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Brunei Returns to the Stoning Age

by Jay Michaelson

…What will be the effects of this change? It’s too soon to say. Perhaps it is merely ceremonial in nature. Brunei has had the death penalty for decades, yet its last execution took place in 1957, under British rule. Maybe the penalties called for by shariah will be similar—although the Saudi Arabia trip suggests otherwise.

At the very least, Brunei’s government has indicated that some laws will, indeed, be enforced. The wearing of indecent clothing, for example, will get you six months in jail, as will any act that, according to the new penal code, “tarnishes the image of Islam, corrupts moral standards, causes negative influence or upsets eyewitnesses.”

However, a “senior legal officer of the Islamic Legal Unit at the Ministry of Religious Affairs” told the Brunei Times that authorities will enforce the law gradually. “If the person is wearing clothing that is too offensive or revealing, then the enforcement agencies should take action or at least advise the offender,” the official said. “But we will implement this provision with wisdom, so people won’t be shocked and angered.”

Certainly, for the 23 percent of Brunei’s 415,000 citizens who are not Muslim, the new code represents a major affront to religious liberty. Anyone who drinks liquor in a public place, Muslim or non-Muslim, will be liable to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of $8,000….

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Islam and Human Rights

by Majid Rafizadeh

…How can Islam be compatible with human rights when, according to Muslims and the Quran, Allah specifically states in the Quran that a woman’s testimony in a court of law is considered half the value to that of a man?

“And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not found then a man and two women.” [Qur'an (2:282)]

A Muslim told me that scientific data shows women’s logical and speaking neurological center in brain are at the same place, and as a result, they are more forgetful than men! And so, this is why God made their testimony worth half. I was totally confounded and baffled by this ungrounded logic.

How can Islam be compatible with human rights when according to Muslims and the Quran, Allah states that women inherit less than men in several instances?

They ask thee for a legal decision. Say: Allah directs about those who leave no descendants or ascendants as heirs. If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister but no child, she shall have half the inheritance: If a woman, who left no child, Her brother takes her inheritance: If there are two sisters, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance: if there are brothers and sisters, the male having twice the share of the female. Thus doth Allah make clear to you , lest ye err. And Allah hath knowledge of all things. (Quran 4:176)

All Muslims are expected to follow and implement the rules of Islamic inheritance clearly stated in the Quran, verbatim words of God, accordingly.

In addition, how can the ideology of Islam be in line with human rights when abandoning Islam triggers punishments, including execution? Or does the law that allows a man to marry four wives respect the rights of women? Do these Islamic laws comply with the article one of the universal declaration of human rights that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”?

The aforementioned laws reveal how women are restricted and seen as inferior. While men can marry any women from any other religion, Muslim women are not allowed to marry a non-Muslim….

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The Support for Sharia Law Around the World

By Rachel Molschky

Sharia_dominate

…What is Sharia?

Toni Johnson and Lauren Vriens of the Council on Foreign Relations offer an explanation:

Is this a "humane" death? Imagine getting raped, reporting the rape and then getting stoned to death for adultery.

“Also meaning ‘path’ in Arabic, sharia guides all aspects of Muslim life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Quran and the Sunna–the sayings, practices, and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. Precedents and analogy applied by Muslim scholars are used to address new issues. The consensus of the Muslim community also plays a role in defining this theological manual.

“Sharia developed several hundred years after the Prophet Mohammed’s death in 632 CE as the Islamic empire expanded to the edge of North Africa in the West and to China in the East. Since the Prophet Mohammed was considered the most pious of all believers, his life and ways became a model for all other Muslims and were collected by scholars into what is known as the hadith…”

Some of the main issues concerning Sharia law are the unjust treatment of women and the extreme punishments, in certain cases for things which are not even considered crimes in the West. In Europe, for example, capital punishment has been banned. Often times, there is much debate over whether or not terrorists and other murderers should be extradited from Europe to countries where the death penalty is used, such as the case of Abu Hamza, a convicted terrorist living in the UK who was eventually released to the US to face more terrorism charges. In the case of Abu Qatada, the UK finally agreed to extradite him to Jordan, but only after coming to an agreement that the “poor terrorist” would not be tortured.

While the torture of a terrorist is considered inhumane in Europe, let alone capital punishment, the reality of a full implementation of Sharia law would be a shock to Islam’s European sympathizers. Take the case of Anders Breivik, convicted of murdering 77 people. He got a jail sentence of only 21 years (with the possibility of extensions following the end of that term), the maximum possible sentence in Norway, and compare that to the type of sentence he might get under Sharia law.

Sharia punishments include:

  • The amputation of hands and sometimes feet for theft (often a hand and foot on opposite sides)
  • Stoning for sex outside of marriage (including consensual and homosexual, and even rape victims who come forward to report their rapes without four male witnesses- in doing so, they are admitting to having sex outside of marriage, which is “adultery”)
  • Capital punishment for a variety of crimes such as murder, adultery (mentioned above), and apostasy. The method by which this punishment is carried out depends, but the most common are public beheading (like in “Chop Chop Square” in Saudi Arabia), a firing squad, hanging or stoning.

In our society, we believe in the freedom of religion, but according to Sharia law, apostasy, leaving the Islamic faith, is a crime so severe, ex-Muslims are to be put to death. For this reason, many Muslim apostates live in fear, and those who speak out against Islam must hide their identities. If the State does not carry out their punishment, Sharia supporters will…

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UK: Our New Sharia Law

by Douglas Murray

What is Sharia and what should be our attitude towards it? These questions, which have intermittently swirled around Britain in recent years, have just re-erupted thanks to a recent story in the Sunday Telegraph.

The story revealed that The Law Society — the body which represents and advises solicitors in England and Wales — has drawn up guidance for its members on how to draw up wills in accordance with Islamic law. The document can be seen here. As the Telegraph pointed out, High Street solicitors in England and Wales will now be assisted in drawing up documents that refuse women an equal share of inheritance and that discounts the potential inheritance of non-believers entirely. Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, told the Sunday Telegraph that the document, which would be recognised by the national courts, would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles. The paper claims that this document effectively enshrines Sharia law in the British legal system for the first time.

Since this is such an important matter it is crucial to note what is right and what is wrong about this story. First the good news: this is not the first entry of Sharia into British law. Now the bad news: it has happened a lot already. This is just one in a string of such developments.

The first opening that adherents and advocates of Sharia law were given in the UK came from the 1996 Arbitration Act, which allowed civil disputes to be settled by any means of arbitration to which both parties consented. So, for instance, if two parties wished to have a dispute voluntarily arbitrated by a religious or other social arbiter, they could.

The point was that so long as the arbitration did not run contrary to, or above, the rest of the law of the land (and this is an important distinction to keep in mind), then the arbitration would get the stamp of state approval. This condition was apparently intended to save the courts’ time and satisfy the religious demands of some groups.

The result, of course, was to leave an opening for advocates of Sharia….

…The strangest thing of all about this is not the slow erosion of the principle of one law for all. It is not even the offering up of an increasing number of parts of British life to an extremist ideology. It is the ease with which it is all done. “This is not chopping off hands,” Sharia’s defenders say, scoffingly. “It is not chopping off heads or lashing people,” they continue. Some people already complain that critics of Sharia are giving Sharia as a whole a bad name, lumping in the “bad” Sharia with the “good” Sharia. In reality, of course, Sharia law, officially adopted just this week by Brunei, apparently complete with amputations and stoning, is not compatible with law as we have been practicing it for over 2000 years in the West. The short-term political gains for the political leaders who support it hardly seem worth the long-term losses that will befall our society if we continue incorporating this system of law into our national life. If we are indeed seeing the beginning of this process, we are far from seeing what lies at the end of it.

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Allowing sharia law sets dangerous precedent

BY MICHAEL COREN

In a genuinely shocking decision it was announced this week that sharia principles are to become enshrined in the British legal system, with the Law Society of the United Kingdom publishing guidelines for drawing up documents according to Islamic rules. These rules would allow lawyers to, for example, write Islamic wills which will have the power to exclude non-believers and deny women an equal share of an inheritance.

The guidelines state, “The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognized.” Good old sharia.

In countries where sharia is central, people live in an oppressive, dark society. In countries where sharia exists but is not central, life is still controlled and intolerant. And sharia exists in every Muslim country from one degree to another. In Britain these proposals obviously won’t allow beheadings, beatings and stoning, but it does mean that civil law as we have known it has taken a massive step backwards.

There is far more in the guidelines, of course, and all of this is horribly regrettable in itself, but also quite terrifying in its consequences. We have to ask ourselves honestly, and without fear of physical or political attack, what this all means…

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