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Shi'a Pundit

Devoted to the viewpoint of Islam of Muhammad SAW and Amir ul-Mumineen, Ali ibn Abi Talib SA, in the Shi'a Fatimi Ismaili Dawoodi Bohra tradition.

September 28, 2002

the politicization of Shari'a.

this article is a follow-up to the case of Amina Lawal, who was sentenced to be buried to her neck in sand and stoned to death, for adultery. Nigeria seems to be the spicenter of brutality under a religious guise, partly because of its embrace of Islamic fundamentalism after emerging from a bloody military rule (itself a colonial legacy). The article notes:

While there is sincere belief and a good deal of lip service to shariah as the "unchanging holy law" of Islam, in fact it has historically been flexible and more open to change than conservative and literalist proponents assert. But among ordinary people there is a whole range of popular claims and fantasies about shariah. It often appears that it is as much about popular lore as law. Northern Nigeria is going through a period in which shariah is open to manipulation by populist politicians and they are using its populist appeal to the full among masses of people not educated in scholastic jurisprudence.

This is the same argument I have made before - that Islam is consistently applied as an excuse to justify socio-political self-aggrandizement. This is true of the subjugation of women, like the burka and bikini. The article is an in-depth analysis and well worth a read.

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About Shi'a Pundit

Shi'a Pundit was launched in 2002 during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The blog focuses on issues pertaining to Shi'a Islam in the west and in the Islamic world. The author is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. Bohras adhere to the Shi'a Fatimi tradition of Islam, headed by the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS).

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