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Monday, July 7, 2014

Supreme Court ruling on sharia courts draws sharp reaction from Indian Muslim clerics

URL - http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2014/07/supreme-court-ruling-on-sharia-courts.html

Maulana Jilani's comment is precise and sums up the role of Sharia in one's life.   It was in the same spirit I have been writing about sharia Law in America.  Let personal conflicts be resolved between any two parties through any system that mitigates the issue and bring peace to the parties. 

 Zafaryab Jilani, member of the Muslim Personal Law Board, said, "We are not doing anything parallel to the judicial system and we don't say that any order passed by a Qazi is binding on all. Our sole motto is to resolve a matter with the consent of two parties involved in accordance with sharia."

The following statement by the Supreme Court needs to be understood, "Disapproving of a sharia court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court on Monday said it has no sanction of law and no legal status." The Supreme Court is right, no one should pass a judgment against an individual without his or her presence in the court, and the right to defend himself or herself. There should be no judgement in absentia.

The third statement comes from Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashid, president of Kul Hind Imam Association, the Maulana is dead wrong when he asserts, "A Muslim who does not follow the sharia is not a true Muslim." This statement is excessive, and amounts to stepping beyond Maulanas' bounds. 

For hundreds of years, the Muslim religious leaders had the power of the state behind them,  and got away flouting the God given freedom of expression in Quran,  " ... Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error ..." [2:256]. This is Islam's unambiguous affirmation of freedom of faith. It is time to question what has been passed onto us for generations. Is Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashid talking about Quranic Sharia based on justice or the Human designed Sharia Laws that purport to serve Justice? Please note the difference at http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/02/genesis-of-sharia-law.html 

The Maulana's call amounts to rendering judgment in behalf of God. Even Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had admonished his associate for killing a man who claimed to be a Muslim but the associate did not believe in him.  The Prophet questioned him, how did you know what was in his heart? Indeed, he reiterated that God alone knows what is in one's heart.  No human has a right to judge on one's faith but God, and God is merciful and kind and offers the opportunity to seek forgiveness until the moment of death. 

Every practicing Muslim recites that God alone is the master of judgment at least 17 times a day. As a society, Muslim or other can punish the violators of the common rules for theft, cheating, robbing, breaking contracts, but God did not authorize any one to judge on one's faith. Islam is about freedom and not enforcement of faith. 

Mike Ghouse is a Muslim speaker, thinker and a writer, and presides over the World Muslim congress, a think tank, and a forum with the express goals of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies. More about Mike at www.Mikeghouse.net 

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Supreme Court ruling on sharia courts draws sharp reaction from Muslim clerics

PTI | Jul 7, 2014, 05.59 PM IST  - Times of India


Supreme Court ruling on sharia courts draws sharp reaction from Muslim clerics

Disapproving of a sharia court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court said it has no sanction of law and no legal status.

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court's verdict on Monday declaring that a sharia court has no legal sanction drew sharp reaction from Muslim clerics who said that the Constitution allows them the right to work and act according to Muslim personal law. 

Zafaryab Jilani, member of the Muslim Personal Law Board, said, "We are not doing anything parallel to the judicial system and we don't say that any order passed by a Qazi is binding on all. Our sole motto is to resolve a matter with the consent of two parties involved in accordance with sharia." 

Khalid Rasheed Farangi, a Muslim cleric, said that under the Constitution, Muslims have the right to work and act according to Muslim personal law. 

"Indian Constitution has given us the right to act and work according to our Muslim personal law. 
"One must also keep in mind that Sharia Application Act, 1937, has very clearly said that in those cases in which both parties are Muslims and the matter is related to nikaah, talaaq, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, the decisions will be taken in the light of the Muslim personal law," he said, adding that the verdict needs to be studied properly before a final statement can be given. 

Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashid, president of Kul Hind Imam Association, said the plea filed in the apex court is itself wrong as it is a religious matter. 

"If a person is practising a religion, he/she has to follow its preachings. A Muslim who does not follow the sharia is not a true Muslim," he said. 

Maulana Anisur Rehman, member of Imarat Shariah, Patna, however, agreed with the apex court ruling, saying that the judgment is not wrong and it is not going to hinder the functioning of sharia courts. 
"For arbitration, when two parties or people consensually approach the sharia court, it is lawful. The Supreme Court is not wrong, but I need to go through the entire verdict properly," he said. 

Disapproving of a sharia court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court on Monday said it has no sanction of law and no legal status. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Supreme Court Ruling on Sharia Courts,Supreme Court,Sharia courts,Muslim Personal Law,Muslim Clerics on Sharia Courts

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fixing Sharia Laws

Rather than rejecting Sharia out-right, we need to fix it. Sharia serves as a system of justice to the given populations in Muslim majority nations; without it a large swatch of population would become rudderless. Our own constitution has been amended several times, and that is what is needed to be done with Sharia.


The right-wing Muslims will scream at me for questioning the divinity of Sharia, and the right-wing Christians, Jews, Hindus, and others will be calling me names, as this essay does not condemn Sharia. They simply cannot see another point of view.  
Sharia was a human effort to dispense justice to fellow beings in accordance with Quran and the Prophet’s examples; however, men are fallible beings and have failed to deliver justice. They have got it all wrong when it comes to women, apostates, blasphemers and the victims of rape. Sharia as practiced in a few of the Muslim nations does not reflect God's wisdom or the practice of the prophet. It needs to be fixed badly.  
 

Continued: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Fixing-Sharia-Laws-by-Mike-Ghouse-Apostasy_Blasphemy_DNA-Rape-Kit_Divorce-140115-276.html

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shariah and Constitution: A Personal Journey

American Muslims have placed their trust in the American justice system and will continue to oppose Sharia laws as they are currently applied in a few Muslim majority nations across the globe. The right wingers are duping Americans to believe that Muslims want that kind of Sharia law here in America, they are wrong, no Muslim organization in America has asked for it, none.  I will be one of the first ones, if not the first one, to stand up against Sharia for public, however, I support Sharia for personal use of people to square off their conflicts. We are Americans and the law of the land is our law. There is no substitute for it. 

 Sharia in its simplest form is a how-to-serve-justice manual based on the Qur'an and the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad's sayings and life examples). Indeed, it is a human effort to understand the concept of justice enshrined in Qur'an for the day-to-day living. Sharia like all other human laws, including the laws of the United States has its own shortcomings when it comes to just applications of the law. However, the world has evolved* but Sharia is frozen in times.

Here is the genesis of Sharia Law. http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/02/genesis-of-sharia-law.html


Shariah and Constitution: A Personal Journey

Posted by

We the people

Source: Muslim Sunrise, Winter 2013 volume
By Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

After my training of six years to be a physician, as a lung and critical care specialist, I needed to serve in a small village in an under privileged area, to become a naturalized resident in USA.  Five years later, when I became eligible for USA citizenship, it was no small achievement, in my view, however, insignificant it may appear in retrospect now.

There is no denying that a lot of effort, planning and dreaming had gone into it.

About a million people become citizens of USA every year.  The day I and my wife became USA citizens, in 2000, we took an oath:

    I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

Now, as good Muslims, are we supposed to forget it, ignore it, trivialize it or honor it as a binding promise and contract?

May be we should ignore it, as USA is not a Muslim majority country and at times we do not agree with the foreign policy of USA?  But, did we think about it, when we so anxiously took the oath of allegiance and celebrated it as a life time achievement?  Of course not!

I look at the peace and justice the country is providing me and my family.  My three sons were born in USA, before I and my wife became citizens and so they became citizens before us, a privilege that would have been denied to us in many of the so called Muslim countries.

Being in USA, gives me the freedom to express myself, in writing, in blogs and in Twitter, even if I am critical of Christianity or USA’s foreign policy.

The same cannot be said for the country of my birth, where as an Ahmadi, if I say Salam, the Muslim greeting to anyone in public, I could be put in jail for three years, according to a draconian law in Pakistan, The-Amana-Media-initiative@yahoogroups.com notorious Ordinance XX of 1984.[i]

So, do I want “Shariah” or the Constitution of USA?
The answer is ridiculously obvious.

I have to honor my oath of allegiance.  It is not only my moral duty, but also a religious one.  The Holy Quran reminds me in several places to honor my promises and pledges and I quote three here:
It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West, but truly righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and spends his money for love of Him, on the kindred and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask for charity, and for ransoming the captives; and who observes Prayer and pays the Zakat; and those who fulfill their promise when they have made one.  (Al Quran 2:178)
And:
Relate the story of Ishmael as mentioned in the Book. He was indeed strict in keeping his promise. And he was a Messenger, a Prophet.  (Al Quran 19:55)
And:
Surely, success does come to the believers, Who are humble in their Prayers, And who shun all that which is vain, … And who are watchful of their trusts and their covenants.  (Al Quran 23:2-9)
So, keeping my promises is my Shariah, my religion.  Additionally, there is a well known Hadith, ‘Love of your country (patriotism) is a part of your faith.’

I joined Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, when I was in my medical school, in King Edward Medical College, in 1984.  Many of my close relatives are still Sunni Muslims and when some of the zealot Sunni Muslims aspire for Shariah law in one or the other Muslim country, I know, where they are coming from.
The zealot Muslims suggest that the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, was the political leader in Madinah and therefore they want to pursue Shariah Law in their respective countries.
But, they conveniently forget that he ruled according to the Covenant of Madinah, rather than Shariah, among the different groups in Madinah.

They also conveniently forget that he did not prescribe a political system and each of the four righteous Khulafa, after him, came to office, through some what different procedures.

They also forget that unlike the Holy Quran, God did not choose to preserve the “Muslim political system” and it soon degenerated into kingship.

They also conveniently forget that the Holy Quran does not prescribe a political system or a theocracy, but, it does high light principles of religious freedom, justice, and consultation with those who are ruled.  These and additional core principles should go into the development of any political system, which fulfills the need of the time.

The Holy Quran tells us:
There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; so whosoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.  (Al Quran 2:257)
And:
Indeed, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice. And surely excellent is that with which Allah admonishes you! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.  (Al Quran 4:59)
And:
O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.  (Al Quran 5:9)
And:
And those who hearken to their Lord, and observe Prayer, and whose affairs are decided by mutual consultation, and who spend out of what We have provided for them.  (Al Quran 42:39)
The zealots conveniently forget that the Prophet himself said to acquire knowledge, even if one has to go to China.
So, we have no choice, but to benefit from the human experiences, in the sphere of political science, both in the Muslim and the non-Muslim world.
Just like science has progressed in the last 1400 years, so has the understanding of political, judicial and financial systems.  As the Muslims cannot afford to throw away science and technology, all the other human learning of the last 1400 years cannot be thrown away in a zeal to pursue “Islam.”
The Holy Quran is certainly the literal word of God and the Holy Prophet is certainly the last Law bringing Prophet.
But, we have to understand and interpret their teachings in the present day context and not in the context of seventh century Arabia.

We now live in a Global village with its varied considerations.

In this day and age the Quranic perspective and the judgment of the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad is that Separation of Mosque-Church and State, is the only recipe for peace and security.[ii] [iii] This is wisdom and Islam, rest is being penny wise and pound foolish or living in fool’s paradise.

I do not like the foreign policy of USA, when it, at times, kills innocent people in drone attacks and labels it as collateral damage.  Lately, France, Germany and Spain are unhappy with USA as it was spying on phone communications in Europe.  In other words my country, USA is no angel.

But, when I look at the foreign policy of other countries, I find that there is no utopia and the world is not black and white.  When I look at Saudi Arabia, I find the rule by one royal family completely defies the egalitarian principles of Islam.  I look at their foreign policy and I am dismayed by their recent role in Syria.  I do not approve of discriminatory practices of West Pakistan against East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

I do not approve that USA does not allow polygamy, while same sex marriage is allowed.  There are countless single mothers and millions of fatherless children, with numerous psychological setbacks for these children, as a result of broken homes.  They could certainly benefit from a father figure in their homes.
Islam is a religion of middle course.  I do not have to take extreme positions of being “for,” America or “against,” America.  I can have a more nuanced position, a middle course.  I can be patriotic, serve my fellow citizens in my profession and otherwise and where I think my country has gone on a wrong track, to work through the civic process to gradually rectify the wrong.  Slavery was not abolished in USA, for several decades after the Declaration of Independence, despite the statement, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”
Nevertheless, we have seen gradual perfection of our un
ion to borrow words from President Barack Obama and now race relations have tremendously improved in USA.
I recently happened to read the preamble of constitution of Ireland; it starts off with the following lines:
In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of √Čire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ,
Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,
Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation.
Now, if Trinity is strange, as all the Jews, Muslims, Unitarian Christians, Jehovah Witness and agnostics and atheists think, then the country has certainly started on the wrong foot.
The Constitution of USA does not commit any such folly of condoning an irrational dogma of Trinity.  It may not be perfect, but, I think it is the best among the constitutions in vogue in the world and it has 225 years of successfully history behind it.

So, I have a framed copy of the Constitution hanging in my medical office and that is the only wall hanging in my office, for the last twelve years. Let me also share another content of my office.  I always have a copy of the Holy Quran on one of my desks, in my office, with English translation by Sir Zafrulla Khan.
Utopia is not possible.  We cannot have a perfect world or a perfect country.  But, I find USA to be the best country to live in.  So, I continue to be patriotic and love my country and will continue to honor my oath of allegiance.

Link - http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/01/law-and-religion/shariah-and-constitution-a-personal-journey



Read more: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/01/law-and-religion/shariah-and-constitution-a-personal-journey#ixzz2ppOwprjW

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Video: Sharia dialogue by Hasan Mahmud and Taher Gora in Urdu Language

Hasan Mahmood on Sharia Controversy
Bilatakalluf with Tahir Gora

Hasan Mahmud is an advisor to World Muslim Congress.


URL- http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/12/sharia-dialogue-by-hasan-mahmud-and.html

Apostasy: Talks about fallacies of Apostasy - there is no punishment for apostasy, indeed Prophet Muhammad (pbh) did not punish three people who chose to leave Islam.
The Punishment meted out - that is killing is not there in Quran and Hadith.
Also visit http://apostasyandIslam.blogspot.com



Divorce: 2:239 It is not three utterances in one instance, but three months, three periods. Just as in the United States - a waiting period.
He gives examples where prophet gave full and equal rights to women.

Interest/Usury: Good points about Interest.

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS63AE0BYyY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUYZDPjEw6MaD4jxym_b6jEA


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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Oklahoma Anti-Sharia Constitutional Amendment Struck Down By Federal Judge

Sharia was an option for couples to refer in case of divorce, just as seeking counsel from a psychologist, friend or a pastor. The purpose was a to find solution and has nothing to do with the laws that affect public. Its a shame on the Oklahomans to let the stupidity of the congressman and senators to go this far.  I am glad this is a country of law and order and not fickle minded people.

Mike Ghouse
 
Source: Huffington Post
ryan.reilly@huffingtonpost.com

WASHINGTON — A proposed amendment to Oklahoma’s state constitution that would have prevented state courts from considering Sharia and international law was struck down by a federal judge on Thursday.
Chief District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the Western District of Oklahoma, who issued a temporary restraining order preventing the law from taking effect after it passed in 2010, ruled Thursday that the amendment’s references to Sharia, or Islamic law, violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. While Oklahoma officials argued the amendment could be enacted if the reference to Sharia was removed, Miles-LaGrange ruled that wasn’t possible.

“Having reviewed the numerous statements by the legislators who authored the amendment, it is abundantly clear that the primary purpose of the amendment was to specifically target and outlaw Sharia law and to act as a preemptive strike against Sharia law to protect Oklahoma from a perceived ‘threat’ of Sharia law being utilized in Oklahoma courts,” she ruled.

Miles-LaGrange also found that Oklahoma voters wouldn’t have passed the constitutional amendment without the Sharia language, ruling that the “public debate, public discussions, articles, radio ads and robocalls regarding SQ 755 all primarily, and overwhelmingly, focused on the Sharia law provisions of the amendment” and that given that context, any reasonable voter would have thought the amendment was a referendum on Sharia.

It was an “undisputed fact” that “the concern that it seeks to address has yet to occur,” said Miles-LaGrange.

“While the public has an interest in the will of the voters being carried out, the Court finds that the public has a more profound and long-term interest in upholding an individual’s constitutional rights,” she ruled.
The lawsuit against the constitutional amendment was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on behalf of the executive director of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter, Muneer Awad.
“Throughout the case, the state couldn’t present even a shred of evidence to justify this discriminatory, unnecessary measure,” Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said in a statement.

“This law unfairly singled out one faith and one faith only,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “This amendment was nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. We’re thrilled that it has been struck down.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Anti-Shariah Movement Gains Success


I screamed at my friend, "I will not go in that  rocket to the moon,"  and I angry," I will refuse to go on the rocket to moon" and ratched it up even further, " to hell with them, I am not going".  Then my friend calmly asks, "Have they invited you?" I said no. That is the point in the little skit. Muslims have not asked Sharia be implemented, and these Republican assess are screaming to ban it, that which is not there.  This site is dedicated to understanding Sharia and I urge you to read  Genesis of Sharia Law on this site at http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/02/genesis-of-sharia-law.html


Mike Ghouse

..................
By Omar Sacirbey
Religion News Service

(RNS) When Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a 2010 ballot measure that prohibits state courts from considering Islamic law, or Shariah, the Council of American-Islamic Relations filed a lawsuit within two days challenging the constitutionality of the measure, and won.

But when Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a similar measure, one that its sponsor said would forbid Shariah, on April 19 of this year, no legal challenges were mounted
Why the change?

The biggest difference is that the older bill — and others like it — singled out Islam and Shariah, but also raised concerns that they could affect Catholic canon law or Jewish law. Many early anti-Shariah bills also made references to international or foreign law, which worried businesses that the new bills would undermine contracts and trade with foreign companies.

The new bills, however, are more vague and mention only foreign laws, with no references to Shariah or Islam. They also make specific exceptions for international trade. All of that makes them harder to challenge as a violation of religious freedom.

“These bills don’t have any real-world effect. Their only purpose is to allow people to vilify Islam,” said Corey Saylor, CAIR’s legislative affairs director, of the more recent bills.

The change in language seems to have helped such bills advance in several states. And while these bills no longer single out Shariah, it is often understood that Shariah is the target, which many legislators make no secret of.

The driving force behind these new versions of anti-Shariah laws is “anti-Muslim bigotry plain and simple,” said Daniel Mach of the American Civil Liberties Union, speaking on a panel in Washington Thursday (May 16). To those agitating for such measures, “Islam is the face of the enemy,” he said.

To date, Oklahoma is the sixth state — joining Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Tennessee — to adopt a law prohibiting courts from using foreign or international law, with some exceptions, in their decisions.

This year, at least 36 anti-foreign law bills have been proposed in 15 states, down from 51 bills in 23 states in 2011. While most of this year’s anti-foreign law bills have failed, several others, have advanced:

  •     A North Carolina legislative committee on Wednesday sent a bill to the House that would prohibit consideration of foreign laws in custody and other family law cases.
  •     On May 9, the Missouri legislature passed an anti-foreign law bill that goes next to Gov. Jay Nixon, who has until July 14 to decide whether he will sign or veto it. Nixon, a Democrat, has not indicated what he will do, and did not reply to a request for comment.
  •     In Alabama, Indiana and Texas, anti-foreign law bills have made it through the state senates, and are now either in house committees or awaiting full floor votes.
  •     An anti-foreign law bill in Florida that needed a two-thirds majority to pass fell one vote short, 25-14. Besides Florida, anti-foreign law bills have been introduced but were defeated, died, or are languishing in Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Despite the losses, David Yerushalmi, the Washington-based lawyer who drafted template legislation used for the anti-Shariah and anti-foreign law bills, said the anti-Shariah movement “is growing every day” and expects more states to adopt such bills in the future.

“People see the threat and also know that a bill that simply protects U.S. citizens and residents from constitutionally offensive foreign laws and judgments can only be a good thing,” Yerushalmi said.

But CAIR’s Saylor said that victory may prove elusive for the anti-Shariah forces. By stripping all references to Islamic law, the anti-Shariah movement has failed to restrict Muslim religious rights. “In terms of substance, it’s already been beaten,” he said.

Nevertheless, some observers worry that even these watered-down bills could still be interpreted in ways that impinge on Muslims’ religious freedom.

For example, according to the Gavel to Gavel website that covers state legislatures, many of the new anti-foreign law bills specify that the prohibition on courts using foreign laws applies only to certain case types, such as family law or domestic relations. Shariah, as well as Jewish law, is widely used in these types of cases.


“While the foreign law bans are certainly less of a frontal assault on religious freedom than the anti-Shariah bills, they continue to raise concerns about bias towards minority faiths,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

“The bans cast a cloud of uncertainty over a myriad of arrangements, including family and business-related matters, simply because they have foreign or religious origins.”

She added that some bans on foreign law seem to require judges to reject any foreign law or judgment that comes from a country that does not protect rights in the same way the United States does, even if the case being considered does not raise any rights concerns.

“This could deprive many Jewish and Muslim couples of a wide range of benefits — lower tax rates, immigration benefits for foreign partners and the ability to make life-and-death decisions on behalf of each other in medical emergencies,” Patel said.

Even CAIR won’t rule out the possibility of future legal challenges.

“If someone tries to use these laws to undermine a person’s religious rights, we’re keeping all of our legal options on the table,” Saylor said.

(Lauren Markoe contributed to this report from Washington.)

Courtesy - Huffington post

Please visit www.sharialaws.com to an understading of Sharia Laws.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Disgusting Sharia practice; divorce by text message and emails

This is a disgusting example of Sharia practice, which is passed out as Islamic, Islamic it is not.  There are a lot of practices going on in the world, which add up to defame Sharia.

In the following article, it talks about divorcing a woman on whim, not only that, the Sharia Courts in Dubai and informal Sharia counsel in India have held out that the guy can utter "Talaq -Divorce" three times and the divorce happens. They have validated text message and email divorces. This goes completely against the principles laid out in Quran.  I hope Muslims rise up to restore Islam to be what it was; a just and fair religious guidance.

The Quranic guidance calls to wait for three periods time (3 months) to ensure that she is not pregnant, and if she is, the arrangement for child support and alimony. If the couple changes their mind, they can reverse it.

It is fascinating that this common sense principle is adopted by the US Laws while abandoned by the Muslim nations.

The site "total divorce" summarizes the system, "Some states have divorce waiting periods when filing for divorce to make sure that couples are absolutely certain about ending their marriages. These range from a month to six months to even a year or more, if certain divorce issues haven't been resolved. Some states have considered extending divorce waiting periods, especially for couples with children. Such divorce legislation has been based on observations that shorter divorce waiting periods lead to higher divorce rates. A divorce lawyer can further explain the divorce waiting periods in your state."

 A current divorces practice in Muslims nations is abhorrent, cruel and uncivilized to put a woman on the street at one's whims, and this is not Islamic. Islam is about mercy and kindness.
Its time for Muslims to rise up against this practice and speak out.
This practice is strongly fortified that even the erudite scholars and Imams of Islam are afraid to speak out, it is like going against the gangsters, it has nothing to do with education, it has to do with lack of common sense. In the US we have conservative PhD Christians who are as stick-in-the-muds as the Mullahs. Unfortunately, the public does not support these extremist American clergy and they cannot get away with their wishes.

 
Sharia is a good law if we can purge out idiotic rules from it - particularly about divorce, apostasy, blasphemy, and punishment for rape and theft.The civil laws of the nations ensure justice, the Sharia laws in these instances don't. Sharia Law badly need revision to match the common sense and the purpose for which they were created; justice with mercy and kindness.



Mike Ghouse
www.ShariaLaws.com
www.MikeGhouse.net 
================

Talaq by text message? Muslim women cry foul

| 1 Comment and 1 Reaction
Sharia law, according to some Muslim sects, allows husbands to end a marriage simply by uttering the Arabic word for "divorce" three times. But a husband must wait the mandatory three-month period before it can take effect. Electronic media have created a new dilemma that religious scholars have yet to work out.
By Udayan Namboodiri

New Delhi: Shamina Abubecker never expected her marriage would end this way.
One afternoon, the Kerala woman received a short text message on her mobile phone. It was from her husband. The message contained one word repeated three times: Talaq, Talaq, Talaq.

Under sharia law, a husband can divorce his wife simply by uttering the "three T's", although Shia and Sunni Muslims differ on whether this can be done at one go, and interpretations vary even among Sunni jurists.

Now, internet, social media and mobile phones have added a digital-era twist to the practice, leading to complaints from those affected. The message delivered to his daughter was "totally unacceptable," Shamina's father, Reshid, told Khabar South Asia.

"We complained to the imam of the local mosque who took it up with higher authorities. After a few weeks we got the fellow to apologize and re-deliver the Talaq in the formally prescribed way."

Besides being divorced via text message, some Muslim wives are now encountering "Facebook Talaq" -- the practice of writing the words on the woman's Facebook page.

"This is a global phenomenon seen all over the Islamic world. It came to the fore in India last December through a case in Bhopal," reputed Islamic scholar Mushtaq Ali Nadvi told Khabar.
In that case, the wife was an educated woman who knew her legal rights. The husband faces a lawsuit and has been arrested on charges of dowry harassment.

Besides text messaging and social media, some men have sent notification to their wives by e-mail. That is what allegedly happened to Majidi Begum, a Delhi resident whose husband worked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Not being very net-savvy, my sister did not operate her email account much," her brother Imtiaz told Khabar. "When [her husband] came on leave in 2012 she confronted him and he coolly told her that he had divorced her two years earlier."

When challenged by Majidi's family, the husband produced a document that showed he had two witnesses with him while typing the three T's.

Divorce and marriage issues among Muslims are normally handled by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), founded in 1973. The country's single largest Islamic body, its membership consists of scholars representing different schools of thought.

In 2005, Shiites and advocates for women seceded to form their own separate Boards, the All India Shiite Personal Law Board & the All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board.

Neither board has come out with clear positions on the validity of electronic divorcing. "In many cases local imams and muftis support this practice out of sheer ignorance or lack of understanding of the Qur'anic injunctions," Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (Muslim Women's Movement of India) convenor Saifia Akhtar told Khabar.

Some scholars insist the Talaq rule predates Islam, and has its origin in ancient Arabian societies, in which a husband had the power to divorce a wife for any reason, and at any time he wished.

"This practice of the Jahiliyya (Days of Ignorance) is still followed among the Muslims of South Asia who divorce their wives by pronouncing triple Talaq in one sitting, often on flimsy grounds," Indian Islamic scholar Sohail Arshad of New Age Islam magazine told Khabar. "Recently I saw a case where a woman was given Talaq because she suffered from poor eyesight."

(Courtesy: Khabar South Asia | Indian Muslim Observer

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The World’s Muslims: Beliefs About Sharia

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
URL - http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-worlds-muslims-beliefs-about-sharia.html

My Notes:
There are a few assumptions made in the following survey that do not address the cognizance of alternative laws in the Muslim majority nations. This makes the survey questionable to me, other than that,  it is quite a revealing Survey.  

 The Muslim majority nations for centuries or for decades know no other law than Sharia, at least the last three generations grew up knowing only one thing; Sharia Law, and many of them do not even have an idea of another law. As Americans we know the civil laws, we seldom know about the existence of any other laws, only the Jews and Muslim are aware of the other laws, while Sikhs, Hindus and others fall upon their traditions to resolve their personal conflicts. Indeed, I made that very statement on Hannity Show on Fox News in February this year.

The survey results speak out loudly the difference between nations that are European (secular) in nature including Turkey and Indonesia (non-European) where less than 30% favor Sharia, where as all other nations with the exception of Indonesia favor higher than 70% - Indonesia has a sizable number of Hindu population and their constitution, Panchsheel is pluralistic in nature.

The respondents should have been asked their knowledge about the intent of the Sharia Law, and asked if that would be the only way to serve Justice? The results would have been different.  I will be doing a detailed analysis of the figures and have a presentation in a few days. I know, I will be called by TV and Radio Stations and I need to be ready to respond. Shouldn't all of us be ready? 


I wrote a piece in July 2010 in Huffington Post called, Sharia Law not in America and the revised version is called Genesis of Sharia, which, I am  getting ready to submitt for publication. This piece is the most basic piece to understand Sharia, even those who have some idea about it will get it. By the way, I am honored that almost identical piece with similar flow was published by Dr. Amina Wadud in November 2010, four months later. Sharia has never been defined in this manner before.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Links to his work on Islam, Pluralism and civic topics are at www.MikeGhouse.net and his daily articles are at www.TheGhouseDiary.com

 


Courtesy Pew Survey dated April 30, 2013

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
http://www.pewforum.org/Muslim/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia.aspx

According to the survey findings, most Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God. Muslims also tend to believe sharia has only one, true understanding, but this opinion is far from universal; in some countries, substantial minorities of Muslims believe sharia should be open to multiple interpretations. Religious commitment is closely linked to views about sharia: Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to say sharia is the revealed word of God, to say that it has only one interpretation and to support the implementation of Islamic law in their country.
Although many Muslims around the world say sharia should be the law of the land in their country, the survey reveals divergent opinions about the precise application of Islamic law.14 Generally, supporters of sharia are most comfortable with its application in cases of family or property disputes. In most regions, fewer favor other specific aspects of sharia, such as cutting off the hands of thieves and executing people who convert from Islam to another faith.
Sharia as Divine Revelation
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In 17 of the 23 countries where the question was asked, at least half of Muslims say sharia is the revealed word of God. (For more information on sharia see text box.) In no country are Muslims significantly more likely to say sharia was developed by men than to say it is the revealed word of God.
Acceptance of sharia as the revealed word of God is high across South Asia and most of the Middle East and North Africa. For example, roughly eight-in-ten Muslims (81%) in Pakistan and Jordan say sharia is the revealed word of God, as do clear majorities in most other countries surveyed in these two regions. Only in Lebanon is opinion more closely divided: 49% of Muslims say sharia is the divine word of God, while 38% say men have developed sharia from God’s word.
Muslims in Southeast Asia and Central Asia are somewhat less likely to say sharia comes directly from God. Only in Kyrgyzstan (69%) do more than two-thirds say Islamic law is the revealed word of God. Elsewhere in these regions, the percentage of Muslims who say it is the revealed word of God ranges from roughly four-in-ten in Malaysia (41%) to six-in-ten in Tajikistan.
Views about the origins of sharia are more mixed in Southern and Eastern Europe. At least half of Muslims describe sharia as the divine word of God in Russia (56%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (52%). By contrast, three-in-ten or fewer hold this view in Kosovo (30%) and Albania (24%).
Overall, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to believe that sharia is the revealed word of God than are those who pray less frequently. This is the case in many countries where the question was asked, with especially large differences observed in Russia (+33 percentage points), Uzbekistan (+21), Kyrgyzstan (+20) and Egypt (+15). Views on the origins of sharia do not vary consistently with other measures, such as age or gender.
Interpreting Sharia
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Muslims differ widely as to whether sharia should be open to multiple understandings. While many say there is only one true interpretation, substantial percentages in most countries either say there are multiple interpretations or say they do not know.
A majority of Muslims in three Central Asian countries – Tajikistan (70%), Azerbaijan (65%) and Kyrgyzstan (55%) – say there is only one way to understand sharia. But elsewhere in the region there is less consensus, including in Turkey, where identical proportions (36% each) stand on either side of the question.
Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe tend to lean in favor of a single interpretation of sharia. However, only in Bosnia-Herzegovina (56%) and Russia (56%), do majorities take this position.
Across the countries surveyed in South Asia, majorities consistently say there is only one possible way to understand sharia. The proportion holding this view ranges from 67% in Afghanistan to 57% in Bangladesh. But more than a quarter of Muslims in Afghanistan (29%) and Bangladesh (38%) say sharia should be open to multiple interpretations.
In the Middle East-North Africa region, belief in a single interpretation of sharia prevails in Lebanon (59%) and the Palestinian territories (51%). But opinion in Iraq is mixed: 46% say there is only one possible way to understand sharia, while 48% disagree. And in Tunisia and Morocco, large majorities (72% and 60%, respectively) believe sharia should be open to multiple interpretations.
In Southeast Asia, opinion leans modestly in favor of a single interpretation of sharia. The biggest divide is found in Thailand, where 51% of Muslims say there is only one possible understanding of Islamic law, while 29% say it should be open to multiple interpretations.
In a number of countries, significant percentages say they are unsure whether sharia should be subject to one or multiple understandings, including at least one-in-five Muslims in Albania (46%), Kosovo (42%), Uzbekistan (35%), Turkey (23%), Russia (21%), Malaysia (20%) and Pakistan (20%).
An individual’s degree of religious commitment appears to influence views on interpreting sharia. In many countries where the question was asked, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less often to say that there is a single interpretation. The largest differences are found in Russia (+33 percentage points) and Uzbekistan (+27), but substantial gaps are also observed in Lebanon (+18), Malaysia (+16) and Thailand (+15).
Sharia as the Official Law of the Land
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Support for making sharia the official law of the land varies significantly across the six major regions included in the study. In countries across South Asia, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East-North Africa region most favor making sharia their country’s official legal code. By contrast, only a minority of Muslims across Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe want sharia to be the official law of the land.
In South Asia, high percentages in all the countries surveyed support making sharia the official law, including nearly universal support among Muslims in Afghanistan (99%). More than eight-in-ten Muslims in Pakistan (84%) and Bangladesh (82%) also hold this view. The percentage of Muslims who say they favor making Islamic law the official law in their country is nearly as high across the Southeast Asian countries surveyed (86% in Malaysia, 77% in Thailand and 72% in Indonesia).15
In sub-Saharan Africa, at least half of Muslims in most countries surveyed say they favor making sharia the official law of the land, including more than seven-in-ten in Niger (86%), Djibouti (82%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (74%) and Nigeria (71%).
Support for sharia as the official law of the land also is widespread among Muslims in the Middle East-North Africa region – especially in Iraq (91%) and the Palestinian territories (89%). Only in Lebanon does opinion lean in the opposite direction: 29% of Lebanese Muslims favor making sharia the law of the land, while 66% oppose it.
Support for making sharia the official legal code of the country is relatively weak across Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe. Fewer than half of Muslims in all the countries surveyed in these regions favor making sharia their country’s official law. Support for sharia as the law of the land is greatest in Russia (42%); respondents in Russia were asked if sharia should be made the official law in the country’s ethnic-Muslim republics. Elsewhere in Central Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe, about one-in-three or fewer say sharia should be made the law of the land, including just 10% in Kazakhstan and 8% in Azerbaijan.
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Again, level of religious commitment makes a big difference in attitudes about the implementation of sharia. Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less frequently to favor Islamic law as the official law of the land. The difference is particularly large in Russia (+37 percentage points), Lebanon (+28), the Palestinian territories (+27), Tunisia (+25) and Kyrgyzstan (+24).
Across the countries surveyed, support for making sharia the official law of the land generally varies little by age, gender or education. However, in the Middle East-North Africa region, Muslims ages 35 and older are more likely than those 18-34 to back sharia in Lebanon (+22 percentage points), Jordan (+12), Tunisia (+12) and the Palestinian territories (+10).

Should Sharia Apply to All Citizens?
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Among Muslims who support making sharia the law of the land, most do not believe that it should be applied to non-Muslims. Only in five of 21 countries where this follow-up question was asked do at least half say all citizens should be subject to Islamic law.
The belief that sharia should extend to non-Muslims is most widespread in the Middle East and North Africa, where at least four-in-ten Muslims in all countries except Iraq (38%) and Morocco (29%) hold this opinion. Egyptian Muslims (74%) are the most likely to say it should apply to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, while 58% in Jordan hold this view.
By contrast, Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe who favor making sharia the official law of the land are among the least likely to say it should apply to all citizens in their country. Across the nations surveyed in the region, fewer than a third take this view. This includes 22% of Russian Muslims (who were asked about the applying sharia in their country’s ethnic Muslim republics).
In other regions, opinion varies widely by country. For example, in Southeast Asia, half of Indonesian Muslims who favor sharia as the official law say it should apply to all citizens, compared with about a quarter (24%) of those in Thailand. (Thai Muslims were asked if sharia should be made the official law in the predominantly Muslim areas of the country.) Similarly, in Central Asia, a majority of Muslims in Kyrgyzstan (62%) who support making sharia the official law say it should apply to non-Muslims in their country, but far fewer in Kazakhstan (19%) agree. Meanwhile, in South Asia, Muslims who are in favor of making sharia the law of the land in Afghanistan are 27 percentage points more likely to say all citizens should be subject to Islamic law than are those in Pakistan (61% in Afghanistan vs. 34% in Pakistan).
How Should Sharia Be Applied?
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When Muslims in different regions of the world say they want sharia to be the law of the land, do they also share a vision for how sharia should be applied in practice? Overall, among those in favor of making sharia the law of the land, the survey finds broad support for allowing religious judges to adjudicate domestic disputes. Lower but substantial proportions of Muslims support severe punishments such as cutting off the hands of thieves or stoning people who commit adultery. The survey finds even lower support for executing apostates.
Family and Property Disputes
Islamic law addresses a range of domestic and personal matters, including marriage, divorce and inheritance.16 And most Muslims who say sharia should be the law of the land in their country are very supportive of the application of Islamic law in this sphere. Specifically, in 17 of the 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis, at least half favor giving Muslim leaders and religious judges the power to decide family and property disputes.
Support for allowing religious judges to decide domestic and property disputes is particularly widespread throughout Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region. Across these three regions, at least six-in-ten Muslims who support the implementation of sharia as the official law say religious judges should decide family and property matters. This includes more than nine-in-ten in Egypt (95%) and Jordan (93%), and nearly as many in Malaysia (88%) and Pakistan (87%).
In Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe, Muslims who favor making sharia the law of the land are somewhat less enthusiastic about having religious judges decide matters in the domestic sphere. Across these two regions, fewer than two-thirds favor giving religious judges the power to decide family and property disputes. The least support for allowing religious judges to decide matters in the domestic sphere is found in Kosovo (26%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (24%).
 Penalty for Theft or Robbery
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Among those who want sharia to be the law of the land, in 10 of 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis at least half say they support penalties such as whippings or cutting off the hands of thieves and robbers.17 In South Asia, Pakistani and Afghan Muslims clearly support hudud punishments (see Glossary). In both countries, more than eight-in-ten Muslims who favor making sharia the official law of the land also back these types of penalties for theft and robbery (88% in Pakistan and 81% in Afghanistan). By contrast, only half of Bangladeshis who favor sharia as the law of the land share this view.
In the Middle East and North Africa, many Muslims who support making sharia the official law also favor punishments like cutting off the hands of thieves. This includes at least seven-in-ten in the Palestinian territories (76%) and Egypt (70%), and at least half in Jordan (57%), Iraq (56%) and Lebanon (50%). Only in Tunisia do fewer than half (44%) of those who want Islamic law as the law of the land also back these types of criminal penalties.
In Southeast Asia, about two-thirds (66%) of Malaysian Muslims who want sharia as the law of the land also favor punishments like cutting off the hands of thieves or robbers, but fewer than half say the same in Thailand (46%) and Indonesia (45%).
In Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe, relatively few Muslims who back sharia support severe criminal punishments. Across the two regions, only in Kyrgyzstan do more than half (54%) support punishments such as whippings or cutting off the hands of thieves. Elsewhere in these two regions, between 43% and 28% of Muslims favor corporal punishments for theft and robbery.
Penalty for Adultery
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In 10 of 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis, at least half of Muslims who favor making sharia the law of the land also favor stoning unfaithful spouses.18
Some of the highest support for stoning is found in South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region. In Pakistan (89%) and Afghanistan (85%), more than eight-in-ten Muslims who want Islamic law as their country’s official law say adulterers should be stoned, while nearly as many say the same in the Palestinian territories (84%) and Egypt (81%). A majority also support stoning as a penalty for the unfaithful in Jordan (67%), Iraq (58%). However, support is significantly lower in Lebanon (46%) and Tunisia (44%), where less than half of those who support sharia as the official law of the land believe that adulterers should be stoned.
In Southeast Asia, six-in-ten Muslims in Malaysia consider stoning an appropriate penalty for adultery. About half hold this view in Thailand (51%) and Indonesia (48%).
Muslims in Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe are generally less likely to support stoning adulterers. Among those who favor Islamic law as the official law of the land, only in Tajikistan do about half (51%) support this form of punishment. Elsewhere in the two regions, fewer than four-in-ten favor this type of punishment, including roughly a quarter or fewer across the countries surveyed in Southern and Eastern Europe.
Penalty for Converting to Another Faith 
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Compared with attitudes toward applying sharia in the domestic or criminal spheres, Muslims in the countries surveyed are significantly less supportive of the death penalty for converts.19 Nevertheless, in six of the 20 countries where there are adequate samples for analysis, at least half of those who favor making Islamic law the official law also support executing apostates.
Taking the life of those who abandon Islam is most widely supported in Egypt (86%) and Jordan (82%). Roughly two-thirds who want sharia to be the law of the land also back this penalty in the Palestinian territories (66%). In the other countries surveyed in the Middle East-North Africa region, fewer than half take this view.
In the South Asian countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, strong majorities of those who favor making Islamic law the official law of the land also approve of executing apostates (79% and 76%, respectively). However, in Bangladesh far fewer (44%) share this view.
A majority of Malaysian Muslims (62%) who want to see sharia as their country’s official law also support taking the lives of those who convert to other faiths. But fewer take this position in neighboring Thailand (27%) and Indonesia (18%).
In Central Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe, only in Tajikistan (22%) do more than a fifth of Muslims who want sharia as the official law of the land also condone the execution of apostates. Support for killing converts to other faiths falls below one-in-ten in Albania (8%) and Kazakhstan (4%).
Views on Current Laws and Their Relation to Sharia
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Many Muslims say their country’s laws do not follow sharia, or Islamic law. At least half take this view in 11 of the 20 countries where the question was asked. Meanwhile, in six countries, at least half of Muslims believe their national laws closely adhere to sharia.
Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are among the most likely to say their laws do not adhere closely to Islamic law. A majority of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina (68%), Russia (61%) and Kosovo (59%) take this view. Roughly four-in-ten Muslims in Albania (43%) also say their country’s laws do not follow sharia closely, and about half (48%) are unsure.
In Central Asia, at least half of Muslims in Kazakhstan (72%), Azerbaijan (69%) and Kyrgyzstan (54%) say their laws do not follow sharia closely. In Tajikistan, by contrast, 51% say the laws of their country follow sharia.
In the Middle East-North Africa region, Muslims differ considerably in their assessments on this question. Lebanese Muslims (79%) are the most likely to say their country’s laws do not follow Islamic law closely. At least half of Muslims in the Palestinian territories (59%), Jordan (57%), Egypt (56%) and Tunisia (56%) say the same. Fewer Muslims agree in Iraq (37%) and Morocco (26%).
In the two countries in Southeast Asia where the question was asked, at least half of Muslims say their country’s laws adhere to sharia. By a 58%-to-29% margin, most Malaysian Muslims say their laws follow sharia; in Indonesia, the margin is 54% to 42%.
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Muslims in Afghanistan stand out for the high percentage (88%) that says their laws follow sharia closely. Fewer Muslims in the other countries surveyed in South Asia believe their laws closely follow sharia (48% in Bangladesh and 41% in Pakistan).
Across the countries surveyed, many Muslims who say their laws do not follow sharia believe this is a bad thing. Muslims in South Asia are especially likely to express this sentiment, including at least eight-in-ten Muslims in Pakistan (91%), Afghanistan (84%) and Bangladesh (83%). In Southeast Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region, too, Muslims who believe their country’s laws depart from sharia tend to say this is a bad thing. At least six-in-ten in the Palestinian territories (83%), Morocco (76%), Iraq (71%), Jordan (69%), Egypt (67%), Malaysia (65%) and Indonesia (65%) hold this view. Somewhat fewer Muslims in Tunisia (54%) say the same.
In the Middle East-North Africa region, Lebanon is the only country where opinion on the matter is closely divided. Among Lebanese Muslims who say their laws do not follow sharia closely, 41% say this is a good thing, while 38% say it is a bad thing, and 21% have no definite opinion.
Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are less likely to say it is a bad thing that their country’s laws do not follow sharia. Among Muslims who believe their country’s laws do not follow sharia, fewer than a third in most countries surveyed in these regions say this is a bad thing, while many say it is neither good nor bad, or express no opinion. The two exceptions are Russia and Kyrgyzstan, where almost half (47% each) say it is a bad thing that their country’s laws do not adhere closely to Islamic law.
Footnotes:  
14 For analysis of views about sharia among Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa, see the Pew Research Center’s April 2010 report “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” (return to text) 
15 In Thailand, respondents were asked if sharia should be made the official law in the predominantly Muslim areas of the country. (return to text) 
16 See Quran 4:22-4; 65:1-6; 4:11-2. See also Hourani, Albert. 1991. “A History of the Arab Peoples.” Harvard University Press, page 65. (return to text) 
17 Certain hadith specify that some crimes, including theft, merit corporal punishments, such as whipping or the cutting off of hands. See Sahih al-Bukhari 81:771, 81:778, and 81:780. (return to text) 
18 Certain hadith prescribe stoning as the appropriate penalty for adultery. See Sahih al-Muslim 17:4192 and 17:4198. (return to text) 
19 Certain hadith either state or imply that the penalty for apostasy, or converting to another faith, is death. See Sahih al-Bukhari 52:260 and 83:37. (return to text) 
Photo Credit: © Scott E Barbour