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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sharia gone wild

Another case of Sharia gone wild. A case out of Bangladesh this week in which a 14 year old girl was raped by a relative and then sentenced to 100 lashes by the local clerics in her village. The girl died before her sentence was completed. Her relative that raped her fled before he could be punished. This form of punishment is illegal in Bangladesh, and now the high court and government are investigating this case and how such a punishment could be carried out. The thing is while Bangladesh has a secular government, the laws and customs at the local level especially in the villages often go unchecked as was in this case. The media of course has spun this into how sharia is a bad thing that inflicts harsh barbaric punishments often unfair to women. Sharia is one of those words that is often used but the least correctly defined or understood. This case of the young girl being punished is not a case of how bad sharia is and that it should be banned but rather a case of the ignorance of the Muslim world that does not understand its own laws. The principles of sharia does not dictate that people should be punished unjustly. The local clerics are a poorly educated bunch that don't understand their own religious law and were in no place to give a "fatwa". A case that does involve fornication must have four reliable witnesses that actually saw the act, without that there is no case and any accusation is thrown out and those that accuse are punished for spreading lies. This case of the 14 year girl is an example of the ignorance of local officials and their usage of their own backwards customs and not a case of implementation of sharia. Today many Muslims know just about the same about sharia as those that are non-Muslims and that is a scary thing. 

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