aside HOW PREVALENT IS THE PRACTICE OF SHARIA LAW IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

 

4/29/13 Stoning graphic Emma Batha and Ye Li of Thomson Reuters Foundation
4/29/13 Stoning graphic Emma Batha and Ye Li of Thomson Reuters Foundation

Since the early Islamic states of the eighth and ninth centuries, sharia law always existed alongside other rules of behavior. Most Muslim-majority countries adopt various forms of sharia. According to BBC, some countries adopt only a few aspects of Sharia; some have a mix of sharia and British laws while others apply the entire code.

Within Sharia law, some crimes are known as the hudud crimes, for which there are specific penalties specified by Islamic sharia law. For example, adultery is punished by stoning, the consumption of alcohol by flogging, and theft by the amputation of hands. Many predominantly Muslim countries do not endorse hudud penalties in their criminal justice systems.

PROTESTOR BRINGING ATTENTION TO STONING
PROTESTOR BRINGING ATTENTION TO STONING

In short, some middle east countries practice the classical sharia law including hudud penalties along with condoning female genital mutilation(FGM has been ordered by ISIS for all girls between 11- 16 in Mosul; it is still accepted in a few Middle East countries such as Yemen, and Saudi Arabia);  while denying education to girls over the age of 10. ( Pakistani Taliban in the Swat area have ordered 120,000 girls to stop attending schools; In Iraq, armed groups have been bombing girls’ primary schools.) Examples of countries governed by strict sharia laws are Saudi Arabia and Iran. Then there are those regions which implement a mix of sharia and western type legal systems. Finally there are countries with a majority Muslim population which are governed by a more secular system such as Turkey.

Islamic extremist groups such as ISIS want to impose a form of sharia which is considered extreme even by the standards of other groups like al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Stoning Scene from the movie The Stoning of Soraya M. (a true story)
Stoning Scene from the movie The Stoning of Soraya M. (a true story)

Wikipedia reports the following with regards to stoning:

“Stoning is called Rajm in Islamic literature, and a practice found inUAE, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Pakistan. In some countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq (US influence), stoning has been declared illegal, but it is practiced extra judicially. In several others, people have been sentenced to death by stoning, but the sentence has not been carried out. In modern times, allegations of stoning are politically sensitive, as in case of Iran, which describes such allegations as political propaganda.”

Published by 2013 Pew Poll Study
Published by September 2012 Pew Poll Study

“Once the Taliban took over (Afghanistan), stoning became the official punishment for many crimes. The US LED OCCUPATION ended stoning as an official court ruling, but it still occurs unofficially. A 2013 Pew poll indicates that 99% of Afghans favor being governed sharia law.) A Taliban-ordered public stoning of a couple accused of adultery took place in Kunduz on August 15, 2010. Another public stoning occurred in 2011, in Ghazni province, when a group of armed men stoned and shot dead a woman and her daughter. According to official authorities, the Taliban had accused the victims of “moral deviation and adultery.”

“In early 2013, a spokesman for judicial committee of Iran’s parliament stated that stoning is no longer mentioned in Iran’s legislation, but that punishment  will remain the same as it is Islamic law. He questioned Western enmity against Iran, and termed the campaign to remove Rajm as noise against the implementation of Islamic law in Iran. Legal scholars concur that while certain stoning-related passages have been removed from Iran’s new penal code, other passages in the new code refer to stoning, and stoning remains as a possible form of punishment under the new Iranian penal code. “Amnesty International has documented 76 cases of lethal stoning between 1980-1989 in Iran, while the International Committee Against Execution (ICAE) has reported that 74 others were stoned to death in Iran between 1990-2009.”

In Iraq, Wikipedia reports that an Iraqi man was stoned to death, in August 2014, in the northern city of Mosul after one Sunni Islamic court sentenced him to die for the crime of adultery.

ISIS
ISIS

Wikipedia reports, “that in Pakistan, of February 2014, a couple in a remote area of Baluchistan province were stoned to death after being accused of an adulterous relationship. On 27 May 2014, Farzana Parveen, a 25-year-old married woman who was three months pregnant, was killed by being attacked with batons and bricks by nearly 20 members of her family outside the high court of Lahore in front of “a crowd of onlookers” according to a statement by a police investigator. The assailants, who allegedly included her father and brothers, attacked Farzana and her husband Mohammad Iqbal with batons and bricks. Her father Mohammad Azeem, who was arrested for murder, reportedly called the murder an “honor killing” and said “I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent.” The man who’s second wife Farzana had become, Iqbal, told a news agency that he had strangled his previous wife in order to marry Farzana, and police said that he had been released for killing his first wife because a “compromise” had been reached with his family.”

MALALA YOUSAFZAI
MALALA YOUSAFZAI

The poster young person is Malala Yousafzai who at 15 years old when she was shot on a school bus by Pakistani Taliban militants for her outspoken views on girls’ rights to education. In fact, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault against her, whom they accused as being symbol of the infidels, obscenity and for her activism.

FROM MIDDLE EAST EYE TWEET
FROM MIDDLE EAST EYE TWEET

The following is reported on the 1/22/15 Independent News.com.uk by Adam Taylor of the Washington Post:

“For many, the Sauds justice system sounds not unlike that of ISIS which has struck fear in much of the Middle East. This week, Middle East Eye, a website that is frequently critical of Saudi Arabia, contrasted a set of legal punishments recently announced by ISIS with the corresponding punishments in Saudi Arabia.”

1/15/15 Vice News, by Harriet Salem in her article, “Woman Is Publicly Beheaded in Saudi Arabia’s Tenth Execution of 2015,” reports:

“Saudi Arabia bases its legal system on a strict Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia law that imposes a wide-range of physical punishments for a number of crimes. The death penalty can be given for several offences including, armed robbery, drug-related offences, sorcery, adultery, murder, and rape.”

Saudi-Arabia-govt-posts-job-ad-seeking-shariah-law-executioners
Saudi-Arabia-govt-posts-job-ad-seeking-shariah-law-executioners

“Beheading is widely seen in the country as the most humane means of executing but death by stoning, crucifixion, and death by firing squad is also carried out.”

“In general governments have been slow to condemn oil-rich Saudi Arabia. “The US and European governments have always been reluctant to take publicly critical positions on Saudi Arabia,” Coogle said. (Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch, described the Saudis’  record on basic rights as dismal.) This is a matter of a whole bunch of economic and regional security and stability issues, but human rights typically ends up a low priority in these circumstances.”

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