Saturday, March 14, 2009

The impact of Sharia on women in Saudi Arabia

Islamic legal code, the Sharia, continues to make grounds in the West. Sharia Court, operational in Canada since 1991, was abolished in 2006 in the face of intense campaign from human rights activists. Although widely practiced by the Muslim community over the year, Sharia Court received official recognition in the U.K. for dealing with civil and some criminal cases (domestic violence etc.) in 2007.

Since some 40% British Muslims want the establishment of Sharia Court with a fewer of them opposed to it, this is possibly the first-step in the gradual process of establishing full-fledged Islamic legal codes in Britain. As Muslim immigrants in the West, from Europe to North America, are showing increasing support for Sharia, demand for Sharia Court in other Western countries will definitely intensify in light of this British concession. What people in the West must make themselves aware of is that Sharia laws are extremely discriminatory, indeed humiliating and degrading, toward non-Muslims. It is also highly discriminatory and humiliating toward Muslim women.

In order to get a grasp of the nature of Sharia law, one may have a look at Afghanistan under the Taliban, Iran and Saudi Arabia, where Sharia laws are applied to varying strictness. In the wake of the just-concluded International Women’s Day, this essay will attempt to make it clear what Sharia law means for Muslim women.

The rest of this essay by M.A. Khan can be found HERE

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