Articles on Sharia

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The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, one of the landmarks in Brunei. Brunei recently announced punishing gay sex by stoning offenders to death. AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Harsh punishments under Sharia are modern interpretations of an ancient tradition

Some Islamic nations, including Brunei, have harsh punishments under Sharia. In pre-modern times, Sharia was rarely used as criminal law, and standard of proof for any prosecution was very high.
Conservative lawmakers in dozens of U.S. states have raised fears that Islamic fundamentalists want to impose Sharia on Americans. Reuters/David Ryder

Don’t blame Sharia for Islamic extremism – blame colonialism

There is no inherent tension between Islam and democratic values. Like any use of religion in politics, the application of Sharia as law depends on who is using it – and why.
Muslims can pray anywhere in the world using the prayer carpet. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

What are Muslim prayer rugs?

Trump recently tweeted about prayer rugs being left along the border. Many may not know the role and history of Muslim prayer rugs and why they are not likely to be left behind.
Mozambique’s military responded swiftly following deadly attacks by Islamist gunmen on three police stations recently. Reuters/Juda Ngwenya

Why Islamist attack demands a careful response from Mozambique

The first Islamist attack carried out by Mozambicans in the country is particularly surprising given the pride the country takes in its sound and relaxed inter-religious relations.
Models present styles during the ‘Walk of Islam’ fashion show in Berlin in 2004. Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

How the hijab has grown into a fashion industry

Islamic fashion is a rapidly growing industry: Muslim spending on fashion is expected to reach US$488 billion by 2019. What has led to this growth?
Islam is a rich and varied religion. EPA/Sanjeev Gupta

Why is Islam so different in different countries?

Since Islam is predicated on law, variations in the interpretation of that law – along with geography and distinct legal schools – have all contributed to differences in the religion.
With so much uncertainty in halal labelling it can be hard for Muslim consumers to know they’re getting what they’ve asked for. Todd Lappin

Explainer: what is halal, and how does certification work?

Halal food certification in Australia has become a contentious issue. Recently, a Western Australian cafe received hateful and anti-Islamic messages after its owners tried to explain halal on Facebook…
Flogging this man repeatedly over weeks is very dangerous. WIkimedia Commons

Repeated floggings will put Raif Badawi’s life at risk

It has been announced that, for medical reasons, the Saudi Arabian authorities have decided to postpone the ongoing punishment of Raif Badawi. The 31-year-old blogger was supposed to have received a second…
Indonesian state institutions reinforce the labelling of women into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ by policing women’s bodies. EPA/Hotli Simanjuntak

Indonesia should drop ‘good’ and ‘bad’ labels on women

Society often labels women in two categories: “good” and “bad”. Both of these labels reduce women from human beings to stereotypes. They are detrimental to women’s rights as seen in two recent controversies…
Ever since arriving in Canberra in July, Senator Jacqui Lambie has had the media in a spin. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

A Lambie loose in the top paddock of Parliament

If a movie is ever made about the life of the well-known PUP senator from Tasmania, we can be sure it won’t be titled “Silence of the Lambie”. After a little over two months in public life, quiet and stillness…

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