Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sharia World: A Brief News Round-Up

Iran: #1 Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43 year old woman, awaits the carrying out of the death sentence placed on her as punishment for an "illicit relationship outside marriage." The method of execution will be stoning. Source: Also: read this story over at it recounts the mind-bogglingly sadistic details of Sakineh's case, and includes a video-taped plea from her son.
#2 While the stoning of Sakineh has still not been carried out, Iran has moved ahead with the criminalization of the mullet. This story inspired Guy Walters, writing for the UK Telegraph, to ask "Can Iranian mullet-wearers be granted asylum?"

Nigeria: Niger State governor, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, has declared that "sharia law cannot be practised unless there exists a shariah penal code", and enforcement of this penal code must have the full backing of the state. In the same speech, Aliyu also insisted that violations of sharia law include "failing to keep promises, coming late to appointments, deceit and telling lies." Source:

Ingushetia (Russian province): "At an Ingush conference for Muslim scholars and elders this week, attended by Yevkurov, the money a groom must pay the bride's family for her hand was increased from 12,500 roubles (265 pounds) to 40,000 roubles (851 pounds), the local government said on official website." Source: Reuters Africa.

Indonesia: Nine Islamic groups have announced that they intend to organize an armed youth militia to enforce Sharia law, and, in particular, to use force to prevent people from choosing their own religion: "so that there is no more room for apostasy." Source: Christianity Today. Also see this long detailed post at the Barthnotes blog -- it contains numerous other links to media sources including Associate Press, the Maylaysia Star, the Jakarta Globe and more.

Egypt: "Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid, a prominent Egyptian scholar once accused of apostasy for his contemporary interpretation of Islam, has died. He was 66." Source: The Canadian Press. The story goes on to explain that:
Abu Zeid came to the public eye in 1995 when Islamist lawyers filed a suit against him, demanding he divorce his wife because his writings insulted Islam. A court ordered Abu Zeid to divorce, and the couple refused and fled Egypt for fear of being attacked by Muslim fundamentalists.

The case outraged secular Arab intellectuals, who saw it as an attack on freedom of expression.

Abu Zeid later appealed the ruling and won, but remained abroad, spending most of the last fifteen years in the Netherlands.
UK: "What isn't wrong with Sharia?" asks Maryam Namazie, writing in the pages of the UK Guardian:
The demand for the abolition of sharia courts in Britain, as elsewhere, is not an attack on people's right to religion; it is a defence of human rights, especially since the imposition of sharia courts is a demand of Islamism to restrict citizens' rights.

Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not for beliefs and parallel legal systems. To safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain, there must be one secular law for all and no religious courts.

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