Saturday, March 17, 2012

Islamic law and governance at work

In Morocco last week, the case of a 16-year-old girl has caused uproar. Last year, when the girl was 15, she was raped. In order to retrieve the family honor, the girl was forced to marry the rapist. This is not all that uncommon in the Islamic world, as this is the only way for the man to avoid punishment and in order to save the honor of the woman’s family. What is causing the uproar is that her husband was beating the girl and she committed suicide. So now a call to change the Islamic law that allows for such things. A debate is going on within Islam about the ability of a man to beat his wife. In the Koran, the phrase that allows for this practice has several interpretations. Modern thought is beginning to bear down upon the part that allows men to physically punish their wives. So the debate also centers on the issue where the girl is forced to marry her rapist in order to save the family honor. I must admit, this is progress. The problem here is that there is an argument at all. And the argument is worldwide. Islamic law and government has numerous problems like this. Many of these issues trigger organized violence and warfare. Like this issue with women being forced to marry their rapist and the beating of wives, these issues SHOULD trigger war.

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