Next month, I.B. Tauris Publishers will publish Gender and Equality in Muslim Family Law: Justice and Ethics in the Islamic Legal Process edited by Lena Larsen, Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Christian Moe and Kari Vogt. The publisher’s description follows.
This book examines how male authority is sustained through law and court practice, the consequences for women and the family, and the demands made by Muslim women’s groups. Examining the construction of male guardianship (qiwama, wilaya) in the Islamic tradition, it also seeks to create an argument for women’s full equality before the law. Bringing together renowned Muslim scholars and experts, anthropologists who have carried out fieldwork in family courts, and human rights and women’s rights activists from different parts of the Muslim world, from Morocco to Egypt and Iran, this book develops a framework for rethinking Islamic Law and its traditions in ways that reflect contemporary realities and understandings of justice and gender rights.
Arzoo Osanloo (U. of Washington) has posted When Blood Has Spilled: Gender, Honor, and Compensation in Iranian Criminal Sanctioning. The abstract follows. NB: The full article is behind a pay wall.
This article explores the gender implications of retributive punishment in Iran’s criminal justice system with specific attention to the Islamic mandate of forgiveness. Iranian penal codes allow victims’ families to forgive an offender through forbearance of their right of retribution. To mitigate or even cancel the retributive component of punishment in numerous crimes, including murder, defendants usually offer compensation. Through a study of the gendered logics of criminal sanctioning, forbearance, and compensation, this article brings to light some of the issues victims’ families and defendants face. In doing so, this article explores the debates around one of the formal gender gaps in Iranian laws, unequal compensation in sanctioning, where the amount of reparation for the loss a woman’s life is legally half that of a man’s. Because of this, some accounts of Islamic criminal processes suggest that female family members are helpless victims or nonactors in legal negotiations. By studying how gendered social relations operate in Iran’s criminal legal process, this article finds women playing key roles in family decisions to forgive or not. The examination of judicial processes, moreover, reveals some of the complexity of gender relations, which are not fixed, as static legal texts might suggest.
Via Professor Howard Friedman: Nima Mersadi Tabari, Ph.D. candidate at the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, has timely posted The Sharia’h Dimension of the Persian Gulf’s Hydrocarbon Resources. Tabari illustrates how Islamic law governs extraction of Middle Eastern oil, financing oil operations, and sale of this indispensable and all consuming resource. Such a study promises to illuminate the originating motives of the global oil politics that permeate American domestic policy (consider the congressional Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling dispute, which remains active after decades [NYT, Feb. 3]) and its foreign concerns (the Iranian threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, and naval buildup there, is a frightening tinderbox [NYT, Feb. 13]. Please find Tabari’s abstract after the jump. Continue reading
Posted in Daniel R. Strecker, Scholarship Roundup
Tagged ANWR, Articles, Iran, Islamic Law, Law and Environment, Law and Foreign Policy, Natural Resources, Oil, Sharia, Shariah
More news this weekend on Yousef Nadarkhani, the Evangelical pastor Iran has sentenced to death for apostasy. The semi-official Fars news agency says that Nadarkhani is actually facing execution for several counts of rape, extortion, and treason — nothing to do his conversion to Christianity. Fars quotes a government official criticizing outside media coverage for giving a distorted account of Nadarkhani’s trial. ”In our system,” the official is quoted as saying, “no one can be executed for changing his/her religion.” The new allegations are surprising, to say the least, since the government’s brief in Nadarkhani’s appeal to the Iranian Supreme Court, obtained by Western news outlets, mentions only the charge of apostasy. Observers suspect that the international attention to Nadarkhani’s case, including an appeal from the Obama Administration last week, has embarrassed the Iranian regime, which is now seeking a pretense for punishing the pastor. – MLM
The White House issued a statement this afternoon condemning the conviction of Evangelical Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani for apostasy by an Iranian court. Having refused three times to recant his adult conversion to Christianity, Nadarkhani is now subject to execution. Some reports suggest that the authorities will commute the death-penalty sentence, but that is unclear at this writing. The White House’s statement follows. — MLM
The United States condemns the conviction of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Pastor Nadarkhani has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for all people. That the Iranian authorities would try to force him to renounce that faith violates the religious values they claim to defend, crosses all bounds of decency, and breaches Iran’s own international obligations. A decision to impose the death penalty would further demonstrate the Iranian authorities’ utter disregard for religious freedom, and highlight Iran’s continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. We call upon the Iranian authorities to release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion.
From Terry Mattingly at GetReligion, this troubling story: Rev. Yousef Nadarkhani, an Evangelical pastor in Iran, is facing execution for apostasy. Nadarkhani converted to Christianity as an adult. Although he never was a practicing Muslim, he has Muslim ancestry — which means, according to the Iranian courts, that his conversion qualifies as apostasy, a capital offense. Under the Iranian courts’ reading of Islamic law, Nadarkani must be given three public opportunities to renounce his apostasy before being subject to the death penalty. He has already refused twice to return to Islam; his third opportunity comes in an Iranian court this week, after which he may be executed. Mattingly criticizes the media for failing to cover this story, after all the attention given to the American hikers Iran released earlier this week. — MLM