Category Archives: Sharia

Malaysia: state okays Islamic penalties

A worker cleans an Islamic plaque of calligraphy saying “Mohammad” on the morning of Eid al-Fitr in a mosque in Kota Bharu, in Malaysia’s northeastern state of Kelantan in this January 8, 2000 file photo. (Reuters)

A Malaysian state governed by an opposition Muslim party passed a law on Thursday mandating tough Islamic criminal punishments, a move that threatens to break up a fractious opposition alliance.

The state assembly of Kelantan, which is controlled by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), unanimously passed penalties including amputations for theft and stoning to death for adultery, according to Malaysian media reports.

The Islamic criminal code, known as hudud, cannot be implemented as Muslim-majority Malaysia’s federal constitution forbids it. PAS conservatives plan to submit a bill in parliament to change that, but its chances of passage are uncertain.

But the push for hudud in the conservative northern state has already severely strained relations with PAS’s two moderate national coalition partners, who say it violates an agreed policy framework.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP), which represents the diverse country’s large ethnic Chinese minority and strongly opposes hudud, has said it will meet next week to consider its future in the alliance.

“PAS has openly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted,” Gobind Singh Deo, a DAP parliamentarian, said in a statement Thursday.

“It is therefore now untenable for us to remain in any relationship with PAS.”

The three-party opposition alliance took 51 percent of votes cast in 2013 national elections, though it failed to win parliament from Malaysia’s 58-year-old regime due to the way seats are apportioned.

The opposition coalition also includes the moderate, multi-racial People’s Justice Party.

Despite its electoral gains, the seven-year-old bloc’s cohesiveness has long been questioned due to the deep ideological gap between PAS and its allies.

The hudud tension comes as the coalition, known as Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Pact), is already reeling over the jailing last month of its overall leader Anwar Ibrahim on a sodomy conviction.

Now serving a five-year prison sentence, Anwar has said the case was fabricated by the government to stymie the opposition’s momentum.

Government officials deny the charge.

Analysts said Pakatan Rakyat could still iron out its differences, especially if hudud remains unenforceable.

Malaysia practises relatively tolerant Islam, but conservative attitudes have gained ground, fanned in part by intensified jockeying between PAS and the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) for the key Muslim vote.

Muslims make up around two-thirds of Malaysia’s diverse population of about 30 million.

PAS officials say Kelantan’s hudud would apply only to Muslims.

The hudud bid reflects an effort by PAS’s conservative leadership to underline its Islamist credentials as it battles progressive factions for control of the party, political analysts say.

Saudi grand mufti calls for demolition of churches

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah says Christian religious sites in Arabian Peninsula must be razed in accordance with Muslim law

Saudi Arabia's top Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah (photo credit: YouTube screen grab)

Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah
Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim cleric called on Tuesday for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula after legislators in the Gulf state of Kuwait moved to pass laws banning the construction of religious sites associated with Christianity.

Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who serves as the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said the destruction of churches was absolutely necessary and is required by Islamic law, Arabic media reported.

Abdullah, who is considered to be the highest official of religious law in the Sunni Muslim kingdom, also serves as the head of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas.

Last month, Osama Al-Munawer, a Kuwaiti member of parliament, announced his plans to submit a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in the country, according to the Arabian Businesses news site. Al-Munawer later clarified that the law would only apply to new churches, while old ones would be allowed to stay erect.

The ISIS Penal Code

Prof. Phyllis Chesler

The global allure of a self-designated Caliphate, especially one that insists that its every barbaric action is Qur’an-based and Sharia-true, should not be underestimated.

In October 2014, ISIS released the fourth issue of Dabiq, its online English- and multi-language newsletter. ISIS described a “successful consolidation of the judiciary,” and the formation of “sharia courts” that render decisions in a speedy and non-corrupt manner.

ISIS has implemented a “radical interpretation of sharia law, killing men accused of blasphemy or homosexuality. The group has also carried out amputations and lashings for reasons as trivial as smoking or improper dressing.”

ISIS has taken over the education system in horrendous ways: one must memorize the Qur’an, there is to be no teaching of science, history, civics, physical education, and geography. Basic mathematics is allowed. ISIS has also established military training on children, imposed early curfews and full-face and body niqab on women, including those who work at hospitals.

While Westerners may find this as horrifying as ISIS’s systematic and taped destruction of ancient, precious pre-Islamic sculptures and artifacts, according to Jonathan Spyer and Jawad al-Tamimi in Middle East Forum, ISIS has, nevertheless, been carefully justifying their every atrocity as based on the Qur’an and Sharia law. For example, in terms of crucifixions, ISIS invoked Qur’an 5:33 (Those “who wage war on God and His Messenger” may be crucified).

Apostates may also be crucified—and ISIS bases this on a hadith (similar to Qur’an 5:33). Christians are required to pay a special tax “jizya,” “may not publicly wear crosses, pray in the presence of Muslims, or repair or renovate places of worship.”

Spyer and al-Tamimi point out that ISIS “already considers itself a state (dawla), not a mere group or organization (jamaat, or tanzim).” Therefore, like Saudi Arabia or Iran, it can lawfully cross-amputate for theft, stone adulterers to death, drop homosexuals from rooftops (and stone them if they are still alive), crucify or behead Christians and apostates, etc.

In October of 2014, 126 Islamic scholars and Muslim leaders from 38 countries signed an Open Letter to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi claiming that ISIS was violating Islamic Law. There was more than one signatory from the same country. For example, there were no fewer than 13 signatories from North America, mainly from the United States.

Interestingly, many of the names belong to known Islamists, Muslim Brotherhood supporters and “fronts,” or anti-Zionists. For example, signatories include Nihad Awad (Council on American-Islamic Relations), Azhar Aziz (Islamic Society of North America), and Berkeley’s Hatem Baziem (American Muslims for Palestine).

While I am no Qur’anic scholar, much of what these signatories claim cannot be true. Or, rather, what they claim is the right interpretation of the Qur’an has not been followed by Muslim leaders historically—just as it is not being followed now by ISIS.

For example, in their own Executive Summary, the signatories claim that “it is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent;” “forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers;” “forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture;’ “It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture;” “The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus;” “It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert;” “It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights;” “It is forbidden in Islam to deny children their rights;” “It is forbidden in Islam to torture people;” “It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.”

Undaunted, in December 2014, ISIS released a formal penal code in which they spelled out “a set of fixed punishments.” This document’s release was followed by a spate of violent executions in which “a woman accused of adultery [was] stoned to death, 17 men crucified, and two men accused of homosexual acts thrown off a building.”

According to the translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), here are some of the acts and their punishments:

  • Blasphemy against Allah, Blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, Blasphemy against Islam—all merit Death as does Sodomy, Adultery, Murder, Apostasy, and Spying for Unbelievers.
  • Theft merits cutting off the hand;
  • Drinking alcohol merits 80 lashes;
  • Slandering merits 80 lashes;
  • Terrorizing People merits Exile.

Issue #7 of ISIS’s glossy online newsletter, Dabiq, was released in February. It is more than 80 pages long and is titled: “From Hypocrisy to Apostasy. The Extinction of the Grayzone.” ISIS means the “gray zone” in which Christian “Crusaders” and Jews, as well as Muslim hypocrites and apostates of all religions, are put on notice.

“Islam is the Religion of the Sword Not Pacificism” is the title of one chapter. This issue also displays many photos of ISIS’s atrocities and the Qur’anic justification for them. It blesses Bin Laden, boasts of the Islamic attacks against Europeans and Americans, prays that “Allah take revenge for the Muslims and the mujahidin, and rain fire and destruction upon the kuffar and murtaddin, wherever they are.”

Dabiq justifies ISIS’s ongoing persecution and murder of Coptic Christians as an act of revenge because Coptic Christians allegedly tortured and murdered Muslim women. This issue also deals with how ISIS is “clamping down on sexual deviance” and describes how the West has been “plunged into a downward spiral of sexual deviance and immorality.”

It boasts of the murder of Theo Von Gogh and lauds the captured convert to Islam, John Cantlie who praises his captors and denounces “our deceitful governments.” He is quoted as saying: “Despite being a prisoner I’ve been shown respect and kindness, which I haven’t seen from my own [British] government.”

ISIS is a totalitarian cult led by barbarian psychopaths and extremist misogynists who seek to cover their criminality and self-perceived marginality with a cloak of religious respectability. They will continue on their path unless the “good people” of the world decide to stop them by any means possible and by any means necessary.

Recently, the Washington Post published an article which argued that the Islamic State caliphate “appears to be fraying from within, as dissent, defections, and setbacks on the battlefield sap the group’s strength and erode its aura of invisibility.”

According to Lina Khatib, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, ISIS has failed because it has not been able to “unify people of different origins under the caliphate.” Many foreigners are people from “the margins of society” and many have come to “live in the Islamic State. They didn’t come to fight.”

Finally, the Islamic “revolution” is not only crucifying Christians and forcing them and Yazidis into sex slavery, be-heading foreign aid workers and journalists—it has also begun to turn on its own.

One wonders whether Lina Khatib and the Washington Post are right.