Sharia Law

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Muslim attitudes towards honour killing and the shairah law

Sharia law is Islam's legal system. It is derived from both the Quran, as the word of God, the example of the life of the prophet Muhammad, and fatwas also known as the rulings of Islamic scholars.

Brigadier Ali Alush, a senior official in the interior ministry, told the conference that honour crimes have accounted for seven per cent of homicides so far in 2008. But he acknowledged that the figure was probably an understatement because such crimes often go unreported.

“The problem with these crimes is not the numbers, but rather the deed itself,” said Raghda al-Ahmed, vice-president of the women’s general union. “Even if there is only one murder, it remains a source of shame in our history.” Women and human rights advocates have fought for many years for the honour crimes law to be changed.

But not all politicians support improvement and law reform. Ghalib Inaiz, a member of the parliament’s legislative committee, told the conference that the honour crime law “is derived from Islamic sharia, and we cannot change it”.

Another member of parliament, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he would not support changes to the law, “because a person cannot give up his honour, and he should receive a commuted sentence if he kills one of his relatives if he catches them in the act”.

http://www.stophonourkillings.com (accessed on 11/12/08)

Ahmed Talib, a Shia sheikh from Lebanon who is an expert in Islam, blamed honour crimes on what he called the “dominant culture”, in other words local tradition rather than religious tenets. He said “Men grow up thinking they are above their wives, mothers, daughters and sisters. That is the primary reason for the occurrence of such crimes”.

Muzaffarnagar in Pakistan (PTI): Close on the heels of three cases of suspected honour killings in the district, a Shariat Court here has ruled that such crimes should be treated as murder and are punishable under...
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