The UK has been having a debate about Sharia law in the House of Commons. Why, I don’t know; it’s so regressive and oppressive, such a step backward, that it ought to be simply dismissed out of hand. Maryam Namazie gave a speech opposing Sharia law, and here’s a small piece of it.
After all, Sharia law is based on the Koran, the hadith (sayings and actions of the prophet Mohammad), and Islamic jurisprudence. They all agree that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s, a women can’t sign her own marriage contract, men have the unilateral right to divorce whereas a women have limited rights to divorce; child custody goes to the father at a preset age; girls get half of the inheritance boys do and so on.
The Islamic Sharia Council explains why this is so: With regards to women’s testimony, ‘If one forgets, the other can remind her.’ It’s the difference between a man and a woman’s brains.’ ‘A woman’s character is not so good for a case where testimony requires attention and concentration.’ And this also applies to divorce. ‘Women are governed by emotion; men by their minds so he will think twice before uttering talaq [divorce].’ It goes on to say it is not ‘derogatory’ but ‘the secret of women’s nature.’
We’re done. Really, there’s no debate necessary at this point; we live in the 21st century, when no legal code should enshrine inequalities (and I’m well aware that there are inequities in US law, but we’re fighting hard to remove them, not add more).