New Trend Magazine (www.newtrendmag.org)

[Biggest Islamic web site in the U.S.]
P.O. Box 356, Kingsville, MD 21087.
Phone: 410-435-5000.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are not necessarily shared by editorial committee.
Responses (positive or negative) up to 250 words are welcome.
Names will be withheld on request.
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Ref: our article on WOMEN: EQUAL, AHEAD or in HELL?

"...this is excellent stuff - especially the pro-Muslim women pieces. keep up the good work."

yvonne [England]

Ed. Note: Yvonne Ridley is the journalist who was captured by the Taliban and later had the moral courage to write against stereotypical versions of the Taliban.
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Dr Kaukab Siddique:
Thank you for your response to women in Hadith. There is one thing left here, why do women have to strive hard to go to heaven, even something like telling their husbands that you are never good (wrong or right) can send them to hell but men have it easy? They can bring 3 more wives implying that first is not good enough for whatever reason and will enjoy the eternity in heaven. Another thing which I am not clear is the last speech by Prophet (PBUH) which states to be firm with women. The whole speech is wonderful about race and human equality but when comes to women, it is recommended firmness.
Thank you!
PS: I don't agree with everything you say but I like your stand on women, very progressive compare with other religious groups including your favorite Maulana Maudoodi. I have posted this response on APPNA's list (Association of Pakistani Physicians).

Ghazala Kazi
West Virginia
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The Fate of a Prominent Palestinian in the U.S.
AbdelHaleem Ashqar Fears he Will be Handed Over to Israel
Tortured by Israel, Refuses to Allow his Words Before U.S. Grand Jury to be used to Persecute Palestinians

Dear Respected Brothers and Sisters:
Alsalam Allaikum
Alhmdulilah Always
Yesterday, I appeared in front of Chief Judge Kocoras in the Federal court in Chicago in an issued related to the Grand Jury. Unfortunately, Judge Kocoras ruled to jail me in civil contempt** charges (Refusal to testify in front of Grand Jury). However, the Imprisonment will be in effect after two weeks due to our request to appeal Judge's ruling to the court of Appeal (7th Circuit Court). The imprisonment for civil contempt is designed to coerce the person to testify and it will last for the lifetime of the Grand Jury, but not to exceed 18 months or until the judge is convinced that the person would not change his/her mind.
Thank you for your Duaa
Abdelhaleem Ashqar
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Background
On Tuesday 6/25/2003, I appeared before a Grand Jury sitting in Chicago at Northern District of Illinois, pursuant to a subpoena served upon me and refused to answer any question and made the following statement:
My Statement to the Grand Jury
Chicago, Illinois
6/25/2003
I respectfully refuse to answer any question put to me other than my name, address and occupation on several grounds:
Most Important
To do so would violate my long-held and unshakeable Religious, Political and Personal Beliefs
Second
Any answer I might provide could and would be given to Israel and would be used by Israel against me in an unfair illegal and politically motivated prosecution for my beliefs and associations and Religion
Third
Having been tortured before by Israel for my beliefs, associations, and Religion, any answer I might provide could and would be given to Israel which would once again torture me as a result of such answers
Fourth
I have been for years the subject of widespread electronic surveillance which is illegal and being used by the Grand Jury to prepare for and to question me. Approximately, five years ago, I was subpoenaed to appear before a Grand Jury in New York regarding what I believe to be the same subject matter as this. At that time, I refused to testify and I was held in contempt and jailed for six months
I began a hunger strike as soon as I was jailed and maintained that strike until my release leaving me with permanent medical problems. It is not my intention to obstruct justice or to interfere with any matters under consideration by this Grand Jury As I said I can not answer any question today just as I refused to do so five years ago for the reasons I have set forth. I can not and will not permit my answers to be used against my friends, relatives and colleagues who have committed no crimes or wrongs but are being singled out for their involvement in the struggle for our political legitimate rights as recognized under international law. I would rather die than betray my beliefs and commitment to freedom, justice and democracy for Palestine and Palestinians who have been homeless for more than 50 years.
I will never give evidence or cooperate in any way with Grand Jury, or any other, no matter what the consequences to me
Then, I was granted immunity and appeared before the Grand Jury again and I reiterated my stand and read the aforesaid statement. Finally, I was directed in front of Chief Judge Kocoras who found me in contempt of court, which is known as civil contempt. Instead of jailing me on the spot, the judge per the request of Mr. Stanley Cohen-my attorney decided to give the attorney some time to challenge the legality of electronic surveillance as well as to jail some one twice in civil contempt. The judge will make a ruling in the issue in August, 13, 2003 in the Federal court in Chicago. However, the government threatened to file criminal contempt charges and obstruction of justice for refusal to testify. Also, the previous conditions prevailed: to report to FBI twice daily by phone; not to leave the state or the country and to report to INS twice weekly.
**Civil contempt involves the violation or disobeying of a rule or order, and is not a criminal charge. The legal purpose of confining a person for civil contempt is to coerce the witness to answer questions. Accordingly, US laws provides that one can be held in civil contempt only when there is a substantial likelihood or realistic possibility that the witness will testify.
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IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS REMAIN UNREPORTED

By Mohammed Ozeir, Pacific News Service
Excerpted

A review of the Arab press counting only deaths that were a direct result of armed U.S. or British actions, and taking care not to double-count fatalities reveals that since May 1, the day President Bush announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq, 245 Iraqi civilians have been killed as a direct result of military action or war-related events. This number is small when compared to the estimate of civilian deaths from the entire war, compiled by British-based Iraq Body Count, which put the number between 6,086 and 7,797. The extensive cross-checking and conservative methods used to obtain this estimate can be reviewed at
www.iraqbodycount.org.
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Conservatism Confused with Religion by many Muslims
ADVICE to Muslim Woman: There is no Priestly Class in Islam
Stopping Women from Entering a Mosque Violates Islamic Teachings

Dear Sheryl
Assalamu alay kum

In view of the variety of viewpoints that a new Muslim can be exposed to, it is imperative that one understands the thought process to judge whether what someone is saying is correct or not.

The most remarkable thing about Islam is that knowing what is right or wrong is not the sole domain of a priestly class who makes laws for the Muslims' community. All Muslims have the right to examine the sources from which a law is derived. To do this one does not need to have a degree from a religious institution but the opinions of the scholars is certainly most useful.

The sources of Islamic law are:
1. Quran. An English translation of the Quran will be useful. I suggest the commonly used translation of Abdullah Yusuf Ali. The Quran is the word of God verbatim.

2. Hadith or the sayings of the Prophet (pboh). There are 6 major books of hadith. These are Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah and Nasaai. Although there are some hadith which are unauthentic, the hadith have been subjected to severe scrutiny.

Therefore to determine if what has been said is incorrect my advice is as follows:
1. Determine from the person if what he or she is saying is in terms of the Quran. Determine the chapter and verse number and check it for yourself.

2. If the person says the ruling is from the hadith then you should ask him/her the name of the book of hadith (i.e. one of the 6 mentioned above) and the hadith number. If the hadith is in Bukhari or Muslim, the probability of it being authentic is very high. You can then ask a learned person as to the authenticity of the hadith. You could also refer your question on the hadith to Dr Kaukab Siddique who I have copied on this e-mail. He has already done much research on the hadith. His e-mail address is
KSidd37398@aol.com.

It is sad that in your area women are not allowed to pray in the mosques. During the time of the Prophet (pboh) women were allowed to attend congregational prayers.

I trust that you will find the above guidelines of some assistance.

Was salaam

Adam Seedat [South Africa]
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2003-08-17 Sun 15:39ct