Tag Archive for islam

The shari’a card

Demonstration against shari'a law

Demonstration against shari’a law in London, 2009

Kecia Ali identifies a core problem through all schools of Islamic law based on a close scrutiny of the core texts: the status of wife and the status of slave are constantly presented in parallel – statuses are applied and extrapolated from one position of dependence to another. There are reasons then, to have concerns about legal systems which stake their distinctiveness in  continuity with this paradigm. Certainly, clients of IKWRO have expressed fury at shoddy and discriminatory treatments in shari’a courts, of the type exposed in the C4 documentary Divorce: Sharia Style. Read more

Divorce: Iranian style

Just found this important documentary on Youtube while researching a post that I may finish later today. It’s definitely worth viewing if you haven’t seen it before.

Marriage and slavery

I’ve been reading about shari’a for a few years now. It’s a complicated subject and to be honest I don’t have enough patience to get to the bottom of it. I think Kecia Ali’s Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam is an excellent book however, and deserves to be far better known. Sexual Ethics and Islam is also really good.

Here, Ali discusses how for Islamic jurists of the 9th century, legal decisions relating to marriage were often derived analogically from the position of slavery.

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‘Honour’ violence and discrimination

It is impossible to ignore the fact that so-called ‘honour’ crimes are predominantly associated with Muslims, as part of a general public stereotype in which Muslim women are seen as uniquely oppressed, and Islam as an exceptionally misogynistic religion. Newspapers cover ‘honour’ killings in gory detail, often describing the perpetrators and victims as Muslim in their headlines and body copy; TV coverage deploys stock footage of veiled women walking past minarets to a soundtrack of calls to prayer, ethnicising and exoticising ‘honour’ crimes as foreign and horrific, another aspect of xenophobic attitudes which seek to depict minority communities as backwards and barbaric. All of these cues give the impression that ‘honour’ crimes are not merely committed by Muslims, as sadly many of them are, but are an intrinsic aspect of Islam itself, within an atmosphere of distrust of Muslims and the rise of extremism.

It’s understandable then, that recent articles have suggested that ‘honour’-based violence that there is no relevant difference between acts of intimate partner violence, and ‘honour’-based violence besides the religious and ethnic identities of the communities where it occurs; to see the ethnicising of ‘honour’ crimes as part of a broader current of xenophobia. ‘When domestic abuse involves an Asian perpetrator and victim, it is almost always labelled an honour crime,’ says Huma Qureshi. Read more