Category Archives: Sharia

HONOR KILLINGS HAVE SOURCE IN SHARIA LAW

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Protesters with a banner that says "Sharia will Dominate the World"By Hasan Mahmud

Denial of sharia sources for honor killings and FGM has only given us the destruction of countless Muslim women and a bad name to Islam

I feel strongly offended to see how scores of articles and speeches on topics such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and honor killing often bypass the secondary Islamic documents supporting these issues. This attitude of denial has only given us the destruction of countless Muslim women and a bad name to Islam.

Records of the empires of Hammurabi, Assyria, Napoleon, Rome and more show that honor killing goes across culture, region and religion. Historically, a woman’s “chastity” is the property not of herself but her family. As this phenomenon now is dominant in Muslim societies, we should look into how sharia law impacts this brutal culture.

Family members of a girl or woman – mostly men — kill her for “bringing shame to the family” by not fulfilling their expectations of love, sex, clothing, behavior, intimacy, fidelity – including even a flirtation with men on Skype, Twitter, through SMS, etc. Even chatting on Facebook is prohibited, as declared by Sheikh Abdullah Al Mutlaq, a senior scholar in Saudi Arabia.

Let us look at real scenario. After the sister/daughter is killed, there are two sets of sharia law to apply:

Case A - “Punishment of intentional killing is death”. But, “A killer cannot be put to death if one or all heirs of the victim pardon/s him or take Blood Money”- Codified Islamic Law Vol 1 – 41, 44 (The Codified Islamic law is a three volume compilation from mainly Hanafi law written by six Islamic scholars and published by the Islamic Foundation, Bangladesh.)

As the family already lost the victim, they do not want to lose another one (the killer). So, the killer may be ordered to pay blood money to his own family. It is also quite natural that one or all of the heirs of the victim pardon/s the killer. Politically and financially powerful killers in Muslim countries can easily force the victim’s poor helpless family to take the blood money and “pardon” the killer. In this case, the state is powerless to prosecute the killer.

Case B – “Parents and Grandparents will not be punished (by Hudood) for killing sons or grandsons.”- Shafi’i law # o.1.2.4 & Codified Islamic Law Vol 1-65B. [Hudood are Islamic laws stating the limits ordained by Allah and including the deterrent punishments for serious crimes]

It does not mention daughters or granddaughters but in essence, it applies to them too. This law was based on so-called Sahi Hadith (Prophet’s examples); see Sahi Ibn Majah Vol 4- 2661, 2662, Sahi Tirmiji 1404, 1405 & 1406:

 (1404) Sayyidina Suraqah ibn Maalik (RA) reported that he was present when Allah’s Messenger (SAW) made a son pay retaliation for killing his father, but he did not ask a father to pay retaliation for the murder of his son.

(1405) Sayyidina Umar ibn Khattab (RA), said that he heard Allah’s Messenger (SAW) say, “A father will not be killed for slaying his son.”

(1406) Sayyidina ibn Abbas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The prescribed punishments are not carried out in mosques and a father is not killed for the slaying of his son.”

These man-made sharia laws and hadiths are the main tools of legitimizing violence in the name of Islam and are one of the main reasons of growing global Islamophobia. We Muslims must apply our right to reject those laws based on logic and human rights.

Application of these laws varies, but honor killers are hardly punished. This brutality is supported by some vote-seeking local politicians in Pakistan. From the Quran and the Prophet we can successfully defeat all kinds of oppression of women in the name of Islam except FGM and honor killings.

Unfortunately, I did not find enough support to defeat those from Islamic sources.

We have a long way to go. Education/enlightenment is the only key. The West cannot achieve sustainable peace leaving the Muslim world behind; we also cannot achieve sustainable peace leaving our women behind by oppressing them.

These man-made sharia laws and hadiths are the main tools of legitimizing violence in the name of Islam and are one of the main reasons of growing global Islamophobia. We Muslims must apply our right to reject those laws based on logic and human rights.

Application of these laws varies, but honor killers are hardly punished. This brutality is supported by some vote-seeking local politicians in Pakistan. From the Quran and the Prophet we can successfully defeat all kinds of oppression of women in the name of Islam except FGM and honor killings.

Unfortunately, I did not find enough support to defeat those from Islamic sources.

We have a long way to go. Education/enlightenment is the only key. The West cannot achieve sustainable peace leaving the Muslim world behind; we also cannot achieve sustainable peace leaving our women behind by oppressing them.

Sudanese Sharia Law: Raped Teenager Charged with Adultery

despondent African woman

A nine-months pregnant teenager who claims she was raped by seven men in Sudan is now facing the death penalty after being charged with adultery.  

The married Ethiopian woman was just 18 years old, and three months pregnant, when she was subjected to the attack in August last year.

She says she was searching for a new home in Omdurman,  near the capital Khartoum, and one of the seven accused lured her into an empty property on the premises of renting it out to her and her husband.

She was attacked and held down while a group of men, reportedly aged between 18 and 22, took turns in raping her, according to the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) network.

Her ordeal was filmed by one of the perpetrators and was circulated on social media via WhatsApp several months after the attack.

 When the video of the rape surfaced, the woman and the alleged rapists were arrested and accused of making and distributing indecent material and indecent behaviour.

After first being denied bail, and later charged with prostitution and adultery, the woman is now being prevented from making a formal complaint of rape.

‘Instead victims face the risk that they will instead be prosecuted for adultery, being re-vicitmised by the judicial [sharia] system, and threatened with the ultimate sentence of death by stoning.’

Read the rest: Islamic Sharia Law in Sudan Punishes Victim of Rape. 

Muslim Women Don’t Need Saving Says Columbia Professor

Lila Abu-Lughod received her Ph.D. from Harvard, has taught at Williams, Princeton, and NYU, and now boasts the title of Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University, where she teaches anthropology and Women’s Studies and is considered an expert on the Arab world. [ . . . ] She’s also the author of a book, Do Muslim Women Need Saving?,  which was published last year by Harvard University Press, and which I first became aware of via an excerpt in the Daily Beast and a piece by Abu-Lughod, also entitled “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?”, that appeared in Time Magazine.

The thrust of both these articles is that we in the West who think Muslim women are oppressed have been misinformed. Yes, Abu-Lughod acknowledges, Islamic culture has its demerits – but hey, so does every culture. Also, she argues, women in the Islamic world are a varied crew, ranging from prime ministers to peasants, so there are plenty who don’t fit the West’s stereotypes. What to say about these rhetorical ploys except that they could be used to challenge any criticism of just about anything or anyone? (You could defend Nazi Germany against charges of anti-Semitism in precisely the same way that Abu-Lughod defends Islam against charges of oppressing women: “Admittedly, Hitler was horrible, but which national leader has ever been beyond criticism? True, some Jews suffered under Hitler, but anti-Semitism has been a very serious problem in many societies.”)

Read the rest of Bruce Bawer’s scathing review.

What is Ms Abu-Lughod thinking? Surely she knows the verse from the Koran 4:34:

Quran verse justifying oppression of women and wife-beating.

and knows these words from Mohammed the perfect example for all Muslims. Bukhari, 3:48:82: “ . . . The Prophet said, Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half that of a man? The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of the woman’s mind’”

How crass and disingenuous of Ms Abu-Lughod to refuse to admit the lower position of women and how they suffer due to Islamic doctrine, its sharia law and the honor/shame culture that nurtures it. Would a year in Afghanistan change her mind? Oh, I forgot. According to Mohammed her mind is deficient.

Shariah is not compatible with the U.S. constitution.

Western Rights and Freedoms for Women Don’t Apply in Islam

hizb_ut_tahrir1Pan-Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir is continuing an extensive campaign to combat Western values regarding women’s rights by holding conferences about women in Sharia [Islamic] law, who are raised to be strictly obedient to their fathers and later to their husbands. 

According to Islamic law, women must ask permission to leave the house at any time. After marriage, they are instructed that they must be available at all times to satisfy their husband’s whims – with or without her explicit consent. 

One of the events held in Jerusalem featured a 13 year-old girl named Zeinab, who appeared in conservative Muslim garb and read a speech calling Islam “the kindest religion in mankind”, urging women to keep the strictures given to them by Sharia law.

Zeinab immediately attacked women’s rights organizations thereafter, claiming that the freedom given to women to leave their fathers’ homes after age 18 leads to “licentiousness”, including the ability to talk to men over the internet, at university, and eventually behind closed doors.

Zeinab also attacked women’s rights groups for encouraging women to complain if they suffered domestic abuse, leading to arrests of male family members. Western rights and freedoms don’t apply to Muslim women, the girl claimed, and are simply tools by the West to encourage women to give up their bodies freely. 

Read the rest: Western Rights for Women Under Attack by Islamists 

Of course they hate Western civilization. We are the ones who first gave women equal rights and the freedom of choice in their lives.

Gender Bias in Sudan’s Sharia Law

Women in Sudan

A Sudanese business owner and women’s rights activist  defied a police demand this fall that she cover her hair to satisfy their application of Sudan’s laws on personal dress. Amira Osman Hamed now faces the prospect of corporal punishment in the form of 40 lashes if convicted of the charges brought against her. Her hearing was postponed earlier this month while the government prepared a response to her challenge to relevant portions of its criminal code.
Hamed’s case highlights how Sudan’s women bear the brunt of a brutal legal system rooted in a draconian interpretation of Islamic (Sharia) law and corresponding hudood (classes of crimes with set punishments). The same regime which openly harbored Osama bin Laden and other international terrorists nearly a generation ago continues to trample on the fundamental rights of its own people, including the right to freedom of religion or belief.

[ . . . ]

Khartoum laid the foundation for its freedom-abusing system 30 years ago in September 1983 when it imposed Sharia on its people, including non-Muslims in the predominantly Christian and animist south. Imposing Sharia helped ignite Sudan’s 20-year north-south civil war, leading to the deaths of more than 2 million Sudanese and to South Sudan’s secession in 2011. Khartoum’s action continues to fuel support for anti-government rebels in the country’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Under the Sudanese regime’s interpretation of Sharia, floggings and amputations have been instituted for criminal offenses and broadcast on television.

In 1991, two years after seizing power in a bloodless coup, Sudan’s current president, Omar al-Bashir, made a bad situation worse, implementing the current criminal code which applied punishments not only to criminal conduct but to harmless personal behavior, irrespective of faith or belief.

Read the rest: Sudanese women face abuse under Sharia law.

Sharia Travesty of Blood Money Punishment for Sexual Abuse and Murder of Child

girl-murdered-by-Saudi-fatherThe writer is sadly mistaken if he thinks that this case will change sharia law! 

Only time will tell, but a 5-year-old Saudi girl may eventually prove to have wielded more influence over her people during her short, tragic life than did the country’s conservative religious leaders touting twisted “virtues” of Islam satisfying their own perversions.

In Saudi Arabia last year, 5-year-old Lama al-Ghamdil was killed by her father — Islamic religious leader and popular TV personality Imam Fayhan al-Ghamdi — after he became incensed she had lost her virginity. Even more shocking, however, is the person to whom her virginity was lost and the initial punishment he was given.

Most societies seek to protect the one asset perpetuating their future existence: children. Where child protection laws have been passed but ignored society expects responsible citizens to report an adult’s abusive treatment and that the justice system will then ensure children are protected from an abuser.

Ghamdi confessed to torturing and killing his daughter. The girl’s body showed evidence of a fractured skull, brain damage, repeated rapes, burns, beatings with whips and an iron, electrical shocks, a broken back, ribs and arm. Reportedly, he also had sadistically sought to burn Lama’s rectum closed.

For 10 months, Lama lingered in the hospital before succumbing in October 2012 to her massive injuries. One cannot imagine the thoughts going through this defenseless child’s mind as she tried to understand the pain and suffering she was forced to endure at the hands of her own father. Ghamdi was arrested and jailed in November.

The abuse inflicted upon Lama was justified by the father as she no longer was a virgin. That would have been sad enough but evidence suggests the father was the rapist.

Obviously, any parent should be outraged by such sadistic brutality. While too late to help Lama, one would hope Saudi’s justice system would put the father away so his two other children avoided similar abuse.

But a Saudi judge ruled Ghamdi need only pay his ex-wife $50,000 in “blood money” for having abused and killed their daughter (had the child been male the fine would be double), stating the few months he had already spent in prison was sufficient punishment!

The ruling was based on Islamic or “Sharia” law prohibiting a father from being executed for killing his child (or wife) if compensation is paid.

Read the rest: Sharia Ruling: Blood Money Trumps Punishment of Child Murder

Watch this video to see the inroads sharia courts have made in Britain and how their laws affect gender equality.

Sharia Law as Sacrament in Nigeria

Muslim women in Nigeria

“The baobab connotes spiritual strength . . . and fortitude . . . in distressing times.”

Ayesha Imam and the women she worked with for years in the Nigerian organization BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights possess those very traits. The group, founded in 1996, fights to protect women’s rights in the maze of the Nigerian legal system, with its overlapping religious, secular and customary laws and courts.

Imam tells me they use tools from whichever system can “recuperate rights,” believing it is often possible to arrive at similar conclusions by working through Muslim discourses or international human rights. “My issue,” she underscores, “is not where you come from, but where you arrive at.”

With her colleagues, she tried to “deconstruct what is Sharia (Muslim laws). How does it get to be Sharia? Is it divine or is it merely religious?” In the ’80s and early ’90s, some of the Sharia courts in Nigeria had come up with “what we may call progressive” interpretations, “as opposed to following somebody’s idea of how it should have worked in 13th-century Arabia.” Imam’s efforts to support women living under these Muslim laws brought her, inevitably, to work on fundamentalism.

“Fundamentalism hit us in Nigeria so it was absolutely necessary, because otherwise fundamentalism was going to close us all down, close all the dreams down, close all the hope down,” she says.

[ . . . ]

As fundamentalism began to transform Nigerian lives, Imam and BAOBAB became involved in the cases of women who were facing sentences of stoning. One of the first, that of Fatima Usman, ensued when the woman’s father took the man who fathered her baby to court to get child support. “He had no idea he was going to set up his own daughter for the possibility of being stoned to death.” (Today Usman remains technically out on bail, as the case has never been finally resolved. Nor, thankfully, has the sentence been carried out.) Most such cases began with vigilante groups forcing the police to prosecute and ended in “lots of people convicted of Zina [unlawful sexual relations] and whipped because they were not married.” If people do not appeal, they are taken out and whipped right away, Imam laments. “It was really important to establish the principle that you can appeal. It’s your right.

“It’s not anti-God to appeal.”

However, it was difficult to rally victims of such prosecutions to fight back. “They thought, as Muslims, if they were charged under Muslim laws, they could not defend themselves. It would be tantamount to arguing with God.”

Read the rest: Fight for Women’s Rights Under Sharia in Nigeria.

“Sharia Threatens British Muslim and Non-Muslim Women”

Muslims with sign reading "Shariah for the UK".“The western experiment of women working outside of their homes has proved its negative effects”. This is according to an article entitled “Methods of westernising women and its effects” on Islamweb, a site that describes itself as increasing awareness of the “mission of Islam”. 

The article goes on to describe how pretty much everything wrong with the world is the result of selfish women wanting to work and includes the extraordinary statement: “deviant women are incubators of all forms of evil”. This is certainly not an attitude that is exclusive to a small number of Muslims, but attitudes to women can expose a large gaping hole between western and Islamic societies and societal norms.

It is also a very important battle in any “cultural clash”. When Islamism tightened its grip in the Middle East following the Arab spring one of the first acts of new Islamist governments was to restrict the rights of women — it was a priority, just as it is a priority among Islamists here.

The Islamic Sharia Council (ISC) advises primarily on family law matters and gives women inaccurate advice on the law regarding domestic violence. In an undercover report filmed by Panorama, Suhaib Hasan — a senior cleric at the ISC who has previously called for stoning and amputation to be introduced to Britain — wrongly told a woman she would have to leave her home if she reported domestic violence to the police. He also asked if her husband left marks on her body when he hit her (this is the line — sharia allows men to hit their wives provided they leave no visible evidence of it).

Haitham al-Haddad, another adviser at the ISC is on record as saying “a man should not be questioned why he hit his wife”.
[. . . ]
Domestic violence is not the only area of sharia family law that causes concern however. Women have little right to divorce under sharia, children go in to the custody of fathers from a preset age (regardless of the circumstances), and marital rape was described as “impossible” by the President of the ISC Maulana Abu Sayeed.

So what is the response to all of this? Absolute unequivocal condemnation? Not a bit of it. Instead, we have respected figures like Rowan Williams reiterate his white-washing of sharia family law at Temple Church in Fleet Street recently. He again hinted at future integration of sharia law when he said “it needs to be made accountable and professional in ways which the legal establishment and statutory authority is best placed to take forward”.

Read the rest: Sharia Threatens All Women, Not Just Muslims  

Dhimmi Rowan Williams stepped down as Archbishop of Canterbury last year.  This year he should practice silence since he knows so little about sharia. In 2006, he argued “that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law [in Britain] would help maintain social cohesion. For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.”

What about the part of sharia that says a husband can beat his wife, Rowan? Are you good on that?

Girl Raped by Stepfather Spared 100 Lashes for Adultery

Lashes as mandated by Islamic sharia lawA 15-year-old girl who faced 100 lashes in the Maldives after she was raped by her step-father has had the sentence overturned following an international campaign.

The child, who cannot be named, was handed the draconian flogging sentence for “fornication” in February, triggering a petition by the global campaign network Avaaz and anger from opposition and women’s rights groups in the country. Two million people worldwide signed the petition calling for the sentence to be commuted.

Last week, the Maldivian High Court overturned the sentence, which was hailed as a victory by Avaaz. But the organisation said that the case was a one-off and called for a moratorium on all flogging sentences in the Maldives, which is under the Islamic government of President Mohammed Waheed Hassan.

The girl has been under house arrest on an island near the capital Malé since her sentence. She is now free but campaigners hope she will remain in the care of the state to continue her education, rather than be returned to her family where she could be at risk of further abuse.
[ . . . ]
A survey by Avaaz found that 92 per cent of Maldivians want a reform of national laws to protect women from sexual assault, while 73 per cent are opposed to punishments for women for “sexual crimes”. One in three women between the ages of 15 and 49 has suffered either physical or sexual abuse over the past five years. Nine out of 10 sentences for flogging in the Maldives in 2011 were given to women, while no one has been convicted of rape in the past three years.

Read the rest: Sentence Repealed for Girl Sentenced to 100 Lashes for Being Raped by her Stepfather 

Read the story of why Islamic sharia law prescribes flogging for adultery.  

It’s the Sharia, Stupid!


Afghan Woman in BurkaA proposed law to protect Afghan women and girls from abuses such as child marriage, bride barter and spousal abuse has created a furor in the past week, exposing a generational and religious struggle that persists in this traditional Muslim society despite a decade of Western-backed democracy and a constitution that enshrines women’s rights.

The drama erupted when a female legislator brought the bill before parliament May 16 and a group of conservative male lawmakers vehemently objected, saying it was contrary to Islam and Afghan culture. The backlash grew this past week, with protests at Kabul University by students of Islamic law, and some women activists now say it was a fatal mistake to bring the sensitive issue to parliament’s attention.

Since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, Afghan women have made substantial gains in access to jobs, education and public life. But the position of girls and women in family life has remained weak and subservient, and they are vulnerable to abuse. Now, with NATO forces preparing to withdraw in 2014 and Taliban influence on the rise, there are growing concerns that the gains could be reversed.

Read the rest: Fight to Protect Afghan Women Meets Sharia Backlash

 

This WaPo article doesn’t mention the reason that the oppression must continue whereas the Chicago Tribune and onislam.net news does.