Islamic Human Rights Commission
23 August 2002
1. Injustice in the Name of Islam
The continued media frenzy into the case of Nigerian Amina Lawal, whose appeal against a sentence of stoning to death was rejected by an \”Islamic Appeal Court\” on Monday, has done little to remedy the confusion surrounding Shariah or its correct method of implementation.
Shariah, or Islamic Law, is in fact a wide concept covering every aspect of both an individual\’s and the community\’s life including religious, social, personal and political practices. The legal aspect of Shariah itself is very small, and within it, the huddud punishments (which include capital punishment) constitute only a fraction, and can only be implemented to complete the implementation of Shariah, rather than as a so-called starting point.
The consensus among Muslim Scholars is that the implementation of Shariah has to be in full – one cannot only deliberately pick fragments and claim the Shariah is being implemented in full.
IHRC\’s chairman Massoud Shadjareh stated:
\”In particular, this is a total abuse of the whole concept of Shariah for a secular government to only implement the \”huddud\” in a corrupt and unjust society and claim it to be an implementation of Islamic justice.\”
According to the majority of school of thoughts, the punishment for zina (fornication) by unmarried persons is a certain number of lashings, not capital punishment (stoning). Such accusations of zina are taken so seriously that it has one of the most stringent conditions with regard to evidence (some would argue that they are almost impossible criteria to meet) attached to it
IHRC are also extremely concerned that implementing shariah by these same people will, as it has done in the past result only in miscarriages of justice and only be implemented against the poor. This ignores that justice is an integral part of Islam. Furthermore, Amina Lawal has become the latest victim in the case of local sectarian politics being played out in the name of shariah.
IHRC are encouraging campaigners to contact the Nigerian embassy using the model letter as a guide below.
High Commissioner Mr Ayo Oke
Nigerian High Commission
9 Northumberland Avenue
Tel: 020 7839 1244
Fax: 020 7839 8746
Chief Olusegan Obasanjo GCFR Alhaji Atiku Abubakr Turaki Adamawa
President Federal Republic of Nigeria Vice President
Office of the President Office of the Vice President
Presidential Villa Presidential Villa
State House State House
[Name of Recipient]
[Address of Recipient]
Dear [Name of Recipient]
I am writing with deep concern regarding the case of Amina Lawal, who as you are well aware lost her appeal against the sentence to be stoned to death earlier this week.
I am concerned that Shariah aspects, particularly the use of the huddud punishments are being used by opportunistic persons who are both unqualified in giving correct religious injunctions and are also in the process making a mockery of the Shariah itself.
Justice (the foundation of Shariah) cannot be served when it is not applied properly as in the case of Amina Lawal. Furthermore she has been accused of a very serious allegation, in this case zina which has the most stringent of conditions attached to it.
I urge you to lift the sentence that has been imposed on Amina Lawal. She has become the victim of the total abuse of the concept of Shariah by secularists engaged in a power struggle.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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2. Imam Jamil in Solitary Confinement
Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, one of the many prisoners of faith IHRC is campaigning for was imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole in March 2002. He was found guilty of the shooting of two sheriffs, one of whom died in March 2000. At his trial which took place earlier this year, many inconsistencies emerged including the fact that no fingerprints were found on the weapons he was supposed to have used for the shootings (see www.ihrc.org The Trial of Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amn vs The State of Georgia). Even before the trial a series of misidentifications and the fact that someone else admitted to shooting the two sheriffs laid an enormous amount of doubt on whether the FBI had arrested the right man.
Since March 2002, Imam Jamil has been incarcerated in the following facility:
Imam Jamil A Al-Amin – EF492521
Georgia State Prison
100 Georgia Highway 147
It has now emerged that he is being held under twenty three hours lockdown. In effect this means he is allowed less than one hour a day for exercise, hygiene, telephone calls or any legal activities. Campaigners are urged to send letters of support to him at the above address and also letters demanding his conditions are changed to the following address:
Department of Corrections
No 2 Martin Luther King Jr Drive
The letter to the Department of Corrections should also be cc\’ed to
The International Committee to Support Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin
547 Westend Place
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