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News US judge cites Sharia Law in decision

  1. Sep 5, 2010 #1
    In a recent case in New Jersey, a judge cited the husband's religion in a case where his wife asserted she was raped by her husband and was seeking a protective order. Contrary to some reports, the judge did not say the husband was legally entitled to sexual relations with his wife against her will, or that Sharia Law trumped US Law in this case. However, he did cite the husband's beliefs under Sharia Law as a sufficient reason not to find criminal intent or the necessity for a protective order. The ruling was overturned on appeal.

    http://lhla.org/breaking_news/?p=5274 [Broken]

    What are the limits of allowing customs and practices that immigrants bring to countries? What is permitted and what is not? In Canada, I understand Sharia has some legal standing in Ontario although I don't know to what extent. In the EU, there is discussion of allowing divorce under Sharia Law.


    I'd particularly like to hear from people in countries with secular constitutions re the status of Sharia and religious law in general.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2010 #2
    It matters more what kind of customs and practices are acceptable.

    I remember reading somewhere in the government documents that Canada does not embrace barbaric cultural practices such as spousal abuse, honor killing etc. I believe there are some good things in Sharia Law also. Supporting those does not mean one is supporting everything in it.
  4. Sep 5, 2010 #3
    in the US, we are guaranteed equal protection under the law. i don't think that is something we can afford to lose. for some citizens to have more, less, or different rights than others makes them more, less, or different citizens. we had variable citizenship at times in the past, but it didn't work out so well and we had to correct it. so, no, i'd rather not repeat past mistakes. if you want to have a sharia-type relationship with your wife here in the US, you'll have to do it with her consent and blessing.
  5. Sep 5, 2010 #4
    Yes indeed, equal protection under the law is of crucial importance to any functioning democracy. You simply cannot have parallel systems of laws for certain groups of people.

    A 'shariah-type relationship' is quintessentially sexist - are you saying shariah laws to do with marriage should trump legislation to do with equality, if the wife simply agrees to such a relationship?
  6. Sep 5, 2010 #5


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    Absolutely. Lady Justice wears a blindfold for a reason.
  7. Sep 5, 2010 #6
    http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20050912/mcguinty_shariah_050911/ [Broken]

    I am surprised that they provide religions legal status.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Sep 5, 2010 #7
    i think you missed the part about consent. it's really none of my business if a wife chooses to submit to her husband, or a husband chooses to submit to his wife.
  9. Sep 5, 2010 #8


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    Rape never equates to consent; the two are opposites by definition.
  10. Sep 6, 2010 #9
    who said anything about rape? consent is not rape.
  11. Sep 6, 2010 #10


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    Original case was about rape.
  12. Sep 6, 2010 #11
    There may be "good things" in religious law, but should religion rule in a secular state? Good for who? I'm sure many men might like the elevated status that Shariah gives them. It's "good" for men.

    In terms of people voluntarily entering into submitting to religious tribunals to decide family issues, there are all kinds of problems. Suppose you don't like the decision. Are you legally bound by it? How should an a religious organization enforce its decisions in family law?

    What about children? Do they have a voice in whether they want to submit to religious law?
  13. Sep 6, 2010 #12
    I don't see the issue, we have plenty of idiot judges... that's why we have appeals courts. :biggrin:

    This guy just sounds like a misogynist in search of justification for me.
  14. Sep 6, 2010 #13
    A rape case would be a criminal case. In the US if both parties agree, a civil case can be heard in a Beit Din, a Jewish religious court. I assume that the same is true for Sharia law, but I don't know the name of the Sharia religious court. Apparently, in Great Britain, there is a Muslim Arbitration Tribunal which can try civil cases.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  15. Sep 6, 2010 #14
    Criminal matters in the US can be prosecuted by the DA on behalf of the defendant, rare as that is, especially in a rape case. You can bring a civil suit, but there is no capacity to render arbitration unless both parties agree, which is not a civil or criminal matter... just a legal contract.

    In Sharia law in practice:

    Rape VICTIM is punished:


    Analysis of Hudud law in Pakistan:
    http://www.karamah.org/docs/Zina_article_Final.pdf [Broken]

    In theory: You need 4 Muslim men in good standing in the community to be witnesses to a rape and testify for a conviction. Remember that false accusations (meaning, the woman can't get the required number of witnesses as well) = imprisonment at the LEAST.


    This site is not impartial, but the verses are accurate, with links, as is the Hadith:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  16. Sep 6, 2010 #15


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    Here is a very good article about the principals of Sharia. The abuses carried out by radical governments in the ME, including stonings, whippings, etc are cultural responses and not supported by Sharia.

  17. Sep 6, 2010 #16
    We have principles in culture and law too, but the right to pursue happiness and freedom, and more doesn't always jive with the reality of how the law or society works. It's the same with Sharia, but the latter is really nasty in its technical execution however lovely its sentiments.
  18. Sep 6, 2010 #17
    This is a queer judicial finding; I'm not surprised it was tossed on appeal, but I am surprised that the judge was not officially sanctioned by the Appellate court.

    It is true that crminial guilt requires intent and action. However, criminal intent has nothing to do with how the defendant feels about the merits of the law itself, and everything to do with whether or not defendant intended to break the law.

    In this case, the judge acknowledges that the defendant intended to rape, as defined under US law, his wife, but argues that because the defendant felt his actions were not rape (however it is defined under the law), intent is not met.

    This is an absurd conclusion, and could be used to justify any criminal conduct (an appeal to belief - I do not believe that this was murder, but an honor killing, for example).

    Your opinion of the law is irrelevant. If you meant to break it, intent is satisfied.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intention_(criminal [Broken])
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Sep 6, 2010 #18
    i was just yesterday reading a story about a jewish couple who had received a civil divorce, yet the man would not give his wife a "get", which means under jewish law she's still married to him and cannot remarry under their religion. but this has no force of civil law. she can remarry if she wants, tho it may not be accepted by her religious community or family. catholicism is similar, with the catholic church recognizing or not marriages and divorces of its members, and sometimes granting annulments. but this has no force of law. it's more like rules of membership for an exclusive club.

    and this is about all the muslim community should expect concerning sharia law in the US. they're free to peacefully observe their religious practices. they're just not free to use force or violence to enforce it. the men can't force their wives to have sex with them or stay in their marriages. peer and family pressure are their only options if they want to observe their faith here.
  20. Sep 6, 2010 #19
    I took your question out of context:
    But religions should not have any influence on the legal systems.
  21. Sep 6, 2010 #20
    What does it mean to 'rape' your own wife? Sounds to me like stealing your own car or hitting yourself in the eye. Where i live, marriage is a declaration of sexual union.
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