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Government told not to repeal Sharia inspired bylaws in Jakarta, Indonesia

Some interpretations of Sharia are used to justify cruel crimes such as amputation as well as unequal treatment to women in inheritance, dress, and independence

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A public demonstration in Maldives, calling for Sharia 2014 Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • The Mathla’ul Anwar Islamic organization called on the government not to repeal Sharia inspired bylaws
  • Jokowi had earlier said that he would revoke 3,000 problematic bylaws in provinces, cities and regencies across the country
  • Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has been instructed by the President to complete the bylaw revocations in July

Justifying sharia inspired bylaws as guardians of the people’s morality, the Mathla’ul Anwar Islamic organization called on the government not to repeal such bylaws that are in place in many regions across the country.

According to a JakartaPost report, The Chairman of Mathla’ul Anwar, Ahmad Syadeli Karim, while speaking to the press after meeting President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, said that such bylaws are needed to prevent the country from sliding into further moral decadence.

Most of the people are aware of the word ‘Sharia’ but only a few people know what exactly it is. Sharia means “path” in Arabic which guides all facets of Muslim life including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings.

The influence of Sharia on both personal status law and criminal law is highly controversial. Some interpretations are used to justify cruel crimes such as amputation as well as unequal treatment to women in inheritance, dress, and independence.

In today’s world, where everyone needs to focus on ways to promote the idea of equality, such bylaws are following the idea of dominance.

Ahmad said at the State Palace, “We support the government’s efforts to increase investment, but the bylaws that are used to regulate goodness like zakat (obligatory alms for Muslims) for instance, and those that guard morality, should be strengthened, not to be revoked.”

Street protest for Sharia. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Street protest for Sharia. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

People supporting Sharia try to justify it by saying that Muslims around the world are united by a belief in God but executing people just because they were homosexual is something which needs justification too.

A quick Glance over Sharia inspired bylaws:

  • A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.
  • A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: i) an apostate ii) an adulterer iii) a highway robber. Vigilante street justice and honour killing is acceptable.
  • A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim, but will get it for killing a Muslim.
  • Sharia never abolished slavery, sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave.
  • Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging even for crimes of sin such as adultery.
  • Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as simple as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.

Islam considers Jihad as a duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of State (Caliph). In a previously published article of NewsGram titled ‘Boko Haram: why world is silent on this Jihadi organization?’ it was known that a Jihadi organisation, Boko Haram has killed a number of people people, abducted and raped women and forced schools to close down all in the name of religion.

Jokowi had earlier said that he would revoke 3,000 problematic bylaws in provinces, cities and regencies across the country to try and boost investment in infrastructure projects. Among the bylaws to be scrapped are those inspired by Islamic teachings.

Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has been instructed by the President to complete the bylaw revocations in July 2016.

-by Pashchiema, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

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Story Of Pakistani Immigrant Who Came To U.S. Helps Feed The Homeless

“I have a deep interest in social justice, Catholic social teaching … and so to be part of something bigger than myself, my son and I chose to come to lunch here today to support and be a small part of a great thing."

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Sakina Halal Grill serves a hot luncheon buffet to paying as well as non-paying guests. (J.Taboh) VOA

When Pakistani immigrant Kazi Mannan came to the U.S. in 1996 as an impoverished young adult, he could only dream about success. He worked long hours in a series of tough jobs, saved money and learned everything he could about working and living in America.

His hard work paid off. After more than 20 years, he’s now a successful entrepreneur and owner of a popular Pakistani-Indian restaurant just a few blocks from the White House.

But what’s most remarkable about his story is what he’s doing in his restaurant every day.

Kazi Mannan speaks with two of his regular homeless guests at his restaurant, which welcomes paying and non-paying customers. (J. Taboh/VOA)
Kazi Mannan speaks with two of his regular homeless guests at his restaurant, which welcomes paying and non-paying customers. (J. Taboh) . VOA

Mannan offers free meals to the homeless and anyone else in need.

Paying it forward

He says it’s his way of heeding the principles of his Muslim faith.

“I know God is happy with me, what I do, because I do it with my pure heart, with my pure intention, to uplift others without seeking any reward, any recognition,” he says. “I don’t need any awards, I don’t need any money. I just want to please Him.”

Mannan helps the needy he says, because growing up poor in Pakistan, he knows what it’s like to be hungry.

“I have nine siblings and [we didn’t have] much to eat … when you are poor and you [don’t] have things that other people have, when you get it, you want to appreciate, you want to share with others,” he said.

His desire to share deepened as he worked as a limousine driver in the nation’s capital. He saw homeless people on the street, day and night, in all kinds of weather — looking for food in trash cans.

The experience had an impact.

“I don’t want to see another human being going through the poverty that I went through. I don’t want to see another human being going through the hunger that I went through. I want them to have that feeling that they were being accepted, so they can come and sit here and eat with respect,” he says.

Just like family

His message is simple. Come to Sakina Halal Grill, which is named after his late mother, ask for food, use the restroom, and sit for as long as you want.

“We will love you and respect you the same way we respect a paying guest. We will treat you like family,” he said.

Members of the homeless community are welcome at Sakina Halal Grill restaurant anytime for a free meal. (J. Taboh/VOA)
Members of the homeless community are welcome at Sakina Halal Grill restaurant anytime for a free meal. (J. Taboh). VOA

Marchellor Lesueur, who is homeless, has been coming to the restaurant every day for the past eight months.

“I think that he’s a saint. He’s a beautiful man,” he says about Mannan. “My stomach was growling, I was looking for a blessing, then he popped up, gave me a card and invited me to a restaurant for lunch. And I was so overwhelmed and happy I couldn’t wait to get here, and ever since then I’ve been coming.”

Hegehiah Griakley is also a regular. He was finishing up a generous portion of rice and chicken, which he described as two meals in one.

“This is more than lunch,” he said. “They give you enough to feed you for the rest of the day I think. The food is great, the people are nice. I wouldn’t mind working here!”

Griakley says he once asked Mannan what he could give him in return for the free food. “Because most people expect you to give back.”

“But he said ‘no, no, no, no, no!’ He just wanted me to have a good meal,” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe that. It was so nice. I loved it.”

Compassionate immigrant

Mannan estimates that he’s provided more than 80,000 free meals since the restaurant opened in 2013.

And when he’s not feeding the needy in his restaurant, Mannan delivers meals to local shelters and churches, and organizes food and clothing drives at nearby parks.

Kazi Mannan distributes food to the needy at a local food and coat drive -- one of many he organizes every year. (K.Mannan)
Kazi Mannan distributes food to the needy at a local food and coat drive — one of many he organizes every year. (K.Mannan). VOA

“Some people tell me ‘homeless people are using drugs and you’re feeding them; that’s bad.’” To which he responds, “For you, it’s bad, for me, it’s joy. … I see a person who’s fallen to the ground. Whatever problem they went through to become homeless, it’s not my job to judge — my job is to give them respect and love.”

His paying customers are still his main business. Many of them contribute towards the free meals… and support his cause.

First time customer Geralyn Nathe-Evans was visiting from Minnesota when she read about Mannan’s mission in an article.

“I have a deep interest in social justice, Catholic social teaching … and so to be part of something bigger than myself, my son and I chose to come to lunch here today to support and be a small part of a great thing,” she said.

Mannan uses food as a way to help his fellow man, in practice of his faith. He urges others to do the same with their talents.

“If you’re a medical doctor, can you love him through your practice? If you are a lawyer, can you love him through your practice? Be kind and be compassionate to your client?” he asks.

In doing so, he believes “we will all prosper and flourish” as a society.

Also Read: Apple Watch Can Detect And Notify Users Irregular Heart Rhythms

Meantime, he says he will continue to nourish both body and soul of all who walk through the door of his restaurant.

“Just uplifting others is a joy for me. It doesn’t matter [what] color, religion you belong to. We are all human. I am focusing on humanity. I’m bringing humanity together and this is my mission.” (VOA)