March of this year, a 24-year-old Norwegian woman, Marte Deborah Dalelv, was raped during a Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) business trip, and reported the assault to the local police. Shortly after filing the report, UAE police summarily rejected the young woman’s complaint, and confiscated her passport. She was then incarcerated for days, before being allowed to use a telephone. As her father, who has visited his daughter several times since the arrest, recounted,
She called after four days in jail and told me that she had been raped and was in jail. I was totally shocked. In my view, this is completely absurd. It’s a natural reaction to go to the police when you have been raped. You don’t expect to be sent to jail yourself.
Assisted by family members, and the Norwegian consulate, the unfortunate young woman was able to negotiate a release, and she has been living under the protection of the Norwegian Sailor’s Church pending a “legal” decision on her case.
This Wednesday, July 17, 2013, the 24-year-old Norwegian woman was sentenced to one year and four months in jail, for “sex outside of marriage,” “drinking alcohol,” and alleged “perjury.” Gisle Meling, the priest at the Norwegian Sailor’s Church, commented with apt ruefulness, “we live in a country which has a justice system which draws its conclusions with the help of Sharia law.” The good priest deferentially adumbrates how the totalitarian Sharia promulgates such “justice” in the UAE.
Article 7 of the UAE Constitution (issued as a “Provisional Constitution” on July 18, 1971 by the Rulers of the six Emirates that originally formed the United Arab Emirates [Ras Al Khaimah joined in 1972] and made permanent in 1996), stipulates, in translation:
Islam is the official religion of the Union. The Islamic Sharia shall be a main source of legislation in the Union.
Article 110, which provides, in translation, that “Union [Federal] laws shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of this Article and other appropriate provisions of the Constitution,” renders unconstitutional any UAE law that does not take Sharia as its source because such legislation violates the aforementioned Article 7.
Moreover, the UAE’s so-called “Civil Code” further enshrines the pre-eminence of Sharia, stating quite explicitly, the following
Article 2. The rules and principles of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) shall be relied upon in the understanding, construction and interpretation of these provisions.
Article 3. Public order shall be deemed to include matters relating to personal status such as marriage, inheritance, and lineage, and matters relating to sovereignty, freedom of trade, the circulation of wealth, rules of private ownership and the other rules and foundations upon which society is based, in such manner as not to conflict with the definitive provisions and fundamental principles of the Islamic Sharia
Article 27: It shall not be permissible to apply the provisions of a law specified by the preceding Articles if such provisions are contrary to Islamic Sharia, public order, or morals in the State of the United Arab Emirates.
Article 106: A person shall be held liable for an unlawful exercise of his rights…if the interests which such exercise of right is designed to bring about are contrary to the rules of the Islamic Sharia, the law, public order, or morals;
Under the Sharia—and its codification in UAE law—rapists can only be convicted if either the perpetrator confesses or if four adult Muslim males witness the crime. Ibn Warraq has elucidated the Sharia-based origins of this iniquity. Koran 24.4 states: “And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony – They indeed are evil-doers.” But Warraq elaborates how this injunction strips women of their basic rights under the misogynistic Sharia, past and present:
Muslim jurists will only accept four male witnesses. These witnesses must declare that they have “seen the parties in the very act of carnal conjunction.” Once an accusation of fornication and adultery has been made, the accuser himself or herself risks punishment if he or she does not furnish the necessary legal proofs. Witnesses are in the same situation. If a man were to break into a woman’s dormitory and rape half a dozen women, he would risk nothing since there would be no male witnesses. Indeed the victim of a rape would hesitate before going in front of the law, since she would risk being condemned herself and have little chance of obtaining justice. “If the woman’s words were sufficient in such cases,” explains Judge Zharoor ul Haq of Pakistan, “then no man would be safe.”
As Wafa Sultan has reminded us, Islam’s prophet Muhammad, the “perfect” role model for Muslims, also condoned rape. (Koran 4:24 extended the “privilege” of having sexual intercourse with captured slave women to all Muslim men.) Thus, when Muhammad and his minions attacked and subdued the prosperous Jewish tribe Banu-Mustaliq in a surprise raid (during 626 A.D.), the males were slaughtered and the “booty” included the victims’ women. Juwayriyya, the most beautiful captive and daughter of the leader of the Banu al-Mustaliq was taken as a “bride” for Muhammad himself. The mass rape of the captured women by “coitus interruptus”—sanctioned by Muhammad—was described in a canonical hadith:
(Sunan Abu Dawud 2167)—Muhairiz said: I entered the mosque and saw Abu Sa’id al-Khudri. I sat with him and asked about withdrawing the penis (while having intercourse). Abu Sa’id said: We went out with the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to Banu al-Mustaliq, and took some Arab women captive, and we desired the women, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, and we wanted ransom; so we intended to withdraw the penis (while having intercourse with the slave-women). But we asked ourselves: Can we draw the penis when the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) is among us before asking him about it? So we asked him about it. He said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born.”
Compounding this fundamental misogynistic iniquity, N. J. Coulson, the renowned twentieth-century scholar of the Sharia, elaborated how “matters of procedure” under Islamic law were antithetical to Western conceptions of the rule of law. Coulson demonstrated the flimsy nature of Sharia-based “evidentiary proof,” while elucidating, under the Sharia doctrine of siyasa (“government” or “administration”), which grants wide latitude to the ruling elites, how arbitrary threats, beatings, and imprisonments of defendants were permissible to extract “confessions,” particularly from “dubious” suspects.
Particularly harsh treatment is recommended for the individual of reputedly bad character whose guilt is suspected but cannot be proved in orthodox fashion. He [she] should be subjected to rigorous examination, with beating and imprisonment if necessary,
Clearly, Sharia “standards,” which do not even seek evidentiary legal truth, and allow threats, imprisonment, and beatings of defendants to extract “confessions,” while sanctioning explicit, blatant legal discrimination against women and non-Muslims, are intellectually and morally inferior to the antithetical concepts which underpin Western law. The plight of hapless Norwegian woman rape victim, Marte Deborah Dalelv, under the UAE’s “Sharia justice system,” illustrates how Sharia rapes justice itself.