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Islamic Laws are made up of Shari'ah ('‎شريعة Šarīʿah) and Islamic jurisprudence (فقه‎ Fiqh). Shari'ah is seen as sacred and constitutes the Qur'an and Muhammad's Sunnah (way), which is found in the Hadith and Sira. Islamic jurisprudence is a complimentary expansion of the former by Islamic jurists.

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Shari'ah

Shari'ah not only governs public life, but also many facets of ones personal life. It has laws covering Muslim interactions with non-Muslims, sexuality, food, rituals, leisure activities, dress, hygiene etc. This is due to Muhammad's pivotal role in both the practice of Islam and the formation of Islamic law. He is considered by all Muslims, in Islamic theology, as the uswa hasana (perfect example). Since both the practice of Islam and its laws are based on the same source, they are inseparable from one another.

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Shari'ah and Human Rights

Many respected bodies, including the European Court of Human Rights, have concluded that Shari'ah is incompatible with accepted modern standards of human rights.

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This is of no surprise when you consider that Islamic laws on human rights (and their laws in general) are based on the views and actions of a 7th century warrior 'prophet.' While other systems of law have adapted and changed with the passage of time, Shari'ah has not. Some may assume that Islamic thought simply has not reached enlightenment yet, and like other religious bodies will eventually adapt to the modern world. This is a naive and ignorant assumption which fails to appreciate the dogma of the Islamic faith, and therefore fails to recognize the impossibility of the trend ever taking hold in Islam. Reform is not possible under Islamic law. To reform it, would be to destroy it and Islam along with it. Shari'ah (consisting of the Qur'an and Sunnah) are seen as Allah's unalterable holy laws. To attempt to change it would be considered blasphemous, as it constitutes Bid'ah, something which was forbidden by Muhammad himself.[1][2] What can be altered is Islamic jurisprudence, but as that is extracted from, and cannot contradict,[3][4] Shari'ah, the result will always be unacceptable to the modern world. Muslim scholars agree. The following is an excerpt taken from a fatwa in objection to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Also, in 1981 the Iranian representative to the United Nations declared that "the Universal Declaration of Human Rights represented a secular interpretation of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which could not be implemented by Muslims."[5] Due to this unavoidable conflict between Islamic and Western notions of human rights, in 1990, the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) who represent all 57 Muslim majority nations, created the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, using Islamic scripture as its sole source.[6] This declaration has been severely criticized by many, including; the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), the Association for World Education (AWE) and the Association of World Citizens (AWC) for its incompatibility with human rights, women's rights, religious freedom and freedom of expression, by "imposing restrictions on nearly every human right based on Islamic Sharia law."[7] Furthermore, according to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ):

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Separation of 'Church' and State

It is a generally accepted fact among Muslims, that there is no concept of "separation of 'Church' and State" in the Islam faith.[8] We have already touched upon why Shari'ah is inseparable from the public and the personal aspects of practising Islam, so once again, we need to look to the example set forth by Muhammad. Islam, unlike many other faiths, was a theocracy from its very beginning. As the founder and Head of the first Islamic state, Muhammad most certainly did not believe in the concept of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and this is reflected in Muslim thought. The results of a survey[9] released in November of 2009 found a massive 67 percent of Turks said 'they would continue acting in accordance with their religious beliefs if the Parliament passed a law that contradicted religious laws.' and only 'Twenty-six percent said they would obey the country’s law in this case'. As is evident; even in 'moderate' 'secular' nations like Turkey, we find that the majority of its population (in accordance with Snið:Bukhari) refuse to accept the authority of its government when they deem its man-made laws contrary to that which is prescribed in the Shari'ah.

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Indeed. To add to the words by the respected scholar; we see in the United Kingdom, which only has a Muslim population of 2 to 3%, there have already been demands (in October, 2009) to install full Shari'ah as its default law system,[10] and a recent 2009 survey by The Equalities and Human Rights Commission[11] revealed that a massive 44% of Muslims in the UK want to create their own communities and remain segregated from British society. Also in Kenya, while Muslims currently constitute only 10% of the total population, in August 2009 they began pushing for Shari'ah law to become a part of the Kenyan Constitution.[12] At the moment (like in the UK) there are Shari'ah courts, but they hold little power and only apply to Muslims. The Christian majority are concerned that if Muslims succeed, the persecution of non-Muslims in Kenya will only intensify.

Spread of Shari'ah is Obligatory

This demand for (and the spread of) Shari'ah is obligatory. Jihad is often employed to force governments into implementing Shari'ah on Muslims and non-Muslims alike, thus expanding the Dar al-Islam ('house/domain of Islam'). This, once again, is based on the Sunnah of Muhammad. Following the Farewell Sermon, he sent messengers to foreign leaders including; Negus, Chosroes of Persia, and the Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius, commanding them to submit to his rulership; submit to Islam.[13] We see the same thing happening today in the modern world (for example) in Somalia[14] where President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in February 2009, after two years of fighting gave in to rebel demands to impose Islamic law on the country.

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Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars on Shari'ah

Qur'an

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Hadith

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Islamic Scholars

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Islamic Laws:

Criminalize Personal Matters

Islamic laws criminalize:

Adultery

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(However, the Islamic definition differs from the Secular understanding of the word)

Intoxicants and Recreational Games

Intoxicants such as alcohol, marijuana etc.[15] and recreational games of chance, such as board games[16] (including chess),[17] card games and other forms of gambling are forbidden under Islamic law. Surprisingly, this was not always the case. Intoxicants (namely, alcohol) was permitted during the early phase of Islam. Muhammad even drank it and (rather strangely) performed ablution with it.[18] In the Qur'an, wine is even praised[19] and is described as being an aspect of heaven.[20] However, what we now know as the Qur'an was allegedly revealed over a period of twenty-three years.[21] As it stands, the Qur'an is arranged roughly from the longest surah (chapter) to the shortest. But if we read it in a chronological order, we can see the gradual shift in attitude towards intoxicants and such. Verses were 'revealed' as the situation in Muhammad's life demanded. Followers were attending prayer at the mosque while intoxicated, so Snið:Quran was revealed warning against such behavior. Later on we find Snið:Quran, which tells us that there is some good and some bad in intoxicants and games of chance. The hadith record that Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib, in a drunken state, mutilated two camels, chopping of their humps and taking out their livers.[22] When rebuked by Muhammad, he insulted him to his face, saying "Aren't you but the slaves of my father?"[23] Taking this into consideration, there is little wonder Muhammad then banned the consumption of intoxicants. Even going so far as to refer to alcohol (something which is found in heaven) and games of chance as "Satan's handwork" in Snið:Cite quran. Commenting on chess, he said "He who played chess is like one who dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine."[17] After this revelation, Muhammad ordered beatings[24] and flogging[25] for anyone who broke these laws. Repeat offenders were ordered by him to be put to death.[26] Later, Umar ( the second 'rightly guided' Caliph) would order eighty stripes as the mildest punishment.[27]

In modern times, these laws still stand. There are out-right bans or severe restrictions put on the sale, purchase, and drinking of alcohol by adults in many Islamic majority countries, including: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia,[28] The Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and The United Arab Emirates.[29] Punishments vary according to country, but many are consistent with the Sunnah of Muhammad. They range from weeks to months of imprisonment, public flogging, and (in the case of Iran) the death penalty. This prohabition, in many cases, does not exclude the non-Muslim. For example; in June 2009, Catholic chef Sapon D Costa was jailed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for possession of alcohol.[30]

Apostasy (rejection of Islam)

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In Islam, the rejection in part (i.e. apostasy via blasphemy in belief) of any of the individual pillars or principles of Islam, or discarding the faith as a whole, amounts to apostasy.[31] Under Islamic law, it is a crime punishable by death. This punishment was prescribed by Muhammad himself who had said "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him."[32] Apostasy was one of only three reasons given by him where killing a Muslim is permitted.[33] His wishes were followed by Caliph Abu Bakr, who had many apostates killed during the lengthy “Riddah (apostasy) wars” for their refusal to pay tithe. These people were not rejecting Islam as a whole but only refusing to abide by one of its five pillars (Zakat). This also attests to the fact apostasy was a serious crime within early Islam and was not some later innovation. In fact, it was one Qur’anic verse (the verse of the sword - Qur'an 9:5) which prompted Abu Bakr to fight. Various hadith record Muhammad's command being followed by his companions, with atheists,[32] Christians,[34] and Jews[35] being put to death for leaving Islam.[36]

All four schools of Islamic jurisprudence are in agreement with the death sentence for males (who are of sound mind) guilty of Apostasy, with only slight variations on whether to allow the three days grace period.[37] The Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence believe female apostates are not to be killed, but beaten and put under confinement until death or repentance, while the remaining Shafi'i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools all agree the verdict for the female apostate is the same as for the male.[38]

Free Speech/Blasphemy

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It is a criminal offense in Islam to speak ill of the faith, its Prophet Muhammad, and its holy Scriptures (Qur'an and Hadith). To do so is considered blasphemy, and blasphemy is punishable by death. If it happens to be a Muslim who is doing the criticizing, their actions would constitute apostasy, therefore they too would be liable for the death penalty. Contrary to what some may suggest, this is not the result of a latter-day innovation of Islam, but something that is deeply rooted within Islamic scripture and the Sunnah of Muhammad. The Qur'anic verse 5:33 calls for the murder, mutilation, or imprisonment, of those who make "Mischief" in the land, and Muhammad himself had asked his Muslim followers to kill several individuals who were guilty of blaspheming Islam and its Prophet. Muhammad asked Muslims to kill someone named 'Abdullah bin Ubai (bin Salul) for making "evil" statements about him.[39] He asked Muslims to kill Abu `Afak for making negative remarks about him and Islam.[40] He asked Muslims to kill both Ka’b bin Ashraf[41] and Asma Bint Marwan[42] for writing inflammatory poetry about him and Muslims. Additionally, when Muhammad learned that one of his followers had stabbed and killed his slave women (other sources refer to her as a freed concubine: Umm walad, she was also the mother of a blind man) for making derogatory remarks about Muhammad, he declared that "no retaliation is payable for her blood."[43] This has effectively set the precedent for all Muslims to follow with such retaliation. No higher authority than ones-self is needed for permission to kill blasphemers. It seems rather odd that sites like Wikipedia, when discussing the history of free speech in Islam, tend to neglect these historical incidents and focus on other issues such as the supposed Islamic 'Golden Age' under the reign of `Umar ibn al-Khattab (the second Caliph). Surely the state of free speech under the reign of the prophet himself is worthy of mention, as this is what ultimately formulates Islamic law? Nevertheless, if we actually study the state of freedom under Caliph Umar, we see another side to this, and this is apparent in: 'Umar bin Al-Khattab's restrictions on expression and speech: Snið:Quote

In the modern-world, hash punishments for blasphemy (including death) are still applied in many Islamic nations including; Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. Accusations of blasphemy are becoming more and more frequent in the East, and almost always lead to mob-violence (sometimes by thousands of Muslims) against non-Muslim minorities. For example, this was seen in the August 2009 riots against Christians in Gojra, over an alleged desecration of a Qur'an. Many Christian men, women and even children were burnt alive.[44] In addition to this, Bibles were burnt and more than a hundred churches and Christian-owned homes were looted and destroyed.[45][46] While there are numerous examples of individuals being sentenced by Islamic courts to death or imprisonment for blasphemy, they are rarely publicised by Western media outlets. Of course, there are a few exceptions when the blasphemer in question happens to be a Westerner. We've all heard of the Jyllands-Posten Danish cartoons and the resulting uproar. For no apparent reason (other than deeply rooted Muslim prejudice) these cartoons, once again, sparked violence and murder against the minority Christians in the East.[47] By the end of February 2006 more than 40 people had died[48] as a result of the angry reaction from Muslims, and its continued republication has resulted in more than 200 deaths and hundreds of injuries.[49] We also have the November 2007 "Muhammad Teddy bear" blasphemy case, which led to a protest in Khartoum, Sudan. A protest where ten thousand Muslims[50][51] carrying swords, knives, and sticks, after Friday prayers, called for the execution[52][53][54][55] of a British teacher for allowing her students to name a teddy bear 'Muhammad.' And also the "Satanic Verses" controversy, which led to thirty-eight deaths[56] and nationwide bombings of book-stores in the U.K[57] and U.S.[58]

Fornication between two consenting adults

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Homosexuality

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Homosexuality under Islamic law, is a punishable crime. How it is dealt with differs between the four mainline schools of Sunni jurisprudence today, but what they all agree upon is that homosexuality is worthy of a severe penalty. In the Hanafi school of thought, the homosexual is first punished through harsh beating, and if he/she repeats the act, the death penalty is to be applied. As for the Shafi`i school of thought, the homosexual receives the same punishment as adultery (if he/she is married) or fornication (if not married). This means, that if the homosexual is married, he/she is stoned to death, while if single, he/she is whipped 100 times. Hence, the Shafi`i compares the punishment applied in the case of homosexuality with that of adultery and fornication, while the Hanafi differentiates between the two acts because in homosexuality, anal sex [something that is prohibited, regardless of orientation] may also be involved, while in adultery [and fornication], the penis/vagina (which are reproductive parts) are involved. Some scholars [based on the Qur'an and various ahadith] hold the opinion that the homosexual should be thrown from a high building or stoned to death[59] as a punishment for their 'crime', but other scholars maintain that they should be imprisoned until death. [60] Another view is that between two males, the active partner is to be lashed a hundred times if he is unmarried, and killed if he is married; whereas the passive partner is to be killed regardless of his marital status.[61] Within the context of Islamic thought, hostility towards homosexuality originated from the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Muhammad had stated, “If you find anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.”[62] He even went so far as to condemn the “appearance” of homosexuality, when he cursed effeminate men and masculine women and ordered his followers to "Turn them out of your houses."[63] This ruling on homosexuals was naturally adopted by his later successors. The father of Aisha and Muhammad’s first successor, Abu Bakr, had a homosexual burned at the stake. The fourth caliph, Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali, ordered homosexuals to be stoned, and even had one thrown from the minaret of a mosque.[64]

Exact figures are hard to determine, due to the political turmoil in many of the Islamic states, but homosexual relationships, acts or behaviour are currently forbidden in approximately thirty-six Islamic countries including Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Sharia areas of Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen, with punishments including anything from a fine up to life imprisonment. [65] [66] Worse still, ten of those countries out of the thirty-six impose the death penalty for homosexuals. They are Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and some states in Malaysia.[67] According to the Iranian gay and lesbian rights group Homan, the Iranian government alone has put to death an estimated 4,000 homosexuals since the Islamic revolution of 1979.[66] In the secular nation of Turkey, a country which is often held-up as a poster-child for moderate Islam, persecution and violence against homosexuals [along with non-Muslim minorities] is on the rise, with eleven gays being killed within the first half of 2009 .[68]

Lack of hijab/un-Islamic dress

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In 2007, Iranian "morals" police arrested 230 in a raid on a "satanist" rave.[69]

In 2010, Golam Minhaz, an inspector with Detective Branch of Bangladesh Police at Rangpur district [northern part of Bangladesh] detained 19 women in various areas in the city for 'not wearing veils'.[70]

Also in 2010, Shiria Khatun, progressive Brit-Muslim woman councillor, was forced to dress more conservatively after receiving death threats and sexually harassing phone calls. She told the police that callers threatened to kill her and her four young children, and in one call, they warned they would dig up parents' graves and bury her there instead.[71]

Mingling of un-related men and women

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In 2010, a Saudi woman who filed harassment claims in Saudi Arabia without being accompanied by a male relative was sentenced to 300 lashes and 18 months in jail. Sawsan Salim lodged a series of complaints in 2007 at government offices and in court in the northern region of Qasim in which she alleged harassment by local officials, the New York-based rights group, Human Rights Watch, said. She was sentenced in January on charges of making “spurious complaints” against government officials and appearing “without a male guardian,” the group said in an e-mailed statement.[72]

Also in 2010, Hamas banned men in Gaza from working in women's hair salons because Islamic tradition forbids women from showing their hair to men who are not their husbands or blood relatives.[73]

Pornography and Prostitution

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Music and Art

Music, and some other forms of art (including Tattooing),[75] under Islamic law are forbidden. Western music[76] and movies In particular, have been declared as corruptive influences by Islamic clerics. The vast majority[77] of Islamic scholars and all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence[78] are in agreement that listening to, or playing musical instruments, and singing is forbidden. They form this opinion from both the Qur'an and Hadith. The only exception to this rule which can be extracted from the hadith is the permissibility of singing acapella accompanied by a duff (a hand-held one-sided drum) on special occasions (i.e. on weddings, Eid, during jihad etc.)[79] This form of song is referred to as a Nasheed (نشيد), and the striking of the duff is permitted for women only[80] and must not be done in the presense of men.[81] There are several verses within the Qur'an which have been understood by highly respected early scholars and historians of Islam to be condemning music and singing. For example; in verse 31:6, according to the Tafseer of Ibn Kathir, "idle talks" is a reference to "singing and musical instruments."[82] While the Qur'anic verses on music and its prohibition may appear vague to non-scholars, the hadith are a lot clearer in regards to this issue. Authentic sources record Muhammad as saying "From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful..."[83] and upon hearing music, Abu Bakr proclaimed "Musical instrument of Satan!"[78] The mere fact that Muhammad condemned music in the same breath as other non-Islamic activities, such as illegal sexual intercourse and drinking alcohol, spoke volumes and the companions (including the four Caliphs) understood.[84] As Abu Bakr rightly stated, unless performed under the various restrictions outlined in Muhammad's Sunnah, music in Islam is considered of the devil.

The Islamic prohibition on images is well known by Muslims, hence the lack of imagery in Islamic religious art. Multiple authentic sources record Muhammad's thoughts on images and representations of living beings (whether real or mythical in nature), and in several he states passionately "The people who will receive the severest punishment from Allah will be the picture makers."[85] In another he says "All the painters who make pictures would be in the fire of Hell. The soul will be breathed in every picture prepared by him and it shall punish him in the Hell."[86] Muhammad refused to enter any home which was decorated with images,[87] and claimed angels would do the same with any home which contained pictures or dogs[88] He once refused to enter the home of one of his wives (Aisha) when he noticed the decorated cushion she had purchased for him to sit on.[89] In Aisha's own words "I noticed the signs of hatred (for that) on his face!" She turned to Allah and Muhammad for repentance.[90] On another occasion, Muhammad angrily tore to pieces a carpet, hung by Aisha to screen a door.[91]

During the Taliban rule of Afghanistan between 1996 and late 2001, all forms of music and Television (i.e. moving pictures) were banned. TV sets, radios, etc were confiscated and burnt, and anyone caught with cassettes in their possession were jailed.[92] In early 2001, they destroyed the historic 1,400 year old giant (175 and 120 feet tall) Buddha Statues which were located in the Bamyan Valley's.[93] While their actions may be called 'extreme', they were only adhering to a somewhat accurate interpretation of Islamic law based on the Sunnah of their prophet. Just as Muhammad had done before them, when he conquered Mecca and destroyed the 360 pagan idols which were housed at the Ka'aba, the Taliban were only destroying Afghanistan's offensive (to Muslims) pre-Islamic 'pagan' heritage and art. If the Taliban's actions are denounced by apologists as 'un-Islamic', then they must also denounce Muhammad's. The truth of the matter is that their actions were very Islamic.

Legalize Crimes

Islamic law permits:

Domestic violence against women

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While domestic violence against women is a serious problem all around the world, none are more vulnerable than the women of Islam. Islamic societies, more often than not, simply refuse to acknowledge such issues as problems. To them its simply the Islamic way of life. This is due to domestic violence against women being permitted under Islamic law. It is explicitly endorsed by the Qur'an itself. In a 2004 sermon broadcast on Qatar TV, a Muslim cleric had said the following:

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The verse being referred to is 4:34. According to this verse, a man may not only beat his wives for 'rebellion,' but also beat them simply for the fear of 'rebellion.'[94] Whilst there are a few restrictions in regards to the practice of wife-beating (try to avoid the face,[95] breaking bones,[96] and do not sleep with them after beating them),[97] they hardly offer comfort to a women who is abused with the blessings of her own god. The mere fact that the husband is allowed to physically abuse his wives (very often with impunity from the law) inevitably leads many to go beyond simply 'beating' them.

Wife beating has been an accepted part of Islam since its inception. In Aisha's own words "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!"[98] The indifference to her words displayed by Muhammad proved its legitimacy within the laws of Islam. Muhammad declared "A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife."[99] Moreover, he not only allowed Abu Bakr to beat his own child-bride Aisha,[100] but he also beat her himself,[101] and according to Aisha it was not something 'symbolic' or a 'gentle tap' on the body; it was painful.

The effects can be easily seen in the Islamic world. A 2009 survey carried out by the United Nations Development Fund for Women found that nearly 90% of Afghan women suffer from domestic abuse.[102] According to the director of Women for Afghan Women (WAW) "Their mothers are beaten by their fathers. They're beaten by their fathers, by their brothers. It's a way of life." The Pakistan Medical Association found in a 2006 study, that 80% of Pakistani women reported being subjected to some kind of abuse within marriage, and the Progressive Women's Association (PWA) believe up to 4,000 Pakistani women are burnt each year by husbands or in-laws as 'punishment'.[103] And also in 2006, the Refugee Workers Association Woman’s Group (GIK-DER) found that up to 80% of Turkish women were victims of domestic violence and sexual harassment in 'moderate' Turkey.[104]

Gender disparity

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Gender equality is not only an alien concept within Islamic societies, but also completely contrary to Islamic beliefs. This much is proven simply by the Qur'anic law which allows men to marry up to four wives at a time. However, gender disparity within Islam goes a lot further, and we see this reflected in modern Islamic laws. For example; in the Islamic Republic of Iran, some women's rights activists have criticised the laws governing women. They say women face difficulties in "getting a divorce and criticize inheritance laws they say are unjust and the fact their court testimony is worth half that of a man's", and they also "cannot run for president or become judges."[105] Many female activists have been flogged and given hash jail sentences, numbering several years, for protesting such laws.[105] In mid 2007 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, responded to these allegations of discrimination, with the following:

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He also indicated that "some Islamic rules regarding women could change if jurisprudence research led to a new understanding."[105] Unfortunately, this is were reformers in Islamic societies hit a brick wall. As we had mentioned earlier, Islamic jurisprudence can be revised, but as it is extracted from, and cannot contradict, Shari'a (which consists of Allah's divine laws found within the Qur'an and Hadith), the results will always be unacceptable to our modern standards. What activists are indirectly trying to reform is not Iranian laws, but Islam itself, as each of these women's rights violations are sanctioned by Islamic scripture.

Many inheritance laws are taken straight from the Qur'an. For example, according to Snið:Quran, a male inherits twice that of a female. Its the same concerning the worth of a women's testimony in court; we find this law in Snið:Quran. Muhammad himself had been recorded by authentic Islamic sources explaining the necessity for such gender disparity within Islamic law, calling women deficient in intelligence:

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He further explain that women are not only deficient in intelligence, but also in religion,[106] and that this has resulted in most of the dwellers of hell being women.[107] In June 2007, Saudi Cleric Abd Al-Aziz Al-Fawzan, in a poor attempt to counter criticism aimed at these sayings of Muhammad, had said these ahadith highlight the 'fact' that women's twisted nature stems from their very creation.[108] These statements, by both Muhammad and Abd Al-Aziz Al-Fawzan, reflect the Islamic belief that Allah made Eve menstruate, suffer pregnancy and become stupid as a punishment for her transgressions in the garden, therefore all women menstruate (deficient in religion) and are created stupid (deficient in intelligence).[109] Those same authentic sources also record Muhammad condemning women in high social positions (i.e. presidents, judges etc), declaring "Never will succeed such a nation that makes a woman their ruler."[110]

Lying

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Islamic law allows, encourages, and even demands[111] lying by its followers. Lying for Islam is generally (but inaccurately) referred to as taqiyya. Many Muslims will claim that this is not an Islamic, but a Shi'ite practice. However, this is not true. There are many verses in the Qur'an which condone lying and deception,[112][113][114] and several classical and contemporary Sunni scholars have validated its place within main-stream Islam.[115][116] In the inquisition miḥna during the Caliphate of al-Ma’mun, a number of Sunni scholars used taqiyya, attesting to the Qur’an as having been created despite believing the opposite.[117] Given these facts, some will go on to attack the strict definition of taqiyya and claim that it is “only allowed to save one's own life” or that its "restricted to its use in war". This is where the critics use of the term "taqiyya" is wrong. Lying outside of trying to save one's life or a war is certainly permitted in Islam, but it is not referred to as taqiyya. It is more accurate to simply call it "lying for Islam". In sahih (authentic) hadith, Muhammad admits to being a liar[118] and advises its acceptable for Muslims to do likewise,[119] allowing his followers to use deception to silence critics.[120] One of the 99 "holy names" of the Islamic deity is Al-Makir (the Deceiver),[121] and in the Qur'an Allah refers to himself as the 'best deceiver',[122][123][124][125][126] and admits to deceiving Muslims[127] and creating Christianity through deception.[128] With all things considered, the fact remains that Islamic teachings as a whole encourage dishonesty and even elevates it to a holy status.

Polygamy

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Pedophilia

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Following a precedent set by Muhammad, pedophilia is permitted under Islamic law. This practice is sanctioned by both the Qur'an and the Hadith. In the Qur'an we find this in verse 65:4. This verse deals with the Iddat (العدة‎), which is a waiting period a female must observe before she can remarry. The stipulated waiting period for a divorced girl who has not yet menstruated is three months. The meaning of this verse has been clarified by numerous tafsir's (authoritative Qur'anic commentaries) and many sahih hadith. Muhammad himself has been recorded by authentic Islamic sources explaining the meaning of this verse as "those who never had menses, their prescribed period is three months before puberty."[129] While some (but definitely not all) Western apologists may attempt to deny this sanction of pedophilia within their holy text, they hold no sway with Muslims in how Islam is practised; it is the Islamic texts themselves which hold the power, and Islamic scholars in the modern era still agree that marrying and having sex with pre-pubescent girls is permitted. For example; the influential Muslim scholar and thinker Syed Abul A'ala Maududi (1903 - 1979) commented on verse 65:4 and those who attempt to deny scripture:

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As has already been mentioned, Muhammad committed pedophilia, and even according to the most stringent clinical definition of pedophilia - the DSM-IV-TR, he was a pedophile. His actions fulfilled all three requirements needed for a positive diagnosis; he had sexual urges/relations towards/with a pre-pubescent child (generally age 13 years or younger) over a period of at least six months, he acted on those sexual urges, and he was over 16 years-old and at least 5 years older than the child involved. Muhammad was engaged to Aisha bint Abu Bakr when she was only six years of age and he was fifty-one, and consummated the relationship while she was still pre-pubescent, aged just 9 years old[130] (at the very least, she remained pre-pubescent until aged fifteen).[131] Many people assume that to be diagnosed as a pedophile there needs to be a pattern of conduct, but (as is clear from the DSM criteria) this is not the case, and even if it were; Aisha's abuse is only known to us due to her being a wife to Muhammad. Who's to know how many children suffered at the hands of Muhammad's perversion? Others will claim that it was the 'cultural norm' and Aisha was 'offered' in marriage by her father. This is false. It was Muhammad who approached Abu Bakr, and Abu Bakr originally protested.[132] However, even if she was offered to Muhammad, this does not alter the fact that as the 'uswa hasana' his actions are forever considered lawful and morally acceptable in Islam. Muhammad even justified his perversion with a 'divine' vision from Allah,[133] something which also destroys the apologists appeal to cultural relativism; according to Muhammad, the marriage was due to the will of Allah, and not the culture.

Because of its many endorsements within Islam, pedophilic marriages are common practice in many Islamic countries, and Islamic authorities are left powerless:

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In the East, girls far below the age of puberty are forcibly married to older persons (sometimes in their 50s and later) for various personal gains by the girls' guardian. Pedophilic Islamic marriages are most prevalent in Pakistan and Afghanistan, followed by other countries in the middle east and Bangladesh.[134][135] This practice may also be prevalent to a lesser extent amongst other Muslim communities, and is worryingly on the rise among the growing Muslim populations in many Western countries, such as the United Kingdom (where, according to 2009 government figures in the UK, forced teen marriages have seen a ten-fold rise in just four years)[136] and the United States.[137]

Rape

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Religious discrimination

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Slavery

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Under Islamic laws, slavery is explicitly permitted.[138] As Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, a member of the Senior Council of Clerics had said in 2003, those who argue that slavery is abolished are "ignorant, not scholars. They are merely writers. Whoever says such things is an infidel."[139] Muhammad himself was a slaver. He not only owned many male[140][141] and female[142] slaves, but he also sold, captured, and had sex[143] with his slaves. Even his wives owned slaves. Apologists will claim that Muhammad provided a system that would eventually lead to the abolition of slavery, but this is not true and nowhere does Islamic scripture support such a statement. Yes, Muhammad regulated it and allowed for the manumission of a slave, but this is by no means an obligation. It is clear that Muhammad held no animosity towards slavery,[144] and at times even discouraged the freeing of slaves.[145] He even encouraged racism by exchanging two black slaves for one Arab.[146] As is clear, Muhammad's actions perpetuated the existence of this reprehensible trade by institutionalising it within Islam, This sanction of slavery has helped the Muslim world create one of the largest trans-continental slave trades in history. The Eastern Islamic slave trade is the longest yet least discussed of the two major trades. Much like the Crusades and the Islamic Conquests which prompted them, you only hear of the one and not the other. Many people are not even aware that the Arab slave trade ever existed, even though it began around 650 AD (pre-dating the European slave trade by over a thousand years). However, It was only officially abolished (due largely to pressure from the West,[147] rather than their own conscience) in the 1960's and the slave trade still exists in the Islamic East. As of July 2009,[148] there were over half a million slaves in Mauritania alone. In Pakistan, the labor minister of Punjab had said in early 2009 that there are "millions of forced laborers in 'private prisons' across the country",[149] and the town of Hajja, Yemen, in 2010 is home to another 300 slaves.[150] This (just like the history of Jihad) is an ongoing atrocity that many want to erase from our history books and have largely succeeded in doing so. Unlike the Europeans who were primarily interested in male slaves for use as agricultural workers, the Islamic raiders interests (like Muhammad's before them) lay in female slaves to use for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems. Also, putting aside the 1.25 million white Europeans Christians who were captured and sold into the Muslim slave trade between the 16th and 19th century,[151] the number of innocent Africans who were taken (or died in the process of being taken) as slaves over the last fourteen centuries of Islamic slavery is estimated to be higher than 140 million.[152] This figure dwarfs the numbers that were taken at the hands of Europeans. And unlike in the West, male slaves (blacks in particular) were commonly castrated,[153] hence the lack of surviving descendants of black slaves in the Middle-East.

Terrorism

Main Article: Jihad See also: Misconceptions about Jihad and Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Jihad

Assassination and Murder

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Mandate Dangerous or Harmful Rituals

Islamic Fasting

Main Articles: Adverse Effects of Islamic Fasting and The Ramadan Pole Paradox

Fasting (صوم Sawm) for thirty days every year during the Islamic month of Ramadan is the fourth Pillar of Islam, therefore it is compulsory (الفرض Fard). Fasting lasts from dawn till dusk, and Muslims must abstain from all foods, drinks, sexual intercourse,[154] and even smoking. Contrary to popular Muslim beliefs, Islamic fasting (unlike medical fasting) has numerous adverse effects that have been observed using scientific studies and news sources. These include; the increase in irritability[155][156] and crimes,[157][158][159] effects on Health, such as the increased risk of diabetes,[160] dehydration,[161] tachycardia,[162] severe headaches,[162] dizziness,[162] nausea,[162] vomiting[162] and circulatory collapse.[162] It can also cause problems with sleep,[163] daytime drowsiness[164] and alertness.[165] Naturally, all of these factors affect the economy in Muslim majority countries during Ramadan. For example; the productivity of Arab businesses in this period drops by a staggering seventy-eight percent.[166] Also, as the length of a fast is governed by the rising and the setting of the sun, this can cause a huge problem for those who live close to the North or South poles. The closer we get to the poles, the longer our days or nights become. They can eventually extend for up to several months each, making the fourth Pillar of Islam impossible to practice without starving yourself to death. Islamic scholars have said that even if a fast lasts for up to twenty hour a day, this is something a Muslim must accept.[167] Obviously Muhammad was unaware of the poles. Persecution of non-Muslims also rises during the month of Ramadan, with people of other faiths often being attacked in Muslim majority countries for eating or drinking in public. August 2009, In Pakistan, two Christians were arrested and jailed for "desecrating Ramadan" by eating during daylight hours inside a Hotel.[168]

The Hajj

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The Hajj (حج) is another obligatory duty, being the fifth Pillar of Islam. It is a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, which, like the Ka'aba, the black stone, and many other aspects of Islam, is pagan in origin. The pilgrimage takes place on the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, from the 7th to the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.

Performing the Hajj is a physically exerting exercise, and many of the weaker pilgrims have died from it. Furthermore, Since 1987, officially there has been at least 3,315 deaths and another 1,500 injuries resulting from various accidents during the pilgrimage. These figures are extremely conservative, considering (for example) the 1994 stampede in Mecca. Officially only 250 people had died as a result of the stampede, and according to The Saudi Press Agency a total of 829 pilgrims had died during the pilgrimage for a variety of reasons, which included "old age, heart attacks" and "deaths that resulted because of the heavy throngs throwing pebbles on Monday." However witnesses, doctors and a senior Asian diplomat had said the death toll for the stampede alone could have been over 1,000.[169]

Punishments Under Islamic Law

The various methods of punishment under Sharia law, for what it deems as crimes, are extracted from both the Qur'an and the Hadith. These punishments are prescribed by Islamic scripture, so they constitute a fundamental part of the Islamic faith. Therefore they cannot, and still have not, been discarded from the practice of Islam.

Amputation

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Amputation, is the removal of part or all of a body part enclosed by skin.[170] It is a prescribed punishment in the Qur'an, and within the context of Islamic law, it refers to the removal of the hands or feet. Today, amputation is used as punishment for theft in Saudi Arabia[171] and Nigeria, which reintroduced shariah law in 1999[172], and in Somalia, a court run by an extremist Islamic group sentenced four Somali men in June of 2009 to each have a hand and a leg cut off for allegedly stealing mobile phones and guns.[173][174] In 2008, the Islamic Republic of Iran saw five double amputations in a single week--five convicted robbers were each sentenced to have their right hands and left feet amputated.[175] When the Taliban, an Islamic militant group, took over Afghanistan in 1996, within a year, public executions, amputations and stonings were a regular Friday event in Kabul.[176]

Stoning

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Stoning to death (رجم Rajm), according to traditional interpretations of Islamic law, is primarily a punishment for persons who engage in unlawful sexual relations (which include homosexual relationships). The criminals "hands are tied behind their backs and their bodies are put in a cloth sack." They are then "buried in a hole, with only the victims heads showing above the ground. If its a woman, she is buried upto her shoulders."[177] The stones which are to be thrown at the criminal "should not be so large that the offender dies after a few strikes, nor so small as to fail to cause serious injury."[178] Astonishingly, due to the Islamic laws on rape requiring four male eye witnesses before guilt can be ascertained, many rape victims end up being charged with 'adultery.' As was the case for a 13-year-old girl in Somalia[179] who in October of 2008 was buried up to her neck and stoned to death in front of more than 1,000 people in a football stadium. She was the victim of gang-rape. Incidents of stonings have been reported in Iraq and Pakistan, and forms a part of Afghan, Iranian, Nigerian, Indonesian, Sudanise, Saudi Arabian, and United Arab Emirate law.[180] The Qur'an itself does not explicitely mention the act, but there are several Sahih (authentic) Hadith which speak of Muhammad ordering people to be stoned to death. According to hadith, the Qur'anic verses of stoning were written on a piece of paper and were lost when a goat ate the paper.[181]

Crucifixion

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Crucifixion (صلبه Salb) typically refers to the inhumane and painful method of execution and/or torture by tying and/or nailing someone to a cross, stake or tree. It can also refer to the method of public display of a body after execution, such as the incident in Saudi Arabia when a convicted killer was beheaded and his body was "crucified."[182] Despite the fact that Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire in ad 337, out of veneration for Jesus Christ, the most famous victim of crucifixion,[183] Muhammad perpetuated this barbaric practice by declaring it a prescribed punishment in the Qur'an. Seems that Allah cannot think of a better punishment than the Romans did. Crucifixion as a method of torture and execution is reportedly still being used in Sudan and Iraq, both Islamic countries,[184][185] and it is still a part of Iran's criminal code.[186] Adding itself to the ranks of shariah-practicing leaderships, Hamas, the Islamic governing body of Gaza, reinstated the penalty of crucifixion in 2008.[187]

See Also

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Downloads

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