By Rachel Molschky and Y.K. Cherson:
Though Islam is the self-proclaimed religion of peace, the Muslim community has done little to promote that assertion through their treatment of women. With a clear record of domestic abuse and localized proclamations targeting women in particular, these existing issues in their native lands are being brought with the immigrants to their newly adopted Western homes. As these immigrants remain tied to their countries of origin and their religion and cultures, many continue to support their native lands more passionately than the nations which accepted them as residents.
Keeping that in mind, the Muslim woman’s station in life is under constant attack, whether she lives in Africa or Europe or anywhere else. In order to understand the impact of Muslim immigrants on Western society, it is important to understand how certain aspects of their culture greatly differ from our own.
In May 2012, Islamic cleric Maulana Abdul Haleem preached to his jama’ah, or congregation, in a Kamila, Pakistani mosque, that women who choose a secular education are so disobedient, that murdering them in so-called honor killings is not only applicable but condoned. If it is not Islamic, it is not acceptable and to such a degree, that he threatened to marry off the female employees of secular non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, who come into small towns to help. They are defenders of women’s human rights, and they work for the welfare of other women in the categories of education, health and overall well-being.
And why should a secular education be forbidden? According to Haleem, it is because such an education would lead to a job which encourages the mixing of women and men who are neither their husbands nor their relatives. It is his view that this goes against Islamic Shariah, and thus, in following Shariah law, it would be acceptable for an honor killing in such circumstances, and no witnesses are required. The vigilante attacker would be granted carte blanche.
These decrees the cleric made are fatwas, or legal pronouncements, in Islam. They are sometimes considered binding and other times are nonbinding depending on whether or not the person who issued the fatwa is authorized to do so and also depending on what denomination of Islam interprets it. The fatwas are issued on the local level.
In technical terms they are considered formal juristic rulings and can only be made by scholars. However, the word, fatwa, seems to have expanded as many, authorized or not, have been making them. And whenever someone of religious authority makes such a decree, there will always be people who take it very seriously. Whether or not these fatwas are enforceable or hold any weight is debatable and varies on a case by case basis. However, the fact that these sometimes renegade statements are more and more prevalent in Muslim society is disturbing upon analysis of what some of them entail.
For example, another recent fatwa was made in May 2012 as well, again in Pakistan, stating that cell phone use by women is so forbidden that any woman caught using one will have acid thrown in her face as a punishment. Though unrelated to this decree about cell phones, there are around 150 female victims of acid attacks each year in Pakistan, often as a result of domestic violence. This is the topic of a 2012 documentary entitled, Saving Face. Unfortunately, some of the victims featured in the film are now afraid of a backlash in their country for having taken part in it. They are fearful of future repeat attacks. And so acid attacks in the Muslim community, not only in Pakistan but in other countries as well such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, and even in the Muslim-populated areas of India, are on the rise, disfiguring many women.
But these things do not only occur in Muslim countries like Pakistan. The West is not immune. In 2008, after many years of existence, Shariah courts in the UK were legitimized in several cities.These courts’ decisions are made legally binding due to the 1996 Arbitration Act, and are then supported by the county courts and even the High Court. While some of the cases arbitrated in this way are minor, others include divorce and domestic violence. If these domestic violence cases are being handled within the Muslim community, the female victims’ chances for a fair hearing are greatly minimized and probably even nonexistent.
Read more at Cherson and Molschky
- SHARIA COURTS IN BRITAIN: A HIDDEN CAMERA REPORT (counterjihadreport.com)
- Britain’s Sharia Courts: “You Cannot Go Against What Islam Says” (counterjihadreport.com)
- BBC Documentary: Sharia Courts Putting Women at Risk (counterjihadreport.com)
- Bill limiting sharia law is motivated by ‘concern for Muslim women’ (guardian.co.uk)
- The Problem of Sharia Law in Britain (counterjihadreport.com)
- Rapid Rise in UK Sharia Law Cases (counterjihadreport.com)
Shariah War on Women (counterjihadreport.com)
- Sharia’s Sticks and Stones (sultanknishblogspot.com)