Alcohol sales banned in Greenland capital during lockdown
Move aims to cut violence against children during coronavirus confinement
Nearly one in three people living in the autonomous Danish Arctic territory suffered sexual abuse during childhood. Experts link the abuse to alcohol, drugs and ignorance of children’s rights.
After Greenland closed down schools on Monday with 10 cases of coronavirus diagnosed, a rise in violence followed.
“Unfortunately, in Nuuk, domestic violence has been on the rise in recent weeks,” the health minister, Martha Abelsen, told local media. Excessive drinking by parents exposed children to dangers in the home, Greenlanders were warned.
The alcohol ban came into force on Saturday and is scheduled to last until 15 April.
An unidentified extremist broke into an Arizona mosque early Monday morning and ripped up copies of the Quran.
The Islamic Center of Tucson wrote in a Facebook post that the man, seen in surveillance footage wearing a University of Arizona T-shirt, entered the mosque at about 3:30 a.m. Monday.
“He ripped copies of the Qur’an and threw them around the prayer room before leaving the building,” the center wrote. “Thankfully no one was hurt.”
Imraan Siddiqi, executive director at the Arizona chapter of The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, called on “local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime and for religious and political leaders to speak out against the growing Islamophobia in our state and nation that results in such acts of bigotry.”
The attack on the mosque comes amid a frightening surge in hate incidents targeting Muslims.
Hate crimes rose 7 percent in the U.S. in 2015, according to the FBI, a rise driven largely by a 67 percent increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims. The FBI hasn’t released hate crime statistics for 2016.
Also in 2015, mosques were targeted for vandalism, arson and other types of destruction 80 times, a nearly 400 percent rise from 2014, according to a report from CAIR.
In a seven-week span this year, three mosques in the U.S. have fallen victim to arson, according to authorities. And just this past weekend, a mosque in Michigan caught fire, although the cause of that blaze is unknown.
Meanwhile, the number of anti-Muslim hate groups tripled in 2016, according to a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a rise the SPLC attributed to the anti-Muslim rhetoric of President Donald Trump.
Members of the Islamic Center of Tucson have faced anti-Muslim sentiment themselves. “Terrorist, go back to where you came from!” someone shouted from a car window at the Islamic Center’s president, Ahmed Meiloud, last year.
And college students in neighboring private high-rise dorms are known to throw bottles and cans at mosque members. “Yes, these are students, usually drunken students, but these attacks aren’t random,” Meiloud told The New York Times. “We are the target.
Islamic finance is a global financial system that complies with sharia(Islamic law) — a code of conduct that guides all aspects of Muslim life. Sharia prohibits certain elements that are common in conventional finance, such as interest and speculation. As the world’s Muslim population increases, the demand for Islamic financial firms and products is growing dramatically.
KEY SHARIA PRINCIPLES AND PROHIBITIONS IN ISLAMIC FINANCE
Sharia law differentiates Islamic finance from conventional finance. The Islamic financial system is constructed on economic concepts specified by sharia — a code of conduct that guides Muslims (the followers of Islam) in social, economic, and political matters. Sharia promotes balance and justice and discourages behaviors of excess. Some of the core ideas promoted by sharia include the following:
Allah (God) is the owner of all wealth. Humans are merely the trustees of wealth, which belongs to Allah. Humans must manage wealth according to Allah’s commands, which promote justice and prohibit certain activities, including wasting or destroying resources. Muslims have the right to enjoy whatever wealth they acquire and spend in sharia-compliant ways.
Material pursuits must be balanced with an individual’s spiritual needs. A Muslim’s economic activities and pursuit of wealth should balance with the spiritual aspects of life. Economic activity conducted according to sharia is, itself, an act of worship, but finding balance between economic activities and spirituality is key. A Muslim is expected to seek moderation in the material world — to avoid being either miserly or too materialistic.
An individual’s needs must be balanced with society’s needs. A Muslim needs to consider society in general when enjoying Allah’s bounties. These considerations include promoting justice in all economic activities, remembering that all people have mutual responsibility for all others, and using the earth’s resources wisely.
Economic transactions should take place within a just, responsible, free-market economy. Islam does not restrict economic activity but instead directs it toward being responsible to other people, to the earth, and to Allah. Islam allows for a free-market economy where supply and demand are decided in the market, but it directs the function of the market mechanism by imposing specific laws and ethics. A primary purpose for imposing these laws and ethics is to promote social justice: a balance in which wealth is not accumulated only by a few while most others suffer.
In support of these principles, sharia prohibits business transactions based on the following:
Interest:Riba, the Arabic word for interest, means to increase, grow, or multiply into more than what would be due. Riba is prohibited by Islam because it creates societal injustice; in a riba-based transaction, the owner of the wealth gets return without making any effort, and the borrower carries all the risk.
Uncertainty: The Arabic word gharar means uncertainty or to cheat or delude. Transactions based on gharar are unclear or ambiguous; not everyone involved knows what to expect and can make an informed decision. Gharar exists when two parties enter a contract and one party lacks complete information or when both parties lack control over the underlying transaction.
Gambling: Two Arabic words — maysir and qimar — refer to transactions that involve gambling. Maysir is the acquisition of wealth by chance instead of by effort. Qimar refers to a game of chance. Both types of transactions are based on uncertainty; no one can know how a gamble will pay off.
Prohibited products and industries: Islam prohibits products and industries that it considers harmful to society and a threat to social responsibility. Examples include alcohol, pork, prostitution, pornography, tobacco, and any products based on uncertainty or gambling.
ISLAMIC FINANCIAL PRODUCTS BASED ON SHARIA-COMPLIANT CONTRACTS
In accordance with Islamic law (sharia), Islamic financial products are based on specific types of contracts. These Sharia-compliant contracts support productive economic activities without betraying key Islamic principles as some conventional financial products do. Sharia-compliant contracts cannot create debt, cannot involve the payment of interest, and must provide for a sharing of risk and responsibility between the involved parties.
To be valid, an Islamic contract must feature subject matter that is lawful, has value for a Muslim, and is specific enough to avoid uncertainties. The service or asset described in the contract generally must exist when the contract is being created, must be owned by the seller (hence prohibiting short sales of stock, for example), and must be deliverable.
Here are some of the most commonly used contracts in Islamic finance:
Contracts of partnership allow two or more parties to develop wealth by sharing both risk and return:
Mudaraba: One party gives money to another party, which invests it in a business or economic activity. Both parties share any profit made from the investment (based on a pre-agreed ratio), but only the investor loses money if the investment flops. The fund manager loses the value of the time and effort it dedicated to the investment. (However, the fund manager assumes financial responsibility if the loss results from its negligence.)
Musharaka: This contract creates a joint venture in which both parties provide investment capital, entrepreneurial skills, and labor; both share the profit and/or loss of the activity.
Contracts of exchange are sales contracts that allow for the transfer of a commodity for another commodity, the transfer of a commodity for money, or the transfer of money for money:
Murabaha: In this cost plus contract, an Islamic financial institution sells a commodity to a buyer for its cost plus the profit margin, and both parties know the cost and the profit in advance. The buyer makes deferred payments.
Salam: In this forward contract, the buyer (or an Islamic financial institution on behalf of the buyer) pays for goods in full in advance, and the goods are delivered in the future.
Istisna: This second type of forward sale contract allows an Islamic financial institution to buy a project (on behalf of the buyer) that is under construction and will be completed and delivered on a future date.
Contracts of safety and security are often used by Islamic banks; these contracts help individual and business customers keep their funds safe:
Wadia: A property owner gives property to another party for the purpose of safeguarding. In Islamic banks, current (checking) accounts and savings accounts are based on the wadia contract.
Hiwala: Debt is transferred from one debtor to another. After the debt is transferred to the second debtor, the first debtor is free from her obligation. This contract is used by Islamic financial institutions to remit money between people.
Kafala: A third party accepts an existing obligation and becomes responsible for fulfilling someone’s liability. In conventional finance, this situation is called surety or guaranty.
Rahn: A property is pledged against an obligation. A customer can offer collateral or a pledge via a rahn contract in order to secure a financial liability.
“Hold to forgiveness; command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant.”
In this verse love and forgiveness are shown to be infinitely better than justice through vengeance. Even while the Quran allows for the “law of equality” (i.e., the grim and literal justice of exacting an eye for an eye), with the reminder that this primitive form of justice restrains people from perpetrating violence against each other so acts as a positive force in human affairs, it emphasizes that God has opened another, better path for dealing with situations of injury and loss, and this is the path of remission, compensation, and reconciliation. Stating undeniable preference for this second way, the Quran explains that God offers it as a concession and token of Divine mercy.
It is crucial to understand that the Quran gives a choice to the one who has suffered injury and/or loss: to seek justice or to seek reconciliation and transformation. In other words, the injured party is empowered to choose, with a strong word of encouragement to think seriously about God’s preferred option. Forgiveness and reconciliation are thus not mandated or forced upon the injured; rather, both paths are left open. When a person’s power has been taken from her or him through violence, she or he must regain a sense of wholeness and personal empowerment before the option of forgiveness has any meaning. In the case of Joseph, he forgave from a place of power and healing, and we see an almost identical dynamic in the life of the prophet Muhammad.
‘A common question that is both basic yet extremely profound – posed by many critics of the Islamic tradition is whether or not the Qur’an is a good book. Does it promote concepts that provide answers for humans to live a healthy and beneficial lives – for both themselves and the world around them?
Take a look at how Bayan Claremont’s visiting faculty member, Dr. Joseph Lumbard tackles this question.’