Displaying items by tag: sharia law
With President Abdelaziz Bouteflika quitting, Al Qaeda terrorists could now fill the political vacuum. Bouteflika held office for 20 years, then the military told him to go following continuing street protests. In March, leading Al-Qaeda official Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al-Anabi urged Muslims to unite to ensure Algeria is ruled by sharia law. Al-Anabi, designated a ‘terrorist’ by the US state department, called on citizens to reject any regional or tribal identities and unite as ‘sons of Islam’ to create an Islamic emirate. The speaker of the upper house of parliament has become the country’s 90-day caretaker president until elections are held. But one protest leader said that the street demonstrations will continue because ‘we do not accept the caretaker government’. Young Algerians are demanding jobs in a country where one in every four under the age of 30 is unemployed, in an economy dependent on oil and gas exports.
Stoning to death and amputation as punishments - including for children - are provided for in newly-implemented sections of the Brunei Darussalam sharia penal code that came into force on 3 April, according to a discreet notice on the attorney general’s website. ‘To legalise such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself. Some of the potential “offences” should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender’,said a researcher at Amnesty International. These abusive provisions received widespread condemnation when first discussed five years ago. Amnesty expressed grave concerns: ‘This penal code is a deeply flawed piece of legislation containing a range of provisions that violate human rights. As well as imposing cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, it blatantly restricts the rights to freedom of expression, religion, and belief, and codifies discrimination against women and girls.’
In some European territories sharia law is applied, challenging human rights. Greek Muslims in Western Thrace use sharia judicial power to rule on disputes concerning inheritance. Muslims can choose between a mufti or Greek courts. In the UK, the ‘Islamic Sharia Council’ is an independent arbitration tribunal issuing private law decisions and able to grant Islamic divorces. These divorces may also be included in a civil procedure. There are believed to be some thirty sharia councils, affiliated to local mosques. In Russia’s Northern Caucasus: family and property matters are usually judged under sharia law under the guise of ‘tradition’. Women and girls are victims of violence and discriminatory practices such as early marriage, abduction for forced marriage, ‘honour’ killings, female genital mutilation and polygamy, despite the provisions of Russian federal law. In Turkey Muslim religious education is compulsory in schools. The government publicly favours a Muslim viewpoint, linking Turkish nationality with Sunni Islam.
Brunei is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in southeast Asia. Apart from its South China Sea coastline, the country is completely surrounded by Malaysia. In 2014 the government announced the phased introduction of a penal code based on Sharia law, which will eventually include hudud penalties such as amputation and death by stoning and potentially the death penalty for apostasy. It is about to implement the next stage of this process. The Islamic Religious Council and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah signed off the measure on 10 March. Implementation was delayed, but now appears to be going ahead, despite international pressure and criticism from Brunei citizens on social media. Christians comprise around ten percent of the population of the oil-rich state, where there are already tight restrictions on teaching Christianity. Pray for protection, spiritual maturity, and Biblical training for those leading the underground Church.
Christian Concern has intervened in a case at the European Court of Human Rights, which is set to rule whether sharia law should be applied to a dispute between Greek citizens who are Muslims. The ruling will determine whether sharia law can ever have supremacy over a country's domestic law. Mrs Molla Sali inherited the entire estate of her husband when he died, under the terms of a will that he had drawn up in accordance with Greek law. Two sisters of her husband are claiming that since he was a Muslim, the inheritance should be allocated according to sharia law, adjudicated by the mufti. A ruling at this level could have dire effects on the Council of Europe, including the UK. Christian Concern said it will highlight in court that sharia law is out of line with European law.
Moves are under way in Malaysia that could see parts of the country implement full sharia law with inhumane punishments; there are reports that the Deputy Prime Minister could agree to support this in parliament. Currently sharia courts have limited jurisdiction in family matters, with the main criminal courts operating at federal level making decisions based on the constitution. Even this situation can create significant problems for Christians, particularly converts from Islam. Their conversion is not recognised in the sharia court system, so they are still officially Muslims. Christian women converting from Islam cannot legally marry a Christian man, as sharia forbids Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims. There have been several previous attempts to extend the jurisdiction and sentencing powers of the sharia courts, with bills that included amputation of limbs for theft and death for blasphemy and apostasy. Government can only implement this if parliament changes the constitution.