Tehran Iran’s police chief, Hossein Sajedinia announced and defended a controversial decision to form a seven thousand strong undercover police service charged with enforcing morality codes and, reportedly, assisting regular police forces with criminal matters.
Domestic and international civil libertarians project an Orwellian abuse about to unfold in that a largely unseen monitoring system will encompass the Iranian capital and generate the continual worry of being arrested for ordinary acts the government deems objectionable.
As an example of the perils brought forth in countries having two legal systems, Christian men who intend to divorce their Christian spouse in Jordan receive significant leverage over their wives who remain within their faith.
Under Article 172 of Jordan’s personal status law, a Muslim man automatically receives custody of children aged seven and above when divorcing a Christian woman. This statutory provision provides a husband an attractive advantage in conversion to gain custody where he otherwise could receive an unfavorable determination based upon mitigating factors, such as showing the interests of the children might be better served if they remained within the custody of their mother.
The Dutch Cabinet voted to draft a bill to enforce a ban on wearing the Islamic burqa in various government buildings and institution. Citing what were described as security concerns, the government in a statement declared “Face-covering clothing will in [the] future not be accepted in education and healthcare institutions, government buildings and on public transport.”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated to journalists: “The bill does not have any religious background.”
A consortium of one hundred and twenty Islamic Scholars have placed onto the internet an Open Letter to Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi denouncing the organization’s violent and extremist actions in the Middle East. The letter, in the form of an interactive website, provides the world with an opportunity to read a perspective of the Islamic State’s affront to civilization from an academic analysis by scholars. The letter addresses the fundamental and basis in canon for disputing the claims of Al-Baghdadi that his is the only pure and legitimate form of Islam–refuting his claims of divine assent.
The original, in the Arabic, is presently being translated into other languages. The English is presently available.
There has been unfortunately much misconception in the Western World that there lacks true dissent to the terrorist outrages in the Muslim World. This letter can serve a secondary goal to educate those in other cultures having concerns.
A twenty seven year old Christian woman, who is presently eight months pregnant, has been sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy and adultery. Having been born to a Muslim father, the Sudanese government contends that Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, was Muslim and that she later converted to Christianity before marrying her South Sudanese husband, a Christian. Sudanese law considers marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims to be invalid. Under Sudan’s interpretation of sharia, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man and any such relationship is regarded as adulterous. Thus, her pregnancy is considered to be resulting from an adulterous relationship, punishable by one hundred lashings.
Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa sentenced Meriam to death and declared:
“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged,” The judge addressed her by her father’s Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.
Ms Ishag reacted without emotion when the judge delivered the verdict at a court in the Khartoum district of Haj Yousef. Earlier in the hearing, an Islamic religious leader spoke with her in the caged dock for about 30 minutes. Then she calmly told the judge:
“I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”
Amnesty International said Ms Ishag was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her Muslim father was absent.
Absolute monarch Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei announced in January a harsh form of sharia law will be enacted. Effective in three phases beginning now and spanning two years, the edict eventually allows for the stoning to death of homosexuals, adulterers, and apostates; for amputation of limbs for those convicted of theft; and flogging for abortions and the consumption of alcohol. The capital offense provisions of the law reportedly apply only to Muslims.
Sultan Bolkiah claims this is a step in solidifying a long cultural tradition in the sultanate which was established in the fourteenth century. Increasingly conservative Muslim politicians and officials in Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia are beginning to move from sharia being limited to family matters to now criminal law and capital offenses. Acheh in Indonesia is included especially. While Brunei enjoys one of the highest per capital income in the world, has many social benefits such as effectively free health care and education, its population of over 416,000 individuals now is seeing human rights restricted in a trend that is generating international condemnation in the West. Al-Jazeera reported that many members of the Muslim ethnic Malay majority have voiced cautious support for the changes. However, non-Muslim citizens, who are fifteen percent of the population, led a rare burst of criticism on social media earlier this year, but largely went silent after the sultan called for a halt.
“Theory states that God’s law is harsh and unfair, but God himself has said that his law is indeed fair,” the sultan said.
But will Western governments be willing to isolate countries engaging in abuses of individuals and oppression of the human rights of populations or is trade and money going to become the focus and inconveniences such as abuse continue to be ignored?