Human Rights, Sharia Wrongs

Political Islam, by Bill Warner, May 25, 2017:

Dr Bill Warner: Islam claims to have the supreme ethical system in the Sharia. Exactly, what is the system of Sharia and how does it compare with the UN Declaration of Human Rights of 1948?
Under the Sharia:
• Humans are not equal
• Critical thought is rejected
• Torture is allowed
• Only Muslims have the right to life
• There is one law for Muslims, another law for Kafirs
• Children can be brides
• A Muslim woman cannot marry a Kafir
• Apostates can be killed
• There is no freedom of speech
• Inbreeding is encouraged
• Wife beating is allowed
Conclusion: Sharia rights are inhuman and inferior to the UN Declarations of Human Rights.

To learn more about Sharia and how it affects the non-Muslim, read SHARIA LAW FOR NON-MUSLIMS: https://www.politicalislam.com/product/sharia-law-for-non-muslims/

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March Against Sharia — March for Human Rights

Misogyny Meet Irony: Saudi Arabia Elected To United Nation’s Women’s Rights Commission

Photo Opportunity: The Secretary-General with H.E. Mr. Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Jonathan Turley’s blog, by Jonathan Turley, April 24, 2017:

If you like your misogyny with a heavy serving of irony, you could do no better than the United Nations this week after Saudi Arabia was elected to a  2018-2022 term on the Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency that, according to its website, is “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”  As with Iran being put on the Commission, the irony would be humorous if there were not millions of victims over decades of abuse by these countries.  Previously, Saudi Arabia taking over the top spot on the Human Rights Commission was viewed as unbelievable, but the entry on the Commission on the Status of Women sets a level of irony that may be unsurpassable.

Notably, various groups demanded to know what countries voted for the inclusion.  Only 7 of 54 ECOSOC states opposed the inclusion and many want the EU countries to reveal their votes. It is absurd that such votes should be taken on secret ballots.

Now that Saudi Arabia is a protector of women’s rights, it may want to immediately call for an investigation of the country responsible for:

Barring women from being able to travel without the permission of men;

Flogging women for driving;

Jailing a man for protesting the treatment of women;

Arresting women for ripped jeans or “Western haircuts“;

Stoning a woman to death (while just giving her male love flogging) for sex outside of marriage;

Sentencing human right activists to death;

Persecuting lawyers who help rape victims; 

Flogging rape victims;

Permitting child bride arranged marriages;

Closing Women’z health clubs as UnIslamic;

Arresting women without head coverings;

Arresting even foreign women who sit next to unrelated men in public places;

Flogging women over use of bad language; 

Enforcing the right to beat wives; and

Barring women from a Women’s Rights Conference.

That is only a partial list for the new Saudi Commissioner and it does not even require going outside of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Also see:

CAIR Smears and Tries to Silence an IPT Fellow

IPT News
March 30, 2017

Using misleading claims and engaging in rank hypocrisy, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is waging a campaign to silence an Investigative Project on Terrorism senior fellow.

CAIR issued a news release Wednesday announcing its efforts to pressure the United States Air Force Special Operations School (USAFSOS) into dropping Patrick Dunleavy as an instructor in “The Dynamics of International Terrorism” course. Dunleavy, who served as deputy inspector general for New York State’s Department of Corrections, focuses on prison radicalization.

It’s a topic he learned about first hand, including work on “Operation Hades,” an investigation into radical Islamist recruitment both in and out of prison.

CAIR’s release, however, ignored Dunleavy’s long record of accomplishment which includes serving as a consultant for the FBI and the International Association of Chiefs of Police on the National Data Exchange Program. He also has been a featured speaker at the United States Army’s Counter Terrorism Conference.

Instead, CAIR described a letter it sent to U.S. Air Force Special Operations Commander, Lieutenant General Marshall B. Webb, demanding Dunleavy be dropped from future programs. It cited three statements CAIR sees as “Islamophobic”:

1) “To Americans [morality] means individual liberty, equal rights for men and women, religious freedom, free speech, etc. But these are contrary to the moral code of Islam.” 2) “The concept of ‘friendship,’ . . .is a relationship based on at least some degree of shared moral and political ideals. By that standard no Muslim nation is a friend of the U.S.” and 3) “To many Muslim parents, visions of violence and death are indeed the ‘better future.'”

All three come from a 2011 article Dunleavy co-authored with Peter Gadiel, whose son James was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. As we’ll show, none of these statements is Islamophobic, as each is rooted in Quranic verses or is exhibited by disturbing numbers of Muslims throughout the world.

CAIR’s credibility should be considered first.

This is an organization deemed persona non grata by the FBI in 2008, based upon evidence agents uncovered which prove that CAIR was created as part of a Muslim Brotherhood-run Hamas support network in the United States. In addition to internal documents which place CAIR under the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee,” CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad – the only executive director in the organization’s 23 year existence – is on the Palestine Committee’s telephone list. He also participated in a secret 1993 gathering of Hamas supporters in America who debated ways to “derail” the fledgling, U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords that at the time offered hope for a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestine Committee members could not accept a deal that recognized Israel’s right to exist and felt politically threatened by the elevation of the secular Palestine Liberation Organization to run a newly autonomous Palestinian Authority. Participants were encouraged not to mention Hamas by name. Rather, they were instructed to flip the spelling of the name, and talk about “Samah.” As this FBI translation shows, Awad dutifully followed these instructions.

In addition, CAIR not only defends people caught supporting terrorists, it often lauds them. Among many examples, it defended Palestinian Islamic Jihad board member Sami Al-Arian for years even after his conviction for supporting the terrorist group, and in 2014, chose to honor his family with a “Promoting Justice Award.”

It continues to laud convicted Palestinian bomber Rasmieh Odeh, who was responsible for a 1969 Jerusalem bombing that killed two college students.

This is the organization that finds Dunleavy unacceptable.

Officials already have reviewed all of Dunleavy’s USAFSOS presentations and told him that they found nothing offensive, and there have been no complaints from the students who attended courses for the past five years.

It’s worth noting that CAIR relies on one five-year-old article as the basis for its complaint. Potomac Books published Dunleavy’s The Fertile Soil of Jihad in 2011 and he is frequently published by the IPT and elsewhere. The absence of any truly bigoted statements is telling.

So is CAIR’s hypocrisy. Its website features a page devoted to debunking what it calls “Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories About CAIR.” (See the IPT’s analysis of CAIR’s false claims here.) On that “misinformation” page, CAIR whines twice about “guilt by association,” including a response to the number of CAIR officials who were implicated in terrorism-related cases.

Yet, the only other reason CAIR cites to disqualify him from the Air Force training is the fact that he’s an IPT senior fellow and CAIR does not like the IPT. It’s easy to understand why. We’ve done more to expose its history and highlight the radical views of its top officials and its opposition to law enforcement counter-terrorism efforts than anyone else.

But, again, Dunleavy has written more than two dozen articles for the IPT. CAIR cited none in arguing he “does not fit the U.S. military’s standards for a subject-matter expert” working with the dreadfully “Islamophobic” IPT.

The example CAIR does cite, as mentioned above, utterly fails to make CAIR’s case. First is the statement, “To Americans [morality] means individual liberty, equal rights for men and women, religious freedom, free speech, etc. But these are contrary to the moral code of Islam.”

That could sound bad. But looking at the world today, and the treatment of women, gays and other minorities living in majority-Muslim nations, individual liberty and equal rights are sorely missing. Right now, a Twitter hashtag is calling for the death of a Pakistani blogger named Ayaz Nizami. Nizami, an atheist, was among three people arrested last week and charged with blasphemy. #HangAyazNizami trended on Twitter in Pakistan afterward.

Polling indicates a shocking number of Muslims agree that death is the appropriate punishment for apostasy. In 2013, the Pew Research Center found 88 percent support among Egypt’s Muslims and among 62 percent of Pakistanis. Majority support also exists in Malaysia, Jordan and inside the Palestinian territories. More than a third of young British Muslims agreed.

No other religion today carries such risks for those who leave. Even Scientology stops at merely disconnecting people from their families when someone leaves the church.

Both Iran and the Islamic State execute homosexuals.

Meanwhile, most American mosques still segregate men and women during prayer, often sending the women into sparse and cramped back areas and side rooms. American clerics like Yasir Qadhi advocate a Saudi Arabian lifestyle for American Muslim women. Stay home and tend to your husbands, he preached. They “should not work, because their role is as wives and mothers.”

“You please your husband,” Qadhi said. “And in return your husband will give you the far more difficult things to do of earning money and doing this and that.”

This is a Muslim American cleric prominent enough to warrant an 8,500 word New York Times profile, preaching his view of Islam’s moral code in the 21st century.

There are Muslim reformers who want to change this mindset, and advocate for genuine equality for women and minorities. CAIR, like other Islamist groups, has refused to endorse their agenda and generally pretends they do not exist.

The second Dunleavy statement CAIR singles out: “The concept of ‘friendship,’ . . .is a relationship based on at least some degree of shared moral and political ideals. By that standard no Muslim nation is a friend of the U.S.”

In the Quran, verse 5:51 instructs Muslims not to “take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. Verse 9:30 calls on Allah to “destroy” Jews and Christians.

Finally, CAIR takes issue with his 2011 statement that, “To many Muslim parents, visions of violence and death are indeed the ‘better future.'”

This is certainly true among a disturbing number of Palestinians. Parents of Palestinians killed attempting to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis speak of their pride. It is routine for deadly attacks to be celebrated with people handing out sweets on Palestinian streets. Hamas media for years has indoctrinated children into jihad, using everything from training camps to plays and video productions showing young children pretending to be in combat. Hamas television even “martyred” a Mickey Mouse rip-off, and then sent a puppet bumblebee “to continue the path of Islam, of heroism, of martyrdom and of the mujahideen.”

CAIR has never condemned this indoctrination, and on a broader level, its officials refuse to condemn Hamas by name. In fact, they take great umbrage at the suggestion this is something worth doing.

But the organization does find time to smear a veteran law enforcement official and expert on radicalization because it does not agree with his message. It does not appear that the tactic will work in Dunleavy’s case. But it’s time for law enforcement officials, the military and the media to follow the FBI’s lead and recognize CAIR for what it is and simply dismiss such baseless attacks out of hand.

On This ‘Day Without a Woman,’ Don’t Leave Women Oppressed by Sharia Law Behind

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY LYNE LUCIEN/THE DAILY BEAST

The Daily Beast, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, March 8, 2017:

Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and the organizers of the Women’s March are holding another protest. This one is called A Day Without a Woman, in solidarity with those women who have lower wages and experience greater inequalities.

The protest encourages women to take the day off work, avoid shopping other than in small women- and minority-owned stores, and wear red.

The problems being protested against Wednesday—inequality, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity—are all too real for many disadvantaged women, but the legal protections for them are in place here in the United States. Women who are unfairly treated at work or discriminated against can stand up, speak out, protest in the streets, and take legal action. Not so for many women in other parts of the world for whom the hashtag #daywithoutawoman is all too apt.

Around the world women are subjected to “honor violence” and lack legal protections and access to health and social services. According to Amnesty International’s recent annual report, throughout the Middle East and North Africa, women and girls are denied equal status with men in law and are subject to gender-based violence, including sexual violence and killings perpetrated in the name of “honor.”

The relationship between the sexes in Muslim majority countries is inspired and often governed by a mix of tribal, traditional practices and Islamic law. Algerian author Kamel Daoud recently referred to this system as entailing “sexual misery” for both men and women throughout the Islamic world.Daoud favors the full emancipation of Muslim women, yet many commentators criticized him as being guilty of “Islamophobia,” a term increasingly used to silence meaningful debate.

International Women’s Day should be a day to raise our voices on behalf of women with no recourse to protect their rights. Yet I doubt Wednesday’s protesters will wave placards condemning the religious and cultural framework for women’s oppression under Sharia law. As a moral and legal code, Sharia law is demeaning and degrading to women. It requires women to be placed under the care of male guardians; it views a woman’s testimony in court as worth half that of a man’s; and it permits a husband to beat his wife. It’s not only women’s legal and sexual freedoms that are curtailed under Sharia but their economic freedoms as well. Women generally inherit half of the amount that men inherit, and their male guardian must consent to their choosing education, work, or travel.

In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and parts of Nigeria, where Sharia law underpins the judicial system, women’s rights suffer greatly.

There is a growing trend among some feminists to make excuses for Sharia law and claim it is nothing more than a personal moral guide, and therefore consistent with American constitutional liberties. Yet the rules that such “Sharia-lite feminists” voluntarily choose to follow are also invoked to oppress women—to marry them off, to constrain their economic and human rights, and to limit their freedom of expression—who have not consented to them. The moral conflict between Sharia and universal human rights should not be dismissed as a misunderstanding, but openly discussed.

Many Western feminists struggle to embrace universal women’s rights. Decades ago, Germaine Greer argued that attempts to outlaw female genital mutilation amounted to “an attack on cultural identity.” That type of deference to traditional practices, in the name of cultural sensitivity, hurts vulnerable women. These days, relativism remains strong. Too many feminists in the West are reluctant to condemn cultural practices that clearly harm women—female genital mutilation, polygamy, child marriage, marital rape, and honor violence, particularly in non-Western societies. Women’s rights are universal, and such practices cannot be accepted.

The revival of part of the women’s movement, catalyzed by the election of Donald Trump, has deeper roots than can be seen on the surface. Like Wednesday’s protest, a large portion of Western feminism has been captured by political ideologues and postmodern apologists. Rather than protecting women’s rights, many feminists are focused on signaling opposition to “right-wing” politics.

One of the organizers of the Women’s March movement recently tweeted: “If the right wing is defending or agreeing with you, you are probably on the wrong side. Re-evaluate your positions.”

I’m all for dissent, but that “us vs. them” mentality has caused political gridlock, even on humanitarian issues where the left and right should work together. Hostility and intolerance to others’ views have made rational discussion on important issues taboo. A robust defense of universal women’s rights should welcome support from both the left and the right, overcoming domestic partisan divisions in order to help women abroad attain their full rights.

This International Women’s Day, we should protest the oppression of women who have no access to legal protections. We should support those Muslim reformers, such as Asra Nomani, Zuhdi Jasser, and Irshad Manji, who seek to reform Islam in line with full legal equality between men and women. And we should strive to overcome domestic political divisions to defend the universality of women’s rights.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and the founder of the AHA Foundation, which exists to protect women and girls from abuses of the sort described in this article.

Also see:

Linda Sarsour’s Muslim Identity Politics Epitomize Feminism’s Hypocrisy

lindasarsour

Although she thinks a President Trump will turn back the clock 300 years, Linda Sarsour forgets that Islam never left the Middle Ages in its view of women.

The Federalist, by Shireen Qudosi, January 24, 2017:

A Frankenstein’s monster of identity politics, the Women’s March on Washington heaved through the streets of DC one day after the inauguration in a fit of depraved hypocrisy.

That hypocrisy shadows activist and National Co-Chair of the Women’s March Linda Sarsour. In the past Sarsour has railed against women spotlighting misogyny in the Muslim world. She openly advocates for including sharia law in the United States. Yet sharia law would dwarf her march’s half a million turnout to 250,000, because under sharia a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s.

Sharia law would also punish the female protestors for vulgarity in publicly displaying “pussy caps” and other brazen symbols of womanhood. It would also allow men to beat their wives and daughters for participating in the protest. Although she thinks a President Trump will turn back the clock by 300 years, Sarsour forgets that Islam never left the Middle Ages in its primeval view of women.

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sarsour1

Venerated by leftists, Sarsour now rides the great beast of modern feminism much like the “god-King” Xerxes in “300.” This weekend she and other heads of the Soros-connected movement protested against a democratically elected president. This is a Palestinian woman protesting about the democratic process in the freest country in the world.

Sarsour is also handsomely funded by New York taxpayers and supported by other elevated women in a nation that gives equal space to women’s voices. These rights do not exist in Islamic theocracies, where we find the real war against women—something Sarsour seems to deny—and where the democratic process is a fantasy.

Yet Sarsour, much like many in the Women’s March, continues to see a legitimate presidential election through the filter of the third world. A day after the election, she tweeted: “We can disagree & still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of humanity and right to exist.”

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Liberal Support for the American Flag Hijab is an Endorsement of Slavery


By Tawfik Hamid (h/t Clare Lopez)
shepard-greaterthanfear-1-5550x7400-5690Shepard Fairey (the artist behind the 2008 “Hope” poster depicting then presidential candidate Barack Obama) produced a new set of images for President Donald Trump’s inauguration. One of his posters features  a Muslim woman wearing the American flag   as a hijab. The real irony here is that the Muslim hijab was originally designed as, and remains today, an intentional and literal symbol of discrimination and extreme disrespect and humiliation not only for women, but for all humanity. Many ideologues (be they of the liberal left or Islamophiles or whomever) are apparently blind to, or unaware of, or simply choose to ignore the fact that   traditional and unopposed Islamic teaching (which is to say, mainstream modern Islamic teaching) unambiguously states:
  1.        The Hijab is a dress code in Islam that was designed to distinguish “free” from “slave” women. According to Ibn Kathir (one of the most reputable interpretations of the Quran), and according to almost all authentic and approved Islamic theology and Sharia legal texts, the hijab exists to differentiate between free women and concubines so that free Muslim women will not be accidentally molested. Slaves and concubines (actual modern classes of human beings in Islam) enjoy no such protections.
  2.     Only “free” women are allowed to wear the hijab and cover their bodies. For example, Tafseer Ibn Kathir (again, one of the most reputable authorities in explaining the Quran) discusses the context (Asbab al-nuzil) of hijab verse Quran 33:59. According to this Tafseer and to most authoritative Islamic books men in Medina (the first capital of the Islamic Caliphate) would look at a Muslim woman, and if she was fully covered in the hijab they understood that she was a free woman and therefore refrained from sexually molesting her. On the other hand, if a woman was without a hijab, they marked her as a slave girl and [direct quote] “jumped on her to have sex.” In other words, according to traditional Islamic teaching, the command of the hijab was specifically to distinguish between slave and free women so that the early Muslims would not mistakenly rape the latter.
[Note: This religious teaching may explain the wave of sexual harassment and rape of European girls by many male Muslim immigrants].

3.     A slave woman is not allowed to imitate free women in wearing the hijab. If she dares to do so, she must be punished (“because her body is cheaper than and inferior to that of a free woman”). For example, Umar Ibn Al-khatab (one of the foremost disciples of prophet Mohamed) used to beat any slave girl who dared to cover her body as the free Muslim women did. Thus free Muslim women became distinctive from the slave girls. “When Umar Ibn Al-khatab travelled in Medina … If he saw “Ama” or a slave girl, he would beat her with his Durra [a special type of stick] until the hijab fell off and he would say: ‘How come the ‘slave girls are trying to emulate the free women by wearing the Hijab!'” Tabakat Ibn Saad.

4.     Free women must wear the Hijab when they reach puberty to decrease their sexual allure. According to Hadith of prophet Mohamed: “The Messenger of Allah turned away from his daughter Asma and said, ‘O Asma’, when a woman reaches the age of puberty (i.e. to become sexually attractive) , nothing should be seen of her except this and this’ and he pointed to his face and hands.”

5.      Free women who are supposed to wear the hijab will go to hell if they do not cover up with this dress. “Narrated by Abu Huraira that Prophet Muhammad said: women who are covered and naked at the same time [Kasiat Areat: does not cover their body completely] … will never go to paradise or even smell it.” Sahih Muslim

The above theological references are only few examples of many that illustrate the true symbolism of the hijab. It is truly hard to comprehend how the western liberal left has sunk to such a level that it can blindly accept, endorse, even promote a blatantly discriminatory dress code that supports slavery, explicitly defines women as sex objects, justifies sexual harassment and even rape, and then prescribes punishment for women who do not wear it. It is almost beyond imagining.
In brief, Liberal support for Slavery MUST Stop!

Why the UK’s Sharia Courts Should Be Banned

sharia-courts2by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
December 20, 2016

They are married off at 15 to men they’ve never met, men who may beat and rape them, or who do not permit them to leave the house. Or they marry out of love, only to learn their new husband has another wife, or plans to take one.  And so they seek counsel – and escape – not through lawyers and the traditional courts, but through sharia councils, and not in Kabul or Islamabad, but in Manchester and London.

Now officials in the United Kingdom are questioning whether such councils violate secular laws and discriminate against the women who come to them for help.  While still Home Secretary last March, before she became Prime Minister, Theresa May initiated the first of an ongoing series of investigations into Britain’s so-called “sharia courts.”

Subsequent hearings have brought the issues into the public eye, but so far they have failed to provide any real resolution. Some sharia court opponents contend that they force women to remain in abusive marriages, or deprive them of their legal rights regarding division of property and other matters. In contrast, some proponents insist that too many Muslim women would be forced to stay in abusive relationships if these tribunals were shut down.

“If I went to an English court, [my ex-husband] would say ‘where is their right to decide about my life?'” one Muslim woman told the BBC. “Now he can’t say anything because the decision has been made using sharia law, and we all believe in that.”

Moreover, an estimated 30 to 40 percent of British Muslim marriages are religious, not civil – a fact which in itself deprives these wives of many of their legal marital rights. Such marriages can be dissolved only through the tribunals.

But opponents, such as Iranian-born activist Maryam Namazie, argue that the tribunals, “are linked to the rise of the Islamist movement.” Others echo her views, such as Women and Sharia Law author and Zurich University Professor Elham Manea, who claims that the first such councils were established by Islamist groups.

There is some validity to this claim: the first British sharia council was established in 1982 by the Islamic Sharia Council, a Luton-based organization currently led by controversial imam Suhaib Hasan. Among Hasan’s many claims to fame are his lectures, available on YouTube, which he says “expose” the Jewish conspiracy to destroy Christians.

Moreover, while the official count of the councils in the UK is set at 32, think tank Civitas has estimated the real number at 85, suggesting that many operate in the shadows. How conservative or how westernized they may be in their mediations is impossible to know. Of the councils that are officially recognized, most are affiliated with mosques. Others hold connections to the Islamic Sharia Council, which also offers counseling “in accordance with the Holy Qur’an and authentic sunnah,” and “anger management” sessions that teach clients to “deal with the situation in a way that is most pleasing to Allah.”

According to France 24, 90 percent of the cases before Britain’s sharia tribunals involve divorce. But Algerian activist Marieme Hellie Lucas told Namazie in an interview, “The ‘laws’ used by so called ‘sharia courts’ are not [even] religiously inspired. They are just the choice that fundamentalists implement between contradictory (even antagonistic) customs, mores, and conservative religious interpretations.”

In fact, Lucas says, “”fundamentalists are the ones who create, sometimes ex-nihilo [from nothing], the dilemma ‘faith vs. women’s rights,’ while many progressive theologians state that they see no contradiction.” Hence, Lucas maintains, allowing such tribunals comes down to favoring “the Muslim fundamentalist extreme-right agenda to the detriment of universal rights.”

Additionally, UK sharia expert Denis MacEoin has found many of the tribunals’ rulings “advise illegal actions and others that transgress human rights standards as they are applied by British courts.”

Women who have had experience with UK sharia tribunals echo concerns raised by MacEoin and Lucas.

For example, one widow told the Independent that subsequent to her husband’s death, her sons had insisted she sell her home and give the money to them. A sharia tribunal had evidently told them that “in English law, I own the house I live in, but this is not the way in Islam.” Despairing, she added, “what is this new Islam that can threaten to take the roof from the head of an old woman like me?”

And in a four-year investigation of British sharia councils, human rights activist Elham Manea “found clerics that ignored marital rape, condoned wife beating, and believed girls of 12 or 13 were old enough to marry,” the Independent reports.  No wonder, then, that MEP Baroness Sheela Flather, in written testimony to a Parliamentary panel investigating the tribunals, argued that laws that apply “to white people [should] apply to everyone. “It is racism,” she declared, if they do not.

Despite these facts, many continue to maintain that banning these tribunals could do as much harm as good. Rather, they advocate oversight and reform of the existing councils to ensure that they reflect and administer equal rights under secular laws. “Though some scholars argue that a civil divorce should count as an Islamic one, this hasn’t been widely accepted yet within the Muslim communities,” Muslim Women’s Network UK director Shaista Gohir told VICE news recently.

But herein lies the core of the problem. Indulging those who do not accept the authority of civil over religious law does nothing to help integrate those who espouse such beliefs. Instead, this approach extends a kind of exceptionalism to Muslims, especially fundamentalist Muslims, permitting them to exist outside of civil law, while lending support to radical beliefs that the laws of the land do not apply to them: only sharia does.

True, as Namazie has observed, “Abolishing Sharia courts and parallel legal systems will not solve all the problems at hand; criminalising FGM or domestic violence has not ended them either. It will however make very clear what is acceptable and what is not and will underline a commitment to gender equality.”

Which is why allowing the oppression of Muslim women in our communities to continue is not protecting Muslim rights, or even Muslim identity. Therefore, banning these sharia “courts” is necessary. If we do not demand equality for women and the respect for one secular, civil law in our society for all, who will?

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.