Friday, 7 August 2015

Islam and Human Rights

In a landmark 2001 ruling, the European Court of Human Rights banned a Turkish Islamic party from sitting in Parliament for at least five years, due to the fact that it wanted to apply sharia law. The Court explained that “the institution of sharia law and a theocratic regime were incompatible with the requirements of a democratic society.”  The ban was upheld in 2003, with the Court noting that “a sharia-based regime was incompatible with the Convention, in particular, as regards the rules of criminal law and procedure, the place given to women in the legal order and its interference in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.”

There are at least fifteen Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which are fundamentally violated by established tenets of the sharia.  Significantly, the violation of just one of these Articles can result in institutionalised discrimination against over half of the world’s population.

Article 2 of the UDHR states: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

And yet women are described in the Qur'an as a field – “tilth” – that a man can use however he wants: “Your women are a tilth for you to cultivate so go to your tilth as ye will.” (2:223)

In an Islamic court, the legal testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man: “And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember.” (2:282) When Muhammad was asked about this, he explained: “This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind.” (Sahih Bukhari v.3, b.48, no.826)

A son's inheritance is twice the size of a daughter's: “Allah thus directs you as regards your children's inheritance: to the male, a portion equal to that of two females.” (4:11)

Muhammad is recorded to have said that the majority of those in Hell will be women who are “ungrateful” to their husbands. (Bukhari v.1, b.2, no.28)

Muhammad also insulted women by equating them with slaves and camels: “The Prophet said: If one of you marries a woman or buys a slave, he should say: 'O Allah, I ask Thee for the good in her, and in the disposition Thou hast given her; I take refuge in Thee from the evil in her, and in the disposition Thou hast given her.' When he buys a camel, he should take hold of the top of its hump and say the same kind of thing.” (Sunan Abu Dawud b.11, no.2155)

These fundamental tenets of Islamic law and theology deny women basic equality of rights with men, and also violate the statement in Article 1 of the UDHR that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Regarding the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the Qur’an sanctions discrimination and Islamic supremacism: “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” (48:29)

This “hardness” ultimately manifests itself by Muslims waging offensive jihad against the infidels: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the Jizya [non-Muslim poll tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (9:29)

As I have explained here many times, the purpose of this jihad is to force non-Muslims to submit to Islamic rule and pay the jizya tax “with willing submission”. Payment of the tax is part of a broader system of humiliation and discrimination known as the dhimma, which infringes upon the religious freedom of non-Muslims and forces them to live as an inferior underclass in the Islamic state.

Finally, Islamic law prescribes different levels of treatment when it comes to state penalties for murder, based upon the religions of the perpetrator and victim. According to the mainstream Islamic legal manual Reliance of the Traveller, “retaliation is obligatory...against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.”  However, there are a number of situations in which those who commit a murder do not have to be punished, including the case of “a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim”.

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