Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord


Sharia Law in Action: The Outrage Over Moroccan Law

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful 

There has been a continuous hysteria in several states about the threat of “Sharia law” to the United States. In fact, South Dakota just passed a law that says “No such court may apply international law, the law of any foreign nation, or any foreign religious or moral code with the force of law in the adjudication of any case under its jurisdiction.” Although it does not say it, it is clearly targeting “Sharia law.” A similar effort has been going on in a number of states.

This is a solution looking for a problem. Despite the contention of some, there is no book called “the Sharia,” like the Bible or the Quran. It is a comprehensive effort on the part of Muslims – since the advent of the Prophet Muhammad – to ascertain the will of God in their lives. The overwhelming majority of “Sharia” is concerned with private, personal religious practice.

Indeed, just like the Bible, there is a penal code, but that is a tiny fraction of Sharia. And I can tell you this: Muslims are not seeking to supplant the law of the land with “Sharia.” They are not looking to start amputating hands, beating their wives, and stoning adulterers to death. Indeed, some Muslims do just that, but this is a gross misapplication and distortion in both letter and spirit of Islamic law.

But, let me show you where Sharia law, true Sharia law, is in action: the outrage in Morocco over the suicide of a rape victim:

The case of a 16-year-old girl who killed herself after she was forced to marry her rapist has spurred outrage among Morocco’s internet activists and calls for changes to the country’s laws.

An online petition, a Facebook page and countless tweets expressed horror over the suicide of Amina Filali, who swallowed rat poison on Saturday to protest her marriage to the man who raped her a year earlier.

Article 475 of the Moroccan penal code allows for the “kidnapper” of a minor to marry his victim to escape prosecution, and it has been used to justify a traditional practice of making a rapist marry his victim to preserve the honor of the woman’s family.

“Amina, 16, was triply violated, by her rapist, by tradition and by Article 475 of the Moroccan law,” tweeted activist Abadila Maaelaynine.

Abdelaziz Nouaydi, who runs the Adala Assocation for legal reform, said a judge can recommend marriage only in the case of agreement by the victim and both families.

“It is not something that happens a great deal — it is very rare,” he said, but admitted that the family of the victim sometimes agrees out of fear that she won’t be able to find a husband if it is known she was raped.

The marriage is then pushed on the victim by the families to avoid scandal, said Fouzia Assouli, president of Democratic League for Women’s Rights.

“It is unfortunately a recurring phenomenon,” she said.”We have been asking for years for the cancellation of Article 475 of the penal code which allows the rapist to escape justice.”

The victim’s father said in an interview with an online Moroccan newspaper that it was the court officials who suggested from the beginning the marriage option when they reported the rape.

“The prosecutor advised my daughter to marry, he said ‘go and make the marriage contract,'” saidLahcen Filali in an interview that appeared on goud.ma Tuesday night.

In many societies, the loss of a woman’s virginity outside of wedlock is a huge stain of honor on the family.

In many parts of the Middle East, there is a tradition whereby a rapist can escape prosecution if he marries his victim, thereby restoring her honor. There is a similar injunction in the Old Testament’s Book of Deuteronomy

Morocco updated its family code in 2004 in a landmark improvement of the situation of women, but activists say there’s still room for improvement.

In cases of rape, the burden of proof is often on the victim and if she can’t prove she was attacked, a woman risks being prosecuted for debauchery.

“In Morocco, the law protects public morality but not the individual,” said Assouli, adding that legislation outlawing all forms of violence against women, including rape within marriage, has been stuck in the government since 2006.

According to the father’s interview, the girl was accosted on the street and raped when she was 15, but it was two months before she told her parents.

He said the court pushed the marriage, even though the perpetrator initially refused. He only consented when faced with prosecution. The penalty for rape is between five and 10 years in prison, but rises to 10 to 20 in the case of a minor.

Filali said Amina complained to her mother that her husband was beating her repeatedly during the five months of marriage but that her mother counseled patience.

A Facebook page called “We are all Amina Filali” has been formed and an online petition calling for Morocco to end the practice of marrying rapists and their victims has already gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

This outrage against the horrific and outrageous law that allows the rapist to marry his victim in order to avoid prosecution is following Sharia. Rape is a horrific crime that I would not wish upon my worst enemy. This inhuman law in Morocco has no basis in Islam or the Qur’an. And to shield the criminal by marrying his victim is even more inhuman: the Sharia is against it.

Thus, these Moroccans who are working to try to change the law are following the Sharia in both letter and spirit. May God give them the help and strength they need to eliminate this law once and for all.



  • Cat

    Hesham is incorrect to assert that muslims do not wish to have sharia law ruling their countries. The United States is right to take any measures it can to guard against sharia being implemented.

    Do not believe as Hesham says that

    “”Muslims are not seeking to supplant the law of the land with “Sharia.” They are not looking to start amputating hands, beating their wives, and stoning adulterers to death.””

    The Pew Research Study http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia/

    of muslims in 39 countries found that most muslims want sharia law.

    They wish for things such as amputations for theft and death of apostates. The Pew research study found 60% of muslims in Malaysia support stoning, 51% of Thai uslims surveyed supported stoning and 48% of Indian Muslims supported stoning.

    “”Religiously observant muslims who pray 5x a day are more likely to favour implementation of sharia law.””.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment alicia

    these terrible laws – in morocco and in deuteronomy come from an attitude of women as property of men. Rape is seen as a crime against the father – his consent matters, not hers. Then it goes one step further and her father can marry her to the rapist against her objections – his consent that matters not hers. Tradition or religion is just an excuse for tyrants to hide behind

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment alicia

    Quotes from Sana Saleem “Your rape culture is not my religion“ Gawaahi.com. She is quoting from an article from MuslimAccess by Uzma Mazhar on rape in islam:

    centuries of Islamic jurists have established consensus that rape is not a category of adultery, but rather of hirabah (terrorism).

    During the time of the Prophet (saw) punishment was inflicted on the rapist on the solitary evidence of the woman who was raped by him. Wa’il ibn Hujr reports of an incident when a woman was raped. Later, when some people came by, she identified and accused the man of raping her. They seized him and brought him to Allah’s messenger, who said to the woman, “Go away, for Allâh has forgiven you,” but of the man who had raped her, he said, “Stone him to death.” (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)


    Islamic legal scholars interpret rape as a crime in the category of Hiraba. In ‘Fiqh-us-Sunnah’, hiraba is described as: ‘a single person or group of people causing public disruption, killing, forcibly taking property or money, attacking or raping women (hatk al ‘arad), killing cattle, or disrupting agriculture.’
    The famous jurist, Ibn Hazm, had the widest definition of hiraba, defining a hiraba offender as: ‘One who puts people in fear on the road, whether or not with a weapon, at night or day, in urban areas or in open spaces, in the palace of a caliph or a mosque, with or without accomplices, in the desert or in the village, in a large or small city, with one or more people… making people fear that they’ll be killed, or have money taken, or be raped (hatk al ‘arad)… whether the attackers are one or many.”
    Al-Dasuqi held that if a person forced a woman to have sex, his actions would be deemed as committing hiraba. In addition, the Maliki judge Ibn ‘Arabi, relates a story in which a group was attacked and a woman in their party was raped. Responding to the argument that the crime did not constitute hiraba because no money was taken and no weapons used, Ibn ‘Arabi replied indignantly that “hiraba with the private parts” is much worse than hiraba involving the taking of money, and that anyone would rather be subjected to the latter than the former.
    The crime of rape is classified not as a subcategory of ‘zina’ (consensual adultery), but rather as a separate crime of violence under hiraba. This classification is logical, as the “taking” is of the victim’s property (the rape victim’s sexual autonomy) by force. In Islam, sexual autonomy and pleasure is a fundamental right for both women and men (Ghazâlî); taking by force someone’s right to control the sexual activity of one’s body is thus a form of hiraba.
    Rape as hiraba is a violent crime that uses sexual intercourse as a weapon. The focus in a hiraba prosecution is the accused rapist and his intent and physical actions, and not second-guessing the consent of the rape victim. Hiraba does not require four witnesses to prove the offense, circumstantial evidence, medical data and expert testimony form the evidence used to prosecute such crimes.
    To summarize, rape is hirabah (terrorism), not zina (adultery) – punishment should be meted to the rapist, and the victim of rape should not be punished in any way. A statement of being raped is not a confession to adultery. All of this is not some modern reinterpretation on my part, but a robust, centuries-old consensus of all major schools of jurisprudence in Islam.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kimberly

    “there is no book called “the Sharia””

    But, there kind of is. It’s not a “holy” book, like the Qur’an or the Bible, but there IS a Sharia manual for Sunni Islam. Umdat al Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) is the Sharia Law manual that contains Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali and Shafi’i Madh’habs. It is also certified by Al Azhar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and pretty much all high Sunni Jurists.

    Are you familiar with this book?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Vince

    Yet in any nation where the majority population is Muslim, and the academic and the theological authorities are the most devout and best trained in Islamic jurisprudence, and shariah law becomes the state law, a rape victim needs four witnesses to prove she was raped. If she can’t provide that she in punished for ‘adultery’ and she’s a lucky woman if she isn’t killed for bringing shame on her family. That’s the reality of the application of Shariah in places other than liberal, western nations. I visit Morocco often – the people protesting are those influenced by European values that accept women as fully human and of the same value as a man. Not shariah values at all. Liberal Muslims in Western nations deceive themselves.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ramon

    What sharia say about domestic violence. ? Also filing divorce to get out of abuse. T

  • http://www.estatesmorocco.com/ Real Estate in Morocco

    insightful post…got so much information

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