reuters on Thursday.
Sheikh Abdulatif Al al-Sheikh stressed that he has no authority to change Saudi policy on women driving, but his comment may feed into a national discussion in Saudi Arabia, where women have in the past been arrested for defying the ban.
Although Saudi Arabia has no written legal code to go with the texts making up sharia, its police and judiciary have long enforced a prohibition on women driving, citing the country’s conservative customs.
Even without any specific law against women driving, women who defied the prohibition have been arrested by the country’s regular police department and put on trial on charges that include causing public disturbance.
“Islamic sharia does not have a text forbidding women driving,” said Al al-Sheikh, who was appointed by King Abdullah last year to head the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the formal name of the religious police.
King Abdullah has pushed for cautious social and economic reforms in the world’s top oil exporter, including efforts to give women a more prominent role in society.
Al al-Sheikh said that in his role as head of the morality police, he did not make policy but implemented the rules and laws of the kingdom.
He said that the morality police had not pursued or stopped any women for driving since he was made head of the organisation and said he was not aware of such cases before his appointment.
But he added that a report in the Arabic daily al-Hayat on Thursday that members of the morality police had recently been instructed not to pursue or stop women drivers in future was untrue.
“We have not given any new instructions,” he said.
Saudi Arabia’s morality police was set up as an informal institution in the 1930s to enforce public morals according to the strict interpretation of sharia in the kingdom’s official Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam.
It is now a branch of the state, with a permanent staff and annual budget. Al al-Sheikh, like its previous heads, is a religious scholar.
King Abdullah’s reform efforts, such as appointing women to the advisory Shoura Council and promoting female employment, have sometimes incurred opposition among conservatives in the country’s powerful Wahhabi clergy.
“The era of King Abdullah is an era of reform and development of all state organisations, including the Commission,” said Al al-Sheikh.
Al al-Sheikh said he has worked to improve the body’s image over the past 18 months by clamping down on members who exceed their authority and encouraging a lighter hand in its dealing with the public.
“We implement the rules strictly if the Commission people exceed their powers. We don’t allow them to interpret the law themselves,” he said.
Women’s rights groups in the conservative Islamic kingdom have been agitating for a change in the rules. In addition to being banned from driving, Saudi women must seek the approval of a male relative, known as their “guardian”, to travel, get a job, open a bank account or have some forms of elective surgery.
(Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by William Maclean and Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: Reuters

Muslims Have A Monopoly On YouTube “Refutations”

Muslims Have A Monopoly On YouTube “Refutations”

A brother posted this comment on Facebook:

Seen a pattern of formerly overzealous practicing Muslims fall completely out of the faith. Sometimes moving from one Muslim group to its polar opposite with the same enemy-centered, “I-will-refute-you” overzealousness.

Be careful not to conflate correcting “the other” as your #1 ‘ibadah priority over actual worship (salah, Qur’an, communicating with Allah via du’aa, community service, good manners, ethics, and behavior).

The “enemy-centered” mentality that plagues overzealous Muslims of all stripes is a dog-eat-dog mentality that eventually turns inward, first by going after people outside “the group”, then going after people within “the group” until that person eventually turns on themselves.

There is only so much negativity a person can contain within themselves in the name of religiosity before they spiritually implode.

Don’t be a hater – be a worshiper

Then a famous Muslim scholar responded with these comments:

Try this experiment. Go to Youtube. Type in the word “refutation” in the search engine. See what comes up with the auto-filling and also the search results.

My point was that Muslims seem to have a monopoly on refuting each other. For what??

I did just that and the picture above was what I saw.

Muslims are #1 at refuting each other!

Shake Shack not halal in the US – A US Supplier for Shake Shack exports Halal Meat to Middle East locations and does not supply US locations

Shake Shack not halal in the US – A US Supplier for Shake Shack exports Halal Meat to Middle East locations and does not supply US locations

Update 2:  The Creek Stone Farms supplies Halal meat for export to the Middle East Shake Shack locations.  The US locations do not use halal meat.

shake-shack-not-halal

 

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Update 1: Apparently Creek Stone Farms supplies Shake Shack with their beef. This farm’s beef is halal. Shake Shake doesn’t know this that’s why they don’t advertise it nor acknowledge it.

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Sorry but it’s not halal. I kept hearing about this restaurant and there were rumors that they were halal. I decided to simply ask them, and they responded with a clear and definite answer.

Hi Ibn,

Unfortunately we don’t serve halal or kosher meat in the US. I’m sorry about that, and hope you can visit us to enjoy a sweet treat of frozen custard.

Brandy

Brandy Cerne
SHAKE SHACK

First Female to Recite the Quran at the Annual ISNA Convention (Update with reactions)

From the YouTube video description:

Usthadha Tahera Ahmad, Associate University Chaplain and Faculty Fellow at Northwestern University, opened the first main hall session of the 50th Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention on Aug 30th, 2013 with this recitation of the Holy Quran. This is the first time a female has been invited to recite the Quran

More info on the sister:
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Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi Twitter Hacked? (UPDATE: Tweet Removed)

Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi Twitter Hacked? (UPDATE: Tweet Removed)

UPDATE: It appears the tweet has been removed alhamdulillah. Perhaps that Twitter account is not the official one of Shaykh Muhammad.

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I don’t know how I can explain such a tweet from Shaykh Muhammad except that someone hacked his account or someone is doing a really good job of impersonating him on Twitter.  I hope this is not his official account and I pray that he never said this.

shaykh-muhammad-al-yaqoubi-egypt-4-finger-sufi-azhar-ikhwan

Link to the tweet on Twitter here.

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Abdul Mateen Chida: A Pioneer In Islamic Work and Entrepreneurship [Update: He has passed away]

Abdul Mateen Chida: A Pioneer In Islamic Work and Entrepreneurship [Update: He has passed away]

UPDATE:

Our dear elder brother Abdul Mateen Chida has passed away on Friday October 11, 2013. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon (From Allah we came and to Allah we shall return to). May Allah have mercy on him and forgive him.
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Current Vice President of ISNA, Azhar Azeez, posted this on his Facebook and I thought I’d share it on my blog since it’s such an amazing story of the history of Islam in America:
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Mohamed Soltan, American Citizen and Ohio State Grad, arrested in Egypt

Mohamed Soltan, American Citizen and Ohio State Grad, arrested in Egypt

I have recently learned that a friend, Mohamed Soltan, of some of my friends was attacked and arrested in Egypt for protesting against the Egyptian military coup. I have pasted their words with their permission. Mohamed Soltan has been an activist in Egypt calling for Democracy. You can see him on Twitter here and he was on ABC News doing an interview here.

From my friend Raef:

Mohamed Soltan, shot earlier by Egyptian security forces is now arrested by the bastards. They broke into the apartment and took him – as of now, no one knows where he is.

From my friend Ahmad Abuhamda:

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A Must Read – Sharif Aly: My Perspective on Egypt

A Must Read – Sharif Aly: My Perspective on Egypt

I have dear family and friends in Egypt who are surprised by my position on what is happening. Some random people on Twitter even cursed at me and called me horrible names for sharing news articles and voicing opinions that I believe are based on solid, trustworthy sources and eyewitness testimony. Keep in mind there are journalists from all across the world in the middle of the violence, capturing the actions as they happen and sharing them with the world.
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