Indian govt warns of revival of militancy in Punjab

October 30, 2012 by  
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This follows an assessment of the security agencies on the sudden rise of radical elements in Punjab.

Indian govt warns of revival of militancy in PunjabNew Delhi, October 29, 2012: Following intelligence outputs, the federal government has warned Punjab about a new wave of militancy threatening the state.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde reportedly told this to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a meeting today.

This follows an assessment of the security agencies on the sudden rise of radical elements in Punjab after decades of peace.

Top government sources told TV news channel NDTV that the prime minister and the home minister have been briefed by intelligence agencies that the efforts to revive terrorism in Punjab are originating in European countries by a section of the Sikh community settled abroad, reportedly being aided by Pakistan.

The propaganda, including recruitment drives for militant groups, is being disseminated over the internet.

Last month, Lt General Kuldeep Singh Brar, who led Operation Bluestar to flush out pro-Khalistan militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, was stabbed by four men in London.

The 78-year-old has since returned home to Mumbai.

Operation Bluestar was an Indian military operation to remove Sikh separatists from the Golden Temple in 1984.

The separatists, led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, were accused of amassing weapons in the Sikh temple and starting a major armed uprising.

There is also a growing controversy over the move by the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to build a memorial within the Golden Temple as tribute to those who were killed during Operation Bluestar by the army.

The SGPC handles the administration of several key gurudwaras and is considered the parliament of Sikhs.

– ndtv

The CSF Request for Contact Details – Yours & Other Christians too

October 30, 2012 by  
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With you alwaysMumbai, October 30, 2012: We give ‘Glory Only to God’, who has used you, through The CSF as His instruments, not just to build our faith, but in a big way to match our faith with works and action. We thank God for His mercy, for our ‘successes’, for we too are sinners.

As you are aware, its been years that we have been serving the LORD and HIS people, by sending you free information on community happenings and related issues, we think is important for you to be aware of.

We have also been sending you free spritual CDs, VCDs and material to build you up, besides importantly – generating praise, thanksgiving and intercession for situations that Christians find themselves into.

The CSF does not distinguish between Christians – be they Catholic, Mainline, Episcopal, Evangelical, ‘Protestant’, Pentecostal…. and works for all believers irrespective of rite or denomination.

In order to be of better service to you and others whom you can bless, by introducing The CSF emailer to; we are streamlining our services for 2013 and need you to CONFIDENTIALLY assist with the following:

1. To send this emailer to other Christians, which is the crying need of the hour – Please send us email ids (Common Christians, Institutions, Churches, Clergy, NGOs, etc.) to trinity.cmd@gmail.com

2. To courier / post material to you – Please send us your contact details (Name, Address, Telephone, Mobile & Email id) to divine.cmd@gmail.com

If each one of you responds to this call – we will have succeeded in taking the community – not just in India but also abroad to another level.

It is a responsibility, which any of you can fulfill and is your contribution towards our free labour of love. And it does not cost much.

All we can assure you is of our prayers and going that extra mile in the LORD’s Kingdom….

Your brother in Christ,

Joe Dias

Woman leaves abusive husband to join Ulfa

October 30, 2012 by  
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She intends to teach abortionists and brute husbands a lesson.

United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) ]Assam, October 29, 2012: How to get rid of an abusive husband? Join Ulfa.

A woman in Dobragaon village of Kokrajhar district of Assam left her home to join United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), an outlawed outfit, to fight his husband.

“I am leaving home to join the Ulfa. I intend to teach abortionists and brute husbands a lesson after training to be a militant,” read a letter that 23-year-old Rina Bala Roy left.

Roy disappeared on October 13.

The woman had rebelled against her family five years ago to marry Firen Roy, who allegedly turned out to be an abusive husband and forced her to abort four times.

However, Firen termed the allegations against him as baseless.

“Why shouldn’t I want an heir? The allegations are fanned by rumours,” he said.

Firen said that he has lodged a complaint with the police about his wife’s disappearance.

Local police officers said they were probing the domestic violence angle besides trying to locate the woman.

“The Ulfa thing could be a ruse,” a police official said.

Villagers said that the woman might have been inspired by Jahnobi Mahanta Rajkonwar, a schoolteacher who had in February left her family to join the Ulfa.

She too had left behind a letter addressed to her husband and children saying fighting for the ‘liberation’ of Assam was more important than managing a family.

– hindustan times

Uniquely Gifted

October 30, 2012 by  
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” Uniquely Gifted “

Romans 12:6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.

If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently;
if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (NIV)

Christian Fellowship
The church is not a building.

It is the people who belong to God because they have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each believer has been given gifts by the Holy Spirit.

These are spiritual tools which enable God to do His work, through His people.
And He gives a different selection of gifts to different people so that they are uniquely gifted to serve Him.

These special gifts need to be used.
How we use them will show the kind of relationship we have with God who has given them to us.

If we have a gift of giving, we need to be generous; if we have responsibility for others we must be diligent; and if we are called to help others who are in very difficult circumstances we must cheerfully put up with things which we might not like.

Christian Fellowship We all have these gifts, but like tools left in a box they are useless if we do not use them.
Many believers think that because they are not clergy, they have no gifts; but that is not true.

God has given spiritual gifts to all according to His wisdom and purpose.
So we need to find out what gifts we have, and then learn to use them wisely.

Other more mature Christians may help us in this.
We may not use the gifts perfectly at first, but we need to keep practicing and asking the Lord for His help.

Also we may try to use His gifts for our own glory.
That is not right but we can and must repent of self-centered serving so that we may become useful to Him and give Him the glory.

Prayer for the day : –

Father God. Thank You for giving me spiritual gifts when You included me in Your family.
I am sorry when I have ignored the privilege You gave me and have not served You in Your power.

I am sorry when I have used Your gifts, but in a wrong way or with a wrong attitude.
I am sorry when I have made mistakes and given up because I have not trusted You to help me persevere in serving You.

Please forgive me and help me to serve You as You have chosen in Your strength and with the abilities You give to me. In Jesus’ Name.Amen.

– vc mathews

Karnataka persecution worsens in Devanagere & Hassan Districts

October 29, 2012 by  
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Davanagere Church and worship meet targeted

Pastor Rajashekhar, Davanagere, Karnataka Karnataka, October 27, 2012: Pastor Rajashekhar (45) is in charge of the Divine Healing Medicine Church in Davanagere, Karnataka, which has a membership of about 1000 believers. The church is in existence from the year 1997, and it has been catering to the spiritual needs of its members and also spreading the message of Christ, the good news of liberation to those who seek the righteous way for a better life on earth and for their salvation in the world to come.

Rev. Rajashekhar organized a 3-day spiritual program of Fasting and Prayer for the members of his church, commencing in the morning on Wednesday 24-10-12 and ending on Thursday, 26-10-12, evening and practically the entire congregation was participating in the program. Everything went on very well during all the 3 days but bust when the program was about to end at about 9.00 pm on Thursday, a huge group of about 200 Hindu radicals forced themselves into the church and mounted an attack against the praying believers with wooden clubs and stones, injuring about 15 believers, and seriously wounding 5 among them who are being treated as in-patients in Chigateri Government Hospital in Davanagere. Most of the members of the radical Hindus are active workers of RSS and the Hindu Jagaran Vedike.

The Hindu radicals were being led by the Hindu Jagaran Vedike and RSS activists like Ramesh Kanade, Manjunath, Ramesh, Veeresh, Santhosh and Yogesh Bhat. As soon as they reached the venue, they ordered them to switch off the milkes alleging that their mikes were disturbing them and that they were also forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity. In the meantime the Sub Inspector Ramesh Kulkur along with 5 police constables also arrived at the venue and began inquiring into the complaint lodged against the Christians by the Hindu fundamentalists. But the rabid radicals without any warning and also without any respect to the police who were inquiring into the incident, ruthlessly attacked the Christians. The Christians silently bore all that was happening in their church.

Later, Pastor Rajashekhar along with the lawyer Mr. Aneesh Pasha and a group of believers went to the KTJ Nagar Police Station and lodged a complaint against the culprits. They also met the Dy S.P Shivakumar Gunare and briefed him about the incident in the church who, immediately moved into action and arrested 5 of the culprits later in the night.  Some of the wounded believers are – Shaila-38, Mark-37, Monica-19, Saroja-63, Dinakar-49, and Santhosh-20, and among those who were seriously wounded and admitted to the hospital are – Naveen-24, Patrick-38, and Alamma-28, besides a couple of other believers. It maybe also quite relevant here to recall to our minds what took place in Davanagere about 4 years ago. It was the same church which was attacked in 2008, though then known by a different name as the Full Gospel Assembly Church, leading to serious repercussions in the State. It is also learnt that it is the same people who also led that attack in 2008.

In 2008, on August 12, the members of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Sri Rama Sena began a daylong attack, torturing priests and worshippers, assaulting Christians and destroying churches and church property. The miscreants gathered outside the Full Gospel Assembly Church, Davanagere, in the morning and picketed the church amid a non-stop barrage of abusive slogans against Christianity, pastors and members of the congregation. This continued until 4 p.m., with the police looking on. Far from coming to the aid of Christians, the police, instead, were also a party to the illegal abuse, assault and damage to the church and church property. They had taken the pastor and other members of the congregation into custody and verbally and physically abused them while the mob went on to other churches nearby and stoned those churches as well.

Hassan Believers attacked for refusing to abandon Christ

Karnataka, October 27, 2012: Pastor Surendra, 33, is in charge of a church called Calvary Prarthana Mandira at Javagal in Arasikere Taluk of Hassan District in Karnataka. His house church is 3 years old and he has a congregation of about 30 believers. He lives with his wife Christy Prabha, 30, and a 2 year old daughter, Sheba. Five members of his congregation, who belong to three different families, hail from a village called Boochanahally about 15 Kms from his church, but who regularly attend the worship services on Sundays and any other prayer meetings during the course of the week, though they have accepted Christ only about a year and a half ago.

On 26-10-2012, Friday afternoon, some of the Hindu fundamentalists of their village confronted these five believers and told them in a threatening voice that they should stop attending the church in Javagal with immediate effect since that violates their village traditions of all of them believing only in the Hindu religion and that they should also begin paying their contributions to the local temple immediately and participate in all the temple prayers and worship services as they had been doing for generations and that if they failed to comply with their orders they would be dealt with very severely. The undaunted five believers faced them boldly and told them that they would never give up their faith in Jesus Christ and that neither would they stop attending the church in Javagal whatever the consequences.

Infuriated with their refusal to comply with their demands to give up their faith in Christ and also pay their contributions to the village temple, the Hindu fundamentalists attacked them and severely beat them up. All the five bleeding and wounded believers were rushed to the Chikmagalur Government Hospital where they are undergoing treatment as in-patients. The five simple village believers who fearlessly stood for their faith in Christ Jesus are – Venkatesh, Girish, Annaiah, Somu and Kanakamma. Please pray for them.

– persecution.in

A Story of MARRIAGE

October 29, 2012 by  
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A Story of MARRIAGE When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that, for the month’s duration, I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Dew about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what trick she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was greying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, “all my dresses have grown bigger.” I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me. She had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I ran upstairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead…….I cried and cried uncontrollably and carried her for the last time from the room to the hall with tears streaming down my face and gazing at my only son, his tears rolling from his eyes, they made me cry even more. I had lost my love, my wife and a loving and caring mother and nothing I could do now to put the clock backward. I had all the time now to look at her motionless body in detail but I knew it was going to be only for a short while until she made her last journey to the Lord… I held my son and wept again and again thinking of all the things I did not do for her when she was still alive… .and placed gently the flowers in her hands with my tears trickling on them…. She was gone forever, all my tears would not bring her back.

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank, blah.. blah.. blah. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

To those who are married, .. Not married .. and soon to be married …
Have a Wonderful Day!

THE TIME IS ALWAYS RIGHT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT

Moral of the story is to value all the things we possess, once they are gone we have nothing but regrets!

– fwd: thomas / binu

50,000 animals sacrificed for Chhattar

October 29, 2012 by  
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50,000 animals sacrificed for Chhattar

50,000 animals sacrificed for Chhattar

Orissa, October 23, 2012: Like every year, faith took precedence over reasoning at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district. Nearly 50,000 animals were sacrificed along the main thoroughfares of the town on Monday to propitiate Manikeswari during ‘Bijaya Yatra’ of the annual Chhattar festival.

This happened despite the best efforts of the administration to check animal sacrifice. The number is 20% more compared to last year, sources said.

“Animal sacrifice took place despite our best efforts. We had launched awareness campaigns a week before the festival, but that didn’t bear fruit,” said SP (Kalahandi) S Ahmed.

More than one lakh people took part in the procession of Manikeswari, the presiding deity of the area. She was taken in a procession from Jenakhal after Sandhi puja to Bhawanipatna, which is the permanent abode of the deity, amid the rhythmic beats of Jenabadya, Nisan and Ghanta (traditional musical instruments) and dancers performing ‘Ghumura’ and martial art forms.

Devotees lined up along the road for a glimpse of the goddess. “We believe that we will get rid of out vices and diseases by sacrificing animals. Every year we participate in the festival to invoke the deity’s blessings,” said Madhu Chandan, a devotee.

The municipality authorities were asked to clean the bloodied roads after the festival. “We engaged around 50 sweepers to clean the roads after the rituals. The civic body was entrusted with the cleaning work two days before the festival,” said Loknath Tiwari, executive officer of the municipality.

Every year before the start of the sacrifice ritual on Asthami, two swords belonging to the goddess are washed in the pond located behind the Bhawanipatna royal palace. These are then worshipped and brought back to the temple in a procession. Then a buffalo is sacrificed at the Budharaja or Vairab temple, a satellite shrine of the Manikeswari temple.

This is the only time the deity is worshipped during the year. Following this ritual, the Chhattar or umbrella of the goddess, along with two swords of the deity, are taken out for the procession.

– times of india

Mainland India needs to appreciate northeast: Nagaland CM

October 29, 2012 by  
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He said the north east remained backward and underdeveloped, despite being a crucial region for India.

North-east India

Nagaland, October 29, 2012: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio has called on the people of the mainland India to appreciate and understand the northeast and to make the people of the region feel part of the country.

“It is indeed true that a majority of mainland Indians have little or no knowledge of this part of the country, which is definitely India but unfortunately an unequal India,” Rio said.

He was addressing the Eclectic Young Leaders Connect-2 conference at Kisama village near Kohima last week.

The chief minister said that the feeling of distance, disconnect and neglect that the north eastern states feel with the rest of the country should be addressed as a national issue.

“Let us keep in mind that less than one per cent of the landmass of the region is directly touching mainland India and more than 99 per cent of our geographical boundary is international,” he said.

The north eastern states are surrounded by Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and China and the only land route accessible to these states from India is through the Siliguri corridor in West Bengal and Assam.

Rio said the north east, including Sikkim, remained backward and underdeveloped, despite being a crucial region for India.

“The infrastructure is poor, the economy is weak, there is political instability, insurgency and social unrest. These have created an environment of neglect and disappointment, where there is little or no hope,” he said.

“Unless an air of political stability is created by removing insurgency and violence, the region will continue to lag behind,” he added.

– the statesman

Khuram Shahzad, Christian accused of blasphemy, has been granted bail

October 29, 2012 by  
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Khuram Shahzad, Christian accused of blasphemy, has been granted bail Pakistan, October 22, 2012: Khuram Masih, a Christian accused of blasphemy was granted bail on 22 October 2012 by Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, a judge of the High Court, ordered his release against the payment of 100,000 rupees (US$ 1,000).

Lawyers of the Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD), which followed this case, said the 24-year-old man was physically worn out but overjoyed that he survived. He has not stopped thanking God for allowing justice to triumph. His father and family is very happy to know the order of Court.

On dated 5 December 2011 ,there was registered a blasphemy case FIR NO 1211/11 at Police Station Shahdara Town Lahore against one poor Christian young man, Khuram Shahzad was alleged of burning pages of Quran and was arrested same day and put behind bars, he was physically beaten and tortured by police officials during the custody, atmosphere of jail premises as well as defective food provided to him in the jail premises, due to these circumstances he had become the patient of certain complicated diseases like bleeding through urine etc., on 18 October 2012,there was hearing of trial in jail and LEAD’s lawyers, Aric John and Hadayat Bashir Advocate High Court with National Director LEAD and President PCC, Advocate Sardar Mushtaq M.Gill appeared in jail for hearing of trial and submitted an application regarding the medical examination and treatment of Mr. Khuram Masih accused of blasphemy under section 295 B PPC,which was accepted by trial court and  next date of trial was fixed 31 October 2012.

Lawyers of the Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD) followed this case and filed bail petition in session court Lahore and same was dismissed on dated 3 January 2012 by Judge Anjum Raza Sayyed additional and session judge, second bail was filed in Lahore High Court in which Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, a judge of the High Court, ordered and gave direction of conclusion of trial within three months.
On dated 8 August 2012 again after passing nearly seven months Lawyers of the Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD) filed bail petition in the same court of Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, a judge of the High Court, who granted bail and passed order for his release against the payment of 100,000 rupees (around US$ 1,000) one surety bond after suffering nearly 11 Months in jail premises.

The Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD) request you all to be part and partner of LEAD for this fight for the persecuted Church in Pakistan. We are very thankful for your physical and financial support for fiscal needs of LEAD.

The president PCC and National Director of LEAD Advocate Sardar Mushtaq M.Gill urged to Pakistani Government to take some strong measures against the abuses of blasphemy laws against the Christians in Pakistan, he also requested that make such a judicial policy that the accused of blasphemy laws be granted bail till the final disposal of the case and it should be made statutory right of accused of in such religious offences and blasphemy accused.

The fight for Christian Rights and against blasphemy laws will continue within our limited resources as long as we are alive.

Bible says, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelations 2:10).

“For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

– lead

Saudi Grand Mufti calls Muslim countries to apply sharia, even in shared relations

October 29, 2012 by  
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For three million Muslims these are the days of the pilgrimage to Mecca. Today they will observe the “stoning of the devil”. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh underscores the importance of the application of Islamic law, in all areas of life, including politics, while “Some slogans raised among Muslims these days call for setting up democratic states with no connection with the Islamic Shariah.”

Saudi Grand Mufti calls Muslim countries to apply sharia, even in shared relationsSaudi Arabia, October 26, 2012: The need to apply Sharia, or Islamic law, in all areas of life even in relations between Muslim states. This is the invitation that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh addressed to the nearly three million faithful who in these days are making the pilgrimage (Haj) to Mecca.

For them, today is the day of the “stoning of the devil”, symbolized by the stone throwing against three Jamarat, tall pillars, which have now been replaced for safety reasons by long walls (see photo). This is in fact the most dangerous moment of the pilgrimage: the stone throwing has sometimes caused riots and in 2008 caused the death of 346 pilgrims.

The ritual takes place in Mina, east of Mecca and follows the Wuqoof-e-Arafat, when the faithful gather in the plains of Arafat and recite “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik,” Here I am, O God, in answer to your call. Helicopters and thousands of police agents have followed the journey, which took place in a hot 37 degrees, relieved by hydrants that bathe the pilgrims. After sunset, they came to Muzdalifa, a plain where traditionally they gather stones that today are launched against the Jamarat.

But yesterday was also the day of the sermon of the Grand Mufti who urged believers to “make all your efforts to achieve dignified living for your people and end their sufferings.” He called on them to treat people with “justice and fairness” and underlined the importance of the application of Sharia, or Islamic law, in all areas of life, including politics, while ” some slogans raised among Muslims these days call for setting up democratic states with no connection with the Islamic Shariah.”

“The leaders of the Muslim world should engage in dialogue and comply with Shariah in resolving differences.” Muslim leaders must be on guard not to become prey to the schemes of their enemies, who are trying to ignite sectarianism and destabilize the security of the Ummah, the Islamic nation.

Muslim nations should also exchange expertise in the economic, business and scientific spheres. “This will achieve two benefits for Muslim nations. First, there will be a political advantage. A Muslim nation should run its own affairs without interference from outside. Second, there will be an economic advantage. Production will increase in Muslim countries and more job opportunities will be created. Moreover, the well-educated will stay and will not leave for non-Muslim countries,” he concluded.

– asianews

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