Comment: How does Islamic Sharia go against human rights?

On the November 6, 2010, Minivan News published in its Comments and Opinion column an article titled “HRCM and Islamic Sharia,” written by supposedly feminist local writer, Aishath Aniya.

The article is mainly about Aniya’s objection to a suggestion by the HRCM President who said: “Human rights protection can be successfully achieved adhering to the principles of Islam.”

As such, Aniya has made two daring statements.

In the fourth paragraph, she writes: “For a moment, I could not understand what she [HRCM President] was trying to say. Her words suggested that HRCM – the highest authority to safeguard human rights in the country has joined the religious narrative that poses a clear threat to human rights, social justice and economic sustainability of the country.

And, in the fifth paragraph, she continues: “I am quite assured that if HRCM engages within the confines of Islamic Sharia, as it is understood now, we could be a long way from protecting and sustaining human rights in the Maldives.”

I read the article repeatedly. And what I noticed was that other than making a bold— and perhaps, emotional—statement, Aniya could not prove her point.

I also noticed that Aniya may have not done sufficient research. Because when I read the last sentence of the 14th paragraph, I was convinced that she apparently does not know the difference between Sunnah (saying and living habits of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Ijthihad (the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the legal sources, the Quran and the Sunnah).

I understand Aniya’s objection to the adherence of Islamic Shariah. But she has failed to explicitly say where and how Islamic Sharia actually goes against human rights, social justice and the economic sustainability of a modern society.

Aniya has extensively quoted Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law. But it was mainly about the origin of Islamic Sharia, its sources and the developments during the early days.

She has not discussed which Acts of Islamic Sharia are inconsistent with the norm of a modern society, and how.

The two primary sources of Islamic Sharia are the Quran and Sunnah, something Aniya also has acknowledged by quoting An-Na’im. Does she hold a view that the Quran and Prophet’s teaching goes against humanity?

If the objection is to the “traditional interpretation” of Quran and Sunnah— thereby calling for modern interpretation, then who is more appropriate for the task. Should we rely on the view of a single scholar or should we respect the consent of the majority of the scholars?

Aniya is certainly impressed with An-Na‘im work. John L. Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs at Georgetown University has the following interesting comment on An-Na’im’s book, Islam and Secular State: “Although An-Na‘im wishes to present his views from within the Islamic tradition, he also states early on that his arguments are not exegetical in nature and therefore do not aim to interpret traditional Islamic sources such as Qur’an, hadith, tafsir, or legal theory (usul al-fiqh).”

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75 thoughts on “Comment: How does Islamic Sharia go against human rights?”

  1. "That’s what YOU think.
    Now only they have come to know it was a mistake, that’s why there is a wave of hate,violence and prejudice against immigrants in the EU."

    You're wrong.

    It is not 'prejudice' if the judgment is formed from experience. Then, it just becomes a judgment.

    People like YOU are the reason why innocent Muslims elsewhere are finding it difficult to live.

    Hatemongers like you openly proclaim hatred for Jews/Christianity and justify violence against every single one of them - you support the misogynist and violence filled speeches of firebrand mullahs... and you still wonder WHY they mistrust you?

    They have every right to mistrust you and the blame for it falls ENTIRELY on shortsighted intolerant fanatics like you. YOU are the reason why Muslims suffer worldwide.

    Also, I understand people who see the world in black and white will have a hard time understanding words that do not show an absolute, simplistic worldview.

    The rest of us understand that there's no 'fully accomplished' societies.

    Terms like '100% Muslim' countries and 'True Muslims' and 'Pure Islam' belong in dictionary of people who cannot deal with reality.

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  2. @yaamyn

    Now you equate me to a Mullah, pretty much the 'knee-jerk' reaction you criticize the 'beardies' for having.

    I have nothing against people of other religions, the main issue here is Secularism vs Sharia.

    Secularists want to enforce there views on those who don't necessarily want to live under them. Same way goes for Islamists.

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  3. @ yaamyn

    I find you as biggest hate-monger. Your blog stands as a witness to your hatred and intolerance towards Muslims and Islam as a whole.

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  4. @yaamyn

    "people who see the world in black and white will have a hard time understanding words that do not show an absolute, simplistic worldview."

    Your test: People who are used to see through tinted glass will squint and become dazed. So you close your eyes from real light. Welldone! That's you!

    @yaamyn
    "Terms like ’100% Muslim’ countries and ‘True Muslims’ and ‘Pure Islam’ belong in dictionary of people who cannot deal with reality."

    Your test: 100% satanic and evil exist.
    You have passed the test! Welldone!

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  5. Xa-Yanu,

    Why should I labor so hard as to distinguish between Mullahs and people who do the legwork of furthering Mullah propaganda?

    The petty propaganda link you posted that has nothing to do with either Shari'ah or Secularism - and that's the reason why I mentioned you as an example in an earlier comment.

    I'm not a fan of Muslims who love to wallow in self-pity and share sob stories with each other ('Look how those Israelis are killing our children! BOO HOO HOO!') I find it self-defeating and pointless.

    As for Shari'ah vs modern secular jurisprudence, I've already made my point - (when I don't really need to)

    The immense success and achievements of the Scandinavian and other modern countries speak for themselves.

    Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, Mullah judges are still struggling to enter the 7th Century. http://bit.ly/aFMcYN

    In Pakistan, they're gloating and weeping tears of joy about potentially orphaning child. http://bit.ly/bb9c5e

    And these are people you want to entrust the entire responsibility of judge, jury and executioner?

    Pardon us secularists for being rightfully horrified.

    hameed,

    You're welcome to compare me to Geert Wilders or Adolf Hitler or whoever else you'd fancy.

    But I really think it would do you better if you'd spend less time thinking about me, and more towards introspecting how your hateful ideology is burning the Maldives society and dragging it down into a deep, dark intellectual abyss.

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  6. i smell atheists here , no need to debate them ppl , let them breath for as long as Allah wishes , let them transgress, let them laugh at Allah's messenger and His message, let Allah deal with them. If only they knew what they were doing...ponder..

    "They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not!" (surah baqara : 9)

    "In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allah has increased their disease. A painful torment is theirs because they used to tell lies.And when it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth", they say: "We are only peacemakers."Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not. " (surah baqara : 10-12)

    "Allah mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doings to wander blindly."(surah baqara : 15)

    They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the Right Path). (surah baqara : 18)

    fools!! make laugh.

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  7. @ yaamyn

    my hateful ideology? your own blog and the Facebook page which you have created clearly tells thats you are not a man who tolerate opposite view. Do not worry. you are not the first or the last person to hate Islam. But that will not effect the message of Islam from being spread.The number of people who join the fold of Islam will not fall either.

    I hope you have already read about Yvonne Ridley, award-winning British-born journalist best known for her capture by the Taliban and subsequent conversion to Islam. She described Quran "magna carta for women."

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  8. @ yaamyn

    read this. a very interesting article by Yvonne Ridley.
    http://yvonneridley.org/yvonne-ridley/articles/how-i-came-to-love-the-veil-4.html

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  9. @yaamyn

    "You’re welcome to compare me to Geert Wilders or Adolf Hitler or whoever else you’d fancy."

    Now,now..it's obvious that Hameed is not the one who fancies Geert wilders or Adolf Hitler. It's obviously you!
    I agree when Hameed says that your blog is full of hate.

    Don't pretend to be the little pixy spreading pixy dust.

    Don't you have anything better to do 24/7 than navigating in a world of Islamophobia?

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  10. @Abdullah

    I like all your quotes from the Quran.

    They are very apt to describe the blindness of islam-haters.

    Darkness upon darkness!

    I would like to dedicate this Quranic verse from Surah an-Nur to yaamyn, hoping that he is able to see Light!

    Quran (The Light 24:40)
    "Or like shadows in a deep sea covered by wave upon wave, with clouds above- layer upon layer of darkness- if he holds out his hand, he is scarcely able to see it. The one to whom God gives no light has no light at all"

    I pray to Allah that you see Light, yaamyn!

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  11. hameed,

    My blog as well as Facebook group (thanks for reading them, btw) has one simple message - tolerance.

    Unfortunately for you, I have a firm conviction that tolerance of intolerance is plain cowardice.

    I refuse to wear kid gloves (like so many of our cowardly politicians do) when dealing with extremist Mullahs, nor do I hesitate to call a spade a spade. Unlike our politicians, I have no interest in 'taking along the masses' or winning popularity contests.

    So no, I refuse to tone down my criticism of fanatic Islamists.

    I also do not accept that people like you, or the guy who posts as 'heck', who can so easily jump to the defense of vile, anti-semitic, misogynist mullahs have ANY right to be "offended".

    It offends civilized folks like us, and it offends our sensibilities that evil lunatics like your masters are let loose on our society.

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  12. @heck, @ yaamyn

    IMO:The comments are getting too personal.

    The questions you are asking, or claiming the other is or not, is not a digital answer, ie : a yes or no. But could be anywhere between the two ends. So, it will not get resolved by who hurls the stone fastest or who can put into words, better. I know you guys know this and dont need somebody else to point out.

    But i guess the underlying questions are, in Maldives,
    a) Can one decide which religion he can believe or not, without being prosecuted or harassed?
    b) History can be viewed as a guidance. Which country(s) has undergone a similar turmoil as we (maldivians) are passing through. Is there a definite trend towards secularism.
    c) Why are some Maldivians paranoid about other religions, specially Judaism, Christianity? One cannot logically blame a whole culture/religious belief as 'bad' people. Good or bad is an individual trait.
    d) How many in the country actually believe in a religion? One can only answer for himself, and claims for the group really cannot be true.

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  13. @heck

    Sigh.

    You can never rise above the age old Mullah retorts when faced with an argument.

    'Do you believe in God?!'..
    'Do you PRAY?!'..
    'HAVE YOU EVEN READ THE QURAN?!!'..
    'Respect the Sheikhs!'

    I could be a flaming homosexual having gay sex on the beach with my alcohol drinking buddy, while belting out biblical phrases between gulping down pork - and it would have absolutely no effect on the veracity of the arguments I have provided above.

    Simple statistics show that Islamic Shari'ah as interpreted by Islamists is an inferior, outdated system that should be completely replaced by modern, secular courts capable of processing scientific evidence and passing fair judgments.

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  14. If Islamic Shariah is outdated why can the people of Mecca go out with their shops opened without any risk of robbery and why are the people holding the "MODERN" systems always in the risk of robbery, rape, gang fights etc??
    of course the Islamic Shariah is 1400 years old, but only a retard will chose to live in violence than in peace 🙂

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  15. @yaamyn

    *Yawn*

    What's your ARGUMENT?

    What is necessary to pass a fair judgement is NOT a 'secular court' BUT a FAIR judge, damn it!

    Secularism is also a religion. Their God is materialism.

    If you think an Islamic judge in a Sharia Court cannot pass a fair judgement, what guarantees are there that a secular judge will not be biased in a Secular Court?

    Talking about two religions, aren't we?

    For example you are caught on a beach flaming it down with your buddy, and a Muslim mullah files a case against you for committing a crime under Maldivian Law, and the Judge was your friend, say Mullah Aniya or Mullah Hilath. Who would the Judge favour? The Muslim Mullah or the flame thrower (you)?

    That was your AAAARGUMENT?

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  16. "Secularism is also a religion. Their God is materialism."

    This is your problem. You make arbitrary definitions as and when you feel like, and expect us to accept your assertions.

    No. Secularism is not a religion.

    Secularism merely demands the separation of church and state. This simply means that in a secular state, politicians are not allowed to abuse religion for political purposes. Modern democracies and progress DEPENDS on secular functioning of society.

    When there's no secular society, you get Saudi Arabia. Or Taliban-era Afghanistan. Not exactly the two pinnacles of human achievement, I'm sure you'll agree.

    This is exactly why our largely Muslim neighbor Bangladesh recently outlawed Islamist parties (like the Adhaalathu party in our country) and reverted to their original secular, Democratic roots.

    Why do Norwegians and Swedes beat Saudi Arabia/ Afghanistan on every scale of achievement? If you were right, shouldn't it be the other way around?

    Why does Singapore have less corruption? Why are Finns more educated? Why do Canadians have better health? Why have Americans sent man to the Moon? Why is the Western world able to embrace science - and defeat Small Pox, fight Aids, cure cancer?

    " If you think an Islamic judge in a Sharia Court cannot pass a fair judgement, what guarantees are there that a secular judge will not be biased in a Secular Court?"

    Because modern courts accept modern, scientific evidences. Because modern courts do not rest on the whims or testimonies of one man. Because they do not consider women 'half-witnesses'.

    Because they do not - and cannot - flog women who have been raped. Because they do not stone people to death for thought crimes.

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  17. The primary sources of Islam are Quran and Sunnah. Nowhere in the Quran or Sunnah is mentioned that if a woman gets raped let the rapist go home scott free and punish the victim. In fact it is only under the Islam shariah a rapist gets death penalty.

    We Muslims consider Quran as the criterion by Allah for mankind. See every verse related to women in the Quran and find out what Allah says.

    Oppression , injustice and corruption is forbidden by Allah.

    Majority of the countries in the world today follow secular ideology. why
    only very few countries are able to deliver social justice. why not everyone able to make economic progress.

    Islam is the solution for the mankind. There is nothing supreme than the Word of Allah!

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  18. @ yaamyn:

    do not jump to conclusion as you have accused Islam considers women 'half-witness.

    read the following.

    http://www.alhewar.com/TahaTestimony.htm

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  19. some more readings on the accusation that Islam considers women ‘half-witness.

    http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaEAskTheScholar&cid=1119503544348

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  20. @yaamyn

    Secularism is definitely a religion, whether you like it or not. That's why you are being so 'dogmatic' and 'defensive' about your 'firm' beliefs!

    A secular politician will use his secular religion to abuse Muslims especially God conscious women.
    They often secretly and anonymously proselytize and try to win converts, a good example being Mullah Hangtower.

    They would get really mad when someone talks ill of their God who is Materialism, and, would accuse them of blasphemy and of being backward, and for not using their brains to feel the warmth of their God.

    They merely want church to be separated from the state because they love to worship their God who is represented by all materialistic, expensive but ephemeral stuff in the state, and unless the church is separated, they will have no privacy to worship their materialiistic Lord! So you see, it's all about religion.

    As far as I know, Bangladesh is a country still trying to breath after it separated from Pakistan revolving around whether they want a secularist nation or an Islamic state like Pakistan, against whom they fought and gained independence.

    I don't think their political decisions on the subject of secularism and Islamic state has anything to do with strong public opinion against the religion of Islam itself.

    It could be just a political decision based on the aspirations of Bangladesh as a nation, to survive as an independent nation, after religious based politics was banned even at the brutal birth of Bangladesh.

    There is no clash with Islam in Bangladesh, and if you look clearly, this secularism thing was there in the first constituition of Bangladesh.

    So I think, it is secularism itself which is at risk in Bangladesh, not Islam.

    Maldives is a different nation. We did not have to fight a brutal war to gain independence against a larger Muslim country.

    Secularist promises were made during Bangladesh's struggle for independence understandably to gain the support of minorities and possibly the support of it's large neighbour, who is constantly at odds with whom Bangladesh fought for independence.

    Even so, do you see the political willingness in Bangladesh to confront public opinion and jeopardise the next election term.

    It's like Anni keeping quiet about Adhaalath Party, one of the the only few remaining stones in Anni's crown that shaped his political future. Similarly Sheikh Haseena knows she must not open her mouth like the bay of Bengal if she wants to win another term.
    So it's all politics!

    Then, about Taliban, I would say you are mistaken. Taliban-era Afghanistan is a result of imperialism and secularist Najeebullah. Not due to lack of a secular government!

    Looking at the distant and recent past of Afganistan, I really think even though they are not a pinnacle of human development, they must, atleast, be a pinnacle of experimentation for super-powers.

    If you fail and turn pink and blue from the the Afganistan test that could mean your super power status is over. That's why After UK and Russia the third is following suit!

    First you need to be free from imperialist experimentation to achieve anything, isn't it?

    "Why are Finns more educated?" Well! I think - it's because if Finnish youths don't study hard and get good results their parents might kill them or make them commit suicide infront of them.

    That could be one of the reasons why Finnish youth have the highest rate of suicide in the world!

    Norwegians, Swedes or Finns when compared with Saudi Arabia they have one or two proud achievements I consider noteworthy.

    They beat the Saudis in alcoholsim and suicide. They should at least concede to the Saudis on these two areas to qualify as the happiest!

    Man! Why would you kill yourself, if everything around you is far superior?

    "Why do Canadians have better health?" I don't know. DO they have BETTER health? How long do they live? Past 200?

    "Why does Singapore have less corruption?"
    Most people say it's one of their state secrets.

    Some people even say Singapore is least corrupt, because, no one else is allowed to be corrupt, except the top executive.

    Believe me - If you were living in Singapore, you would have been flogged, seventy times by now for indecency,disturbing the public peace and spreading hate through your blog. So, Shhhh! Don't talk about Singapore.

    "Because they do not consider women ‘half-witnesses’."
    Who told you? Geert Wilders? Why not ask him about the practice of two witnesses in financial matters, even in western countries? Is it an insult to the other person's intelligence that they require two witnesses?

    Mullah yaamyn! You are so lost. Tell me one thing. In a case of rape or murder or any serious crime, Would you consider being a witness as a privilege or a burden?

    For example, in a murder case, while the murder was being committed, there were two women, and two men. How many pairs of eyes do you think would really be EYE-witnessing the murder, in spite of being in front of the scene? All the two pairs? I am talking about real women here, not broad shouldered she-males!

    At least the women or girls I know, they would hide their face with their palms or look the other way, until someone tells them it's over! Imagine, if this is how they 'witness' a murder scene in a movie, what would they do in real life situations? Again - if she is that broad-shouldered, hoarse voiced lady, then, it's another story!

    Women simply don't get stoned! In case you haven't noticed the last American women who was given capital punishment was accused of killing her husband, just like that Iranian lady about whose death sentence, the world went crazy!

    It had nothing to do with compassion for women.

    That just shows how the world is biased against Islam.

    I don't think Islamic courts simply pass death sentences. The cases where death sentence is passed, must be proven BEYOND doubt, as per Islam, if I am not wrong.

    "Because they do not stone people to death for thought crimes"
    Oh yeah! They may not stone individual people to death, but they prefer stoning the whole nation to death, for thought crimes - the sheer thought of acquiring weapons of mass destruction!

    "Why have Americans sent man to the Moon?"
    The answer is in the Quran.

    Quran (55:33-35) O ye assembly of Jinns and men! If it be ye can pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, pass ye! not without authority shall ye be able to pass! Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

    You must understand NASA does not use only strictly American technology. They use Japanese,Indian,European technology and even Muslim scientists in thier projects.

    So it's the assembly of men who are working on one common objective. There is no reason why they should fail.
    BUt looking at all the costs, one just wonders is it all worth it, when there is so much famine and hunger right here on this world.

    I think in all these achivements, if the favours of Allah are denied, then it is Allah who is also able to recoil everything back on the inhabitants of the Earth!

    Therefor Man's ability to land on the Moon or achieve success on the field of medicine, is not a valid point to disprove Islamic Sharia.
    It is our Prophet (S.a.w) who encouraged Muslims to "Seek knowledge even in China"

    "Why is the Western world able to embrace science – and defeat Small Pox, fight Aids, cure cancer?"
    The world had learned and developed on early Muslim scientists' findings.

    If it was not for Muslim scientists, the Western world would still be scratching their heads trying to decipher ancient Greek and Indian knowledge.

    It is the ill gotten money and plunder of whole countries by imperialism that enabled the West to create a monopoly on fields like medicine and others.

    So, THOSE, were your AAARGUMENTS?

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