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10th Circuit Blocks Oklahama Ban on Sharia Law

Voters in Oklahoma approved a ban of Sharia law that said:

State courts "shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia Law."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations sued.

Today, the 10th Circuit blocked the law from taking effect. The opinion is here. [More...]

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Taliban Flogs and Executes Pregnant Woman for Adultery

Yesterday, the Taliban publicly flogged and executed a pregnant woman for adultery. She received 200 lashes and was then shot in the head 3 times.

Bibi Sanubar, 35, was kept in captivity for three days before she was shot dead in a public trial on Sunday by a local Taliban commander in the Qadis district of the rural western province Badghis....The Taliban accused her of having an "illicit affair" that left her pregnant. She was first punished with 200 lashes in public before being shot, deputy provincial police chief Ghulam Mohammad Sayeedi said.

The man with whom Sanubar had the affair was not punished. The Taliban is denying its militia carried out the execution. But a local Taliban-controlled district confirms:

Head of Badghis provincial council Mohammad Nasir Nazaari confirmed the execution and said the Qadis district was entirely under Taliban control.

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Indonesia Province Enacts Death By Stoning Law For Adultery

Sharia Law raises its ugly head again, this time in Aceh, a province of Indonesia. Adultery will now be punished by stoning the offender to death:

The legislation was passed unanimously by Aceh's regional legislature, said assembly member Bahrom Rasjid. "This law will be effective in 30 days with or without the approval of Aceh's governor," he said.

The Governor opposes strict Sharia law but he's powerless to stop it, as is the central Indonesian government in Jakaarta.

The penalty for other non-marital sex: Unmarried people can be sentenced to 100 lashes with a cane.

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Somalia: Thieves Sentenced to Public Amputation of Limbs

Four men who stole three cell phones and two assault rifles have been sentenced under Sharia law in Somalia. Each will have their right hand and left leg (probably above the foot) amputated in public.

Amnesty International is protesting the sentence.

"We are appealing to Al-Shabab not to carry out these cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments," said Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International's Africa Deputy Director. "These sentences were ordered by a sham Al-Shabab court with no due process or guarantees of fairness."

The four young men were not represented by lawyers or allowed to appeal the sentence. The sentence was not immediately carried out because it was so hot outside there was fear the men would bleed to death.

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King Pardons Saudi Rape Victim, No Lashes

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has shown some mercy and granted a pardon to the victim of a gang rape who was sentenced to 200 lashes because she was in the company of a man other than her spouse at the time of the crime.

The rape took place a year and a half ago in Qatif, a small Shiite town in the Eastern Province, the center of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry. The woman, who has been publicly identified only as the “Qatif girl,” said she met a former boyfriend to retrieve a photograph of herself. They were sitting in a car when seven men attacked, raping them both.

As I wrote here, the original sentence of 90 lashes was upped to 200 lashes after her lawyer complained to the media. Back to today's news:

Commenting on the pardon, the Saudi justice minister, Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheik, told Al Jazirah that the king fully supported the verdicts against the woman but had decided to pardon her because it was in the “interests of the people.”

“On one hand this tells people, ‘We support our system and we will punish you if you violate it,’” he said. “Yet he’s also showing mercy. Throughout, he’s making it clear that he is not disagreeing with the judge’s opinion on this sensitive issue of sexual chastity, but he believes that there is a higher interest to be served by the pardon, whether that’s relationships between Shiites and Sunnis, or international opinion.”

Thank you King Abdullah.

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Saudi Gang Rape Victim's Sentence Increased to 200 Lashes

Saudi Arabia's Qatif General Court has revised the sentence of a 19 year old gang rape victim. The woman was originally sentenced to 90 lashes for being in the company of a male who was not a family member. But, because she and her lawyer publicized her plight, her sentence has been increased to 6 months in jail and 200 lashes.

Her lawyer, civil rights activist Abdulrahman al-Lahem, has been removed from the case, stripped of his law license and told to show up for a disciplinary hearing next month.

No matter how many times I read this article, I just keep shaking my head. How is it possible that Sharia law still exists? Just another reason to keep religion and government separate.

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