Stories about Sharia law

Sheraniland: Sharia law needs saving from Mr Sherani

In the past 15 years alone, Pakistan has made great strides by introducing numerous laws to help embolden and empower its womenfolk. Unfortunately, for Pakistan’s women, putting pen to paper only creates the law. It doesn’t actually implement that law. Nor does that law act as a shield against Pakistan’s powerful yet disillusioned institution of bearded clerics with an agenda. Take for example, the current chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Maulana Sherani, whose favourite pastime (when not fist fighting other maulanas) is undoing centuries of incremental change in women’s rights with a quick brandishing of the religious zealot’s favourite weapon: the mighty, all-encompassing and all too frequently misinterpreted torch of Sharia law. To be ...

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UAE’s National Day: Why are we celebrating a place like Dubai?

United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently celebrated its 44th National Day on December 2, 2015.  As expected, Pakistanis residing in the UAE took part in celebrations too. Pakistan’s fascination with Dubai, is not uncommon, or hard to understand. Dubai has always been positioned to be Middle East’s answer to the West’s glitz and glamour –skyscrapers galore, an economy that is home to global brands, and jobs that apparently promise a life from rags to riches – all in the pseudo comfort of supposedly Islamic settings. To the religious-minded, it offers Shariah Law and the comfort of being next door to Saudi Arabia, the self-proclaimed centre ...

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The Paris attacks are an act of war – against Islam itself

The appalling attacks in Paris were, as Francois Hollande said, an ‘act of war’. They were Islamism’s declaration of war on free society – but, crucially, they represented something else. An act of war, by Islamists, upon Islam itself. As Douglas Murray says, it is lazy and wrong to argue that these attacks had nothing to do with Islam. The repugnant creed of the Islamic State (IS) is certainly related to Islam – but it is also inimical to Islam. The scenes in Paris will shock Muslims world over; indeed, when we Muslims hear of gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” before committing the very acts of murder explicitly prohibited by the Quran, ...

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From child bride to rapper, Sonita Alizadeh breaks the shackles of child marriage in Afghanistan

In 2015, Afghanistan’s religious scholars interpreted that for a marriage to exist under Shariah law, both parties need to exhibit ‘adulthood’ and ‘sanity’. The definition of adulthood is ambiguous. Some say a girl is said to attain adulthood after menstruation, while others arbitrarily set an age at around eight or nine-years-old. Regardless of the interpretation of adulthood, if a girl is deemed to be a minor, most ‘scholars’ in the region agree that the father or male guardian has the legal and religious right to get her married. Despite the Universal Declaration of Human rights requiring ‘free and full’ consent to a marriage, more ...

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If she stayed in Pakistan, she would be killed

Freedom in this country doesn’t come easy. Fatima* was tied up and brutally beaten because she fell in love with a Christian man. She was not only beaten, but also caned, punched, and kicked until she was bruised blue and purple everywhere. She was kept tied up in a dark room without food and water. Nobody heard her cries. Her own mother had abandoned her to the beasts that were doing this to her. Fatima’s only mistake was to fall in a love with a man who did not belong to the same religion as her. She was Muslim, and ...

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Saudi Arabia: Holy hypocrites

I was born in Saudi Arabia and am very closely accustomed to the grossly odd laws that exist within the nation, namely, and perhaps most famously, that women are not allowed to drive, that women have to don the black abaya when in public and that there is strict segregation between men and women most stringently enforced by the muttawas or religious police.  I distinctly remember a muttawa once giving my mother a religious lecture over how she should contain her eight-year-old daughter and stop her from running around in case she attracted men. A complete absurdity indeed but my mother ...

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Over 2000 people have been massacred in Nigeria, but do you care?

As world leaders gathered at the French capital to march in solidarity with France following a brutal attack on its citizens by terrorists, something far more atrocious and horrifying in scale and severity unfolded in north-east Nigeria. Boko Haram militants massacred over 2000 persons, mainly women, children and elderly people. While in France, the militants attacked to avenge the publication of the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in Nigeria, Boko Haram militants have a different agenda: to implement Sharia law and turn the country into an Islamic state. For the latter, the motive is much stronger and hence, much more vicious. But this campaign is not ...

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Reyhaneh Jabbari lives on – even today

“The world allowed me to live for 19 years. That ominous night it was I that should have been killed. My body would have been thrown in some corner of the city, and after a few days, the police would have taken you to the coroner’s office to identify my body and there you would also learn that I had been raped as well. The murderer would have never been found since we don’t have their wealth and their power. Then you would have continued your life suffering and ashamed, and a few years later you would have died ...

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Talia, my Israeli friend

By the time two hundred people had been killed in Gaza, I had shared an array of articles and videos through my Facebook on the crisis at hand. I was not alone: every second Muslim was running their own CNN – minus those cute pet stories that came before each headline claiming the death of five more Palestinian kids (alongside that of a broken window in Israel). Every now and then, I would be the silent spectator of a post that supported Israel’s struggle to keep itself safe from rocket fire, “May God save us from these evil fanatics; their end is surely near!” It was Talia, ...

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I fought terrorism last weekend, what did you do?

I promise this blog will not bash Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). My stance on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is extremely straightforward. I strongly feel there is no room for negotiations because there is simply no middle ground. There is nowhere that the TTP can be met halfway. They have two very clear demands – Pakistan must break off all relations with the United States and Pakistan must accept their version of Shariah law. The first demand might be a matter of foreign policy, but the second is a matter of lunacy. How would these negotiations even go about? What we can do is ban ...

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