In a video broadcast on the Internet, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, self proclaimed “Caliph” and “leader of Muslims” opposed the recent court decision that upheld the ban against the full veil in France, and Tunisia’s similar legislation. He stated, “Western countries perceive terrorism in the establishment of Sharia and in the freedom of the Muslim.”
TALLAHASSEE—A controversial measure dubbed an “anti-Sharia bill” advanced out of the Florida Senate on a 24-14 vote Monday.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, touted SB 286 as “an American bill.”
It would restrict judges from considering foreign law in matters of divorce, alimony, child support and custody.
Under the language of the bill, an order of a foreign court would not be enforceable if it “offends the public policy of the state.”
It goes on to say: “Any attempt to apply the law of a foreign country is void if it contravenes the strong public policy of this state or if the law is unjust or unreasonable.”
Several senators said they were baffled by perceived need for the bill, feared it would inhibit foreign trade and adversely affect the state’s large Jewish population and their Israel-granted divorces.
“There is no record of Sharia law being implemented in the courts of Florida or any other state,” Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Hollywood Democrat said, in opposition.
Sharia is the moral code and religious laws that governs Muslim life.
March 23, 2014
The Law Society is to issue a practice note to solicitors who may be interested in drafting “Sharia-compliant” wills for their Muslim clients. Some have argued that by issuing the note the law society has opened the doors on the technical issues surrounding gender discrimination inherent in Sharia not only regarding the inheritance provisions, but more importantly endorsing a different set of laws for different groups of people. The idea of equality before the law is being threatened.
In Britain, unless you draw up a will, your estate on death will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. However, although people can do whatever they want with their assets and a lawyer must follow the client’s instructions; it has been argued that this guidance legitimises discrimination towards women, “illegitimate” and adopted children, and non-Muslim partners or offspring who may be the result of inter-marriage.
The key paragraph states: “The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognised. Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir, as the entitlement depends on a valid Muslim marriage existing at the date of death.”
It adds: “This means you should amend or delete some standard will clauses. For example, you should consider excluding the provisions of s33 of the Wills Act 1837, because these operate to pass a gift to the children of a deceased ‘descendant’. Under Sharia rules, the children of a deceased heir have no entitlement, although they can benefit from the freely disposable third [the third of an estate that can be given to non-heirs or charities].
“Similarly, you should amend clauses which define the term ‘children’ or ‘issue’ to exclude those who are illegitimate or adopted.” It has been argued that the ruling advises solicitors on how to discriminate and avoid equality legislation. But a person has always been able to distribute their assets in any way they choose, and a Muslim may legally have done so according to Sharia principles without letting the lawyer know the basis of the instructions. But the question now is that a solicitor could offer this service and develop a product specifically designed for a Muslim client who wants to distribute their assets according to their religious requirement, which could be considered socially unacceptable. Suppose a client instructed that their assets should not go to a relative because they happened to be of a different race or religion. Would that be acceptable? If one were to accept that people have the right to act in a discriminatory fashion with their assets if they choose to, this guidance encourages solicitors to adopt a separate approach to clients who are deemed “different” – in this case, clients who are Muslim. The guidance also states that “there are specific differences between Sunni and Shia rules on succession.”
The code of conduct for solicitors which all solicitors must abide by says: “As a matter of general law, you must comply with requirements set out in legislation – including the Equality Act 2010 – as well as the conduct duties contained in this chapter.”
February 14, 2014
A man from east London who took part in vigilante patrols and promoted Islamic extremism has been given a “landmark” Asbo banning him from preaching in public, police said.
Jordan Horner, a Muslim convert, has been consistently linked to extremist groups and has already been jailed for harassing and attacking “non-believers” in east London. The 20-year-old took part in vigilante patrols aimed at non-Muslims in an attempt to promote a ‘Sharia State’ in the UK. He is also thought to have put up the ‘Sharia controlled zone’ leaflets and posters in Waltham Forest, Scotland Yard said.
Horner appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday, where a series of restrictions were placed on him in one of the first Asbos of its kind in the UK. The order – which lasts for five years – bans Horner from being in possession of a loudhailer in any public place and means he cannot enter any educational establishment where he is not a registered student. He has been told he must not make “unsolicited approaches” to promote Sharia law and cannot hand out material promoting Sharia law or place posters and signs which damages a public advert.
He is also banned from being in a public place with four named men who are also linked to extremist behaviour. They include Royal Barnes, the radical preacher Anjem Choudary along with Ricardo McFarlane and Dean Le Page.
February 5, 2014
France’s Foreign Ministry has denied media reports that a French international school in Qatar has agreed to teach Islamic sharia law and separate boys and girls into different classrooms.
A recent agreement between the Lycée Voltaire in Doha and French authorities does not involve changes to religion classes or dividing classes by sex, Paris said after reports of the accord sparked outrage in France.
Under French law, state-run schools are barred from providing religious education. However, the state does subsidize private schools, like Doha’s, provided they follow the French state curriculum, do not force religious teaching upon students, and do not discriminate according to religion or sex.
“By signing the accord, the [Doha] school has committed itself to respecting the “Charter of French Teaching Abroad”, which outline the principles of secularism and religious neutrality in education,” the Foreign Ministry said on its website. “The school, which goes from kindergarten to sixth grade, is mixed-sex. All of its classes include both boys and girls, in accordance with the spirit and practices of French education,” it added.
Prominent French news outlets, including the left-leaning weekly Marianne, blasted the country’s international school agency last week for allegedly allowing the Doha school to teach strict Muslim sharia law and place boys and girls in separate classrooms from a certain age.
France’s Foreign Ministry, which helps oversee hundreds of French international schools around the world, said that while religion classes were taught at the Lycée Voltaire, they were part of an after-school program, as is the case in many other international French schools.
Religious education was compulsory for Qatari students at the school, as per Qatari law, but not students of other nationalities, it said.
However, some observers said French officials were not being completely transparent about the situation at the Lycée Voltaire, which boast an enrollment of around 1,000 students, roughly 40% of which are Qatari nationals. Marianne journalist Martine Gozlan said the school’s sixth grade class would not open until next year, and that discussions were ongoing over the question of separating pupils by sex at that level.
“Voltaire come back, Qatar is driving them crazy!” Gazlan wrote in the left-wing magazine, referring to the Enlightenment philosopher famous for his advocacy of secularism and his fierce attacks on religious dogma.
This is not the first time the Doha-based school makes headlines in France. In November 2012, the eviction of the school’s director prompted accusations of repeated interference by Qatari authorities.
November 11, 2013
Two Islamic converts threatened to stab members of the public and “kill non-believers” as they roamed the streets of east London in the early hours of the morning. Ricardo McFarlane, 36, and a 23-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons joined a self-styled “Muslim Patrol” attempting to impose Sharia Law. Alongside a ginger-haired white convert called Jordan Horner, 19, the pair confiscated alcohol and berated non-Muslims for their alleged anti-Islamic behaviour as well as uploading YouTube videos criticising inappropriate dress.
Last month Horner, who wants to bring Sharia law to Britain, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault and two charges of using threatening words and behaviour.
Today the prosecution accepted pleas from MacFarlane to affray and the 23 year-old to using threatening words and behaviour. Both men refused to stand in the dock as they pleaded guilty.
The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10
RALEIGH — The state Senate on Friday passed a bill that would keep courts from recognizing Sharia law.
While proponents of the legislation said it would keep people safe from foreign laws, critics derided the bill as sending a message of intolerance and bigotry to followers of Islam.
The Senate had already approved the measure when it was attached to a controversial measure that would impose stricter regulations on abortion providers in the state. But the foreign law provision wasn’t sufficiently critiqued because abortion overwhelmed the floor debate, said Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Democrat from Durham.
Now called House Bill 522, the provision’s contents haven’t changed. It reminds judges that the U.S. and N.C. constitutions are the law of the land and no foreign law can supersede them. Sometimes international laws are used in court as evidence before a judge, or in written opinions. But this bill would stop judges from considering foreign law when it violates a citizen’s constitutional rights.
“Unfortunately we have judges from time to time … that sometimes seem to forget what the supreme law of the land is, and sometimes make improper rulings,” said Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton, a Wilson Republican and the legislation’s Senate sponsor.
Though the bill doesn’t specifically mention it, Newton was clear during Friday’s session that the legislation targets Sharia law, a legal system based on the religious and moral tenants of Islam. Few Muslim countries apply the entire body of rules, instead choosing measures relevant to them. More than 60 countries use at least part of Sharia law in their governance.
Its improper use has “worked to deprive” U.S. citizens and immigrants of their constitutional rights, Newton said. There have been 27 reported cases around the country in which Sharia law has been used, he added.
More than 20 states have introduced legislation banning Sharia law or foreign law in state courts. Many bills – including North Carolina’s – would apply only to cases in which the application of foreign law would violate a person’s constitutional rights.
Sen. Ellie Kinnaird of Chapel Hill, a Democrat, said she thinks the bill’s sponsors don’t truly mean to inform judges that foreign law is unacceptable, but rather the people of North Carolina.
“I think the audience is really wider,” Kinnaird said.
The North Carolina legislature is advancing a package of stringent abortion restrictions that appeared in the Senate this week without any public notice. The anti-abortion measures popped up on Tuesday night, tacked onto a controversial measure to ban Sharia law, and caught women’s health advocates completely off-guard.
House Bill 695, which would prohibit the recognition of Sharia law in family courts — an increasingly popular conservative tactic that essentially serves to demonize the Islamic faith — was slated for consideration in a Senate committee on Tuesday. As soon as that committee convened, it quickly approved several abortion-related amendments to the legislation. HB 695 now combines several different anti-abortion measures that were in different stages in the legislature into one omnibus measure.
The new amendments would prevent insurance plans on Obamacare’s health marketplaces from covering abortion services, ban “sex-selective” abortions, impose unnecessary restrictions on doctors administering the abortion pill to women, and require the state’s abortion clinics to adhere to complicated new regulations that would likely force most of them to close. A similar package of abortion restrictions has inspired weeks of protest in Texas, where thousands of reproductive rights activists have been rallying at the state capitol.
Gilles Le Guen, who was arrested at the end of April in Mali, has been returned to France where he was immediately taken into custody by Central Directorate for Interior Intelligence. The 58-year-old was arrested in the Timbuktu region of Mali by French army units, who have joint the Malian government in combating Salafi groups in the North. The man is suspected of having fought alongside the Salafis for the imposition of a Sharia law ruled state. Le Guen’s arrest made several headlines in France and brought the subject of ‘home-grown terrorism’ back onto the national forefront. The French Government accuses him of having fought in ‘jihadist groups’ and being a ‘fanatic’ and a ‘clueless person who became a terrorist’.
Le Guen is to face several weeks of interrogation by the intelligence unit and a prolonged a jail term.
The Pew Forum recently released a 226-page report exploring opinions and beliefs from Muslim communities around the world. The survey, which was conducted through more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in more than 80 languages, delves into the Muslim world’s insights on everything from Sharia law to alcohol consumption. The findings were simple: Just as all religions, Islam is subjective in many ways and the few who interpret it in a radical and dangerous way are in no way indicative of the overwhelming majority who don’t.
The first finding — and one that intrigues the Western world the most — is that the majority of Muslims want to implement sharia law, but almost no one was in consensus as to what exactly sharia means.
Support for sharia is highest in Afghanistan, where 99% of the people support sharia. The Palestinian territories, Malaysia, Niger, and Pakistan follow Afghanistan, also holding a high preference for sharia law. Central Asia and Europe, on the other hand, rank amongst the lowest for support for sharia.
But, before all the Islamophobes get up in arms about how Sharia law is taking over the world, Pew notes that there is little agreement even within the Muslim world as to what Sharia law actually is. There is a major split, for example, amongst Muslims as to whether or not corporal punishment is acceptable — religiously, legally and socially – for issues such as adultery, divorce, and thievery. And the reason for that is simple. As Wajahat Ali explains in his article,Understanding Sharia Law, Sharia is neither static nor is it easily defined.
It is open to interpretation in terms of serving as a moral compass, and is largely concerned with religious duties such as praying and fasting, and, most importantly, ensures a welfare state. Because of this, he says, “Any observant Muslim would consider him or herself a sharia adherent. It is impossible to find a Muslim who practices any ritual and does not believe himself or herself to be complying with Sharia.”
In the end, it is clear that Islam is practiced differently with different cultural contexts throughout the world — a clear indication that, just as with all religions, Islam is subjective and can be interpreted very differently by everyone.