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Shariah Courts

Sharia-Sanctioned Marital Rape in Britain - And North America

Andrew Bostom
October 14, 2010
London, England

As reported in the UK Independent (10/14/10), president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, has reiterated alarming comments made during a March, 2010 interview, sanctioning marital rape.

Sheikh Sayeed was in fact responding to an inchoate effort at modernizing the contracts which govern Muslim marriages in Britain. The good Sheikh, representing Britain’s main Islamic Sharia court, the Islamic Sharia Council, promptly published a rebuttal of the contract, which included a statement on sexual abuse (page 6 here). He opined in the March interview:

Clearly there cannot be any “rape” within the marriage. Maybe “aggression”, maybe “indecent activity.”

He further rejected both the characterization of non-consensual marital sex as rape, and the prosecution of such offenders as “not Islamic.” Sheikh Sayeed, who came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1977, also brazenly expressed his Sharia-supremacism and accompanying disdain for Western, i.e., British Law, stating

…to make it exactly as the Western culture demands is as if we are compromising Islamic religion with secular non-Islamic values.

Sayeed re-affirmed these sentiments to The UK Independent:

In Islamic sharia, rape is adultery by force. So long as the woman is his wife, it cannot be termed as rape.

Crowing with pride during his March 2010 interview, Sheikh Sayeed maintained,

No other sharia council can claim they are so diverse as ours because other sharia councils, they are following one school of fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence]. Ours is diverse –we are hanafi, shafi’i, hanbali.we have Bangladeshi…we have Pakistani, we have Indian, we have Palestinian, we have Somali scholars on our board.

At present there are 16 main sharia courts around Britain, located in Birmingham, Bradford, and Ealing in West London. These institutions are “complemented” by more informal sharia-based tribunals—the think tank Civitas asserting that up to 85 tribunals currently exist in Britain.

But for those who naively—and smugly—proclaim such phenomena are absent within the Muslim communities of North America, consider AMJA, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America. AMJA’s mission statement claims the organization was, “…founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America…AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities.”

In response to the specific query, “Is there a such thing as Marital Rape?,” the AMJA issued fatwa #2982:

In the name of Allah, all praise is for Allah, and may peace and blessing be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family. To proceed:

For a wife to abandon the bed of her husband without excuse is haram [forbidden]. It is one of the major sins and the angels curse her until the morning as we have been informed by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). She is considered nashiz (rebellious) under these circumstances. As for the issue of forcing a wife to have sex, if she refuses, this would not be called rape, even though it goes against natural instincts and destroys love and mercy, and there is a great sin upon the wife who refuses; and Allah Almighty is more exalted and more knowledgeable.

An ocean apart from Britain—now a recognized Western hotbed for “Islamic fundamentalism”—the same Sharia-sanctioned misogynistic bigotry prevails in a North American clerical organization openly advising US and Canadian Muslims.


Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights

According to Maryam Namazie, spokesperson of the One Law for All Campaign and an author of their most recent report, “The existence of a parallel legal system that is denying a large section of the British population their fundamental human rights is scandalous. Our findings show that it is essential to abolish all religious courts in the UK. Their very existence and legitimisation puts pressure on vulnerable women not to assert their civil rights in a British court. As long as Sharia Councils and Tribunals are allowed to continue to make rulings on issues of family law, women will be pressured into accepting decisions which are prejudicial to them and their children.”

One Law for All
June 17, 2010
By Maryam Namazie
London, England

A new report by One Law for All has found Sharia Councils and Muslim Arbitration Tribunals to be in violation of UK law, public policy and human rights.

The report is being launched to coincide with a 20 June 2010 rally on the issue of Sharia law.

Based on an 8 March 2010 Seminar on Sharia Law, research, interviews, and One Law for All case files, the report has identified a number of problem areas:


Testing the limits on changes to conversion laws

A battle wages on in Malaysia over whether or not Shariah Courts have the power to determine the religion of children in cases of divorce.

The Malaysian Insider
May 2, 2009
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Court of Appeal’s decision to refer the case involving the custody and conversion of the sons of S. Shamala and Muhamad Ridzwan (Dr Jeyaganesh C. Mogarajah) to the Federal Court last Tuesday has given rise to some interesting issues.

Chiefly, it is going to be one of the biggest tests for the government as well as the judiciary system after the Cabinet made a courageous decision that children of divorced parents should be raised in the religion of the time of their marriage should one of them later convert to another religion.


NWFP Govt Sets Up Darul Qaza in Malakand, Issues Notification

A Shariah court has been set up in Malakand and notifies the public that strict action will be taken against those who attempt to establish a “parallel state” in the province.

The News (Pakistan)
May 2, 2009
Peshawar, Pakistan

NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain has announced the setting up of Darul Qaza in Malakand region.

Addressing a news conference here on Saturday night, the provincial minister said that “Ziauddin and Moinuddin have been appointed as Qazis at the Darul Qaza, adding that a notification has also been issued in this connection.”

“It is a good news for the people of Malakand who have been demanding for long for the establishment of Nifaz-e-Adl Regulation,” Hussain said.

He said that the regulation would be implemented onwards from today.


Malaysia will add more teeth to sharia courts

Malaysia empowers Shariah Courts and religious enforcement agents in order to ensure that strict religious law is upheld, including whipping as a punishment under Shariah.

The Times of India
April 25, 2009
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malay- sian government is planning to empower the sharia courts in the country to make it more effective, so as to change the perception that penalties imposed under the law were far too light, reports said.

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