Injustice in the Name of Islam


Islamic Human Rights Commission


22 August 2002

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.

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, it is the 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 stoning. Such accusations of zina are taken so seriously that it has one of the most stringent conditions 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.

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