It is our position that shariah law imposes second class status on women and is incompatible with the standards of liberal Western societies and the basic principles of human rights that include equality under the law and the protection of individual freedoms. The shariah code mandates the complete authority of men over women, including the control of their movement, education, marital options, clothing, bodies, place of residence and all other aspects of their existence. Further, it calls for the beating, punishment, and murder of women who don’t comply with shariah requirements.
In our efforts to stem the encroachment of shariah in the West, we are focusing on the following objectives:
Education of the American public about the inherent human rights violations and the attempt to undermine or replace U.S. law and American statutes with Islamic shariah
Publicizing of important issues related to sharia requirements such as honor killings, forced marriages, child marriage, polygamy, female genital mutilation, violence against women, etc.
Alerting policy makers and legislators to potential human rights and equal rights violations and working toward the development of possible remedies and legal actions
Building coalitions with like-minded organizations to develop policy initiatives and interventions for victims of shariah.
Shariah: an all-encompassing and in-transmutable system of Islamic jurisprudence, found in the Koran and the Sunnah, that covers all aspect of life, including daily routines, hygiene, familial roles and responsibilities, social order and conduct, directives on relationships with Muslims and non-Muslims, religious obligations, financial dealings and many other facets of living.
Ird: the sexual purity of a woman that confers honor to her husband, family and community. Ird is based on the traditional standards of behavior set forth in the shariah code and includes subservience to male relatives, modest dress which could include veiling and the covering of the body, and restricted movement outside of the home. The loss of a woman’s ird confers shame upon her family and can result in ostracism by the community, economic damage, political consequences and the loss of self esteem.
Zina: the Koranic word for sexual relations outside of marriage. Under shariah law, Zina is punished by lashings, imprisonment or stoning to death.
FGM: female genital mutilation refers to the partial or complete removal of the female genitalia for religious and cultural reasons. It is practiced to preserve a female’s chastity and dampen her sexual desire. FGM is permitted in the Koran but required by the Shafi’i, one of the four schools of shariah law within Sunni Islam.
Honor Killing: a murder, usually of a female, committed to restore the social and political standing of a family or community when it is believed that the victim has violated traditional behavioral expectations. Such violations can include improper covering of the body, appearing in public without a male relative chaperone, talking to an unrelated male, or exhibiting independence in thought and action. An honor killing can also be based on hearsay or gossip that is perceived as damaging to a woman’s relatives.
Forced Marriage: a marriage that is conducted without the consent of one or both parties in which duress is a factor. Such duress can include violence or physical intimidation, psychological abuse, blackmailing, kidnapping, or threats of imprisonment or institutional confinement.
SLAVERY IN ISLAM
Islam permits the taking of slaves as “booty” or as a reward for waging jihad. Slavery became a Muslim tradition at the time that Mohammed moved to Medina and amassed sufficient power for the enslavement of non-Muslims.
Slavery is an accepted part of Islamic society and is never viewed in a negative way in the Koran, Sira or Hadith. In fact, it is a God-given right for Muslims to have slaves.
[6:7] Allah has given more of His gifts of material things to some rather than others. In the same manner, those who have more do not give an equal share to their slaves so that they would share equally. Would they then deny the favors of Allah.
Although Islam has sustained slavery for 1400 years, a Muslim may never be enslaved. Only non-believers or kafirs may be enslaved and may be eligible for freedom upon conversion to Islam at the discretion of the slave owner. Slavery is viewed as a moral good in Islam as it transforms a kafir into a believer.
Slaves have no means for legal action in Islam and their rights are based solely on the good will of their master. If a slave flees his master, this is view as a sin against Allah.
Slaves have few civil or legal rights.
The following are rules pertaining to slavery from the Shariah:
1) Muslim men may have sex with female slaves at any time and it is not possible to “rape” a slave.
2) Slaves have the same status as animals and it is permissible to whip them.
3) No Muslim can be put to death for murdering a slave.
4) A slave’s testimony is inadmissible in court.
5) Slaves can be forced to marry whomever their master chooses and may not choose their marriage mate.
6) Christians and Jews who do not pay the jizya or protection tax can be enslaved.
In his book, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters, historian Robert Davis estimates that North African Muslims abducted and enslaved more than 1 million white Christian Europeans from the coastal towns from Sicily to Cornwall between 1530 and 1780. Muslim slavers also seized people from Britain, Ireland, Iceland and even American seaman on ships in the Atlantic.
In a recent case of Muslim slavery in the United States, Sarah Khonaizan and her husband Homaidan Al-Turki were arrested for forced labor, sexual abuse and harboring an alien for enslaving an Indonesian housekeeper in their home in Colorado.
The couple reportedly brought the housekeeper to Colorado from Saudi Arabia to care for their five children and to cook and clean for the family. The Indonesian woman slept on the basement floor, was paid less than $2 per day and was the victim of rape.
Al-Turki and his defense attorney complained that they were being persecuted for their beliefs and stated, "The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors. Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution."
Al-Turki received letters of support from the local Muslim community and from his academic colleagues at the University of Colorado.
This case continues to arouse strong feelings in Saudi Arabia where there is great sympathy and support for Al-Turki.
On March 26, 2008, a high level Saudi official brought up the case in a meeting with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. He urged Americans to review the case and mentioned the strong support for Al-Turki in Saudi Arabia.
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The mission of Women Against Shariah is to prevent and outlaw the imposition of shariah law in the United States for both Muslim and American women as either a parallel legal system or a replacement for existing laws. Additionally, we hope to empower women worldwide to resist shariah.