Comment: Shariah not a solution

Yesterday, the Adhaalath party organised a large rally at the tsunami monument in Male’, to demand the implementation of Islamic Shariah in the Maldives.

The party was joined by “hundreds” of pseudo-religious NGOs whi lent their collective voice to the clamour for Shariah, supposedly an antidote to ‘murder, violent assaults, robbery, rape and drug abuse’ in the country.

“The whole nation is threatened and institutions have failed,” the party said in a statement. The ‘only solution’, according to large banners put up across Male’, is Islamic Shariah.

What the Adhaalath Party and its friends fail to mention here is that by ‘Islamic Shariah’, they’re referring to a single interpretation of Shariah suitable to their rigid world-view – a minority opinion among the world’s many Muslim schools of thought that all hold different views of Shariah.

Lady Injustice

One common criticism of clergy-controlled Shariah is the perceived injustice towards women. While these concerns are often met with heated denial, they’re also backed up by cold statistics.

In 2009, then Minivan News Editor, Mariyam Omidi, wrote a damning report highlighting the strong gender discrepancy in the meting out of punishment for ‘fornication’ in the Maldives. According to government statistics cited in the report, out of 184 people sentenced to lashing for ‘fornication’ under Shariah law, 146 were women.

Following his verdict in June 2005, a judge in the criminal court, helpfully offered his opinion that women were ‘deceptive creatures’ according to the scriptures.

Almost exactly two years later, another judge ruled that the gang-rape of a 12 year old girl by four axe-wielding men who’d broken in through her bedroom window, was ‘consensual sex’, because the child didn’t scream audibly enough.

Last week, Mukhtar Mai, a woman who was gang-raped and dragged out naked in front of 200 higher-caste men in her village in Pakistan, had her hopes dashed when the courts upheld a ruling by semi-literate, tribal judges against her.

Given these realities, and a long series of cases where Muslim women have been punished for the crime of getting raped, one awaits an answer from the proponents of Sharia as to why a woman should ever step into their courts expecting justice.

Judge, Jury and Executioner

In Islamic Shariah, there is no jury, no defense lawyers, no prosecutors, no pre-trial discovery process, no courts of appeal, no cross-examination of witnesses, no legal precedents, and perhaps most damaging of all, little room for modern evidence.

Former State Minister of Islamic Affairs, Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, while graciously acknowledging the validity of long established forensic methods of DNA profiling, stated that such evidence could only be used as ‘supplementary’ evidence, presumably while relying primarily on eye-witness testimonies, as practised in Arabia 1400 years ago.

Furthermore, due to the lack of separation of powers in Islamic Shariah, the Mullah is literally the judge, jury and executioner on whose shaky whims the mortal life of the accused rests.

Coupled with the severe lack of capable judges, this is often a recipe for disaster.

Dr. Tarek Al-Suwaidan, a prominent Muslim scholar, blamed the poor quality of modern Islamic jurists on a curriculum that is limited to only subjects related to traditional Islamic jurisprudence.

Highlighting the necessity of familiarity with international law, and current commercial, copyright and cyber-crime laws, he prescribed a minimum requirement of at least a bachelor’s degree in business, law or other specialized field before candidates enrolled for Shariah studies.

Maldivian courts, on the other hand, are plagued by severely under-qualified judges with barely primary level schooling who, according to a February 2011 report by the ICJ (International Commission of Jurists), have also failed to act in an impartial manner.

Political farce

The ‘absolute Shariah’ practised in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan gives credence to Syrian Scholar Muhammad Shahrur’s theory that jurisprudence in the name of God is a farce by those wanting to maintain political power.

Photographs available in the public domain show the former Taliban government in Afghanistan showing off dead bodies of dissenters hung from poles in public, with their severed penises stuffed in their mouths.

In 2007 alone, at least six cases of torture and custodial death were brought against the muttaween, the Saudi Arabian religious police entrusted with enforcing a rigid Shariah state. In one case, a man was beaten to death for being in ‘illegal seclusion’ with an unrelated woman.

In May 2002, the religious police in Mecca prevented school girls from escaping a burning building as they were not wearing the ‘correct Islamic dress’, and to prevent physical contact between the girls and civil firefighters, which they feared might have caused ‘sexual enticement’.

Over forty people suffered severe burns that day, and 14 girls burned to death.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the basij militia brutally cracks down on pro-democracy activists in Universities and streets of Tehran, thereby prolonging the Ayatollah’s political reign in the guise of ‘upholding Islamic Shariah’.

The lack of judicial oversight or accountability, coupled with the promise of absolute power, has made Shariah an irresistible proposition for the Islamist political movement.

The political implications of a ‘Shariah’ legal system was painfully obvious in the original draft of the Maldivian Religious Unity Regulations of 2010, which forbade, among several other things, the criticism of ‘religious scholars’, and airing of any views on religion that contradicted the views of a select few who, very conveniently, happened to be the ones drafting the regulation.

Uncodified Law

When a Maldivian man publicly declared his lack of faith to a visiting preacher last year – he was met with a curious reaction.

On the one hand, the preacher on stage, in a long-winded response, ruled that Islam didn’t demand the death of all apostates. On the other hand, by day break, another set of preachers from a local NGO had issued an outright demand for his state sanctioned murder, failing an immediate repentance and conversion.

The dramatic contrast in judgement between the self-declared experts that – under a Shariah law system –  would’ve literally meant the difference between the man’s life and death, brings to the forefront the problem of Shariah not being a codified system of law.

There have been several attempts within the Islamic community to correct this grievous flaw, by compiling Shariah laws into a standard code. But observers note that since Islam has no central authority to universally  enforce such a codified law, it would depend on compliance, rather than enforcement.

Until such day, the law literally is whatever the Mullah with the gavel says it is.

The deterrence argument

Citing Islamic Shariah, the Maldivian Parliament recently introduced a proposed amendment to the Clemency Act, which would uphold a death sentence passed by the Supreme Court.

The proponents of the death penalty claim that it would act as a deterrent against violent crimes.

As it happens, a New York Times survey in 2000 revealed that American states which practise the death penalty have for decades shown consistently higher homicide rates than states that didn’t. FBI data for 2008 shows that murder rates were up to 101% higher in states that implemented capital punishment than those that didn’t.

According to Amnesty International, evidence shows that the faint threat of a possible future execution does not, in fact, enter the mind of a potential murderer in the throes of violent rage, mental illness, calm cold-bloodedness, or sheer panic.

Human Law

A vast majority of the world’s Muslims live under secular, constitutional law.

Even though laws in Pakistan and Malaysia are influenced by Shariah,  they have regular courts and cede ultimately authority unto the constitution, rather than the clergy.

Many secular countries like Britain, India and the Philippines allow religious discretion in civil and domestic affairs governing marriages, divorce and inheritance, but for criminal cases, they all employ modern law – with constitutional remedies, inviolable rights, principles of equality before law, provisions for appeals and the benefit of forensic evidences that has helped ensured justice for rape and murder victims even several years after a crime is committed.

A new thinking

In a sermon at the American Centre of the National Library last year, Imam Khalid Latif said that even non Muslims and people guilty of various sins felt free to openly speak their minds to the Prophet, without fear or hesitation, and fully expecting a patient hearing.

Times have clearly changed, as Islamist resentment against differing opinions has increasingly expressed itself as violent attacks on intellectuals and liberal reformists, further expanding the shadow of fear and intimidation under which Islamists operate.

Ibn Rushd, the celebrated philosopher from the Islamic Golden Age, also said that revelation and reason are not contradictory, but complementary.

Swiss born intellectual Professor Tariq Ramadan, one of Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2009, argues that the Qur’an should be interpreted in the changed historical context of modern times.

Citing a German law demanding equal treatment of sexes as an example of  proper Shariah, Ramadan asserted that “There are laws coming from non-Muslim minds that are more Islamic than laws coming from Muslim minds in Islamic countries.”

Indeed, those who swear by the immutability of God’s law, ignore the fact that Shariah has been compiled, polished, amended and refined by Islamic jurists for centuries after the Prophet’s death.

Dr. Abdul Fatah Idris, Head of Comparative Jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University agrees that with changing times, the traditional classical jurisprudence is no longer sufficient, and a ‘new thinking’ is required to deal with a changing society.

The failure of Islamic Shariah in modern times reflects this failure of the clergy class to adapt to changing times.

As with others before them, politicians in the Maldives are projecting an alluring vision of an idealistic sin free society to a disgruntled public as ‘Shariah’ – ignoring the fact that it has been a staggering, disastrous failure in every other modern nation that has experimented with clergy justice.

While loudly touted by vested interests as ‘the only solution’, Shariah is unfortunately ill-equipped to solve the average modern Muslim’s daily problems, and unlike modern law, has demonstrably failed to ensure justice and security for men and women in every part of the Muslim world.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]

100 thoughts on “Comment: Shariah not a solution”

  1. @what a joke!:
    Unlike the loudmouth barbarians passing themselves off as muslims, we do not believe in disrupting people's lives with loudspeakers, propaganda and large rallies.

    Thus, we find no need to 'counter-demonstrate'. The truth always wins against falsehood; no amount of brute can enforce it. Just look at the Arab world today.

  2. i'll see you all in heaven! the rest may stay confused on this article.

  3. Funny while yameen says "The party was joined by “hundreds” of pseudo-religious NGOs" haveeru says the demonstration is attended by thousands including some MPs.
    He he... Yameen you seem to be acting like Hosni Mubarak in his last days. You said "One common criticism of clergy-controlled Shariah is the perceived injustice towards women". If you are concerned about this at all, please look at the rape statistics; here is a piece of western compiled one.
    Do not be fooled. Yes you have described incidents of injustice which you ascribed to shariah. Infact, they all arise because of low level of training of judiciary. We all know these things will get repeated if such a judiciary is to continue regardless of shariah or secular law.

  4. the afghans had sharia law, but not good people of the faith to implement it. after taliban rule, the majority of afghans wanted them out...they dont want the US military on afghanistan, yes, but they dont want the taliban either. same thing will happen to maldives i think. people are not the same as they were during the Prophets time. if we are to implement it, we have to make considerations and adjust...

  5. I see some women, at least by their names, protesting to enforce Islamic fundamental values here in Maldives.

    Don't they realize, they will be the first ones who will be restricted, repressed, with zero choice. In islam, It's a mans world out there!

    I feel the more well off the country gets the more freedom people enjoy. What's happening in our country is not because we don't uphold shariah, but because of ignorance, and corrupt politicians. Shariah enforcement will throw us back 500 years. Half the young population will have to be stoned to death for adultery, fornication, sex with loved ones before marriage, drugs, etc. And that includes YOUR kids as well.

    I for one DO NOT want shariah here. But I will advocate capital punishment for murderers.

  6. @ Assad
    if islam is "mans world" then why more and more women are embracing islam? It is the fastest growing, second most followed religion in the world and half of its followers are women.
    the religion has given unique protection and rights to women which are not given by any other religions in the world.
    I am a women. I am a muslim. I am proud of it. And i demand implementation of Shariya in my country.

  7. @silent thoughts on Sun, 1st May 2011 1:45 AM
    good comment.
    As usual this yaameen person has presented facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, and used loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. His desired result is to change the attitude toward shariya in the target audience of maldivains to further secularists political agenda.

  8. @ my freedom to protest on Sat, 30th Apr 2011 10:20 PM
    i'm with you!
    let our voices be heard over the islam-haters who keep on posting here on different names (same people).
    lets go out in huge numbers and show who has majority in this country.
    lets force minivan news respect maldives constitution.

  9. Are the human being are inherent of so much absurdity that has still not wiped out through hundred of thousand year of evolution. We cannot believe so many people in the world are still so primitive who are unable to use their human brain which was evolved through logics, reasons and experience. Is it not a simple thing to see that Shraia is a man made law in the dark ages? Why anyone for a single moment considers this Sharia is from God, How some can believe if a god who created the universe with so many complexities is there writing the code of conduct, penal code and civil rights for some middle age Arabs. Why they don’t see the divine law is universal not subjected for a time period and for certain people? Devine laws are unseen force which applies on the whole universe. The divine laws are what physics and science teach us. That, every action has reaction that the world is material and subjected its survival from chain of reaction. Are these Mullahs are unaware that the world history did not begin from Middles East some 2000 years before?

  10. @silent thoughts,
    You are presenting a website here with statistics on rape per capita (the nationmaster).

    Have you ever thought WHY Saudia Arabia is on the end of the list?

    Because its rapes are not reported - women wouldn't dare to report a rape - it is socially "accepted" while the women just have to shut up. THAT is Sharia.
    On thhe other hand, in some countries, even marital rape is included (the other extreme), in somemiy's not.

    Use your brain first before you cite websites. It gives a wrong picture of the situation. Particularly a vulnerable, uneducated Maldivian woman, brainwashed from the Adhaalath party, threatened with fear, will tend to believe that under Sharia, she will be safe from rape.

  11. Interestingly, protests and demonstrations are against Islamic Sharia apparently.
    Saudi Arabia is tightning media laws:

    From the article:
    "Clerics played a major role in banning protests by issuing a religious edict which said that demonstrations are against Islamic law"

    "... anything contradicting Islamic Sharia Law; anything inciting disruption of state security or public order"

    Scholars (including renowned Sheikh Bin Baz et al. has unanimously agreed that protests and demonstrations are fitna and unlawful:

    These are not what I say, but what renowned scholars have said.

  12. A wolf in sheep's clothing.
    Yameen commenting as Marina.
    well, you can quote any thing from anywhere and its all true. but if there is any statistic which you cant digest, there is always something wrong with it. Typical secularist mindset.
    I guess you have no ultra motive in writing these anti-muslim things, but anyone who is presenting a counter argument is trying to "brainwash" maldivians.

  13. "Particularly vulnerable, uneducated Maldivian women, brainwashed from the Adhaalath party, threatened with fear..."
    so, we are all like that for defending our faith?
    I'm a women and i bet i have more degrees than you and no one is threatening me except the secularists who roam around stabbing, stealing and raping others. These is why i want Shari'ya to be implemented. I have no doubt that one day i will see justice based on shariya in maldives. Till that day comes i'll be working for it, no matter how many labels the secularists tag me. I take confidence that there are tens of thousands who aspire the same and i'm sure islam will prevail over falsehood.

  14. unfortunately many young people in Maldives do not study the Holy Quran. They only repeat what is said by others. Allah commanded us to read and understand the Quran, but Maldivians have delegated the reading and understanding to some clergy whose credentials are in question. Islam is a religion for all people for all times. The version of some tribal Arab scholars is totally inadequate for 21st century Asia. Arabs themselves have no desire to return to the 7th and 8th century understanding of Islam. Allah didn't give us a brain to mimic others. THINK. READ the Quran, discuss and understand.

  15. the salman rushdhees of maldives who are coming out against shariya.

  16. isnt it funny how similar all the comments from secularists are? i bet most of them are posted by the same people on different names. probably Yammeen himself. and that self publicist person will selectively take some of these comments to his hate-mongering blog. I wonder whether this comment will make it there? lol

  17. It's easy to insult Islam and it's beauty verbally. What one really doesn't understand is that it is our Creator who commanded us to follow His Sharia'h. He knows what's best for his creatures; our 3-dimensioanl minds are not the best judges. What I would say for now is that implementation of a full Islamic Shariah is the ONLY solution for everything. And before you begin your defamations, think for a second how long you will live on this Earth, with your stubborn and closed 3D perspective... May Allah guide you to the right path!

  18. Interesting links meekaaku.

    So the question is whether those protests were sharia compliant. Or would such protests be allowed if sharia is implemented. If not, why protest even now calling for sharia using a method that is directly against sharia? Thats hypocrisy at its finest.

  19. I wonder if we create small Islamic Vatican in Maldives and give choice to give their allegiance to Sharia, how many will voluntarily adhere The Taliban rule, I bet non of any Mullahs will go to follow so called Shria.

  20. Welcome to Maldives, a genetic cesspool where the evolution of mental process has withstood the test to time.

  21. The fact that you refer to religious Islamic authority only as Mullah's seem to show that there is a personal view to your article.

    Yes a few bias Arabs, Maldivians, Indians, Pakistanis, etc.. still does have this feeling that women are not as equal to them or they feel threatened on the possibility that their wife or sister could actually be smarter than they are. But this is not due to Islam, this is due to their personal ego. Trying to draw lines on this subject to point to Islam, is only done by those who does not know the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or an in depth understanding of Islamic law. The male ego is something that has existed for generations and it does not take a psychologist to explain this. Islam is the only thing which eradicates these illnesses in the heart. The examples you have given are all resulted due to people judging from a cultural or personal pride point of view. Just take a look at the corrupt Maldivian Judges. There are many things which influences people in different countries, cultures, tribes, bribery, etc. Each one is unique and again Islam addresses it all if you study the authentic Hadith of Rasurullah (pbuh).

    To every example of injustice you have given, if you do a search, you can maybe find 10 times more injustices carried out by democratic western systems to women or children. This is from a micro level to even an international level crimes done in the name of democracy or by a democratic country which prides itself as leaders of human rights. So its a big waste of time if one is giving examples to scare people. If it is to educate people to show that this is not the way it should be done and these are mistakes which should be corrected by Islamic scholars.. than it is more acceptable. Positive criticism is something which is always welcomes as long as it is not directed against Rasurullah (pbuh).

    There are plenty of Muslim women being oppressed by Democratic countries or publicly known allies of Western nations, including being kidnapped and even rape. One well known example for Muslims who keep up to date of their sisters around the world is:

    Do note that Pakistani government is a strong ally of the US (democratic) Administration in its so called fight against terrorism or anyone that pretty much looks, talks or even maybe smile in a certain way for them. Most of the Middle East Dictators are all close allies of the US and British Government.

    Muslims or true believers are simple people and does not spend time trying to seek honor from the clothes they wear, the car they drive or try to follow latest fashion from the west.

    If you would like to know of examples of Islamic systems after Rasurullah (pbuh), learn about the life of Abu Bakr and Umar Bin Al-Khattab so you can see the justice of it and how simple it really is when one only fears Allah (SWT).

    There is a lecture of the Justice of Umar Bin Al-Khattab as the Leader of the Islamic World. It will be Inshallah beneficial for all to listen to this part of his life if you want to know the true Justice of Islam.

  22. @fathun

    Which of your many degrees lets you assume this: "the secularists who roam around stabbing, stealing and raping others"?

    Non-secularists don't do this, or what?

    Have you ever lived under Sharia? Have you ever found women who are seriously enjoying it? Are you saying that what Wafa Sultan says (see youtube) about Sharia is all nonsense? Please tell me, is Wafa Sultan WRONG?

  23. Agreeing to Sharia means that YOU, supporters, wouldn't mind if the judges put YOUR children, YOUR relatives, probably YOURSELF to death too, taking into consideration the undercover number of extra-marital affairs in the Maldives (for which I cannot give a reliable statistic).

    Good luck, you're digging your own grave, demanding for an outdated law system 😉

  24. @ Marina . Glad you raised the point. Ofcourse the numbers do not include strippers, porn stars and hookers in secular states because they give mutual consent, if you call it that. The way I see it is a proportion of women (and men) who are otherwise content with life forced to sexual rape inorder to earn a basic living. If you do not see a problem with it, then perhaps you need to reconsider the values you hold. So therefore the rape statistics give me a very clear striking difference between the justice provided in islam. See for yourself once again:

  25. The statistic is rape = sexual contact without mutual consent. Why do you mention male/female prostitutes? They do it willingly for money, therefore that's not rape.

    The point is that true rape is often not reported, because women are suppressed. Plus, a woman who was raped by her husband during her marriage would never be taken seriously in front of an islamic judge, because she would just be told that she's married with him and has to satisfy him.

    However... I think I have changed my mind and want to see Sharia in our country too. I want to see what people say about it once they're in it, once their family members are stoned, hands chopped off, women losing their rights. I want to see tourism moving on to other destinations, and I want to see the crisis we'll be in, sustaining ourselves with some tons of fish. So let's put the country down together, Sharia supporters !

    Yeah, I'm in for it! Let's turn back the time a couple of hundred years. Let's throw our mobiles too, close down Minivan because laptops won't be necessary. Let's get rid of cars, bikes - are bicycles allowed in Sharia? Silent thoughts could become a camel-importer.

    Could you please give me a hint which earnings our country will have under Sharia, if not tourism? Can someone answer this question please?

  26. @Marina,
    Pre-islamic arabs did terrible things for the fear of loss of wealth and Quran answered this:
    "And do not kill your children for fear of poverty; We give them sustenance and yourselves (too); surely to kill them is a great wrong." (Surah Bani Israel 17:31)
    Prophet Muhammad (PUH) said 'If you put your faith completely in Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, He will arrange for your sustenance in the same way as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with their stomachs empty and return filled in the evening!'
    Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 79 Narrated by Umar ibn al-Khattab

  27. @ marina (yaameen fellow)
    nothing but pure scare mongering.

  28. Whenever someone says that women are oppressed in the Arabian countries, it immediately fires back a retort, that women are also beaten down in the western nations as well.

    That is beside the point here. The point is not to compare.

    Islamists claim that Islam is straight from God. By default it should be clean of any impurities. Up to now, do ANY of you see an Islamic state which looks like it had a helping hand from God? Do any of you wonder why God who created the universe in 6 days, could not sort out the pathetic state of the world, for over half the known human civilization. It has been 2000 years and yet, God could not find a solution? Something must be wrong here. If devastation, killing, genocides, earth quakes, tsunamis, disasters account for how you measure the state of the world, right now would be the best time for God to intervene. The Arabian Camels of the 6th century lived much more peacefully.

    Holy mackerel. Would you please, please use your brain, and THINK and not act retarded. Arabian desert camels came up with this pathetic excuse of a way of life. Most of so called divine revelations are based the Roman/Greek/Macedonian empires that existed for over 500 years before.

    If God wished, even the minivannews server would fry up. But has it? No. So why do you, as mortals want to enact God's Law?

    Once again. Please use your brain.

  29. @NetDawn
    Yeah. Right. Except for the thousands of birds that fell from the sky ealier this year. He must have missed them.

    So, any serious reflections (please: no verses... yawn) on how our country can survive if 28% of our GDP and 60% of our foreign exchange receipts flies to other destinations??? Answers please.

  30. yeah "Shariah not a solution"
    but the proper Islamic Shariah is the solution

  31. @ Saleem
    It's not about women beaten up in the Western world, or under Sharia. The difference is the law system that gives the WOMAN a chance to win at court over her tormentor, or not. I doubt a "divine" system can, which is based on MEN having a STATUS ABOVE WOMEN (2:28). She'd have to present 4 witnesses to support her argument.
    It's about the society accepting it, the women being afraid to report, or if she feels safe to report.

    As for the rest... =)

  32. Shariah does not equal to cutting hands, flogging and capital punishment. When would minivannews quit stooping to this level, trying to brainwash the Maldivians?

    MDP needs to decide what they want and act on it rather than provoking civilians through their minivannews, the independent news of the Maldives. It is high time to either implement full Shariah or make Maldives a secular state. There are no half-ways acceptable anymore.

    Shariah law, when implemented and executed correctly, is fully in line of human rights, as it protects the right of every citizen rather than just of those in higher positions and with more funds to sway a court ruling. To begin with, Shariah would ensure that the unpaid workers (both local and foreign) who slave in labourious jobs in the Maldives get paid properly and without fail, since according to Shariah, if they steal for sustenance for themselves and their family, it is the hands of the employer who will be cut off. Yes, under Shariah the state and people in power as well as employers are responsible to make sure that the citizens and people who work under then, respectively, are provided for.

    As for flogging, people cannot be flogged based on just two male witnesses. Shariah states that there has to be four (as in: one, two, three and four) who has to actually SEE the act as it happened CLEARLY and without confusion, before they can be brought to court and sentenced for flogging. Even then, they can still be advised and sent off, instead of carrying out the flogging, as has been done by many of our prophets during their days. As is merciful since Islam is the religion of compassion to all humanity.

    Before I even begin on capital punishment, I want to add that there have been numerous cases from the USA (western democracy as is accepted worldwide, if I am not mistaken) over years where they have executed capital punishment on people with low IQs, some who needs assistance to put on clothing even. If this does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment, I do not know what does.

    Islam decrees that humans and animals are treated with kindness, compassion, understanding and love. What most Maldivians fail to realise is that Islam is not just a religion that has been foisted on them by a former ruler when he decreed that the country convert from Buddhism to Islam. They need to realise that Islam is a way of life, of which Shariah shows everything from how to live among family members to how to run a society fairly.

    Shariah is the only law where once a someone has been sentenced to death, they still have the right to ask for forgiveness from the victim's family. If the family forgives him/her for his/her crime, the state will have to free the criminal. Surat al Baqara from the Quran urges the victim's family to be merciful and to be forgiving even in the most difficult of circumstances.

    Shariah law is being unfairly judged based on a whole lot of customary law that is followed in the middle east and some other islamic nations. This has misled numerous people across the world on where Shariah law begins and ends.

    In truth, Shariah is the only law in the world that ensures that an individual's right does not overshadow the rights of the rest of the community. I believe that implementing Shariah law is tantamount to bringing on peace and stability to the Maldives.

  33. dystopia said "Shariah law, when implemented and executed correctly, is fully in line of human rights"

    i agree.. but has sharia been in line with human rights anywhere in modern times? look at what is happening in saudi arabia and afghanistan and iran. what makes you think it will be different in the maldives?

    the sharia in these countries are run by backwards mullahs from whom our mullahs are trained..maybe the question to ask is why do you believe there will be perfect implementeion of sharia in the maldives when it has failed everyhwere else?

  34. Dystopia,
    The point is: it may sound good in theory, but in practice it doesn't work. Why should Maldives be different? Are we doing best in everything else as that we could claim it will work here?

    Reflect how long Maldives has been a "100%" (haha) society - and? Don't we have the same, or even worse problems (considering the size of our country) than other countries?

    However, Dystopia's comment to make Maldives either a Sharia, or secular state, makes sense indeed. Half-half doesn't really solve all problems.

    My question could not be answered yet: Where will our dollars come from, if tourism turns its back to Maldives??? Please answer.

  35. Shariah remains only a concept because no one in this world has the competency to understand and apply it. Just as any other word remains a concept if it is not understood. The writer here also argues on its interpretation and application because those who advocate it are not capable of justice and are motivated and influenced by worldly needs. In such an environment, how can Shairiah be applied. If you find me one person who do not sin and who has absolutely a fair and just mind, then let that one decide...cast the first stone. For those who are so aggressive and speak in the name of Islam, they err in their attitude and do not have the humility of real Muslims.

  36. So can we say, it is not Shariah that is the problem but all over the world the interpretation and application......that is so destructive

  37. Sharia law requires 4 men witness or 8 women to convict the act of sexual intercourse. Plus it is obligatory to run a string between bodies to make sure the organs are in place or not.

  38. Why are you talking about subject matters you have no understanding of?

    The case of Mukhtar Mai, has absolutely nothing to do with Shariah law at all.

    And the biggest criticism of all comes in for your grossly ignorant

    "In Islamic Shariah, there is no jury, no defense lawyers, no prosecutors, no pre-trial discovery process, no courts of appeal, no cross-examination of witnesses, no legal precedents, and perhaps most damaging of all, little room for modern evidence."

    Clearly this is the statement of someone who has no clue as to what he is talking about it.

  39. @Truth- So few words, yet so much truth. Who are you and how did you get the cognitive skills which clearly is lacking in so many Maldivians. A very appropriate name you chose for yourself btw! 🙂

  40. I did mention that there is confusion as to where Shariah begins and ends due to customary laws that is being used by some nations that rule by Shariah. A lot that is carried out tends to be based on customary laws rather than actual Shariah.

    Maldives' Government needs to hold a referendum to see if the citizens want the implementation of full Shariah or for Maldives to be made secular. That would ensure that our voices is heard. The country can be built from there on.

  41. @ Marina

    Will Abdul Majeed himself agree to this in the end, because I hear he is heavily involved in the tourism industry.

    The thing is, I do not want such power to be in the hands of corrupt judges and power hungry mullahs. You will see that as 2013 gets closer, this Adhaalath party will go on more rallies such as this one.

    Adhaalath is like the villain two-face. One side, is with the government, getting paid by the government, and control the country through the government. The other side, rally against the government, aid opposition activities, and blame the government for everything they do. More like the government is blaming the government in this case.

    But since there are a lot of learned scholars commenting on this article with "many degrees", I would honestly like to know the answer to three questions.

    1. Which country in the world, which practices Shariya, is free from oppression, fear and injustice.

    2. A woman gets raped. She couldn't produce 4 witnesses. She gets punished. Is this justice? If not, what is it?

    3. Saudi clerics declared that protests were against the Shariya. Where does this put Adhaalath protests all these days? What about them throwing rocks at Musthafa Luthfee's house? Are these religious NGO's and Adhaalath free from all crimes since they all support Osama bin Laden?

    If you can answer these three questions, I will agree to implementing Shariya system. Otherwise, I'm still with tackling the root CAUSE of the problems, and cleaning our judiciary which is full of corrupt judges.

    R.I.H (hell)
    Ali Jaleel (Mus'ab Sayyid) 19?? - 2009

  42. M, if that statement is ignorant then why dont you correct it instead of simply saying it is wrong?? your simply believing it is wrong does not make it wrong

  43. The Balrog,
    I would like to see your 3 questions answered too, plus mine from where 28% of our GDP can be made up, if not tourism.

    Instead of blindly protesting-and-following, proof that it is working in other countries,
    present your plan how it shall work in Maldives, and if all this sounds reasonable, I'd be in for it too. Some degrees might help in this process.

  44. "The ‘only solution’, according to large banners put up across Male’, is Islamic Shariah."

    Muslims see Islamic Shariah as the solution for Muslims because it is all about Islamic supremacy. I think the only solution for preventing Islamic Shariah in the free world is for the free to stand up and say enough is enough. Muslims are slaves of their 7th century god, Allah. They are on a mission to make the rest of the world submit willingly or by force to Islamic Shariah as well. Those who want to be slaves to the Islamic Allah need to go live in a Muslim country, not try to get their laws established in the free world as well. We have our own laws and Muslims need to submit to our laws or leave! This is the only solution!!!

  45. "As it happens, a New York Times survey in 2000 revealed that American states which practise the death penalty have for decades shown consistently higher homicide rates than states that didn’t."

    Dude you write as if homicide rates increased "because" of implementing death penalty. These are surveys which only show relationships.

    isnt it possible that they implemented death penalty because of high crime rates? isnt it possible that homicide rates may be much larger without death penalty?

    Recently a guy stabbed and killed a foreign worker and looted all his money. this poor guy gets about $100 per month, not by sitting in a air-conditioned office, but by sweating every day under hot sun, in a construction site and without enough food or a decent place to sleep.

    Now this criminal mercilessly stabs him and earn "easy money" and probably buy "hakuru", gets high with his friends. In the meantime the innocent guys family is starving because he couldnt send them any money.

    Now ur telling us that death penalty for sucha inhumane crime is against human rights? are you out of ur mind?? where is the rights of the poor innocent hard-worker and that of his family?

    It is a grave mistake to take side of such a criminal and forget abt the side of victim. what ur proposing is not the right concept of justice.

    Your tantrums are nothing more than a desire for fame or for little monetary reward (most probably from this site).

  46. azz.. the sentence says that murder rate was higher in non-death penalty states "consistently for decades"

    you also say "isnt it possible that homicide rates may be much larger without death penalty?"

    you can say "maybe" to so many things.. "maybe" it could be much lower if there was death penalty.. "maybe" murder rate in maldives will be even more if there was sharia.. "maybe" is not an argument..

    i see that no one is answering balrog's questions

  47. Islamic Shariah is a a brutal , inhumane thing. rather it will give more problems.

  48. Assault victims 1.2% [11th of 20]
    Believe in police efficiency 89% [1st of 17]
    Source: UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute). 2002. Correspondence on data on crime victims. March. Turin
    Bribe payers index 6.2 [9th of 19]
    Source: UN International Crime Victims' Survey
    Car thefts 1,246,096 [1st of 46]
    Source: Transparency International
    Drug offences 560.1 per 100,000 people [4th of 46]
    Source: The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)
    Executions 42 executions [5th of 22]
    Source: The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)
    Gun violence > Homicides > % homicides with firearms 39.5604 [7th of 32]
    Source: Amnesty International
    Gun violence > Homicides > Overall homicide rate > per 100,000 pop. 9.1 [14th of 32]
    Source: Wikipedia: Gun violence
    Murders committed by youths 8,226 [3rd of 73]
    Source: Wikipedia: Gun violence
    Murders with firearms 9,369 [1st of 36]
    Source: World Health Organization: World report on violence and health, 2002
    Perception of safety > Walking in dark 82% [2nd of 15]
    Source: The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)
    Police 941,139 [1st of 47]
    Source: UN International Crime Victims' Survey
    Prisoners 2,019,234 prisoners [1st of 168]
    Source: The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)
    Prisoners > Per capita 715 per 100,000 people [1st of 164]
    Source: The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002) (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)
    Rape victims 0.4% [13th of 20]
    Source: International Centre for Prison Studies - World Prison Brief
    Software piracy rate 20% [107th of 107]
    Source: UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute). 2002. Correspondence on data on crime victims. March. Turin
    Suicide rates in ages 15-24 13.7 per 100,000 people [7th of 17]
    Source: Fifth Annual BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy Study
    Suicide rates in ages 25-34 15.3 per 100,000 people [10th of 17]
    Source: GECD Society at a Glance 2001, Statistical Annex Table D3
    Total crime victims 21.1% [15th of 20]
    Source: GECD Society at a Glance 2001, Statistical Annex Table D3
    Total crimes 11,877,218 [1st of 50]
    Source: UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute). 2002. Correspondence on data on crime victims. March. Turin


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